Friday, April 13, 2012

Exhausting

In recent days I have come to realize that I could not have picked a better, more fitting name, for my blog.  Seeking Sanity.  I am indeed seeking some kind of sanity.  More so recently it seems.

My last post hit on just how tired I have been.  For a while I was thinking that perhaps something was wrong with me since I had other strange things going on too (lots of sweating, lots of zits, trouble sleeping, weight gain) but I think that was just my body trying to get back to normal after babies, breastfeeding, etc.  I had my doctor check my thyroid and he determined it was fine.  Doc attributed my issues to hormones and told me it should all settle itself soon.  I think he was right.  My body seems to be settling down a bit now. 

Still, there is this exhaustion.  It worried me. 

For lent I decided to do everything right.  I ate well.  I began running and exercising again.  I took my vitamins.  No alcohol.  Lots of water.  I figured that if after 40 days I wasn't feeling better then maybe something really was wrong with me.

It was a challenge, which is why I decided to do it for lent.  It was my sacrifice, so to speak.  For the most part it worked.  I lost some weight and got back into a healthy lifestyle again.  But I was/am still so exhausted all the time.  Just. So. Tired.

However, I'm not worried about it anymore.  I've figured it out.  The answer couldn't be any simpler. 

I'm a mom. 

I have four small children. 

Exhaustion kind of comes with the territory. 

I don't know why this has taken me so long to figure out. 

The answer became clear yesterday as I was trying so hard not to blow my top and yell at my kids.  It seemed like all day long I was trying so hard not to blow my top and yell at my kids.  Every 5 minutes someone was doing something that they should not be doing.  Every 5 minutes?  Heck!  Every 5 seconds.  And it was exhausting trying to be positive and calm each and every time instead of blowing my top and yelling at my kids.  Exhausting.

I try so hard to be a good mom.  Do the right thing. Say the right thing.  Be calm.  Be supportive.  Be a good example.  Let them be kids.  Let them have fun.  Keep them safe.  Teach them responsibility for their actions.  Be kind.  And man!  It is exhausting!!!  It is exhausting to try to do the right thing all the time and it is equally exhausting when I know I haven't done the right thing.  When I loose my temper, when I holler and yell, when I say the wrong thing, when I am a bad example, it is exhausting.  Guilt is exhausting.  And worry is exhausting.  Worrying about my failures as a mother.  Worrying about every move I make, every decision, every word I say affecting them for the rest of their lives.   Exhausting.

In short (too late) parenting is exhausting.   

No matter how wonderful your kids are (and mine are pretty freaking great) parenting is so friggin' exhausting.  There really are no breaks.  Even in your "off time" you are still "on".  There really is no vacation from parenting.  I think that is why so many parents joke and say, "I'm running away!"  And everyone (parents anyway) laughs because they get it.  And they know that you really would never run away because no matter how exhausting this parenting gig is it is still the best time of your life.  And that fact is pretty exhausting too.

13 comments:

Mom24 said...

Amen.

itsjustlifehere said...

Its funny, Im not sure I have ever actually seen someone admit to this online. Thanks for keeping it real and hope this next week is bit less exhausting.

Tabor said...

I was talking to a young woman the other day at a kids birthday party and she was complaining that she had stopped flossing her teeth and when I said, just do it while you are watching TV. She has two toddlers and she turned and looked at me "Watching TV???" I had to laugh.

Carol said...

You're one smart cookie, Kat! Parenting is exhausting. Period. And the better you do it (like YOU do) the more exhausting it is. I think your Lenten sacrifices had to help you. (Why didn't I do that instead of just giving up chocolate??) Hang in there! It's all so very worth it! xoxoxox

ROBIN said...

