May 12, 2009

I'm Not Failing as a Mother or Wife

Have any of you ever felt like your home life was out of control, or is it just me?

I have this weight on my shoulders lately that just seems to get heavier and heavier. I don't know what it is. Is it hormones, is it stress, WHAT IS IT? I can't shake it. Lately I've been in a funk and feel like my home life is out of control. And by home life, I mean my children, the house, and all the things that go along with keeping a house/raising children. Remember Ny's post last week where she described trepidation about having to return to work? She described feeling a sense of calmness since she's been able to focus on family first rather than her job, all thanks to her layoff from a job that was very stressful. I totally understood what she meant. When the home life is good it seems that everything else just falls into place.

I know I'm overreacting but this stupid guilt is weighing heavy on my heart. My two boys are constantly fighting and therefore, I feel like I'm constantly yelling at my kids. Hubby and I seem to only have enough time to keep the family/common areas of the house clean, therefore I don't even want to walk into any of the bedrooms or bathrooms. I remember one night a few weeks ago, our neighbor came to get her son who is now Oldest's BFF. When she walked in, the dog started barking like crazy, Little "B" was in the middle of a having a fit and crying, and the house was a mess. The whole time I had this fake look on my face like "Yeah, I have this all under control." She came, saw the madness, quickly got her son, and ran the hell out of Dodge.

I wanted to die of embarrassment. Her house is always spotless. Meanwhile, I prefer to use the guest bathroom in my house because it seems like that's the only one safe to use. (Boys)

I won't go on and complain about how laundry is everywhere, how my garage is full of stuff I need to mail or take to Goodwill that was packed up weeks ago. I won't because complaining and feeling overwhelmed is for the weak.

Instead of worrying about how I'm setting a poor example for my kids each time I yell at them to stop fighting, or clean their rooms while mine is a mess, I'm going to finish reading all those books I bought last summer on raising good kids so you don't have to yell and I'm going to shut up and put up. All this complaining is getting me nowhere.

I am not one to feel pity for myself because my life is "so hard." I know plenty of women that have it much harder than I do. Feeling pity is for the weak. I didn't go to law school because I'm weak. I didn't have a baby, get my best grades, graduate from law school, pass the bar, and start my first job all in one year because I'm a wimp. Nope, not me.

It's time to tighten up my laces and pick up where I left off in this marathon of life because I'm really just getting started. School will be out in less than two weeks so I better have it all together by then. I try to make sure my kids have great summers so I need to stop feeling like grouchy mama and start acting like super mama.

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Justice Fergie said...

wow. while i WILL say that you're "buck up" attitutde is great, i worry that you're being too hard on yourself. don't get it twisted: NONE OF US have everything totally under control. we all have good days and bad days (or even months) and that will be the case forever and always unless you really are superhuman.

in addition to reading those books, i would suggest you sit down in a quiet spot (maybe a dirty bathroom?) and make a short list of the things that are glaringly out of hand and jot down next to them possible solutions.

for example: your house. you do the best you can do (and btw I think your house is ridiculously spotless) but even the best of us need a little help. so how about hiring someone to help with the cleaning and the laundry once a week (or every 2 weeks). check craigslist for a reasonably priced cleaning lady. TRUST ME, it will be the best $ you ever spent.

Next, think about what is really at the root of your boys fighting? Do they need space? Attention? Something to do? If you can figure out what's causing the drama and there might be a simple solution.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that turning things around isn't just a matter of you becoming supermom. There is no such thing and trying to be that will certainly cause you even more stress.

So remind me of all my great advice when I'm having a mommy breakdown next week, m'kay?

love ya.

Justice Ny said...

I can't even pretend that I can offer any advice here other than to let you know that you're not alone. Things will get much better - I promise!

