Sunday, September 27, 2009


Sometimes I am inspired.
Inspired by what others write. In books, on blogs, and random clips in papers or magazines I read things that get me going. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree, sometimes it gives me something to think about and sometimes I want to write because of what I read.

Recently I have read a few friends blogs and realized that they were all writing things that I have been dealing with myself. Things that I haven't been facing well and so I have decided to try and get it out now.

I seem to be at a pretty low point right now. I don't want to talk about it but I am trying to face and deal with where I am so I want to talk about it at the same time.
I don't think I have depression. I have been there before. Not caring at all about a single thing. Feeling nothing. Wanting to feel anything but not having the energy to care.
I do feel, I do care, a lot, I am just tired, really, really, tired.

So tired. I can cry. Any time. A lot. I want to do so much but don't want to move at the same time.

I was just reading a friends blog and she was talking about her relationship a little and I realized that I could have written what she wrote.
I feel stupid sharing this but at the same time it is going on here.

I am annoyed. Annoyed with Dave and with the kids and with family and everyone. I actually planed on getting mad at Dave the other day when I could only blame myself.
I had the whole morning to get out the door for the kids field trip and dilly dallied the hours away. By the time it was time to leave I remembered that the truck was out of gas and that I needed money to pay for the field trip. We were down to the wire getting out the door and Kaitlyn kept changing outfits over and over. Then I had to change a diaper and find shoes and pack the snack and find a clean bottle to put water in and next thing you know we were going to be late if we didn't leave RIGHT NOW!!

I was already planning the call in my head to Dave, "You know I had this trip planned, why didn't you gas up the truck, why didn't you get me money, you know how hard it is for me to get out the door and get everyone buckled up and, and, and....."

And then I went to grab my keys from the key bowl and saw that there was a 20 dollar bill tucked in with my keys and a some change for a coffee.
I started to feel bad.
I went out to the truck with the kids and put the key in the ignition. The gas tank was full. I started to cry.
It was my own stupid fault that I was rushing last minute, loosing my cool and pushing to get out the door THIS MINUTE!
I could have planned ahead and had time to spare and just been pleasantly surprised by Dave's thoughtfulness.
Now I felt like an idiot and had to call and thank him over and over and then had the whole drive out to the country to think about how I let things go in my head.

I get annoyed with him over anything. Like the garbage can getting full. It's not his fault yet I am annoyed with him. What is wrong with me?!
I can take out the garbage. I have two legs!

I get annoyed with the kids and them wanting to sit on my lap when I just want to be in my own head or doodling in a sketch book and I don't want to be bumped.

I am thankful that I do have rational thoughts and catch myself in these moments for the most part, not all the time but I do know what I am doing. Then I get mad at myself. I want to just love and cuddle all the time, but I don't want to and sometimes I want to be alone and then when I am I want to not be alone and be with them all the time and.......I just don't understand myself!!

So anyway, I drove out to the pumpkin patch thinking about how stupid I am in my head and vowing to not be so stupid and wishing I could just figure out how to be more positive.

I do love it when the kids have fun. I wouldn't have gone if it wasn't for them. Well I wouldn't have been invited since it was organized by and for home schoolers but you know what I am saying. I would rather stay in bed with a notebook all day than go out to the pumpkin patch.

Then when I really think about it I don't know why I would want to stay in bed. I would miss a lot of photo ops and giggles and fresh air and crunching of fall leaves.

But I almost need toothpicks to prop my eye lids open through it all. For the last month at least I have felt almost nauseous with exhaustion.
You ask then why the heck am I sitting up here at midnight typing when I could be cashing in on that much needed sleep?
Well I do need time to get this head stuff out. Also Ethan is sick and up every few minutes wanting water. Poor little guy had a mild fever since last night and it finally broke this afternoon but has left him cranky and tired. Fighting something he is.

Anyway, I did want to have a good time and put on a good face and chased the kids around.

Sent them off on a ride and then hung out in the kiddy coral until some of their (and my) friends arrived.