Wow....I wonder why it was so hard to figure out??? Kinda strange. My kids are 10 years apart. I never knew the exhaustion one could feel, but let me tell you....
last month over Spring Break, I got the cooky idea that I wanted my grandbabies for the WHOLE WEEK. I never imagined how tiring that would be. they are 3 and 2. I have never been so tired in my whole life...and that's just TWO children. Not FOUR. And I got to send them home and get some rest after 6days....So hats off to you Kat for what you do. And no wonder you have been exhausted.

Jeni said...

Actually, I'm thinking maybe you could kind of ease up a teensy-weeny bit. Just for openers, begin with the guilts and accept that you have done the best you really can do (remembering there is a limit to everyone's patience, everyone's abilities to withstand stress as well) and remind yourself instead of what a great job you have done day by day or week after week -whatever time span you care to use. You can tell yourself of course, if you had 40-hour days or some other far-fetched number, you would and could have done more but you know, that doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD have done more cause Kiddo, as I see it, you've done more than plenty and done well with it too! So, bottom line here from me to you is that you are judging yourself too hard and stressing out which is exhausting you!
Peace!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Sending you deep, relaxing breaths. Little kids are anxiety-producers. It gets a little better. Not much, because this teen stuff is kinda rough, too, but it's not quite as physically draining as little children can be.

lime said...

yep, it is exhausting, no two ways about it. glad you rediscovered taking care of yourself though. it's important for your health and your sanity. be gentle with yourself though too. we all have bad days. you don't have to be perfect. a good example includes how you handle making amends as well as making good choices in the first place to avoid needing to make amends. but if they are necessary, it's good for your kids to have a model in that as well.

Karen Deborah said...

jst read all the way back to the time change. have you ever written down on a piece of paper ALL your activitities? Not only r u a mom of 4 and a good one but you are vera vera active. In my day kids entertained themselves in their yards. Swim lessons were for summer and school was the only place went during the week. there is something to be said for cutting back. Kids turn out great not doing everything.
the other thing is to make sure your physical is very thourough including cancer screenings anemia and all that jazz. I think you run yourself ragged being the perfect mom. The crazy thing is your home is so great and your heart is so big that just being home with your kids makes them happy.
Yeah yelling can wear a mom out. Sometimes I just go for the wooden spoon swat everybody and say that's enuf. that is old fashioned too but it worked. my mom used to let us inside to eat, go to the bathroom and then get back out and play. we were tired at night!
you know what though? I love you girl. you are so sweet and so open. take it easy on yourself.
train the kids to mind you before your getting mad. kind of like the dog yikes....kids can be trained to do what you want. they are all so beautiful!!!!!! grace is so pretty and your trip to the camp was very cool. you might feel like a wreck but you couldn't be more beautiful.

Tonya said...

yes yes yes! perfectly said.

Riahli said...

Wow do I relate to this! So funny about the being tired thing, I came to the same sort of realization a little while back, it really doesn't matter what I do health wise, I'm a mom of 4.... I'm going to be tired regardless, ha ha!

Lindsay Y. said...

Oh boy do I LOVE people like ROBIN - who flat out tell it like it is, and give us the strength to keep going. Because while taking care of FOUR littles like you and I both do 24/7/365 may seem "typical" to us, indeed it is not and a lot of the population has no clue what it entails. Really. No clue. Just think back to when we had "just" two children.....now why on God's green Earth did we think that was so stinkin hard?! Hahaha!! Two's a piece of cake man. But like you said- I wouldn't trade them and the craziness for the world. I may run away for a day, but I'd probably come back. Probably. Oh heck, I'd probably miss them in 30 minutes. :-) Here's to RESTFUL SLEEP!!

Wisconsin Girl said...

I completely understand how you feel. Lucky for us as moms we have such great support from other moms who are in the same boat. It's easy to see that you are an amazing mom with beautiful, happy children. We all lose it in difficult moments and always feel guilty. If we didn't feel guilty and work to change what we don't like, then maybe we wouldn't be such great moms. This web article has been floating around recently. Have you seen it? It's well written.
http://powerofmoms.com/2012/04/your-children-want-you/

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson