Friday, August 9, 2013

When the Cracks Start Appearing

photo credit: virtually_supine via photopin cc

Lately, I've been holding on for dear life.

A few weeks ago, I found myself starting to get overwhelmed with everything and feeling like I'm stuck in a rut. It's a strange feeling to be battling when the weather has warmed up, the sun is shining (mostly), and the kids are finally able to leave the house.

It's like winter took a wrong turn and ended up in my heart.

I've been trying to put my feelings into words over the last few days and practically had a meltdown last night when my husband came home.

The laundry never ends.
My quadruplets are more opinionated than ever.
And there are only so many ways to cook a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Amen?

Maybe it's because I just don't like snow and ice, so being stuck in the house in January isn't a big issue to me. But now that it's summer, I want some freedom. A vacation. Just a break. A break from the monotony of stepping on cereal pieces, and finding my kids chewing on hair ties. A break from forcing Abby to pick up her toys, and from Ellie whining because someone touched her feet. A break from pulling Elijah off of the toy box so that he won't bang on the TV, and from trying to keep Caleb's hands out of his poop.

Maybe I've been pushing myself too hard lately. I've been trying to keep up with being a mother, a wife, and a writer, and I'm just exhausted from it all. There is nothing wrong with any of those, but maybe I need to carve our a little daily time for myself and just de-stress. No guilt, no shame. Just sit down, read a book, eat a snack, and dream for a bit.

Maybe it's the issues that both sides of our family are struggling with right now that are pulling on my energy. I seem to have fully embraced the verse that says, "weep with those who weep." Some of our family members are walking paths that mirror situations we've been in...yet are worlds different to the point where we can't even comprehend the pain. There is nothing we can do to help but love them. And that is so frustrating. So, so terribly heartbreaking and frustrating.

Or maybe it's all of it weighing down on me. Wanting to help everyone, love everyone, and protect everyone in my life. I'm not even sure where I'm going with this post, or what to do with my feelings. All I know is that sometimes, praying is all that I can do for the people I love in my life.

It's not that I hate motherhood or staying at home with my littles. Quite the contrary. I've never been more content with my place in life. It's just that the cracks are starting to appear from the strain of keeping up with everything.

Typically, I spend my kids’ waking hours caring for them, and their sleeping hours writing. I go 100% all of the time, working on some project or another. Maybe I'm just burnt out?

Yesterday, I took an hour out of my day, ditched the to-do list, and sat on the couch with my fiction book. When Sean got home, I told him that I spent an hour doing nothing productive. He told me that reading is very productive.

I've had people say, "Well, what do you expect? You are a stay-at-home mom with toddler quadruplets. Of course you will be tired!"

But it's not the same tired as just running after them all day. It's a bone weary feeling which seems to suck the energy from the inside out.

The cracks are starting to appear in the way I snap at my kids, lose my patience with their explorations, and just want to bury myself in bed and not come back out for a few weeks.


I'm hanging on for dear life.

46 comments:

  1. Sweetie, we've all been there! I have problems managing my two kids-I can only imagine caring for 4 on a daily basis. Not to mention the fact that 2 is such a hard age. They are so cute at that age, but also so stubborn and hard headed, LOL. You can tell them not to do something 1000 times, and not ten minutes later, kid is doing said activity again. Sigh. Start carving yourself out a chunk of time for just you everyday. Maybe plan a weekend away for you and your DH? It's so important for mothers to take time for themselves and just kick back and relax a little.

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    1. I need to start giving myself some downtime. I'm thinking it will actually make for a healthier mom!

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  2. *HUG* I am so sorry. I have zero kids, and I have had those days/weeks. Is the writing something you HAVE to do? is it theraputic? If no to both of those can you drop it for a while? Just keep your kids and self alive, when they sleep read, watch a movie, get some sun, eat some ice cream...and try to remember why you love being alive. *smile* His grace is enough... I can sometimes here that like a correction like "what's wrong with you - His grace is enough, so you're just being a wuss.", but today for you I hear it like hope. He really DOES love you. he really IS for you. And you will not feel this way forever. **HUG**

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    1. Aw, thanks, Didi! Your comment made me smile and is a wonderful reminder!

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  3. Hugs to you! And here are a few more for later (hugs!). Not much else here except don't forget to take care of you (took me awhile to figure it out and I still forget!) Sending you a warm fuzzie!

