Saturday, September 17, 2005

Mommy burnout

Disclaimer: this is not a happy happy joy joy post. If you prefer to keep the illusion that mommies love every minute of their every day, please stop reading.

That said, I’ve been having a rough few days lately. To be fair, yesterday was good, but most of my week was tough. And the thing is that I really didn’t have any particular reason for them to have been bad days. Jonathan was fussy in the afternoons – but he’s always fussy in the afternoons. I didn’t get as much accomplished as I wanted to – but there’s nothing new about that. But for some reason I’d come to the end of my day and just be so sick of everything. I didn’t want to sing one more song, I didn’t want to make the rest of dinner, I certainly didn’t want to wash the dishes, and I didn’t want to carry Jonathan around for one single minute longer.

To make matters worse, the fact that I felt like that also made me feel very, very guilty.

I work so hard to be a good mom (good wife/good person)…to balance housework with playing with Jonathan, to stay involved with my friends but invest enough time in Gabe, to remember to talk to God throughout the day, to create a happy, restful home for our family. But I feel like I just run out of energy to do it. How can I be a good wife when I’m so exhausted at the end of the day that all I want to do is pass off my child to another set of arms and go read a novel? How can I be a good mom when all I want to do is cry because Jonathan is crying and I can’t make him stop? How can I be a good friend when my entire life revolves around this tiny little person and my days are consumed with details that said friends cannot understand?

All my best convictions, resolutions, and attempts at being the kind of person and mom and wife that I want to be, seem to be biting the dust.

End unhappy post.

Today was a good day. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day too. :)


Amber said...

I'd give you a hug right now if I could - believe me, I understand exactly where you're coming from. I found that telling myself "this too shall pass" was quite helpful in trying to maintain perspective. The age that Jonathan is at is a really hard one (although, really, they all have their challenges, but I remember that age being particularly difficult) because they are just starting to really want to do things and notice things, but they are for the most part completely unable to do so. And they are so much bigger that it gets harder to carry them around all the time... which just makes Mommy more worn out and less able to keep up everything else.

There is no doubt about it - being a full-time Mommy & Homemaker is really hard and wearying work, and unfortunately it has a tendency to be rather isolating as well.

I had something else I was going to say, but I got distracted by the laundry and I've completely forgotten. I think it had something to do with how this new path is a huge adjustment, and it really takes time to figure out how to make it all work. Sometimes some parts of it are going to slip more than you like, but gradually it does seem to get easier... and then I guess you have another baby and you have a whole set of adjustments! *grin*

Linds said...

You know, my mom tells me that she used to go into the laundry room and scream when she felt overwhelmed. Maybe that'll help. :)

In all honesty though, Em, it seems you're upset because you're expecting superhuman strength of yourself. You're so good at so much stuff, you might have forgotten that you're human! What you're doing is exhausting, and there's no reason you shouldn't be tired at the end of the day, or wish that you didn't have to cook and clean on top of everything you did all day. Sounds to me like Gabe's being good about helping out, and you shouldn't feel guilty for wanting him to. That's why the whole parenting thing is a two person job. At least. :)