Friday, August 16, 2013

DONE. but not really.

I'm gonna switch gears a little and bring up something that has been really hard for me lately....let me re-phrase...really terrible....actually really really depressing. Pretty much everyone that reads my blog that I know of has small children, and so I'm sure most of you can relate. My intention is not to complain, but after reading this article I just had to laugh and then cry because it struck so many familiar chords. This post is mainly just a good way for me to get some thoughts out. Whether or not I decide to "publish" it...well, I don't know yet.

I've been having a very difficult time with my children these last few weeks months. Between tantrums, teething, and what I assume is normal 3 year old behavior, I'm just DONE. Except unlike any other job, I can't just quit and go do something else. I am a mom forever.

Not to mention, I have a ton of personal issues too. But I won't go into all that right now.
Yesterday was one of those "please just let this day be over already"... I was roaming around Target with the kids while Jonathan ran an errand down the street. My goal was to find some fall/winter clothes for the kids because they have like none and the summer is going by so fast. Since I don't have a car at home, I never get out to the store or anywhere else. I rarely have time to look for kids clothes and I am super picky about what I like so it takes me a while to shop. The whole time I browsed through clothes, T was yelling "I wanna play with the toys!" Oh yeah, I said in my head, let's go do the thing you NEVER get to do at home...and I'll just spend my precious time watching you make a mess in the store so I can clean it up when you've decided to stop- which will be never, so when I pry you away as you scream that I'm the worst mom ever. Then Charlotte starts to grab every article of clothing she can get her chubby little hands on, clearing the entire shelf and making a huge pile on the ground in front of our cart. This continued for the next 20 minutes or so. I nearly lost it until finally Jonathan met up with me there and took them to the car while I checked out.

Now..let me just say that these kinds of scenarios happen ALL the time and this was nothing out of the norm, but I was already tired-already stressed-already fed up and I wanted to just go home and shut the door behind me. When I got to the check out, I dug through my wallet to find my Target card that saves us 5% on every purchase. I couldn't find it, so of course I grumbled out loud "Those darn kids go through my wallet all the time...they probably took it out and used it as a chew toy or something..." The cashier just stood there, all pristine and judge-y (you know what I'm talking about...) but I didn't really care what she though of me. I told her I couldn't find the card so could she please just look me up with my phone number or something?

"Um, no. I'm sorry. We can't do that." she said as she beamed a smile.
", that's fine..."
"But if you bring it back within 10 days we can give you that discount at customer service."
 "If I bring back the receipt or the card?"
"The card."
"Oh..okay, so if I miraculously find the card that my kids stole out of my wallet, I can get the discount?"
"Yes." still smiling. "I'm sorry."
I bet.

"Ok. Thanks...." then as she proceeds to scan my items I say, kind of jokingly,
"Don't ever have children, if you don't already." I sort of chuckle and she looks at me, suddenly very serious and says,

"Actually, I have an almost 2 year old whom I love very much. You're telling me not to have another child?"

I didn't know what to say, so I just tried to smile and thanked her, then left. I could hear her and the other young, snobby cashier behind her talking about me. As I walked to the car I thought, Oh? You has a wee little toddler?Whoop de frickin do...just wait about 6 months and your life will be hell. And if you do have another, and I hope you do, you better humble up. Parenthood won't be peaches for long.

I got into the car consumed in my secret loathing and sarcasm, and the kids yelled at each other the whole way home. Nights like this have become normal for me. And I hate it.

I hate the looks that I get in public from couples that don't have children. I can just imagine their thoughts: "That will never be us..we will never be crazy parents who yell at their kids..we will never give our kids fast food..we will never let them watch that much tv..we will never use bribery to get our kids to leave the toy section happily..we will never let our kids leave the house half-naked and dirty.." the list goes on.

Honestly- I never thought I would be that mom, either. But everything changes when you become a parent. EVERY. SINGLE. THING.

It could just be me, thinking that they are judging- but I kind of doubt it. I can tell when I'm being looked at and talked about, and it seems to be happening a lot these days.

For example, our apartment complex has a pool. The rule is to shower before you swim. One night when we went I decided to just get in the water without getting my hair wet because, let's face's hard enough to get one shower in per day when you're a mom. If I showered then I would have to shower AGAIN when I got home, and that's THREE showers. Ain't no one got time for that. As I'm getting in, this little girl says in her bossy voice- "Did you shower? You need to shower before you get in. That's the rule!" I said, "K, thanks..." and ignored her. It turns out that her mom was the manager and was sitting right there watching the whole thing, then the mom turned to her friend and said out loud so I could hear "She obviously knows the rule, she just doesn't care." And then, no joke, she glared at me the entire time. anyway... this isn't really parenting related but its just another case of being judged by someone that has NO idea what, or who, they're talking about.

Why can't people just get over themselves? Do they really have nothing better to do than mock those mothers that are trying their very best not to lose their minds and strangle their children? It takes every ounce of patience I have sometimes to ignore my kids screams and whines and just get them to their beds safe and sound and under the impression that I am not the least bit angry, because I hate sending them to bed without hearing "I love you" and feeling that they are loved. Even if I am fuming on the inside, I try really hard not to explode until after I shut their bedroom door. I know I have parenting issues and I try to work them out but it doesn't help at all when I feel put down by "better-than-thou's".

When my son was 16-18 months old I remember thinking, "Wow this is so easy...I can totally do this. I can't wait to have another!" And then reality soon set in. The demands got bigger, my energies depleted, and the safety net that was Rexburg disappeared into the distance.