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    1. I love hugs! Thanks for thinking to send them! :)

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  4. I agree with Didi...maybe at least a portion of your normal writing can be put on hold for a while? It sounds like you could use a little more down time, whatever that looks like for you. And for what it's worth, I think you do an amazing job! Grace, grace, grace to you! Your job is incredibly valuable and incredibly difficult. It's okay to carve out some time to just relax, have fun, read, nap, watch a movie, listen to music, or whatever. If you ever have a chance to make it over to the IHOPKC prayer room, I find it to be very refreshing. There is also a 24/7 webstream at www.ihop.org. Or just put on a CD that soothes you. I also find sunshine and (fun) exercise or time with a girlfriend to be very refreshing. See if there are any things you can say no to in this season to give yourself time to catch your breath. And Didi is so right, you will not feel this way forever. This too shall pass! Hang in there!

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    1. Music! I love that idea! I used to listen to music a lot more, but I get so busy that I forget to turn it on. Music is very soothing. I'll have to make an effort to remember that this week and see if it helps.

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  5. You are doing great. You are being human. And I've certainly been having some of those days myself with my quads. Especially before we moved into our house and were crammed into that tiny apartment. I cried often at night. Now I have boxes stacked along the walls, four cranky teething babies and new business to launch. It's maddening. So the other day I sat down with my lunch after putting the babies to bed for naps and watched one of my fav shows for one WHOLE hour. You need some you time. We get so caught up in being productive and going 150% all the time that we forget we need to take care of ourselves. Indulge in something that makes us happy without feeling an ounce of stress pr guilt. Get Sean to take the kids for a couple hours this weekend and you go shop, get a pedicure, then read several chapters over your favorite drink at Starbucks. Don't go to the grocery store, don't pick up house supplies. Put YOU first and recharge. Thinking of you friend!!! XOXO

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    1. Thanks, Amber! It's always good to hear from another quad mom!

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  6. Thinking of you. Live can be downright hard sometimes, even with lots of good things to be happy about. The beauty of life is that tomorrow is always a new day. Prioritize (including yourself) and then let some of it go. Easier said then done. We'll be praying that you are able to find the right balance.

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    1. Tomorrow is always a new day! That's something I often forget but need to remember!

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  7. I love that you are real on your blog. Sometimes i feel the same way and i only have 2 kids! Sometimes when my husband gets home i just get out of the house and go grab a cupcake with friends or go see a movie or something where i dont think about anything on my to do list at all. and i pray alot. keep on keepin on and figure out how to de-stress, you'll make it!!

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    1. I love cupcakes!! That's my kind of de-stressing! :) And praying is definitely a must as well!

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  8. Oh goodness, what an honest post. While I can't imagine your particular situation (I have one kiddo) when I read your line "hanging on for dear life" I totally knew what you meant. I have my own reasons for it, I guess we all do, but I get it. Seems to me the only thing that I hold onto during those times is prayer, my link to God to get me through. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Relying on God is the best way to combat those weary feelings. He takes over where I fall short. :)

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  9. I can feel your pain sister! You are doing your best and you are living in the moment, which is so important and right where God intends you to be, but sometimes it feels like everything is going to suffocate you and you just need to come to the surface and catch your breath!

    I find that I just need a little time to myself. I know I am reiterating what others here have said. But you know you are not giving up if you give over your control for a few hours! I have a Mother's Helper come in a few times during the week. Not a lot, but just enough time for me to catch up on laundry, or drive over to the library.by.my.self. Wow! I always feel so refreshed when I take the reigns back over. I have 6 at home (14, 10, 9, 5, 11 month old twins.)

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    1. Oh goodness! Six kids? You are super busy!

      My escape is hitting Sonic or McDonald's happy hour. It's cheap and just enough time out for me to recollect myself.

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  10. Oh, Rebecca, I know how you feel (kind of). Not quadruplets, but 8 kids! I'm praying for you! Take those reading breaks as often as you can. It's ok to simplify. You can move the toy box, and still have plenty of other ways to teach your kids to obey. I never used hair ties on any of my little girls. (My older daughter puts them in my baby girl's hair now, and I am contantly pulling them out of her mouth!)
    --Gena

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    1. I saw that you have eight kids on your blog. And you homeschool! Incredible!

      I wish we had a spot to move the toy box to, but we are a little tight. But I could probably stop doing their hair without any ill effect. Thanks for your comment!

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  11. I feel for you. Finding time for yourself sounds simple, but I know just how hard it can be. You have to let go of the idea that you can (or need) to do it all. And if you figure out how to do it - please let me know how.

