Monday, February 4, 2013

Motherhood and The Blues

My husband and I had a bad fight. The kind of fight that sends you off limping and licking your wounds. The kind that makes you wonder whether the wounds are fatal to your relationship. They never are, but you wonder.

I just wrote a post about my tendency to push myself beyond my limits, which turns me into a little dictator and my family into my little minions.

The opposite is also true. I get mired down in the tar pits of inertia. Life's challenges set up camp in my head and I react by retreating. The sink full of dishes goes undone, emails remain unanswered, writing gets neglected. 

My heavy heart feels like a character defect, unworthy of my compassion. I am reminded just how flawed I am. 

Sometimes, I wish that I could be relieved of the responsibility of caring for my daughter...just for awhile.

It's a frightening thing to say. I feel more scared by my reaction to life's rough spots, since having Claire. I can only hope that by speaking of the less savory sides of myself, I can give them voice and let them go.

I desperately want to find a balance between so many things:

taking care of me and taking care of my daughter

showing my daughter that I am a flawed woman, while being a safe, constant presence in the world for her

teaching her that we are all complex and weak, while striving to be a good example of what's right about humanity as well. 


mom_depression

I tell myself that my daughter won't be deeply scarred by a sink full of dishes. I remind myself that I have chosen to let some things go, so that I can focus what little extra energy I have on her. I remember that I don't withhold any love and attention from her, when I feel this way. I know she's too young to know that there is a sink full of dishes anyway. God has given me time.

But what if I don't get my act together in time? All I can do is believe.

I don't aspire to be like Donna Reed. We will never be the Cosby's. I know that George and I are not going to stop fighting every now and then. I know that life is going to have its challenges.

That's all ok. But I want Claire to learn to be more resilient than me. Hell, I want me to be more resilient than me!


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Photo Source: Artemis-Twitches, Deviant Art.  License This photo has been altered and does not suggest that the licenser endorses me, its use, or this blog.

37 comments:

  1. I love this post! You are such an honest person Rachel and I admire that about you.
    I hate those kind of fights and while Brian and I rarely have them it still makes you question everything.
    Life does suck sometimes but the good news is that the challenges we are faced with all the time make us better people regardless of how many times we tell ourselves that we are horribly flawed.
    It's so OK to feel that way.
    Love to you my friend!

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

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  2. I want to make you feel better, but I can't because I feel the same way (wondertwin). xo

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    1. Wa! So sorry to hear. I don't want you to always feel like me...

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  3. Hola Rachel,
    I'm sorry you are going thru a rut right now. But believe me when I tell you things do get better. I know exactly how you feel, I have been to hell and back and I have learned not to sweat the small things. All that matters is love...love for yourself first, believe it or not. When you love yourself first, take time for yourself first...things fall right into place. Even those moment when you feel "how the heck am I going to get through this, magically work themselves out. I wish I can do or say more to help you, but know that you are not alone.

    ~SimplyyMayra
    P.s. I'm among those who know Donna Reed ;)

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    1. Mayra, your words are always so wonderful. Thank you!

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  4. I think we can all feel like that. Thinking of how to be more resilient is, in fact, being more resilient.

    I know when I've been kicked in the gut by life, I need a few hours to lick my wounds. Then I'm back in the saddle. Everything has its season, even wallowing.

    Hope you're back on top soon.

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  5. Awww Rachel, I felt so bad when I read this, Listen, it's going to be OK, ya hear? Claire is NOT going to remember a sink full of dishes or any of that stuff! What she WILL remember is the love that you showed her! Kids don't remember clean houses, they remember the silly games we play on the floor with them or trips to the park and sharing an ice cream cone. They remember being tucked into bed every night and little butterfly kisses. So what if every now and then you get into an argument with your husband and she is within earshot? What family doesn't argue? I've been where you are--with my youngest---and sure, we had some rough patches but we always got through it. My son still loved me despite the messes, the arguments, the tears. It didn't damage him or change our relationship.That stuff will fade away when they get older. All you really need to do is just love Claire and share that love with her. That's all she needs! I hate to see you down like this--you know where to find me if you want to talk. Love you!!!!

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  6. Aw, sweets. I feel you. I feel this, and your words are amazing. You do such a great job at being honest. I am humbled because I don't think I'd have the guts to write this. My husband and I haven't gotten in one of THOSE fights in a while, but oh, Lord, we used to. We used to so much. His (now 18 and moved out / kicked out for being an asshole who brought drugs into our home with our baby son, and more and more and more) daughter from a previous marriage used to live with us. Wow, some of the things we said to each other...I cringe, still. I actually fantasized about leaving and reconnecting with him once she was of age. It was awful.
    That said, and yes, Tucker was around for some of this. Until July this year, in fact. That said, Claire will never give a flying f@ck about your dishes. I promise. She will forgive you for not always being 100% present, she will never think about whether her house was clean, or not. Whether her memories will go back to now or not, she will "remember" a sense of love, security and know that you encouraged her to be HER. Which you are.
    You're an amazing mom. I mean it. I know that all of us leave out a lot of crap when we're sharing our lives on these dumbass bloggie things. But seriously? The fact that you're worried about how your moods affect her? That's enough.
    Again, I promise. And this is coming from somebody who had a crazy f@cked up mother. All of my memories and feelings for her from when I was young are nothing but warm and fuzzy. So Claire's? They're awesome. As are you.
    <3

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  7. Thanks for sharing a very personal story. We all go through times like these but few of us are brave enough to share them. Your resiliency shows in your post, your admission to your flaws, and recognition of knowing you aren't perfect but striving for your best. That's all we can do...our best!

