Thursday, February 21, 2013

this picture has nothing to do with anything

It's late and I've been up since 4:00 this morning. Against my better judgement I'm just going to go ahead and write a little bloggy stuff anyway. I'll regret it and delete it in the morning but for now, here's a little taco soup regurgitation. Also, I just checked and someone googled "green booger 5 week old" and was led to this blog today. How could I not share that with you? This internet stuff is completely awesome.

I am tired. Not just now because it's late and I should go to sleep. Pretty much all the time. I don't sleep well. I have a hard time turning my brain off. I go to bed and try to sleep but all I do is listen to Dan's snoring and toss and turn and sometimes give him a gentle kick to make him stop. Then I keep checking the clock to see how much sleep I'll actually get if my kids don't wake up until 7:30. It's usually earlier than that. Then I get to thinking about all the things I need to do or want to do but can't do (because of time, money, sanity) and I more likely than not end up crying myself to sleep. I read about a Magic Blanket and I think I want one. Or maybe my mom could figure out how to make one for me. From looking at their chart, I need a twin size 16 pound blanket. It's supposed to help with depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, aggression and bipolar disorder. Pretty sure I've got a few of those. I think I need more serotonin in my life. Maybe a big heavy blanket could do the trick.

I don't get anything done. Ever. Not completely at least. I go to bed every night with dishes in the sink. And that's after I've already done dishes at least once earlier in the day. I live in an old house and there's no dishwasher. This hasn't always been a big deal and I've just lived with it but somehow now that my kids actually eat real food with real plates, bowls and utensils, there's a crap load of dishes to wash every day. I'm trying to not let it bother me too much but it does. I go to bed with laundry in the dryer and another pile somewhere in the house waiting to be folded. This bothers me very much but if it's not done in the morning, I just completely run out of steam. In my little brain I'm punching my time card at 7:00 every night and I cannot be expected to do any household chore related stuff after that. No way. Not going to happen. My brain is done.

I want to pay attention to those kids of mine in the morning before we have to get ready for school and preschool. I do pay attention to them of course. I don't ignore them. I just don't think they understand that I have stuff to do. Not fun stuff. Jobs. Dishes. Laundry. Clean the house a little. Danny just wants me to play all the time. He made up a new game this week. A card game. He sat at the table cutting out rectangles (and then I ended up helping him with my paper cutter but I was hoping the cutting would just take him forever and then I wouldn't have to play the game with him), putting stickers on them and assigning them point values. And then I had to play this totally made up game by his made up rules that I couldn't understand to save my life. I thought I would go crazy. I love that he's inventing stuff and using his imagination and writing and doing math stuff but my gosh. It's hard for me. 

Cate wanted to snuggle on the couch one day at 11:30. We leave to take her to preschool at noon. I told her ok but I could only give her 5 minutes of snuggle time. Boy, did I feel like a crappy mom as soon as those words came out. Sheesh. I read your blog. I see your instagram pictures of all the daily snuggles on the couch while you watch a boring kid show with your little darlings and I think to myself how on earth do you do it? does anything ever get done? you're reading stuff on your phone while you spend precious snuggle time on the couch right? that's how you have your phone handy to take the picture. Now I get it. 

Is it possible that all this was easier when my kids were babies? How is that even possible? That was so hard for me. This just feels even harder. Is it the fighting? They didn't fight when she was a baby and he wasn't even 2 years old. Sure, there were a lot of dirty diapers and naps to coordinate and bottles and all that other baby stuff but they didn't fight and get on each others nerves and start out tickling each other but end up with someone getting tripped and bonking their head and on and on and on.

The messes are huge now. Huge. Toys all over the house (and it's a small house so that's pretty much how it happens but still). Oh, sure. I'll miss it when they grow up and there's no toys. I get it. I just have a really hard time functioning with all the stuff all over. And we clean up. They help me. I do some when they're at school so I can do a little purging with no eyes watching me. But wow. I think all the time what if someone comes over? they'll see this mess. toys all over. And of course people don't come over (other than my sister) so what's the big deal anyway. I don't know.

