Monday, April 07, 2008

Can I Get A Witness?

I am getting grumpier every day lately. I'm in a serious funk and I don't know why. I feel like Tom Hanks at the end of the Burbs when he is trying to pull the gurney out to get on the ambulance, or maybe a little like Steve Martin when he flips out in the grocery store in Father of the Bride. I'm just in the "I have had it!" portion of my life I suppose. Don't mind me! Alternate titles for this post included "Greetings from the Valley of the Diapers" (that one I may have used before), "I'm sick of this poop! (literally),"Mary, Mary, Why ya Buggin'?"

I am half tempted to put a poll on here. Who thinks Abby should have more kids? My personal vote is a split vote. Fortunately, I don't have to decide right now. We decided not to even think about the next baby until we have our post-graduation plans secure. But I think about it all the time anyway. I have always wanted a lot of kids. I have said "four at the least" for most of my life. And of course, once I had kids it became just "four." No "at least," because I was quick to realize that I am just not good at this. I would rather do my best with less than have a bunch and be the crazy mom. The problem is, times like this I already am the crazy mom. Is having a crazy mom that bad? I don't know. We could ask my four year old son, the one I drove to tears just a little while ago because of how many pairs of underwear he goes through in a day due to "improper cleanup," shall we say? It's so gross. But he's only four. We could ask my six year old daughter, the one who colored me a picture with this inscription just the other day, "Dear Mommy, I love you. I am sorry you are so grumpy. Love, Amabel" Or we can ask my eighteen month old, the one who was recently traumatized when I, as George put it, "screamed like a crazy person" when I discovered her with the fifth lipstick this month, a brand new one I had just bought to replace the other four and left in the box in my purse (heaven knows how she found it and opened it!), smeared into carpet, hair, and hand smocked dress.

It's like I think we might all actually benefit if I was put on a gurney and wheeled away sometime! You know how the stars "check themselves in" at these "mental health" spa places for "exhaustion?" Give me some of that action! Give my family some of that action!

So I just wonder if I have an incredibly low tolerance for daily living, or does everyone just get in a funk now and then? I am guessing most people go through stages where they are not 100%, but for me it seems to be 1)for no particular reason (unless you count the stress of having less than 40 days until graduation with nothing on the horizon which is not nearly so bad as it will be when there are less than 4 days until graduation so I at least don't think I'm justified in that reason even if it is the reason) and 2)much to the chagrin of other people. I don't much like myself when I get like this. Ah well, self love, it's so overrated. But seriously, can anyone relate to this?


the skocelai said...

uh, yeah! i only have one kid and i have often felt like i was at my breaking point this last week. i think it is an impending move and looking at 40 houses a day. all right, so that is an exaggeration, but it sure feels like it.

Wrights said...

I totally get this. That is why I "threw up" all over you in my e-mail last week when I was in a total funk. (Thanks for listening and encouraging!) You are not the only one and I think that you are normal. It's just that no one talks about it. Thanks for talking about it. I've been praying for y'all with the job situation and your many transitions approaching.

Olive said...

I'll be praying about this Abby. I SOOO hope you kept that note from Amabel. It's tooo cute. How sweet that she's trying to amke you feel better? That is so funny.

While I can't say anything about having kids (though- on a random side note, lately I have been reading WAY too much about brirth control and the like and would love to know your thoughts on Biblical birth control. Not that I need it- I'm still not married and certainly won't be for some time still, but I've felt a lot of conviction about how I think about family planning lately so I am seeking the Lord in it for my future family but would love the opinion of a mother)- that being said- I can tell you are a fantastic mom, and you sure know how to pick the cutest names for kids! :)

jennifer h said...

Praying for you guys.

Also, you're not alone. You're right to assume everyone has their "funks."
I often tell my kids that we don't have all the information about other people that they think have it so good, so we can't judge ourselves compared to them. I have to preach this sermon to myself every time I tell it to them.

Renae said...

My bro-in-law asked us recently if we ever think through the financial implications before "deciding" to have another child. "Uhhhm... (1) have you looked around here lately; and (2), no, we don't?"

Before our 4th was born, my mother-in-law asked, "Don't you think you should have #3's (autism-related) issues under control before you have any more kids?" "Uhhhm... (1) too late... and (2), well, what about *my* issues? Do I have to resolve those, too?"

Yes, I agree that we all go through funks. Just the other day I wondered how I got into this "mess", especially on the days when realize I'm in such a funk that I want to be anywhere but around my kids (shhh! I didn't really say that!).

One final thought... my poor almost-6-yr-old son doesn't even have the opportunity for "improper cleanups"... Should I be letting him do that himself? ... Nah, I'd rather stick to one pair a day!