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    1. Lol! If I do, I'll let you know, but it is really hard to just sit down and relax. :)

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  12. I know exactly how that can happen. You have it all together and then all of a sudden, you freeze and panick. You will get it back, dont worry. Just relax and it will come together!

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  13. Wow I so relate..I'm a stay at home mom to a 3 1/2 year old.I also have a 12 year old step daughter 4 days a week..live with my in laws .My husband is doing work release in jail for a DUI.I have to get up every morning to take him to work and live life without him right now..Our anniversary was today little one starts preschool soon he will miss that,I had a bad fall right after he left in June in hospital 3 days laid up 3 weeks before I made myself get up.
    yea I know about those cracks..kids don't want to listen,snap at them and just want to cry..But we still do it somehow..Sounds like we both need some me time
    You sound amazing..Just breath...

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    1. Oh goodness, girl. That sounds horrible. I'm so sorry that life is so difficult for you right now. I hope that it eases soon for you. You sound like such a strong wife and mother. Blessings!

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  14. I found your post through Pinterest, and it could not have come at a better time. As a stay-at-home mom of two year old twins, I too have been feeling the cracks lately. So much so that the thought of staying in bed for weeks sounds like a beautiful idea. I wish I had advice on how or when it gets better, but at the very least I wanted to let you know that you're not alone in feeling this way. Just reading your post made me feel better, less like some ungrateful mom and more like a mom of multiples who's going through something real and normal. Hopefully it will get better for both of us!

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    1. Oh, you are definitely not ungrateful! Sometimes life just gets overwhelming, and we need to know that we aren't the only mom paddling the boat.

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  15. This is the first that I've seen of your blog so I haven't read much but the title called to me :) I'm a sahm mom of 5 (ages 7,6,5,3 and 1) I've learned (the hard way) that when I have those days where it's just too much I go ahead and go with what I feel like doing. No guilt. Tomorrow is another day and so is the next, and chances are those days will be about the same as most others lol. I manage to catch up to those days whether I agonize and feel guilty about taking a break or not. So best to just not feel guilty. You'll get your rhythm.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      You are right. It will all be there tomorrow, but I can't keep pushing off rest indefinitely. A good reminder. Thank you!

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  16. That was honest and beautifully written. "It's like winter took a wrong turn and ended up in my heart." That line took my breath away.

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  17. ((hugs)) to you, Rebecca. Thanks for sharing your weariness. You love and care for so many - and you also need to lovingly take care of yourself. Try to give yourself some grace - and enjoy catching a nap, reading a book or catching a few minutes outside (while the weather is still mild). It may seem unproductive, but if it recharges your batteries it sure wouldn't hurt. =) I find having the music from Christian radio playing at home or in the car encourages me as I listen. Reminds me not to try to live life on my own strength, see the greater purpose and not to think I'm the one to solve all the world's problems. ha Again ((hugs)) and prayers. You are NOT alone.

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    1. Such a sweet comment! Thank you! I definitely need to listen to more music!

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  18. I feel you. I find this happening to me sometimes too. I find that I need to find some time for me. The last thing i did was not come home after work and my sister took the kids and got them to bed. I also find that I need at least one nap to do what I want to do - no laundry, not mowing, etc - I need at least that hour you talked about. Find what you need and feel refreshed.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know that you take time for yourself. Mommies unite! :)

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  19. What an honest a raw post. I'm often overwhelmed with life in general-when I feel everyone in pulling me every direction and everyone wants a piece. You absolutely do need to do what you need to do for you. I am so glad you took that hour.

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  20. I feel you on this soo much I have so much going on my head is spinning i dont' even know how to feel anymore lol. I just keep plugging at it and hoping for the best.

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    1. Plus, you help run Blogelina! You have an incredible amount on your plate. Take a break when you can as well, Eschelle!

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  21. Hey sweet friend, I hope you are getting some time to recharge. I absolutely can relate and appreciate your openness. May you feel His strength today. {btw, the blog conference looked like a blast!} The sunshine helps me most, sending some your way :)

    And what I try to remember "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in" {leonard cohen} hugs, michelle

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    1. I love that quote! Thanks for sharing it and sending sunshine! :)

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  22. Praying for you--when we are weak, then He (God) is strong. Even when it doesn't feel like it. Every mom has been there! Get some sleep--the house can get cleaned another day!

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  23. I can't imagine life with quadruplets but I can say I know what "bone weary" feels like, and I have been feeling the same way lately. Thanks so much for sharing, as it is much needed right now in my life to know that another mother feels the same way.

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    1. I think all moms understand "bone weary" regardless of how many children they have. You get some rest too, Danielle!

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