Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Glass is Half-Empty

What is my effing problem?

I have been reading all these posts about "Mother's Day was so sweet. My kids gave me hand-made cards and said "I love you Mommy" and we just had a wonderful day."

Oh, barf.

My mother's day included me driving all 5 kids to church by myself, and locking the brakes on the van in the middle of the street so I could turn around and yell at them. At 9am. So, off to a good start, right?

After church, the kids complained about having to do the dishes. They fought with each other. They asked me to find my Gameboy, find my wooden sword, find my shoes. For dinner, I fixed Hamburger Helper and I didn't even sit down with my kids to eat.

I'd say today was pretty par for the course, as most Sundays go. Texan Papa has to work 12:30-11:00 on Sunday so he's gone the ENTIRE day. He actually took off today until 3:30 because I started crying at church, and when he asked why I told him that I was so sad about the rest of the day. I knew it would involve kids fighting and staring at the tv and making huge messes that I would trip over. It would mean toddler temper tantrums and me making the meals and 5 baths, 5 teeth brushing orders, and probably 15 times I'd have to say, "Stay in bed! Quit talking! Go to sleep already!!!!"

Those extra 3 hours he was home were good. But still, every single need any child had, they came to me. "Mom can I..." GO ASK YOUR FATHER.

I read the other "glass-is-half-full" moms blogs and I think, "I bet they have a sink full of dirty dishes too. I bet her kids fight too. I'm sure her floor needs vacuuming." But for some reason I can't just allow today to be good. Is anything enough? Yes, I got the hand-made card. Yes, I got the flower in potting soil with marker on the terra cotta pot. I got hugs. I got surprises.

Maybe it's a state of mind. But I can't help but think that this is somehow my own doing. If I made the kids pick up more often, they would be more in the practice of doing it and not resent it so much when I asked. If I paid closer attention to them, they wouldn't be begging me to play with them just for something to do... they'd be longing to get some alone time of their own.

This really isn't a pity party. I'm not saying, "ooh, poor me." I'm saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But really, there's gotta be times when the other side of the fence looks at their own grass and says, "Yep, our grass IS pretty green and we love it here, by-golly."


I guess the thing that I struggle with is that other women seem to enjoy motherhood so much. In contrast, I just seem to be so exhausted and so angry all the time. The only time I'm the least bit fresh and happy is when my kids aren't around for a while, like just before they come home from school and the little ones are napping. I mean, what does that say about me? Am I to come to the conclusion that parenthood is just not suited for some people, and they'd be smart to simply avoid it.

Uh, too late.

I don't want to be angry. I don't want to be sad, or tired. But, when my kid starts yelling at me because I won't give him extra computer time, I'm not going to put on a smile and fart rainbows. I'm definitely not the time to calmly say, "Now, there there. How does that make you feel?" I want him to toe the line and grow up, and I'll tell him so - quite possibly in my not-so-inside voice.

So, please tell me, green-grass mommies, have you ever felt unhappy about your kids or your family? I don't mean that you had a fight with someone. I mean, have you ever felt like "I don't want to be in this family anymore."?

It's awful lonely here. I'm sure I'm not alone, but it still feels lonely. 'Cause, ya know, there isn't exactly a facebook fan page for "I hate spending time with my kids". It's not really something us moms want to publicize.

Mommies? any one???


Wym said...

I love your Mother's day post. I feel you sister! Word. I'm visiting by way of the Screwed up Texan and I am going to follow you.

Melissa said...

I vacuumed today. yeah. and then I got tire dof my husband bugging me about what I wanted for dinner even though I had already told him 3 times, so I put the kids in the car and drove to get it myself. because he had a primal need to shopvac his car. . .today.

yeah I have 2 kids I love, and there were some great moments today, but let's be honest, they whined and I spent the majority of the day cleaning up after them and asking my hubs to keep to the promise to stay off the computer for the day. what most moms want for mother's day is to go somewhere where they aren't anyone's mother for a few hours.

carina said...

