Sleep is an elusive concept to me. As a mom I am frequently roused by various “kid noises” or the crying of my youngest who has for some reason woken up and now wants to sleep with me. As a wife I am woken up every night by my husbands alarm as he works the graveyard shift and has to get up around 1 am. Then of course I am woken up by me, or rather my bladder, which over the last few years has decided that 2 am is a great time to get me up to pee. Once awakened for whatever the reason, my brain decides that it would be a great time to ponder over all that I am currently dealing with. This only further rouses me from my semi-conscious state (where at least I had a slight chance of getting back to sleep) and leaves me staring at the dark ceiling while helplessly trapped amidst an ever growing ocean of thoughts that I clearly can do nothing about at whatever ungodly hour it is, other than play them over and over in my weary head.
I can’t help contemplating at these hours how my plate got overwhelmingly full and my life became so complex. I mean, if it wasn’t, then maybe my brain wouldn’t feel so compelled to attempt to work through everything when it so obviously should be letting me rest. I start to think of the type of person I am and stress over why I am so uptight (as my husband puts it) and high strung all the time. It’s as if I have no ability to relax and find some inner peace. I worry about everything and anything. I always have, even as a child. I know I have a little OCD when it comes to certain things but its hard to change traits that have been with me my entire life. Yet its these traits that I know are having a strong impact on my current relationships with my husband, my kids, my family and my friends. I’ve tried talking to someone about how I am but to no avail. I am currently contemplating other avenues in an effort to find some balance.
I start to think about the type of mom I am and cringe at how I struggle with all three of my kids. I want to cry at the disconnect I am having with my two older ones; and then cry harder at how challenging my youngest is. I know a good part of my relationships with my kids is affected by my own personality, yet every day I wake up with the intent to put forth my best effort to try to and have patience with my kids. Despite my efforts, the end results most always seem to be yelling, meltdowns, and attitudes. My parental patience reserves have become almost non-existent. This of course makes me feel like such a failure as a parent. I long for my husband to jump in and help and that just hasn’t happened like I need it too. I used to use his work schedule as an excuse for his lack of involvement. I mean, its difficult to be involved when you work nights and have to sleep during the day, but on his days off its as if he just doesn’t want to be bothered. I understand that he’s tired and know that he works long hours. I am also am very appreciative at the efforts he puts forth to provide financially for our family; but I need him to be present physically and be vested personally in making our family work. I can’t do this by myself – clearly it’s both not working and has negatively impacted the kids. The boys (his stepsons) have no real relationship with him which breaks my heart because they would kill for five minutes of his time, and I worry that he’s going to miss out on many major milestones with our daughter. I know he that he already has….
Then there is our own relationship… We just seem to be at such a disconnect lately. While I will leave it at that for now, it certainly is a contributing factor to my current stressed out state….
Then there is our house, which we just put on the market. I say “our house” but if you ask my husband he hates what he refers to as “my house.” He married into this house, a house which to him represents my past, which he has no vested interest in, and is just too far away from his work. Okay, I get it and am all for getting a house that is ours. Subsequently we have just recently put it up for sale. Now we wait and I am charged with the task of keeping our house “showable” at all times just in case the realtor should call with an interested party. Do you have any idea how tiring it is to keep a house “showable” with three kids? It’s downright exhausting. And as I attempt to keep our house “showable” I wonder when we might get the “first bite.” There have been a decent bit of views online but when will someone actually request to see it? I think our house is worth looking at but will others? Are we asking the right price? The plethora of questions goes on and on….
Then there is my job. I recently returned to work full time and took on some added responsibilities on my nursing unit which have left me feeling stretched a little thin. You might ask why I put myself in such a position and honestly I am asking myself the same question as well. Juggling three 12 hour shifts a week with my added work responsibilities while parenting three kids is in itself a circus act. I am resistant to going into work on my days off, though occasionally I have to, which then creates child care challenges in and of itself. It’s just not easy all the way around. But, I might be better able to to facilitate my juggling act if I didn’t feel so overwhelmed on all other fronts discussed.
Of course I also think about all I have to do at home to keep the general daily workings running smoothly…i.e. the cleaning, the cooking, the laundry, the dishes – etc. – the list is clearly much more encompassing that those few tasks I have listed. There really should be more of me to get it all done. And it needs to get done on a daily basis because we all know what happens when you skip a day with three kids, a husband, two dogs and a cat….
I am not sure where I am going with this entire post. Maybe it’s my restless minds way of unloading in a therapeutic sort of way. Maybe it’s my minds way of being heard amongst the deafening chaos that is my life. Maybe it’s my minds way of trying to validate how I am feeling in an attempt to move forward in a more positive way. Maybe I just want to vent….