Complete Inadequecy or- Normal Mother Feelings   13 comments

So, I’ve noticed a change since LA was born. (Guys you might want to close your ears, or cover your eyes, or what not for this one). Pre-LA I never really had mood swings before my special girl time. Maybe, a little anxiety or fat feelings. But nothing extreme. To be honest I never understood how other women could let their emotions run away with them so much. I’d think “Gee if you know you’re hormonal just shut up and discount it.”

That was Pre-LA. Post-LA I understand much more. The first time was when LA was about 7 months old. I thought I might be going crazy. I wondered if Post Partum depression could start so long after. The only time I felt “right” was when I was with her…. the rest of the time I felt awful. About nearly everything. The only two people I thought liked me were my mom and my daughter… and I even wondered if they thought I was doing an ok job. I was so relieved when I realized that my crazy thoughts were because my “friend” had returned…. although I was hoping this was a one time hormonal shift that would NEVER happen again.

So it hasn’t been quite as bad as that first time… and it hasn’t been every time. And I’m learning to cope. I think a large percentage of it is hormones… butΒ I think a good portion of it is just regular mommy anxiety. We all want to be the best at what we are doing. It’s an important job a big deal.

And for mommies, like me, who are used to seeing progress at the end of every work day it can be frustrating to not see that. Some days are just treading water.

So below is the post I wrote 2 months ago…. I didn’t post it because the next day I felt better and it seemed so down. It’s pretty much how I felt yesterday as well…. and I feel better today. But it will help someone else to see that it’s normal to feel this way on occasion. Or maybe it will just help me if someone else comments that I’m not crazy and they feel this way some days too πŸ™‚ So either I’m being selfless or selfish, either way… below is my whiney feelings of inadequacy on a hormonal stressful day …. :

Ugh. <- That is how I feel.
I have now felt this way for the past three days. I’m not sure if there is something misfiring in my head, if its the situation or its some kind of weird post pregnancy hormonal imbalance (can those happen 10 months after baby is born?)

Usually I’m a Glass Half Full kind of girl. Heck, I started this blog with the intention of focusing on the positive, even when I had my momentary negativity bursts. But for the last few days I just feel like a complete total failure… in every category pretty much.

Want to move to Ireland and hide out in a shack by the sea.

I am trying to keep up with work… which I feel like I could do more with. I wonder if I could handle going full time but I hear it is a major undertaking and I’m worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it (especially with what you are about to see below).

I feel like a total failure housekeeping wise. I am not a super neat freak… that gene skipped from my grandmother, over my mother, and apparently over me too… not quite sure where, if anywhere, it landed. I really, REALLY like things to be neat and put away but when it comes down to cleaning something else again or playing with my daughter or working the cleaning seems to come last. Usually I feel like this results in a santitary, although slightly cluttered, home. “Clean enough to be sanitary, messy enough to be a home” is something my grandfather used to say. Lately though I just feel like a failure….Β  I have a tendency to keep things that are meaningful to me. And since I don’t ever want to be on the show Hoarders I try to go through things every so often and downsize. With LA in life I have not been as good about getting to things like that, because I don’t have time. So I’m trying to just get rid of things the first time… I’m trying. Not always successful but I’m working on it.

So while I see projects gathering dust… sometimes literally. I’m also battling bugs. Usually I’m a bug killer of the first degree. If I saw even one bug I would completely bomb the house. Two things have changed this. My husband thinks I could be over doing it and with LA around I have not bombed because I’m worried about the pesticides. We’ve been religious about the border outside and inside, keeping things up etc but there are few mornings I don’t wake up and find one dead somewhere… which makes me feel so dirty. I realize it is most likely because we have a large deck in the backyard and they live there and I need to put more poison down but still. Also, it seems that spiders (my arch nemesis) have decided to launch a full on invasion. I kill them on site and check the corners regularly but they keep turning up. I know this is life in general…. but it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong.

It doesn’t help when two of my closest friends have homes that always (no matter when you drop by!) look like they are ready for their Home and Garden Photo Shoot… and they both have kids! Sigh… inadequecy.

With all of this comes my concern that I’m not doing enough with LA. Am I spending enough time with her, am I too lax with her naptime, should we be doing this or that?… I try to repeat my own advice that I often give to friends which is “If you are worrying about it then you are probably a good mom. Bad moms don’t worry.” But still.

