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This Mama's Struggle Bus

I admire my most selfless friends.  I am not one of those people who struggles with envy or jealousy or even comparing my life to other's lives in materialistic ways, but when it comes to selflessness, I struggle. Of course, I would love to have an impeccable fashion sense, be able to travel more with my family, and have my house decorated exactly how I want it, but I don't feel pressured to or inadequate because I don't.  I have odd quirks about things like I get OCD about hosting friends over to my house, going to indoor playgrounds, and being at places with large crowds (with kids).  We don't do much on the weekends unless we are all doing it as a family, and are definitely not an on-the-go family--all of which I am perfectly content with.  I am secure in those things, but I am highly insecure in feeling "enough" for my family and friends.  

For the past three weeks, I have been battling for time to just unwind, be me {whoever that is}, and detox from chaos.  I craving time to write, read, be alone, and clear my mind.  In the battle, I feel so selfish and torn.  I feel like wanting to take an hour here or or there to go behind a closed door and just sit, ignoring all housework or even hearing my name is not caring for my family.  It's not that I am feeling depressed or sad or lacking in joy, I am actually {ha: read depression roller coaster is my life} doing great in that department, I am just feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated with the monotony.  A part time job has never sounded so good and that makes me feel SO BAD and SO SAD.  Admittedly, I am a bit of a clean freak but over the last month, I just can't keep up with the chores.  Something is always messy, unwashed, piled up, or needing to be done while a child always wants to play a board game, make a craft, play playdoh, dump every organized bucket just for fun, "go somewhere" {seriously...do your kids do this?  I have one homebody and one constantly asking to go anywhere even if we've already been a million places}.   I prefer the latter because it is so much more fun to have fun with the kids, but when I do that, everything else around the house just seems to pile and pile up. It's not that I need "help" because a) anytime we've ever hired house cleaners, I kindly quit using them because none of them do it to my liking and b) I CAN do it myself....or maybe I can't?  But then I shame myself because there are parents with five kids who do it all themselves every day--why can't I manage with two?  Are my own expectations too high?  I feel guilty when I kindly tell them I can't play because I have to clean and I feel guilty for playing with them when the home is not clean.

When the house is clean and laundry is done, a child or the husband somewhere a long the way has been ignored and places second fiddle.  When the kids are placed first, the house literally falls apart before my eyes.  For example, we had a great Spring Break last week.  I called it "Ghetto Spring Break" because we stuck around the 'hood and did the classic things that kept us going NON-STOP--like running in the sprinklers in the backyard, digging hole after hole after hole in the backyard, fighting off swarms of bees, going to Mimi and Poppy's, playing with friends and neighbors until the kids could barely walk and not spending a single dime.  Good ole fashioned 1990's fun...like my sister and I grew up having before the world required that kids had to be doing something every day to survive.  There were zero "I am bored" complaints, zero "can I go here requests" and with that, zero time to do anything productive with chores.  By the time 7pm hit, the girls were fast asleep and I was exhausted.  I didn't feel like doing the dishes, laundry, cleaning the messes we made, sweeping for the 19th time that hour from kids tracking in and out of the house....I feel like that lets my husband down.  I get snippy with everyone when half my home always seems like it's falling apart; that's not fair for anyone. 

Mostly..my motivation is gone.  I begin to subconsciously bounce these feelings around and that's when my struggle in comparing myself to other mom's begin....you can have everything you want under the sun, the most beautiful everything, but I am not interested in that.  I want to be the mom with the beautiful heart and beautiful soul; the mama who can stand firm in discipline but not with a crooked edge or "mean" spirit; the nurturing mom who rarely gets frustrated and needs to hide behind a closed door.  The kind of mama who doesn't complain about being up all night with kids and still manages to wash her hair and fold all the laundry {WWHD for my BFF's who read this}; the mama who creates awesome and fun crafts and lessons with her kids and thinks of fun, priceless games at local parks all while presenting a healthy, well crafted meal to her children with a smile on her face followed by spending quality time with her husband after the kids go to bed.  I fall so short of this, yet I know so many mamas who are incredibly amazing and maintain all of this so well.  Genuinely, too.  Mamas who I don't envy with my nose turned up, mamas who I deeply love, respect and admire and hold close to my heart. 

I realize part of this month's struggle began with Adam having a week long, that included weekend travel, trip to Chicago followed by two really busy weekends in a row that never felt weekends, a child from home school at least one day (out of their only two days of school) a week with either random vomiting, or the power going out at the school, or something else ridiculous, then Daylight Savings Time hitting...so there are reasons to feel this way, but my other friends are dealing with issues too...yet they can do it complaint free.  I feel like I just need a reset and a recharge for a couple of days.  Just that feeling makes me feel so guilt-ridden.  My sweet husband has offered to get the girls out of the house for awhile, but I can't even sit still because all my head is thinking is, "mop the floors, vacuum upstairs, clean out the master closet, re-organize the kitchen, clean the baseboards, do all the laundry and sheets, pick up, de-clutter" when all I really want to do is pick up a good book and not move for 48 hours.  Even if he told me to do nothing, if he came home and the house looked exactly the same, I would feel so guilty.  THIS IS MY JOB.  WHY AM I FAILING?  I've tried making priority lists, I have tried setting parameters like "you can't do {this} until you accomplish {this}, I have removed time passing apps off my phone like Facebook and other things that I tend to notice decrease my productivity, and I continue to come up feeling the same. 

At the end of the day, when I feel overwhelmed and like I don't know where to start, my motivation decreases.  Kudos to my wonderful and beautiful mom friends, working and those who work at home, for being able to manage and balance your plates to be it all for everyone.  I am really good at praying for others but really bad about praying for my own needs.  Maybe instead of starting here, I should start with God...asking him to please help me learn how to be it all for everyone in my family.  To be more selfless and less selfish, asking Him for strength and motivation that only He can give and not expect myself to muster it up without His help.  

At the end of the day..........these moments make up for all of my shortcomings.  


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