Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Truth

[Warning. This is another one of those posts where I whine. But I needed to write this and get it out of my brain. Sorry.]

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever feel good again. That sounded horrible. Let me explain. I feel as though my life is such that I am constantly at maximum stress level. I am at the beck and call of 3 very busy, very whiney, very silly children. I have to clothe, feed, wash, and keep said children alive. They have a real tendency to get sick, stay up all night crying about it, and throw up on me.  I am to teach my children to be kind, responsible, Christian, and happy. I am also somehow supposed to keep it from looking like a bomb full of Macaroni and Cheese, vomit, barbies, crayons, peanut butter, and dirt went off and coated every surface of my home.

I can't keep up. I try to clean, but then Maggie needs something, then Will needs me to hold him, then Coleman needs a new diaper. I can't get anything done. I can't make anything. Or blog. Or be creative because I can't think in all the mess. Then I feel like a failure. Then I get depressed. I have panic attacks. Then I get help. Then I feel like I should do better because I feel better, so I try. But I still can't keep up.

I have headaches and leg aches nearly every day. I think my digestive system is jacked up. Unless alternating between constipation and the runs is normal (you do care about my bowels don't you?). I know that if I quit eating junk and started eating truly healthy real food (instead of the cookies I crave because of the stress I feel trying to do good for my kids) I would feel better. But I keep failing. When I exercise I love how I feel but then my legs ache and I'm super hungry. When I don't exercise I feel sluggish and tired. But my weight stays pretty much the same no matter what I do.

Now I'm sitting in my closet, hiding from my children because it's after 10 and I still can't get them to FALL asleep. I am spent. I don't feel well physically. I think my kids deserve so much more than I'm giving them. But I don't have more. Or do I?

I think in some ways the stress is good. It means that I recognize the important role I have as a wife and mother. It means that it matters to me. But I also think its rough. Really rough.


McNastyINC said...

a massage will help, i will even throw in hot towels and an extra 30 mins because i love ya. schedule with me soon!!!

K said...

Yeah. I remember that feeling - that - being. One of the most important things I can say to you is that, while this feels like it will be so the rest of our life, this part of it really turns out to be but a small moment. You know how when somebody says, "Can we just stop here and let me fun into Walmart for a moment? I just have to get this one thing. It'll only take a second." And you sit in the car, and to the person running in to get the thing, it's only a minute = but to the person waiting in the car, it seems like eternity?

That's where you are now. Sitting in the car - you can't do anything but wait. But wait - what you don't realize is this: you are, while you can't do anything, actually doing everything. Keep up with what? House work? Like God cares. Be creative? Like coming up with ways to keep children safe and busy isn't being creative?

you're missing a big point, here, M. It's all swell to paint rooms and come up with cute Ikea decorating ideas. But your real creative project is the making of the kids. The forming of their characters and lives. You may not be able to hang this up on the wall so that friends ooooooo over how cute it is, or how clever it is. But you will be able to hang your own life on what you are building now. As I am doing.

Do you think it wasn't ten minutes ago that Gin and Cam and Char and M weren't constantly needing things and throwing up and whining and breaking stuff? Because it was. But I hung on, and I kept working - I kept sculpting and tweaking and coming up with new ways to work with each one of them - losing my mind half the time, and feeling left behind and drained - but I kept doing it. And in the end, when I stood back and looked at twenty years' work - I realized that I had made something beautiful.

My life's work. My masterpieces - so much more beautiful and true than any book I'd written, or picture I'd taken and certainly more significant than folded laundry and dusted shelves and clean dishes.

The greatest accomplishments cost the most life-blood. Some people work for hours a day, every day for years and years, and all they have to show for it in the end is that they can play one heck of a piano. Nice. But not significant.

What you are doing is significant.

So get that message. And take a hot bath when you can. And get a sitter once a week so you can go out to eat and see a movie. And never, never, never give up. Because if you do it right now, your life with the kids will only get easier as you go along. The more you invest, the less it will cost you down the line.

Have courage. Hide in your closet when you have to. But not for long. You have what it takes. I know.

jww said...

First of all I disagree with "I think my kids deserve much more than I'm giving them." You're giving them EVERYTHING!!! You're RIGHT for feeling frustrated and spent. That's what this phase does. As they get bigger (and hopefully not as sick) they will be able to not make so many messes, and they'll actually contribute to the cleaning up of them. But RIGHT NOW, this is just a REALLY rough stage. It just is. I have been right where you are, except without twins--and I felt exactly how you're describing. And my kids weren't even sick that often. But I do know that if they didn't sleep, I didn't sleep, and I can't handle no sleep. I agree with the previous comments about getting a sitter and taking time for yourself, or getting a massage. They're marvelous little people, but they do suck everything out of you, so you need to make sure you take a time-out.

I have this written on a little sticky-note above my computer:

"Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children." ~M. Russell Ballard

He didn't specify if "setting aside a little time" means hiding in your closet to blog, but it might. :)


LL said...

I hear ya! Found this quote earlier this week and it helped me. I remember feeling like my kids would be better off in day care. The reality is, YOU'RE ROCKIN' this mom's just that you're in such a challenging stage. It gets better...I promise! You are awesome, I love the honesty!!!! Life is just hard sometimes.
“May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of... “May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.’”
– Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Kris said...

I know the exact feeling - Feeling overwhelmed to the breaking point. I too keep wondering when will I feel normal again? I went to the doctor earlier this year to try to figure things out. She said "I think it is the five kids." Probably the most useless piece of medical advice ever. I left crying and more overwhelmed. I felt there was nothing I could do.

This mom job is so hard because it keeps changing and demanding different things. I promise you that one day really soon you will be looking at your kids and wonder when they got so big and independent.

