2.13.2012

I HAVE TO GET THIS OUT

I just finished reading Emily’s post over at Jones Design Company and I felt compelled to write my own.  I figure if I got out my own thoughts outs, maybe just maybe I would feel a little better.

As you know, I’m a mother of three boys.  I know that for some of you, just hearing that is a lot to imagine.  My boys are 7, 5, and 3 (another large pill to swallow).  This past weekend was probably the hardest weekend for me.  On Saturday morning while play wrestling, my 5 year old decided to head butt my oldest in the mouth.  It was terrible. He had to get a few stitches.  Can you imagine your 7 year old running upstairs with a mouth full of blood only to then realize that his lip is split open?  The first thing I did was panic because I could already hear my husband asking me where I was once I called him at work to tell him that I was going to have to take my son to the emergency room.  And by the way, I was upstairs paying a few bills online and reading blogs. 

I think its safe to say that I have a hard job being a stay at home mom raising three boys.  I know that a lot of people think that it’s nothing compared to working a full time job and then coming home to take care of your kids, but I think both are tough.  Sure I can go to the mall any time I want, but I have a three year old who I constantly have to chase behind, tell to stop, or no don’t touch that, or come back over her.  I hope that I ‘m not coming across as complaining in this post.  I just need to share with you how HARD my life with my boys can be sometimes.  As a mom, you get so much advice on what you should be doing to your child, but no one really knows what would work for you and your child.  They only know what works for them. 

I haven’t done much around my house lately as you can tell on the blog.  Why?  Because my boys destroy EVERYTHING.  I can’t tell you how many holes I’ve patched, how many of my things are broken.  Even their bedrooms are a mess (SERIOUSLY).  After I’ve worked so hard on a project, they totally destroy it.  Not on purpose, but it is destroyed nevertheless… So I’m discouraged to continue with anything. 

The reason why I decided to write this post is because I can feel myself slipping back into my depression.  I’m a bit overwhelmed with life.  I love my boys dearly, but sometimes I feel like I can’t keep up with everything.  I’ve been crying a lot lately.  My oldest son needs extra help in school.  He is not retaining things that he is being taught and I have considered homeschooling, but I think I would make things worse for him.    I feel like they aren’t getting as much attention as they need and have considered ending my blog and all of my other social media participation. 

I wish that I had people in my life that I could really share my feelings with, but I don’t.  I either have family members that give either the worst advice possible because that have never experienced raising multiple children of this age at the same time, or others who only did the best they knew how which is no where near the best these days.

I don’t beat my children.  I barely spank them.  I don’t feel like you have to do that to teach children the right thing to do.  I do raise my voice a lot.  And I have a short temper these days which results in me hurting their feelings and then hurting mine for hurting theirs. 

While I was reading Emily’s post, I cried.  I cried because I totally understand where she is coming from.  Women don’t help each other these days.  Do you know how many times I get awkward looks from people when I’m out with all my boys? I get the same thing from FAMILY.  Instead of reaching out to help, they judge.  It’s A LOT to take on.  I always say that my boys are good kids no matter what they’ve done and no matter how they act sometimes because they really are good kids.  I think we tend to forget that they are just children… How much are they expected to know after only being here on this earth a few years?  There are adults that act worse than children do. 

Anyway, I said all of this to say that I’m having a hard time right now.  Sometimes I feel like I should be use to having three kids by now, but in reality, you never are.  They do different things at different ages.  Right now I’m experiencing the rough playing and a 3 year old that gets into everything.  He also thinks its pretty funny to test me as much as he possibly can (sometimes I think its his life calling).

So here is my advice for women you may know with multiple children:

If you don’t have any or less that she does, ask if its ok for you to come over and lend a hand.

Do more play dates with her (if you have children too)

Don’t be so judgmental.  If you’ve never experienced what she is experiencing, don’t automatically assume that she is a bad mother.

If you’re running to the store, check to see if she needs something back. Or better yet, offer to go to the store with her to help out with the kids. 

 

There are so many things you can do to help. If you can’t do anything physically, encourage her with words.  Sometimes all a girl need is encouragement.

