And admitting it is the first step. (No, I'm not talking about my addiction to carbs)
If you're not in the mood to read the ventings of a hair-brained, stressed out mom, then you might want to stop right here. If you fancy pity-parties from someone who is a little beside herself for no good reason other than mothering children, you're at the right place, my friend. Just remember I warned you.
Sometimes I don't feel cut out for this whole motherhood thing. And it's not because I don't love it. I do. I wouldn't trade what I'm doing for anything else in the whole world--not even being the author of a New York Times best seller. It's almost scary how much I love my children and my heart literally skips a beat when I look at them.
But I'm exhausted and stressed and overwhelmed, and I'm just not sure how to recharge, because it all builds. And builds. Taking care of three tiny kids all day is challenging, especially when it feels like their goal is to bring me down to the utter depths of losing-my-mind-ville. (Wouldn't that be a cool Facebook ap?)
And today they won. They shot me a hundred times over, then did a victory dance on my twitching, unkempt body. (Did I say unkempt?)
And here's what gets me: I'm sure my kiddos aren't any more difficult than anyone else's four-, two-, and zero-year-olds. Every mother of multiple children goes through this, especially ones who don't have any extra help. Everyone has children whose ultimate goal is to make your life miserable (but can mysteriously show they love you at the same time) by defying your every demand until you sound like a broken record and want to vomit at the sound of your own voice.
I'm not even sure I know how to talk at a normal volume anymore (Jacob Silj comes to mind, hehe). Because it seems that the only way they'll listen to me, in the rare instance they do, is if I raise my voice. And I hate raising my voice.
So if this is so normal, and thousands of other moms are dealing with the same, completely normal and acceptable things I am--
hands/arms always full * anything and everything interrupted with yelling, screaming, crying, or reoccurring "mommy"s (Family Guy anyone?) * being pulled on, yelled at, hit, spit on, target practice, laughed at (in the humiliating way), and defied from five a.m. until eight p.m. * taking ten minutes to load the car and feeling like I've just packed for a month-long trip just to go to the grocery store * never-ever getting a single break (not even while sleeping since I have a nursing baby) except for maybe a five minute run to the grocery store or to the post office when the husband gets home from work
--then WHY do I feel like the only one who's losing it?
Gosh, nothing means more to me than when I'm having a stressful day and my four-year-old, who I just yelled at and sent to time out, hugs me and randomly says "I love you." I love the fullness I feel when they're in my arms, and that fullness can cure anything. But at every other moment throughout the day, the pressure is building, and by the end of the day I want to explode. And sometimes do.
And I don't know a healthy way to let off the steam. I honestly, truly feel like other mothers handle it so much better than me. I mean, we are moms. That's what we do. I've accepted that my days will be like this for a long long while, and that until Luke is older I just will not get a break because it's impossible. I've accepted the fact that they will get up at five a.m.
So why, when they do, do I flip out as though it was the most horrible thing that could happen?
Is it because I'm so exhausted that I can't function? (What the crap am I doing up right now when I should be sleeping?? Oh yeah...basking in the quiet) Or is it because I'm just not cut out for it?
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have a bit of a temper. And it flares bad when the kiddos stress me out. I'm talking, one tiny thing goes wrong and I fly off the handle. Steam shooting out of my ears, face reddening, uncontrolled curse words flying from my mouth as though I've been taken over (though mostly under my breath).
Like I said, I have a problem. And even though I roll my eyes at my husband when he brings it to my attention (Because, really, who wants to hear that you're a danger to your possessions every time a door is slammed?), I do want to get better.
I want to be more patient. I want to be calmer with my children when they are impossible. I want to be okay with the fact that it never-ever ends. I want to be able to handle it deep inside when I feel at the very end of my very frayed rope, instead of feeling like I've absolutely lost control and the only outcome is exploding or running down the street screaming. And since the latter would be considered child abandonment, explosion it usually is.
I need your help, ladies. Anyone. I've got to get a hold of myself and learn how to "just breathe," or I might end up like this lady here.
Does anyone have any suggestions for stress relief--suggestions that are actually doable with three small children and no way to get away? What has worked for you?
And, please, please tell me I'm not alone here. I know most of you are a stone's throw from perfect, but if there are any others out there with an extremely short fuse, tell me I'm not alone. That way, I just might forgo nominating myself for the Worst Mother of the Year award.
(And no, there is no such thing. I hope. Because if there was, I'd have to prepare an acceptance speech, and I hate public speaking.)