Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Had No Idea

I had no idea people read the blog. Seriously!

I knew that my mother read it, and often complained because I didn't update it enough. Mom, Candice and occasionally Ruth were all that seemed to ever comment. I figured a few out of town/state relatives and maybe a friend or two stopped by to see what was going on in our lives every once in a while--but that was it.

You can imagine my surprise, and later incredible embarrassment when comment after comment, and email after email, and phone call after phone call came in. I am very warmed by the outpouring of concern--and so very embarrassed! I had no idea that so many people would read my words on a very "drama queen" kind of a day!

First of all: I am okay.

I have felt pretty low since the birth of Thomas, and to be honest it has only gotten worse.

There are days I am fine, and then there are days when I can't see my way out.

Saturday was one of the worst I have ever been through.

I woke up feeling like I couldn't be any worse to my myself and especially others. I was a big fat failure and it made it hard to breathe. And, then I realize later that I can feel more like a failure.

The comment made that sent me over the edge was "what should we be doing?" Yep, that was it. No one insulted me, no one criticized me or my children. It was nearly an observation they were making about their life. But, that innocent sentence just stuck with me like acidic glue.

Let's rewind....

The past several months I have been battling a case of the "mommy blues" (sounds cute huh?!). I am severely sleep deprived since Thomas is STILL up 2-3 times a night (and has been for 14 months straight now!). I don't eat well, or at all. And, I am just plain run down.

Everyone seemed to have a solution on how to solve this small problem in my life, except me. Garren's solution: stop doing extra's like smocking, sewing, decorating cakes & making hair bows--the few things I do that aren't taking care of the children or this house. The "Experts" solution: take time for your self--when do I have time to take time for myself? Three level house, kindergarten, a husband & 2 kids are what is overwhelming me, I can't add in anything else. Solution offered by several friends: get a babysitter and go out with Garren. 1. Garren works ALL THE Time 2. I can't leave Thomas with anyone, he is too poorly behaved.

I couldn't see any of these as a viable option, nor could I face the idea of seeing a doctor and being prescribed medication I would never get to stop taking, or talk to a counselor (see the above mentioned NO FREE TIME!) So, I just thought about it. In fact, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it for months. But now it was running through my mind like a tape recorder. And the phrase "what are we supposed to be doing?" was on a terrible loop. The sentence that sent me over the edge couldn't stop repeating itself. So, I started to try an answer it...what was I supposed to be doing?

I haven't figured everything out, but I have learned a few things in my days of soul searching. 1. If I cut out blogging and Facebook and other selfish activities, I actually almost get everything done that I need to get done in a day. And 2. I always thought that spending time with my kids was far more important than keeping a clean house, I never thought about the fact that absolute cleanliness might be more important to others.

I have spent the past several days making sure this house was spotless. And you know what? Everyone seems happier. Garren can find all of the clothes he is looking for, his office space is nearly devoid of childrens toys, and the rest of the house is as well. I am no longer the "forgetful mommy" to Gracie since I make sure I am organized, and she can play and read in a neat and tidy space at all times. They are both very appreciative that I get what should be done--done.

As for Thomas, it is more clean surfaces to dirty up. I can imagine the evil laughter that goes through his mind watching me run around making sure everything is spic and span.

Now, I am very proud of my home, and we didn't live in squalor, but I didn't fret over the small things and used my energy for all sorts of "mommy and child" time.

Since Gracie is in school now and has very little time for all of the fun activities and crafts we used to fill our days with, and since Thomas is too small and too energetic to pick up where she left off--I can devote my days to my daily list of "to do's"

Before you feel sorry for me--don't. I have always believed that this time in my life was for my family. I chose to be a stay at home mom, and that isn't a job for everyone. And, if my body can last for another 18 years, then I will have a new crisis to go through: what do to now that my children are grown?

Of course I don't do this job for free. I get paid in smiles and hugs and time that will never come again.

This is what I wanted, I just needed to be reminded that this is what I am "supposed to be doing."

And, I miss blogging. My life is devoted to my children, and I want to show off those precious faces. So, I will return...and I should return. It may take a while to get things up on the blog since my list of daily chores has only gotten longer, but hang in there I will keep you posted on Thomas and Gracie.

I hope you will forgive me, but just typing this entry made me almost ill. Those who know me, know how VERY private I am, and I hate to have any one read about problems I am having--so I will not be updating my journey to be "what a mom should be."

Yes, I know I am not alone in this, and I know many other women have been through it, or are going through it--but I would prefer to go it alone. But, that won't stop me from thanking the many, many of you who made me feel good that they would miss hearing and seeing my children.

Thanks for continuing to read.


Mom said...

Thank YOU for continuing to write. We adore your children. Yes, believe it or not, I DO know what you are going through. Know one seemed to know what I was going through at that time either. Although I don't know why I was chosen, God chose you to have children with mannerisms like they have because he knows you can handle it - whether you realize it or not. Please keep up your hobbies, and take time for yourself! I learned things the hard way, many times too late! Don't worry about letting someone else play (babysit) with your children. Tell them not to offer unless they mean it! PLEASE let them play with us more, you KNOW WE CAN HANDLE IT - we had your brother - remember? :)
Although it may seem "weird" to you, of course you can talk to me ANY time! I repeat, I did survive through your brother - whether I wanted to or not ;) and he seemed to turn out o k - thanks to Dawn! Dad and I love you very much, and are so proud of you! Thanks again

jack and cheryl said...

Thanks so much for deciding to continue the blog. You'll never know just what it means to us to be invited into your home to observe your precious family as you face lifes challenges and still manage to thrive as a family. You and Garren are so far ahead of where Jack and I were at this point in our parenting lives and we take great pride in watching you all grow together as a family. We hope you can shake the baby blues real soon and head into your new adventure with great gusto! Enjoy a wonderful spring and spread your wings as a family and fly further than you've ever flown before! We love you all so very much!

Dana said...

Hi! I'm one of the strangers who reads your blog from time to time, and am glad you've decided to continue it. I don't know you at all, but in some ways, I feel like I do because we share some similarities. Like you, I'm a former TV journalist who now finds far greater satisfaction from raising kids and writing about their adventures. I stumbled upon your blog a year or so ago and continue to check it out every so often because I like your writing (and parenting) style.
I'm glad you've decided to continue writing because, based on the amount of effort you put into your blog, I think you really enjoy writing it. If you're like me, it's a great avenue for creative writing, and it's also probably a welcome break from the craziness of raising two kids. (Unlike you, I also work outside the home, so I get a mental break from my kids. I don't have the patience to do what you do.) I wish you the best of luck!