Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Quick Thank You

Or maybe not so quick. I'm not sure how long I'll write about this.

Thank you, fellow moms, for sharing your true feelings on your blogs. How great it is that we live in a generation where it is ok to say, "I don't really like my kids today," or "I really want to have time to myself and do what I want to do, " and other moms know that it has nothing to do with your ability to be a good mom.

Like this blogger (who I don't know, I just pop in on her site from time to time):

I may need to go to counseling because I seriously struggle with liking my middle child right now. He’s so very difficult. It’s just tricky. He’s so smart and full of energy, and I don’t want to suffocate that. However using his intelligence and enthusiasm to say as many bad words as possible and to beat up his baby brother is unacceptable. I feel like a failure with him, like none of my mothering techniques are working. sigh. He is just 3.5… it will get better (I hope).

Or this one from Bethany:

I cried to Husby, "I haven't done a thing for myself all day!". Really, a few pathetic tears rolled down my face. I was so tired though that I didn't want to go into a discussion of better ways for me to allocate time during the day. I didn't want to think about why I waited until after a disagreement to communicate my feelings. I didn't want to do anything but feel sorry for myself.

And sleep. I wanted to do that too. However, I knew that the baby would wake me up in a few hours, which made me feel even more exhausted.

So, I confess this to you, dear readers, I am naturally a self absorbed person. I like to do things that I like to do. I like to do things I want to do. I like to do things alone and for myself. I like thinking about myself and having my own needs met.

Another mom (who's blog is private and she allows only friends or family) wrote:

(After having her second child) Instead I came home to a state of - almost depression, I think. I was resentful - of just about everyone. I was angry at those people with healthy babies, I was jealous of those who acted like things were easy with multiple kids...I was angry at [baby] (that's right I just admitted it - to the world) I wasn't mean or hateful or non-loving mommyish to him, but to be honest, deep down I was upset. Upset that his hospital stay and his constant need for attention had built a wall between me and [first born].

Or this entry from Ashley:

I'll be totally, brutally honest. I've been in some need of some major rejuvenation lately. I need some time to myself without kids hanging on my neck, back, or legs.

And this one from Kim:

I realize that I am not a good "stay at home" mom. This is very hard to admit. I just get bored staying at home.

Or another private blog:

I am very close to tears... I am not sure why? Today just isn't my day I guess. Maybe tomorrow will be better... Some days I am 100% confident in what I am doing - as a mother... other days I feel like a failure.

There are many more.

It is so good to be in this together!

So again, I thank you. My heart hurts with you when you struggle. But know is so good to know I am not alone. And as Ashley said...we need to be encouraged to fight The Good Fight!


Anonymous said...

Can't read anymore of this. Once again .. "Birds of a feather flock together." Doesn't make it right.

Mrs. Haid said...

@ Anonymous... Having emotions and sharing them is a bad thing? Having friends who can relate to your struggles... having the confidence that your friends will listen to you... being able to express yourself and be vunerable but honest... All healthy things!

Maybe keeping feelings bottled up or stuffing them down with food or drinking them away in silence is better.

Chrissy, I for one appreciate your candor and honesty. You are a great role model for a mom and a woman of Christ.

Nel said...

I think that anyone who thinks they live in a fantasy world and life is all cupcakes and candy and perfect... maybe needs to dig a little deeper. Are you serious... you think that we are all horrible parents and people because we express our struggles to keep us halfway sane some days?!??! We all LOVE our children and would and do do anything in the world for them. Sometimes a litte venting makes my day 100x better!
And you honestly never had a feeling of wanting to sit outside after you kids went to sleep just to get some peace and quiet and regroup for the next round?
We all love our kids dearly... just admit our struggles sometimes!

Tina said...

Wow - anonymous - afraid to post your name??? Such a hateful comment, should be able to put a face with it i think.
Nel - I am guessing that anonymous, notice- guessing because she won't post her name- doesn't have any kids. I am guessing that she probably has done NO parenting whatsoever.
I don't understand why they are even reading the blog if they do not like the content. instead of posting hateful comments, how about you move on to the next blog, maybe a blog about something other than parenting!

I love my children.
I am a good parent and so are my friends.
Just because we can admit that every minute of every day is not easy, does not make those statements any less true.
I am guessing that "anonymous"
If you are married - every minute of that is not easy, sometimes you need a break - a night out without your spouse, an hour of t.v., a shower - to get some alone time???
If you have a job - I bet sometimes you get extremely frustrated. Sometimes the computer crashes in the middle of a huge report or project and you have to take a few minutes so you don't unplug it and set it out in the street.
I am guessing that if you have family of ANY sort - not just children - that you have had moments where you have to leave the room before you say something hateful because they have upset you in someway.
I am not going to waste anymore of my time defending myself to you - when you can't even defend yourself and your opinions by posting your name.