I think you're normal. I love my three boys and wouldn't trade them for anything, but more often than not I am completely spent by the end (middle) of the day and carry the inevitable guilt of too many short fuses and rolling of the eyes when my very sweet 3 year old asks me to play. Days filled with time outs and toys taken away and too many loads of laundry. I try very hard to focus on the positive and try to remember the very true cliche of "the days are long but the years are short" and trust that the little punks are gonna take care of mama one day. Or at least do something without being asked. So my long-winded answer is: yes, it's hard. They drive me crazy. But the next moment I want to kiss them and squeeze them. I am thinking this is the tension most mamas live in?

Gigi said...

Completely and totally normal. And I'm convinced that a great majority of those - oh life is always so great and wonderful moms - are either lying or on some kind of happy pills.

Maggie S said...

Thanks for being honest. I am so ready for real. No one in my family did anything for Mother's Day. We made it up as I decided what I wanted to do next. Including my nap and the groceries and cleaning the kitchen and folding laundry... myself. I hope none of our friends think we are green grass people. Today I have to get up and try to educate the people who are mad at me because people outside the family wished me a happy Mother's Day.

A.Marie said...

I'm right with you on this one...I do not like Mother's Day...for some reason, I spend alot of the day feeling lousy. I think I just have too high of expectations and I am always disappointed! Anyway, I think that next year, I am going to just ignore the day totally!

Jen said...

There were times yesterday that I wanted my family to just go away.

I think that's just normal no matter that day that the calender says

Karen said...

You are normal. My kids are grown and they tell me to stop apologizing for all the yelling and ranting I did while they were growing up. They say I wasn't as bad as I think I was and that they turned out fine.

Kerry Neville Bakken said...

You are totally within the range of normal Mom irritation. At one point yesterday, when my kids were climbing all over me, I just wanted to shake them off. My body, I wanted to say, is nothing mine anymore? But then I gave in, hugged them back and all was restored.

Stopping by from SITS

Buffy said...

I choose to believe all those green grass mommies don't want to face up to reality no their own blogs and post what you just post. Bravo to you because I'm absolutely 100% positive, all mothers have feelings like this at one time or another - whether they want to admit it or not. I spent my day working my butt off outdoors trying to get my house ready for graduation. Believe me, when you get to that point with your kids, you'll look back and wonder where it all went...and no matter if you had a bad day or a good day, it will all have meant something to you and your kids.

Emily said...

I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. It is a lonely feeling...I know, b/c I've been there too. I'm a total yeller at my kids. It's rough and every day I make a commitment to yell less and almost everyday I fail. Keep trying and striving to be the best mommy you can's really all we can do!

Amy O'Connor said...

Oh wow! You totally summed up my Mother's Day yesterday. No, my hubby didn't have to work, but he did sleep in until almost 1:00 which did NOT make for a happy momma. One of the few things keeping me sane yesterday was thinking of my good friend who has to visit her daughter's grave on Mother's Day. Made me feel a little more grateful for having to pick up those messes.

Angie said...

We love being Mommies and we love our kids, but lets face it, it's a tough job, and there is NO day off. Yes, it is normal to feel refreshed after a few hours to yourself! Is it not that way with a job outside your home? Do you not feel refreshed after a weekend off?

Someone commented about their kids crawling all over them, and wondering if nothing including their body is theirs anymore? Ha! I don't think I've been to the bathroom by myself since 1991!

Ms. Understood said...

You. Are. Real. I like that.

Stopping by from SITS.

Bridgett said...

When Sophia was born I had post partum depression so bad I thought I'd made a HUGE mistake in becoming a mom--the other two newborns weren't nearly so hard, but I'm still mentally exhausted by the time Mike walks in the door, just from having to answer Maeve's questions. and Leo is still waking up 3+ times a night.

My mother's day? I wanted Mike to just take them away. Didn't happen. Mother's Day means "spend time with Mother". Sigh.