Then off we went to plod through the corn maze.
I hate mazes. But somehow I end up doing them every year.
I am quite glad to follow along in the background and leave the fun up to everyone else.
Maybe I would find it fun if I wasn't so tired but all I wanted to do was sit in the shade and not think and not get my flip flops all muddy and my back all sore from carrying a baby.

I never told a soul. I hope they forgive me when and if they read this.

Because I did still have fun. Really. Taking a few pictures. This always makes me happy.
And talking with a few friends. Even though I find that when my mind is elsewhere I tend to blab on about who knows what and don't really follow much of what is going on around me.
It is a wonder some day that I have friends. I must be so annoying!
However at the same time I find friends even if they don't say much and I don't either to be like a good medicine. Like silent comfort just cause they are there.

My poor kids. I wish I could just get out of my head and focus already! I want to get in their heads and know what they are thinking about and not be so distracted!

I am glad I have photos to look back on, it keeps it real for me.

Though I think too about how easy it would have been to just post these pictures and say something along the lines of ....what a wonderful beautiful sunny perfect fall day we spent at the pumpkin patch. Because really it was!

And at the time was into it, I thought, until I look back over the whole week, month, year.

Somehow I find a way to be there and in the moments sort of. It is something I strive for but in my head I am also a million miles away. It is like there is the front part of my head that talks and sees and functions normally and then there is this dark little back room in my head where all this chaos goes on behind the scenes.

I try to close the door on the dark little room and just have fun and I think I really do have fun but sometimes the door swings open and I have to fight it with all my might to get it shut again.

Having kids often forces me to push that dark door closed. They just know how to cheer and brighten a day no matter what. Their skin is so soft and so kissable. However even as I am smooching them endlessly I still find my brain drifting off to daydream about a new kitchen or something dumb like that and I have to snap back into the moment.

I tend to avoid what I know I need to do around the house by finding fun things to do even if my mind isn't in it. I focus a LOT on fun.

These kids, they bring me to my knees shaking in sobs as I put them to bed. I feel as though I am failing them so bad.
Just this past week in my new moms Bible study group the leader brought up how we as moms are always hard on ourselves and never give ourselves credit enough.
I don't think I am too hard on myself at all. I let myself get away with way too much.
I have been talking a lot about the state of my house and how I need to get it in order lately and this is only part of it.
I cry because I want to be better. I want to teach the kids more about Jesus. I want them to see Him in my life. I want them to see order and peace. I want them to see routine and stability.
I cry because I fear that all they see is the opposite.
I don't hug and kiss my husband enough.
I don't make good healthy suppers enough.
I don't sing enough or laugh enough or wash the floors has been months. Seriously.
It is this bad.
I don't just feel like I am failing as a wife and mother and friend. I know I am.
I am vowing to change this. As I clean the house bit by bit it is as if I am picking up the pieces.
Geting back the better wife and mom.

I have vowed to put the energy into friendships once again too. I miss having close friends. Ones who I can have fun with and call in the middle of the night if I need too. I miss going out for pretty coffee with girlfriends.

Putting energy into friendships is hard. You have to grow them. Invest time and space in your head. It is hard yet so rewarding.

I am trying. It is a process.
It really helps to have children who beg to see their friends and want go to the park to fly kites.

So we did. I am glad. Not that I was great company with my thoughts in my head in the dark little room at the back but I am trying to keep that door closed.
Live in the moments.
I felt bad leaving the house but I hadn't been in it all day anyway. This is how it goes. I sat outside watching the kids play for hours and doodled. I am so good at finding distractions.

Art has become one of those distractions.

I don't know now if I want anyone to read or comment on this. Maybe I have said too much although I know I am only showing the scratches on the surface. I hate all the deep stuff going on in me right now. When I look around things seem fine. When I close my eyes they aren't.
I feel anxious with all I think I need to do. The list is so long.

I am so tired.

