Monday, July 28, 2008


I try to stay organized. I try to keep on top of things. But some days, no matter what I do, its not enough.

The mess spreads beyond acceptable borders. Rooms that should be clean aren't and the ones that should look "lived in" look like federal disaster areas. Bunny is like a hurricane during the day, leaving a trail of dinosaurs other assorted animals in her wake. If she follows me into another room, the chaos also follows.

I try to pick up the messes we make each day. And then I try to do one more thing, laundry, vacuuming or something, to stay on top of the clutter. But there is not enough time, only nap time and after bed. And I am only one person. I need help, professional help, but any help will do.

But there are times, like today, when I cannot accept the help when it comes. Bunny chose not to sleep for whatever reason. So I got some internet time in but no time to myself or to clean. I was listening to her whine over the monitor, stewing, when my parents stopped by. My dad was going to do some work on the "deck" we have in the back. My mom started to clean the kitchen.

Rather than accepting the help, I lost it. I started to feel bad about myself and the chaos around me. I took their help as a judgement against me and my parenting skills. I thought if they had to help me, then it meant that I could not take care of my family in the way that I was supposed to. If I couldn't keep the house clean with just three people and two cats (with their shedding fur, their hairballs, their puke and their pee), then how could I possibly add another baby to the mix.

I was tired, I was alone, and I was overwhelmed. When I get stressed, I get lost. I get into a deep, dark hole and its hard to get out of. I realized that this home and this family are all that I have. I don't have a lot of other outlets for my feelings. I don't have friends who are in the same boat as me. None of my friends here can relate to what I am going through.

All of that emotion came out in the tears I was shedding. I felt like a failure, even though I knew I wasn't. I yelled at my mom. But really I was yelling at myself. Picking at old wounds, causing new ones because I just didn't know what else to do.

But the answer was there. It was staring me right in the face. I had to say that I needed help and I had to accept the help that was given. So I swallowed the false pride I was feeling and let her help. I still feel bad, but my kitchen is clean and that is a small victory. So now I can fold the 5 loads of laundry I did today and go to bed knowing that I, we, made a dent in the chaos. So thank you Mom and Dad for helping me, I really needed it.

The stress isn't totally gone, nor will it ever be. It is constantly there just like a friend or lover you want to let go of but can't. I just have to remember to take time for myself, to breath, to relax. Not to let it overwhelm me to the point of causing physical symptoms like it has done in the past.

I have to realize that I am not alone. I have my little family. And even if they can't always relate, I have friends. And I have this blog, I can reach out into the wilds of the internet and there are those who will understand me.


EatPlayLove said...

I completely hear you. My parents are coming in a couple of weeks (they live in NY) to visit, but mainly to save me from drowning when my hubby is on an extended business trip. Their help is immeasurable!

Today I bailed on a fun outting, to stay home and do laundry all damn day. To sort toys, to change sheets, to do dishes. All so my hubby could text me at 5, saying he won't be home until late.

Be very happy your parents are there to help. Very happy!

Z said...

I don't have children yet, and still I hear you (to what degree I can) ... I can only imagine that I will be in this exact same place someday, and knowing that others have been there before and will be there after will be a (little) comfort - and hopefully, I, too will learn how to accept the help I will need (still a struggle for me now)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

I so want to leave all the mess alone in my house - I want to let it pile up and just say "what's important is my daughter and the time that we have, now" -- but I just can't. When the house is a disaster (note: the house is ALWAYS a disaster) I get stressed, I can't concentrate on her, I hate my husband, and I'm generally bitchy. It's worse now that I'm pregnant, because I can't get around to do a whirlwind clean-up like I used to.

Our house goes through these little miniature cycles... on Thursday night it's clean and manageable. On Friday morning it's a friggin disaster and I DON'T UNDERSTAND!


That felt good. Thanks for giving me a place to get that off my chest!

Anonymous said...

You are most definitely not alone! One child or seven, being a stay at home parent is the hardest job. Walking the fine line between housewife and mommy is even tougher. Give yourself a little credit for what does get done, and what doesn't will still be there tomorrow! I have this poem hanging in 2 places in my house and I think you will appreciate it :)

Some houses seem to hide the fact
There are children living there
Ours boasts of it quite openly
The signs are everywhere
For smears are on the windows
Little smudges on the door
I guess I should apologize
For the toys strewn on the floor
But I sat down with the children
We played and laughed and read
So if the windows do not shine
Their eyes will shine instead
For there are times I'm forced to choose
The one job or the other
I like being a housewife
But first I'll be a mother.

anymommy said...

Oh, what Kristin said. I loved that. I react badly to stress too, so I get it. Take the help and run, though, really. We simply can not do every thing.

Buttons and Dots Photography said...

Awww..sweetie. I am so sorry you had such an emotional day. But after reading this post and the more recent post, maybe it was hormone induced. Get some rest and don't stress yourself so much!

Anonymous said...

With everything you have on your plate right now a meltdown is not out of order...If people want to come to your house they should be there to see you not a spotless house. You have a little girl who is just learning to do things for herself and she will probably undo everything you get done trying to imitate Mommy but when you see the look of accomplishment on her face it will be worth it. Parents can be a godsend even if you don't have kids. I'm lucky enough to have parents that are willing to help with any project that I might have going or just hang out with me if I'm laid up... You know once a parent always a parent no matter how old your kids get.....
Keep your chin up......