There's more to me than "Mommy"…but not by much!

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Order! I will have order in my house! April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephaniesings @ 5:16 pm
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Chocolate syrup on the mattress.  Broken window.  Crayon markings on the walls.  Clutter EVERYWHERE!  Never ending laundry and dishes.  And the disorder is not limited physically.  Sibling rivalry, tantrums, me constantly sounding like a broken record, potty training challenges (which exacerbates the laundry condition, not to mention the nerves).  AND I’d like my and my darling husband’s relationship to include more than being mere roommates.  (In no way am I suggesting this is his fault.  He is wonderful.  Our marriage is quite solid which is why I’d like more time alone with him.  Life just is what it is right now.)

Typical responses from others that are not helpful:  “Keep a positive attitude.  Concentrate on the good.  Be patient; it will get better with time.  Don’t lose your sense of humor.  Justin should be helping you more.  This is another reason why you don’t need to homeschool.”, etc.  Advice about what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it; criticisms or judgmentalism about what an untidy house I keep or my kids’ behavior do NOT help.  It’s not funny anymore and I don’t have the energy nor willpower to improve my attitude.  My patience is gone.

There is a time and a place for suggestions but I don’t want to hear it right now.  I already know that I’m a contributor to the problem and I could do better.  For instance, I could refrain from writing this and get back to the task at hand.  I need more self-discipline, I admit it.  Just let me vent for now, PLEASE.

I’m a mother of 3 children ages 5, 3 1/2, and 2.  Just when one begins to lessen the frequency of an inappropriate or annoying behavior, the next one picks it up.  I love my kids.  I like having them at home and enjoy spending time with them.  They bring me great joy and are as sweet as pie.  I just feel like other families “have it all together” and here I am drowning in chaos and hanging on to a thread of sanity.

The stress level in my house (not to mention my mind) is enormous and overwhelming.  I feel like I’m being hit from every side and have had my fill of it.  Something has to change and fast.  I keep thinking if I could just get the house under control PHYSICALLY, then I could take control of the intangible problems we’re facing.  But there always seems to be some “fire to put out”…appointments to be made or kept, errands to run, applications to fill out, dinner to cook, laundry to do, kids in need of something at the most inconvenient times.  {Even as I’m typing this, one is running through the house while another begins to cry under toe (our little drama queen)}.  So, the physical aspect doesn’t improve and projects that I hope to undertake wait yet another day.  I’m tired of being the hose…or is God the hose?  Yes, I suppose God is the hose.  I’m tired of being the fireman.

So now I’m labeled “the complainer” or “the downer” that no one wants to be around or the one who needs serious help.  I DO need serious help but not in the form of mere words.  Come walk in my shoes for a day, nay, a week and then tell me what I should do.  But that’s another thing, why do I care what other people think?  Why do I compare myself to others who “have it all together”?  Give it to God, you say.  I know.  I’m a huge advocate of that advice and I’m trying to heed it.  But for now, I’ll pound my gavel, do what I can to improve…and pray, pray, pray.

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7 Responses to “Order! I will have order in my house!”

  1. stephaniesings Says:

    Well, posting this helps my stress level. I might be open to suggestions, only tread lightly. 😉

  2. Michelle Says:

    This comes from an older mom of a 16, 16, 10, 4, 3 and 2 year olds. I don’t know if you have this option, but I just picked up my 3 little ones from a dear (younger) friend who has raised her kids, but misses the chaos every now and then. She takes them one morning a week for a few hours and they play hard. It gives me the chance to catch up on bills, vacuuming, shopping, breathing, getting my hair done, praying, having coffe with a friend, lunch with my husband and just some sanity time today.

    Try and find someone who might be able to give you just a few hours a week to get a little bit of order back. It actually helps me to do the same for another younger mom that I know who needs a break every now and then too.

