Bad days

by DaniGirl on May 20, 2007 · 44 comments

in It IS all about me

This is not the post I wrote today. I wrote two others at various points today, trying to relieve some of the pressure in my head. The first two are tucked away in the draft folders, too raw to be published. Hopefully, just getting them out of my head and into the computer is enough.

It hasn’t been the best day. It hasn’t been the best week. Matter of fact, we’re going on two weeks that I’d pretty much either do over or erase from memory.

When I went to see the doctor 10 days ago and she diagnosed the pneumonia, the symptom that was bothering me the most was not the cough, or the fever. It was a much less quantifiable, “I don’t feel like myself.” The antibiotics quelled the cough and broke the fever, but the emotional malaise lingers, amplified by the criticism and concerns raised by the caregiver.

I’m tired of listening to the various voices in my head. One of the other two posts I wrote today tried to capture the ongoing conversation – no, debate – in my head over the past three days. The voice of comfort tries to tell me I’m doing a good job, I have a great life and very little to complain about on a relative scale, and that this too shall pass. The voice of the critic is less charitable, and makes me feel inadequate and overwhelmed as a parent, as a wife, as an employee, as a person.

Overwhelmed. Inadequate.

Breath in, breath out. Try to find your bliss, try to find just a granule of peace to tide you over.

Right now, I can’t think of anything that would make me feel better, which is a kind of desolate place to be. Often, I’ll be able to cheer myself up with a meal at a favourite restaurant, or an afternoon of shopping indulgence, or just an hour with a bowl of chips and a good book. Meh. None of those things appeal to me.

The malaise coalesces every now and then into a flare. A flash of temper, a raised voice, tears. And then I feel bad, because my life really isn’t so bad and I don’t know what the hell has gotten into me. But the negativity is strong, and I look around and see faults everywhere. That was the other post I wrote, trying to capture my vacillating feelings about the boys right now. After the caregivers comments, I’m suddenly hyper-aware of their faults, of my failings. They ARE restless, and relentless. They DO need to learn to listen the first time. They DO talk back a lot, oh my god the arguing and bickering and complaining. Simon really is a handful right now, and I’m honestly out of ideas of how to discipline him. I know they’re just going through a phase right now, but their relentless testing feeds my growing ennui and I’m overwhelmed – with worry, with guilt, with anxiety. What if I am screwing this up? What if it’s too late? Why can’t I do this? Why is it so hard? Why is it so goddamn hard?

So I start to make plans, to compensate. I’ll make up charts with reward stickers for good behaviour, limit computer time, make myself more available to them. Except, I haven’t washed the floor in two weeks and the toilets in I don’t know how long and the grass in the backyard is nearly to my shins. And suddenly two days have gone by and I’ve been doing menial tasks all weekend with the voices arguing in my head and noticing every. little. thing the boys have done wrong (and, to their credit, a good number of the things they have done right) and I still have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach like I’m not doing a good job anywhere in my life right now. And I just want that feeling to fuck right off because I like it much better when I’m happy and oblivious to the mess and the chaos and I wonder what that says about me.

Breath in, breath out.

I don’t know whether I want to publish this post or not. It seems to me I’ve been doing more than my share of whining lately, and I keep coming to you asking for your feedback, for your endorsement, for your support. That’s not what I want, not what I need. But maybe if I tell you that I’m having a hard time, it will make me feel better, and make it easier for me to not be having a hard time anymore.


{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JanB May 21, 2007 at 12:58 am

Try not to be so hard on yourself! It is hard and kids are so hard to parent. I give you so much credit for all that you do. I worked while my three older children were growing up, it was so hard. I felt like I was constantly juggling time bombs.

2 JanB May 21, 2007 at 12:58 am

Try not to be so hard on yourself! It is hard and kids are so hard to parent. I give you so much credit for all that you do. I worked while my three older children were growing up, it was so hard. I felt like I was constantly juggling time bombs.

3 JanB May 21, 2007 at 12:58 am

Try not to be so hard on yourself! It is hard and kids are so hard to parent. I give you so much credit for all that you do. I worked while my three older children were growing up, it was so hard. I felt like I was constantly juggling time bombs.

4 JanB May 21, 2007 at 12:58 am

Try not to be so hard on yourself! It is hard and kids are so hard to parent. I give you so much credit for all that you do. I worked while my three older children were growing up, it was so hard. I felt like I was constantly juggling time bombs.

5 Kerry May 21, 2007 at 1:20 am

Hang in there, Dani. I’ve met kids who were demons, and yours are totally not like that. They’re just growing, and sometimes that means they go through a tough spot. Which means you go through a tougher spot.
Doesn’t help much now, but I think you’re an excellent mum. I told my own mum so today, in fact. This too shall pass, honest.

