help, please?

I absolutely love every bit of them. Let’s start there.

Candle

They are the light of my life and they amuse, appall, challenge and inspire me beyond what I ever dreamed possible. And yet…

And yet maybe because I work with kids all day, too, or maybe because I have only the precious few moments of my daily commute that are kid-less in my entire day or maybe because I single parent two girls 5.5 days per week or perhaps, perhaps because I’m absolutely never alone – even in the shower…

I have very little left to give to them.

We spend our evenings on playdates, or hustling around running errands, or watching horrendous amounts of Curious George and Elmo while I fold laundry and try not to play on my phone. We have occasional dance parties and we read and sing together some, but, on the whole? It’s not what I dreamed or imagined for my family, for my life as a mother. It feels all too often like putting in time. It nearly kills me to play dolls or a board game or (God forbid!) try to do a messy craft. I’m snappy and impatient and I find myself bellowing and sending little girls to their rooms when really? I’m probably the one who needs to go to her room.

I’ve tried to set the alarm a little earlier so that I have half an hour or so to myself in the morning quiet… but it’s so much easier to snooze it when half an hour would feel so good and I’ve only gotten five hours of sleep, anyway…

And here we are. Mommy burnout.

Have you been here? Are you here? Do you have a light you can shine to help me see the way out? Because this? Feels awful. Truly truly awful. And I would love some help.

And a hug.

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14 thoughts on “help, please?

  1. Ohhhhh, Elle. Yes, I’ve been there. So much of that time is spent just getting by, which feels tragic but it’s the reality and it’s okay. Be kind to yourself. That picture we had in our heads of what we thought it would be like? I don’t think it’s really like that for anyone. It’s both more amazing and more tedious than we ever imagined, right?

  2. I don’t know what you are talking about – BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah…it’s not easy. That’s why I do what I’ve got to do to get through. If that means popcorn for dinner – oh well. If it means the kids stay up late watching a movie on a Friday night while I hide in my room – oh well. We all live…and live a little better. Hugs friend. Big huge hugs.

    • Yes, I just need to be better about going to sleep earlier so I can get up – morning is entirely at my disposal as my house sleeps late, I just have to not join them. Which often feels impossible – another area I need better self care in. Go to bed, Elle! If you see me on twitter after 10, shout that at me!

  3. Oh my sweet friend. It feels like survival mode, doesn’t it? I guess that’s because it is =) I don’t have any tips or tricks. I can only offer solidarity. In those wee hours, or when the little face is creeping around the shower curtain, or when you are actually using the bathroom with a toddler on your lap… {I hope I’m not the first one who’s had to do that} know that I’m doing the same thing, even wishing for a minute alone. And then we’ll get together – though not enough – and drink wine and miss those kids. I love you friend.

    • Love you, too! Thank you – it feels better to know someone’s with me in spirit (& in never going to the bathroom alone, let alone with an empty lap!). And yes – you + wine sounds like heaven. Soon.

  4. Oh, Elle! I can relate to so many of these feelings! Kids are resilient (that’s what I keep telling myself). Hugs to you, and to me, and to all the mamas out there that sometimes feel less than adequate. We’re doing a great job…we just set ridiculously high standards. :)

  5. I read these responses and look at the times they were posted and see where all this comes out and that’s mamas staying up late and getting too little sleep just to have time to themselves and I remember that so well. I remember being exhausted and yearning for sleep and yet the moment he shut his eyes for good, I dragged myself off to just sit, by myself, with my thoughts and no little hands touching me.

    I can’t say anything that doesn’t sound horribly cliched; you know it all already. It IS a season, it WILL end, you WILL shower by yourself soon enough. You KNOW it will pass but right now it just. feels. lousy.

    I love you, friend.

  6. Not a mama, but I have compassion for you and what so many moms who are in the thick of parenting little ones are going through. You can always, always call me and I can come over and do a craft with them. Did you know that there are tons of crafts I’d love to do with kids? You can take a nap or just sit and play on your phone.

    For what it’s worth: you’re an excellent mother. It’s totally evident. Effective parenting looks different– you are spending time with your girls and playing with them in a way that doesn’t exhaust you. The best is all we can give.

    <3

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