I'm at breaking point. But this time, it's a different kind of breaking point. I'm not longing for the black shroud (as much as usual), but instead, I want to escape and live. There is so much going on, and I so desperately want to be a part of it. Of ALL of it. I don't even know where to start.

There are people I want to see, places I want to go, things I want to do, but i just don't seem to have the time to do them. And when I get to one thing, something else calls and I have to deal with that instead.

Lately I've found myself saying "can you just hold on? There's only one of me", all too often. Everyone wants something, and I'm running out of myself to give. I try to hold on to some of me to save for the things I want so desperately to give to (my husband? my children? Myself??), but I feel so damn stretched, to breaking point, to exhaustion.

I feel there is so much expected of me; everyone wants something of me, and it has to meet a standard. I'm (almost) always funny on twitter, so it doesn't feel right if I'm feeling shitty. Supposedly, that should reflect on my blog, so this should be funny too. Instead, it's not. I go from hilarious crazy ass posts, to ones that leave you feeling like you never knew me. And whichever way I go, guilt also ensues.

I was talking to someone who's become a very good friend recently, about parenting and how real we actually are with each other. I couldn't agree with her more when she said there are too many people out there who paint an eternally picturesque beautiful scene. To which I added "yeah, where everyone shits roses" (she's much better spoken than myself, to be fair). And this is the truth. Not enough parents (moms especially) admit to how crap this job really can be.

It's currently early afternoon, and today has been shit. I've been trying to work on my website all morning (with very little success), the boys Grandparents came to visit (which got to the point where Noah was jumping off the damn furniture and throwing a ball at the damn tv).

By the time nap time came around, I just wanted a break. I just wanted the 12pm lunch/nap time routine to run as smooth as possible, so I could just get 5 mins of peace. It ended up with Isaac fussing in his cot for half an hour. Not so bad. Noah however, ended up in a time out, a bloody lip, a cut face, yelled and shouted at, a broken drawer (which I have now fixed) and a mother who now feels the epitome of shit.

And all because I was too damn impatient for my 5 minutes. And now Isaac is awake, and instead of thinking "Yeah! I get to have a cuddle with him!" I think to myself "Please, just go back to sleep and leave me alone."

Guess I'll be back in a minute.


Quite suddenly, I seem to have made some damn awesome friends. I don't think I've ever had friends like these, where I feel I could actually tell them just about anything and they'd stick around for more than 5 minutes to sit and listen (WITHOUT interrupting). And these are people I want to spend time with. People who give a shit about me. But I feel so tied down, and this damn guilt overrides everything I think. And then when people say "where are you? What's going on?" I wonder what the hell I'm supposed to do, because I'm just busy trying to take care of my shit. And sometimes it just seems like there's a whole lot of shit to take care of.

I love my boys (all three of them) so very much. I would do anything for them. But at the same time, I feel like there is nothing I can do for them. I often feel like I'm causing more harm than good. Noah and Isaac have been poorly with one thing and another for nearly a month now, so Cabin Fever is in full force. So I can't take them out. We can't go and visit people. We're stuck indoors. And Noah shows little interest in activities; drawing, stickers and chalking ends after about 5 minutes, usually in tears (of what? I don't know. Frustration? Boredom? You tell me, because? I can't understand him).

Isaac spends the best part of the day causing serious trouble; he's trapped his fingers in everything in which there is to trap them. He isn't walking, so cruising round the furniture regularly means he slides off and hits head on the nearest sharp object, even if it isn't nearby. Somehow. He's much more wimpy than Noah, so spends a good part of the day in tears. Again, not helped with him being poorly.

And there are days when all I want to do is just chat on Twitter. It's like some horribly addictive drug that I can't get enough of; like some kind of club that you've always wanted to be a part of and if you're a member, you have to work hard to stay a member. But it's always worth the effort.

But at what point do I stop? I've got so many things booked for the next few weeks (including meeting new friends I haven't yet met before, travelling to Devon on my own for a weekend, going to a photography exhibition on my own, birthday parties and much more). But where and how do I draw the line and say, "this is it - I need to cut out this and that; I need this person and that person to just give me a bit of space; I need a BREAK." How does one do that, without feeling the guilt? As a mom? Who. Just. Wants. Some. Time.

