Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sometimes

There are afternoons when I dream of running away from my house so badly I can taste it. It's the worst on weekends, and I know this is something many moms complain of- there is no relaxation to look forward to at the end of the week, just more of the same, along with the added chaos of extra people and extra plans and messed up schedules and so, most likely, a messier house and even whinier children than during the rest of the week. Sometimes its fine, and its still fun, and I go with the flow...

And sometimes I am very nearly six months pregnant, and I am hungry all the time but then every time I eat I get heartburn. Or I am tired all the time but every time I lay down either the heartburn makes it impossible or my hips start screaming in protest no matter which side I lay on. And often the house is an unthinkable disaster, but either my own inward voice or another person starts scolding me when I try to clean and tidy it because I shouldn't be exerting too much. But the idea of living this way, with dishes and laundry and toys always threatening to overwhelm, is enough to make me sit down at the table and just weep in despair. Literally.

Also, sometimes a certain child is completely potty trained in one regard and not even close to being potty trained in another, more disgusting, regard, but it's too late to switch him back to diapers. And so, one waits, every day, to see when the inevitable mess will happen and just how bad it will be. After two or three weeks of this, including several out of town ventures, it will start to feel like you are just waiting to get BEATEN every day, and you and your husband are just taking turns volunteering for the abuse. Though, let's face it, more often than not it is going to be you. You are here. You are always always here.

You are here when in one single half hour, one kid poops his pants, another needs help on the toilet, poopy kid gets cleaned up and then decided to try to actually use the potty for its intended purpose, toilet kid CLOGS the toilet, poopy kid poops again, this time in proper receptacle, and you, while trying to lavish the appropriate amounts of praise for a Potty Success, realize you need to EMPTY that potty but that you first have to plunge the normal potty, all with a wide eyed and curious audience, and you yourself haven't even eaten breakfast yet and are beginning to want to eat less and less...

Sometimes you feel like if you hear a little voice yelling, or whining, or shrieking in panic "Hey Mommy!" one single more time you are going to cry. Sometimes you do cry, and are in fact crying as you tend to them (the need almost always involving someone needing something WIPED, of course) and the horrifying part is that no one even notices that you're crying. Partly you feel relieved that you haven't upset them, and partly this makes you want to cry even harder because you realize that you spend the bulk of your time with people who are basically oblivious to your needs and feelings. It never occurs to them that YOU might need to eat or sleep or use the bathroom, much less that you might be tired and in pain and overwhelmed.

Then your baby will stir in your belly and you feel so terrible that most of what this kid has heard and felt today from you is negative. You snapping, you sighing, you sniffling. Surely this cannot be a healthy way to gestate your child, but the problem is that it's the gestating itself that is making so much of your day to day life feel so daunting.

AND sometimes you flee to the computer as soon as both the kids are finally otherwise occupied and you hurriedly ramble out your current misery and then you feel the tiniest bit better, though still wobbly and weepy. You look around and still see a house whose every surface needs wiped and picked up. You know there's still a car seat cover that needs dried and reattached after being subjected to a Horrifying Accident last night, along with a multitude of normal laundry loads, and you know there are still plates and cups and random clumps of eggs and cheese and dirty napkins all over the kitchen. You also know that you're exhausted and should really just nap, but that when you tried to lay down with your daughter your cranky cranky hips made it impossible to do so.

And so. You will take a deep breath, and put on some music, and maybe eat a bag of peanut M and M's that were supposed to be your husband's but forget him because you snooze you lose and you will, as Swistle once put it, make that Journey of A Thousand Loads of Laundry that begins with a single paper towel. You will, pathetically, hope that someone somewhere is feeling sorry for you, just a little.

Edit: ...And sometimes you feel kind of bad about eating husband's M and M's, when he brings you home a bag with like TEN candy bars in it because he wasn't sure what you might like to make you feel better.

25 comments:

Mimi said...

I feel sorry for you, dear! I do. That's a hard time... the taking care of two and being pregnant with the third. Really hard.

When I was gestatin' my third, I had some of the most stressful months I've ever had in my life. I cried a lot and thought, my this can't be good for the baby. But you know? She turned out squeezy and happy anyway. I'm sure your new one will too!

Shelly Overlook said...

This was so beautifully written. I've been there, though with only one kid, so I cannot even fathom the reality of multiple kids.

Erica said...

I feel VERY sorry for you, having just been through this particular hell myself. I remember taking it a step further and repeatedly wondering why the hell I was pregnant when I barely tolerated the kid I already had. I wanted to run away from one, so what was I doing having TWO?

There is no possible way for us moms to get the credit we deserve until our brat kids are parents themselves. Then, they'll know the hell they put us through. I'm waiting with bated breath.

Fran said...

Very well said and that's one nice husband you've got there!!

Scottish Twins said...

Sorry you had a rough day. That sounds miserable.

Swistle said...

I hear you, ACK.

Astarte said...

Oh, you poor thing. It's all so hard when they're little like that, and potty training is a nightmare even when you're *not* pregnant, never mind having to haul that belly around. It's NEVER too late to put them back in pullups, and for the sake of your sanity, why not do it? The chances of him regressing once the baby's born are pretty high, anyway, so you're probably not losing anything. Maybe you could use it as a bartering chip - once he uses the potty reliably for two days, with no messes, he can try again.

I remember crying with overwhelmedness, and the kids asking me what was wrong with my face, I looked ugly, and a few times them laughing at me. Kids can be really nice, huh?

