Drowning

It’s the only way I can describe the feeling everyday. I feel like I’m drowning and sinking to the bottom. I can’t get my head above water. That everyone around me has mastered this ‘being a mother’ thing and I’m struggling.

It’s not that my kids are horrible little monsters, they are actually pretty decent. It’s not that I have it tougher than anyone else, I see other moms who are even busier than me who manage to hold it together. So I can’t say I have it worse than others. The problem is I seem to be dealing with things worse than others, or at least I’m more brutally honest about my issues.

I wake up with this suffocating feeling every morning. I think it’s because we put the kids to bed at night and I wake up with one or both kids on me somehow. I can’t wake up in silence, refreshed and energetic, ready to start the day. Instead I wake up in the worst mood possible because I just want to fall back asleep again.

I get an average of 2-5 hours of sleep per night. That’s probably my main issue. If I had 7-8 hrs every night consistently for a number of weeks, I feel like things would get better. So starting each day with little sleep, there’s the endless chores with NO BREAKS. Imagine constantly needing to do things and not being able to sit down. And if you do sit down, your kids need you to do something for them. If you close the bathroom door for privacy, a baby in her needy stage starts screaming and crying because you are out of her sight. You can’t even PEE in silence. I sometimes avoid peeing for hours because I have so much built up tension from hearing her crying. As if she trained me to hold my pee. I will have the world’s only case of exploding bladder one day.

Just imagine having a panic attack because you worry about peeing and how that will cause a meltdown. Sure, you can deal with it a few times at first. Just laugh it off and console her. But weeks and weeks go by, every single time you leave your baby’s sight, you have to deal with the after effects. It causes you to ball up your fists and want to tear your hair out.

Along with much needed sleep, I need space. I want to have a relaxing time away from everything and come home grateful and happy. I want to be able to miss my kids, and for them to see it. I would be happier and everyone else would be happier.

My ‘time off’ consists of weekly or bi-weekly grocery shopping, which is around 30-45 minutes. That’s the time I get away from home. And it consists of running an errand. 30-45 minutes isn’t enough time. It’s like getting a taste of freedom and having it ripped away.

Last week my husband kindly offered to give me some ‘alone’ time last weekend. I waited days for it. What happened? It never came. There were too many things to do around the house. Landscaping. Weeding. Trimming the bushes. Cleaning. Laundry. Cooking. Running errands. And it happens every weekend. So many things to do. By the end of the weekend, I am MORE exhausted because we capitalize on our free time by doing MORE. We are masochists.

We don’t live near family or friends. There is no one around to help. And we are not comfortable leaving the kids with a baby-sitter yet while they are so young. We even looked at daycare (outrageous costs). So far our plan is just to wait it out until these kids go to school. It’s the waiting that’s the hardest part.

So, while I know the couple simple things that would make it easier in our lives (sleep and time off) both of those are not feasible.

I should be so happy and grateful. My kids are happy and healthy. Everyone is well fed. We have a roof over our heads. There are other people who are dealing with way more problems. I feel like someone will slap me across the face for talking like this. For being ungrateful. For being selfish. For wanting other things. Which is probably why I rarely hear it from other moms. Or they are just really better at being moms than I am.

For Mother’s Day, I joked which seafood restaurant they are taking me to. My husband said my daughter wants to take me to Chuck e Cheese. Because Mother’s Day should be what the kids want to do for their mom. Again, I am ungrateful and selfish for not liking this idea. I picture chasing my toddler surrounded by screaming wild kids in a crazy place ruled by a freakishly giant mouse and want to cry. It is extra effort I don’t want to put in. I don’t want this and feel horrible for it.

Most bloggers will say after feeling all this, everything is instantly better because their kid hugged them or said I love you, or their baby smiled at them. And that all this pain and stress is worth it. IT ISN’T. A smiling baby lifts you up temporarily, yes. My toddler hugging me makes me feel better. But it doesn’t take away the fact that I still need sleep and time off. The solution for a lack of sleep and time off is MORE SLEEP AND MORE TIME OFF.

Sorry for the lack of a happy ending on this post and so many others. That’s what the bottom of the pool feels like.

5 Thoughts on “Drowning

  1. Alessa on May 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm said:

    Hang in there beautiful smart one! As a mother of a now 6 year old and a 4 year old, I can say I’ve been there wallowing and tired as heck. It does get better (but it does take a few years), I promise. Don’t do all the extra things on the weekends. AND HECK NO TO CHUCKY CHEESE ON MOTHER’S DAY! Put your foot down (hopefully on that giant rat named Chuck). Get some real YUMMIES (even if you have to do take-out and eat it it at home)!

  2. leslie on May 6, 2014 at 10:15 pm said:

    I feel your pain, and I don’t even have a toddler yet, just an 8 month old. Working full time and mothering full time, I get home from work and have to go right to my “other job” no break. I did end up taking a short work trip to recharge and it was amazing. Maybe you can get your husband to let you go to the spa or something for a bit one weekend? “You time” is vital

  3. Maria D. on May 7, 2014 at 10:41 am said:

    I agree with Alessa – no to the Chuck-e-Cheese (they should do the world a service and burn that company to the ground). Your kids will find decent menu choices at Red Lobster if that is where you choose to go (they have chicken and macaroni and cheese along with some fish/seafood options for them). As far as the alone time – I agree with Alessa on that too – one weekend of not doing yard work is okay – and if you feel it must be done then hire a teenager for that – if you don’t want to hire a sitter – hire a yard boy to cut the grass and trim and pull weeds – my dad has finally done this (he’s in his 70′s) and it’s the best gift he’s given himself! Oh…and mothers are always in denial – it’s something that’s been taught – it’s okay to complain that you want alone time.

  4. Alessa – you bet i would put my foot down to it. I rather do nothing than go to chuck e cheese. In fact, doing nothing sounds pretty perfect.

    Leslie – it amazes me how moms work full time then come home and do all the other mom things. I mean, the cooking, cleaning, the same amount of laundry and less time. I feel like the 8 month old age is a lot tougher than the toddler stage in some ways. I hope you get some more breaks as well.

    Maria – i think i need to just put my foot down when its yard work time. Even Our toddler goes outside saying there’s no time to play, she needs to water plants and weed, when there is a swingset and toys around her. Nobody knows how to relax or have fun anymore.

  5. Stephanie E on May 9, 2014 at 9:46 am said:

    Those of us with children have all been there. You have to take time for yourself, don’t ask for it. Your not hired help, you put in WAY more time than your husband. Pick a weekend morning that’s yours where you get to sleep in and your husband takes over. At least take your time running your errands.

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