Andrea@shopbyog said...

My kids always fight on Mother's Day and want to buy toys for themselves when my hubby takes them shopping for me...ugh! Please enter our giveaway. maybe it will make up for a less than perfect Mother's Day!

Marissa said...

So nice to read this said what most of us feel A LOT of the time! I totally "lose it" several times a day and like another comment I read, we NEVER have time off from being Mommies, so I hope "losing it" is normal?! I tell myself I will relax and not let it get to me, but it always does. I'm sure if I listened to myself one day, I'd feel even worse

Jennifer said...

Completely 100% normal. This morning my BFF sent me a txt about how her mother's day sucked and txt'd her about how David woke up late and doesn't care if he makes me late to work because he's always on time and she txt'd back about how her husband will mow his mom's yard, but not theirs so she has to hire someone. Then she wrote, "our lives suck." And I responded, "no, they really don't. We just can't seem to be happy." For real. Some days just suck.

Frogs in my formula said...

You don't have a problem. Mother's Day is a day of forced expectations and let's be honest, children do not always live up to our expectations. Heh.

I liked this post a lot.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Stopping from SITS! I think your sounds like a normal one to me.

Jenny said...

I completely agree with you. There are times that I cry because I feel like all I do is yell at my kids. I actually got mad at my husband on Mother's Day because he didn't do anything special for me and since my kids are too young to really express their appreciation, I feel he should have. Hang in there, there are times that this is all worthwhile, I am sure you will have a reminder just around the corner!

Stopping in from SITS.


LceeL said...

Normal. That's what you are. Normal - and in unusual circumstances. You get little or no help from your husband because of his job. That's not a criticism - it's an observation. In many ways, it's like being a Single Mom.

And that's a hard row to hoe.

Just know that you're normal. The fact that you're not in prison speaks to how well you're handling the situation.

Cheryl said...

Please. I just told my 4 year-old that I don't want to play dolls with her because I don't like it. Which is not really the truth. The truth is it BORES ME TO TEARS. But I know I should do it anyway and I"m sure I'm damaging her in some way. We all have days we can't stand our kids. Those who say they don't are either lying or are on something that I'd like to get a sample of. The good thing is the kids usually do something that is just so sweet that they earn another day on the planet.

Over from SITS

Wendy said...

Go back and read my mother's day post from last year. It's my url and then


The point of it was basically, "all I want for mother's day is to be away from my kids".

I only have TWO kids. You have FIVE. Five! Five is a LOT! Of course you get tired & irritable and annoyed.

My biggest piece of advice? Stop doing it all. You're only raising kids whose future spouses will be super annoyed with you. It takes a lot of time in the beginning, but there is no reason why you should be picking up after five kids by yourself. Everyone but the littlest is capable of helping, and she isn't far from it. Is she walking yet? If she is walking, she can help.

The biggest thing I do is make piles just outside the room I'm cleaning up - particularly the family room where we spend a lot of time. Each kid has to come put away their own pile. Sometimes I make them put away MY stuff, too. When they whine I say, "I pick your crud all the time. You can help me, too." I also tell them that the more they whine, the more they have to do. Other times I just bark orders. "Cowboy! pick up all the shoes in this room! Take them to the bedroom of the person they belong to! Dolly! Pick up all the toys! Moveit Moveit Moveit!"

It is really hard to start this but once you establish it as the norm, they will accept it. Put those kids to work! When my kids fight I give them heinous stuff to do. They figured it out quick, too. This is one thing I picked up from my dad. I know a lady whose husband is a part-time coach and he makes fighting kids do athletic stuff, like run back & forth in the yard & do crab walks and pushups and things. I'm going to try that. AWESOME.

Anna See said...

Mother's Day can be just as bad as Valentine's Day. Aargh. Sorry I'm just getting to blog reading on Thurs or I would have sent you a hug sooner!

litanyofbritt said...