Will I ever be able to do some of the home improvement/crafty/decorating ideas I keep pinning? Will I? I've got some grand ideas floating around in my noggin. I've done a few but how do I do the stuff I want to do when my days are consumed with the stuff I have to do? I really have no answer. It's just the stage of life I'm in? Is that it? This is what happens when you have 2 little kids who aren't in school all day? But surely there are people with more and littler kids than mine who do all the wonderful things they want. Right? It's just me. I could spend my 6 hours of kid-free time a week sitting at home doing crafty little projects but that means I'd have to go grocery shopping at night (after I go to the gym of course because when your husband leaves for work at 6:30 every morning and you have a really hard time falling asleep at night, going to the gym at 5:00 is not an option) or heaven forbid, take the kids with me. Oh, that is just not something I'm interested in. At all. I love them dearly but their grocery shopping days are coming to an end. 

You know what else, I hate talking about crappy mom feelings because I'm almost 40 and I should have this stuff figured out by now. I'd be allowed to be overwhelmed and frustrated if I was a young mom but an old lady like me should have her act together. I just don't feel like I do. And I have only 2 kids you know. Only. How can I be like this with only 2 kids? I don't even want to know how awesome you are and all the stuff you do every day with all your greater than 2 kids. I just can't handle it.

Here's the deal though. Yes, I know my house is a mess. I see all those blank walls and the boring decor. I know I haven't printed, framed and hung any recent family pictures in over a year and a half. Oh, yes. I see my unmade bed and I'm pretty sure I haven't actually seen Danny's floor for over a week because of all the Legos and little army guys strewn about. Vacuuming? What's that? Whatever.

I love my kids. I am thankful for them. I make sure I tell them these three things every day (very often many times every day but especially at bed time so it's the last thing they hear from me...and so maybe they forget about the crazy, frazzled, tired, overwhelmed lady they just spent the day with and remember this stuff instead): I love you. I'm proud of you. You're special. And most of the time I expound and give reasons and examples too because I think that's just as important. 

I know things will change. They already have. No diapers anymore! No baby food! No naps! (except I'd gladly add that one back in any day). I know they'll grow up and they won't feel like they need to be talking to me or touching me or within 3 feet of me every waking hour. I get it. I do. This mom stuff is just hard work. I wouldn't give it back or trade it but man, sometimes I just wish my freezer had a replenishing stock of chocolate ice cream.

Or serotonin popsicles. Ha. That would be awesome. Even more awesome than green booger 5 week old. Maybe.

p.s. And now all you lovely people who know me in real life know that I'm not the amazing, organized, fun loving mother that you thought I was. Or all your suspicions have now been confirmed. You pick.


Marisa said...