6 Kerry May 21, 2007 at 1:20 am

Hang in there, Dani. I’ve met kids who were demons, and yours are totally not like that. They’re just growing, and sometimes that means they go through a tough spot. Which means you go through a tougher spot.
Doesn’t help much now, but I think you’re an excellent mum. I told my own mum so today, in fact. This too shall pass, honest.

7 Kerry May 21, 2007 at 1:20 am

Hang in there, Dani. I’ve met kids who were demons, and yours are totally not like that. They’re just growing, and sometimes that means they go through a tough spot. Which means you go through a tougher spot.
Doesn’t help much now, but I think you’re an excellent mum. I told my own mum so today, in fact. This too shall pass, honest.

8 Kerry May 21, 2007 at 1:20 am

Hang in there, Dani. I’ve met kids who were demons, and yours are totally not like that. They’re just growing, and sometimes that means they go through a tough spot. Which means you go through a tougher spot.
Doesn’t help much now, but I think you’re an excellent mum. I told my own mum so today, in fact. This too shall pass, honest.

9 liz May 21, 2007 at 1:22 am

Please remember that for weeks, maybe more, you were not getting enough oxygen or ridding yourself of enough CO2. You’re probably feeling the result of that. It’ll take awhile for your body to feel re-invigorated. In the meantime, I’m sending love and virtual chicken soup and hugs.

10 liz May 21, 2007 at 1:22 am

Please remember that for weeks, maybe more, you were not getting enough oxygen or ridding yourself of enough CO2. You’re probably feeling the result of that. It’ll take awhile for your body to feel re-invigorated. In the meantime, I’m sending love and virtual chicken soup and hugs.

11 liz May 21, 2007 at 1:22 am

Please remember that for weeks, maybe more, you were not getting enough oxygen or ridding yourself of enough CO2. You’re probably feeling the result of that. It’ll take awhile for your body to feel re-invigorated. In the meantime, I’m sending love and virtual chicken soup and hugs.

12 liz May 21, 2007 at 1:22 am

Please remember that for weeks, maybe more, you were not getting enough oxygen or ridding yourself of enough CO2. You’re probably feeling the result of that. It’ll take awhile for your body to feel re-invigorated. In the meantime, I’m sending love and virtual chicken soup and hugs.

13 andrea from the fishbowl May 21, 2007 at 1:52 am

Oh honey. If you feel like getting out of the house and meeting for a coffee/drink/whatever please call me, okay?

14 andrea from the fishbowl May 21, 2007 at 1:52 am

Oh honey. If you feel like getting out of the house and meeting for a coffee/drink/whatever please call me, okay?

15 andrea from the fishbowl May 21, 2007 at 1:52 am

Oh honey. If you feel like getting out of the house and meeting for a coffee/drink/whatever please call me, okay?

16 andrea from the fishbowl May 21, 2007 at 1:52 am

Oh honey. If you feel like getting out of the house and meeting for a coffee/drink/whatever please call me, okay?

17 Brenda May 21, 2007 at 3:05 am

Dani,
I too feel that nothing-in-my-life-is-in-control feeling. Home, kids, work, things for myself…I feel like I am in over my head in every area of my life. Then I get some sleep, make sure I eat well and pray not to be sick, it seems to help those feelings less and I can cope better. The issues don’t seem to go away, but at least they don’t seem so bad!
You have been sick, really sick, give yourself time to fully recoup. You and beloved are wonderfully bringing up the boys, you are good at what you do at work and well, the housework always needs doing again, just, as you thought you were finished, (thanks to kids, hubbies and animals!)so don’t sweat that. You ARE doing the best that you can and that is all that matters!
That breathe in breathe out is good. Sleep in tomorrow and enjoy! The sun is suppose to shine with a high of 18…vitimine D also helps!
Hugs to you Dani!

18 Brenda May 21, 2007 at 3:05 am

Dani,
I too feel that nothing-in-my-life-is-in-control feeling. Home, kids, work, things for myself…I feel like I am in over my head in every area of my life. Then I get some sleep, make sure I eat well and pray not to be sick, it seems to help those feelings less and I can cope better. The issues don’t seem to go away, but at least they don’t seem so bad!
You have been sick, really sick, give yourself time to fully recoup. You and beloved are wonderfully bringing up the boys, you are good at what you do at work and well, the housework always needs doing again, just, as you thought you were finished, (thanks to kids, hubbies and animals!)so don’t sweat that. You ARE doing the best that you can and that is all that matters!
That breathe in breathe out is good. Sleep in tomorrow and enjoy! The sun is suppose to shine with a high of 18…vitimine D also helps!
Hugs to you Dani!

