Thursday, May 16, 2013

For the Days When Things Are Rough.

Today was apparently Someone Must Be Screaming At All Times Day. Normally, I can handle those sorts of days remotely well, but it's been a long week month six months, with not a lot of sleep mixed in. I knew Justin had to work late and I had to do the whole dinner & bedtime thing solo, and I was just feeling desperate. Desperate for quiet. Desperate to not be touched. Desperate for some recognition or appreciation or sleep.

We don't have a double stroller, so when I'm feeling touched-out and cooped-up like I was today, getting in the car is really the only option. So I grabbed the kiddos, and we went for a drive. Since just after college, when I'm most angsty, I tend to listen to either Sublime, or a little Christian band called Byword. But at this point in my life, it's easier to forgo the Sublime, and not have to worry about when my kiddo might start singing "Wrong Way." So. I listened to I Cry. On repeat. I drove for a half an hour--to church and back three or four times.

And at one point during the drive, before they both calmed down and Becca finally fell asleep (also before I turned the music up really loud and started singing at the top of my lungs),  I found myself thinking, 'I kinda understand those moms who just run away. I always used to hear about them, and wonder how someone got to be that crazy, but I think now I know.' 

Then, I thought, 'Um. That's some pretty extreme thinking. This is probably one of those things that I should never ever, under any circumstances tell someone that I actually thought.' And yet, here I am writing it for all the world to see a few hours that went well, clearly. No, but really. I know I'm not the only mom who has felt like she doesn't necessarily want to run away forever, but that a day or two might be nice. God forbid we say it out loud though, because then we may seem ungrateful. Because there are so many people who have it worse. And that's true, of course. But sometimes I wish that a friend had pulled me aside back when I was pregnant with Becca and whispered, "It will be amazing. But it will also be really really exhausting and hard. The two aren't mutually exclusive. It's okay to not love every second of every day."

So this is me, pulling you aside. It's hard. There is a tiredness unlike any tiredness I've ever experienced. At this point, I'm so tired that even a good night's sleep is a curse, because rather than rejuvenating me, it only serves to remind me just how tired I am.

There is laundry and cleaning that never gets done because 33% of your day is spent feeding one child, 33% of your day is spent trying to toss together meals, cleaning up pee and/or spit-up, doing laundry, and have a coherent conversation with your spouse, and the other 33% is spent playing with the toddler child, trying to make up for the other 66% of the day that you weren't readily available. And yet somehow, when the toddler is asked what she knows about mothers during the Children's Message at church on Mother's Day, she will STILL reply, "My mom NEVER plays with me. She is always too busy."

{Yes, I cried.}

The point is...sometimes, it's hard. Sometimes you may feel under appreciated. Under dressed. Under loved. Under caffeinated. Under prepared. Sometimes you may feel like you're in it alone. And when we feel like we're in it alone, like everybody else has a handle on things and can seem to manage both basic housekeeping and hygiene just fine while I'm over here swinging through Taco Bell for lunch and trying to remember when the last time I took a shower was...when we feel alone that way, it's harder. You're not alone. Whether at 3am or while your toddler is melting down in the middle of Target. There are days that suck, and that's okay to feel and say. 

There are SO MANY good moments. We all know this. But it still doesn't mean that there won't be long, hard days where you feel like nothing is going right and you just want to crawl back in bed. That's why the brilliant article "To Parents of Small Children" resonates with so many of us. It's the truth. There's good. There's hard. They often co-exist in this thing called parenting. And that's okay.

There's days where I lose it. Thankfully, there's grace, laughter, smiles, an occasional margarita, and moments that make your heart feel so full it might burst mixed in as well.

If you're in the good, soak it up and file it away for the harder days in the future. If you're in the hard, take a breath and do what you've got to do to get through the day. However you're feeling today? Just know that you're not alone.


  1. big hugs, mama. you're doing an AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING job. it's hard sometimes with just one 3yo. I cannot even begin to fathom adding an infant to the mix. I can't even begin to imagine how tired you are when I know how tired I am with just one. I'm so sorry it's been rough but you're SO amazing, really and truly, and those girls are so very blessed to have you and you them.

  2. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. I think we have all had moments when we feel like this. I suffered some ppd after our second was born and totally thought how I could understand moms doing certain things while they were feeling like that. It is all-consuming and so scary.

