Thursday, May 21, 2009

I keep thinking about Dalene's comments

The ones she made about being earnest. She is braver than I, and far more eloquent.

I am trying to walk the fine line between Earnest and Murmuring - really, where does one end and the other begin?





See all that empty space above? That's where I did a bunch of UNtyping because I can't make the words come out right. Know this - being a mom is (for me) the hardest and best thing I do and also don't do.

I love it, but sometimes I dread it. It tethers me and yet it grounds me. Being grounded is fine and all, but feeling tethered tends to kick in my Fight or Flight instinct - which, by the way, does not make for gentle, patient mothering.

I'm not talking about mothering a disabled child - that's a whole different story. I'm talking about mothering in general (and darn if I don't know where to place my commas in all these ramblings) it just doesn't come easy for me. I keep thinking, "I'm doing it wrong," and "How many hours of therapy will my adult children need because I'm doing it wrong," or better still, "Can I be turned into DCFS for denying my child access to a cell phone with unlimited texting?"

I wonder sometimes if I'm the only mom to feel this way. Do you understand what I mean by tethered, yet grounded? What are your remedies for balance? How do you keep the ties that bind without feeling strangled or selfish?

15 comments:

b. said...

I am sorry for the conflict you are feeling.
I feel it too.
Especially today, I had lots of uncontrollable tears today (well, yesterday) because of it.
So....thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't have an answer. Just know you're not alone.

Kristina P. said...

I think that you're fine with the whole DCFS cell phone thing. :)

Mrs. Organic said...

b - thanks and I'm sorry you feel it too.

kristina - phew!

myimaginaryblog said...

Hmmm.

I've been having quite a week -- frustration (trying to get things done, and not even coming close to succeeding) compounded with worry (my period started up again, which is something that always happens to me shortly postpartum even when I nurse around the clock -- happens to all my sisters, too, so it's rare in general, but normal for my family -- but this time I've learned from my midwife that it could mess up my milk supply, and since I didn't get to nurse Henry for as long as I wanted to (he got frustrated, lost interest, and lost weight,) I'm very anxious not to lose the good nursing relationship I've got so far with Hazel) where was I? Oh, yeah, those things are compounded by sleep deprivation from being determined to nurse Hazel as much as she wants, (even from 3-6 AM as it often turns out,) and also from staying up much too late, probably as a sort of self-medicating for all the worry and frustration. Oh, and there was that thing on my blog where I admitted to sometimes losing my temper with my kids, and my uncle left that well-meaning but obnoxious comment that seemed to basically say "Stop seeking empathy about the problem and instead get over it already," which I tried to let roll off me (this uncle's famous for saying rude and alienating things to people,) but which did end up getting under my skin, because what if I'm really not giving it my best effort and I really should have just gotten over it by now? And since I've been trying to help the kids get their rooms cleaned (we're in what's turning out to be a very lengthy process of switching their bedrooms,) I keep finding weird, annoying messes that multiply faster than any of our cleaning progress, and I keep having to tell myself that my children are normal messy children, not spiteful demons who are out to get me. (I'd hate to think that praying for those who despitefully use you and persecute you means pray for your children, but sometimes it can feel that way.)

Is that what you meant by earnest? :) Good luck finding some answers in all that -- but maybe there's at least some commiseration.

I guess I can't even recycle this comment on my blog b/c of the stuff about my uncle. Maybe if I expunge that part and don't link back here . . . or maybe I'll (cowardly) skip it.

myimaginaryblog said...

P.S. I just remembered that one title I considered for my blog was something along the lines of "The Earnestness of Being (self-)Important," but I could never quite come up with a variation of the saying that worked.

myimaginaryblog said...

I think I'm the only person in the world online on the Friday afternoon of Memorial Day Weekend, which is kind of pathetic, and I'm coming back to add to my own comments, which is possibly more pathetic. But I don't mind being pathetic, because what I came back to say is that after thinking about it some more, I've decided that my intentions to give myself over to anger less are sincere and that I am making progress, and also that commiseration helps me feel better, which in turn helps me be a better mom.

I'm also still mulling over "tethered" and "grounded" but so far I don't have any wisdom on those.

Heffalump said...

Hmmm. This is a thought provoking post.
I think that most Mothers find themselves with mixed feelings. Yes, there is joy, but being a Mom is also HARD. I certainly haven't found a balance, but I HAVE learned that sometimes I have to do some things just for me. Occasionally taking care of myself helps me to not build up resentment when Mothering leaves a less than desireable amount of time for me. At the same time, I also realize that I can't have everything revolve around me. I only have these little souls in my care for a certain amount of time before they will fly off on their own, and I know that there will come a day when I will suddenly find myself with a lot more time for me, and I am sure when that time comes, I will miss being needed.

Mrs. Organic said...

MIB - I replied to your comment (rather a long reply) and the internet ated it. I really don't love when that happens. But suffice it to say - I absolutely enjoy your comments.

Heff - well said. I think some of my conflictedness is coming from a realization that one of mine will be on his own in only 4 years. Aaack! I need a do-over.

Mrs. Organic said...

And also, commiseration is nearly the same as bearing one another's burdens.

And your uncle has me a bit steamed.

Shawn said...

I go from being self-absorbed to feeling guilty that I am not a good mother or how I didn't do enough for my other kids----it is a fine line.

I don't think that we are ever truly satisfied in this area....the trick is to be able to feel peaceful about it anyway, and then keep trying---no matter how exhausted we are!

SuzieBel said...

You rock. I mean you really are a rock! I still feel the conflict and my nest is empty....Now I have 3X the family to terrorize. The bottom line is I do the best I can. I love my fam and they love and tolerate me.

You bless your families life because you live with intention and love.

Up in Bubbles said...

Nobody is perfect and the best part is, are kids get to grow up and have kids and realize that it is a hard job and that their mom did the best she could. Or at least that is my hope. Because dang nobody prepared me for what a big job this is and the responsiblity I would feel. (Scary)

Kim N said...

I have been struggling with this myself for awhile. I worry all the time that I am "messing up" my kids. I have been a big fat grump for about two weeks and can't seem to shake it or figure out a cure and my poor kids bear the brunt of it.

...but then there are those days that I feel I can conquer the world. Thank goodness for those days!

Thank you for your honesty. I love blogs like yours. I feel inspired and motivated by all that you do, but I also appreciate and admire your honesty and imperfection, which makes me able to relate and feel camaraderie with you.

Mrs. Organic said...

Shawn - that's exactly what i mean.

Sue - You're the sweetest person I know, if you're "terrorizing" then there's no hope for me. :)

Kell - there's a lot of things I'd tell my younger mother-self. A lot and one of them is (are you ready?)- "Don't ever swear and by that I mean don't have any children." Somehow the two go hand in hand for me.

Kim - Thank you. Really, I try not to be depressing but sometimes - "...to the moon, Alice. To the moon." You know?

JENNIFRO said...

Too heavy for 10:00 pm. I'll be up all night stressing and piling bricks on my back. Yeah, we all feel it. GUILTIEST job on the planet.