Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Daily Fails and Triumphs

It's days like these where I feel like I have lost the game.  There is no actual winner, of course, but as far as metaphors go, motherhood can surely be compared to a match, a game, a contest.

The days where I am losing the race are those when the television is on too much, too many foods from cardboard boxes with artificial ingredients are served, too little outdoor physical play occurs.  They are the days when we see few if any other people or even manage to leave the lazy comfort of our home.  I haven't have a moment to write or create anything.  And when I haven't had 2 minutes without a small child at my heels.  The days where one or both of my children seem to be switched to constant whine mode.

The days where I'm winning the race-- the one I fight constantly with only myself-- are great.  Really.  They are the ones where we laugh, we dance, we eat wholesome meals.  They are the ones where I happily greet my husband with a smile and kiss when he walks in the door in the evening.  The ones where we have had an adventure or even simply successfully tackled another day of preschool drop offs and pick ups and connected with friends.  When I have had a chance to tap away on my computer in peace.  The ones where, after the kids are tucked in bed, I feel a sense of satisfaction and pride.

(I love the days where I can appreciate something like this.)

I suppose it's the second category of days that gets me through the first, much heavier, more emotionally taxing first.  The days where I am losing, sinking in a huge pile of plastic toy quicksand, can come out of nowhere.  They strip me of my joy and creativity, my usual enthusiasm for all the little things.  At their worst, they are the days I wonder if I am even cut out for all of this at all.  Not that there is any going back.

No one is keeping score.  Not that I know of, at least.  There will be no grade at the end of the term, though there is no real conclusion.  But it is nearly impossible for me not to compete against my own picture of how a day should look, how I should be able to care for my children and for myself, and what I should accomplish.  It is impossible for me to obliterate my belief that to give my family the very best I can every single day is the only way to succeed at this lifelong marathon.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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  1. It sounds like you are having a challenging day. Today, is my first day I have managed to write anything useful or decent. I have felt guilty for my daughter watching too much TV and too much IPad. Take out is becoming too much my friend. I find piles of mess everyone, particularly paper. It drives me nuts and I feel like it is all too much and I want to give up. BUT, when I have those good days - with friends, fun activities and in the evening I can have ME time I smile and relax. Everyone is sleeping and it is peaceful :-) I love good days when they come back to me :-) I hope today is a good day with happy kids for you.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Becky! It helps so much to hear other moms experience similar feelings...even if they do live on the other side of the earth.

  2. Such an excellent read- good for my soul. I also had one of those days today- it ended ok though but am now in pajamas eating ice cream....thank you for sharing - I'll be bookmarking this post for future rough days

    1. Thank you, Lizzie. So nice to hear that pouring out something so personal can help someone else. It makes it worth it! I wrote this after having a really hard day, but fortunately woke up the following day knowing I was going to have a little break-- which made that whole day better. And a bowl of ice cream at the end of the day is one of my go-to comforts too :).

  3. Ooooooh, I so feel you here, Julia. It's been a non-stop fun house of illnesses and crazy here and I'm finding myself begging the universe for just a few minutes - just a few! - where I feel like things are under control! I think this is why I've gone back to browsing pinterest at night... so I can dream about arranging things to look like they're out of a magazine. ;)

    On a different note, you may lose the battle at times, but you're clearly winning the war. Your writing is getting out there, your kids want to be with you, and they bring you flower bouquets... from one mom to another... you're doing a superheroine's job. :)

    1. It's always comforting to know I'm not totally alone on the hardest days of motherhood. And oh, how I understand the challenges of having sick kids and being sick. It makes everything harder and kind of sucks the joy out.
      And thank you for the kind words. I will try to remember them when I'm feeling low :).


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