Does it happen? Because if I'm pulled in any more directions, I am surely going to rip.
20 Responses
  1. BNM Says:

    I think your just gonna have to stop or scream a bit

  2. BNM Says:

    PS Award for you at mine.. BNMx

  3. Lines Says:

    So many things I could say in response to this, but the short version is: I've been there too, as has every other mother of small children.

    When you do get 5 mins to yourself, think not about the things you have to do, but what is the first thing that pops into your head that you *want* to do? Next, look at the things you have to do - which ones are you actively looking forward to, and which are you slightly or secretly dreading, even if they seem like they ought to be great fun/relaxing/whatever? Bin them. Just bin them. Will you offend anyone? Probably not. Not if they're human or care about you in anyway. You can come back to it later.

    Hopefully, when the boys are better and you can do more things, the horizon will retreat to where it should be. In the mean time, unless they are actually at death's door, just take them out to worry some ducks or point at buses or something.

    And yes, you're usually hilarious on Twitter, but no one can be funny all the time, unless they're psychotic. Give yourself a break!

    Take care honey. xxx Ruth (Loveitloveit)

  4. MuddynoSugar Says:

    Your writing is beautiful and explains what most normal Mum's feel. I work and do compressed hours (5 days in 4) so that I can have 6 hours of me time and take my eldest daughter to school once a week. I have only just started doing it but it is bliss. Pure selfishness. Some days I just watch films on the sofa. Weirdly, I usually don't turn on my computer so I don't spend the day twittering. My only advice, if you can get time for yourself, take it. It's better for your whole family.

  5. I find myself feeling horribly guilty for not loving EVERY SINGLE moment I'm with my girls (both babies, like your boys) as I'm at work so much. But I just hang on to the promise of nap time and bed time when the days get too much. I know what you mean about trapping fingers in everything they can. My toddler is especially good at that. Some times you just have to take a step back and breath. Oh and live in the moment. Time goes quicker like that sometimes.

  6. Daz Says:

    Sounds like you need a nice little break in a little cute B&B in Broadway....... get in touch. xx

  7. Erin Says:

    I think any Mom/Mum who trys to tell you she doesn't feel that way is lying through her teeth - we all feel that way sometimes. Honestly, motherhood is not all roses and happy smiling children and makes me want to scream sometimes. =)

  8. Amy Says:

    oh i feel you!! i've had periods of times like you're describing and it is so overwhelming, i feel like standing there and screaming WHAT ABOUT ME EVERYBODY!!! I hope you can get a break because it will make you feel so much better.

    My non talking 2yr old does the same things as you descibe, endless crying, no interest in anything for more than 5mins, it is hard work but when she plays with me and sits quietly and strokes my face, i know she's as frustrated as me.

    Big hug to you hun and without twitter i would go insane too xxxx

  9. Thank you all! It's nice to know there are other humans out there...

    I wish I knew how to shake the guilt, and make more time for me, but it seems I'm destined to never figure it out.

    Thank you so much for all your replies, they're really helping... xxx

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Being in demand means we are needed by many, not such a bad thing in some respects but can make you feel guilty if you aren't able to distrubute your time equally. You need to find some me time, put your foot down with a firm hand and go for it.

    CJ xx

  11. Lady Banana Says:

    I felt exactly like this when my 3 were little. But guess how long ago that was?

    Well my youngest is now 21 and I look back with sadness and wonder where did those years go. Seems they flew in amongst the tears and tantrums and now I barely feel needed...

    Take as much time as you can for yourself but try to enjoy these ups and downs - believe me, they are babies for such little time..

  12. You sound exhausted which is hardly surprising with three children. I only have one and a lot of the time it is draining. We have had tantrums this evening because I have arranged for her to visit friends tomorrow and she has decided she doesn't want to go. But she will get bored on her own at home and whine at me contantly. I often feel that I can't win. Anyone who writes that parenting is a bed of roses is talking rubbish!! Hope things go better tomorrow.

  13. You're so brave writing this post because a lot of us mums think this but are too scared to say anything for fear of feeling we'll be looked upon badly. I have days (quite a few actually) that everything is just so overwhelming I just want to scream and run straight out the door just for some time alone to breath. Just know you're not the only one feeling like this because at some point Im sure each one of us if everyone is honest, have felt the same.x

  14. The thought that this is going to be gone before I know it makes me so sad and scared at the same time. I would give anything to enjoy it right now. And correct, being exhausted doesn't help, but it never stops around here.