Causey Fam said...

Chrissy-Please know you are supported and ARE NOT alone. Don't let hurtful, ignorant words of others get to you. If "Birds of a feather" (other Christian moms) "flock together" (support and encourage each other on hard days)...tell me, what is wrong with that? I would guess "anonymous" doesn't have kids and has probably never even worked with kids.

accesskas27 said...

Sometimes it's hard when you start looking at what other moms are doing. You see something happen to them or a decision they have made and you think "how on EARTH can they think that is ok" or "i would NEVER let my child/allow my child to do something like that" and then as you mature as a parent and your kids do those things you swore they would never do, or you make that decision you swore you wouldn't make... or you feel a way you swore you would never feel... then it makes sense. I have a feeling that this anonymous poster may just have a self-righteous attitude, that in time and experience and through parenting time she/he will come to their senses and realize to not judge so harshly someone else until they take a little time to look at their own life.

Tina said...

The more I think of this the more frustrated I get - ANGRY - really.
Thinking about parenting - it is the ONLY job you do twenty four hours a day seven days a week - I get NO breaks. Maybe a couple hours for a date night a couple times a year. My kids are there when I get up, there when I go to bed and everything in between, they follow me into the bathroom while I put my makeup on, they are in the kitchen while I make all three meals for them, they are in my living room, my laundry room, our backyard, Walmart, the park and my car every move I make - watching everything, learning.
To have compared them to marriage, work or other family members is unfair.
EVERY DAY I am responsible for every decision affecting their well-being. I make the decisions for a healthy diet, what they watch, what is an appropriate toy, what they wear, who is their pediatrician, where they go to school, what extra activities they can do, what immunizations to give them, what time they go to bed, where I buy their food, what I teach them.
My actions speak just as loud as words to them.
In marriage - I may need a break from my husband, a night out with the girls, but I get a break from him every day too. He goes to work each and every morning Mon - Sat. He works for 10 hours a day. I am not responsible for picking out his clothes, mixing his bottles, changing his clothes, etc. We spend almost every night together, we eat dinner together, we watch the news together, we make decisions together. But we also have seperate friends, seperate jobs, can be in different rooms while at the same house. (if you don't have kids you might not know this - but you can not leave small children in a room by themselves for more than a few seconds)
When I was working I may have wanted to set my computer out for God to strike with lightening - but if I get angry in front of my children and slam a phone, say a bad word, have any reaction - like crying or raising my voice, etc. That influences them immensly - more then just that moment also. My reaction - will influence how they react. One moment of me losing my cool will teach my child that it is o.k. to slam the phone down if you have to hang up because your child will not quit playing the drums while you are talking. Instead I should take a minute - gather my thoughts and talk to him about what he was doing and how it affects others - but not just for 8 hours. ALL DAY - EVERY DAY. I dont get weekends and holidays off. If I messed up at work - what was the punishment? I don't know - sometimes referals are used, suspension, not being promoted or getting a raise that year?? If I mess up at home what are the consequences?? Having children that do not interact well, having children that do not know right from wrong, children who think it is ok to act in a negative manner, say a bad word, etc.
And I don't have any family that lives with me, who depend on me for everything.... so that analogy doesn't work either.
So really anonymous - there is no comparison to being a parent - all of those situations that I mentioned before - although they may show you how frustrating and how aggravating life as a parent may be sometimes - it really gives you no idea whatsoever what it is like to have that much influence and be depended on as much as you are as a parent. That is why I think it is so important to be honest about what you are feeling - let other moms know they are not alone - pray for each other - encourage each other - keep each other on the right track so something doesn't happen that impacts your children in a negative way. So we can raise a generation of responsible children.

Deanne Smallwood-Thomas said...

i'm shocked someone (anonymous) would have something bad to say about this subject. i have no children, but i think this is a fairly universal concept. things aren't always perfect, as nel said! anyone who says they are is lying to themselves. love is a human emotion and therefore it is multifaceted. it has extremes; both good and bad. i cannot believe someone would have the nerve to criticize good mothers and good people for talking about their feelings and emotions and helping each other!!!!!

a lot of society's ills today and in the past come from stifling emotions, close-mindedness, being judgmental about people expressing themselves.

i think we all agree that this person doesn't deserve our defensiveness or anger. i think these blogs have helped all of us enormously. don't anyone let this negativity bother you anyone! i thank you all for sharing your stories. both the good times and ESPECIALLY the bad. parenting and otherwise (i definitely plan on using the parenting stuff for the future!)

i'd much rather be a bird of this flock than any other.

Anonymous said...

