Friday, February 8, 2008

Failure.



I hesitate to post something so personal but I'm going to anyhow. I seem to be failing at many things right now and I'm hoping that writing them out lends me some much needed perspective.

Mommy-ing

I know that us mamas should allow ourselves grace. I explain this often to my dearest friends, to MOPS moms, and to those I barely know on a regular basis. I know how hard being a mama can be, and yet... I see my failures as insurmountable and unforgivable.

Today, after being up most of the night with sick baby Cael, I wimped out. He was fussy. I was cranky. I figure he was hungry but I was totally out of ideas of what to feed him, energy to make anything, and motivation. I gave him formula. I know that's not a big deal, but to me it is... Four kids, five years so far of breastfeeding, and I've never made a bottle of formula for my kids. I feel like there is so much I can't do for my children, the least I can do is nurse them. Today, I was too sore, too tired, too exhausted to do even that. I knew that if he was hungry, he would drink the bottle, be full, and go down for a nap. I was right. I took a much needed nap as well.

I won't elaborate on my other failings as a mommy right now. Other people think my kids are well behaved. I don't want to burst every last bubble. (They are well behaved most of the time. But when they're naughty... They are oh-so-naughty!)


MOPS

I'm tired. I am not doing well at coordinating this year. I've always been a rather hands-off leader. "Here's your responsibility. Tell me how I can help you. Do it how you want. Just do it well." This year, I'm not being much of a help to my leaders. Four years into my MOPS group and it runs fairly well, but I think my lack of involvement, motivation, and enthusiasm is apparent. Unfortunately, I think it's also contagious.


Homeschooling

I have an unmotivated 10 year old. Like mother, like son? He's managing to get his assignments done, but barely... The two of us could teach classes "101 Ways to Procrastinate" or "Procrastinating for Dummies". Sadly, I can see how my bad habits are taking hold in him. I simply must help him to develop new habits.

By the way, his actual schooling and Kjersten's is great. Whew...


Health

Am I not taking care of my family? We're sick again... 8 months of health and now Cael can't seem to shake his cold. Jason, Brennen, and I are all sick. Again. Is my house not clean enough? Do my meals not include enough vitamins? Do we not wash our hands enough?
And to add insult to injury, I'm still gaining weight. I've gained a LOT of weight since Cael's birth in May. 8 months and I weigh nearly 50 lbs. more than when he was born. Yes, you read that right. Yes, I've been to the doctor. No, I don't have thyroid disfunction.


Household

I stink at housekeeping right now. That's an understatement. My house is a mess. Not only that, my closets are a mess as well. I'm a neat-nick in private. Even when the kitchen is drowning in dishes and the living room floor is nowhere to be found, my closets are tidy. Inexplicably, I care more about my silverware drawer than the kitchen table. Right now, neither is presentable.

I might have a grip on the grocery shopping, laundry, and my sock drawer, but for the life of me, I couldn't find Cael's social security card or the instuctions to the baby mobile. It's driving me crazy. My house is a mess and I can't seem to care enough to buckle down and do anything about it.


Being a wife

No... Jason doesn't complain. Ever. I am so very grateful! However, I've been thinking lately, if I were his employee and I were him, I'd fire me. Not only am I not getting much done, what I am getting done is not done well. He loves me immensely, but he deserves more than my good intentions.


The rest of the story...

I know that my family has a strong history of depression. I am keenly aware of that and don't think that's my issue but will talk to Jason and get his perspective.

I think I am overwhelmed at the weight of obligations that I am not particularly vested in anymore. I am working at taking those off my to-do list.

I also know that there are seasons in life. Right now, mine is being mommy to small children who demand a tremendous amount of attention and energy. Homeschooling will not always include little ones underfoot, but I know for sure, someday I will miss that too. This season is to be embraced. My lessons to be learned undoubtably include: patience, persistance, flexibility, and finding joy.

I can do this. Especially with you doing it alongside me. Thank you.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


Philippians 4:13

9 comments:

Jamie said...