I’m glad I’m able to share a little bit of what I’m feeling right now with you.  5 years ago I didn’t have an outlet…

Thanks for listening.

34 comments:

Latoya @ The Scott's Crib said...

I know so much how you feel. It is really a struggle to balance trying to make a career from home and children. I have been frustrated and out of sorts and honestly I still feel the same way at times. I have been taking steps back to think about what is important and ultimately I do want to be a full time stay at home mom and I know that with somethings you want that the good Lord must refine you so that you will be equipped once you receive the desires of your heart. I encourage you, uplift you, and truly pray that you will find peace and balance because motherhood is definitely a challenge and the last thing us mothers need to do is discourage each other. Keep doing what you do and take a break if needed, I'm sure we'll be here waiting:)

Lisa Scibilia said...

You are so NOT alone in your feelings. My kids are 13, 11 and 9 and I felt the exact same way when they were younger....it's SO much work to raise kids and be patient and positive and cheerful and keep your house clean and serve healthy meals, and on and on and on!! So much of being a stay at home mom is about balance - making time for things you love as well as being present with your kids. If that means some days I just post a pretty picture on my blog, so be it! I always remind myself that everything is second to the kids but it's important to have something for me - blogging, gardening, reading, whatever. Your kids are so blessed that you are able to home with them, and the years go by so quickly, so take a deep breath and forget the laundry and the holes in the wall and go take a walk with your munchkins when you feel like you're going to lose it :) And know that you're not alone in the trials of motherhood!

Kingdom Kreations said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kingdom Kreations said...

I am not one to comment on blogs however; I felt compelled to respond. I have to agree with you in the fact that we as women or not very supportive of each other. I can also relate to the fact of the crazy looks about multiple children.. I have a 20 year old, 17 year old, 16 year old and 6 month old.. all girls. Everyone's initial response was are you crazy for starting all over. My response no I am not crazy but I do believe that children are a gift from the Lord. I cannot honestly relate to having all boys. But, being a MOMMY is a FULLTIME job. I want to encouragement to not all yourself to fall into that pit of depression. It is easy to fall in but, not so easy to get out. I will be praying for you and your family. Just as previously mentioned... if you need to take a break.. and we will all be here when and if you do. I for one am glad for both postings maybe it will help others realize once again that our lives as SAHM or working mothers is not an easy task and that we have FEELINGS too. Family hmmm what can I say sometimes it seems that are the harshest. Despite what it said, enjoy your time with your children, who cares if your house is messy; its a home that is filled with love, memories and family. Enjoy your time with your gifts and also ensure that you have some me time and date time with hubby balanced in there. Dont allow the naysayers to steal your joy... Keep your head up and enjoy the roses along the way of this journey called life. and trust me when I say this you are NOT ALONE!

Mrs. Chic said...

I think one of the hardest ages to raise boys is 3-7 years old the exact ages of your boys. When my oldest was younger, it was SO stressful working full time and trying to be a good mom: help him with homework, read at night, still have fun etc. Most days I was just burnt out and I wanted to enjoy all the little moments, sadly there were many times when I didn't. Now that he's older its so much easier!! Yes, I still get stressed out when he's not always focused on school and keeping his room cleaned etc.

Now that we have a new baby, I still feel challenged + I'm back to work full-time so that sucks. But, this time around , my husband is so helpful and loving and we do the balance together. When we had our 1st son we were very young, which adds to the stress of raising kids and sometimes you loose your self a little

It will take some time, to create and find a balance in your home, are you are a good loving mother put your kids first and lean on your husband for support and have him help you more (if you feel your not getting the support you need from him) let him know how its affecting YOU and how with a little more support in some areas you'll feel better and everything else will be smoother

Michelle said...