There are also moms/wives/sisters who choose to handle their same experiences as yours in a different way. Some of us choose to recognize our challenges and frustrations and we utilize our resources or find some to get ideas & answers on how to improve our coping skills, because we recogize we aren't perfect, but we want to do better for ourselves and for our kids and family. I said I didn't want to read anymore because there are plenty of women who have a totally different point of view than this group. These comments are as intolerant of another more positive way to go about working on challenges as you think my comment was. I'm not going to change your minds... but it's also clear you know nothing about me, my family or my friends. Do any of you have a special needs child, one with birth defects, health challenges, do any of you have health problems, and oh do any of you have husbands who have lost their job? The more we see in ourselves things that need to be fixed so we can be better moms rather than constantly justifying our shortcomings and validating the misery does nobody any good. You'll never hear me say being a mom is an easy job. Most of us, if not all, don't have any idea how huge the job is until we've jumped in and taken on the job to try to do the best we can. There's women out there who feel since we are entrusted with this huge responsibility we can either go about it in a constructive way or get frustrated and not be on top of our game... and then everybody suffers for it... the kids, the moms, the husbands, everyone. There's a guy named Dave Ramsey who advises if you keep doing the same stuff, you are going to get the same result, and a guy named Dr. Phil who says "Is that working for you?" We can keep rationalizing it or justifying it or we can change our ways. Some don't even want to listen to a different point of view; nobody has all the answers but there are women out there who are going about it in a different way,& get different more positive results. Are we perfect? No. Are we never frustrated or angry? No. Sure we have emotions and feelings and we need to communicate ... but we as women are not helping each other when we are telling each other what we want to hear, instead of offering up solutions and things that work in a positive way to effect a positive outcome to the particular challenge at hand. This constant expressing of the same frustration doesn't feel like it's a positive thing or accomplishing anything except for some moms to feel validated.But it seems to stop right there with this group. Nothing progresses past that - women who hold a different point of view from this group feel that we don't want to sit around and feel frustrated. You can read into my statement what you will - nobody told you that you were bad moms or you didn't love your kids or that it was a piece of cake job. It's because of the fact that being a mom is hard that not seeking out solutions instead of sympathy keeps moms from being the best they can be. Sympathy is nice but it doesn't help us get onto being better. But since you moms feel like you can't tolerate another point of view - I have real trouble with your intolerance too. But it's a country of free speech ... nobody is above looking at finding a better way to improve themself. These comments are as intolerant and judgemental as you accuse me of being. Guess that's different? Good luck ladies, it's a big job women have to do, we need to be the best we can be, and sympathy gets us nowhere. We can either deal with the curve balls we get in a positive way or continue the pity party and affect no positive result at all. I'm saying there is no quick fix formula, but working to get a different more positive result sure beats being frustrated constantly.

Chrissy said...

But if you never knew that another mom was experiencing the same feelings, would that not make life more difficult? If I thought that life was supposed to be like June Cleaver and never heard or read that no, that is not how real moms and real life is, wouldn't that make me feel worse? I guess I just see it as a support group of sorts.

Do I write about struggles every day? No. I am not "negative" on a daily basis. Does it make others feel as though they are not alone in this tough job that's called motherhood if I write about my need for a break from my three kids? Yes, I believe that's what we're all doing. We are letting others see a glimpse of our lives so they know they are not alone.

Tina said...

Maybe if you would read some of the comments that are posted after some of the posts you would feel differently. Comments saying, when my child does this - we always ....... or when I felt this way when I had a new baby it helped if.......
etc. etc.
I think it is more about finding solutions than you think.
I think it is more about offering up advice to feel differently .......
whether it be in a comment afterwards or in the post itself-
taken out of context the quote above may seem like a "pitty party" but if you put some of them back into context -
One mother said she needed some rejuvenation - some time away from her kids, etc. She then stated what she did for that time away AFTER they went to bed, doing something for herself. Then she said the next day when she woke up she felt like she was a better mom. It was encouraging other moms to take time for themselves.
Another post talks about how she had lost the closeness with one of her children, later on she said that it helped that they had special days out together, that is how she felt like they could bond again.
Another one talks about how she was sleep deprived and hadn't done anything for herself all day, she is a new mom struggling with those first time mom feelings. It is a big adjustment, and afterwards she got advice and email on how not to feel so overwhelmed and unappreciated.
The other one expressed that she was close to tears because she had a bad day. I think that every mom - every person out there has felt like they were doing a good job and then one thing makes you feel like you have failed. And if you had read the rest of the blog posts from the day - you would know why she felt that way.
I know one of the blogging mom friends has a special needs child, my child was born 7 weeks early and had special health needs. And at least a couple of us, me included, have chronic health problems that cause an even further challenge. So maybe you don't know much about us either.