Oh lady, you need a mid winter break. Come here! I'm taking 4 middle schoolers to Seattle tomorrow, you can come with! Better yet, I'll come there, leave the kids with grandma and get our toenails painted. If only it was summer and gas was cheap, we could drive just drive fast and muse about how far we've come and what we went through to get here. That might provide perspective.

Hidden Jewel said...

Huge hugs to you! I wish I were there.

Georgetta said...

Hugs to you! Those feelings of failure are devastating, and I have them regularly! Hope you find some help and peace.

Anonymous said...

Popping in from the homeschool library... I'm sorry this is happening. Sounds like you are under attack. Things to try: Have you called for prayer? Are you having your quiet time(even 5 minutes a day) with the Lord? Can you take a "leave of absence" from your leadership duties? It sounds like it is time for you to be on the receiving end of ministry for a little while. You are giving and giving all day long, maybe it's time for a break from MOPS & any other out of home duties. The health thing is probably just a "season"... everyone I know has a "long winter" to recall, a time of multiple illnesses. Mine came during my possible PPD... it's hard, I know. But, then one day, thank God, the cloud lifted. I pray that happens for you soon. In the meanwhile, have you tried Listerine? Seriously, since my husband started using it- no more sore throats and we all use it and rarely have a cold. I see from THSL that you only have 1 child old enough for Listerine, but try it... any flavor will work. Have you tried the "flylady" routines? When I feel really slumpy in mid-winter and can't motivate that's a place to start. Can you lighten the homeschool expectations and add some enjoyment or a really great read-a-loud? Are you getting outside? Are you getting enough sunshine? I'm not sure where you live. (Sometimes I just stand in the sunshine by the window with my eyes closed for a couple of minutes and let it soak in. We've had a lot of cold/snow and are expecting frigid temps now.) Do you think your hormones are in flux and maybe your cycle will be starting again? It doesn't seem fair, does it? ...that while your body is still recovering from pregnancy and still nursing, you could also be starting... but it happens. Can you pin-point dietary changes to explain the weight gain? If not, I would insist on a thyroid (and other causes)re-check... with a physician who is very up-to-date on thyroid numbers... some are still using the old ones, which leave many people needing more thyroid than they are getting. If you ever had it checked before when you felt good and have those numbers, you could compare the two sets? What do you enjoy in a retreat? Reading a book, listening to a great speaker's talk, talking to a friend, doing crafts,... maybe while baby naps, 10 yr old can entertain 3 yr old(if he doesn't nap) and 7 yr old can read in her room for 30 minutes, while you have a mini-retreat time. I hope this helps... this is what a friend would say to me, if I was feeling down. Susan_T

De'Etta said...

{{{Karen}}}

I've had seasons like this. Yes....push what you can off the to do list....praying for you. Truly.

ccyoung said...

Karen, I didn't read one thing in your post that was a failure. I've have always wondered how you managed to do as much as you do with four small children. I only have one pip-squeak and my somewhat organized life has turned into one of me never quite keeping up with it all. But it's not a failure, it's just a phase. You are being way too hard on yourself. You are doing a fantastic job of raising your four littles, which is a challenging, exhausting, never ending job. I'm going to write you an email, but I want to emphasize how proud you should feel of all you accomplish every day. It's okay to get tired and need a break. That's normal and nothing more.

Love,
Colleen

Cynthia said...

Hope the sun starts shining around here SOON! I always get the mid winter blues about now.... and one of my ways out of it is to organize something (LOL)... obviously you've seen the emails today.

Emily said...

In my 13 years of homeschooling I had many times like that . . I will be praying for you . .

Prindle 4-2 said...

well after reading what your wonderful friends have said to you I'm outta ideas. So I thought I could help in a different way. What are you doing on sat. If your not too busy I can come up and help you clean and make dinner for all of you and me and Josh. Anyway I will talk to you Thursday if not sooner. Good Luck. Feel better.

"So what are you carrying today that you should have set down a long time ago? Why not set it aside and leave it with God and go on the things God wants to do through you today!"


"During your times of trial and
suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it
was then that I Carried You."

well I guess I found two things to say.