Then, of course, there are the money concerns. We’re making it work. But the summer is tough… birthdays, holidays, the dogs annual check ups, home insurance and other things make it a challenge. Speaking of home insurance it has gone up…. (thank you Rick Scott). And it irritates me because I don’t actually believe they’d really help if we needed them and if they did help they would drop us as soon as humanely possible. So I feel like I’m wasting my money. I have a whole list of “when we have a little extra money we need” and none of it is fun stuff. And I don’t see a reprieve any time soon. I tell myself that there are possible breaks… a promotion for Steve, the lottery, a random stranger we don’t know leaving us suitcases of cash because of a random good deed one of us did, or the publication of my book (of course I’d have to have time to finish writing it first!).

In my previous life I would get a glass of wine, a good book, maybe some chocolate and take a long hot bubble bath. If I still felt crappy I’d take a nap (you can’t worry when you nap). I’d allow myself to mope and after that I’d start doing something. In this life, there is no option for indulging in a mope, no nap and very little time to get things done.

In a cruel twist of fate there is a MAJOR worry gene running rampant through my family. This causes a certain loved one of mine to worry about things that are not of use to anyone. She worries about floods in other states, any disease, any recall, anything. She once called to make sure I was driving with my doors locked because a woman in Ybor had been pulled from her car and raped… and I was no where near Ybor. I know this worrying is out of love but I do not want my life controlled by worrying about things I have no influence over. So then, and here is the cruel irony, I worry about worrying too much!!!

I know this is all pointless and I’m probably not sucking as much as I feel like I am… but this is how I feel right now.

On top of which I feel fat… I feel like I never look nice. I have lost the baby weight and an additional 8 pounds, but it seems that the 10 extra pounds (that were supposed to be lost before I got pregnant) have all migrated and multiplied. So while I’ve lost weight I feel flabbier. I need to work out, but when?

And besides ME feeling all of this I’m terrified that my husband will think I don’t do enough… that he’s judging the house, or that my friends are. I honestly thought when I became a stay at home mom I would be able to take care of baby and keep the house clean. I knew it would be lots of work and not easy…. but still. Maybe it’s the PT job that is the extra ball juggling that makes it tough… maybe I’m just bad at it. But it seems I can only do one or two things well a day. I can be a good mommy and employee but not a good housewife. Or I can be a good housewife and mommy but not a good employee. It’s frustrating bc I’m used to being someone who can do LOTS.

Reading back over it I suppose it doesn’t look so bad… and when I’m not feeling so overwhelmed it seems manageable. I think maybe it’s like how servers get “in the weeds” when you just can’t see the forrest for the trees. You’re in it so deep some days there doesn’t seem a way out. If I think about all I have to do or the time it takes to do it than I feel bogged down. Just taking the time to write this blog makes me feel guilty because there is so much else I need to do. But I recognize that taking 15 minutes to do this makes me feel better…. it’s something I can do for me. I really want to take the time to REALLY write but this at least keeps my wheels turning and all.

So… enough whining… I’m going to pour myself a glass of apple juice, turn on some happy music (Hello Glee!) and get to work while the baby naps!

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Posted September 16, 2011 by etainl in Life, Mommy-hood, New Mom, Stay at Home Mom

13 responses to “Complete Inadequecy or- Normal Mother Feelings

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  1. I believe everyone (even people who are not mother’s) feel the way you are feeling. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like I’m not doing enough and that people judge me when they come over to my house.
    I believe you are a beautiful person inside and out. You are also one of the greatest, most patient mother’s I know. LA is well adjusted, friendly and one of the smartest one year old children I know. You are doing a wonderful job. Not many stay-at-home mom’s can say they have a perfect child, a wonderfully beautiful home and a part time job. You are also a very caring friend. I can only hope that when I eventually have a child that I can accomplish everything you do. Even if I only do half as well as you do, I will consider that a HUGE accomplishment.

    • Thank you Christine… you literally made me cry πŸ™‚ I am so blessed to have such wonderful, supportive friends. Most days I can see all that and I can see that I’m doing my best but there are some days I just feel so down on myself. I don’t know if it’s hormonal (I suspect) or just a normal part of being a mommy. It’s a scary job because you care SO much. Reading this today I feel like it’s manageable but yesterday I just felt so low… I never had such highs and lows before, I do not like it! But I’ll learn to deal πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  2. I feel the same way don’t worry Angel. I have devised a plan though and try to stick to it with regard to cleaning. I made a list of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly chores that need to be done. I use my gmail – tasks to keep track of it and try to keep on schedule. That way things get done and don’t forgotten about. As to doing enough with the kiddo that changes when they can walk they just become more independent and actually play. I do spend time daily to work on reading, numbers, colors or other language skills. It’s all about the schedule and planning. It works! Good luck!

