Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I didn't really think it would be this hard

Last week I got a phone call from my LLL leader. It seems she's been watching me closely these past 6 months and it has been pretty clear to her that I'm struggling. While the phone call caught me completely off guard, I'm very glad she made it. I love being Lydia's mom, but sometimes I feel like I'm drowning. I adore my daughter, but sometimes I feel so spent, like I'm running on fumes.

With the phone call I took a step back and looked at things - every day I feel stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, tired and angry. I noticed that I over-react and misplace my frustrations so much so that I felt silly (perfect example: how upset I became over the election). Often I angrily pray, "Why can't you just give me a break? Why are you putting me through all this? Can't you see that I'm failing right now and could use some help?!" I think the anger is the most surprising reaction. I definitely didn't expect to be angry.

I try to be grateful, hoping that it will make me more patient, compassionate and willing to let the housework sit and hold my daughter.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining - I want to be a stay at home mom and I am very glad to have a husband who supports and wants that too. And I love my family. But, I just never knew to expect all this.

4 comments:

  1. The only advice that I can tell you is that patience comes with time. Landon is 19 months old and I just now feel myself calming down and not freaking out about certain things. We're talking about baby #2...maybe that's making me calm down a little bit. I mean, if I can't handle one and enjoy him, what will I do with two or three? And about the stay-at-home mom thing; have you thought about trying to find something part-time? It would get you out of the house for some adult interaction, it would exercise your brain and maybe it would be good for Lydia, too. (This coming from someone who wishes almost every day that I could be a stay at home mommy again. But, I also wonder if I will adjust back to it again sometime.) I will keep you in my prayers. Expectations are hard to live up to. Maybe we both thought this would all be a little different!

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  2. I'm glad you have someone in your life that feels comfortable enough to call you and be that honest with you! There's never a day that I wish I could go to a job, but that doesn't mean that being a SAHM is easy by any means! Don't forget what I've said about finding time for YOU, be it a movie by yourself, coffee with a friend, or just going for a drive and leaving Lydia with someone. It's so easy to lose yourself if you let it happen.

    And I agree with the top comment about it really just taking time for you to get into the swing of things, probably not until she's a year or so. And yeah, we've ALL been there! :)

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  3. It's HARD to be a stay at home mom and find balance time for yourself. I think every mom's been there!
    I'm praying for you, Bonnie! If you ever want to talk or hang out, call me!!

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  4. Bonnie - I love that you're so honest! Thank you for that. It's quite refreshing to "hear" someone voice what I have felt at times during my journey into motherhood. I've just been to scared/ashamed/embarrassed to say it aloud very much. Truth be told, I didn't feel like myself again until Hannah was a year or so old. I still get impatient at times and there are even times when I get angry, but there seemed to be an undercurrent of bitterness for me the first year and I'm not sure why. Unmet expectations? Difficulty accepting my loss of self (and selfishness)? Feelings of judgement or being unsupported when deciding to parent in a way that went against the family's grain? Mourning over not having the birth I'd hoped for and also losing the gift of nursing my daughter at 5 weeks of age? Who truly knows???? Point is, I was frustrated, bitter, and, yes, even angry at times. My anger was just a sort of general mood I seemed to be in as well as being something that I used to fire and take aim at bystanders (usually those by whom I felt threatened or judged). For me, the feelings lessened over time - maybe that's just part of how my body/hormones healed after pregnancy and birth. I will keep praying for you as you continue this journey. Again, thank you for putting words to what I was feeling. You're certainly not alone in your experience - you're just one of the few brave enough to give it a voice.
    - Audrey (Sarah's sister in AZ)

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