Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Right Now

Eleanor is a very well-dressed tiny girl.  She has quite a collection of cute girly things to wear.  Maybe I'm a little jealous of her wardrobe, but I won't say for sure.  And maybe, just maybe, she's my little dolly and I kinda like to dress her up in these adorable outfits. Maybe.  

Anyway, people have been so generous to her and I know she's gonna grow out of these tiny clothes really fast, so I think it's perfectly acceptable for her to wear them every day!

Obviously, I'm having a lot of trouble getting posts up on this poor, neglected blog of mine.  I have probably lost every last reader I had left.  All three of them.  I really should at least put up a photo every other day or so, except that I can't even get to that.

I admit to being a little, or a lot, overwhelmed.  But I guess that's to be expected.  I hope to get past it, but I don't really feel like I'll ever be on top of anything, ever again, unless I climb up Mount Laundry and sit there perhaps. (And I am very well aware that things are actually pretty good, and could be so much worse, but I'm pretty wimpy and whiny, too.  I actually have moments of heart-stopping terror when I think of horrible scenarios (I'm told that's part of being a mother) and I'm so thankful for God's goodness.)

I guess I'll post a part of an email I just wrote to my sister.  It's maybe a little gritty, and I would apologize, except I won't.  Sometimes gritty writing is very therapeutic.

 I know it's cliche and all, but I seriously am feeling trapped by being here with kids all the time.  24/7.  Yes, I have a fantastically helpful husband, but he's busy and stressed, too.  It takes so much energy and awareness to do this job, and I just feel like I don't have it.  I go on autopilot a lot, and autopilot is a killer.  Autopilot crashes into mountains and buildings and shit.  The crying, the screaming, the fighting, the requests, the hunger, the dirt, the spilled milk, the snot, the endless loops of frustration.  It's the same every day, it never gets better.  I feel like I'm at my limit.  Every day, I cry and say, "I can't do this.  I can't!"  I can't physically muster up the energy to settle every dispute, discipline every disobedience, wash the freaking poopy underpants, ET CETERA, AND be cheerful, teach, guide, direct...  How am I supposed to keep up with all the little kid needs AND teach Jonah and keep up with his insatiable desire to learn things?  How am I supposed to give the little guys the love and positive attention they need when I feel like I just discipline them all day and they frustrate and test me endlessly?

So I'm noticing that it's just when I'm crying that "I caaaaan't" and I'm feeling borderline abusive that I have the brilliant idea to say "screw it" to the dishes and the grime-coated floor and instead pop a bowl of popcorn and sit on a tablecloth on the floor with the little guys and read them books while we have a "popcorn picnic".  Just when I want to scream at Jonah for his endless requests for my attention and help, I have the idea to hand him a recipe for chocolate ice cream and let him go to it. 

My point is that the hard stuff drives solutions.  The hard stuff is what makes us do better.  Otherwise, we just get lazy. 

I find myself complaining about how hard things are lately.  Before Eleanor was born, i spent the entire pregnancy complaining about how hard it was, and that birth is waaaay too hard and I didn't want to do that.  And I still think that.  But of course I'm glad I did it.  And I try to remember that I'm not entitled to have things easy.  And then I whine that it isn't fair. But two of the sayings I've heard from Dad the most are "Life is hard."  and "Nobody ever said life is fair."   Sometimes, wisdom is simple.

And I'm so bad about wanting to be on to the next thing, that even when I'm sitting and holding my sweet, newborn baby because she just really wants me and won't be patient in her bouncy chair while I work for another minute, I'm thinking of what I will work on as soon as I can lay her down in her bed.  That should be a criminal offense, don't you think? But I do it all the time.  I feel so buried in work that I can't let it go to enjoy holding my baby.  Even while I've been writing this, Andrew brought me a book and I sat here with him in my lap, peacefully looking at a book (and I should be happy for moments of peace with that child!) and I got impatient because I wanted to finish this email instead. 

We human beings are mighty hard to please, is all I'm sayin'.

When will they just GROW UP already?  Why can't we get past this endless little kid intensity?  I can't stand this anymore!!!  That's what I think, more often than I care to admit.  You know how stupid that is, right?

Oh to learn to enjoy where I'm at, right now.  It's a tough lesson, for some reason.  It doesn't seem like it should be, being the pleasure-driving creatures that we are.  Every morning when I open my eyes, I pray about that. I pray that I can smile at my children more than I snap at them.  I pray that I can be thankful and cheerful.  I pray for help getting through today.

And God is good.  He is always faithful to provide beyond my wildest imaginings.  But that doesn't mean it's easy.  The hard stuff is still good stuff.


  1. It really does fly by. And you know it. How long ago was it just you and Jonah, every day? Boom. There are four. Boom. They are teenagers. Just watch.

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray my sanity to keep.
    For if some peace I do not find,
    I'm pretty sure I'll lose my mind.

    I pray I find a little quiet,
    Far from the daily family riot.
    May I lie back and not have to think
    About what they're stuffing down the sink,

    Or who they're with, or where they're at
    And what they're doing to the cat.
    I pray for time all to myself
    (did something just fall off a shelf?)

    To cuddle in my nice, soft bed
    (Oh no, another goldfish--dead!)
    Some silent moments for goodness sake
    (Did I just hear a window break?)

    And that I need not cook or clean
    (well heck, I've got the right to dream)
    Yes now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray my wits about me keep,
    But as I look around I know,
    I must have lost them long ago!

  2. Katie I can totally relate to all of this. I remember it well and we are a lot alike. You really NEED some help. It is a lot to do, like too much. You did come up with some good solutions. What would be so great is if your mom or sister or someone from church or some Amish teenager would come and HELP YOU. Another thing is you get post partum depression every time. It was bad after Evan. Raising kids is a really hard job. In the days when whole families lived like you are the extended family was close by and other family did drop in and wash dishes and laundry etc... man I wish we were closer. I'd pitch in and kick your laundry's b*tt just havin 3 in diapers...lawdy have mercy, shoot get Pioneer woman to come over she loves little people. SOMEBODY CoME HELp KATie!!!! HURRA HURRA HURRA

  3. One of your readers checking in! :)

    Thank you for such an honest post. I struggle with these same issues on a daily basis...and it's easy to beat oneself up over. Know that you're doing the best you can and it ISN'T easy!