On doing IT all

On a daily basis, I am a wife, mother, LexisNexis Process Analyst, daughter, sister, friend, dog trainer, cook, maid, and family accountant. And I'm tired. Physically tired, oh yes. But mentally tired is the main thing lately. At the end of every day, I am so mentally exhausted that I can barely function, carry on a conversion or fall asleep at night because of all the many thoughts running through my head: Did Charlie eat enough today and why is he spitting up so much? Did Tyke and Scooby get to go "out"? Is the Indiana product going to release on schedule? Did I remember to pay the water bill? When is Charlie's next doctor appointment? Why is the laudry so piled up? And on and on and on...

At some point during the three years in VA, I read an article in my Shape magazine about woman and careers. I don't really remember much of the article but one portion did stand out (and I'm paraphrazising here): when women are at work, they are feeling guilty about all that they didn't accomplish at home and when they are at home, they feel guilty about everything that didn't get done at work. I am truly struggling under the burden of that guilt right now, in addition to guilty feelings about being a less-than-adequate wife, sister and friend. I know that a certain amount of guilt is par for the course with motherhood so perhaps I'll adjust to these feelings. But for now, I'm struggling.

And to be honest, I'm also fighting a battle with myself over my own needs. Those of you who know me well know that I LOVE going to the gymn. Since I was cleared to exercise at 8 weeks, I've only gone to the gymn about 5 or 6 times. Ideally, I'd like to go 3-4 times a week but now I can't go with any regularity. And this has been hard on me. Going to the gymn is both a hobby and a stress-relief mechanism for me and I'm really missing it. And I must admit that I don't like myself very much when I'm not working out...

So - how do I balance work, marriage, motherhood, friendships and "me" time? I have no idea. I'll guess I'll be pondering this question and working on this balance for the rest of my life.

Quote of the Day
"Do the next thing."
- Elizabeth Elliot


maryanne helms said...

Hey Em-

Remember you are the mother of an INFANT. They do not allow for much routine time at all...and they really begin the breaking-in process of giving up "me" time. Very painful to learn. I think there is so much misunderstanding about just how much you really NEED to give up in order to have a healthy family (as a mother)...and it's only in becoming a parent that you start to see this reality.

Perhaps consider buying a treadmill. I know that my treadmill was an initially expensive thing ($800). But, no gym membership required now. We have weights, mats, everything in the basement...and so while I am pregnant and tired, I can always hit the basement when I can't run outside. It has been an abslute life and sanity-saver for me. I would really, really mull this one over.

Praying for you. If there is anything I can do to encourage you, let me know...for now, I love you. And this time in a few months,you will feel more in control again...and the sacrificing will definitely feel less painful.

amy claire said...

Hey friend...as you know, I TOTALLY HEAR YA!! I have to agree with Maryanne, that this infant state is a whole different ballgame. I felt so out of the loop with life, so strung out, so far away from "who I was pre-Brighton". It was physically and emotionally draining. Sleep-deprivation only heightens those feelings!

But there is change ahead. It sort of happens without you even realizing it. I remember feeling like I was going insane and couldn't take this motherhood thing anymore, when slowly but surely things started to change. Brighton started to be able to entertain himself a little better. I could actually go sit down and read while he played on the floor. He started taking naps, so I could take a shower and just chill out for an hour. Suddenly he was 6 months old and I was actually okay with the idea of possibly having another child someday :0) Whereas those first few months, I was thinking...NEVER! We are only having ONE! (Ha, ha...I've never wanted to have an only child, but that's what the insanity of new mothering does :0)

It is so hard those first few months, but then you really do find a rhythm. You know I love exercise and need it to release those pent up endorphins, but I didn't exercise regularly for 5-6 months after Brighton was born. I was too tired to go early in the morning before Matthew left for work and would be too tired mid-afternoon to take him out in the jogging stroller. It wasn't until I signed up for this race that I MADE Matthew get on board and watch B in the evening so I could go to the gym. But then I missed Matthew and me time. After this race, I think I'll have to be happy with going 2-3 times a week and walking the other days. I just can't be a 4-5 times a week girl anymore. At least not with young babies. If you can do the treadmill thing, that sounds like a great idea because then you can do it while he sleeps.

Anyhow, that's a lot of rambling about "problem-solving" when I know you really just need our prayers and encouragement. The refining process is NEVER comfortable and honestly, pisses me off most of the time. I wish I was one of those saint-like people who could go through trying times with peace and rest in Christ. But more often than not, I'm angry, ignoring Him, and frustrated beyond belief with life. Then I realize what a snotty child I'm being and have to repent when I see what a beautiful process it was that He was taking me through - to draw me closer to Him and further from my crutches I lean on it life. But as fallen humans, I think we need the freedom to really feel what we're feeling. We're not perfect, we WILL get angry and pissed. But Christ will show us ourselves and His beauty and draw us back to Him.

Love you friend! I'll be in your shoes again come February with a newborn and an 18 month old. Holy cow. I'll need YOUR encouragement and reminders of the truth at that point!!


Emily said...

Thanks girls. Your friendships are precious and I can honestly say that I could not make it through this time without your love and support. It's amazing what a sympathetic (and especially emphathetic!) ear to listen and shoulder to cry on can do for a new mom's spirit. Thanks for the good advice and I'm pondering it all, I promise!

Jill said...

Hi Emily! I sorry that you are under stress:( If you want, I will take Tyke and Scooby off your hands for a while. Just put them on a plane and I will pick them up at Dulles...Tyke is smart enough to find his way to the arrivals gate! You certainly have a lot going on, and I am praying for you. Hey, put up a recent picture of Charlie. I want to see if he's looking EVEN MORE like Ryan. Love, Jill

GL said...

Basically, I think you suck. ;) Just kidding! Look, Ryan thinks you're the woman -- wife and mother-- of his dreams and your company thinks you're so great that they make special accomodations to keep you. Even though Patrick LaRochelle doesn't like you, most people do.

And reportedly God rejoices over you with singing. But maybe that's not enough. :)

Jill said...

LoL at Glenn's comment re Patrick LaRochelle.

Emily said...

Hey Glenn, shut-up! He wrote me a really cool apology on really manly stationary and we made up!