RHB said...

yep- just lost it completely about an hour and a half ago when the brand new imported Minnie Mouse panties were soiled (after we had already sat on the potty and refused to go).The huge wad of poop fell on floor when I was trying clean her up and I turned into EMH. After repenting for losing it, I proceeded to discover pink highlighter and blue pen streaks all over the couch in a lovely design and had to give a spanking which prompted the sleeping baby to awaken and cry- after which I broke a glass vase on the tile floor on accident while searching for the Resolve-
Calgon, take me away!!!!!

elizabeth campbell said...

I totally feel your pain, and can totally relate given the right day of the week combined with the amount of sleep I get or don't get :)

I also ditto the person above who doesn't give opportunity for improper clean-ups. My seven year old just started wiping herself! My almost five year old definitely isn't up to the task yet. It frustrates my husband, and maybe I'm over the top, but I cannot deal with dirty underwear, and the thought that he could miss a spot washing his hands, if you know what I mean, makes my skin crawl!

abby said...

olive, it's on my fridge! and i don't know if i'm brave enough to talk birth control. it is a really sensitive issue for some people. i will have to think about it and respond when i know i can be sensitive to all sides of the issue. i have waffled from side to side to side over the past few years and have both found out i was having a baby when i was on the pill and found out i was not losing a baby that would have come at what some would have called an inconvenient time. no matter what the situation, for me at least, knowing you are going to have a baby is about as happy as you can be even if you are on the pill and have no insurance, and finding out you are not having a baby even if it wasn't planned and your husband is unemployed is about as sad as you can be (well, you can be sadder, i'm sure, but you don't want to be). basically, babies are good. i always welcome them with overwhelming enthusiasm. but sometimes i, personally, don't go looking for another one. i think that's okay to say.

oh rachael, that was the other alternative title! (calgon take me away) i forgot! ha! and "turned into EMH"- my biggest fear. the difference is the repentance and the reconciliation with child.

renae, that financial implications thing really ticks me off. i get that a lot from my parents- discouragement from having any more based on cost. so annoying. because how much is enough to satisfy people's skepticism? and i totally agree about the issues. i guess i tend to think if i waited for all my issues to be resolved, i would be dead! on the other hand, i still debate, as evident from this post, if there won't be a time where i will have a few less issues on my plate. i have a lot hung on graduation and job placement, can ya tell?

rebekah olive, and jennifer, thanks for your prayers! it is very comforting! and jennifer, that "sermon" is one i am still trying to get hold of too. i also have to flip it to remind myself that everyone doesn't have all the info on me so that when they make those comments or assumptions or whatever, they maybe don't have the whole picture.

elizabeth, but they go to school, right? so i had to let it out of my hands at that point. also, the gag reflex. ugh, this is just lose lose.

elizabeth campbell said...

See, Caroline just started school last year, when she was six. And I have know idea what she did...she always said she just didn't do that at school, and I still did my duty any other time. And Jack has never been anywhere other than home, nor will he be until second grade probably, when we can afford two tuitions :) Yeah, I forgot August is in school, so that's definitely out of your control, but you could have a home policy, just to minimize yuckiness!

Tarah said...

I like to check your blog every now and then and I have decided to speak up today, hope you don't mind. You are normal! I think everyone has "fed up" days. I don't have kids and trust me I have those days as well. We all have so many things we juggle in life it's hard not to have those moments of "enough is enough"... In regards to checking yourself into a place, I suggest a spa day. "Me time" tends to help get me back to feeling normal and less "postal"! I will say reading this post and some of the comments makes me happy not to have to deal with pooo... that might be a breaking point for me. ;)

Best of luck!!

Fittsy said...

This really isn't about the post, but maybe you could bleach the undies?? I think this is a great use an environmentally unfriendly product!!

Earnestly praying for y'all.


courtney said...

Oh, I could have written this post!! I go through this thought process DAILY!! I think that it's just really stinking hard to be a parent. At every moment, we have to be on - in every situation, b/c we're being watched in every situation. But, obviously, that's impossible. We're sinful and fallible. And you're right- the difference is in the repentance. Showing the kids that we can get it wrong and recognize it and work hard not to do it again. I get so frazzled that I can feel like I'm not being fair to the girls b/c I feel like I'm losing my mind! But, I find that in those moments where I think- I'm going crazy and I can feel the crazy coming- that God meets me. Right there. And, I've needed to give it to Him many moments before the blow up, but, then I let go.
You are going through one of the biggest transitions a family can face- job change. We're going through it, too. Not on your scale though- you're being set free from school (awesome), and thrown into a somewhat unknown or unfamiliar phase (not so awesome??). So, all that to say, give yourself some grace. You need it. Thanks for being so honest and forthcoming. It makes me feel less crazy!!!


