Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doing It All, But Doing Nothing Well

We mothers are jugglers.

We have a lot of balls in the air.  All the time.

Our children.  Our marriages.  Our homes.  Our jobs. 

Nevermind all the extras that define us and make us who we are.

Our extended families.  Our friendships.  Our interests.  Our passions.  Our dreams.  Our goals.

Oftentimes, I feel like a circus clown wearing a neon curly wig and floppy shoes.

I'm stumbling over those shoes.

Yes, I have a lot of balls in the air.  But you know what?

I feel like while I'm (barely) managing to do everything, I'm doing nothing well.

I kind of feel like a fraud here.  Because from the outside, everyone around me thinks I "have it all together" and I do nothing to delude those notions.

When in reality?

Suffice it to say that there are issues.

And I know, I know, we all have them.

Those things we keep hidden from the outside world while we go about our day with a smile plastered on our face.

And it's not like it's anything major either.  (Thank God.)  But it's the day-to-day bullshit adding up and coming to a head.

While my 3 sons appear to be nice boys, at home they are brats and are ruling the house.  They are dying for my attention, and I don't often give it to them as much as I know it should.  I feel like I'm failing as a mother.

While my husband and I appear to be easygoing and relaxed with each other, we (more oftentimes than not lately) don't see eye-to-eye.  I feel like with the distractions of our children, our jobs and f'ing football, we are living parallel lives.  As individuals and not as partners.  I feel like I'm failing as a wife.

While my house appears well-kept to an outsider, it's actually merely surface-clean. We have lived there over 9 years now and I don't think I have ever deep-cleaned it. I feel like I'm failing as a homeowner.

I have been deluding myself for awhile now.  Going through my days with my hands firmly clamped over my ears singing "lalalala I can't hear youuuuuu" when I'm home, either burying myself in my laptop or simply shutting down and going to bed while chaos reigns around me and the boyz grow increasingly disrespectful of me, each other, and our home; while my husband and I either bicker or don't speak; and while my house gets dirtier and more disorganized.

So there you have it.  That's what is going on in my world lately.  It's certainly not pretty.

I think the approaching school year is going to be the perfect time for some major changes.  I am determined to stop stumbling and to stand upright once again.  While juggling proudly.


Amanda said...

The tweet said "raw," to me that just means ready to be prepared. You can do it!

Classy Fab Sarah said...

It's so hard to break old habits and start up new ones... especially when it just seems like a big waste of energy.

Sending good vibes your way!!

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

Thank you for sharing this... I am going thru the same issues & feel like I am failing miserably. Thanks for all YOU guys have done to help me!

HaB said...

Half the battle is admitting that things are falling apart and that you need to make some changes. So, to me, it looks like you have already done the hard part.

Good luck....

Sarah said...

I totally feel ya. I always feel like I am torn between spending quality time with my kids, giving my husband enough attention and keeping house. It is SO HARD. But we are also our toughest judges. This post shows you get it and know to straighten it out when you go a little off course.

Hang in there!

Pollyanna said...

I feel the same way! I NEVER have it all together. Oh, I put on a good show, but my butt is wide enough to hide the trail of unfinished projects and piles of dirty laundry behind me. Just smile & wave, smile & wave.

Anonymous said... mean there's someone else living my life?!?!?! As in, I'm not the only mom with 18,942 projects going on at once, all of which are going badly; three partially-neglected children looking to me for guidance, leadership, and to at least get dinner ready; who feels like most of the time her husband is her "business partner" in dealing with the family, and ceased to be a husband years ago; who feels like her life goals have little in common with her husband's goals and interests; who looks at the house and feels so overwhelmed by what hasn't been done in years that you just don't do anything.....

This month, I started dropping more projects left and right. I had volunteered/been volunteered for several tasks for multiple groups, and, the last week of July, I dropped every single one of them. People are accusing me of being a flake. I look like a flake; never mind that I was sick (mono + pernicious anemia) and was over-committed. My kids are tired of asking me for something, and I tell them I'll do it as soon as I finish X, and then I completely forget.