    • stephaniesings Says:

      Michelle, if anyone has the right to give me advice, it’s you! I don’t know how you do it. Kudos to you, my friend. Major kudos! Finding someone to watch the kids for a couple of hours a week sounds WONDERFUL. Justin, even while balancing 2 jobs and 2 grad classes, still manages to help me there. Unfortunately, often those outings are spent grocery shopping or running some other errand that needs doing. I’m still very grateful for the get-away, though.

      We had the boys in preschool once a week while we were in Gravette and that was a big help. I was also part of a MOPS group then and loved it! In fact, this is the first place we’ve lived since having children that I haven’t been a part of such a group. I dearly miss it. I want to be more proactive about finding one here, only that’s another thing to add to the “to do” list which is one of the reasons it hasn’t happened yet. Another reason is expense. We’re living off loans and a shoestring budget right now so for us, help like that is a luxury we can’t yet afford. There are other avenues, though, that I can pursue. Thank you for bringing this to mind.

      Best wishes to you and the family and thanks for the encouragement. :0)

  3. Kathy Says:

    Girl, I don’t know how you do it. As someone who has survived life with 2 preschoolers, I still find it hard to imagine throwing a 3rd into the mix. Nevertheless, you find time to reflect, write excellently and think things through.

    I feel bad sometimes that I am not home with my kids more, but for me, working part-time is a chance to get away, to regroup and appreciate the time I do have with them.

    I wonder all the time about those who seem to have it all together. But somehow I never get really close to someone who does. Coincidence? Or are they either a) faking it or b) too busy managing their lives to participate in them? I don’t know, but hang in there and keep being real! 🙂

    • stephaniesings Says:

      Kathy, trust me when I say I couldn’t do this without God’s help. Also, to quote my grandmother who raised 5 of her own stair-stepped kids when I asked her how she did it, “You just do it. Somebody’s got to do it. It has to be done, so you just do it.” Somehow she survived so that gives me hope. You are a wonderful mother and will have no problem managing a third little one. It is definitely an adjustment, just the logistics of it (since we don’t have 3 arms and now the adult/child ratio has tipped), but juggling it all will become second-nature to you…unlike me. LOL 😉

      Don’t feel bad about not being home with your kids more. Honestly, I envy the time you have away and it probably does make you a better mom. They thrive when you are taking good care of yourself.

      As for those who “have it all together”, I thought of a third possibility too: we just THINK they have it all together. For me, you are one of the ones who does, but from your comments, it sounds like that’s just my flawed perception. That’s me. Flawed. Be encouraged knowing that others like me look up to you. And don’t worry. I’ll definitely keep it real! 🙂

  4. Geneva Says:

    Girl, I hope you don’t think I have it all together.. Your post sounds pretty much like my life. And I feel like I am “‘the complainer’ or ‘the downer’ that no one wants to be around or the one who needs serious help”. I know that is how many label me and that makes me sad because this is the time I need friends the most. Many of my so-called friends have stopped talking to me and I assume it is because of the issues ELisha has been having lately, and that seems to be all my life is about to them. However, I still do everything I did before….I am still on the leadership team of MOPS, still in school, still take Elisha to therapy 4 hours a week, still deal with my wonderful Husband’s overnight work schedule, still volunteer every Wednesday eve at church, still go to church on Sundays, still have 3 others children I take care of…..and the list goes on and on…..Elisha’s new issues are just added to my daily life.

    I can’t really give you advice, so I am glad you don’t want it. Just know you are not the only one that has crayon marks on the walls, clutter around the house, never-ending laundry and dishes……ect. You are not alone……..

    • stephaniesings Says:

      Geneva, you’re not a complainer or a downer (and we all need serious help LOL). Life is difficult for you right now. Don’t feel guilty about wanting to share that with your friends. You shouldn’t carry that burden alone.

      I’m amazed that you’re doing as much as you’re doing! Is there something you could take off your plate, at least until things settle down a little?

      We’re miles away, but if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know. I’ll listen anytime you need to vent or unload. You are in my prayers.


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