Monday, June 7, 2010

The Second Worst Mom in the World

   The only thing that gives me hope is that maybe there's one mom out there just a little bit meaner than me.  So, I'll let her claim the number one spot.  First a little caveat--I think an awful lot about what I want to post here, and then I think some more, because I've read other people's blogs--and actually they're quite good--they're coherent and witty and make me think; they do exciting things and have interesting things to add to the world's conversation.  I, on the other hand (and this isn't a self-defeating attitude here), am quite boring.  I've absolutely never traved, I grew up, got married young, had kids young, and watch too much t.v.  I'm not sure I've ever had a brand-new thought, and really have nothing to add to the world.  But, yet, I like this whole blogging thing--so, I'm going to stop thinking so much.  I'm going to pretend that no one is reading this (although I'd love comments and conversation, so not sure how that will work--oh well...); I'm going to write and complain and share my joys and sorrows and crazy, boring life...and not worry what everyone else will think--imagine that!
    Okay...caveat over...So, the other evening, I said to a teenage girl next to me, "you know, since you haven't yet, you might want to think twice about having children, they're overrated."  And, I got the response that I'm pretty sure you just had--looks of shock and disbelief.  How can you say such a thing?  What mother...what human being, actually...would think that having children is not a vocation, if they're physically able, that they wouldn't want to fulfil.  And, although I was only half-joking, I decided that for a moment, Number One worst mom was definitely my title.
     But, honestly, no one really warned me, how incredibly difficult this mom thing would actually be.  No one said that I will never have a full night of sleep ever again; no one ever said that in that rare moment I am asleep, the daughter who refuses to sleep in her own bed, would suddenly awake and throw up down my pajama sleever.  No one ever said that I would envy convicts because they at least had moments to themselves.  No one ever said that I would be planning an escape...wondering where I might retreat to, where no one would ever find me.  I know this is the moment, where I'm supposed to transition to the but....but, they're so cute, and loving, and adorable.  At this moment, however, I'm not even close to being there.  I'm pretty sure I need some therapy...or at least Super Nanny...or maybe even just a nanny, but although I love them, I spend entirely too much time counting the moments to when I'll be alone.  So, you people who aren't actually reading this....what am I supposed to do?  How do I not dread the moments we're home alone together?  How do I experience peace in my home? and stop experiencing the contant longing to take a nap?  How do I love them (and like them) like those wonderful moms who get the #1 Mom coffee mugs for Mother's Day, and then after receiving them, don't give them away to the GoodWill?  
   Okay, I'm done!  and I'm not going to re-read this rant.  If any of you have words of wisdom, please share, and if not, well...don't think any less of me.


  1. You are always way too hard on yourself!!! First point: You say you have never traveled, yet in your previous post of your sermon you say "it took me a whole youth trip to the Black Hills...." (that's right, I read them all) that sounds like traveling to me?? Maybe it's not to Italy, or Paris, but it's still a trip to another part of the country to explore, search, and meet new people. Stop being so hard on yourself! I know everyone is their own worse enemy, but where is the love my friend? You are a beautiful, gifted, talented, intelligent person and great mom, not to mention a wonderful friend! I know that there are always financial burdens, but may I make a suggestion from one mom to the next? Involve your kids in individual activities? Yes, it sometimes costs money, but what is a $40 fee compared to your sanity? Perhaps Isaac would like to join swim team, have Evelyn dance, and maybe Bean could play soccer? Now I only have 1 kid, so I don't know what it's like to have them fight all the time, but I'm just wondering if they had time away from each other, time to explore their own talents, time to use energy on "something" instead of "someone" if that might help alleviate the drama? Help get them away from each other even if it is just an hour a day, it's an hour without the fighting and an hour they can talk to someone else and get away from the sibling that's driving them crazy. And while Isaac is swimming go have a diet coke at McD's BY YOURSELF!!! While Evelyn is dancing go for a walk BY YOURSELF!! I rarely hang out at James' practices or music lessons because being a single mom I use that as MY time. Time to maybe do grocery shopping, but none the less, I'm alone with my own thoughts and I'm able to walk down this aisle instead of that aisle because that's where my son wants to look. Even if it is only 30 minutes...I cherish those 30 minutes every Wednesday because I know I can be by myself, not returning emails or phone calls at work, not giving my full attention to my son, and not thinking!!! And by all means, involve STEVE! I'm sure a happy and relaxed mom makes for a better home life and happier wife. So allow yourself to enjoy those 30-60 minutes alone guilt free while Steve watches the other 2 and then maybe, just maybe you could get on a schedule and one week would be your alone time week and the next would be his alone time week. James enjoys each and every activity he partakes in, I never force him into something he doesn't want and he's pretty good at most...but not only does it help him to learn these things, but it helps my sanity as well. So if a little arm twisting is in order to get your kid to choose something to try then by all means, I'm for it!