And I feel rotten because, quite frankly, I need a vacation from my job. I've been doing this for fifteen years, two all by myself as my husband is working out-of-state and I don't have extended family. When my friends ask for help with something, I feel resentful because I'm already pushed to the limit and can't do anymore...and they don't have husbands out-of-state and they have extended family.

My kids all went to school last year (I homeschooled before that); I pulled my youngest out of school three weeks before the term because the school was so bad. Yesterday I received an offer from the superintendent to have my daughter go to another school or to find some way to change the situation at the local school. Academically she is advanced, and homeschooling is right for her; however, I'm selfishly considering taking him up on the offer, simply because I'm burned out.

And my blog? I don't have time to write/respond to comments/read & comment on other blogs/participate in communities/update Facebook/create a LinkedIn account/etc. When the heck did blogging get so complicated and complex?

Sorry...I didn't mean to leave a blog post as a comment. It's not supposed to be about me here. Can I just say that your post struck very, very close to home? That you're not alone?

Mommy McD said...

I wish I didn't know how you feel. But I do.
My stress is compounded by the fact that I feel like I'm failing with two - and expecting a third.

My mom always used to tell me "I'm doing the best I can. This will end in one of two ways: You'll be damaged by the job that I'm doing and need therapy or you'll wind up a reasonably well adjusted adult who realizes life isn't as pretty as it was in the black and white tv shows".

Beth said...

I've been there. & I can tell I'm heading there again right now.

All things in life are cyclical right?

So it'll be good again, and it'll bad hard again, but the good should outweight the bad!

You can do it!

bohomamasoul said...

Can I just tell you that I'm sorry you're feeling shitty and that I'm here for you? And if it makes you feel any better, I've been a lazy slob that's been neglecting her kid since becoming pregnant. FYI: I'm not even nauseous anymore, just lazy. I feel like I'm failing everyone around me. I'll bet you're doing A LOT better than you give yourself credit for. I know you are. You're an amazing woman. Maybe a girl's trip is in order?? You, me, Jill, Kathy, Fran, Jen, Tiffany...a little BBB Baltimore reunion?

You are wonderful and doing just fine. At least you're recognizing that you're at your limit and reaching out. Some people see and don't give a shit. I feel your pain, and I'm right there with you.

Rebecca said...

Some of that a clean overrated if you're losing out on the other things to focus on that. I shouldn't really talk though b/c I HATE cleaning with a passion...I just think my time can be better spent somewhere else.

I get you about the husband stuff...we definitely go through ebbs and flows...marriage is hard! Hang in there, Mama!!!

Jenny said...

Ditto. You are not alone in this insanity we call life. As my 3 year old reminds me almost daily "You can do it Mom."

Jenny said...

Ditto. You are not alone in this insanity we call life. As my 3 year old reminds me almost daily "You can do it Mom."

Michele R said...

Back to school time really is a good time to make changes. It is really tough--I can definitely relate. You have to do so much on the weekend--shopping, cleaning, having lunch stuff, etc. And in my opinion, when the last kid is 3 or 4 years old, it is hard on a marriage. But then it gets better.
Call a family meeting. Be united with the Hubs. Make a list of stuff for the boyz to do on Sat. Remind yourself to take lunch--time to do something relaxing or to get an errand done.

justme said...

i am a sahm mom but my hubby is never home so i feel like a single mom, and lately my children have just decide to NEVER listen to me, fight all the time, go to bed at 10 pm - it is crazy. i am banking on the fact that school will help me get this bullshit under control.

JennJenn said...

My friends doctor ORDERED her to take personal time. She was cracking... always a good idea to factor in personal time. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing everything under a mask - I try to be the perfect wife, mother, housewife, student, business women, etc, and I'm having panic attacks lately - clearly perfection is a crock of sh*t.
PERSONAL TIME to rejuvinate.

Mari said...

Thank you for being so honest - especially about your boys. It's not easy to say but I feel the same way many times - I have two boys I adore but lately they have been incredibly bratty and also rule my house. We need to make a change but as you said it's not easy...

