One is the Loneliest Number

In the ebbs and tides of motherhood I have definitely been sucked down by an undertow. I keep trying to pinpoint the source of my current down-and-out view on life. Is it the winter and the cold? Is it Jordon's long hours? Is it all of the things that I have to do? So much in fact, that I can't manage to do any of them well? Maybe that's what is bothering me. My inability to do one thing perfect, let alone several. 

Whatever it is, it makes me feel alone. I glue on that perma-happy face, I try to "fake it 'till I make it," I hope that if I act one way, my mind and body will follow. Sometimes this works. Lately it hasn't.

I just brought the boys in from out front where they were playing with the neighbor kids. Their mom was out blowing the leaves in her yard and manicuring her trees. I felt a sense of shame at the shamble that is our front lawn. She asked me how the baby was. Good, of course. Wonderful in fact. She is my joy. She asked about the boys. So fantastic! Growing like weeds, they get along so well. Braedon is starting Kindergarten next year! She asked me how I am doing. I hesitated. Fake it 'till I make it, I reminded myself...

Instead, something overcame me and I blurted out those shameful words not so well. I went on to tell her about the teething and the lack of sleep, the pressure of picking a good school for Braedon and my frustration over our tight wallet. Shut up, I kept telling myself, you sound like a sniveling failure. But I didn't shut up. I kept going. I don't have time for hobbies, I miss my husband, I don't fit in with the pre-school moms. Then I topped it off with a "you know how it goes." Wtf? Where did you pull that one from? What if she DOESN'T know how it goes? 

"OH yes," she sprawled theatrically, "I know how it is! Some days I think I just plain suck at this parenting thing."

Huh. Yeah, that about sums it up.

I am still overwhelmed, over-tired, and overworked. But I somehow feel a little lighter... and a lot less alone.


Beka said...

you're definitely not alone. the two moms that come to the bible study my mother holds once a month have times like that.

hmmmm. there's that quote....
"we love to know we're not alone." i believe it's by c.s. lewis.

you're not a failure, dear!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to ask that woman over for a drink.

You know, everyone has periods in life where absolutely nothing is going the way that it should. Keep your head up, Kid. You have a lot to be proud of. Case in point, your magnificent writing skills. A lot of people wish that they could write well (myself included), and you can. That is a skill that can never be taken away from you.


PS. I religiously read this blog called, Ashley quite frankly. You should check it out! She has a similar writing style to yours and if you go back far enough, she has a few postings where she wrote about how she was feeling just the way that you are now. Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

Kelsey, your blog makes me feel less alone. <3 I feel like this a lot lately. It is that time of year. It's hormones. It's lonely and hard being a mother.

But remember middle and high school? When the good times were SO GOOD and the bad times were just EPIC LIFE-ENDING DISASTERS? Looking back, that time seems so vibrant and important. People would tell you that's the best time of your life, and you (well, I anyway) would look at them like they were just hateful and crazy because things were SO HORRIBLE that this couldn't be the best time of my life...

but I think what they meant was that things will never feel this significant or this all-encompassing

except having kids

and I tell myself that I'll look back on this period of time the same way. This time when I am just barely scraping by, that I'll look back and only remember vaguely that things seemed really hard, but in reality, they were so vibrant, important, and beautiful.

If only I could avoid taking it all for granted now.

I love your blog, I'm so glad you're doing it.


Kelsey said...

Ursula, that is SO creepy that you said that. I literally just got off the phone with my bff and mother of two. We were talking about that same thing! Her younger sister is having an insecure time and we were talking about how we wished we would have enjoyed being young more... and then we went on to say how afraid we are of 10 years going by and us looking back on this time of our lives and wishing we would have enjoyed it more as well. Sigh...

And thank you. You are such a good, honest, relate-able friend.