Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rest? Slow Down? You Speaky eng gish?

I've been thinking...

I think I need to slow down. I feel like life is passing me by. My kids growth is passing me by. Enjoyment of both of these things is nonexistent for me. Sure I see my kids daily and I appreciate their changes and new words and new milestones but I feel like I'm not able to stop and relax, rest, take it all in. I feel like I honestly go from one thing to another, moving, moving, moving all-the-time. I don't know why. Perhaps my personality, perhaps anxiousness, perhaps a need for somethig else, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. When it comes down to it it doesn't matter why- I just need to stop. I feel so disconnected.

Maybe as you read this you're thinking I'm full of crap and a pathetic mother. And maybe you're right but that's beside the point. I realize I am not great at this whole mom and wife thang but I want to do better, I want to be better at this.

I understand sometimes there are deeper issues that prevent us from doing or being what we want. For instance depression. Huge, HUGE struggle of mine. Sickness, ahhh the cooped up winters, gotta love em! And also other things like grief, marital issues, relational issues and the list goes on.

But for me even amidst my struggles I realize that a lot of it comes down to making choices and sticking to them. Of course I will fail at times. I will get sick or become down at times and not be able to complete all the tasks or desires I have in mind for a day or a week, but I need to get back on track. I now realize for the sake of my family, my babies, my husband.

Also, I forget this truly isn't a burden even though I often think of it as that. But instead something I wanted, something I do absolutely love and enjoy. I adore watching my kids faces as they're engaged in a story that I'm reading to them. Or watching their intense expressions as they're creating with their play doh. Or watching them giggle at something their sibling is doing to make them laugh. I truly adore it and forget how grateful I really am for this. Sure it is hard, but my ungrateful perspective and constant discontentment definitely make an already difficult task of raising babes so excruciatingly more difficult. Much much harder than it need be.

Although I don't believe that making lists or schedules will solve my struggles I do however feel that they will help me with my perspective and help me with keeping my desire at the forefront of my mind. And what is my desire again? To truly love my kids by investing in time, energy and affection with them. This will come in the form of getting on the floor and playing with them daily, reading to them daily, romping on the floor with them daily and engaging with them in conversation (which includes teaching them counting, colors, shapes, whatever they need to learn.) Also other ways I will practically love them is I'm going to try to get a handle on the laundry, keep the kitchen in order and consciously try to engage my honey in conversation in the evenings to keep up our relationship.

I would really love it if you guys could fill me in on how you manage to keep your desire to be a good momma bear at the forefront of your brain? Maybe it's natural for you- that's your default. Or maybe you're like me and struggle with it. But please share! I believe our greatest resource as moms is eachother. And I'm desperate to learn how others are succeeding at this task or if you're like me and have hit a wall and need to shift your perspective back to the job at hand, please feel free to share that as well.


Amanda C. said...

Momma, I feel ya! I've been in the same boat for a while, probably since we moved. I think I'm still mourning the fact that I can't see you and all the other great mommas in the play group there. I've found lately that the best way for me to engage with my son is to just get out of the house and play with him somewhere designed for that. We go to the library, the park (in good weather), WonderLab (our COSI here), an open toddler gym, and other places. It forces me to get away from the TV and computer screens and physically spend quality time with V. I've found, too, that when my hubby monopolizes the TV for his video game playing, I suddenly am more aware of what's going on with V. I know how hard it is right now when everyone is sick and it's cold and snowy outside. I can't imagine doing it with three little ones. You're doing a great job, though, and I can tell how much you love your kids and hubby. Hope you get some helpful advice.

Rachel said...

I think the fact that you recognize where you seem to struggle speaks volumes about how NOT pathetic and full of crap you are.

I have learned from experience (my own and others' around me) that taking on too much is an exercise in frustration and disappointment. It's so easy to get caught up (especially when we are in close proximity to so many other moms who seem happier, more energetic, who bake more, who DO more, who are better wives, housekeepers, etc) in trying to be PERFECT and it's a nasty trap. I think it's awesome if you're recognizing that already, before it happens. Sometimes doing LESS means spending more time on what really matters?

The Three 22nds said...

First of all, you are not pathetic!

I have thought about this stuff ALOT. One thing is, your kids are close together...like mine, only mine are slightly older now. I feel like I am coming out of a fog of sorts.

You are so busy when your kids are so close together that I think you kind of go into survival mode- just caring for the basic necessities...not having the time, the rest and the "alone" time that you need to do any "extras" such as enjoying your kids.

Sure there are moments...but then the next moment someone randomly vomits all over everything and you are back into caregiver/survival mode.

At least that is how it is for me.

I used to tell my husband, "it is just that everyone always WANTS SOMETHING FROM ME. ALL THE TIME!"

We go to the Y. I enjoy them more after I have some alone time.

Last year I got a babysitter for 2 hours every Tuesday afternoon so I could run errands or sleep by myself. I enjoyed life more because I wasn't stressing all the time about how to get to the post office with 3 babies. I could do it on Tuesday.

This year I have become very organized with my domestic chores. Instead of a "I have to clean today. You guys are messing everything up!" kind of day, I have made reasonable and very specific expectations of what I need to do.

I have not cut down on my volunteer commitments, because I like them. We like to go places and do things but I have worked on the discipline issues with my kids a lot. If I have a discipline plan in place I feel like I can enjoy them more because I have a plan if something goes wrong.

Sorry this is so long, I don't know if it helps or not...but it does get easier :)

lizbonj said...

I have a tip!!! USE Brandi & lizbon as babysitter!!! We can take 1, 2, or all three of the kids for you. You can use this to spend one on one time with a certain baby, or with jason or with your blog!! Let us help..It's two for the price of one:)

Jenni said...

you are not pathetic. I think we all struggle to be the best mother we can be and in truth, most of us never measure up to our own standards. Be kind to yourself.