Kristen said...

Thanks for your honesty. I couldn't agree more on all counts!

Anonymous said...

You are not the only one I must say. Sometimes it's nice to hear that everyone goes through this same lifestyle(like us).I know that as a mother you have these expectations of what you wanted your family to be,or what you had as a kid growing up.These are all good things, but in reality our kids don't know any different.They only know the life they have been born into and are living. They are accustomed to the lifestyle that they have, they do not know anything different they have nothing to compare it to. They only know the running around from sport to sport,both parents working,eating out more often that we should,and parents who disagree but then make-up in the end.We have this image of what we wanted and what we had but they do not know this image . The kids are not missing out on anything. To them this is all normal, We need to let some expectations go and go with the flow if we don't than we will miss out on much of there childhood. As long as are kids are good people , do the right thing and are respecful than I have done my job.
Jenn Young

Anonymous said...

I think it helps just to realize that none of us are alone in these feelings, and many of us are struggling with the day to day ops of running a family. Take a step back and a deep breath, and trust that you are doing what is right for you-even if the changes are hard. If your gut says they are needed than go for it because you will feel worse if you let all this fester. Good luck, and know you have a virtual world of support!

Paula Reece said...

Oh, honey, I can soooo understand. The job, the projects, the husband, the house, the boys...I nodded my head to it all. Well, except that your house is at least "surface clean." Mine right now? Uh, yeah. I'm pretty sure one of the boys smeared poop on the bathroom wall. So you can just read that and feel a little bit better about yourself, kay? It's the least I can do... :) Hugs to you!!!

chrissyrudd said...

AMEN sister! I think all moms, because they wear so many hats, feel this way often. I only have 2 kids and a part time job and I feel like this! I always feel I need to take on more things to feel accomplished, but that just makes it harder. Hang in there! At least you recognize you can change it.

Anonymous said...

I think you should find a house cleaner to come in every other week. For me - $80 to $100 every other week is money well-spent. The deep cleaning gets done and there is nothing like coming home on cleaning days to a nice, clean home. What my cleaning lady gets done in 4 hours would take me about 10. She is fast, focused and efficient. It is an area where it is easy to lighten the load.

Shannon Entin said...

I am in the *exact* same place. I've dropped several things the past few months and have more changes on the horizon. I NEED to get control of my life again. I'm with you. Thanks for sharing, it's nice to know someone else feels this way.

April said...

So, I stumbled across your post this morning & have to say I was struck by your raw honesty!

And then, moved by all the folks who resonated with what you were saying!

We've all been there ... I loved the comments that remind us all that we may end up "there" again even after we've pulled ourselves up by our big girl panties!

Maybe there should be an "I Think I Suck as a Mom Support Group" {grin}.

Where attendance could just be a 'come as you are, peeled from the bottom of your ego' kind of requirement?

I know, I know ~ we don't have time for one more thing, right?

Dude, I'm so there! But we all have those days, weeks, months ~ years where we could rally from knowing we're not alone.

Like everyone else has said "Hang in there sista"



tiarastantrums said...

Are you living my life right now? My husband and I - grr - I don't even know what is going on - I just have decided to ignore him instead of argue with him (he wanted to argue w/ me last night that I told him he never picks up his socks - literally it turned into a screaming match all b/c I said you never pick up your socks and he continued to deny it or excuse it) Hubbie travels a lot and sadly, I like when he is gone. My house is a tad bit cleaner and kids listen better to me (weird as that may be- I think I am more relaxed when he travels). I was just telling a friend of mine that my house is going under DEEP cleaning once all kids are in school. Today was the day - guess what - I woke up with a nasty cold - from my husband coughing and sneezing all over me all last week!

I think we moms need to band together and get "something" that lightens our load w/o costing us money!(lovely as a cleaning lady seems, $100 2xs a month is too much for me)

Missives From Suburbia said...

Yes, yes, YES. I made a list of "new year" resolutions to work on when the kids went back to school. They started today. I'm all out of excuses. It's time to get things back in order. Good luck to you! Heck, good luck to both of us.


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