    TN

    • I’d love to see your list… I was looking at Flyelady.com… they have a neat cleaning schedule as well, their goal is just to do a little bit every day. Some days I’m good at keeping up with that, other days it all goes out the window.
      LA is really good about playing and being interactive already… that’s part of the tough part. Since about 6 months moms group and playdates are more for her than for me. She is so social and loves being around other kids. She loves to play with me and do things with me…. If we just stayed home I seem better about sticking to my goals. I get backed up if I try to take her to a playdate or the library or what not… but those are the days we have the most fun and she’s happiest (and sleeps best too! lol)
      I know it’s awful that I’m happy that so many other moms feel the same way, but it does make me feel better πŸ™‚

      • Yes I do a little every day.

        Daily –
        Dishes (putting in dishwasher – I hand wash fragile things and pots and pans – we run the dw every other day or so…so that is putting the clean stuff away every other day as well)
        Wipe down Stove
        Pick up and Put away small stuff (i.e. mail, clothes, kids toys)
        Cooking

        Weekly –
        Laundry
        Sweeping (we don’t have carpet but this would be vacuuming if we did)
        Mopping (kitchen and bathroom)
        Dusting
        Cleaning Bathroom (i.e. wipe down shower, toilet & sink)
        Clean Kitchen (wipe the counters & sink well) – So basically I do one of these per day (except for the sweeping and moping I do on the same day)
        Grocery Shopping (I order most of my food online – meat and veggies I go to a market and buy when M is a daycare)

        So I do one thing a day except for the sweeping and moping I do on the same day. Sometimes I move the items up or down if I have a packed schedule but try to get it done every week. None of these things takes too long – except for the sweeping and Laundry but that is just remembering to keep the machine running. So breaking it down a little each day is the trick or you could spend an entire Saturday doing all the stuff and that’s no fun!

        Bi-Weekly – Change Sheets

        Monthly – Wax Wood Floors (we have old floors that need to be waxed or they get dull – Fred is doing this right now due to the chemicals)

        Quarterly – Wash windows, Clean Stove (inside)

        We have playdates as well + he has daycare (well not really daycare it’s only 3 mornings a week). That’s for him to socialize with other toddlers and to learn new things. It’s really great in the winter for him (esp this year since I will have the NB) he gets his energy out and they do new things with them everyday (+ the hearing French there is good for him). He loves going. I wouldn’t do that with LA for a while though we started M there at 17 months I think. The docs say 2 years old is when they really get the whole playing with others…and I agree + the docs think they catch too many germs if they are too young. I try not to overbook ourselves though. Maybe one big thing per week + all of his school stuff. This way we aren’t too tired.

        It’s all about organization and I am a freak in that department but it really helps to get things done without forgetting or letting things pile up or get out of hand (i.e. huge dust bunnies πŸ˜‰

        Let me know if you have any other questions…

      • That sounds an awful lot like what I try to do. That’s pretty much how my goals look… perhaps it is the part time job that interferes. I’ve read that they say 2 years old is when they really get playing with other children but LA really loves being around the other kids already, she likes tossing a ball back and forth or giving them her toys (she’s really into that right now). She also really wants us to play with us. If I’m trying to work and she’s having an uncooperative day she’ll stand at my leg and bang hte ball on me wanting me to stop and play with her, or she’ll bring cars over and wait for me to stop working to play. Her new thing is standing at the front door with her car, wanting to go out, or banging on the back door wanting to go outside.
        On the days we stay home I can be really organized and get things done… but there always seems to be things that come up that throw everything off. That’s where I’ll start to feel in the “weeds”…. I’ll say things I’m going to do in the morning and by the end of the day surprises have come up that take up the time I had designated for that thing. Or LA won’t nap well or something.
        Cutting coupons and preparing for grocery shopping also takes SO much time and because of all the papers it’s hard to do around LA.

        But it’s really good to hear that it works for you… it’s similar to what I try to do (or what I can do on good days)…. so I’ll just keep at it. I know I’m much better at fitting it all in now than 6 months ago. So maybe in another few months I’ll be even better πŸ™‚

        The other day I decided to keep track of a few days, just for myself… maybe I’ll put them in a post to see!

