Friday, August 10, 2007

Slipping away

I'm not feeling a whole lotta joy in my life right now.

It sounds harsh, but it's true. I feel myself wanting to retreat into a little hole of nothingness and not come out until....I don't know when. I don't know what the conditions would need to be to get myself out of this current downward spiral. I feel myself trying to recover from a slippery slope and it ain't going so well.

I've been having a lot of problems with Jacob lately. We just haven't been getting along so well. I am constantly yelling at him and he's being unbelievably whiny and demanding. And it's a vicious cycle, I tell ya. The more demanding he gets, the more upset I get. The more upset I get, the more whiny and uncooperative he gets. I just don't know what to do. He demands so much attention and to be honest, I just don't want to be around him anymore.

Emma is a monkey see, monkey do. So she has been picking up on Jake's bad habits. And she has been taking off her diaper during naptime and totally soaking everything...and then sleeping in it. I'm pretty much done with her, too.

And because of all of that plus other stuff that is going on, I feel myself wanting to retreat from everything. I have almost no interest in anything anymore. I've been on edge and short with the kids and Dave. I seem to be living in a constant state of being annoyed and upset. Most things feel like a burden; blogging, stuff I do for my church, cooking, cleaning, scrapbooking, eating right, you name it. Last night, I had the feeling that I just want to curl up in my bed and hopefully when I wake up I will somehow have miraculously developed new diet/parenting/housekeeping/time management skills.

I am 1 of 6 kids in our family, and most of us have been on medication or in therapy for depression. To this point, I have not been one of them. I have a heightened sense of the warning signs, almost to a fault. I often wonder if I am on the brink of depression, but then a second later wondering if I am just using that as an excuse. I think the difference is that I recognize the behavior I'm exhibiting and want to change it NOW before it gets to the point of therapy or medication, and I think that is definitely possible.

I just don't know where to start. Dave wants to help, and I would gladly accept it if I knew what to tell him. I don't know what I need to do to get myself going in the right direction. Time off (girls night out, dave staying home with the kids) hasn't really been helping lately because it just makes me feel guilty and like I'm a failure, and the behavior still continues after I get home. Things have just been so screwy lately at our house as far as schedules and routines that I'm just feeling totally off kilter. I definitely need an attitude adjustment, but how do I get one of those??

Here are my ideas of things I can change in the house and about our schedule. They may seem silly, but I hope they will help:

  • More music - We usually have music playing in the house, but it's general the kids music. I need to play more of my music during the day and definitely listen to it when they are down for naps. Music generally makes me happy and I can actually feel the tension leaving my body while it's on. It may be a struggle though because Jake has a control thing going on now: if it's not his music, then he doesn't want any music.
  • Back to a routine - I don't know if it's because of summer or because of Dave's travel schedule, but it seems like we have been flying by the seat of our pants lately. I need to get back to some sort of daily routine. The added bonus of this is that school is starting soon so it'll get Jake and Emma ready for that.
  • The gym - Part of our routine was going to the gym. I can't tell you the last time I went. And I don't know why I don't go because the kids love it there. They have a blast because they are playing with kids instead of being stuck at home with me. I think I've stopped going because most days it's a struggle to get to breakfast without someone yelling so the stress of getting out the door to the gym is just something I don't want to deal with.
  • Turn off the TV and computer - This is for both me and the kids. It has definitly become a crutch for me, no doubt about it. They are like a drug.
  • Get Jake to play by himself - This will be the real challenge. If he's not bossing me around playing with me or watching TV, he really doesn't know what to do with himself. He has never played well by himself and his demands on me are starting to wear me down.

Any other thoughts from you home viewers? Any suggestions are welcome! Or if you just want to tell me I'm not alone in this crazy thing called parenting, I wanna hear about that, too! I don't ask for it often, but I'm asking for it now. I need your help!!

6 reviews:

Misty said...

You know what?? Way to go to vent! And, trust me, you are NOT alone. I am a mother of three, and it is the most hard job I have ever taken on. I have some happy days, some miserable days, and some days I wonder if I am really screwing my kids up! I love my children with all the breath in my body, and know each day might be challenging - - especially the days when the whining and screaming is constant, but don't give up - - a happier day is around the corner!

Barb said...

Alex couldn't play by himself either, until he learned to read. But before he learned to read (age 5) I taught him how to do Legos. He loved doing legos and it sounds like Jake and him are alot alike. It might strike his interest and give you some time to enjoy just watching him play. I also used to schedule every hour of the day. Like school, we would have art, music, recess, lunch, etc. Some planning the night before would make that easier. I do know how you feel and hope you can see around this corner. I went through a similar feeling (my rut, I called it) after Anna was born. It will get better!

ValleyGirl said...

It's been said and implied, but I'll say it again: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. However, that knowledge doesn't necessarily diminish your feelings frustration and despair. I've been there, too. Not a happy place. Read my post http://swanvalleytammi.blogspot.com/2007/06/freedom-of-seeking-help.html. I will pray for you and I hope you'll find some encouragement.

Terina said...

i felt that same way a little over a year ago. since we are military, i was able to get into a doctor to talk to about it fairly quickly. all it took for me is to get out my problems, and he told me that it just sounded like the stress of a young mom, and that things would get better. they did, but it did help for a professional to tell me that i wasn't losing my mind.
maybe your husband could read what you just wrote, and maybe that might help him to understand. and then you can talk about it together. good luck!! i would love to hear what helps you out of this so that i have an idea when it hits me again. (because i know it will....we're all just human...)

Rebecca said...

You are so not alone. I struggle with depression & wanting to shut down from the world. Don't feel guilty for taking some time away from your family, you need it occasionally - we all do! I have found that therapy can be a great thing if you find someone that works well with you. Also if many of the things that you are doing like church work & scrapbooking are more of a chore than something you enjoy maybe you should step back for a while. Someone else will volunteer & your pictures will wait. I hope you find something that works for you and are encouraged in knowing that you are not alone in feeling this way. If more moms talked about it instead of how wonderful changing 398529 diapers a day are I'm sure most of us wouldn't feel so alone or like failures when we go through this. You are not a failure and you will make it through this challenging time.

Sue said...

You're definitely NOT alone. Parenting is hard stuff - especially being a SAHM. I think the things you have down are good. Especially the gym. Working out may also really help you feel better about yourself and the recharge of your energy can do all of you alot of good. Not to mention the whole getting you all out of the house thing.

With Jake - you can try - when he's wearing on your patience - just walking away and taking some deep breaths. It can be easier said that done. But sometimes just removing yourself (or him by sending him to his room or another room) may help you both calm down b4 dealing with whatever demand/tantrum is brewing.

It's good you're seeing the stress and impact. Although one of the goal is to shut off the computer, vent more here and that can help too!

Good luck!