Friends, I’m sorry I’ve neglected you. I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged since MONDAY! Blame it on PMS or on my ever-fluctuating brain chemicals, but I have just been in a FUNK this week. And not a “Let’s get FUNKY!” kind of funk, either, where I dance around in my bell bottoms and platform shoes to the Bee Gees (or, as we had growing up, “Sounds Like the Bee Gees.” Apparently an ACTUAL Bee Gees record was just too rich for our blood.). Instead, it’s the kind of funk that’s kind of like a fog that you can’t find your way out of. Been here lots of times before. But it’s still no fun.
It’s just a combination of things that are bringing me down a bit. Like the fact that we’re in our second full week of school and ALREADY I feel like I have lost all sense of order at home. We don’t have a good routine down, the place is a pigsty, and I am constantly flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to dinners. Why is it that every year I say I’m going to get organized, take control, and create a do-able routine for the kids, and every year it doesn’t take long before the laundry’s been sitting in the washer for three days, I’m yelling at the kids before bed, and someone can’t find his shoes before school?!
And Boy #3, who is in his first full week at an all-day early childhood center (first time in a daycare setting besides his aunt’s house) seems to be enjoying himself when I pick him up each afternoon, but still cries and says he doesn’t want to go the next morning. Seriously, could I have any more guilt poured on me for going to work each day? But NOT working is just not an option. Although my husband makes good money for a teacher, it’s really difficult for a family of five to live off a teacher’s salary alone.
So I find myself questioning everything about myself and my life—why I can’t seem to get organized and be a better mom and “home maker”, what I should REALLY be doing with my life, how I can fit in exercising in all this chaos, and why I don’t make spending time with God’s word a priority, even though I want to.
I’m going to let you in on a little personal secret—I never cry. Well, HARDLY ever. I can count on one hand the number of times I cry in one year. (I used to cry ALL THE TIME, but now that I’m “medicated,” the tears just don’t come.) But this morning on my way to work, I was listening to a local Christian radio station when a song came on. Of course I cannot think of the name of it now, but the point is, I cried while I listened to it. No, I didn’t wail or anything. But there were tears. I have no idea why, really. I just felt like the song was really speaking to me, and it actually felt kind of good to let the tears out. But it did make it kind of tough to come into work and focus on editing a teacher resource about ancient civilizations…
I really don’t mean to feel sorry for myself. I know I have so much to be thankful for. But I’m just tired of feeling like I don’t have control over my life. It makes me feel like such a failure. I don’t like not having a strong sense of direction about where I’m going or what my purpose is on this earth.
I don’t like feeling funk-y.
So now you know why I haven’t written. And you’re probably wishing I would’ve kept it that way! Thanks for listening, anyway, if you made it down this far in this “woe-is-me” post. I’m sure the fog will lift eventually, but until then, it’s nice to know that you’re there.
I am so sorry you are feeling crappy!!! That is the sh*ts! I totally understand about the school thing. #1 had a great first few days, and then was a complete basketcase this week and cried from, almost, the minute she got off the bus until the next morning until the bus came. She seriously didn’t smile for a few days. I had to be strong and stay positive about it, but it REALLY tore my heart out!! BUT, last night she only cried for about 15 minutes (and that was only when she was starving and exhausted right before supper), then this morning there were no tears, and she even said Kindergarten “wasn’t so bad!” So, there is light at the end of the tunnel with that, you just have to be able to survive until then, which can be harder for us than them, I think!
I hear you about the organization aspect, too!! Today I am making a crap ton of meals that I am going to freeze in tiny portions so that I can just heat them up quick for her or husband’s lunch (he heats his own up, though!) I have NEVER done anything like this, and I found a little “movement” of people online who cook 1 time a month and freeze a whole month’s worth of dinners in one day. A ton of people do this, I guess, and they had all kinds of recipes and hints. I am not quite ready for that level of organization yet, but it is very intriguing!
And, when I get blue about, basically, the same issues, I have to remind myself of a few things, like the fact that I can’t do everything. People in the “olden days” didn’t have NEARLY the amount of crap we have to do, so we can’t compare ourselves to the from-scratch-cookin’, spotless-homed women of yesteryear. Buckling carseats alone probably takes up 3 years of our lives:) And at the same time, I have to ask myself, do I really NEED to try to do everything? How many things are really necessary? Is there anything that myself, the kids, or husband are in that we can just postpone being involved in for a few years? What is the use of trying to do so many things if it just makes me crazy and unhappy? I think there is a ton of pressure on parents that the kids really should be involved in this and that, and we really should try to do this, that and the other. Poppycock! (I have never used that word before!Yea!) There is REALLY something to be said for creating peace in the home by having plenty of time for everyone to do NOTHING! I think this down time is really underrated in our society. Sometimes, I seriously try to think like Europeans think, and ask myself, what would someone from Amsterdam do?