19 Brenda May 21, 2007 at 3:05 am

Dani,
I too feel that nothing-in-my-life-is-in-control feeling. Home, kids, work, things for myself…I feel like I am in over my head in every area of my life. Then I get some sleep, make sure I eat well and pray not to be sick, it seems to help those feelings less and I can cope better. The issues don’t seem to go away, but at least they don’t seem so bad!
You have been sick, really sick, give yourself time to fully recoup. You and beloved are wonderfully bringing up the boys, you are good at what you do at work and well, the housework always needs doing again, just, as you thought you were finished, (thanks to kids, hubbies and animals!)so don’t sweat that. You ARE doing the best that you can and that is all that matters!
That breathe in breathe out is good. Sleep in tomorrow and enjoy! The sun is suppose to shine with a high of 18…vitimine D also helps!
Hugs to you Dani!

20 Brenda May 21, 2007 at 3:05 am

Dani,
I too feel that nothing-in-my-life-is-in-control feeling. Home, kids, work, things for myself…I feel like I am in over my head in every area of my life. Then I get some sleep, make sure I eat well and pray not to be sick, it seems to help those feelings less and I can cope better. The issues don’t seem to go away, but at least they don’t seem so bad!
You have been sick, really sick, give yourself time to fully recoup. You and beloved are wonderfully bringing up the boys, you are good at what you do at work and well, the housework always needs doing again, just, as you thought you were finished, (thanks to kids, hubbies and animals!)so don’t sweat that. You ARE doing the best that you can and that is all that matters!
That breathe in breathe out is good. Sleep in tomorrow and enjoy! The sun is suppose to shine with a high of 18…vitimine D also helps!
Hugs to you Dani!

21 BubandPie May 21, 2007 at 3:48 am

This post felt so familiar for me. Not being able to have what you want sucks, but not being able to think of a single thing that would make you happy – that’s just the worst.
Bub’s reaching the age where I’ve just started to notice myself reacting to some of his behaviour with that toxic cocktail of anger and self-blame. It’s not a fun change, I’ll say that.
If anything comes across in this blog it’s the genuine enjoyment you derive from your children, and that wouldn’t be true if they were evil brats OR if you were a bad mother. I hope you can get enough rest and recuperation for your spirits to revive.

22 BubandPie May 21, 2007 at 3:48 am

This post felt so familiar for me. Not being able to have what you want sucks, but not being able to think of a single thing that would make you happy – that’s just the worst.
Bub’s reaching the age where I’ve just started to notice myself reacting to some of his behaviour with that toxic cocktail of anger and self-blame. It’s not a fun change, I’ll say that.
If anything comes across in this blog it’s the genuine enjoyment you derive from your children, and that wouldn’t be true if they were evil brats OR if you were a bad mother. I hope you can get enough rest and recuperation for your spirits to revive.

23 BubandPie May 21, 2007 at 3:48 am

This post felt so familiar for me. Not being able to have what you want sucks, but not being able to think of a single thing that would make you happy – that’s just the worst.
Bub’s reaching the age where I’ve just started to notice myself reacting to some of his behaviour with that toxic cocktail of anger and self-blame. It’s not a fun change, I’ll say that.
If anything comes across in this blog it’s the genuine enjoyment you derive from your children, and that wouldn’t be true if they were evil brats OR if you were a bad mother. I hope you can get enough rest and recuperation for your spirits to revive.

24 BubandPie May 21, 2007 at 3:48 am

This post felt so familiar for me. Not being able to have what you want sucks, but not being able to think of a single thing that would make you happy – that’s just the worst.
Bub’s reaching the age where I’ve just started to notice myself reacting to some of his behaviour with that toxic cocktail of anger and self-blame. It’s not a fun change, I’ll say that.
If anything comes across in this blog it’s the genuine enjoyment you derive from your children, and that wouldn’t be true if they were evil brats OR if you were a bad mother. I hope you can get enough rest and recuperation for your spirits to revive.

25 Rebecca May 21, 2007 at 10:21 am

*Hugs* I hope you feel like yourself soon.

26 Rebecca May 21, 2007 at 10:21 am

*Hugs* I hope you feel like yourself soon.

27 Rebecca May 21, 2007 at 10:21 am

*Hugs* I hope you feel like yourself soon.

28 Rebecca May 21, 2007 at 10:21 am

*Hugs* I hope you feel like yourself soon.