When I play and hug and kiss my kids sometimes I feel like I am just going through the motions. I love them so much it breaks my heart that I can let myself be so distracted by my own thoughts. None bad, don't worry there, they are just stupid thoughts, like....."that shadow looks so cool , I wonder if I used such and such colours and this size of canvas if I could recreate that and that reflection there, oooo, that would be cool in a painting...''.
I swear! I think of the most useless junk while my kids are babbling out the most adorable stories and then I snap back to present and realized that I missed the part where the frog got kissed by the princess and he is already a prince again!

Anyway, after all this I don't want you to be freaking out. We do have a lot of fun and I do have great moments and sometimes great days. It just seems that they are way better when there is consistantly great sleep and well it has now been 4 1/2 years since that has happened.

I am a little loopy.

And I know I think way too much too and maybe if I didn't I would be better off, who knows.
I don't know what else to say.
I guess I'll leave it here for now and go to bed.
Seems like a lousy ending but I am zonked and am fading.



bethany actually said...

First of all, I love you. :-)

Second, I so totally and completely know that feeling of not being present in the moment, of always being gone in your head, of being annoyed at the people you love interrupting your thoughts and simultaneously feeling guilty about feeling annoyed. I've been feeling weighed down and snappish lately, and hating myself for it but not knowing what to do about it. I finally vented to Troy in an email, even though I try not to do that to him when he's away on the ship because then he just feels bad and helpless, but I'm so glad I did.

He pointed out to me that in addition to taking care of Annalie as usual, I'm a single parent right now. I am taking care of ALL the stuff with the house, the cats, the cars, the cooking, the grocery-shopping, and the bills. I've been traveling a lot and having lots of houseguests. And on top of everything else, I'm homeschooling too.

I've been feeling like a lazy, antisocial whiner for never wanting to leave the house when I don't have to, and like a bad mom when I find myself getting fed up with Annalie always wanting my attention. But Troy pointed all these things out and reminded me that I have a LOT on my plate, that of course I'm feeling more stressed than usual. Just realizing that made me feel better about it all. It reminded me that I'm being much harder on myself than I would be on someone else in my situation, you know?

You might not have a husband who is deployed, but you are still learning how to be the mom of three instead of two, and you're homeschooling and probably dealing with the remnants of potty-training. You have all this creativity bursting to get out and more sources of inspiration than ever now that you have three kids, but even less time than before to get it out. Having little kids is stressful and takes a LOT of time and energy. It's not strange that you'd be feeling the crush!

As a friend of mine used to say, this is only a season. Soon the kids will be older and you'll have more time to paint and totally different challenges with elementary-age kids. And that will be only a season too.

Please forgive me if I'm glossing over what you're feeling. I was just feeling such recognition reading what you wrote, I wanted to let you know that I have some idea of how you're feeling. :-) You're not alone! And I'll keep you in my prayers.


bethany actually said...

Oh, and speaking of not getting enough sleep, look at idiot me still up at 4am because I desperately want time to myself when Annalie is asleep. :-) When will I learn!?

SAJ said...

You know what I think about these thought patterns? I think it sucks to be smart. Pessimists have a much more painfully clear view of the world. The rest of us look through fuzzy lenses with half as many thoughts.

Happy and stupid is so much easier.

I know I could be wrong and I know saying something like that could really make people mad at me. But that's what I think sometimes.

When I start feeling like that I just pretend I'm a big stupid labrador dog with my tongue hanging out and the world is my great big patch of sun or a spoon of peanut butter. Lick, lick, lick, lick, lick.

Actually, I'm really sad you suffer secretly like this. I hope saying something silly cheers you up. I don't suffer from depression much so I don't have a clue, really. I only have one kid so I'm not so stretched. I'm also NOT a night owl so I fall asleep at 8 pm even when I try like mad to stay awake. I wake up at 4:30 am instead and drink a lot of coffee in the afternoon. I wish I could take some of your burden away and let you day dream without guilt.

SAJ said...

And I'm back. You're making me think!

I just wanted to add that most of this time this stuff is just chemical (hormones, diet, weather...) and someday it may switch off just like a light switch.

