Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Party for One

I am currently attending a party. A party of one. A pity party.

Bear with me....

I sit amongst piles of laundry that litter my bed. My bed which has not been properly made in weeks. Let's not even talk about how I have no idea when the last time the sheets were changed was. Toys are sprinkled around the room, pieces here and there. Pieces that are bound to be lost very soon. Pieces of toys that were received for Christmas; yes, just a week ago. I am still living out of a toiletry bag that I took on some trip some where to some place I am not sure where it was or when we were there. Our closet is full of things I need to organize, put in their proper places, toss out; yet have not had the time (or energy) to tackle said job.

And that, is only a portion of the trouble found in this house. That my friend, is ONLY my master bedroom.

There are a select few rooms in our house that are in decent shape. Decent meaning, at least 50% of the room is slightly orderly. And those TWO rooms belong to the youngest members of our household, the kiddos.

I have a dining room table covered in MORE things I need to organize, store, toss. My bathrooms leave so very much to be desired.

I will give you a warning now: If you come to my house, PLEASE be sure to make sure there is toiler paper and a hand towel in whatever bathroom you are using BEFORE you use it. One of those two very important items; if not both, are likely to be missing.

Clutter stresses me out (many things stress me out).

And here is where the same dialogue runs through my head over and over and over....

"How do those other mom's do it? I only have 2 kids, but there are mom's out there with way more than that. They see? My laundry neatly folded and hung up the day I retrieve it from the dryer?"

I am in a constant battle with myself, comparing myself, to other women who seem to "have it all together".


I know all these other women are probably struggling like me, but why do I feel so isolated and alone?

Not to mention, aside from the stress of the actual home, I have the added stress of those WITHIN the home. I have a high maintenance 10 month old daughter (yeah, I said it) and a nearly 3 year old toddler who is at the height of terrible two's. I am stressed with the demands of life. Some days I count the seconds until bedtime. But that's not it, there's more (mrs. infomercial here!), I know that once I get the baby to bed, I have to try to get as much done as i can before she wakes up. Once she's awake (which is between 1-2 hours later), she WILL NOT go back to sleep in her crib. I either have to rock her back to sleep, where she will only stay asleep for a very short amount of time, to wake up and need rocking again. Or if I bring her to bed with me, she does sleep much better.

BUT WAIT....yes, there is more....

with the hubby's new job, he gets up extremely early, and since he sleeps with jonah (oh, did i mention that? Uh yeah, if the hubs does not sleep with Jonah, Jonah will wake up many many times in the night, crying for daddy. Hubs ALWAYS cracks and gives in and eventually falls asleep with Jonah) i am left alone, to tend to the baby. And once the hubs leaves Jonah's bed, Jonah will only sleep 10-15 minutes longer. This means Jonah is up at 5am, wakes Lily up and we are all up at 5am.


i am tired all the time, stressed over everything, the house is mess, i can't even manage to get to the post office to buy a stamp to mail a letter, i try to do everything in my power to NOT have to take the baby anywhere since 75% of the time she is in her car seat, she is screaming. I feel the urge to drink....every. single. day. I want to ram my head into the wall at least once an hour. My kids eat crap because i am too burned out to make a healthy meal. i shower once every 3-4 days. I haven't watched a tv show/movie all the way through for as long as i can remember.

and i actually have fallen asleep TWICE while writing this post.

So here, my question to you dear reader. Where do you stand on these kinds of things? Tell me, please tell me, everyone have corners of clutter, closets you can barely walk into, toilets that haven't been cleaned for weeks (months?).

And times where you are so overwhelmed you need to, want to, HAVE TO cry.

And tell me, it will get easier. I think I need to hear that more than anything.


Missee22 said...

Me too me too! Let's all hire babysitters to watch the monsters,er, kids. Maids to clean the house. Chefs to make healthy, TASTY food. And then all the Mommies meet up somewhere and get smashed together!!!Woohoo!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I am sure so many Moms can relate, because it's impossible to have everything perfect. Something has always got to give- whether it is housework, free time, time with the kids, or work.

If you take a deep breath and make a plan, tackle one area at a time. Go slow and you might have to stop & start to tend to the kids, but try to be strict on yourself and don't check Twitter or email until it's done. Then move on to the next area or room (and this might take all week... all month!) If you can, have your Mom or someone come play with the kids while you clean or organize for a few hours.

Little by little it will feel SO much better. You'll feel lighter. And you'll notice the areas you are willing to give and take.

Recently I freecycled a TON of stuff- we had too much stuff piling up and that adds to the clutter in your house AND your mind.

As long as everyone's safe & their needs are being met, the other stuff can be tended to when you're able.

Hang on and hang in there- it's what we're all doing. :)


Colleen, Baby Potential said...

Oh, Jen. I have been there. Heck, some days I'm still there. I have piles of dirty laundry. I have baskets of unfolded, incredibly wrinkled clean laundry. I recently wished for a laundry fairy for Christmas -- didn't get one :(. None of us is perfect and I, too, find parenting two children to be difficult. I often wonder how other people have more than two kids because, GOOD LORD, how is it humanly possible???

But, it does get better. I swear it! The first year of my second child's life was the hardest year of my life, harder even than the year I battled cancer. But once he turned one things started to get better and easier. He just turned two the other day and things are MUCH better. Time helps but the changes can be so dang slow some days that banging your head into a wall does seem to be the only option. It's not. You sound like you need a break. And, at the very least, you need to know that you're not alone. You're not. I was there. Lots of us were there. You'll get through this. And when things are better your memory will be fuzzy about how hard it actually was. But, before that happens, get your tubes tied. That's what I did because, OMG, I could not go through another year like that EVER. :) LOL

TMI? I hope my (overly lengthy) comments helped a little.