  3. Please note that the person that worries is not your mother! In saying that….you worry to mucyh!! You are doing an amazing job. Anyone who thinks you are not does not know what they are talking about. It is not easy to do motherhood full time. You are doing it with all of these other obligations as well. Happily Dad does take off some of the responsibilites.Dads do not understand what an emotional toll all day can take, no matter how much you love your baby. Realize that the fact that you never feel like you do enough is what makes you a good Mom. You will never feel like you did enough for your children, I still don’t. You will alwayts wish you could do more….I still do!

    • Nope you are not the gold medal worrier! You may get silver or bronze though πŸ™‚
      Trust me…. you did more than enough for your children. I have big shoes to fill… and it means a lot to me that you thnk I’m doing a good job!

  4. What a timely post this is!!!! I am wallowing in a funk of epic proportions and have been for weeks. I am so sick of feeling on the verge of tears. I relate to almost everything you wrote except I don’t even have a part time job! I feel fat and I’m disgusted with myself. I can’t get a damned thing done. My house doesn’t even have “real” furniture. I can’t tell if I have PPD, weaning depression, SAD, PMS or all 4. There are so many things I want to do and I can’t even remember them long enough to make a list. And what list I do manage to create is so overwhelming I can’t even deal with it. I’m relieved if all I can accomplish is meal planning for the week and keep the clean diapers flowing. I’m just praying that I will emerge from this fog at some point in the foreseeable future, perhaps as Bode becomes more independent.

    Tanya, maybe you could spread the wealth and share your cleaning schedule on your blog πŸ˜‰ I’ve had that (make a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly cleaning schedule) on my to-do list for over a year now. :/ And I can’t use any online task program because inevitably get sucked into Facebook, craigslist, Amazon, random googling…and there goes 45 minutes. OK. The End.

    • I’m sorry you are feeling all that…but I think it’s good that it seems to be a normal “mom” thing to deal with. I have the same struggle with the internet sucking up my time… it’s like a time vacuum! My problem is it’s tough to avoid it because I need to get on the computer to work!
      Meal planning and diapers flowing are two really important things πŸ™‚ And from everything you’ve ever told me about parenting you are a wonderful mom to your two wee ones, which is what really counts, right? πŸ™‚

      • I added a reply to my post. I use gmail’s calendar but you can have a paper one too. I have so many things going on I have to have an electronic one so I can move stuff around without needing a big eraser πŸ˜‰ I like gmail’s functionality too it’s pretty similar to Microsoft’s Outlook that I used to use religiously when I worked. So it works for me. I like the Task idea rather than making Appointments for everything because you check things off and feel you are accomplishing things. But a paper task list is the same check it off when you accomplished it. I get distracted by the internet from time to time too. But little M rarely lets me play around for too long. He will close the laptop and say FermΓ© (closed) πŸ˜‰ But if I am up doing something like cleaning he rarely bugs me or stops me…just when I want to rest or relax haha!

        Good luck ladies let me know if it helps at all! I am a neat freak though…esp right now with the nesting syndrome in full blast πŸ˜‰

        TN

  5. Oh they play even more at 2+ with others. Some don’t even look at you at age 1 or even at age 2. I always think something is wrong with these kids because M was like LA and smiled, laughed and played with others at a very young age. But I know some kids at his daycare who are 2 1/2 who won’t even look at you. And they def don’t play with other kids…they only interact when a toy is taken away and they wrestle for it. So be happy LA is interactive (I know you are). But when she gets older she will play on her own as well or with the pets or with baby # 2 hint hint πŸ˜‰ But I meant that daycare is not usually recommended by docs until 2 years old because of viruses plus they say they don’t get much out of it as well (on average). Just hang in there it gets better…but then you throw baby # 2 in the mix and it starts all over…I’ll let you know how that goes come late October πŸ˜‰

    TN

    • I love hearing about what is coming πŸ™‚ And I can’t wait to hear how throwing Baby#2 in the mix changes things. I’ve been watching Carley’s adventures closely!
      Oh I don’t want to do day care… when she’s 3 or 4 we may do pre-school a couple days a week, but I don’t think daily.
      She is so good at playing on her own while I work (most of the time) that is why sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not doing enough with her.

      I’m trying to take your advice and just focus on daily goals and setting things up for the week. Today we went and walked in the park with some other mommies and then she played with the kiddos at the park. Now she’s napping and I’m working, then cleaning kitchen, starting dinner etc….. I want some more one on one time with her but I know she had a very interactive morning so I don’t have to worry.

      This week I feel like I’ve got this…. it’s just every so often that “I don’t have this” feeling sneaks up on me… I know it’s hormones but wow it really knocks me out! lol

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