Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today's Ramblings and Being Selfish

It hits me in the early afternoon, phone to my ear, bent over my bed folding a load of towels. I'm still in my pajamas with a sweatshirt thrown on for good measure (just in case someone unexpectedly rings the doorbell...which pretty much never happens); my hair in ponytail atop my head; no remembrance of brushing my teeth. I'm between loads of laundry, paying bills and balancing the checkbook, teaching the girls, all-around housework and homeschooling.

I'm the proverbial housewife.

No one thing to define me except that. I daydream about having a job where I wear clothes, not pajamas. I wonder what it's like to have adult conversations instead of doling out a to-do list for the children who will argue and whine about it. I imagine having a few minutes of alone time in my car every day.

I live in a world where children must go to my doctor's appointments with me; where I can't go to the restroom (ever) without one of the kids coming to find me to talk; where an uninterrupted thought is unheard of; where my biggest daily concerns are laundry, groceries and schoolwork; where I am isolated with three children.

I have what seems a million things to do, none of which are important to anyone outside my household. Yet, I wonder if I do any one of these things well.

Picture the proverbial frazzled housewife, minus bon-bons and tv time...that's me.

Everyone on the social networks keeps talking about Charlie Sheen's interviews and how awful he is. I have no idea what they're talking about. I haven't seen the news in days, possibly weeks, other than to check the weather website.

I have five and a half hours a week, at best, without my children. Even those hours are spent running errands, making lists, attempting to write something sane for this blog.

I think I'm having an identity crisis. My life has culminated into a point over the last six weeks, and I'm asking myself just what it is that identifies me. What sets me apart. What makes me different. How am I using my life experiences. I don't have an answer. All I know is that I'm drowning in housewifedom, and I see no light at the end of the tunnel...not even a glimmer....not so much as a break.

I don't claim to be complaining here, but I'm sure it seems that way. I love my children, I love being a stay-at-home mom, I love homeschooling (most days), I love my life. But...I'm overwhelmed. To say that I'm not would be a lie. To say that I don't long for something more some days would also be a lie. To say that I don't want something just for myself, that makes, that doesn't revolve around my children or my husband or my house, that someone else can't imitate, would be lying.

I realize the risk I'm taking in sounding selfish. But, today, if I'm being truthful and transparent with you, I'm being selfish...

And if you feel the need to comment and tell me how I should be thankful for x, y, z, or to quote Scripture to me to remind me not to be selfish...please restrain yourself.


  1. I feel you... I was there while working full-time and wondering how my coworkers qualified as sane adults and how I could possibly maintain serving God full-time, being a wife/ homemaker full-time, and hold down a full-time job. It's a rough place to be, overwhelmed and missing yourself. I've got your back in prayer, ;-)

  2. Can I quote a Scripture (not to remind you not to be selfish because I don't even think you are selfish here) but to strengthen you? Just want to know for future's sake.

    Anyhow, praying and want you to know that what you are feeling is completely normal. Every stay at home mom feels this way at some point. Probably every mom feels this way at some point. A single mom called me last night about this feeling overwhelmed - she doesn't even have a husband to relieve her at night time. But I don't think it is selfish to feel this way - but your self is trying to tell you that you have needs to take care of yourself as well. I guess spiritually when you are at the end of your rope and feel overwhelmed, the only way to keep going is to lay yourself on his altar and tell him exactly how you feel and let your self be a sacrifice and sweet fragrance to him in the midst of a desire/need to pull back. "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." (Ps 61:2) - this verse strengthens me when I am overwhelmed.

    But also your kids are old enough to let you go to the bathroom alone, right? Set boundaries with them so that you can have some peace - like 20 minutes or however long in the afternoon everyone has to read a book in their room and you can do whatever you want to do - blog, write, sing, be still and quiet, just whatever. We all need space, if even a teeny bit.

    I am trying to give practical advise - not judgment. I'm not trying to be preachy - hope I come across the way I intend. :) Love you!

