10/27/06

The Trouble With You

Mother pressure. I can't figure out what else to call it. But I'm buckling under the pressure.
I feel that I'm half the mom I used to be. With one, glorious child, I was the very picture of a doting, together mommy. I did all of the one-on-one attention things with Connor. I didn't feel tired, I didn't schlep around half-dressed, half-asleep, unkempt, un-showered(unless I was sick). When he fell, I kissed his boo-boo's. Now, when either one of them run up to me, "kiss my foot, I fell. kiss my butt, I fell. Kiss my elbow, I fell...and so on", I'm like "You're fine. Oh come, here. I'll kiss it. Jeez." When I really want to say, "Yeah well, I fell and sat on the bologna pony and I got landed with you. But where are my condolences???"
Ok, so I had a choice. And truth-be-told, I don't want things any other way. I just can't handle the pressure. I can't handle the pressure I put on myself. To do all of the things I want to do. I need to do.
I can't handle at times, that as soon as I wake up, I feel like quietly throwing on a jacket. And walking out the door. Without a word. Without a second glance behind my shoulder.
I feel like a subpar mom. I never, ever thought that I would feel like this.
These four walls are closing in on me. I want to be Mother Earth incarnate. But I can't handle all that comes along with it. I mean, even my moods effect the entire mood of the house. My kids act up if I'm feeling tense or sick or tired. You can feel the change in the air, when I'm having a mood. The balance shifts and everyone is scattering like rats.
I want so desperately to feed my brain, to feed my soul. I've been on this journey to find myself again. I'm restless. I want to feel fire. I want to feel passion about something - anything. But I feel guilty. Why can't I feel passion about being a mom? Or do I? But I'm just so caught up in the day-to-day that I don't even know what passion really feels like anymore?
The pressure of wanting to better myself, while trying to juggle my duties as a wife and mom. I feel guilt for wanting time for myself. It goes back to me not being completely satisfied by being 'just a mom'. I want more. I need more. I don't want my entire identity & worth to be only fulfilled in my children. That is a scary place to be. Dont' get me wrong. My desire to be a good mother while they are under my wings, learning to fly with theirs, is a strong one. I want to be here. But when they go soaring on their own, I need to be able to hold myself up.
Hell, it's not easy. No one said it would be, I guess. I just thought I could handle it. I thought that I could handle all of the demands on myself. I thought that I could easily fulfill every role. I long for the ability to happily juggle it all. With smiles on everyone's faces, a clean house, with ease.
The endless days, the mundane routines. I could give you a play-by-play of my day. Almost down to the minute. Don't worry, I won't do that. But the fact that I can do that irks the shit out of me. As I sit here typing, I want to cry. I should just let it go. But my pride is holding it back. I'd be giving in to my weakness if I let the tears flow.
The seriousness of this hit me last night. I was watching Gracie sleep. She looked so cute, peaceful. My heart filled up to overflowing watching her breathe in, exhale. Over and over. The toils of my day before forgotten. All of the tantrums, the hitting, throwing, yelling. Forgotten. She looked perfect. And of course, in my eyes she is.
But as she was laying there, I realized I was looking at her through Whiskey-colored glasses.


Trouble With You
By: Dave Matthews Band
The brightest starOn a cloudless night
Some kind of miracle
Almost empty sky
In fact, sure as God is a monkey's dream
Ate that mushroom and believe what he see
The trouble with you
is you always wanna find the fires
And sitting warming your hands by the fireside
The trouble with you
is you always lookin' way outside
Oh, and not enjoy yourself by the fireside
Just as the bite of the blade
Wakes the absent mind
There's time to dreamAnd there's time to open your eyes
She said Just as the warmth of a kissBrings the love alive
It's right here by the fire
Where the answers lie
The trouble with you is
always wanna find the fire
Oh, when you warmin' your hands by the fireside
The trouble with you is you always lookin' far and wide
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
But you saidWhy you always lookin'?
Always lookin'?
She said
Why you always lookin' outside?
She said
The trouble with you is
you always lookin' for the fire
When you're warming your hands by the fireside
The trouble with you is
you always lookin' far and wide
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
The trouble with you is
you always lookin' somewhere else
Oh, and what you see there inside yourself
The trouble with you
is you always lookin' for the fire
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
She said, oh, why not enjoy yourself sittin' by the fire?
She said
The trouble with you
The trouble with you

7 ripples in the pond:

Devra said...