I think a lot of great mothers in time were basket cases inside. It's a critical time in your kid's lives, you have to be hyper sensitive to everything. The downside is you're hyper sensitive to things that can make you dissatisfied. And sometimes you just can't cope and then it's time for meds.

Obviously I'm not an expert on this... I just can't help from blathering though.

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Anna, you are WAY too hard on yourself. You have 3 kids 4 and under. Ask anyone who has been there and I can pretty much guarantee they feel like you do. I am willing to bet that your hormones are still balancing out after your pregnancy and topped with the exhaustion of taking care of them all day, you should be tired! If you weren't I would wonder where I could get what you've been drinking.

I know exactly what you mean about being distracted when my kids talk to me. It's because we have so much to remember. If we didn't have our own thoughts and interests, what good are we to our kids? We teach them to go out and find their own by example.

Hang in there, you are going to be okay, I know you are. And frankly I think you are the most fun mom I know.

Love you girl!

BeachMama said...

Just wanted to add my two cents that you are way to hard on yourself.

My thoughts are that you are just way to creative to be sitting around playing with your kids. So that when you are doing that you feel the need to burst out and do other stuff. All your creativity just builds up inside you and makes you want to burst.

But, truly you are doing great. New Mom with two preschoolers. Most people would have hired an Nanny or babysitter by now. You will find your groove, in time and when it happens you will look back and wonder what got you all upset. Glad to hear that Dave was thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I miss pretty coffee too!
I hope you know you can call me anytime you want to vent or catch up.
I know we live 8 hours away but that doesn't matter.


Anonymous said...

I think if you talk to any mom with 3 kids under 4, you'll hear similar feelings. Not that yours aren't valid, just that they're normal.

I catch myself all the time going down the "I should" path. It never ends prettily. It's a constant battle of trying to figure out what is really important and letting myself off the hook for the rest of it. There's SO many things I want to do and need to do even, but between work and life, it just doesn't happen. I keep wondering when "one day" will get here. But then I remind myself that The Bean isn't going to care if the house is spotless, but she will definitely remember the tent we built in her bedroom this week. The feelings still linger, but reminding myself of that does help.

I don't have a quick fix or magic advice for what you're feeling. But I will say I think you do a much better job than you give yourself credit for. This season in life will change, and you'll be stronger on the other side.

Love you, Friend.

Hannah said...

I know I don't know you in real life, and even if I did, I probably wouldn't know the REAL you (the one nobody else sees). BUT from what I DO know about you, I think you are an awesome mom! Kami is right, you are way too hard on yourself. But you know what I reckon? If you weren't hard on yourself, you wouldn't be a good mom! A good mom knows there is always room for improvement; a bad mom just doesn't care. A good mom always strives to do better for her kids; a bad mom wouldn't know the difference.

ANY mother needs and deserves some time to think/daydream/dabble in the hobbies and things that make her happy. That's normal and natural. When you don't get much (or any) of that time, it's easy to feel a little resentful of the HUGE job we are doing, and the lack of "me time" involved. Especially with really little kids. Trust me, it gets a LOT easier when they are bigger! ;-)

I have 2 words for you: HORMONES and TIREDNESS. Sleep deprivation is a killer, and can make any normally happy/balanced/sane person sad/mixed-up/crazy. Your hormones are also still likely to be out of whack. Add to that THREE PRESCHOOLERS and I think you are AMAZING for coping with it all! Truly amazing.

Your post really got me thinking though. After reading it, I went and gave Rob a kiss and thanked him for making my breakfast, and apologised for being grumpy this morning and not even wanting him to put his arm over me while we were lying in bed. I don't know WHY I was like this today. Actually, I do. It's a certain time in my monthly cycle. See, those darn hormones!! They have a lot to answer for. Add to that my exhaustion after a hugely busy week with my baby's 5th birthday and a big (rained out) party, and mental/emotional tiredness comes into play, big time.

