I've got kids that are older now and it's a lot easier. If you've got tiny people, I've found in my limited experience that it gets a lot easier.
Listen, I found this today, and I felt myself go back to that place of anxiety and anger and frustration, and I know, in the deepest part of me, that I was not alone. I felt like a nuclear bomb had been dropped on my life. It was real.
So here's what I wrote one day when I felt like it was too much and maybe I wanted to not be a mom that day.
Recapturing My Passion for Parenting
- I feel frustrated at home because I am constantly fighting messes.
- I feel frustrated because I can never truly relax and enjoy a conversation when the kids are around.
- I feel angry when I want to socialize with friends and can't.
- I feel angry when my thoughts are interrupted.
- I feel violated with the kids actions are destructive and create more work.
- I feel panicked with the kids' whining and interrupting hinder meal prep.
- I feel stressed in my car because it is messy and dirty.
- I feel violated when the kids don't nap or respect quiet time.
- I feel angry when I prioritize the kids' hunger over my own.
- I feel smothered when I find books and toys in my room.
- I am nervous when I wake up in the morning and I don't know how I'm going to handle the day.
- I feel angry when the kids make messes while I am getting ready to leave.
- I feel overworked when I have to choose between supervising bath time, making meals, laundry, and picking up the house.
- I feel overwhelmed and hopeless when Dave works late or has doctor's appointments.
- I feel envious that Dave doesn't have to balance childcare to make doctor's appointments.
- I feel violated when both children speak to me at the same time.
- I feel overworked when I have to clean up after all three meals.
- I feel uninterested in playing with my kids.
This was kind of an assessment, I guess. I just needed to get a clear picture of where I actually was in that moment. It felt good to clear dissect and clear out every feeling. It was my starting line.
But here is the second part. Not as long, but equally important.
- I feel good when I make the kids laugh.
- I take pride in handling a heavy workload.
- I feel empowered when I take care of MY needs.
- I understand the importance of making some things a higher priority than others.
- I enjoy being in a family.
- I enjoy having fun with the kids.
- I enjoy laughing with Dave.
- I need time alone.
- I need time with friends, away from children.
- I like spending time with other couples.
- It's OK to feel sad or overwhelmed.
Whatever situation you find yourself in with small children, it's real, man. Leave the house to go do paid work? It's hard. Stay at home with your kids? It's hard. Have a paid job and you do that job at home? It's hard. Kids are hard.
That's all I've got.