Andrea said...

I swear you were sitting in my house writing this! I feel exactly the same way. Hang in there, you really are doing great and some day your kids will be grown and everything will be just so and you will miss these crazy days. My rule is "people before things" so I take care of myself & hubby, so we can take care of the kids, and everything else comes last. But enlist help where you can, friends, mom, sister, someone to give you a few hours for YOU and everything will be much easier to take.

~love said...

yes, it gets better and no, you are not alone. something always has to give. here last week it was the laundry. it is always something. i just have to know that my kids are safe and loved and the rest will come eventually. someday, all too soon, our houses will be quiet, clean and empty. hang in there.

~michelle pendergrass said...

Ok. Number one Myth--No one (NO ONE!) has it all together. No matter how many pretty pictures are on a blog or now matter how much talk comes out of their mouth--no one has it all together.

Your house doesn't have to be perfect. Period. It doesn't even have to be close to perfect. And on that note, perfectionism has no place in parenting--or cleaning. Perfectionism can be a blessing in certain circumstances, but often it's a nasty, ugly curse. (Experience is wisdom. LOL)

Shall I take you on a tour of my dirty little secret places in my house next Wednesday?

I think the Fly Lady has the right idea, only she's annoying to me. Set a timer for 15 minutes and FOCUS. If you did three 15 minutes cleanups a day, you'd be feeling pretty accomplished.

Oh and Tackle it Tuesday helps me because I love to stare at the before and after pictures. LOL

Complicated Mama said...

Hello????? why don't you live closer to me ?? clearly we are twins!!

I could have written most of this post... The laundry, the clutter, the husband being beckoned in the middle of the night by the oldest child... and that dialogue "I only have 2, other women have so many more"... ugh! how do we make that voice stop? lol

I reached a breakdown point a few weeks back--- and so maybe it makes me crazy-- but after a good long cry.. i felt a little better... still got tons of laundry, and cluttered closets, tables, etc... but I felt a little better.

You are not alone my friend... not by a long shot... and you have my phone number.. USE IT!

Erin said...

You've received a lot of great advice here, so I won't add to much. I agree with Steph, in that you almost have to ignore the computer to get things done. Another thing I do is to reward myself... I love candles, so when a room is clean, I get to light candles in it. It motivates me!
Freecycle is awesome, too, for clutter.
And Michelle is right--it's too easy to sound perfect on the internet. No one really has it together.

Melissa: Mother to 3 Little Sprouts said...

we can cry together! I just got done telling my husband that I hate to admit it but I cant seem to get it together since our little Lilly came. It gets better...........It has too!

Anonymous said...


Okay, where do I start. Looks like your kids are damn near as close as mine. A lot of people said that it gets better, but it doesn't it just gets different.

1) Become comfortable with not showering everyday.
2) Get strict. It is okay to have a family bed. BUT it isn't okay for everyone to be sleep deprived it makes for bad mommies and daddies and bad kids. period. Use techniques like the sleep separation one from SuperNanny. Spend a month doing it and get that SET! before you go on to anything else.
3) Freecycle
4) Hire a kid to help with laundry go to the laundry mat and finish it all at once! 2 hours tops, then you at least "have it all done at once"
5) Set up a schedule. Not a daily one but a weekly or monthly one. i.e Sheets get washed on Tuesday.
6) have "play clothes" dont' change the baby 4 times a day, unless it's poop, leave it and save the time washing clothes.

7) don't listen to a thing I've said, and find what works for you.

All of these things still plague me. I suck at being a supermom and resort to yelling and it doesn't work.

Good Luck I will check back in to see how you've mangaged.

Lauren said...

As I started reading this, I thought OMG she has a hidden camera in my house. I am at my wits end with the clutter and responsibility that is hanging over my head. I was walking a thin lin to being over the edge and then Christmas came. I just gave up.

It's a Beautiful Ride said...

I sat in church today realizing that I don't recall this past summer. I don't recall much of what my kids did or said that should've made me smile. Most of my garden suffered because I was so busy spinning one too many plates. Well, I dropped those plates and concentrated on "ME".

I've learned that if I do a load of laundry a day I stay caught up.

If I keep the mail in a basket, I do through it only once during the week.

I have envelopes that I bought by 3M that I keep on the fridge for important notes.

My papers and misc. junk to be dealt with goes in 3 folders. To be paid, follow up and file. I go through those once a week.

My meals are planned out in enough advance and with an oven, crock pot and skillet you'd be surprised with what I come up with after a long day at work.

My house... One thing gets done each day. Whether it's dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms, etc. it's one thing a day.

There are 7 days in a week and God intended for us to rest on any 1 day. You need that. Take an hour a day to do a task. Make a list.

When I cross things off my list I feel so empowered like I really nailed a task. If I keep it all in my head I drive myself crazy!

Lily senses your tenseness. Jonah knows mommy's upset. And your hubby.... I'm sure he doesn't want to see you this way.


I know it's hard to balance so many things, but getting upset and stressed only makes it worse. Life is so short and it's not worth it...

Smile... Treat yourself to something... Embrace the woman inside of you and know... that no matter what... NO WOMAN has "it" together. If she says she does, she's lying.

Finally... give it all to God... He created us in his image.... And the cobwebs in your corners or the crumbs on the floor won't matter one day.

Toni said...

Can I please come and help you? I'm very good at it :) It does get better, I promise. Babies & little ones do that to EVERY family - it's just part of it. Don't overwhelm yourself. Do one little thing at a time and feel good about doing that :) PLEASE let me know if I can help you.