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Monday, March 21, 2011

Breaking Points

Today is not really a fabulous day.  I promise that I won't spend the whole post griping, so, you  know, just bear with me.  You would think I'd be thrilled; the boys have gone from three half-days at preschool to two full days, which is great.  It gives me time to get some work done and do things like breathe and craft and cook, and all those other things that make me happy.  I may even have time to get my house in order so that we can have a nice clean space to live in.  The motivation to do it is quite another story.  Not to mention that the two days the boys are in school are the two days that hubby is home for part of the day during this rotation, so we may even get to spend a little time together like regular grown-ups.

But the reality is that I'm a wreck.
I'm stressed out and overwhelmed and filled with anxiety and fear.  And there isn't anything I can do about it.  I'm overwhelmed about all the work I need to do, but I can't get it done because hubby's computer died and he needs mine.  All. the. time.  And yes, he genuinely needs it because he has a lot of stuff he needs to do, like - just for example - figure out where he's going to do rotations next year so we can decide where we'll be living.  As you might guess, this is kind of important, so whatever I need to do takes a backseat.  And I wish I could say that didn't bother me.  But in all reality, it does.  A lot (or alot, if you like).  When you are a med-school wife and a work-at-home mom, you spend your life trying to smooth everything over, to make everything okay so that your partner can have some semblance of a normal life, and so that your kids can see that partner every so often, and because your partner genuinely doesn't have the time or energy to help out too much around the house.

And you know what?  Normally, that is okay with me.  I do what I do with a lot of love, and although it's stressful sometimes, I try to be positive because let's face it: complaining doesn't really make you feel better or change anything.  Not to mention, I had a say in this whole thing and I knew (sort of) what we were getting into.  But lately, in between all the anxiety of not knowing where we'll be living six months from now (not only what apartment, but what part of the country, or if we'll all be living together), cranky kids, cranky hubby (sorry hubs, I gotta call it like I see it), severe lack of sleep, and a gnawing anxiety about our future, I am kind of losing my mind.  And now, add in that I can't get onto my computer for the majority of the day, and I have to admit that I'm starting to feel a bit resentful.  To be honest, it really brings into sharp focus something that I feel from time to time: I'm not important.  Whatever I need to do is fine, as long as the kids get taken care of first, as long as it doesn't interfere with what hubby has to do, as long as nobody else needs me, as long as......

I know that's unfair.  The reasonable part of my brain reminds me that that's part and parcel of being a Mama, that I am so unbelievably lucky to have two healthy, crazy little boys and a husband who is kind and honest and good.  And I know it, I really do.  But mamas need a little love, too.  It would make me happier than I can possibly say if my partner would take some time out of his busy, stressful week to do something that lets me know I'm important to him.  It would give me an indescribable thrill to hear my kids say, just once, "Thank you, Mama, for putting us first."  (Don't worry; I know that one will probably be decades in coming. But I can dream.)

So after a miserable morning, I am trying to be present and mindful and, yes, thankful for all that I have. Because let's face it: when you're a mom, you don't really get to have a breaking point.   So that's my act of kindness to myself today: I'm taking some time this afternoon to lick my wounds and drink a lot of coffee before I dive right back in to life.  And ask for what I need from my family, because I am worth it.  I may not get it, but I can ask. Right?


  1. Wouldn't it be nice to open that coffee can and find a post it note that says, " I love you, LIz." I really feel that men don't know how easy it would be and quick to make us feel like they did something out of their normal ways to make us feel special and just put a little bounce in our step. I feel like you and are living parallel emotions...You are worth the moments to feel the love! Because honestly, those few moments can last a long time in our hectic lives.

  2. You can ask, and I recommend that you do so. Or you can do what I did, which is let all that resentment build up until you launch a shrieking, hysterical assault on your husband about a pair of socks left in the living room, complete with tears.

    Perhaps your idea is better.

  3. Oh honey.
    I love you, and I am sorry you are feeling like this. You are loved, and you are appreciated, and you make life better for everyone around you, and they do know it, even if they don't think about it often enough.
    So yes, take some time this afternoon.
    Lick your wounds.
    Drink your coffee.
    Breathe deeply.
    Drink something stronger after the kids go to bed.
    Make what YOU want for dinner.
    Breathe deeply. I know you don't do it enough, and neither do I.

    Spring is coming, my friend. It really is. And spring brings birds and flowers and gardening. Sunny days and making lemonade with the boys. Outside playtime and fresh berries. Spring brings summer.

    And summer brings fall.

    And fall brings you here where I can give you a hug every day. Where we can go for walks in the foothills and hikes in the mountains. Where you can burn your face off with green chile as often as you want. Where the sun really does shine every day. Dreaming of good days you know are coming is something you can do for yourself too.

    Let me be the light at the end of your tunnel (or maybe some light in the middle of the tunnel). You're mine right now.

    Love yourself. You are amazing.

    I'm sorry I cannot do more.
    I love you.

  4. Unmotivated. Uninspired. And Overwhelmed.

    Blah! When I feel this way, there is little someone else can do to make me feel better (other than being extremely patient). Sounds like you are taking some time for yourself - even if its just enjoying a cup of coffee and posting something on your amazing blog. I know you'll find your peace and motivation at some point. Just hang in there.

  5. Here from ICLW...and boy did this post speak to me. I have twins too, and my husband works all. the. time. He went out of town, and I got to see all of his tweets about how much fun he was having while I was up, sick as a dog with two sick kids at 2 AM. ARGH!

    Echoing those who say, do something for yourself, like take a bath, drive around, buy yourself a nice coffee. Take care of yourself :)

  6. Wow. So much love. You guys are the best! I seriously cried reading these wonderful comments. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  7. It now seems to me that such emotions are part of being Mom. Thank you for being honest enough to share them! I too have these feelings now and then, and it's great not to feel alone on the subject. From one Mom to another: You are beautiful, you are special, and you deserve everything you ask for (chocolate demands included :p)! Although getting what you ask for requires patience, indeed you are probably right on the decades idea. I have faith that the wait will be well worth it !

  8. If there is a mom (or woman) out there who hasn't felt this way some times, I'd like to meet her. I probably wouldn't like her, but I'd still like to meet her. It may be part of the parenting package, but that doesn't mean we can't complain every now and again. Do one thing today that is something YOU want to do. In other words, take care of yourself.

    Dawn Davenport
    Host of radio show “Creating a Family: Talk about Adoption and Infertility”

  9. I just watched "YaYa Sisterhood" with my daughter. She just couldn't fathom how a mom would ever want to get away from her loving family so I explained to her that sometimes, after taking care of everybody else, there's nothing left for mama.

    That was Monday and now we're on Thursday and I trust that some moments for your Self have made room in your week.


  10. I've had one of those weeks this week so it was encouraging (although I don't wish you felt that way, too!) that I'm not the only one. I guess misery loves company. It's the weekend now and I've decided to take some time to reevaluate how to make my days better from here on out...for everyone!

  11. Everyone needs a day to renew. It is important to take them as often as you need. If nothing else, it's a good model for your kids to see that it's okay to have a blue period. It's not the end of the world. And you need to listen to yourself when you need some nurturing.