And lastly, I have to remind myself to delegate things to my children. They both are learning to put their clothes away, put their plates on the counter, and the older one is learning to scrape the plates, but them in the dishwasher, and wash the table off after meals. Before they go to bed every night, they have to pick up ALL of their toys from the shared living spaces, and most of the nights, their rooms. If they won’t pick it up, then they get it taken away. Plain and simple. Even though this can seem mean, and it would SERIOUSLY be easier for me to do it, I have to remind myself that I am not raising children, I am raising adults that need to learn that they are responsible for their own messes and belongings. Also, it helps me!! I buy and cook the food, they eat it and can clean it up! We buy their things, they played with them, they can put them away, or they don’t need to have them! Once I started thinking of ALL of the ways that they can take care of themselves (even throwing away their own #1 diapers) it made me feel like we are a work in progress, and every year I will be doing less and less for them, freeing up more family time, or time for me to do what I want, which is how it SHOULD be! We don’t have to take care of everyone forever, and we shouldn’t! ANYWAY, sorry this was so long, but I TOTALLY feel for you, and have been there, so I was just trying to think of anything that would make you feel the slightest bit better! Good luck, and you know where to find me if you ever need to chit chat!!
Ummm..Who wrote the freakishly long comment!! Woah!
Hey, I am loving the freakishly long comment! Let me know how those meals work out…and maybe you and I could get together and do the “meal freezing” thing! Thanks for the support–love you!
Was this a true-life story, or have you been peeking in my windows lately? Am I on Candid Camera and I don’t know it? I’m there with ya, sister! (OK, not really MY sister, but I like to think it sometimes!) My kids don’t even start school til next Tues. and this has been the month I’ve looked most forward to all summer…and it’s been a HUGE disappointment. We’ve had TOO much time together and I find myself “hiding” down here on the computer, and avoiding everyone. Yeah. That makes me feel like a winner. Kind of makes feeling guilty about actually working for a living and bringing home some bacon seem a lot more heroic, don’t you think?
Anyway, I’m beginning to feel the lifting of the funk-y’s, too! So, maybe in another week or two we’ll be smooth sailing again!
Also, Paula, have you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s EAT, PRAY, LOVE? (Sorry I don’t know how to properly underline it on this comments section). Anyway, I turn to her book often when I’m feeling down, and it’s amazing what it does to boost me up! Good luck coming out of your funk, and I hope to be out of mine soon, too!
Ooo! I also just remembered that another good “therapy” for me is my subscription to the Proverbs 31 Women’s Devotional. It comes to my inbox every weekday, and sometimes (as though God sent it himself) it really hits home. It’s so nice hearing that these Christian women (usually moms) are really struggling like the rest of us, but they help put it back into what God would want us to do…etc. I’ve really gained from it (though sometimes I don’t read it, I save it for “later”–which pretty much means never–and often I just skim it and get to the prayer at the bottom) but the point is that it brings me back to where I want to remember myself and my family–as a child of God.
Good luck! (I think it’s just proverbs31.com and you can find a link to subscribe, but I’d have to double check–I’m sure you can google it!)
I feel like I cry all the time. OK, it's more like I tear up, but still…
I am blessed to be able to stay home, but still the days are hectic. Yesterday at the library I spied a Semi-Homemade cookbook full of slowcooker recipes. I'll be sharing the ones we like at FFF- hopefully that will help you! I do have a few "Quick & Easy" recipes over there… They might help. At least in the food department.
This post really hit a nerve with me b/c I feel the same way. You do such a good job describing how it feels. Heather/Grace303
nochickens–thank you for the nice words and the suggestions! I’ve been meaning to read Eat, Pray, Love, and now I will definitely check it out. Also, I’ve heard of the proverbs31 ministry but haven’t subscribed. Will do today! Don’t feel like a bad mom because you want to hide from your kids. I do that sometimes too, and I don’t even see them most of the day!
