Monday, May 18, 2009

When the little things overwhelm

There are times that I feel proud, like I've got it together. There are other times that I feel like a fraud. I wonder if random people at the grocery store, mall, where ever, can tell what my house really looks like when we are away at play. I am frightened that I am emitting certain signals that say, "we are here because we couldn't stand being there." These things really do plague me when I'm out in public with my brood.

My house never seems to come together all at once. Whether it is the children's domain that I just shut the door on and ignore, or if it is the laundry room where I just can't fathom bending over to pick up all the socks from the floor...I worry...constantly.

It is particularly difficult right now. The pull and push of my vacuum and tile cleaner are agony for me right now. The numbness that creeps up my legs (yes, even my good one) when I stand too long, punish me for trying. I can crawl upstairs at night proud of all my work, just to find that tomorrow it will all go back to hell in a hand basket because even picking up TLL brings tears to my eyes. I am trying in these last few weeks to find a healthy medium between letting the mess and clutter overtake us, and not letting the pain consume me as I battle it. It is hard.

I have always been a big believer in letting God decide how big a family should be ( leftover of my Catholic upbringing) but, this pregnancy has been so physically hard on me that I am pretty sure that I can't do this again. What I take away from my children who are here and need me, is causing my heart to ache. There are nights when that ache is a contender with the pain from my body.

My first two pregnancies were a breeze. I mean, I was good to go, didn't understand what people complained about, right up to labor and delivery. My third was pretty easy. With H, I was quite uncomfortable at the end, but, then again I worked my last shift in labor and then drove myself to the hospital. The fatigue nearly killed me in the first three months with TLL, the pressure at the end was pretty hellish. My stepson was living with us at the time and unemployed, so I had plenty of help, and could nap to my heart's content. This time around, I have been so tired that staying awake is hard. The pain and pressure have been constant companions for months now. I'm not sure if it is a culmination of two pregnancies too close together and single parenthood, or if it really does get harder the more you do it.

The only thing that I am certain of at the moment is that I have more laundry to do. I have to clean the tile, pick up the floor in my bedroom, vacuum, clean the kitchen counters, dust, and scrub bathrooms. Please God, give me the strength.


  1. I wish I had some awesome words that might help. I just wish you some comfort and rest.

  2. I felt the same way during my 5th pregancy. And I too have believed in letting God decide the size of our family. But the 5th one? Did me in. You'll get through it, and you'll hear 80 gazillion people say "I don't know how you do it" like you already do I'm sure. I had really easy pregnancies/deliveries, for the most part anyway, until the 5th. Pain, exhaustion, overwhelm,...all of these pointed to the reality that this one had to be my last. I especially relate to what you said about your heart aching from what your present children are not getting from you -- that one was huge for me.

    One of the hardest things for me about having a large family is that all of my friends have "moved on" from the baby/toddler stage and it looks from the outside like their lives have settled down because of it. They no longer relate to the ups and downs of pre-school ages, even though they can remember what it is like. It's lonely and isolating, and it feels like I will never be where they are. Maybe I won't, maybe I will, but it's a constant challenge to me to just breath, take things one day at a time, and believe that love and hard work and my very best effort really is enough for my family, even if I'm not perfect.

    God will give you strength, even if you sometimes don't feel it. Because you get up every morning and do what needs to be done, He is already giving you strength.

    Your kids look so happy and healthy and beautiful -- so do mine, and I know their individual struggles. But I can look at these kids, whom I have never met, and I can tell that you are a great mom. Those smiles cannot be faked -- they are smiling with their eyes.

  3. I feel for you. My pregnancies were all exhausting, for different reasons, but I vividly remember how awful it was to care for a toddler or two when gigantically pregnant. Those diaper changes are nightmarish.

    BUT! Your new baby is a gift to your other children. Sure, it sucks when you're pregnant and don't have the energy for them, and it sucks when you have a new baby and don't have the energy for your other kids. But when you are old and decrepit and your KIDS are the ones who are pregnant/parenting toddlers/otherwise exhausted, they will be like, "Thank God Mom and Dad had so many of us because I'm shipping her off to New Baby's house for a month."

    I wish I had something helpful to say. I feel terrible for you and I wish I was there to help with your insane nesting.

  4. And OH SNAP I was right, you WERE insanely nesting!!!!