29 dean dad May 21, 2007 at 2:10 pm

We’re rooting for you, Dani…

30 dean dad May 21, 2007 at 2:10 pm

We’re rooting for you, Dani…

31 dean dad May 21, 2007 at 2:10 pm

We’re rooting for you, Dani…

32 dean dad May 21, 2007 at 2:10 pm

We’re rooting for you, Dani…

33 Valerie May 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

If I commiserate with you, this will get much too long – but I can relate on many levels and have much sympathy. Sorry to say, but I’m somewhat relieved when you mention the talking back, whining and complaining, since that’s what we’re living right now and I haven’t seen it in other kids so thought it was just mine. I hope you find your way through this soon, though I suspect it will be a slow, gradual process for us both.
Sorry about the caregiver. BTDT, too, and it sucks. I’m guessing it’s for the best – sounds like you may have lived to regret it if she’d taken them!
Hugs,

34 Valerie May 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

If I commiserate with you, this will get much too long – but I can relate on many levels and have much sympathy. Sorry to say, but I’m somewhat relieved when you mention the talking back, whining and complaining, since that’s what we’re living right now and I haven’t seen it in other kids so thought it was just mine. I hope you find your way through this soon, though I suspect it will be a slow, gradual process for us both.
Sorry about the caregiver. BTDT, too, and it sucks. I’m guessing it’s for the best – sounds like you may have lived to regret it if she’d taken them!
Hugs,

35 Valerie May 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

If I commiserate with you, this will get much too long – but I can relate on many levels and have much sympathy. Sorry to say, but I’m somewhat relieved when you mention the talking back, whining and complaining, since that’s what we’re living right now and I haven’t seen it in other kids so thought it was just mine. I hope you find your way through this soon, though I suspect it will be a slow, gradual process for us both.
Sorry about the caregiver. BTDT, too, and it sucks. I’m guessing it’s for the best – sounds like you may have lived to regret it if she’d taken them!
Hugs,

36 Valerie May 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

If I commiserate with you, this will get much too long – but I can relate on many levels and have much sympathy. Sorry to say, but I’m somewhat relieved when you mention the talking back, whining and complaining, since that’s what we’re living right now and I haven’t seen it in other kids so thought it was just mine. I hope you find your way through this soon, though I suspect it will be a slow, gradual process for us both.
Sorry about the caregiver. BTDT, too, and it sucks. I’m guessing it’s for the best – sounds like you may have lived to regret it if she’d taken them!
Hugs,

37 Jen May 22, 2007 at 1:54 am

Oh Dani, I want to jump on the next plane and give you a hug. I so get your post and have so been there right down to the sticker charts. You are great. The boys are great. You will feel better . And it’s OK to ask for help.

38 Jen May 22, 2007 at 1:54 am

Oh Dani, I want to jump on the next plane and give you a hug. I so get your post and have so been there right down to the sticker charts. You are great. The boys are great. You will feel better . And it’s OK to ask for help.

39 Jen May 22, 2007 at 1:54 am

Oh Dani, I want to jump on the next plane and give you a hug. I so get your post and have so been there right down to the sticker charts. You are great. The boys are great. You will feel better . And it’s OK to ask for help.

40 Jen May 22, 2007 at 1:54 am

Oh Dani, I want to jump on the next plane and give you a hug. I so get your post and have so been there right down to the sticker charts. You are great. The boys are great. You will feel better . And it’s OK to ask for help.

41 twinmomplusone May 22, 2007 at 5:27 pm

oh, the highs and lows of motherhood…one minute your heart is exploding out of your chest with pride of your progenitors and then everything spirals out of control and you question everything you do or feel or think
I’m right there with you, feeling your pain as I too have been at the place you’re at right now, its an ugly place but foremost take care of yourself, a good sleep, some good food, a walk with some good music, and the world will feel like a different place
hang in there, you know that’s my motto πŸ˜‰

42 twinmomplusone May 22, 2007 at 5:27 pm

oh, the highs and lows of motherhood…one minute your heart is exploding out of your chest with pride of your progenitors and then everything spirals out of control and you question everything you do or feel or think
I’m right there with you, feeling your pain as I too have been at the place you’re at right now, its an ugly place but foremost take care of yourself, a good sleep, some good food, a walk with some good music, and the world will feel like a different place
hang in there, you know that’s my motto πŸ˜‰

43 twinmomplusone May 22, 2007 at 5:27 pm

oh, the highs and lows of motherhood…one minute your heart is exploding out of your chest with pride of your progenitors and then everything spirals out of control and you question everything you do or feel or think
I’m right there with you, feeling your pain as I too have been at the place you’re at right now, its an ugly place but foremost take care of yourself, a good sleep, some good food, a walk with some good music, and the world will feel like a different place
hang in there, you know that’s my motto πŸ˜‰

44 twinmomplusone May 22, 2007 at 5:27 pm

oh, the highs and lows of motherhood…one minute your heart is exploding out of your chest with pride of your progenitors and then everything spirals out of control and you question everything you do or feel or think
I’m right there with you, feeling your pain as I too have been at the place you’re at right now, its an ugly place but foremost take care of yourself, a good sleep, some good food, a walk with some good music, and the world will feel like a different place
hang in there, you know that’s my motto πŸ˜‰

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