Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Overwhelmed

Today I feel overwhelmed. I don't even know if I can find energy to
write. I am really feeling now we are getting nowhere. I want to
decorate and declutter. I need to regain some sense of order upstairs.
Phoebe and Ezra really need their own room. But we seem too busy and
too tired to get anything done.

I have no breaks from my children. They are with me 24/7 - apart from
the odd occasion Russ is able to take them out without me. I love them
to bits but it's just so intense! For them as well. They are not used
to being with anyone else. So the concept of being left with someone,
even just for half an hour, is alien to them. I guess that's what
comes from living far apart from family (and being a SAHM) though. I
do feel at this point they could do with stretching their wings a bit
but have no idea how to facilitate that.

The children are also sleeping badly again - Ezra has a cough at night
and Phoebe has an eczema flare up. I am thinking of cutting out dairy
to see if that helps. I am getting very little sleep (my eyes sting)
and am bfeeding alot! There is so much more to this but I don't want
to discuss all the details here. Just to say I feel exhausted and run
down.

I am feeling like a failing mummy at the moment, because I don't have
the time or energy to make things for my children, or with them, or to
take them places. I don't drive and most things are at least two buses
away. I actually want to be able to drive but am pretty phobic about
it, and I don't feel I can handle it on top of the other stuff we are
dealing with. I have been cooking with a two ring portable electric
hob and only tiny weeny top oven for nearly a year now! Our lounge is
finally just about done but we are now waiting for our builder to
visit to discuss phase two - kitchen/utility/sun lounge knock through
and new kitchen. He has missed two appointments now, though he did
apologise for the first one as he was in a car crash. We need to chase
him up again now. This is quite a daunting task, planning a new room.

We also need to make a proper room for the children as they'll not be
able to move out if they have nowhere appealing to go. And our hall,
stairs and landing are in need of decorating quite urgently. The veg
patch has been given up on. It's overgrown and weedy.

I feel like the basic things are barely getting done - putting clothes
away, cleaning the loo, changing the bed sheets, and we are in
survival mode, only able to think about the next meal and trying to
make sure we send birthday cards and presents on time. Our library
books are always late!
Every night after the children are asleep I flop exhausted onto the
sofa and try to think about the next thing that needs doing and Russ
spends a couple of hours in the kitchen and garden sorting things out.
I'm not sure what has happened to our life!

Right now I have a sore throat and ear ache and I could just sleep all
afternoon. But I'm making pancakes for lunch and then packing a bag
and getting on the bus to our local community allotment for home ed
group. We'll have fun, most definitely, but it's not what my body is
needing.

I get ideas of starting something for me - a course, a project, even
just reading a book - and then a day or so after realise I just can't
do it! There's no time. I have a pile of magazines even that sit
unread. Last night in the evening I went up to settle the children
four times in three hours!

We had dreams of a big family, but I can't even think about it now
until we sort some of these issues out. And that makes me sad. I am
embarassed to admit all this - that I can't run a home and look after
just two children properly! But I feel writing about where I am at,
and feeling some support, is the first step to things getting better.

There is lots I am grateful for of course. My children are wonderful.
A source of boundless joy. And I have a safe warm home. Our parents
have helped us out a lot financially, and have helped decorate our one
(almost) completed room! I have lovely friends.

I feel we need time and space to overcome this hump. It's such a shame
that we missed our holiday at The Mother Camp. Aside from camp in 2010
we have not had a holiday for a few years. We are going to attempt one
at the end of August. Not sure how restful it will be with two high
needs children who sleep badly away from home though. Oh well, they
are sleeping badly anyway! Can you see why I want us to hit the road
and escape?

We are also not eating very well because when you start the day aching
and you feel cold and tired by mid morning you don't really fancy a
salad for lunch. Phoebe is very particular about food so the same
staples get wearily churned out, and fairly often I have issues
cooking dinner because Ezra has decided he must be carried and I must
take him to see the chickens or neighbours cat right now. Or that milk
is needed now. We don't eat terribly by anyone's standards but we are
not where we need to be for our health and waistlines.

I really want to do more with the children. More projects, more fun,
more trips. We are all a little bored, much as we love our summer days
in the garden and seeing friends. But I don't know where to begin. I
feel right now I'm not doing a good job of nurturing our family,
despite my efforts.

I have to go now, but I would really love to hear how your families do
things. How do you make time for yourself? How do you keep energy
levels up? Any tips for me? Thank you x

12 comments:

  1. Just a quick reply to you sweetie - with a huge, huge hug! Go easy on yourself, you're doing an amazing job! (and for the record - I often think I'm rubbish at coping with house and just one child so there you go!) I'm in the midst of a reply to you, thanks for your kind email, expect it soon! love Anna x

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  2. I could have written this, we are not alone. I'm sure you are doing your best...it's exhausting and I know that we can feel this and still love our children 100 per cent. Take care ...put a video on and run yourself a bath, I did, my two watched Harry Potter. There is a balnce x x x

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  3. Goodness, the similarities with my life are uncanny.
    Firstly- you are NOT a failing mummy, you just don't have a moment for your thoughts to rest. I do the same in the evenings, I just flop.

    I think a lot of us feel that if we don't keep up with things in the domestic sense, that we are failing. Just being there for your children, is the biggest job, and the biggest gift you can give them.

    So what if they are running around like messy cave children? So what if you haven't done the washing for a week ( and a half)? Society has shaped family life like this, and really if you look at tribal life, the women have a huge support network of females. We are not meant to just cope in a box all day ( even with a helpful partner)

    I am no expert, but I would probably try a dairy free diet to get rid of the eczema. Have you tried putting Hemp oil directly onto the skin- Hemp is amazing! we use it to heal almost everything in our family.