I'm so glad you have pop up comments so I can refer to your post while I comment. (This is going to be a long comment. I should probably just email it, but I'm going to post here anyway.)
1) That picture is fantastic. The warm color, the SNOW, the old sign that makes it look timeless, the leading lines, Cate's joy, everything. I want to print this and hang it in my house. You definitely could, and then not all your walls would be blank.
2) YES. Motherhood is hard, even with ONLY two kids. And I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't get that much better when they're both in school all day. Because you're alone for 7 hours and then these two tired monsters come home and disrupt everything. (But those 7 hours are blissful.)
3) What about reading at night? I can't fall asleep if I don't read. I get in bed and read until I pass out. When I feel my head hit the book, I turn off my lamp and go back to sleep. If I don't do this, I'm up all night thinking because I can't shut off my brain. Try reading an appliance manual or something.
4) That Magic Blanket sounds awesome.
5) I used to "reset" the house after the kids went to bed. Clean up all the toys, do all the dishes, make everything fresh for morning. Now? Psh. Cookie sheets (which I hate to clean even though it only takes two seconds) stay on my stove for days. Sometimes it's just because I forget. Sometimes it's because I've punched out for the night. Sometimes it's both.
6) I bet the person that googled "green booger 5 week old" was a new mom worried about her baby's booger. That makes me giggle. See how much we've learned in just a few years? We'd never google a booger.
7) I really want to start a new quilt. But I look around at all my half-completed chores (not even projects, because I don't do those anymore) and I know it would be irresponsible to add a frivolous, messy project to the mix. Maybe in the summer when there's no homework on the coffee table.
8) I'm like a drill sergeant before school in the mornings. I hate it. Yelling, clapping, moving kids from one task to another. Seriously, we do the same things every morning! How hard is it to remember to brush your teeth after breakfast?
9) One of the reasons you have piles of dishes and laundry is because you take time to play made up card games with Danny. And that is a perfectly valid reason. A good one, even. Because you're a good mom. Endosaurus.
10) Those parents snuggling on the couch with their kids and their phones are not connecting to their kids. T does it and he doesn't get it when I say he's not REALLY there.
11) It was totally easier when they were babies! It was horrible and sleep depriving and stinky, but they were little lumps and not semi-rational, verbal, memory-forming people yet. If we make them wait an extra minute for a sanity-saving piece of chocolate now? They KNOW. And they want some of the chocolate. Babies never want to steal your chocolate.
12) You won't want to hear this, but quitting Pinterest was the best thing ever for me. I spend much less time on the computer and I don't always feel like I'm not doing enough (or that I want to be doing more). I hate that I'm out of the loop and I don't know what's trendy anymore, but I'm learning to be ok with it.
13) I always thought I'd have life figured out in my 20s. When you become an adult, you just know everything, right? I'm beginning to think that will never happen.
14) I have a friend with more than two kids. She lets her kids fend for themselves and care for each other and honestly? She neglects them because she thinks they can occupy each other. It's sad.
15) I like you because you're so much like me.
16) Longest comment ever! I left a blog post on your blog post. I'm sorry. And I may copy and paste some of this for an actual blog post tomorrow. You often inspire my blog posts.

Sell...Party Of 5 said...

so in the middle of the night I read this...typed out a whole comment...then hit home instead of publish. That is what I get for multi tasking. :) I was hoping I would come to find it magically here this morning. No such luck.

I think the world of you. I am sending you a lengthy email. This is your warning.

dust and kam said...

You are an amazing mother. I only dream of such amazing ness. And... I only have one child. It's still all too much for me. I only hope he grows in to a productive and respectful citizen and doesn't hate me for his childhood. Being a mother is tuff stuff. I wish I had it figured out. Until then... I can't promise I won't lose my mind.

Thank you for helping me feel like I am not alone in this struggle. Hoping for a good, stress-free day for you.

Kim Orlandini said...

Cathy! You have time to make amazing cupcakes...that is enough! The older I get the more exhausted I complaine away! This mom business is tough work. Lots and lots of love!

Angie said...

Honestly,, you could've pulled these words right out of my own head!! I can so relate.....and we mommies are pretty hard on ourselves. I think we all do a better job than we give ourselves credit for. Hang in there, sister!

Jaymerz said...

I feel like this so often. I have days when I feel like I have it all together, and then others I look back at the day and wonder what I accomplished. Honestly I feel like I had it together better when they were younger, now there are all these places we have to be, and the homework, it is crazy. You are an awesome Mom. I am on my phone so I don't have the link right now, but there is a blog post called "drops of awesome" that you should read. I will send you the link when I get to the computer. Hugs!!

Glenora said...

only 4 more months and help is on the way. Hang in there.

Sarah Hawks said...

I completely related to this whole post! Thank you for being so honest.

Jerilee E. said...

I have been feeling exactly like this for the past 6 months (at least). Like I never accomplish anything I want to around the house and still manage to not give my kids the attention they want. You are not alone in your feelings, believe me :).

Vanessa said...

It does get tougher. Why do my kids pester each other so much?! Also like I said in my last comment. You need to be nicer to yourself!

debra said...

I love this post. It's nice to know I'm not the only one wondering why I haven't gotten it all figured out yet.