Tuesday, November 12, 2013

21 Days... Acceptance

My children and husband decided to wake up several times last night waking me up to join the fun.  And I am exhausted.... but this did not stop me from thinking about my feelings. It was a good chance to reflect on them. 

For a long time I have struggled with the fact that I am exhausted almost everyday. I feel resentful that I have more responsibilities around the house than anyone else living in it. I wake up with a list of jobs; a checklist of things to do over and above the routine of everyday tasks that any mother ought to do.... Is this resentment and the exhaustion that accompanies it symptoms of a working mother? Or do ALL mothers feel this way sometimes?

This resentment that I am talking about follows me around like a dark shadow waiting for the noon sun to become one with me. It never leaves my side clutching my leg like an insecurely attached baby.

... and I wonder... why do I keep hanging on to this resentment? It is like I am mentally fighting my responsibilities...thinking that someday soon they will change... or maybe the number will decrease...or maybe even my Fairy Godmother will come and with a swish of her wand get them all done... or maybe even wishing the other inhabitants of the house take more on... I keep thinking that maybe tomorrow it will be different and I will wake up all refreshed with no items on my worry plate. That my children will either sleep through the night or wake up later than the 5:30-6:00 in the morning as they do on weekends. 

Yes, I have a lot of responsibilities (as all working and non working mothers do) and yes, maybe sometimes I am not appreciated by the little ones running around or the big one sitting by my side.... and maybe their appreciation will surface once I am old and grey and my value will by then be recognized.... but why do I feel this resentment knowing full well that I am the one who decided to forever change the course of my life the minute I said I do and when we decided to become 3 and then 4? It has been 13 years of the former and 8 of the latter. 

Deciding to share my living and personal space with a grown man and two little people should have triggered a switch in that silly mentality that believes that I can maintain the "me" factor. I read those articles that say, that a mother should continue doing what she loves and keep some time for herself, that a married couple with children should go out on dates... ok... When? and would I trust a baby sitter to make my kids laugh or read to them before they go to bed? My heart and mind would be at home the minute I step out of its doors. 

Since I am doing a 21 Day of cleansing, I have decided to look at this whole waking up in the middle of the night, exhaustion and the continuous pouring of responsibilities in a positive way....  I must ACCEPT that this will not change any time soon. To accept that things will not change means that I should let go of all the frustration and resentment that fester, freeing myself from the negativity that comes with it.... Basically, I need to just go with the flow! and maybe sometimes just let things go... not everything should be neat and tidy... not everything should be put away every single day... when we have guests then maybe I will fret.

This was the first day that I actually took the time to look at why I feel so negative about my kazillion responsibilities and why I struggle with the load... stressing and getting anxious whenever my husband or children ask me to do one more thing for them.  I panic that I might not have the time or that I may forget.... I need to accept that I am NOT a supermom... 

I just need to accept that I am the one whom they trust to get the job done and that I should take it as a compliment knowing that when the day is over and all my responsibilities for the day have been accomplished, that I did the best I could and have another chance to do them again tomorrow... maybe even a little better.

My friend shared this on Facebook with me.... it is a brilliant video and one that backs up my decision.


Birdie said...

It is very normal for women to feel resentment. I know I do. My husband retired 2 months back and nothing has changed. He has not taken on one single task that belongs to me. Not one. And yes, I am resentful.

Tabouleh said...

I knew I was not alone... I knew that there are so many mothers and working mothers who would feel similar to what I am going through... and although I feel that it is good to have some company and know that I am not the only one... it is hard keeping that resentment inside.... I am going to try just to let go and just accept that this is not going away... I hope ti works.

janzi said...

Oh my goodness, if I go back to the diaries that I kept when I had the last two of the five children that I had.. I am impressed and very sad at the endless things to do and that were done, and then be a wife to the husband.. plus the last two got up alternate hours during the night for 4 YEARS!! I do not know how I kept going..and was a walking zombie!!!! and I know that I wanted my husband to do more around the house, but as he had a full time hard job, I did not verbalise and he couldnt guess what I wanted.. but he did take the kids out of my way which was his way to try and help.. but I swear that if I had had the last two first, there certainly would never have been five kids in the family!!
I think too that trying to keep a house spotless, all the ironing done and cooking good meals, trying to help with homework and generally trying to be a super person just does NOT work.. you have to have some time for you...I used to set 9pm for my time to read and relax and it was a god send to me to have just a little while to recharge my batteries..
it is a common thing to try and achieve it[everything just so**] all,with all the work that you have to do.. but... children can be taught to help around the house, and can start at quite a young age.. when I had the last two, my eldest ones were 12.11 and 7, so they certainly had a job or two to do.. Try n ot to beat yourself up too... DO get a baby sitter once in a while so you can get out on a proper DATe with your husband... j ust going to the pictures is a real help too and you can appreciate being you and him not just mother and dad... try and get them to help more, write a list which gets ticked off each day and at the end of the week, a little reward for the kids will have them helping and being rewarded.. and if you want your husband to help... dont just stew and simmer, TELL him. poor man cannot guess what you want.. I hope this helps, that we are all the same, and its tough out there, but having a family ,built in love, [lthough you might get to lose your temper now and then,]is quite one of the very best things on earth... good luck, lots and lots of sympathy coming and hugs too from this side of the world..janzi**

jan said...

It is an awful feeling isn't it? Looking behind the feelings with curiousity is the way forward I think Lana.Though sometimes it is hard to see what is behind, once we are aware we can start to find ways to manage the feelings differently if we want to. Doesn't mean it is easy though. I am constanly looking behind the feelings and setting intentions, only to hit boiling point again and losing my temper. Working and looking after a house and two children is hard work and you are bound to feel overwhelmed sometimes. I love the way you turn this into a positive challenge for yourself and the way we think about things does help with acceptance. BUT I know that you don't have time for you but that must change dear Lana. What would you like to do? Can your husband give you some me time once a month?