Okay, let's continue with the Dave Matthews theme and consider "The Space Between", which essentially means that it doesn't have to be all or nothing, you need not be selfless or selfish. The pressure we place on our parenting to be perfect is incredible, but there is nothing wrong with being "good". It's somewhere between excellent and sucky. Good is a perfectly decent standard. Why not try to accept that there will be days when you are excellent and days that will just plain suck, but mainly if you hit "The Space Between" you are doing a good job. And you know what? If you ask a kid what their standard is for something to be excellent, I bet it will sound more like "good" to you.

jen said...

oh, honey. i can feel your struggle. and the mixture of the highs and the lows. i think (know) you are a wonderful mom. but maybe you need some mothering too...some tab time, where you can rest and rediscover who you are in this grand new role of yours. how can we allow that to happen?

sweet hugs for you.

Pippajo said...

I really can relate. For YEARS I felt like this, not all the time, but a depressingly large part of the time.

Being home with children is like being in the trenches. I truly believe it's one of the hardest jobs to have, and it gets very liitle recognition. It requires superhuman strength, patience, sacrifice and wisdom, and the pay-off is so delayed that it's hard to know if you're even doing a good enough job.

I'm still struggling with this in a big way. Now that my kids are both in school, I'm having a terrible time adjusting. I used to HATE being "stuck" at home with them, having my sanity, ambition and identity chipped away little by little, day after day. And now, I'm free, and I'm completely unbalanced about it. I don't know which end is up, how to cope. I know I should be rejoicing and instead I'm grieving.

These years with two small children are the hardest in many ways. There are no sick days, no promotions, no closing times, no coffee breaks. But as my best friend used to say, "This too shall pass." I know it's a platitude, but it's true. Someday soon you will look at your children and realize they are blossoming into young adults and you will weep for the time when they needed you to sing them to sleep, to cuddle during scary cartoons, to tie their shoes and brush their hair. I know it doesn't sound like it now, but you will.

Hang in there. Take it one day at a time. Try to squeeze in time for yourself, even 15 minutes crying in the bathroom with the door locked.

You are doing the most noble thing a woman can do. You're raising your children. Don't give up.

Penny said...

I know how you feel.

I think it's hilarious when I hear my BF complain to friends that 'taking on a family' has been so hard.

Try giving up your entire identity for motherhood. It's not the same for men.

Why? Because they don't allow it.

You don't have to trade one for the other.

Incorporate.

Don't forget yourself. Reinvent yourself and take good care.

slackermommy said...

I had this very conversation with my sis last night. I still have these kinds of days but not as often as when I had three kids under 3 1/2. Antidepressants help too! For me motherhood just isn't fulfilling. That's why I lose myself in the 'puter blogging and creating. You need balance which I struggle with daily. There just isn't enough time in a day to take care of the family and squeeze in the much needed me time. You're not alone and try not to beat yourself up for feeling like you're not up to par. Perfect parents raise perfect brats. This reminds me of the Desperate Housewives episode where Bree who is consumed with doing everything perfectly was talking to her son about why he rebelled despite her mothering. Kids don't want perfect parents. It's too much to live up to. You're a good mom whose just tired, depleted, and overwhelmed. Go get a massage or pedicure, whatever you like for yourself. You need the recharging.

Her Bad Mother said...

See, I feel this way with ONE child, and that makes me terrified of the prospect of child #2 - a child that I want, but am worried I cannot manage.

So... all the sympathy in the world from my corner...

Tabba said...

thank you all for your words of encouragement and understanding.....

Her Bad Mother - really 2 isn't bad...I stressed during my whole pregnancy that it wouldn't work - but it does. I'm just trying to hold on to that little shred of myself for later. Little suckers just wear me out, that's all!!