    Think about it, if all else fails have a garage sale and sell them, hahahahahahaha. LOVE YOU!

  2. Okay, first of all, you are NOT the worst mom in the world. Trust me. I've worked with kids in therapy. Trust me. Let's talk some time, and I'll tell you about BAD moms.

    Secondly, I think you need to negotiate some "me" time (like Jodie said) with your family. And then decide what you'll do with it to keep you sane. "Your" Steve needs it too. In my congregation, I often hear from people that it's too bad I can't keep Cally out of day care and take care of her on my own by myself--as if I'd be a better mom if she were home all of the time. I hate that! I am a better mom because she spends time at day care doing developmentally appropriate activities with kids her age while I can do my work and/or have my day off. I get fired up when people tell me that the best mom sacrifices everything for their child. I think the best mom takes care of herself first, which I am not at all good are much better at it than I am. I only have one 2-year-old kid and her worst rebellion and threat to me at this point is saying no and a screaming temper tantrum...I have no idea what will come as she gets older. But "my" Steve and I struggle with finding time for ourselves. But we know we need it. I get a day off during the week while Cally's in daycare...Steve is working 5 days a week and then being parent while I work weekends. He doesn't get the "me" time he needs. We are working it out, but it's taking some time and creativity. And if/when child #2 comes along, I don't know how we are going to handle it.

    Okay, now I'm going to get on a soapbox that I really struggle practicing. But I think it's a good bit of advice (probably worth what you pay for). Whenever you get frustrated, always turn it around so you see the blessing in it. Like when Evelyn gets in bed with you....the blessing is that you have a daughter who is healthy and loves and trusts you enough to come to you when she needs something. Sure, maybe it's at an inconvenient time, but if you think about the blessing first, maybe it will help you put your creativity cap on to figure out how to take steps toward getting her out of your bed. I really suck at practicing this, and I should have done it when this weekend while my mother-in-law spent the last week with us, but when I actually do it, it helps.

    You have three beautiful, creative, too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. Channel the energy into something that fosters more beauty, creativity, and smartness. And when you are at a breaking point, call your friends *wink* to help you figure out your next step. Did you meet my friend Emily when you were here on Sunday? She was carrying around a 4 month old. You should have stayed and hung out at my house Sunday afternoon. Anyway, she and I talk about this stuff all of the time and help each other work it out, again, all of the time. Do you have other moms to get you through it? If not, call me. :)

  3. Needing time for yourself and being overwhelmed does not make you a bad mom - it makes you human. Three kids and a job is A LOT OF WORK. You're allowed to get tired. And thoughts of escape seem completely understandable once the decibel level hits a certain point. Nurturing the inner introvert a little goes a long way to making life feel soooo much better. Hang in.

  4. Thank you all. I truly have wonderful friends. Thank you! And you know what, I actually liked them more yesterday--I tried a little more one-on-one time...and when things got rough...Steve and I reminded each other--they are indeed a blessing; remember that in a few moments (or hours), they'll be adorably asleep.

  5. As someone who does get therapy I can tell you this issue has come up (I feel the same way a lot of times) and the response I got from my therapist is that he would be worried if you did not worry about thinking this way! My complaints also include not having alone time with my wife very much either because there is always a kid somewhere.

    It seems that these feelings are just part of the nature of us as humans and the real problem is not that you want, and cherish, alone time, but that society has programed us to believe that wanting this is wrong (especially for mothers). What makes you a GREAT mom is that you actually care enough about your children to be concerned with those feelings! You would only be a bad mom (or parent) if you felt no concern for those feelings at which point you would not daydream about escapes, you would just leave!

    Also, keep this in mind! If I recall, there are several times in the gospel that Jesus wanted to just be alone and, hey, if God has a desire to have time away from his 'kids', why is it so wrong for us to desire time alone from our 'kids'?

  6. First, it's right. Time to yourself is a requirement - not optional. It's not a luxury. It's in a kids best interest to have a sane parent as much as it is to have a roof overhead.

    That said, my recommendation: Earplugs and vaseline on the bedroom door. LOL

  7. doorknob I should have said. LOL

  8. Steve--I just might have to try the vaseline thing! I can hear them now--mom! mom! My hands are icky. Or, maybe b/c of the earplugs, I won't hear a dang thing!

    And Jeremy--I'm going to remember Jesus needed times away from his kids forever! And seriously, thank God for therapists!

    Okay enough exclamation marks!