Lakeitha,I'm normally too lazy to leave comments on blogs but I wanted to respond to your post. I'm a single mom with two kids, they're now 15 and 17, it took me a long time to realize that I can't be a "perfect" mother, there are days when I'm going yell but most days I'm going to laugh.
I've learned that
1. Kids destroy everything so I don't buy anything too valuable because it's going to be broken anyway.
2. Once a year I do house cleanup, where we paint over the fingerprints and fix the holes. Yup I have some of those too.
3. It's okay to be overwhelmed, it's okay for the house to be dirty when I'm tired.
4. I pick my battles carefully, in my case, school trumps room cleanliness.
5. Activities are fine if the schedule is not too packed. I only do one activity at a time because Lord knows driving back and forth to get to all the activities is a burden.

Just remember the old African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child", reach out to the teacher for your son, most of them are willing to stay after or before school to help. As your sons grow older, you'll definitely have different challenges but in a couple of years it will be less labor intensive especially if they all have chores and help around the house.

Take a deep breath, exhale, there are better days ahead.

Erty639 said...

I wish I were there to give you a hug. I struggled when my boys were younger. I always felt tired, worn out, and mean. Just this year I got adventuresome and put out my first pair of table lamps! Seriously. My boys range in age from 19 to 7. I have six. You think you get judged!? Once the water company came to our house and said we needed to pay the business fee. They thought we ran a day-care in our home! Imagine their surprise when we told him that no, all of the kids were actually OURS! You just have to laugh. And we homeschool. I say - do it. You will love it. It's empowering and you will have so much wonderful time with your boys. You get to grow strong, well-mannered, imaginative young men. And you will have "your" time too. I say to the boys, "Mommy needs a break. I'm lying on the couch for a few minutes, or I'm paying bills or I'm reading, please don't bother me. Try to help mommy." That teaches them patience, compassion, empathy and just plain "the world does not revolve around you" lessons. We all have doubts. Trust yourself. You are doing great!

The Inspired Nest said...

Thanks for this post. I am a mom of 3. 14, 11 and 10. It is hard work and seems to get harder. I struggle with depression and they suffer for it sometime. I so get where you are coming from. It does feel like you are judged from every corner. My kids are a direct reflection on me. When they are not successful I feel like I have failed. My only advice to you is if you are slipping back into depression run don't walk to the doctor. It is not fair to you and your family. Depression can swallow you whole and you don't even realize what just happened to you. It magnifies the bad. And remember, you know what a good mom you are and how hard you are trying to raise those 3 boys. Anyone reading your blog can see that. No one else matters in the world. I hope you don't cut out your blogging. I enjoy your point of view whether it is about decorating or just your life in general. I will be praying for you!
Lacy

emily said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts ... I hope it feels better to get it off your heart and share with people who can relate with you.

The speaker at church this weekend {modern-day philosopher Peter Rollins} said that the moment we look deep enough into our lives, we'll all find that we are depressed. That is life. It is hard. It is lonely. Pretending to look put together just makes it worse. So acknowledge your hardships, be sad, allow yourself to struggle. By admitting your own struggles, others will certainly open up to you and we will all find out that we're in the same boat. There is hope and comfort in relating to others. It doesn't look pretty and flowery like we want it to, but that is the place where Grace can really be found. So blessings to you, sweet mama. Be encouraged today to just keep loving your babes.

Brixton Nole said...

"We are the daughters of feminists who said ‘You can be anything’ and we heard ‘You have to be everything’."—
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

MzMannerz said...

Hugs, and then more hugs. I can completely relate - I have four year old twins. People are very judgmental. I try to remember that a person passing judgement is saying volumes about themselves and very little, if anything about me.

My oldest is a young adult. I was once one of those who thought I knew exactly what it takes to have a well behaved child. My youngest son sets out daily to disprove all my theories. :) It's nature AND nurture, not one or the other. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

And boys will be boys, that is for sure.

Hugs one more time. :)

Kat said...

