Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Superwoman. Part 2.

Last week I had two very thoughtful friends separately offer some assistance to my extremely busy week of watching 5 kids under 8. I was incredible touched by their help. But one thing took me back. One prefaced her offer with "I know you're superwomen, but..." the other said, "I know that you are the girl who can do it all, but...."

I have no idea where that falsehood started. But let me set the universe straight.

I am a complete disaster.

I don't think I have ever had such little control over my life than right now.

Having a baby who still wakes up every few hours is misery.  I keep wanting to sleep train, but I want to do it when Shane is home to help me for a few nights. So, um, never. HOPEFULLY next week. But every time he says for sure he'll be home, he's called away. I'm so tired I feel like I could pass out at any  moment.

Having a baby who likes to keep her naps to a maximum of 30 minutes is just plain tragic. She's exhausted. And want to know what you can get done in 30 minutes? Pay attention to the 4 year old who just wants some time with mommy. Which of course makes me feel unbelievable guility if I choose to shower instead. Elise hates her swing. Hates her bouncy seat. Will sit in the bumbo for a maybe 7 minutes at a time. I carry that 14 pound baby ALL DAY LONG.

My pre-pregnancy clothes are still too tight. I had Elise 5 months ago. I went to buy myself a new sweater so I didn't have to wear yoga pants and a hoodie everyday of my life. 

I wore that sweater for EIGHT days straight. There were some showers in-between. But I put that lovely soft gray sweater back on the minute I was dry. I'm planning to wear it today. If I get dressed.

My gym membership and gym day care costs me $30 a visit. Since I maybe go twice a month.

My new best friend is the lady at the gas station who gives me my diet coke.

My huge church calling is not getting the attention it needs.

My awesome husband is not getting the attention he deserves.

My son wore nail polish to preschool for a week before I noticed.

My blog is so totally sad and ignored.

My house is a total pit. 

My meals are pitiful.

I look like I've aged 5 years. NO amount of concealer helps these dark circles. 

Romance? Um, we have Valentines reservations. So that's something.

So.  There you are. I am a mess. I don't know why I just can't get it together, but I'm so overwhelmed with everything I seem to have to do during the day.

BUT. There are some things that I do accomplish:

My children are alive. They have clean clothes. They eat fruit and veggies most day.

Pretty sure I deserve a medal for those things alone. It is a herculean effort.

Bonus things:

I clean the kitchen before I go to bed most days.

I shower regularly. I've had to call in a babysitter a few times to make that happen.

I'm a instagram champ. While I nurse the baby, I look through my photos and post them. Instagraming makes me happy because I can pick out the sweet moments in my day and capture them.  And there are many sweet moments. Moments I would otherwise forget in this haze of exhaustion.

I remember birthdays.

I've learned a couple new embroidery stitches and have done a few hoops when I crash with Shane for our "Friday night stare at the TV and try not to move for 2 hours" date night.

I have not reverted to yelling at my kids. The few times I slip, I hold them close and apologize right away.

I try to only use kind words with my husband. I show him gratitude for the help he can give, not make him feel guilty for the things he can't do.

That's a sad list. But it's something.

I try to tell myself this time will pass. That it will get easier. I know it will. This is the third time I've done this. But I still feel like such a failure that I don't handle it better. That I constantly yearn for a life coach, nanny, personal trainer, cook, house cleaner and my mommy.

This is really hard. Superwoman, I am not.


My last Superwoman post was back in 2009. Back when Collin was a baby. :)

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Candi said...

I just want to say to you Natalie, that you do inspire me. I look at you and I think to myself "I want to be her friend" not because you are completely gorgeous and so smart, but because I feel like every time I hear from you, read a blog, or listen to a lesson...I am inspired and yes, awestruck. Even the most pitiful day for you, is precious to those sweet babies of yours. You. Are. Amazing.

Jennifer Bartley said...

I think superwoman is overrated anyways :) From your instagram and blog posts and the few email conversations I've had with you (way back when the handmade swap was happening! ...still love that idea!) you seem to be an overall great person. In the end, the kids won't remember what sweater you wore or how many days you rocked it - they'll remember the messes you helped them make and the games you played with them :)

Natalie Jane said...

Thanks Candice. You inspire me!

Thank you Jenn. Of course, some of the major guilt of having a new baby is that you don't have the time or energy to do anything, especially play.

Amy F. said...

What you are experiencing is totally normal! There is no possible way to have a clean house AND a good dinner AND be showered AND do your calling AND do your calling. So we do our best. Take pictures of the good days, and try not to answer the door when we're still in our bathrobe at 4pm. Ahead of us we have years of an empty house and no kids. Enjoy the mess while it lasts. :)

Cari said...

There are no superwomen. We all have the same amount of hours in the day so if we choose to appear perfect to the world we're neglecting something more important. My almost year old baby still doesn't sleep through the night, I hear you on the lack of sleep feeling like a zombie business and I homeschool my two oldest boys. I let go of my blog at the beginning of the year because it was taking too much time. I've also had to let go of having a perfectly clean house and a dozen other things. I've learned it's ok to say no and the most important thing is that our children are loved. There will be a season in life (eventually!) where we can appear all together and have some dignity (i.e. not being barfed or pooped on). The childbearing years are not them!

The Conductor said...

Oh, Dear Natalie, I think my 14-pound 4-month old has been taking the same notes as your Elise on “How to make sure Mommy’s exhausted!” (And don’tchya think I should have it figured out by #6?!?)

As much as I loved the first half of your post, my favorite part was after the “BUT.” Thank you for adding that. Seriously, that is an awesome list! Even if you only did ONE thing on that list, it would be awesome!

Hang in there. Like you said, it does get easier. You are actually doing so much better than you feel like you are.

~Amy (Clifton) Jones

Push Pop Mama said...

Hey, no one wants to read the blog of a superwoman anyway. :)

Jessie Jones said...

I totally love the women who say "who wants to read about superwoman anyways" because I agree. I have a husband and one dog. I have a job. And a few commitments. But that's it, and I still don't have it all together. You, my dear, are my version of superwoman. Get some rest, and here's to a fantastic week!

amy said...

it is really hard. every week, every month, it gets easier. i only have two, but it sounds like your baby Elise is very similar to when my dtr was a baby. Her teachers told me she is "the best fake crier they've ever had." :) hang in there. good for you for naming what it is really like.

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