  3. For real, we need to meet and have dessert that is much too fattening and coffee that is much too sweet. I work part time, have a husband gone two nights a week and serves all day at church on Sunday, a daughter that dances two nights a week, a son that challenges me daily, and a dog that will not stop jumping my fence. I am impressed that you were folding laundry. Mine stays in baskets much too long, I need to dust, I could go, but why bother. :)

    Sister, I feel ya. This should be your safe place to say what's on your heart without fear of judgment. Hugs friend!!

  4. I have the very same feelings every day...I'm right there with you!! Here are my thoughts...

    Good luck keeping sane!

  5. I totally understand! I am right there with you... just this afternoon I sent the boys to separate rooms to rest for an hour because they couldn't stop fighting, and I felt guilty for enjoying their punishment! It was a wonderful, quiet, still hour...

    We all need some "me" time to be refreshed and refueled so that we can be the wives and moms and teachers God has called us to be...

    and just so you know, right now I am thinking of sending mine to bed an hour early for more fighting!!!!!

  6. Ugh...did we take the same exit cuz I feel your pain. I would give ya an amen. I refer to this as venting...and I do it when necessary so don't feel bad for it. However, if you decide you wanna tell the xyz your thankful for you should join me in the thankful Thursday hop this week! Otherwise my advice is to hide in a closet w/ a sweet treat and enjoy :)
    {tara} from Undeserving Grace

  7. I LOVE this... it is refreshing. LIKE when do I get a life NOW?
    your chidrend are little remember... they WILL grow. Believe me they will.
    This is such a small window of time for you to enjoy and relish in their 'sweetness' You will someday say ... where did time go?
    And wonder what happened to the 'fun days' of long ago?
    Take care

  8. oops I spelled children wrong. so sorry. it is late here... ready for bed.

  9. Let's see...the words I would say to you.....THANKS- Thank you for this! I hope these 2 words are encouragement to you! This is the reason I come back to your blog-YOU ARE TRANSPARENT! I have many blogs I read-many are encouraging to me-and then at times-I wonder-what is wrong with me-how come I cannot just be content with my circumstances-find the JOY in the moment-just be thankful-and then the enemy goes to work-(if I allow it, and sometimes-sadly-I do)-then comes either self-pity or guilt for the thoughts-which sometimes come out in my words and actions-BUT-I do want to have JOY-be thankful, and content-and it is a process-I am learning and it is my responsibility to choose life over death. BUT-THANK YOU for this-I am so blessed to know that I am not the only mom, wife, ect...who ever feels this way! I am so blessed that you have enough courage (yes it is courage)to put it out here! Thank you again-have a blessed day!

  10. Elisa - thank you. Prayers are appreciated.

    Jamie - love you!

    Brandi - YES! Let's commiserate! :-)

    Morgan - Thanks. Enjoying reading your blog.

    Tricia - Thanks for making me feel better! :-)

    Tara - thanks! Maybe I'll join you on next week's link up.

    TFTD - loved your comment!

    DLM - it's always good to know we're not alone in this journey.

  11. Everything I would have said, has been. I am praying for you.

  12. Honestly, I've been there. And, I don't think it's selfish, at all! You love your family, but you still want to know you're "you"... and I think God put that desire in each one of us. We long for significance, and individuality. To be known.

    Even though I've been out in the "working world" for the past 3 years ('cause my kids are finally both in school, full-time, grades 5 & 7), I still sometimes feel "lost"... like I don't have a real identity other than "mom" or "wife". I long to do something MORE...

    So, you're definitely not alone. Best I can suggest is just to hang in there... remember that God has a purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11). And, enjoy the moments. ;)

    I'm trying all of this, myself, btw. ;)

  13. Sorry that I am commenting late on this....but I can TOTALLY and COMPLETELY relate!! And your last comment {telling your readers not to tell you what to be thankful for} is almost exactly what I wrote in a recent post!! Ha. I feel your sadness and happiness at the same time. It is hard to get past the monotony of the everyday....and sometimes feel like you never EVER leave the house!? And for sure you know you are not alone....but know that I am going to send out a prayer for you right now!
    AND...I just read your most recent post about sharing was beautifully written and very heartfelt. I so enjoy reading your posts.