We all, as mothers & wives, need to cut ourselves some slack. Most of us really ARE doing our best. The fact that we care, question, challenge, vent, ask for advice, blog about it, comment on other blogs that talk about it, discuss it at bible study, and chat about it with our friends over coffee just PROVES we are on the right track. Caring is enough. Trying is enough. Doing our best is enough. We're NOT perfect, and nobody expects us to be. We're human, and we sometimes get it wrong. But most of the time, we do a pretty good job. Believe it, okay? LOVE YOU xx

beck said...

Oh Anna, I have so been there. Still am there. I know exactly what you mean about the dark door. That's a really good way to describe it. At the risk of sounding all Christiany and biblical and stuff I want to share a thought with you that has caused me to to stand back and say, "hey wait just a minute!" to all my feelings of inadequacy. Romans 8:1 says that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. It didn't occur to me until my aunt pointed it out that whenever I feel guilty about something, that's a result of feeling condemned, falling short, not "good enough." Who is the one condemning us? Is it us? Other people? Because it IS NOT GOD. I was startled to realize this - God does not condemn me. Ever. Even if he wants me to change something he will never do it in a way that will make me feel helpless and guilty. Anyhow. I struggle with so many of the same feelings but it's comforting to know that God in no way condemns me.
Anyhow, it's just a season of life - a TIRING season of life. It won't be like this forever. You're an inspiration to me and you're doing a great job!

Gayle said...

I think the way you feel is totally normal for a mom with three small children, and for a woman who has post-pregnancy hormones. Don't be hard on yourself, Anna. Your children know they are loved. You can't hang on every moment of their stories or completely absorb yourself in only what they are doing. As stay at home moms we need to be there for our children all the time, but it's okay to daydream about the things that you love other than your children. I think it's necessary to daydream about those other things.

Brooke said...

You already have some long comments with great advice. So I'll just say a thing or two hear. First of all, your kids feel your love--it is obvious in EVERY photo you take of them--they are loved, secure children. Second--lack of sleep changes everything. Every memory I have for several months after Ezra was born has a black frame around it in my mind, I'm not kidding. And third--we have lived in this rental for five months. I just mopped for the first time a few weeks ago. I probably won't do it again for at least 6 months. I'll think about it and worry about it--but I won't get to it : )

Glenda said...

Honey you are so normal! ;)

I think each one of us has been there and goes through these exact same thoughts and experiences. I soooo remember having these days with 3 little ones.

My Mom would always say to me... "And this too shall pass" and boy does it ever... faster than you could ever imagine.

Take each day one at a time - "we are new every morning" - pray for strength - the Lord loves you and is right there with you - Let go and let God Ü He will help you darlin' - He will help you get through each dark moment.


Mary said...

Anna, you sound exactly like me, except I'm not brave enough to admit how badly I feel like I'm failing sometimes. I love my children and all I ever wanted to be was a mom, but yet there are times I just feel like escaping. I think of all the things I want to do and then I look around the house and see the mess and chaos everywhere and my children running wild sometimes and I just get overwhelmed! So what do I do instead of cleaning up and trying to get order? I go get on the internet and read facebook or blogs!!! I'd rather daydream and read about other people's lives than deal with my own. I'm just now starting to get some good sleep and Bret is 17 months old now. I know lack of sleep affects many things. Hopefully things will get better for you before Hudson is 17 months old! I hope I'm not discouraging you, but I wanted to let you know you're not the only one!

Elaine A. said...

Anna, I love and appreciate your honesty. You are on this same roller coaster as many of us called Motherhood! I just worry about how tired you seem. Try to get as much rest as you can, it will benefit both you and your children.

I'm glad you have this space to share your feelings with us and that you are willing to put them out there and possibly help another mother who it feeling the very same way.

And also? YOU ARE AN AWESOME mother, I can 'hear' it in your writing and I see it in your pictures. I always have, since I've started reading your blog.

Many hugs and prayers!

Madame Bluestocking said...

Dearest, thank you for writing this.

Mrs. Wilson said...

I can see myself in this so much as well! Although I have the feeling NOTHING part, you have the feeling A LOT part. I'm sorry I didn't read this until today - I haven't really read a blog in quite a while. I just can't get myself to do it.

Anyway, I'll see you in about half an hour :)