Jody–I will definitely be looking to Fab Food Friday for some recipes so I can quit serving hot dogs to my picky kids. I actually made a REAL meal this week, and wouldn’t you know? I used my “set start cook time” button, or whatever it’s called, and it was basically all dried up when I got home. Super. Hey, and I always can count on a pick-me-up by heading on over to Iowa Geek. Thanks for always being there! 🙂
LOL… so much to comment on– your post AND all the comments!
I think we might have been listening to the same song this morning, because I had the same experience. Of course, I can’t remember the name of the song either, but it was on 107.1 around 7:45-8:00 this morning… wouldn’t that be weird if it was the same one?
I’ve thought about doing the freezer meals, and I’ve thought about trying all kinds of new things to keep me on top of everything, and I just never muster up the motivation to DO IT.
In response to another commenter, I DO have a copy of Eat, Pray, Love but haven’t read it yet. Now she’s motivated me to give it a read!
Jenni–It WAS 107.1, but it was around 8:40…How funny that we both had the same experience with the same radio station! 🙂
How about some new HOUSE RULES?
If you open it, close it.
If you turn it on, turn it off
If you drop it, pick it up
If you get it out, put it back
If you break it, repair it
If you can’t fix it, find someone who can
If you borrow it, return it
If you use it, take care of it
If you make a mess, clean it up
If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone
If it hurts, comfort it
If it cries…love it!
Even as a SAHM, I feel the same way sometimes! There is no motivation to fold the clothes sitting on top of my washer, or sweep & mop the kitchen floor. And let's not talk about the chaos that my room is in & has been for a long, long time. *sigh*
Someone mentioned Proverbs 31 Ministries. I'd recommend them, as well. I've been getting them for several months now & they are a great inspiration!
Also, I've been pushing this on everyone, lol, but seriously consider it. If you have a crockpot… use it! It doesn't have to be anything elaborate either. But it's a great way to cook your meats, so they are done & all you have to do is add some sides. Right now, I have some chicken thighs in there. I seasoned them & that's it. But you can also add potatoes, onions, other veggies to that & everything is done at once. Add a can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup & you have a nice little gravy. On days that you're feeling ambitious, there are tons of recipes online. Throw it all together in the morning, turn it on low & you're good to go.
I hope the funk clears soon, though. But it sounds like you have a great support, just from reading comments. ;o)
I have been feeling blue these days too. There’s something about being on the verge of being home all day every day ALONE for the first time in 14 years that makes me feel useless. But getting a job when the odds of sick days multiplied by 4 isn’t really the best option. TGIfor blogging at least. 🙂
Oh girl, I feel like this pretty much every day. I work a job I hate (ok I love it when I’m with my students and doing my thing, but I hate where I’m doing it), my house looks like a tornado struck (and I almost wish it would then I’d have an excuse) and I haven’t had lone time for over a year. Seriously.
I’m sorry you’re in a funk…seems like everyone I know is lately. Not that it helps, but at least we’re not alone!
I feel that way A LOT. I even asked my husband last night how other people live in clean houses and ours is always a pigsty. He said it was because we have boys. That may not be the reason but I will use it. 🙂
I found this website called Motivated Moms. You can order a calendar that gives you daily chores to accomplish so that you are not doing everything at once. I plan on buying it in January but until then I have really just been looking at the e-book http://www.motivatedmoms.com/2002-Book.pdf and planning out what I will do.
I think the main thing is that you realize that you will not be able to do it all. I think you just have to pick what is really important to you and start with that and give yourself a lot of leeway.
It is HARD to be a working mom, especially with three kids and I am sure you are doing a fabulous job, you just need to realize it for yourself.
(If you want I can email you pictures of MY house and van to make you feel better and it will. 🙂
Crap! Reading this reminded me that I’ve had a soggy load of laundry in the wash for 2 days now. Probably mildewed.
You’re certainly not alone, hon.
I can really empathize…those blue funks can really zap you! I get them every so often and like you, I hate feeling like I’m losing my grip on everything.
Just remember that your kids love you and know how hard you’re working for them. They may not say it, but they know it.
My mom worked the entire time we were growing up but we NEVER resented her for working. It was just our reality and what we knew life to be.
Now, looking back, I appreciate her all the more. Our house was never spotless and I can’t remember a time when the laundry was all caught up (except when my grandmother came to visit), but those aren’t the memories I cherish or even think about when I reminisce on my childhood.
I remember all the hugs and kisses, our family vacations and believe it or not, the treat of getting to visit my mom at her office!
We’re all juggling so many balls, but most of those balls will bounce rather than break if we drop them!