    I know that there are no easy answers, it is hard when you can't get 5mins peace. I would just leave your chores,and do the bear minimum. What I do (if you can) is watch a good film, and tuck yourself up in bed early. Put the headphones on, and just relax. If you have to wear you pj's on all day- well so be it!

    I will be thinking of you this week hunny.

    love

    Jo

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  4. Hey lovely mama, I was going to say pretty much what the others have already said, so I'l send you big hugs and peaceful vibes :)
    Love and light
    sue xx

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  5. You're amazing!!! Don't forget that!!!

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  6. Oh mama...I totally feel you! I just stumbled upon your blog and it seems I did so at a marvelous moment. I've been feeling the same way lately...I can't quite catch up with life. I only have one little one (although he has the energy of two most of the time) but I still find myself struggling to keep up with it all. And I so resonate with how intense it is to be with you babes ALL the time. I don't think I've been away from my son for more than 2 hours in 15 months. Whew. Sorry I don't have any advice...just commiseration. I think we're all being the best mamas we can be...even if it doesn't always feel like it. I hope you get the rest you need.
    ~Blessings on your beautiful family~

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  7. You're being too hard on yourself!! If you are tired, then it will all feel much more out of control than it actually is. Being a SAHM is the hardest job, there is no relief or time off or even recognition for a job well done!! If you are doing the basics, then give yourself a break and remember that it gets better as the children get a bit older and can do more for themselves. I'm neglecting the home educating part of our lives terribly at the moment. I'm 34 weeks pregnant and sooooo tired some days I could just cry. I know if I start to sit and battle with workbooks, I'll just end up shouting and making everyone miserable.

    You've enough on your plate without guilt. Crikey, I've only had seven weeks of using a two-ring camping stove and it's been driving me nuts, you've had it for much longer and for that alone you need a break!!

    If it's any consolation, my home is a tip most days. It gets me down quite a lot, but sometimes, when a place is really awful, just a little clean up makes things feel lovely and clean!!!! Take little steps. Tidy up your bedroom first, so you have a place of peace and calm to call your own and then do the other bits when you have the energy and not before!!

    It does get better, I promise. xxxxxxxxxxx

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  8. Thank you so much for all your kind words everyone. It has really meant a lot to me and cheered me up on this anxious day. I have no menu planned the rest of the week and have a busy few days organised. I managed to put some clothes away earlier and the lounge is tidy this evening. Taking those baby steps.

    Jo - we have a lot of dairy in our fridge right now but I think we will definitely try reducing or cutting out dairy once what we have is used up. I haven't tried straight hemp oil but we are using Pure Potions Skin salvation. Its amazing so goodness knows what she would be like without it! But lately, though we apply it each night she is still struggling. will see our homeopath next week if it doesnt seem to be shifting.

    Thank you again everyone. I am so grateful to know that I am not the only one and to feel support of so many wonderful mamas! Thank you xxx

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  9. Just wanted to send a hug xx I spend each evening knitting and reading in bed with the boys, as Freddie wakes a lot and only mama will do! Luckily I get to spend time with Ben at other times, but then I try to remember, this too shall pass...I'll have evenings without needy children soon, all too soon probably! Sending lots of love xxx

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  10. Sorry to hear you're having a hard time at the moment Laura. Hope things get better soon. Speaking from my own experience, learning to drive was a big help. For one thing it gave me two hours a week doing something for myself, and when I passed my test I really felt like I'd achieved something. Plus of course, the freedom of being able to get around independently once I had my licence. But I can totally understand your reluctance, it took me AGES to pluck up the courage to do it and I spent the first two or three lessons shaking in terror from start to finish! Anyway, I just wanted to say you are a fantastic mum and getting overwhelmed sometimes doesn't change that. Lots of love from Catherine xxx

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  11. I have a ridiculous amount of respect for you, even though we haven't properly met!

    Sending you lots of love across the ether, and big deep breaths.

    It can be really hard when nothing schooly is being done, but education is more than memorising facts and figures. It's learning to give and take, compromise, do without sometimes, and how we interact with each other. It can't always be about fun day trips and we too have days where we just seem to do not much. But when I look more closely, I see that we've been doing a lot of character building. And that is really really important.

    I've been reading an excellent book called "F*ck it - the ultimate spiritual way", which is about letting go of being meaningful all the time, of filling our lives with purpose. It's about becoming liberated and doing what feels good and to stop worrying all the time about what/how we're doing everything. It's kind of based on eastern philosophy. I've been finding it really helpful when I get super uptight or panicky about what I'm doing.

    Watching comedy is a really good release for me, laughing my arse off at something really good is a total escape from the seriousness of worrying every day about the responsibility of raising my children perfectly. Being a "good enough" mother is even better than being a "perfect mother' apparently - says so in "Families and how to survive them".

    Perhaps striving to be too perfect puts too much pressure on everyone - even your children when they're older. So relax lovely dear woman. Relax. Enjoy yourself a bit. Your children will not be screwed up if the laundry pile gets ignored for a few days 'cos you skived off skivvying and went and did something less menial instead.

    Sending you enormous hugs. You are doing an ace job. Seriously. You're just knackered. Me too - I could have written this post!!!

    XXX

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  12. If you go back through my posts there's one right there called Loving Ourselves, sounds quite similar to this post! Hope you feel a little better. Theres been some major astrological stuff going on just lately, check out Lucy Pearce (Juno mag's sub editor) blog Dreaming Aloud from about a week ago. She includes a really interesting piece about how the planets/ stars are aligned so awkwardly just now and how it may explain a feeling of deep unrest and mental discomfort in people right now. Spooky as this was predicted just before the riots. I usually think this kind of stuff is bollocks, but it was unusually spot on. So ride it baby, it's perhaps something bigger than you and me, and our small woes. Xxx

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