Saturday, August 15, 2009


I need a vacation.

Not the pack everything in sight into the minivan, jam as much into a weekend as possible, then do two days worth of laundry because of it vacation, but a real vacation.

I'm thinking a tropical beach, a fruity drink, an absorbing novel, and a personal concierge.

I'm thinking a variety of therapies- massage therapy for sure. Possibly hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, and any other kind of -therapy that can put me back together again.

In other words, I'm struggling.

My blogger friend Terresa has a sign on her blog that says "So this is my life. And I want you to know that I'm both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be." I cried when I read it because it resonated so deeply.

I'm wrapped up in a bundle of contradictions. I love my children desperately, but am aggravated all too frequently by their simple (and loud) childish behavior. Every day I make silent vows to myself to be more cheerful, happy, kind, patient and spontaneous; I end the day berating myself for rolled eyes, sarcastic remarks, barked demands, and a few too many four-letter words. I love being a mom, but this week I have been tempted many times to get a job as a shelver at the nearest Barnes and Noble and never look back.

I feel invisible. Like rather than being "Mom" the person, I'm "mom" the object. You know, the breakfast making, complaint listening, fight mediating, rule enforcing, toilet scrubbing, grocery shopping, appointment making, child chauferring, nursing, diapering person whose life belongs to everyone else in the house.

I don't blame my children. Children are, by their nature, inherently selfish. But the sheer monotony of the day-to-day routine is sucking me dry. The overwhelming neediness of those in my charge has left me empty and spent.

I feel as if I've lost so much of what makes me "me." Me the person, not me the mom, the wife, the violin teacher, or the doula.

I know that I would be lost without my husband and my kids. They are my life. They bring me purpose and joy. I can't fathom a life different from the one I have chosen and made for myself.

I look at the moms that surround me and wonder. Am I the only one? Is everyone else blissfully happy and satisfied? Do all the other moms have strategies to cope with the tedious and mundane of everyday life with young children? If I'm not the only one, (which I suspect...) why are we not talking about it more? Why aren't there support groups for this kind of thing?

I was pretty deep into my funk a few days ago. No sleep coupled with a teething baby, (four teeth in two weeks is inhumane for everyone involved!) combined with two bored children in the middle of August left me longing for an entirely different life. My good husband took some time to really listen to me yesterday, and just the simple fact that I was being heard made a world of difference.

I wonder if there are others that have felt this way. Who have looked at their life, wanting to cling to their kids and abandon them simultaneously. Who have wondered if they've given away the very best parts of themselves, wondering if they'll ever get them back. I wonder if there are others who would join me on a oceanside beach chair with a trashy novel, a fruity drink and a personal massage therapist for a week or two. Just be warned. If you come on this fantasy trip with me, you need to be prepared to stay up all night giggling like 13 year olds, to play a mean round of truth or dare, to sleep until 10 and then take a nap two hours later, and then to decide after a little while that you really do miss your family and are ready to go back to being a mom.


  1. When do we leave??? I know that your life is probably more crazy than mine is and i know that i don't have nearly as much going on as you probably do, but it IS nice to know that i am not the only one having these exact same thoughts. I would love to join you!!! oh and i am perfectly fine staying up all night laughing and playing truth or dare (which i have never actually played). to be honest that sounds like so much more fun than being up all night with a screaming child!

  2. Our society isn't set up to support the work of mothers, so it's almost impossible NOT to feel overwhelmed and invisible! Add a sick child, and I'm amazed every day that you're still going. Hang in there, mama. It doesn't feel worth it right now, but it is.

  3. I think every mother feels that way at times. The thing that keeps me going is knowing that I've had those phases in the past, and I'll have them again in the future, but they always pass. Of course if there are specific things that you can change to make things better, then do it... but alot of times for me it's more a matter of just enduring through it and knowing it's a cycle and won't last forever. School starts soon, that change ought to help bring a freshness of perspective and a new pace.

    Interestingly, I remember feeling that way toward the end of Sariah's first year of life, which is about the point you're at with Max. I wonder if that's a typical time for mothers to deal with those kinds of feelings? The newness of having a baby has worn off, the sleeplessness, if still going on, is getting REALLY old... You've had a big year with so much happening, and it's got to be catching up with you.

  4. You are definitely not the only one. I have spent many a day...or more....wondering why on earth I ever thought it would be a good idea to become a mother. Sort of the "I never signed up for this..." kind of thinking. Truly, the kids and the husband really are precious, and amazing, and sometimes the best things ever, but then again, sometimes not! I find myself wishing, A LOT, for a nifty magic lamp, or a nice, generous Genie with no limits on the number of wishes I get, or a "Mary Poppins" chick who just shows up at my door and takes over...maybe indefinitely. And I do wonder often if anything that I do ever gets noticed, or if it makes a difference, or if it matters to anyone else besides me. Honestly, I think any wife and mother who claims she has not had these kind of feelings either: 1- is a total liar, 2- has managed to find a way to sedate her husband and children with no noticeable side effects or method of detection, or 3- is in denial that she even has a husband and children!!! But, you are great, and you are doing a great job, and no matter how dark the night....the sun always comes in the morning!! :o)

  5. You had me at fruity drink!! There must be a "full mom moon" coming on or something....because this exact topic is being bounced around my Moms of Multiples group. I look at the kids every day and think that time goes so fast, why can't I slow down and enjoy it more. Have you ever checked out if there's a moms group in your area? I'm blessed to have found my multiples group - we're more than happy to let it all out that this is the hardest job anyone will ever have!!

  6. If they did have support groups for moms, no one could ever go because we're too busy running the lives of everyone around us. I'm coming on your vacation as well - only I'm buying a one-way ticket and my fruity drink will be in a gallon bucket.

  7. You are not alone. My life used to read like this on a daily basis. I was angry and frustrated and near crazy on an almost daily basis. Now, thank goodness, it's just a little less frequent as my kids have grown older and I have, too.

    Do you have triggers? things that set you off? Diet, enough sleep, staying indoors for too many days, etc?

    Another thought: whenever I nurse (which is extended, usually 19 months each kid), I'm not in my normal body or brain. I don't realize this until I've weaned. Then I can take a deep breath and then, only then, realize all I've done to create and raise up my baby (or babies, with my twins).

    Do you have a community of women to lean on? A mom's group, a book club, a mom or sister, VT or neighbor you connect with? Any of those things help us mamas not feel alone, we can vent to them, mama heart to mama heart and not feel so alone. Or you can always email me. I'm here, going crazy on chocolate & blogging. ;)

    One last word:

    Read this blog post about mama depression. It's excellent.

  8. This is so true so often! Lately I haven't felt this way (Thank you God!) but I have been there and it isn't pretty. Glad to see things have looked up from your recent post!


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