Thursday, August 26, 2010

Confessions of a Tired Mom

Many of my friends assume I'm a "supermom." In fact, one of the first things I hear out of people's mouths when they ask where Ali is going to school and I tell them she'll be homeschooled is, "I could never do that!" or "You are amazing!"  I then feel obligated to launch into a defensive discourse on how I actually enjoy teaching, like the whole organizing and choosing curriculum stuff, and find this area to be a gifting while mentioning that they have many gifts that I don't have in order to try to dispell the "I'm More of a SuperMom Than You" myth. 

In spite of the fact that I am a homeschooling mom and happen to enjoy bulk cooking, baking, sewing, and keeping a blog, I'm the furthest thing from "supermom."  Being a mom of three has never been harder for me.  Pregnancy has always been the most tiring condition I have found myself in and especially in the last trimester;  this time around is no exception, made worse by low iron levels.  Naps?  The very idea is a joke for anyone with more than one or two kids!  My in-laws' just left after a 5 day visit and though they got tons of projects done on our house, it's not easy having company and keeping them fed many times a day, especially when you are hot and tired.  Justus, my only child who takes naps, just started cutting his naps in half for no apparent reason and also seems to be coming down with a cold,  my husband has been consumed with projects on the house in addition to working his regular physically-draining job, and I have found myself doing more than ever before with our move this summer, which has left me feeling like a single parent much of the time. 
In reality, many days I find the weight of motherhood to be CRUSHING.
I hover in a strange state between adoring my kids and feeling so blessed to be a mommy and savoring cuddle-time with them and yet being so sick of them and feeling like I am not able to have 30 seconds in my day where someone isn't calling, "Mommy!!!" or needing wiped, or a drink, or their hands washed, etc.  Sometimes I hide from them in my big house and let them wander around the house looking for me for a few minutes just so I can have a moment's peace.  Sometimes I turn the baby monitor off upstairs because I can't bear to hear any more screaming or whining from one of the boys and don't know how to make him stop and just go to sleep.  Even though I am firm in my reasons for homeschooling, I am often envious of my friends, most of whom have chosen public school this year, as they get a break from their active children while they are at school all day.  If I had the money, I would definitely hire a nanny to watch the kids for at least a couple hours every day during this stage of life! 
I know that a huge part of my frustration with motherhood and my kids is pregnancy fatigue and hormones, but that doesn't make the days of whining, fighting, crying, messes, etc. any less difficult to handle in the meantime as I await my body's return to normalcy.  I empathize with and understand why some of my mom friends are tempted to drink alcohol, cry uncontrollably and drown in depression, or enroll their kids in as many programs as possible to survive this thing called "being a mom."  I often look for an escape from the kids too, whether in a book, surfing facebook, in a sewing or photography project, in a TV series on Hulu, etc. 

So often I think moms are afraid to admit how they really feel because they don't want to give the impression that children are a burden to the world around them and they feel the need to hide behind their joys and successes so that they can "measure up" to others who seem to be incredible moms instead of admitting that this is the hardest job they've ever had.  But we need each other and the depth of friendship that comes when two people realize that they're in the same boat!  Which is why, amidst the tips and recipes and homeschooling ideas I share on this blog, I feel the need to periodically remind you, my readers, that I'm human and going through a lot of the same frustrated feelings that you are dealing with!

I'm selfish, I'm sinful, and I desperately need God's strength to mother well.
I'm weary, worn-out, and lack the wisdom I need to lead these little ones.
But He is faithful, even though I rarely am!
And our Lord provides the strength and grace we need to get through the most difficult stages of mothering...and life.

If you, too, are in a difficult season of mothering, know that He cares and wants to carry that burden for you and lead you as you lead your little ones.


Kristin said...

I could relate to almost everything you said here except for a couple major differences: I only have 2 kids and I'm not pregnant!

I had to chuckle a little bit when I read the part about you hiding from the kids in your house, because I have done that too! :-)

I'm so glad that I have a number of friends in the same mothering season that I'm in, (especially those taking on homeschooling as well!) because it's so encouraging to know that there are others out there going through exactly the same things that I am!

And even now, knowing all the truths that you just revealed to debunk the Supermom myth about yourself, I still think you are a SUPER mom, and I admire so much all that you do for your family. So thanks for being an encouragement to me!

Thia said...

You summed it up. That's for sure. Hang in there. The energy will come back and so will the motivation. And it's sweet! And you'll be better able to handle (most) of the whining, screaming, yelling, complaining, fighting...but then it will be "don't kick the baby" "don't fall on the baby" "look where you're going before you..."
I'm glad there's someone else who can admit that they hide out at times.

Gabrielle said...

Wow, what an amazing post! Thanks for being real and admitting that you feel overwhelmed sometimes too. I'm at the easy one child with one on the way stage, but I look forward to having a large family like yours and homeschooling. I know it won't be easy, but as you pointed out, that's where we must rely on God's strength.

Meredith said...

Lindsay, I'm sorry that this summer and this pregnancy have been so, so draining. As the other moms have said, I, too, appreciate your sharing your struggles. I feel that I'm in the middle of a difficult season, too, but my middle child (the most difficult) will be getting extra help at preschool this fall, which is a blessing. When people find out we're homeschooling Isaac, I think they must think I'm brining more work upon myself (and I am), but it's for such a good reason.

Praying for you tonight.

Melissa said...

Thanks for keeping it real!

Risha said...

I'm glad I read this today. I just got back early Monday morning from a missions trip in Romania for 10 days during which I left my children (ages 3 years and 18 months) with their grandparents. It was the first time I had ever left them for more than one night. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to get back to them. And then today happened. I've only been back with them for 5 days, and after a few short hours this morning, I was ready to send them away again. I think we're all adjusting to being back together again. They spent 10 days being mildly spoiled by their grandparents, and I spent 10 days with the opportunity to have adult conversation all day long! And my husband was with me the whole time, too!

I have days like you, too, as I'm fairly certain I will begin homeschool soon with our oldest, and I occasionally wish that I could take a break by sending her off to preschool somewhere. But I actually have a family member who started sending her child to preschool a couple days a week at the age of 2, and then to school full time at the age of 3. And she's a stay-at-home mom! I see the things she's missing out on teaching him with him being gone all day, and I don't want that.

Motherhood is most definitely the hardest job I've ever had. But also the most rewarding.

Peachtree said...

Amen. I'm in that boat too!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your transparency and openness. Motherhood is hard enough but trying to be supermom and perfect makes it much more difficult and unnecessary. I'm sure all mothers feel or have felt all those things, it's sometimes hard to admit. Again, thank you.

Shiloh said...

What a refreshing thing to hear Lindsey! I have done all those things too and have felt like I must be the only mom that does them, but I am not! I wish I could help with all your craziness, but I will pray that God gives you strength during the rest of this pregnancy.

Marcy said...


I could relate to everything you wrote that was us 2 years ago.And now we are going through it again except without moving.I was able to send the 3 oldest to a 2 day VBS last week that went from 9am-3pm. I only had one child.It was wonderful.I suddenly got a glimpse of what it would be like to send my kids to school everyday.No wonder all my friends around here do it.But I know that homeschooling will be the best for the kids in the long run.
I am thankful for your honesty and willingness to say what most of us are feeling.I am praying for you.

S. and Company said...

Hey Lindsey,
All the things I have in mind to say have pretty much been said... but I still wanted to let you know I am thinking about you and praying for you.

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