As I write this, I realize that I can't easily recall in detail the events of the last few weeks...I think that this is how I keep going. Somehow, after my world turns upside down and my eyes are dry from crying, I forget why I was upset in the first place. There's usually some little, wonderful event that happens and helps me forget. Charlotte's hand on my foot as she's watching a movie, or Talmage's excitement after he draws a picture of a "smiley face pig". Sometimes it's an article about the struggles of parenthood and how none of us moms are alone. Sometimes it's a prayer. And often, it's the love and empathy that I feel from Heavenly Father as I hug my child and plead for their forgiveness.

I love them....I love them more than my own life. I sometimes stay up all night in tears for how much I love them and how blessed I feel to be their mom. So why am I also so annoyed by them???? Did I actually consider sending my son home with my mother-in-law last week when she was here? Why yes, yes I did.

I don't know what else to say...except that I need to stop being a hypocrite and judging others for judging me. So many times I've had thoughts such as,

Wow, you've been a parent for an entire 6 months? You must be an expert!
You're so pretty and all-together...I can't wait till you have kids and get fat.
Go on and enjoy this newlywed stage. It will die as soon as you get pregnant. 

I's bad. I'm not any better for judging them, so I really should just stop. If anyone has suggestions on how to be more humble...or how to control silently judging others...send them my way, please.

I'm going to try my hardest to love my children the way they deserve, but I know the difficulties won't stop. There will still be dark days...lonely days. There will still be judge-y looks from people at church, and in the store, and at the freaking pool. But since there's nothing I can do about that, I'm just gonna try to control my own thoughts and feelings. Here we go...


Kelly and Tyler said...

AMEN- you and i need to be neighbors. seriously. we are on the same wave length :)

Markie said...

I'm not on quite the same level as you yet because one of my children can't walk yet, or talk, and all the good stuff. But I can still very much relate. The worst is when you feel judgments coming from your own family and close friends... "You mean you actually let her wear her bathing suit all day every day?" "Um yes, she loves it, so why not?" I hate having to justify my way of parenting. My children are very much loved and their needs are met, everything else is superfluous, right? I saw someone's status the other week of a girl that doesn't have kids that said something to the effect, "I always feel so bad for children when they are on leashes, I can't believe mothers can even do that..." Blah blah blah. Now I've never used one, but I don't have a runner on my hands (yet). I just wanted to say, "I'd rather know where my child was, then lose them." But I didn't because I didn't want to hurt her feelings. But I wish I had. I don't have the guts that you have yet. I'm still too scared to do a blogpost on it (mainly because it might offend family members). Even my blogpost about Ellie going nuts (the one called Wild Child) I was hesitant to post because I knew it would make me seem like a mom that didn't pay attention to my child. But I thought it was funny. So I did it anyway, it was a big step for me. I know this is getting long, but I just want to say one more thing... I mean this from the bottom of my heart, you are an amazing mother. I was just showing my MIL your blog and all the amazing and cute, crafty things you do and how I wish I could do them. I feel out of place sometimes because I'm just not that way. I'm not a great cooker (not even closer), or sewer, or anything in the domestic area really. But you know what? It's not hard for me to just appreciate you. I love your talents; they motivate me. They don't make me (that) jealous, they just make me want to be a better mom like you. I hope you know I mean every word. And that is my key to not judging other mothers. Your kids are lucky to have you and Jonathan. And I'm grateful to know you. I THINK I'M FINALLY DONE. Sending you lots of motherly love vibes through this computer screen.

The Garlands said...

I don't know exactly how you feel as I only have Kenneth, but there are still days that juggling school, Kenneth, and all the things it takes to run an apartment overwhelming. I know personally I have felt judged by others especially some family members. I personally have switched to more of do what works best for you and your kids. My mom always tells me to pray for others to help from feeling judged and with dealing with anyone that's making me feel like life is tough. I too like Markie think you are a great mother. Also I find focusing on those good moments makes the tough times easier to bare. Feel free to text me or call me whenever you need a mom that can relate.

Christy Bracken said...

Yeah Linds you always know just when to blog about frustrating mommy stuff when I'm feeling the same way! The last few months my patience have been non existing and I loose it really bad with my kids, like to the point where I say I am never having another kid. I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes and that I should admit myself into a hospital so I can get a break lol. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way haha love you and keep up the good work!!

Chevron andLace said...

I hate it when I have that feeling of wanting to run away. I always get so down on myself for even thinking it. I think I'm a bad mom because I don't want to be around my child anymore and I wish that I could run away, and then I feel even worse because I could never run away from her. It's a very complex and emotional feeling, and to be honest, I haven't learned to deal with or get over it yet. It's very hurtful.
I think that a lot of times people aren't really judging us as much as we think they are. I think we need to remember that any judging that goes on in their narrow-minded minds is just a blurp on the timeline. Seriously. Think about the times you've seen someone that you do not know in any way doing something you don't agree with. You have a thought, then you walk out of the store, or get in your car and it's done. You never really think of it again. Just remember that the only reason they're judging you is because they don't know. Have compassion on them, even pity them for not knowing what you do because they do not have the experience that you do and just remember that we're all at our own levels. And always assign good intentions rather than ill. Even if you're 99.9% positive that they are big meanies, just assume that they have good intentions. That's what my mom always taught me and I have always tried to do. It's harder than it seems, but it really does make you feel better.
Thanks for your post, Lindsey. You have a real knack for writing honestly and genuinely. Makes it a joy to read!

Sue//Chevron and Lace