Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Post That Makes You Feel So Much Better About Yourself

You know how sometimes you stumble upon a blog post and find yourself thinking "Man! She's a much better mother than me." And you notice that she is taller/shorter/thinner/prettier than you and her house is bigger/better/cleaner/nicer than yours and that she cooks/crafts/writes/decorates better than you and if that wasn't enough, you look at her beautifully photographed children playing together or baking together or reading books together and you find yourself shrinking a bit?

This is not one of those posts.  

This post is about how gut-wrenchingly hard it is to be a mom.  How there are minutes, hours, days when you want to scream your head off and lock your kids out of your house.  How you find yourself begging for three minutes of peace and making deals with just about anyone to give it to you.  How you completely lose your cool when you get interrupted, again, by the third of four children while you're trying to pee. The exhaustible inertia of trying to keep your head above water while someone stands above pouring water on your head. 

I feel like I've been in the trenches lately.  The trenches of mothering strong personalities and kids who oftentimes feel they know better than me.  I find myself with my hands held high above my head in the international sign of  I SURRENDER but no one yells out GAME OVER to save me.  This stuff is hard.  Hard to understand.  Hard to talk through.  Really, all-encompassing, hard. I've lost my footing a bit in how to mother these children who are changing before my eyes.  Growing up means new issues, new consequences, new problems and while we have yet to face anything that we can't handle, I can feel it lurking.  Like something is watching, waiting for me to lose my balance so it can show up and knock me off my feet completely.  I feel like I'm having to work harder than ever before to try and get it right and not just right in the moment, but right in the long term.  That the things I'm trying to teach my kids will resonate with them for a lifetime so that some of these issues won't show up again.  Or if they do, that they'll be prepared to deal with them.  And looking at it that way is daunting. 

I find myself exhausted at the end of the day.  Like that I've-been-up-all-night-with-a-newborn exhausted.  

I find myself watching the clock for bedtime.  

I find myself saying the same things over and over and over.  And over. 

My fuse is shorter than normal and I keep looking around wondering where I went.  That mother who was here before.  The one with patience and understanding.  Who loved the sound of her children's voices above all else.  Who knew that even though this path is rocky, it's absolutely the right one to be on.  Who found joy in the small things and loved nothing more than being a mom

I know she's in here.  I know she'll be back soon. But right now, what's she's doing is hard. 


Trying to find her, while hiding out in my van. 
In my bathrobe. 

13 comments:

Sarah said...

I'm right there with you. Things that were easy with one child are big challenges with another. I feel cranky a lot. It makes me feel bad that there are some days where my kids only hear my cranky voice. Sometimes I say things, and then I stop and get so mad that it came out of mouth targeted at my children and I feel like I'm the one that needs to go in time out. (Which would be great if I could actually be left alone for more than twenty seconds.) Ha!

almond nuthouse said...

I hear ya...I have those days too. I think we all do at one time or another. Hang in there, don't be too hard on yourself, and remember...The sun will come out, tomorrow. :)

Melanie said...

A mom has got to have a good hiding place. The car parked in the garage is a good one. With the lights off, no one notices you if you hold real still. I hide in my pantry. Aidan called it my 'place to think things through' yesterday. Or my closet, but they find me there. In short, I feel you. You are raising some terrific kids, the kind of kids who are proud to call you Mama and the kind of kids who are a good influence on mine! The sun will come out:)

Dallin, Ashley and Claire said...

Karen, you don't give yourself enough credit. Granted, I am not in your home, watching what's going on or seeing the day to day life of your family, but I know you. You are amazing. You are the wife and mother I always aspired to be (and still do aspire to be) I would bet a lot of money that your kids think you are the greatest thing ever and that they are lucky to have a mom like you. So, if there is anything to give you a little bit of comfort, know that this girl always has and always will, think that you are a major rockstar. :)

Amy said...

I wish I had some fantastic words to uplift or inspire you. However, I am in the trenches too. Some days are fantastic, other days, well, I would rather not talk about those days! I guess I can just tell you that you're not alone. I can tell you that I have had moments where I wonder if this is really what my life was supposed to look like? Dirty dishes, laundry, and more laundry? I guess at least I have the choice. If I HAD to work, and missed out on all of this, I would probably whine about that too. Love you!

Mandy Rasmussen said...

Karen,
Istant tears when I read your post. Answer to my prayers....I am sure of it. Sometimes being a mom is a lonely endeavor!
Thank you for being honest - being a mother is the biggest blessing in my life, it also stretches me and helps me to grow into the mother I am meant to be - and that is a daily process - something I will work on the rest of my life - and probably still not get it right. But the journey is so worth it!
I am right there with you in the trenches right now - parenting is no joke - and I think as woman we think we have to be perfect, and have an answer for everything, and be everything for everybody. I know I put that pressure on myself a lot.
I am grateful that there are woman out there that can be honest about things.....instead of making it look like everything is perfect in their world. Life's not perfect, nor are we....we are striving to be, and that's OK. We are where we are meant to be - all at different stages in life - and loving and accepting people for where they are at - and loving myself for where I am at...just like our Savior does instead of comparing myself to everyone around me. I know I am a good mom - but the adversary wants me to feel differently - and I am a perfectionist - and very hard on myself - accepting and loving myself is hard sometimes...even though I know I am a good mom and wife. There is always room for improvement - and there are always days where I need to be patient with myself and love myself through just like I do for my own kids. Thank you! You made my day!

Tracy said...

I've been there. I AM there. Right with you sister!! And we will prevail, together! :) Love ya and I soo feel your pain. It is exhausting. Make sure to make time for yourself (and me). That does wonders, makes you feel like you can go another couple rounds. And, although it is hard to believe, I hear one day we will think back on these trying times and laugh.

tharker said...

I've been feeling the same way lately. The older my kids get, the more I realize why they say to savor your little ones while they're little. As they become older and start exercising their will a bit more, I find their behavior a lot less "savorable" (is that a word? no?) That being said, even though they are bringing on new challenges that I'm not sure I'm ready for yet, I still get glimpses of who they are, underneath the snark and attitude. I catch them doing kind things for each other. A 'thank you' here, a story of being a good friend there. Small decisions that they are making that may not seem like a big deal to some. But to me, it's those little things that make all the difference and let me know that in the end, they're going to be okay.

As Ashley said, you are doing a phenomenal job. You have very well behaved, very well adjusted, very well mannered children. They are kind, and considerate. They are compassionate and dang it, they are funny! Where do you think they have learned these things? You and Brad are such great examples.

Megan said...

true words, true word...
we are all there, sometimes. It is the trenches. I haven't peed with the door shut for years, or talked on the phone without having to cover the other ear just so that i have a chance of hearing the conversation....
you are not alone.
hang in there

Kelly said...

Wow, you have obviously struck a chord with ALL moms! Being a mom is by far, the hardest job on the planet at times. I hate to admit that I've had more then my share of nights where I headed to bed with tears in my eyes thinking about the crummy parenting job I had done that day. It is completely normal. Good days and bad days are just part of the routine. You are one of the most amazing mothers I know. This is why the down days make such an impact on you. You are a rock star mom--- your kids are the evidence! Keep your chin up, cut yourself some slack, and know that you are doing your best and have friends and a hubby who support you 100%.

I love you!

Heather said...

Dutch Bros? You and me? I heard about some eggnog concoction there...

PRP said...

I'm in Heather!

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