Thank you for your post. You have NO idea how many people you have touched today. Being a mom is one of the loneliest jobs ever. I have found in my blog hunting that so many blogs of families appear "perfect"....I KNOW this isn't the case and I'm just as guilty of writing only the good things I want to remember. Why would I want to remember the horrible meltdown at Target, or the day my son tripped in the food court at Costco and spilled his smoothie ALL over (yes, he was running)....and at the same time of me trying to clean up the smoothie, my 1 year old manages to reach my soda in the cart and drops that on the floor.....yup....if there had been a rock nearby, I would have crawled under it. I could have just collapsed right there on the floor had it not been for the elderly couple who helped me get my kids cleaned up and went to get someone with a mop. Yes....these are the secrets that many mom's don't share. We feel like we need to do it all. Thanks for reminding us life is not perfect. There are simply HARD days. But let's remember to reach out and help one another. Thanks so much for your post today.

L.Duncan@SisterWithStyle said...

Thank you, ladies! It's nice to hear from women who aren't ashamed to share their shortcomings. What Brixton said hit home because sometimes I do feel like I have to be everything AND succeed at it too.

Kat, sometimes I wanna carry my own rock around with me to crawl under. I was in a store once and my 3yo was in the shopping cart. Well, my 7yr old thought it was okay to climb up on the cart and it flipped over. Can you say completely embarrassed?! Bot of my kids and the cart on top of them. Yeah, that's a shopping trip for me!

Thanks again for the encouraging words!

Tricia said...

Girl, I hear you. I REALLY hear you. I know I only have one child, but it is HARD. I feel like all I do is yell at him all the time. It's hard for me to remember that he is only 3. I have these visions of him being the perfect little man and when he isn't, my world crumbles.

The last 5 years have been very hard on me and I've been through some dark times.

I was a single career gal until I was 30. That's a long time to be on your own. I was out shopping for cute clothes and having cocktails with my girlfriends. I had a job with a lot of responsibility and a sense of purpose.

I got married at 30 and had Ethan at 31.5. It was such a hard change for me. I went from being me to Eric's wife and Ethan's mom. Who the hell am I? I also spent 23 weeks (6 months to the day) on bed rest. I sunk into that nasty hole of depression at that time. I had nothing. Nobody came to visit me. I spent all my time on the internet. I withdrew from all of my friends and after Ethan was born, I HATED my husband. I wanted a divorce and I wanted to run away. I was completely panicked about being someone's mother and having that responsibility for the rest of my life. I was so used to being free and being my own person. With the help of my "happy pills" I've somewhat come around. I'm still angry a lot and have a short fuse.

The day-to-day really gets to me. I spend my days cleaning and doing laundry and cooking and quite frankly, I hate it. Going to Walmart is a struggle for me if I have to take Ethan with me. Even with a list, I can't focus on the task at hand and always go home without things I need.

Being a mom is HARD and most days it makes me feel completely inadequate...something I'm not used to feeling.

I'm sorry you are going through this right now and feeling this way, but I'm always here if you want to talk. Maybe we can commiserate?

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I agree with your assessment that women often don't support each other. It's easy to judge when you're not walking in someone's shoes. Motherhood is the most difficult job in the world. I've been a SAHM and I've worked and I have to say that it's harder staying home all day. You may have to run errands and clean the house during your non-work hours but you also get to have some time off from "mom duty" and get to enjoy talking with other adults.

I liked your suggestions, I'll remember those the next time a young mom expresses frustration.

Dee said...

Hi Lakeitha! I really like your blog...you seem so down to earth... so real, keep it real girl! I am a mother of six, ages 25, MALE TWINS 17, 16, 9 and 6. I must say that my male twins have been my most energetic and challenging pair thus far. I can remember their pancake syrup episode....I was sewing in my lil corner of the house, they were "playing," laughing up a storm. What did I know, I thought they were just having fun. I went to check on them and they were SKATING in syrup in the kitchen!!! The story is hilarious today but then I was a mess. They were very active in the house but very well behaved outside. I think my boys just wanted to go out more.

I have had the best of both working and SAHM life and there are challenges with both, as the ladies above mentioned. I say, take a deep breath, you will get through it.

Someone once told me that boys are a work in progress...accidents, stuff, life happens. I hope ur feeling better...and don't end your blog because I really like it alot.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Lakeitha you are not alone. We've all struggled with Motherhood now and again. How can you love these creatures so much and be so frustrated at the same time? Anyway, my daughter was a very challenging toddler and I ever thought I would survive those years - now she's a teenager and I'm wondering how we'll survive these years!!!