    Thinking I'M the one who needs a time out...

  15. Heather Says:

    sometimes you need to stop and take a bit of time to yourself or you'll go nuts!

  16. Sime Says:

    I realise this is mummy-land, but I follow you on Twitter (Well, you followed me @thinktankphoto and now I follow you back @gtvone ) and I have to say, as a new dad to a three month old - I feel ya!

    I'm a music photographer and a blogger and a community manager and a ...etc etc etc... oh and I have a wife and a day job and a house to keep and a family to think about and ....and actually, I don't even have time to keep blabbing on here, so I'll keep it short...

    I don't know what the answer is, I know I love it (ALL of it) but I just don't know how to cover all my bases!

    I hope you don't mind me popping in (as a dad) and thanks for keeping it up.


  17. I am woman, hear me ROAR.
    Sometimes you need to rant and rage and shake your fists at the world.
    I have news for you my friend, it does get easier as they get older. Just hang on in there x

  18. Take a break and do something w/o the kids. Easier said than done though I know. Can granny help? I'm not much for advice though, as I didn't take a proper break from the kids until the youngest was four.

  19. I think is just what happens when you're a mum, you work, you're trying to have a life - you feel like you're being torn every which way. Knowing how to say no is really really important - if your friends are good friends, they'll understand. It's harder to say no to your kids, of course. As I've passed 40 I've become slightly more selfish about what I will and won't do for/with other people. I put my family first and myself second. My friends third. I think I've got that right now.

    This is a fab blog and I feel bad that I've only just discovered it. Apologies! xxx

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Jay, first off, lots of big squishy hugs. Lots and lots and lots. Second, welcome to motherhood.

    We, as mothers, are a special group of creatures. We are no longer fully human, and we (in most cases) are no longer ever alone. Even when we are not in the physical presence of our children, they are always with us. ALWAYS.

    The ability to find a balance between all parts of life is something every Mum struggles with and usually never achieves. You can try to be all things to all people, but in the end you are shorting everyone, including yourself.

    The guilt, ahh the sweet, sweet guilt. That may actually be the hardest thing to deal with as a Mum. Do you know there are actually shits out there that think that working mums are selfish, and that every mum should stay home with her children? That if someone can't afford to stay home with their offspring, they shouldn't have them. What's worse is that these idiots take it one step farther and actually tell working Mums this rubbish. Talk about guilt. As if a Mum doesn't have enough of her own in the first place, now she has some wanker telling her that her decision to bear children was selfish and her choice to go back to work to help pay the bills was selfish as well.

    Then there are the people who tell stay home Mums that they should go out and get a real job because they need to buy everything under the sun for their child, and they are a bad parent if they tell their child "No".

    Mums are bombarded on a daily basis with guilt from outside forces, from their children, and whether they realize it or not, from their spouses as well, and it often seems that you can’t win for loosing. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    We are conditioned to think that to be a good Mum, we HAVE to be everything to everyone. That we have to do it all perfectly, without complaint, and damnit you better have a big happy smile on your face the whole time. Well, it’s time to wake up and realize that the reason Donna Reed and June Cleaver were so complacent all the time is because they were self medicating with a bottle of red, a bottle of white, or a few gin and tonics in the kitchen while they were fixing dinner.

    Mums have to be the caretaker for the whole family. They have to be there to pick everyone up when they fall, Band-Aid in hand, arms ready for the soothing hug and pat on the back. But who's there to pick Mum up when she stumbles? In most cases, no one. Some women are lucky to have a very supportive husband, or a Mum of their own who is there for them, but a lot of women don't have that.

    That's when your friends show who they really are. Every Mum needs a strong circle of women to support her. To pick her up, put the Band-Aid on the injury, and tell her she’s going to be ok. To tell her it’s alright to call the nanny, and go off on a shopping trip by herself. That yes, it’s ok to not love every bloody minute of being a Mum, and that no matter how much you love your children, they are still people with personalities of their own, and that as such, there is no way you could possibly be happy with them at all times.

    Hang in there Jay. I’d like to say it will get better, but I honestly don’t know if it will. Mine is only now 5 years old, but my husband has a 22 year old from his previous marriage, and it seems to be the same. I think it just gets different as they age. Not really better or worse, just different.

    Shawna M.