Brutal honesty...I need to vent
I feel like I’ve started off this new year in a bit of a funk. But maybe I’m just looking at it wrong. Technically, my ‘new year’ doesn’t start for almost two weeks (on my birthday). So maybe I’m ending this year less desirably than I’d have liked and my new year will be better?! Something like that.
I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly. Definitely some hormonal issues have made things more difficult for me lately. The amount of headaches I’ve had in the past month is ridiculous. It’s abnormal for me NOT to have a headache, and I can really only think of a few days in the past probably 6 weeks now that I haven’t had a headache to some varying degree (and haven’t had to take copious amounts of Tylenol to try to rid myself of...You know it’s bad, for example, when you’ve taken so much Advil over time that your body literally can’t handle them anymore and they’re no longer even an option). That alone is obviously going to make daily life seem more challenging, especially when also looking after 3 kids and only getting ‘down time’ when James can take over, but even at that it’s a few fleeting hours at a time here and there, which really doesn’t give a person enough time to truly decompress and rejuvenate. (Not in any way saying James should be doing more to help so I could have that time - he does much more for me than what I know a lot of husbands do, he’s for sure my rock and I don’t know what I’d do without him! He is also in major need of some down time). It’s just the nature of having young kids that there is no such thing as a sick day. For the most part I’m used to that, but I’ve been noticing lately I’m burning out so quickly, and feel myself fizzling out in a way that makes me feel sad, because I can’t be the best mom to my kids when I’m in this mode. But I don’t know how to get out of it, because for the foreseeable future I don’t really have a lot of any options.
The headaches and my cycle are the clinchers for my ‘difficulties’, in my opinion. My cycle seems so wonky lately. I’ve gone from a 28 day cycle (which I pretty much ALWAYS had previous to having twins) to a 15-17 day cycle for several months now. This one seems to have gone almost the full 4 weeks (maybe 3.5?) but it has also been extremely intense emotionally. I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt like I was ‘suffering’ from PMS, but this month I am positive that’s what I was going through when I literally felt like I hit rock bottom one day and as Anne Shirley would say, I was in ‘the depths of despair.’ I haven’t felt that low in YEARS and it hit me all of a sudden, and lasted about 2 days but has had some lingering effects since then as well. I was so down in the dumps that I honestly felt like my family would be better off with me gone. It’s not often my mind goes there, as obviously when I’m in my right mind I know that even if the kids get annoyed with me for something, it would never mean they would rather I ceased to exist! I know James and the kids love me, obviously. But I felt so worthless and hopeless and bitter and sad that I just wanted it all to go away.
I know that sounds like suicidal thoughts, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that because when it comes down to it there’s no way I would EVER even consider doing something to harm myself. I love my family too much to ever do anything to hurt myself. Even if I couldn’t feel better, I don’t think I’d ever get to a point where I’d do myself in, I’d just bitterly suffer for the rest of my days. (So dramatic, I know!) But then, I’m also fortunate in that as much as there is some residual sadness/bitterness going on within me right now, I am also clear-headed enough after a few days feeling so rough that I can see all the positives about my life, too.
I don’t know exactly what’s eating my gilbert grape. I honestly don’t. There’s no one thing that’s eating away at me, or at least nothing I hone in on immediately when I think it over. I think in large part the hormonal issues mixed with the general exhaustion of being a slave to three kids and not always feeling very appreciated for my efforts (which is no fault of their own, they’re kids and just don’t get it yet!), along with almost NEVER getting time just me and James to go anywhere, not even a freaking cup of coffee kind of a date...it all gets to me after a while. He was off for 2 weeks and 2 days over Christmas break and the only time we got to spend just the two of us was the day we spent painting and redecorating Andrew’s bedroom to be a new theme. Which I would hardly call us spending time just the two of us since it was spent busily redoing a bedroom, we weren’t just hanging out together. It’s taking its toll for sure that we don’t have much help with the kids, but I don’t think I’d really be able to enjoy going out on dates spending money if we also had the added expense of a babysitter, so we are left with only being able to go out if we ask family for help, which we do on occasion but that’s also complicated at times.
Don’t get me wrong, I love love love my kids and enjoy spending time with them. They are wonderful little humans who are sweet and adorable and MINE! And I adore them. But even people who love their kids need breaks.