The Inspired Nest said...

I hope you will hop over and read the post I did this afternoon after I read yours. The whole issue of support has been weighing on me for sometime. I got the courage to share a story of what I have been going through.
Lacy
www.the-inspired-nest.blogspot.com

Keisha F. said...

Your post felt like you were inside my heart and mind. I am a stay at home mom to 3 children (2 boys 8 & 6 and a 2 year old girl). Let me just say it is not EASY, and lately I have found myself wanting to run back to work, or send my oldest to my mother to live. I know it sounds terrible but being home with them is REALLY HARD WORK, the hardest work i have ever done in my life. I thank you for your honesty, sometimes you just need to know you are not alone.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

I'm sorry to hear things are tough there right now, and I can't completely understand because I have one boy and a girl, which is such a different dynamic. I did have four boys over for a sleepover last week and I tell you I kept thinking, "God knew my limit, this I could NOT handle."
It does amaze me the amount of criticism women give one another, and particularly around children. When Max was younger I could rarely leave the house without some episode happening and getting those "looks" and judgments wherever we happened to be. We need to have so much more tolerance and understanding, giving support not judgment.
I really have no advice except what has helped me feel more joy, and have a lot more patience with my children lately is I am clearly seeing how brief of a moment this is, having a child be 7, 10, in a moment they will both be 18 and headed out the door.
Get the help you need right now Lakeitha, whatever source that might come in, don't downplay your struggle.
Sending a huge hug, Janell

Elesha @ 7 Palmetto Lane said...

Sending you a big hug! I feel your pain. I have a 3 year-old son and he's a handfull. I get a small break in the daytime because I work. But by the time I get home, wash clothes, cook and spend time with him, I'm burnt out. Some days I don't know how I do it. My mom is always telling me that I need to slow down and get some rest. And my poor husband barely gets any quality time from me. Everyday is a struggle! Sometimes I feel as if I can't take my son out because he's always into something. He's either crying because he wants something that I'm not willing to buy or jumping in the buggy.

When I'm having a hard day, I just remember that time goes by fast and I should cherish the moments that he's tearing up something or having a meltdown in Target. Just remember you're not alone in this battle. No one or no family is perfect no matter what they portray in Blog Land. Thanks for sharing with us!

Elesha

Decor & Harmony @ 4290 said...

Lakeitha, I'm sending you a hug from Ohio :) just remember you can have it all just not at the same time. You are a wonderful spirit in this world always remember to take care of yourself first in order to care for your family fully. Hang in there, this too shall pass.

Robyn Lucas said...

Been there. It's hard being a work at home mom with the kids at home too.

You really should get into a Mom's group- they saved my sanity! (Watch out for the over religious ones and the snooty moms)
Try, maybe, Mocha Moms. I was in a fabulous chapter in SC.

(((hugs))))

It'll get better!

Kathysue said...

Laekitha, the last thing you need is advice, I hear you loud and clear on that count. You and other young Mom's do need encouragement. Not to say oh you poor thing, that is not what you need, but rather, Good job!! Keep doing what you are doing!!! Love them through the tough years and you will reap the rewards during the easier years.
I have three grown sons and I do remember the rough years, but I will say there are moments I would give anything to have those three little boys back for a day!!
You too will feel this way, I promise.
One thing I have learned is if I feel over scheduled they feel it even more. Ten minutes of undivided attention is like a dose of medicine for them.
I promise it will get better, little boys are adventurous and everything is approached as a challenge. They are active at the ages your boys are right now that is for sure, but they will be much calmer by time they reach 7-11 years old. Hang in there sweetie! Remember you can NOT do it all everyday, no one can!! But if they have clean clothes, a meal and a hug they are good to go!! Everything else is icing on the cake!! xo Kathysue

Darnetha said...