Hang in there, girlfriend, and eat a candy bar. :)

Bethtastic said...

Heh. Yes. You nailed it. The life of a Mom...

I don't know ifyou're wanting "what worked for me" stories, but I'll throw in these two cents.

When our little boy was potty training, we got to the point that he was completely pee trained, but was struggling with the poop training. After three weeks of at least one poop-in-pants episode a day, I instituted the, "if you do it, you help clean it" rule. Not angrily, but just matter-of-factly. I didn't scold him for having the accident, just said, "Oh darn. Well, let's get that cleaned up."
The first time he was very excited to help - he even climbed on his stool in delightful anticipation. And then I took his little hands and had him help me scrub poop out of his underwear.

It happened one more time.

And then never again.

Maybe that would help for you?

And I'm sure those candy bars will help... :)

Tracy said...

Oh man. I've SO been there. Last summer in fact.

When Zeke was gestating, I swear I thought he'd come out thinking that I yelled all of the time and not like me. But, he still loves me.

Hillary said...

Oh, hang in there. Not that it makes you feel any better now, but your kids are going to remember all the love you gave them and their oblivious one day, when they're grown. I feel like calling my mom and apologizing at least once a week since having kids.

And in the meantime, we're listening.

(P.S. What a good husband you have.)

Jess said...

Pregnancy sounds hard enough to deal with WITHOUT small children demanding all your time and energy. You are my hero for dealing with this.

Can I ask, out of genuine confusion, why is it too late to put him back in diapers? Can you not tell him that until he learns to do everything in the toilet, he is not ready for big boy underwear?

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

I was completely convinced my third kid was going to come out scowling, becuase I seriously felt like that's all I did. Thankfully, he's the happiest munchkin of all of my babes.

Doesn't change the fact that I still sometimes feel like hiding in my room and letting the kids fend for themselves... or that grocery shopping by myself can sometimes induce such mind blowing euphoria that it's sort of scary.

Total sympathy here...

Random question: Any tiny room in the budget for a housekeeper to come here and there? Around here, you can get a team of women to come for about $100 and the clean lasts for a good long time. I've yet to take the plunge but I'm squirrling away my cash. My SIL does it and swears by it.

Might be worth it once or twice for sanity's sake?

Jules said...

Then in the near distant future you have a ONE good day/hour/moment that makes moms forget that they are tired and unappreciated for the selfless things moms do (who else goes shopping for themselves and brings back gift for all but her??)
Seriously, all chocolate is fair game after 24 hours.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh yes.

And Oh no.

And I'm sorry.

(Here's a virtual hug)

Marie Green said...

Yes, yes, and YES. Sometimes I feel the exact same way. Sometimes, I feel that way more often than just "sometimes".

Well said, Sarah. And I hope those candy bars helped, because if they didn't, that's when we KNOW there's a real crisis. ;)

MommyNamedApril said...

i have *SOOOO* been there.

(((HUGS)))

Katy said...

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes and I only have ONE child! We do what we can, but some days it's tough.

Susan C. said...

I feel for you SO much!

Maybe make a list of small but achievable things that can help you to feel better? Then whenever you feel like this, you can go to the list and select a few that will help. Whether it's chocolate or hot shower while kids watch TV or getting huz to commit to bath/bed routine with kids while you lie down or expensive nice candle or getting a local teenager to come as a mother's helper a few afternoons a week or WHATEVER.

Also, can your doc give you anything safe but frightfully effective for your hip pain? Can't hurt to ask.

So much love to you. The bit about you crying and the kids not noticing really struck a chord with me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

You need to look at the blessing you have been given in life. A home, a partner is life who loves you, two healthy beautiful children and the chance to stay at home with them! SOMETIMES, people are homeless, lonely or can't have children of their own, Sometimes, they don't know where their next meal is coming from or what they are going to feed their hungry children. You are very lucky. God has been very good to you.

d e v a n said...

This is so true. I remember feeling like this so, so, much when I was pregnant. It is so hard to suffer through the day to day grind sometimes and to think about adding another? Well. ugh.
Hang in there my dear. It really does get better!!!!

Swistle said...

Aw, anonymous, that's SUPER SWEET of you to remind us all how lucky we are! And now I will remind all of us that we should feel lucky that most people have the brains to understand a well-written post about the ups and downs and conflicts of parenthood. Because otherwise some of us might be tempted to go all Karate Kid on the butt of someone who dares to say that because there are ups we can't even acknowledge the downs.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I had somehow missed this post before but had to come read the anonymous comment.

I totally agree with Swistle: just because there are ups doesn't mean we can't talk about the downs.

Kelsey said...

I always feel like I don't want other people to be having a hard time, but it is such a relief to know I'm not the only one. I'd like one day off, entirely, every week. With someone more qualified than me to come and watch the kiddos and tend the house and the dog and make the dinner. I'd leave in the morning, come back after everyone is in bed, and then be so happy to see them the next day.

parkingathome said...

I haven't ever heard another mom talk about wanting to run away, and I just feel so fucking guilty when I think it almost daily. Thank you for this post. Thanks for talking about the crying. Thanks for everything.

bluedaisy said...

I echo the thoughts of some of the other commenters...I don't want other people to have a hard time but it's nice to know that I'm not the only mom who feels overwhelmed. Lately I've been telling myself that one day when they are teenagers, they won't want to be anywhere near me--and sometimes that thought actually makes me feel better for a few minutes!