There was even a series of posts by a mom about second child discipline, the first child's discipline measures were not working her concerns, a post with a "pitty party" insert about how it made her sit and cry for an hour after that child went to bed, about how she was so frustrated she thought someone else might be better at taking care of this issue with her child, that she felt unfit and a failure. THere were a few comments made about other discipline other moms used. A while later she came back stating what she had changed along with the positive/negative. More comments written and finally through a chain like that she finally figured out something that worked. - All because of a "pitty party" post.....
Another post - expressed potty training concerns - again the second wasn't following the first's path and the parent had read everything she new to read about it and nothing was working - she was "ready to put him back into diapers until he was 5" one comment from another blogger had a suggestion and she tried it and it worked!
I think that Chrissy was trying to validate that she was not alone in feeling overwhelmed sometimes because of a comment posted earlier. And she is not alone - but that is why you post things like this. To teach others how you coped, to seek advice.
Had you clicked on any of the links and read the quotes in context - you would see they offer an "after" or a cry for suggestions. Which may be posted below the blog or emailed privately.
I just don't understand why you think that is not "recognizing our challenges and frustrations and utilizing our resources or finding some to get ideas & answers on how to improve our coping skills,"
I think just because you are using real moms, with real experience- it doesn't make it any less useful then cracking open a book.
I think everyone will agree - you can read as many books/papers/articles as you want but experience is a much bigger teacher. That is what happens here - experiences from other moms or suggestions ......

Chrissy said...

I apologize to Anonymous. I did not fully articulate what Tina just explained. That when we are struggling and share our hard days, others will quickly chime in and tell us how they overcame the same thing. That's what this is all about. It's not about pity parties. It's about helping each other.

I remember a post by Tina when she was so overwhelmed, and then her next post said something like, "Thank you for the emails and calls after my blog entry!"

That's why we do the blog thing I think. To share our hard times but to also help others who are going through similar situations.

"Not seeking out solutions instead of sympathy keeps moms from being the best they can be." It's not about seeking sympathy. Not at all. It's about being transparent about real life and finding solutions by sharing our circumstances.

Tina said...

Chrissy - I agree - and I know that I read alot of the second child stuff before having my second child and in one ear and out the other it went - but after I had my second child I dug out the blog archives from my friends to refresh on how they handled situations, what they struggled with.
When I had my first baby I remember feeling like I was the only mom in the world that ever had to go through this. I read books,, etc. and nothing I found fit my son and I's situation. I think part of that is they don't write hospital books about what to do if you have to spend a third of your baby's first six months in the hospital...... but later on, years after I went through it a friend was hospitalized just after her baby was born. It is one of the hardest things I ever had to do, leave him home and go to a hospital a hundred miles away. So while she was blogging/laying in the hospital I started sharing stories with her. Some were "pitty party stories" truely - about how I just sat and cried in the hospital - watching Regis and Kelly I had no will to get out of bed and do anything. I then told her that after I quit feeling this way - (and to feel that way was perfectly normal) that I found ways to cope. Things to do ...... how to bond with my baby in the visitations he had, how I could send things home, to put a picture of you in his crib, etc. HARD STUFF. I made some posts on my own blog, that I am sure if you did not know why - you would think it was all about sympathy. But I posted them anyway, I commented on her thoughts and actions and I hope that it helped her to not feel so alone, so overwhelmed, lost, jealous, angry..... all the things I felt.
Because to be honest, if I had a blog then, the only positive posts in it would be the hour after they brought my baby to me to visit for a while. The rest of the time I did sit an wallow in self - pitty.
But to be able to help one person get through a tough situation, I think is worth a couple of negative posts.

I think Chrissy put up a good point too, it is not like we all posted a negative post on the same day. She had to dig back in some of our archives to find posts where we were struggling. I would say for every negative - kid post I have, I have 25 positive ones. 25- look how great my kids are posts. Not that they are perfect by any means...... but look at what they accomplished, what we did as a family - just how cool they are (because those of you that know my kids- know how stinkin cool they are :) )

Anonymous said...

Wow Tina it must be incredible to be you - you know what everyone thinks, you know more than anybody in a professional capacity or what's written in professional publications, and you know everybody agrees with you because you are right. As long as you can bully everybody to agree with you and not challenge you it's a great day. I could go around with you all day and you would never get it. Your "know it all" attitude is offensive... the rest of this group evidently tolerates you and your attitude ... that's too bad. I get the point that Chrissy is seeking understanding ... The phrase "Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given unto you" keeps ringing through my head ... seeking for solutions beyond your preconceived notions and prejudices to elevate you past your ignorance is the only way to achieve success - each person can do it.

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