Reality Check

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 8:41 PM


I just have to ask: how is everyone doing out there?

All the moms, all the wives, all the women?

I have to tell you, around here, things are building to a head. I'm feeling like the more I try to do, the more resentful I am of all the things that remain (and there will always be something) undone.

I'm getting up earlier, going to bed later, Facebooking less, trying to focus my resources, prioritize, don't sweat the small stuff.

But guess what? It's all the same. I feel like I'm living on the edge, riding the lightning, like I'm just barely hanging on. By the time David and I finally meet for the evening, the children are in bed and we're both too exhausted to do anything but sit next to each other on the couch (in between baskets of clean laundry).

And I know so many other people in the same situation. I have a list of projects a mile long (things like light bulbs, toilets, and holes in the walls - I'm not asking to be featured on HGTV here). I feel like there's no one I could even ask for help, because everyone is right where I am: stretched to the max, just trying to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table and get everyone to be in the right place at the right time. Just trying to take care of their own families and be good people and not fall apart. Just like me.

How is everyone doing it? How are we really feeling? Are we "fine"? Are we "good"? Are we "busy"? Or are we drowning?

I have to tell you, I'm so over this. I'm over DIY, I'm over putting on a brave face, I'm sick of being the "homemaker", I'm tired and I want somebody to make all my duties go away for, like, at least a month. I don't want to "take a break" from them, because guess what? Whenever I feel guilty enough to come back to real life, all the stupid little problems will still be right there where I left them, and they will each have brought a friend or two.

David always says I should just leave the dishes for the morning, leave the ironing, leave it for later when I can face it. But in the meantime, what do I do? I know it's all there, right there, waiting for me. What's the point? How do I relax in the meantime? I need to make some real, actual progress, but it's all I can to keep my nose above the water and just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

I'm not blaming anyone, and I'm not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me. I'm just so, so tired of being in this mental place, and I'm saying it out loud because I know there's a lot of you here with me. I'm standing on my roof, waving a white flag, and I frickin' surrender.

I give. You win, life. You beat me. I can't do it.

I am seriously ready to just move to a hut in the forest somewhere (actually a cave - that would be perfect, because a hut would require maintenance) and live on berries and rainwater. We're going naked, because I'm never doing laundry again, and whatever education the kids have already gotten is just going to have to suffice. I'm hanging up a hammock, putting a banana leaf over my eyes, and going to sleep until I feel recovered.

I don't know exactly when that might be, but I'd say you'd be safe to come over for some coconut milk in about 2025.

Who's with me?

Comments (16)

You KNOW I feel ya. I've been surrendering for a few months now, but it's like life doesn't see my white flag. I'm waving and waving like a crazy women, but life doesn't let up. What gives?
And I'm with you on the living nakey on a remote beach somewheres. Cause this laundry situation is Ridunculous.

SOOOOO with you. I have a zillion projects (and by projects I mean things that need to get done, not things I want to do) that have been waiting months or longer... I don't know what the answer is. My husband says the same thing about "leave it til later," but a sinkful of dirty dishes in the morning just puts me behind before I get started, so the next day's ruined too! The scripture about not running faster than I have strength comes to mind, but I think most of us have already cut out the unnecessary things from our lives--it's not really an option to stop doing dishes and laundry and cooking dinner and going grocery shopping. Ahhh!

So, I'm not really a help, more just adding to your thoughts. But I guess that's what you wanted anyway. :) I hear ya, sista. If you find the secret to getting it all done, please post it on your blog. I'd be ever so grateful. :)

Does admitting "I'm with you" on your blog make people want to say "stop reading her blog and do the dishes"? I hope not, I'm online because I am downloading audio books to my ipod. Real books are stacking up but not being read so I thought I would try audio books while I walk, drive, do the dishes. Speaking of the dishes and the bathroom and the front room, those are going to be checked off my list tonight while everyone in the house is sleeping. Then tomorrow morning when I am very tired I will break my goal of giving up sugary caffeinated soda because I went to bed after mid-night. My mom never told me about this stuff, but her hands were always dry from cleaning and that should have been my first clue.

Sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed. How can I help? Things really do have a way of working out...I know it is easy for me to say, but you really don't have to do it all.

Well. You have spoken my mind--the way my mind is this very night. I actually cried out today, "I hate being a mom!!" Of course I don't mean it. 99% of the time I love it. But I have said things like "I'm done", "I quit", and "I can't do this" more times in the past month than ever before. And I only have one kid! Is it because he's the most strong-willed, hot-headed, disobedient little person I know? I hope it's more that he's two years old. In that case, things will get better (please!!).

So, yes, I hear you. I'm with you. I surrender too. But I don't have any advice right now! Except to say that for his anthropological field work, my husband will be going to Papua New Guinea for two years, family in tow. It sounds like it won't be far off from what you described--except for the naked part. But I'm sure we'll only have two or three outfits. You are all welcome to join us! We will make room for you in our hut. Or whatever the heck we'll be living in.

Papua New Guinea sounds perfect. I'll take it!

It's funny, because I'm actually in a really good place with motherhood lately. I'm feeling good about my kids, peaceful, happy, like we're doing pretty good there.

But...just...everything! It's all so much! And then I find myself thinking "but some people have twice, or three times this many children! Some people homeschool! Some people have much more strenuous church callings! And they manage - what am I doing wrong?"

But that's pointless, of course. That's them, I am me. That is all. And I'm sure they're probably "managing" the same way I do, which is to say they just put out whatever is on fire and try to stay alive and put on a big smile and make the best of it. I'm sure they largely feel the same way.

Hi. Me too. A lot. Yes. Whew.

Dear Rachel, A vacation is in order STAT! Your post was full of great perspective. I love your fresh and candid approach to life and it's challenges. All of those challenges are the great equalizers of life. We all have them, and they do have to get done, but how that happens is entirely up to us. Take some time off and see how you feel. Or, my personal favorite, hire it done! You might be my favorite human right now for speaking up. Plus, naked on a beach sounds fun for a while, but wait, will there be sand getting in things? I might reconsider.

I couldn't post anything on my blog yesterday because I couldn't articulate how I felt. But then I came to your blog and saw this post and you took the words right out of my mouth. Except add in anger and resentment to the list with my husband being gone for 2 1/2 months. Aarrgghhh...

So sorry you're having a hard time...

dido. Seriously - words out of my mouth.

My best thing is baby steps. It's okay if the dishes don't get done at night. It's okay if the house isn't clean. It's about trying to find a balance between things you want, things you need and things you should like kiss those little ones. :)
I had a friend staying with me and her grandma. I mentioned that sometimes I want to get a job just to rest. She giggled having raised her kids and grandkids. SAHM's work is never done. It's always going. You can do it. Just not all at once. :)

Definitely something in the water, for sure. :)

This is how I think my family is feeling! We have a zillion tiny little projects and a hundred big projects to do i this tiny little house that we are overwhelmed! We don't like staying home! I always try to finish my school stuff before noon so I can leave the house and go do something other than try to tame the beast of weeds in the back and front yard. There is too much to do and not enough time in the day to do it all!

A to the MEN! What a GREAT post! The anxiety of it all is too much sometimes. But well said my friend. Here's to hanging on for all we're worth and hoping it all works out.

Here's an article for you! A little extreme, kinda unrealistic, but still a fun read.

(Skip past the video to the title, "Why Every Mom in America Needs to Quit")