Tuesday, July 29, 2008

we interrupt this vacation slideshow for a bit of wallowing

I don't know if vacation time is worth the recoop time with small kids at home.
At least I'm chalking this up to readjusting from our road trip.
Really, I don't know why my kids are so obnoxiously in each others' (and my) faces con. stan. tly. since we've been home. I don't think they're bored, I don't think they're unusually overtired, but I really don't think I have any idea what the heck to do with them.

I still have beach pictures to go through and post, and I know those shots of sun and sand and smiles and fun together would cheer me up, but I just kind of want to wallow in my self pity at the moment.

It's been a rough morning.
I thought we were on the right track... we got some outside playtime in this morning before it got too hot and later had a neighbor girl over here playing indoors with us. Having friends over is almost always a nice distraction... and this is one who normally Sawyer adores and they get along absolutely marvelously for a six-and-a-half-year-old girl and a two-and-a-half-year-old boy. But no... today he was in there stomping through the girls' little people play and wiping out their teaparties and almost always yelling and even throwing things at them. He just could not get settled down and get into play mode. Just destruction mode.
And Savannah was alternating between whine mode and revenge mode. Lovely.
I think our poor neighbor didn't really know what to think!

Then I made the mistake of Skyping with my mom so she could see the kids for a bit on the webcam. Oh, I should have known. My kids get so gosh darn obnoxious on the webcam it drives me nuts. I seriously have to leave the room so that I'm not completely irritated by their silly talk, their tongue-sticking-out, face in the camera, farting noises, obnoxious over the top laughing and all the rest of their shenanigans. It's better if I leave the room and let them "amuse" the grandparents.
Today of course, the shenanigans continued well after the camera was turned off. And by the time we were sitting down to enjoy a torturous countdown to naps nice leisurely lunch together, I was both physically and emotionally exhausted.

I hate feeling that way.
Both today and yesterday with the mornings we've had... by the time it's noon I have just felt so drained. Defeated. I feel defeated.
It's like a switch flips and suddenly I'm done. I have nothing more to say, no more irritation, no more frustration, no more anger. I have no more arguments for them, no more solutions. My voice goes quiet, I use absolutely minimal words because talking to my kids just seems like it takes too much effort. Wasted effort. I get them some lunch and usher them up to bed almost silently. Not an angry silence, just a resigned silence.
At least they take the cue and they cool it at this point.

But I'm still left with that defeated, me against them, them against each other feeling. And it's kind of a downer. And you know what I really hate? I hate that I know it's not really them. I hate that I know deep down that it's all on me as the mom, and how I'm acting/reacting. That they're looking to me to get back into the routine, to be sure that I can pass their "testing", withstand their pushing, and reassure them that despite how much they may bicker and pick on each other or how often Sawyer yells at me in his not completely comprehending toddler words that he hates me (yeah, that was a fun first today!), that they're looking to me for the reassurance that we do all and will always love each other. No matter how ugly our mornings get. That we can get through this phase and have fun again.
And that's where I feel like I'm defeated because I don't know if I'm passing these tests. I don't know that I'm teaching them these things the right way. I feel like I'm just surviving and that's not good enough. And truth be told, I feel I'm running awfully low on the love in my logic these past few days.

I don't even know if this is coming out right.
Maybe they just need a break from each other. Maybe I should get a babysitter or take each of them to our trusty neighborhood Kidsplay and with the other do something fun one on one for a morning each this week.
Or maybe I just need a break. Maybe I should take them both to Kidsplay and take a break for myself. Get my haircut or just sit at home and paint my nails. Have some quiet time in my house.

For now I'm going to take advantage of this quiet nap time and do something productive.
I'm headed down to the basement with a package of mint oreos to watch mindless daytime tv on the bigscreen. HA!


Denise said...

I'm so sorry you are having a bad day...we all go through it. Maybe you could get a sitter and take some time for yourself? You deserve it!

Nicole said...

OHH I totally understand. Totally. I have been feeling this way with Porter for the past...ohhh 2 months or so. But instead of me shutting down and getting quiet (your response) I yell. I yell and say terrible things to my 2 year old that a parent is likely to think but should never say. I was just thinking the other day that I suck as a mom. Especially a mom of 2 kids. And that I have no patience for Porter and I should 1) not be so hard on him and 2) be more consistent with discipline like I used to be. It boils down to me being a slacker lately and having zero tolerance.

Today, though, we actually had a great day (sorry... not trying to rub it in). One great day out of ohhh 65 terrible days. I haven't lost my temper once, and Porter has been so obedient with minimal tantrums.

Hang in there. I'd take advantage of Kidsplay if I could. :)

Julie C said...

I'm sorry you're struggling this week, Heather! The lives of our children are full of ups and downs. The phases they go through can drive a mom crazy. The best thing you can do is lift them to the Lord, pray for wisdom and then do your best. A break for you is probably a great idea. I'll pray that tomorrow is a great day for you and your adorable kids.

Amanda said...

I had the exact same type of day yesterday!!!! It was really awful. Except for getting quiet like you, I actually threw a toy I was holding across the room while yelling at the girls! Oops! After sending them to their rooms, I went into mine and cried. (and I'm not typically a crier) It was so emotionally draining and of course, I felt like a total failure as a mother. Thankfully everyday is a clean slate and today was a much better day! I hope yours will be too.

Amy said...

Hey - you probably don't know me - I was a good friend of Ryan's in college. But I wanted to tell you I appreciate your honesty with your feelings about the kids! Sometimes I think it's hard for us, as moms, to tell how we really feel without feeling like someone will judge us or think we're horrible moms. I tend to get loud - I think I would prefer to be quiet though, for the kids' sake!

jessica said...

You know, I get quiet too. I get calm and quiet, and it seems to suck every bit of niceness out of me, because I feel spent when it's over. I feel good that I didn't explode (which sometimes I do), but then I don't want to talk to anyone or be touched or smile for a good long while.

Kids are so forgiving, and we learn so much about ourselves by parenting.

Amie R. said...

I totally relate with everyone else. I have my psycho mom moments, but that is why I am thankful they are still young. Maybe I will get my act together before they can actually recall my immature reactions to their behavior. :) I can guarantee you that with having 3 boys under 3, my psycho mom moments are about to increase instead of decrease unfortunately.

One of my more experienced mom friends put it like this. She messes up all of the time, and she just makes sure that she asks for forgiveness. She says that she is giving her boys lessons in grace and preparing her boys to be good husbands. :)

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