    We just had our 3 rd baby and the hospital had me fill out some paperwork on ppd and since I had experienced it a little I checked one of the boxes. A couple days later the office called to follow up and then just a week ago the hospital called. It was great and I was thankful to be able to tell them how great it was going this time around.

  3. Bravo, mama. Well said.

    I didn't deal with sleep issues but I did/do have a daughter who is extremely high maintenance. Just keeping her happy is a full time job. There were many many manymanymany days when I just wanted to go somewhere else. One day Jim had the kids while I ran an errand. It ended up being really quick and on my way home I thought "I don't want to go home." It killed me to admit it but at the time I desperately needed some time away.

    You're doing great. You know this is just a season in life. We're just now getting to the point of some freedom over here and I'm feeling like my old self again. There is a light at the end of the tunnel :)

  4. I love your honesty. Did Lizzy really say that? holy crap. These kids, they literally say things ALL THE TIME that flabbergast me. Sigh. You are a good momma, and I am knee deep in these days lately.


  5. A friend of mine had a baby about 18 months before Isaac was born. When her son was just a few months old, she said, "I totally get those moms in the news who shake their babies to death" and I thought, "Holy crap. I cannot believe she just said that." Then I had Isaac. And I went back to her and said, "I totally get it now, too."

    Right now, Miriam is on my nerves more often than she's not, so this post totally speaks to me. I actually have a draft saved about it that I wasn't sure I wanted to post. But I think I will now. :) Thank you for sharing.

  6. I was going to say the SAME thing Kristal said. before I had Ronin, I couldn't imagine how someone could be angry or desperate enough to shake a baby. and then, when he wouldn't sleep for the 83rd night in a row, I had to wake my sleeping husband to hand off Ronin and tell him "dude, I get it. I get why people shake babies."

    anyway. I love this post so much. I could definitely use a one or two day run away time as well. I think the hardest part is feeling like we are in it alone and being unappreciated. being a mom is HARD and the days are long and each day is a crap shoot. but the best thing about the blogging community is the support we can provide to each other. so here's a big hug from the East coast and a toast of my margarita too. ♡

  7. Theo is almost one... I can't remember not being tired. It is exhausting and awesome - and I love what your friend told you - that it doesn't have to be both at the same time.

  8. Meredith- I NEEDED to read this. Thank you for being so honest. Lately, there have been more days than not that I wish I could just go... anywhere, all by myself. Thank you for being so honest. I wish more moms could be honest. That way we can spend more time supporting each other than trying to make it look like we have it all together.

  9. We've been in this state too. This is so beautiful and honest, and you write so well. I hope that this week is off to a better start for you.

  10. Not alone in the least.

    My FIL's mom left. Like literally - dropped her kids off at church and never came back. I used to think she must have just been an awful person, but now I think she must have been horribly depressed and completely in despair. She still made a wrong decision, but now after having two kids, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. I kind of understand a little more.

    It is so worth it, but it IS so hard. And it is so lonely.

  11. oh man that's rough what lizzie said. What kids don't understand is that dinner doesn't cook itself nor do groceries magically appear and the house cleans itself. Your girls are so cute!

  12. I am in love with this post, Mere. One of your best, most honest, most raw ones yet. It's SO okay to have bad days/weeks/months. And to be able to admit it? Love you for that. Bravo.

  13. It is horrible, horrible, horrible sometimes and then we get those life affirming moments that melt us and make us do it again and again. I heard this in a movie, wish I could remember exactly which one, but it just fit. My little boys are 4 and 2 and it is hard despite the fact that I love them like crazy. Most of us would never trade our lives with our kids but there are days when I can totally understand those moms that want to run away too. Most of the time, I feel I could never say this to any single mom I know bc they would judge me, and I know we all feel the same. Hearing you say this, feels great for me. I feel the same.

  14. I hope things look up soon. And if it's any consolation. Brigham's first year was one of the most difficult of my life. I have never known a tired like that. But it does get better :)

  15. Word. All of it. Which on the days that are rough (our mornings and bedtimes are awful!) makes me kinda (omgdidijustsaythat) ready to get to work but of course, then i miss them when i get there. Sigh. I have a new appreciation for both my grandparents who had 6 kids each. Then again, it was a different time back then or what? I have no idea how they survived! They are SAINTS in my book.

  16. Truth. I felt SO much like this the other day-- wanting to run away. It's HARD to NOT feel that way, when a gentle escape is all I need. Hugs to you momma, and thanks for your honesty.


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