I think the fact that the girls will be starting Kindergarten in the fall is another thing that weighs on me some. On the one hand obviously it will be a good thing, as I’m going on about not having any free time EVER and come September I will have over 5 hours a day to myself...yipee, right?!...But it’s bittersweet because as much as I know there will be some positives to it, I also feel so sad about it. One, the girls are starting K when they’ll still only be 4 years old, because they’re totally ready for school having spent so much time there already because of Andrew. For crying out loud, kids from Kindergarten all the way to grade 5 at least know them by name and say hi in passing already! I even know who their teacher will be already. They’re going to do great starting younger, and will turn five 6 weeks after school starts. But I had a whole extra year with Andrew home, because it just made sense for him to start a bit later given his birthday being at the end of December. I’m so happy I had that extra time with him at home, and with him being able to bond more with his sisters when they were babies because he was home with us for that. I feel sad that I won’t have that extra time with the girls, and feel sad that this phase of our lives is almost over forever. I will never have little ones home with me full time anymore, that’s just the way it is. It feels silly in a way that I would cry over that and have major anxiety over that when in reality day to day I feel like I’m often ripping my hair out because I feel so overwhelmed at never having a free moment to just ‘be’!...
It’s a complicated situation I guess, and only natural to fear change, and feel sad when you see how fast your kids are growing up. I want them all to just be babies again, even though I do appreciate them being a little bigger, too. I love so much that they’re growing up and I get to see all their changes over time. I just can’t stand the thought that before I even know it they’ll never even cuddle me again and they’ll be adults and just visit on occasion and they won’t be a part of my life in the same way they are now. I know it’s the way it’s supposed to be, and I’ll have done my work (along with James) if they grow up and can successfully be their own people. I want that for them! But starting school - all my babies being grown up enough to be in school - it’s just a little heartbreaking in the sense that it’s the first big step toward them being ‘all growed up.’
I want to embrace the change that this year is going to bring, I’m just having conflicting thoughts on it which makes it difficult to do. I want to be excited about the time I will have to explore interests beyond my children. Lots of people have told me ‘I deserve that,’ although I don’t necessarily think I deserve it more than anyone else, and it will be very hard, perhaps impossible, for me not to feel guilty to be afforded such time when a lot of people are not fortunate enough to have that as an option. So I know, I’d better not waste it, right. So there’s also a ton of pressure I’m putting on myself to do amazing things when let’s face it, I’m not the biggest go-getter on the planet, nor have I had the chance to even consider my own interests much in so many years now. I feel like I have a toddler brain because I’ve been in this little-kid mode for so long. What are the interests I want to explore? What am I going to do with my time? How am I going to make sure I’m feeling useful, and like I’m contributing to my family? Yes, I’m definitely looking forward to getting the house more under control and I do hope this means that I can focus more on the kids when I’m with them because I can get the chore stuff done when they’re not at home. I’m forever feeling guilty for having to tell them to wait all the time for me to do stuff with them because I’m so busy cooking and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning...We always seem to be having people over so I’m constantly just trying to maintain things enough that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if people dropped by. I feel like the time we have together will feel more focused when I have time for all of that during school hours, which is a positive. But I also want to be doing a lot more than just maintaining the house.
I want to be able to earn money at some point, as I don’t think James should be the sole provider for our family forever. And it would be nice to even just be earning enough to pay for family trips, which we currently can’t afford, or heaven forbid save up to buy our own home one day (not around here, that’s for sure, but somewhere, maybe…?) But what can I do that will still allow me to be at home so I can get the kids to school, pick them up afterwards, be involved for field trips or times when parents are needed, and be there in case any of the kids are sick and need to be home? Not to mention being there for all the school holidays and pro-d days and so on - there aren’t many jobs out there that will allow you that much time off! I need to be able to do something I can do from home and not on a strict schedule, but WHAT is the age old question…
Maybe I’m just overwhelmed because I know this year is going to be filled with some major changes, and I’m nervous about what it all means and how I’m going to handle it. I’m not super keen on change, in general, so this is all very hard for me. I want to be happy, and I know I should just live more in the moment and enjoy what I’ve got, but for some reason I find myself in a big pile of emotions. Everything seems muddled somehow. I haven’t been a crier for YEARS and yet lately I feel my eyes well up over the slightest thing. I cried almost nonstop for an entire day and while I haven’t really cried a lot since, I still feel the feels often. I will work through it, and life will happen and we’ll adjust to our new routines as we always have. I know that. I just need to get out of this rut and allow my mind to focus on the good things.