Lori Shaffer said...

At the risk of sounding uncompassionate, you don't know the full extent of gross until you deal with a 50-year-olds soiled pants on a daily basis. It makes little toddler poo seem cute...really.

We all have those crazy days and I promise they become less frequent as the children age (and as we mature and become more sanctified). No easy answer to the # of children question, huh? I used to feel guilty about only having I wasn't spiritual enough because I knew that was all I could handle (even thought I started out wanting 15...why 15? I don't know, but that was my goal!)

Now I rest assured that the Lord knew what He was doing...we would not be able to accomodate Julian or Riesa if we had lots of children. So try not to fret over it too much. As you know from experience, it may happen in spite of our best attempts to prevent it...that's where trusting in God's goodness comes in.

abby said...

lori, not uncompassionate at all. i can't imagine! i really appreciate your perspective.

courtney, i meant to say this last post- i'm glad to hear from you again! write me and tell me what's going on with your mom and your job transition too; it's been a while! thanks for your perspective too. everyone is so gracious!

rebekah, i have to say, i just throw them away! isn't that terrible? but i can't handle it. i can NOT. however, much progress has been made in the three days since the scolding, so maybe that's what he needed- i did apologize for the severity of it later. we've also made it three nights in a row without "nighttime pants!" (basically a pull up for older children for night time, to anyone who doesn't know what i mean) kind of amazing in light of our last conversation, huh?

tarah, i always love to hear from you as well. especially for you to say "you are normal." that is really nice to hear! and even though the poo is gross; it really is much better when it's your child. i have gag reflex a lot quicker with other children's diapers than my own children's. you know, for what that's worth :)

elizabeth campbell said...

Throwing them away is NOT horrible...I totally cannot deal with that either. I almost do it when dealing with the stomach virus, but as that would probably eliminate half our wardrobes, I force myself to believe that regurgitated food is not as bad as totally digested food eliminated the other end...yuck!

Also, I think it's funny that you mentioned the "losing it" scene from Father of the Bride...that used to be one of my all time favorite scenes...hilarious. Too bad when we're losing it, we can't take a step outside ourselves and see the way others are viewing it. I had a similar episode this morning when I was trying to make brownies at 6:30 this morning that I forgot I was supposed to send with Caroline to school, so I was trying to get them cooled and cut before she had to leave, only to have the 9x13 pan slip out of my potholder and shatter in a million pieces all over my kitchen floor...shards of glass mixed with the brownies I was supposed to send. Not to mention, Andrew, who's been sick for five days, was standing there screaming b/c I couldn't pick him up and I was screaming at Caroline to get him so he wouldn't step on the glass! My mom woke up and was like, "What on earth is going on and why is everyone screaming?" Pretty funny now, but not at 6:30 this morning.

abby said...

yes, that is funny. i am cracking up. but no, not at the time, especially as it happened to be WAY too early in the morning.

Anonymous said...

abby, your blog has to be one of the most honest blogs online (not that i read a ton of them). but seriously, you capture the everyday life of a mom, perhaps particularly the stay at home mom, so clearly. (and ELIZABETH - i'm SO sorry, but that story IS funny later)
i agree on my in-laws suggesting we wait to work on Lucas' sensory issues first before having another kid and all the financial "advice" others give that the others' said. i don't know. at some point i wonder, have they forgotten it's worth it - raising kids for Christ? did they ever think it was worth it? i am very passionate about raising my kids, as exhausting as it is and as many days as i have a "losing it" moment (i personally have lots of mine when woken up in the middle of the night). but my neighbor asked me the other day how i stay at home all day with 2 kids, and all i could think of was, what else would i want to do more? NOTHING. :) i still love all of it.

Anonymous said...

sorry - i meant to say i agree that my inlaws say the same kind of thing as renae's family about their kid #3 and i disagree with them also.
katherine fain (i've got to reset my google pswd)

Anonymous said...

I distinctly remember my daughter, stirring happily in a mud puddle, covered with dirt head to toe. I specifically remember we had to leave for church in less than 2 minutes or we would be late. I specifically remember yanking my sweet girl out of the puddle (must have been three at the time) and yelling at her all the way to the house, "NO NO NO NO NO!"

Looking back I wish I could erase that moment and laugh at her adorableness. I wish I could go back, sit down, and make a mud pie with her. But I can't.

However, I did learn something from that incident, or that "funk" as you say. So it served a purpose. And my daughter is lovely young lady, eleven years old. She survived the funk as well. It's all good.

Of course we all have funks. I have them now that my youngest is eleven and my oldest is fifteen.


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