Beth said...

Sorry you had a bad day, Megs.

Marnie said...

I feel exactly the same Megan, you just said everything I'm thinking right now. Being a mom is hard! I know it's worth it, but right now, it's hard.

Ems said...

fuh, I wrote a really long response and then when I went to post Blogger said there was an error.

but basically, I don't have kids to exhaust me so when you feel it, load those 3 in the car and come to Salt Lake. I will invite Tasha over, Aaron will exhaust the boys outside, and I will make you an only okay dinner (or just order pizza). I'm serious about this, nothing would make me happier and I'll save up a bunch of trashy TV on the DVR too!

brittney said...

I've got no advice, not that you need/want/asked for it. But I'm commenting to tell you, that some days are like that, even in australia, and maybe some weeks or months are like that.. and it doesn't mean your horrible or should do better. it means your a growing human being, a hard working mother. Its ok to feel like this. Even though its not fun. You still seem hip and creative and fun and totally awesome to me.

Jennie Mabey said...

Megan, I hope you know I think you are doing great. Your children are so cute and smart and fun, and they are blessed to have you for a mom.

Cherringtons said...

Ok Megan, come with Cyndie Neel and I on Saturday at 6pm to get a pedicure. Call me if you are in so i can set you up. Also, this almost made me cry because i have been feeling the same way about my life and children as well. It is rough and alot of times i try really hard and keep telling my self that all the mess and whining doesnt matter and to try and be positive about everything. I did have that happen for 1 1/2 weeks and then it went down hill. That one week was the best i had had in a really long time and i could think clearly and i could do what i needed to do. Im sorry and i do feel for you, its hard! Keep smiling!!

Jennifer Vadocz said...

I'm pretty sure you just summed up my current life too. And I'm pregnant and due in July and that makes things not so fun right now. I don't know how I get through some days. (I've had to hide the cookies in some random cupboards just to mix things up!)

C C & R said...

I wish I had some great pep talk for you because I'm guessing that would probably help (luckily it looks like you have great people much wiser than myself offering pep). All I can say is that I have been there, I am there right there with you! And sometimes knowing someone else feels the same way helps...I know it helps me, so thanks for sharing!

Tigersue said...

I think some days are just rotten to the core and it seems worse than it is. I can give a bit of advice as to what helps me with my IBS issues, which maybe what you are dealing with.

I take multi enzymes I buy and GNC, when I first started them over 10 years ago, I was taking 9 a day, now I take roughly two a day unless I really feel sick. They have made a huge difference.

2nd, low carbing, yeah I know, many people think it is a no, no, but all the grains, sugars, white foods set me off even more. I didn't realize it until I dropped them all and in about 2 weeks no more ibs. I only have issues when I load up on all the carbs.

You might have a gluten intolerance or allergy. It would be worth getting checked out.

Hugs to you, and just so you know I think every mom goes through this. I know I still do and my little ones are bigger. (Honestly my bigger ones cause me more stress now. :) )

Andee said...

You just explained EVERY mothers life! I have sooooo been there too and when you take a look around at all the Mom's around you they are there too! (they may just hide it better) Just know that it does get better and there will still be days where even whipping out the mac and cheese is too tough! That's why we have happy meals! They not only make the kids "happy" Mom is happy too!!! Hee hee! But most of all your an AMAZING Mom- don't ever forget it!!!

Nathan & Liz Andersen said...

I appreciate your honesty cause I'm not there yet but I know it can't all be roses and lilies! I know it will be hard! You're such a wonderful and cute mom! They're lucky to have you! And seeing you be a Mom gives me courage to become a Mom someday...a job that is slightly more than just daunting in many ways...but wonderful too

I love you Megan!

the fellers said... could not have said it better...we need to get together more voiced my exact words...except aim onery-er than sin and no one WANTS to be around me...I M blaming the weather!

Cheeseboy said...

All I am saying is that you better get a danged nice Mother's Day gift this year.

Pam Williams said...

It isn't whining if it's true, honey, and nobody ever said time spent in a rich whiney satisfying rant will keep you out of heaven. Anyway, it's a good thing you're blogging because in a few years you'll have great material when you write a book about it, and believe me, getting a book published is much harder than raising kids.

Jeff & Christy said...

Thanks for finally putting into words what I feel like screaming EVERYDAY! I only have two so, kudos, you have it worse. Yes, you win! And yet we still grudgingly get out of bed the next morning and do it all over again. Hang in there. I will if you will.

Bebe McGooch said...

Goodness gracious, so many comments, and so many people in your corner!

Don't have time to read previous comments, but let me tell you that I so look up to you from afar. One of my favorite posts is the post where you were like, "ah screw this, we're going to Carl's Jr.!" That's kind of beside the point, my brain is quite fuzzy now, but you're an awesome mother. I have a baby crying now, so I can't go on. But like Dorie says, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

Bebe McGooch said...

Okay, I'm back, because my comment was kinda lame. Basically I was reading this post in tears because my heart broke a little bit for you. I have this sweet, easy angelic newborn, and yet it's been so hard, mainly because of my body breaking down from lack of sleep. So I tried to imagine myself in your shoes, and I'm all the more humbled. I have no right to complain right now!

Anyway, I am amazed at the work you do. You're a mommy rockstar.

Kristalyn said...

I feel the same way all the time. I hide from my kids and can never keep up with giving all the attention they crave let alone the housework. I hate how people say, let the housework go, kids will grow up but it stays there. I realize it's more important to give your kids attention...but you have to clean some time or your house will be unfit to keep children in. sorry didn't mean to vent. you are not alone and hopefully these days will pass for both of us

Kacy said...

I think you're cool, except when you get diarrhea.


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