Sally's World said...

you don't need to feel its just you, we all have days/weeks/months like this, it can really get on top of us, and the guilt thing....if i could find a cure for guilt....well!!!

get whatever help is available to you until you feel more like yourself, and don't think you are failing in any way....we all need to realise we are not actually wonder woman...and need help/support sometimes!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good grief, you are reading yourself the riot act! Not only for things being 'out of control' but then, you don't even give yourself the benefit of venting about it! Listen, why do you blog if you can't vent? Vent away, sister!!!
Justice Fergie gave great advice, so I will only add that sometimes when I feel totally out of control, I try to take a MPD (Mommy's planning day). I let the hubby know I need some time and I take my laptop or a pad and pen and go somewhere (maybe a hotel overnight, maybe a coffee shop for the day, maybe to my room and tell the fam 'pretend I'm not here') and just plan. I make a list of everything that needs to be done whether it's a one time thing (take items to Goodwill) or whether it's a regular chore (laundry). I try to create a schedule with built-in time for relaxing, blogging, everything I want to happen. We don't stay on the schedule forever, but it helps me feel more in control of my life. Sounds like you need a MPD stat! Oh wait, you ladies are lawyers, not doctors. You need a MPD instanter!

Ms. Latina said...

Hi =) I think maybe the problem is that you are trying to win a race but you don't have to. In fact, if you run it as a race you will surely fail because you are racing/comparing yourself to other Mommies. There will always be someone better at something, thats a given. Your gift is not their gift, just as your life is not theirs. For all you know the neighbor may have a cleaner home because she is taking it out on the dust bunnies (been there girl!). In the end,your children won't rememeber if the house was clean or if the garage was full. Think back to your Mom do you remember if the house was clean or if she was there for you (note quality not quantity is what most kids rem, too)... My mom cleaned all the time and didn't have time to play with my older bro and I but by the time she had my younger bro she had learned to let loose and let live; hence, my little bro who is 10 yrs younger than me, has memories of a "different" mom =).

You also need to re-charge. You have to or else you will not be able to do for anyone. You are burnt out and thats normal esp. because you have a job that reuires your attention and focus. Do at least one thing per day that makes you smile. In the beginning you may have to fight for that time (I did with my boys) but after awhile they realize that Mommy is not going to give and they will relent.

I tell my boys when my door is closed thats Mommy getting a time-out. My youngest,the chatterbox who is now 8, thinks its a punishment for something I haven't done, etc LOL But during my self-imposed Time-out I have quiet time where I read, knit or just listen to my ipod. Its the best!

Wishing you well and I am going to join you on Tuesdays!
Ms. Latina

Mrs. Schmitty said...

Out of control? Me? My Life? Nah. Nevah. snort.

I hope things get better soon! Don't be so hard on yourself! Hugs!

Mama Jenn said...

I totally know what you mean!!! I have been there!!!

Joshilyn said...

Hey Jonesie ---

Oh yes yes what Fergie said. Merry maids is reasonable---and bonded and insured.

It is the best money I have even spent. I decided to get a cleaning lady when I realized that Scott and I could always make more money by working more...but we can never make more time. Having a cleaning lady is like buying myself time to do precious, fun kid and husband stuff instead of scrubbing out toilets on the weekend.

And don't be so hard on yourself -- I think you are awesome. said...

You guys are all so GREAT. Re: the cleaning lady. We had one and I used to be the one telling people how it was worth every red cent. Then she disappeared on us, then we thought, hey, we can do this, what a way to save $$, now our house is too dirty to hire one.

I think I remember Fergie telling me this very story and I couldn't understand WTH she was talking about.


Alicia said...

WOW, a page from my very own book. I for one HATE folding laundry, I was thinking of finding someone to come in and just do that, you know like Kate from Jon & Kate +8. But don't have that reality show money coming in. This too shall pass. You are doing a great job, weather you believe in yourself at this moment or not. Keep your chin up mamma.


Unknown said...

...and I'd say maybe focus on the ultimate joy of marriage/motherhood - a husband and children - things so many of the single ladies would go to the ends of the earth for! Maybe focusing on the joy of having those 4 special people in your can outweigh any frustration you may encounter! Just a thought - who knows if this single sister knows anything...
Signed, the single sister!

Unknown said...

Everyone already gave such great comments, but I have to say it again, Don't be so hard on yourself!

No one has it all together all the time. NO ONE!

I'm off to relax in my imperfect house...

Winks & Smiles,

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