Friday, April 16, 2010

Shell Shock

Please note that this is a whiny, poor-me, Debbie Downer post. I just need to write this, get over it, and get on with my day. Please feel free to not read this post!!

Last night, I put the kids down to bed. I put the leftover perishable foods in the fridge. I brought in the scooters and bikes from the front yard.

But I left out all the dirty dishes. I left out the cake. I left out all the food that didn't require refrigeration. I left the mound of torn wrapping paper on the floor. I left the pile of wet towels on the bathroom floor. I left the half-done laundry in the laundry room. I didn't even go through Andrea's backpack or get it ready for the next day. I DID brush my teeth, because my diet has been about 89% sugar as of late, but I skipped the floss. I left the sticky kitchen floor. I left the basement a disaster. I left up the birthday decorations. I left the trash can spilling over onto the kitchen floor.

And instead, I went downstairs and turned on the TV. Do you realize how long it's been since I've done that?

I'm not sure when life is going to slow down. I used to be busy. I used to think, 'It has to get easier than this.' And in some ways, it does get easier. But then there are always other aspects that get harder, more complicated. I used to be busy, but I could usually put the kids to bed, and at the very least sit down, watch a movie and fold laundry. But before last night, I don't remember the last time I sat and watched TV, even to do laundry.

My kids, on the other hand, I think have a special relationship with the TV. I think they spend more time with it than they do with me. As I type this, they're down there watching TV. I'm supposed to be showering. But I'm tired of doing all the things I'm supposed to be doing.

I have received comments in the last few months from well-meaning individuals that it seems like my kids are overwhelming to me. And in some ways, they are. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it's not my kids that are overwhelming. It's the other 100 million things going on in life that take my attention away from my kids that make it all overwhelming.

And the thing is, it's not like I'm doing anything extra. It's not like I have a hobby that I devote any time to. I don't look at my day and see things that I could have done without. (Well, maybe spending 3 hours making butterfly cupcakes was a bit superfluous) It seems like all I have time for are the essentials, the essentials being:

clean house=dishes done and having a cleared path from one room to the next
laundry=washed, heaped in piles in laundry baskets
callings=lessons done the night before; practice the organ 1/2 hour before church starts
feeding my children=lots of tacos and trips to chic-fil-a
nurturing my children=planting them in front of the Disney channel

And all my other time goes to other essential things that just come up. A friend has a sick baby. There's an EQ activity. I leave my keys in Anders' car, which gets parked at the airport while Anders is out of town. Andrea has art class. Andrea has a birthday. Natalie has a birthday. Friends have birthdays. There are people that need a lot of help. The basement floods. There are Natalie floods. There are doctor's appointments. I have to do PT so I can walk. Ethan covers himself in Desitin during nap time. Ethan fills the bathtub with every toy that he owns. Ethan draws on the walls., I'll stop there.

But the list goes on. And on. And on.

Having said all this, I think I'm a bit ridiculous for complaining about life. I'm not dealing with very sick children; I'm not dealing with a bad marriage; I'm not a single parent. My kids love me. My husband has a great job that more than pays the bills. We're all healthy. I have the Gospel. Life is good.

Okay, DONE! No more complaining. My next blog will be filled with pictures of smiling people and funny stories and happy things. I needed to get the Eeyore out of my system and now I'm fine :)


Jonathan and Andrea Forsyth...and Dallin too said...

you're not whining. and emily, i don't think you seem overwhelmed by your kids. are you tired? yes. but so is every mother of three little ones. so go watch some west wing.

sora_ke said...

"it's the other 100 million things going on in life that take my attention away from my kids that make it all overwhelming"!!!!!
Amen, very well put, i know exactly how that feels. you hit it right on the nose. go watch some west wing!

AshleyFamily said...

First of all, are we living some split life? Hello! Sounds like we could just write each other's blog posts. Second of all, I love the West Wing! Are you just making your way through for the first time? SO good. Way better than LOST, even. Third of all, Adam thought he had a job in Arlington and I got so excited thinking of living close to you (as we would have had to live with his parents) but, alas, no job. And last of all, have you not had any funny stories, happy things and smiling people for over a month? I couldn't help but wonder if you were sticking to your promise to blog about those things next and you haven't since April. WELL GUESS WHAT??? Here's a happy thing. (I hope.) We're coming to visit next week! Adam has to study for his stinking CFA exam in a couple weeks and we girls aren't exactly helpful study mates. So I figure why not get the heck outta here and go to Ba-jin-ya? Hopefully you can squeeze a visit in between Sat and Wed. Let me know!