It is a new year. A fresh start. A time for resolutions and re-energizing... or at least it is supposed to be.
I usually feel a sense of excitement and motivation during this time; positive thinking about everything I want to accomplish in the next 12 months. We are leaving for Mexico in just a few days for a whole week, and I have been counting down the minutes.
So why do I feel so frustrated, ungrateful, guilty and just plain down?
When I think about mommy guilt, I think of the "normal" kind... you missed out on an important milestone while at work, you let your kids watch too much TV today, you snapped when you could have been patient and loving.
People would kill to have my life and I am fully aware of that. I don't have to work, I have a wonderful husband, three healthy, beautiful girls, a lovely home, no major health problems... I know I have it good, I really do. It just feels like all I do is feed everyone, clean up after everyone, break up fights, try to silence the whining, shuttle everyone from here to there and back again, and then clean up the new mess that was just created. I feel like I'm losing control and I'm not really sure how to get it back.
Mommy needs a minute. More than a minute, like a week. But the ironic agony is that as soon as I am away from them, I miss them.
This is the life of being a mommy... so does that just mean I'm terrible at it?
I never had a period of time in my life just to be. I went straight from college to married to pregnant just a few months later. I would never change anything, but I sort of skipped over that period of time when you can be selfish. No responsibilities for anyone but yourself. I'm 30 years old and I have been blessed with the task of raising these three amazing girls. But I'm tired. And I'm with them every.waking.moment. When they say, "Mommy I want you" when I have not parted from them in oh, a schmillion days straight, I want to tear my hair out. The seemingly endless cold of winter (that has really just begun) makes all the days run together into one big whiny, messy blur.
I know, I know, I will miss these days when they are gone. I recently read a book where the mom was looking at her teen and tween daughters craving the snuggles and the love they once showered on her. I'm terrified that I'm not enjoying these moments. And then they will be gone and I will hate myself for having been so over it.
The feelings of failure every night when I drop into bed exhausted are all-consuming. I look back knowing I was constantly busy and was cleaning up and running around all day... but what is there to show for it? Nothing. Just a still-messy house and a to-do list out the wazoo. Sometimes I just don't know how to be grateful, which then sets off the guilt. It is an endless, vicious cycle.
I know I need to just re-wire my mindset. I need to focus on the positives and not let the little things weigh me down. I know how privileged and fortunate I am, and when I feel like this I am basically being completely unappreciative to Matt for how hard he works to provide this life for us. I'm sure these feelings are related to the lovely world of hormones... or maybe they are not and I'm just an awful, spoiled brat. I don't know. Now I will go drive my kids in my nice big car out of our wonderful neighborhood to their lovely preschool, and then continue packing for our tropical vacation. I know, gag, I'm ridiculous. One thing I do know is that writing is therapeutic to me. So to all of you reading this, thank you. And Happy New Year.