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  8. Seriously, stop beating yourself up! No one is perfect, nor, should they try to set that type of example to their kids. What helps a child more than anything is seeing anger, and seeing it cast aside for love a little later. It shows them that it's okay to get mad, just as long as you don't let it rule your life. Dirty dishes and such mean nothing but you're human. Perhaps, perfection lies in being human, instead of setting goals too high for anyone to live by! Sit back, smile, and enjoy life a little! : ) Great post!

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  9. Sounds like you're pretty resilient to me!

    This post was really good, it's my first time here...and dishes in the sink are fine :)

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  10. Thank you so much for linking up with us today! let me just say WOW! As always, your writing simply blows me away. You have a such a gift.....that innate ability to put your thoughts so eloquently into words. I love your honesty and willingness to share. So many of your thoughts mirror my own, and I can definitely relate to that desire to retreat. Praying God's healing touch for you today. You're on my heart and in my prayers.
    Trinity

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    1. Well, that certainly makes me feel better. Thank you so much, Trinity.

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  11. Bless your heart. I think part of the blessing of being a mom is this supersized heart. We discover this intense love for our children that truly can bring us to acts of life saving bravery where we will do what we can to save those dear babes from harm, and we see our own flaws magnified so because we also want to save our children from our less than stellar qualities. Your openness and awareness will help you even when you feel at a loss. Keep on loving your little girl and don't stress over the menial things that can be put off for a bit. I remember going through something quite similar in feelings when my son was little and I struggled as a single mom and convinced myself that I ruined his life because of it. You aren't alone and you are loved. :) Praying for you and for strength.

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    1. That's really sweet of you to say, Kelly. I appreciate it, really. It must have been so hard to be a single mom at times. I have great admiration for you.

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  12. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in this post. I also write my blog out of my need. In fact, my blog was a "therapy" to bring me out of a depression. Bless you.

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  13. Thank you for being so honest! And thanks for joining out Wednesday Walkabout!

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  14. I have a journal from before there was internet in people's homes that sounds a lot like this.

    Stopping by from Pour Your Heart Out

    (this comment system won't let you find my real blog...
    http://www.accidentallybydesign.com )

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    1. Sorry about the comment thing. Other people have complained about it. I don't know how to fix it!...I have loads of similar journals myself.

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  15. I get overwhelmed and don't always react in the best way, either. And it worries me that my kids will take after me or that they'll hate how I act.

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    1. I think we all do. It's just hard to not feel stronger. I don't want to admit it!

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  16. Sending you a hug ((Rachel)) This too shall pass! Thank you for hopping on board The Great Blog Train! -Marci, Helen and Angie

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  17. Hi Rachel,

    Nice to meet you. I'm hopping over from Imperfect Prose's link up. Thanks for your honesty here. I can relate and am thankful for God at work in me. I delight in the joy that follows when I choose to obey my Abba Daddy's way, and then I'm thankful for his gentle forgiveness for the times when I thrash and rage in life my way, and then need to humbly apologize everywhere. He is gentle and patient with us, and I am thrilled to see progress some days too!

    Smiling with you,
    Jennifer Dougan
    wwww.jenniferdougan.com

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  18. I am a new follower of The GFC Collective. I'm looking forward for you to follow back and I'll certainly be coming here for more of your future posts :)

    Blogging will be so much fun with all the virtual friends around. Take care!

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  19. Hi, I don't know if you watch tv but there is a pastor that has helped me a ton- Joseph Prince (new creation church) in Singapore. he is so great at preaching God's Grace and the fact that we are all flawed but since Christ died we all are made new and to focus on God's Love for us especially in times were we feel the most awefull, yell the most and can't help it...he may really speak to you like he has me- otherwise- praying for you! be encouraged!
    kelly from joyandgladnessofheart.blogspot.com (tuesday prayer link)

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  20. this must be the best name i have ever seen on a blog lol

    i came by via the followers to friends blog hop and now follow on GFC, hope you like my blog enough to follow back :)
    Angela x

    http://british-bargains-and-beauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. Lots of love to you mama, we have all been there, life is hard, but the wonderful thing is that you are seeking to live it better :)

    Thanks for linking up with the Tuesday Baby Link-Up!

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