I am a mother of 3 kids; age 11, 7 and 4. I agree that people do give off those strange looks when I am out with my kids. I usually am not sure if it is because I have 3 kids or that I look extremely young or both. I also agree that women these days are more prone to judge than to encourage, men too. I have found that it is great to find like minded women to talk to and to exchange ideas with. My family like yours doesn't always give the best advice concerning my family.
I worked full-time up until resently when I was laid-off and it was a constant struggle then to keep the house clean, help the kids with homework and those crazy projects, cook dinner, laundry, etc... But now I still struggle with the balance, it seems like I have more responsibilities. A mothers work is never done.
But know we all struggle and we all have been there.
When my youngest son was 2 he cried alot, excuse me screamed bloody murder when we use to go out places. He did it so much my husband and I had to take turns going into stores just so we didn't have to take him in. Or better yet one stay home with him. It seemed like this would never end but thank God that phase is over. Now I am trying to stop him from spitting, nasty I know, I keep telling myself this to shall pass and at least he is not spitting on people.

Brandi said...

Hey Lakeitha! Although I'm not a mom to 3 boys, I do have a daughter and son and I have felt just as you have at times. I've got those same looks you mentioned. My son was a handful as a toddler, but the bright side is, they grow up and it does get better. Have you considered joining a Meetup? There are a lot in our area. It's nice to have a network of women with children who can completely relate.

Carmel @ Our Fifth House said...

I have 2 not 3 but there are days when it feels like I have 5! Mine are 7 and 5 - boy and girl - and I love them dearly, but there are many times when I feel overwhelmed. The other day I was grocery shopping and my kids were arguing (really loudly about what cereal I should buy) and some random man walked by and said - someday you're really going to miss this. I was so irritated at that moment I could have punched the man! No - I will never miss my children getting into fights in the middle of the freaking grocery store!

Michelle Marsh said...

Lakeitha, I've followed you for years now and I think you're awesome. You're talented, genuine and you keep it all REAL. While I'm 45 and have a 7 yr. old boy and a 5 yr. old girl, I went through a similar time when my son started kindergarten. It was really tough, but I made it through. Looking back, I think it's just normal to experience this at some point with small children. Raising kids is challenging, no matter what your situation is. I think we all question the grass that is greener on the other side of the fence. I applaud you for sharing this, and want you to know that I'm right here with you. Look at all of the responses you've received from wonderfully supportive women -- that's amazing, just like you. Know that I'm so impressed by all that you do, and how inspiring you are to many! Huge hugs to you!! ~Michelle

likeitsgolden said...

I try to be honest on my blog about parenting because I really just didnt want to be another blogger out there pretending things perfect and I also think admitting things are tough sometimes does not mean that you hate your life. My two year is a handful (like throwing chicken at me in Ihop handful). I love her buts sometimes shes a bit much.
I also really try not to judge other parents. When i see a little kid falling out in the supermarket and the parent is about to die of embarassment, i want to tell them we've all been there.
Idk... all of this was just to say, I understand what you're saying

Towards the Horzon said...

Have you tried Moms Day Out for your toddler? On those school days when you feel really stressed, send your toddler to a Mom Day Out class.

Can I also suggest checking for your local International Bible Study Women’s Fellowship group? They meet once a week at a church in your area and they provide childcare. You’ll be able to study to word and fellowship and pray with other women in small class settings. It’s really awesome!


Rearing children can be isolating and very hard. You need an outlet, at least once a week. It’s only human to be overwhelmed sometimes.

Hello Lover... said...

You are a very strong, brave person as evidenced by your ability to post this so openly to your audience. Life is hard. There is no way around that. I don't have children (yet) but hope to someday and even now there are days I look around my house or think of how busy my life is and how I feel like I can't keep up and I can't even imagine how I could possibly add children to the mix. You are doing so much and you should be so proud. No one is perfect!

anna wachs said...

you are one of the sweetest bloggers out there! this has nothing to do with your post, just wanted to let you know that. I'm sure you're a great mom as well. As another commenter said, you can't be perfect and you will make mistakes, be upset some days, be happy other days, be overwhelmed, etc....as long as you have an outlet or something that's just for you...which it seems like painting and finding furniture is, for you.

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