Monday, March 24, 2014


If you don't like to read real life, don't read this.  This is my reality right now.  I'm not whining. I'm not complaining.  I'm simply writing to get it off my chest.  When I am fighting hard things that life throws at me, it helps me to write it down.  It almost always takes care of the emotions I am feeling and I can face it head on again.  So if you don't want to read real life right now...if you only want to read about flowery blessings and happy've been fairly warned: Skip this post. 


I was trying to think of a word that described how I feel.


None of them seemed to accurately describe how I felt.

Then the word 'sifted' came to me last night.

I imagined flour being sifted.  I imagined the screen toys in the sandbox that you would sift sand through and I thought 'that's it'.

I feel like the flour or the sand...I feel like I am being slowly sifted and all of me is being sent in different directions.

I don't know why.

I don't know why I feel like running away from everything and everyone to just hide in a hole.

I've been through worse.

And quite frankly, there isn't anything wrong. 


All the emotions came crashing in on me the other night.  I had worked 3rd shift Saturday night and the kids went to church with mom on Sunday so I could sleep.  She dropped them off after church and we had a great evening together.

Rhianna and I decorated cookies for a school project, we played fox and chicks, gave each other quick back rubs, and then I snuggled them on the couch to read a chapter from the Bible and a chapter from Ramona.

I thought we were having a good time just being together.

Then the whining escalated.

And the tears.

The 'snuggle me more'...'you snuggled her longer than me'...'you love him more because you let him on the computer 2 minutes extra'...

Things like that drain me.

I just don't have the patience or energy for whiny, bickering nonsense.

It had been going on sporadically through the night, but started to get worse.  I was trying to stay patient and calmly work through it with them.  I know the past few weeks have been difficult with me working so much and the unknown of the job offer.  Not to mention that they were tired and needed to get to bed.

It was after 9pm and I was trying to get them out the door to my moms to get them to bed.  And they kept whining and crying.  Mostly whining about 'SNUGGLE ME MORE'! and 'WHY DO YOU HAVE TO WORK'?.

Now, to be honest, I am not a snuggler.  I need personal space and get irritated really quickly when someone is too close.  So having three kids be squished up on me for the past half hour while I read to them wasn't putting me in the best of moods.

I know what you are thinking.  I know you are thinking I must be the worst kind of mother to not want to snuggle her kids.  I do get over myself and snuggle them...for their sake.  Its just not something that comes naturally to me.

I finally got them to moms and then put each one to bed.  I tucked the first one in and we chatted for a minute.

Then I told her it was time for me to go.  I had to be at work in less than an hour and I still had to run home and get ready.

That's when the tears started again.  "You are always in a never spend time with NEVER snuggle me."


Instead. I calmly reminded them of all we did that night together.  I reminded them of the cookies.  Reminded them of playing the game.  Reminded them of snuggling on the couch.  I wanted to be able to talk through this with them.

Their response?

"You sure know how to make a kid feel guilty!"

Inwardly I was screaming.  I was so frustrated at this point.  I realized then I am so tired of pouring all that I have in to everything I do and get nothing but it thrown back in my face...(and not just with the kids (kids are supposed to do that:)  its in other areas of my life that this is happening.)  

After getting that child to calm down I pulled my emotions together to go tuck the other two in.

Only to be met with similar responses.

"You spent more time with her.  You snuggled her.  You are just sitting on my bed.  You are always rushing off."

Somewhere I found the strength to stay calm and talk them through it, even though I really just wanted the whining to stop.

But they kept it up.

I want/try to be the mom who stays calm and will talk things through with her kids.  I want/try to be the mom who is patient and listens to them when they are upset.  I want to be compassionate.

Calm, patient, and compassionate are my 3 greatest weaknesses.  Three things I will go to my grave trying to master.

I feel guilty because I'm not the mom who wants to pour her entire identity into her children.  I have dreams and goals for myself that I want to achieve.  I want to save a little of myself for me.  I know that sounds horribly selfish, but to be a better mom, I need to keep a little of me for me.  Just like a couple needs to keep a little of themselves for each a single mom I need to keep a little of me for me.  

I hope some of you can relate and read between the lines.

I'm torn.

I have to be the mom.

I have to be the dad.  I have to be the male role model in their life.

I have to work to support us.

I'm working on getting a better job to better our life.

I want to save a little for me and leave some for my dreams.

I have to give 100% in all of these areas to make it all happen.

And I feel sifted because of it.
As I was trying to explain to them that not only did I have to get to work, but they needed to get to bed, (it was almost 10pm at this point) I got a text from the secretary who is new to the position...her first weekend off orientation.  It said "We just called an RRT.  My first.  Is there anything I need to do other than call the code phone?"

I sent a quick response and then told my kids I needed to go.  There was an emergency at work.


It was NOT urgent I get there.  I'm not needed at all.  There was nothing they needed me for.  But I needed a reason to get away from the whining.  (I really did need to go...I did have to get to work anyhow..just not because of the RRT).

I made it to work, in a fairly rotten mood. Ask my co-workers just how rotten...they'll vouch for me.  I must have looked really bad, because one nurse offered to buy my breakfast the next morning during our bi-monthly "we -survived- the- weekend -together- Monday- morning- breakfast".

Our night started out crazy and just went downhill from there.  We made it through.  Only because I have amazing co-workers who know how to laugh through the worst of things.

At 7a, I ran to moms to get the kids up and ready for school before heading back to Wadsworth to meet my co-workers for breakfast.

After the bad night, I was hoping that the kids had only been tired the night before and snapped out of their whiny-ness.  I really didn't have the energy to deal with whining.

I woke them up and the first thing that came out of their mouth was whining.

I kept calm and dealt with them.  But inwardly I wanted to crumble.  I felt a little more of me being sent through a sifter.  I'm afraid soon there won't be anything left.
Is this normal?  Is it normal to look at your kids as nothing but one more thing for you to deal with? Is it normal to look at them and see a mountain that you know you can't climb?

I'll be fine.  I'm just blaming the weather.  And the time of year.  March and I don't get along so I tend to get slightly really grumpy towards the end of March.
My co-workers let me sit at the same table as them even though I was grumpy.  The nurse still bought my breakfast even though I was quiet and a little snappy.  By the time the breakfast was over and we had our share of laughs talking about the night before, I felt like I could get through another day.

Tonight we made soft pretzels together and listening to Odyssey, then we read some while all cuddling on the couch.

Tonight was good.

I told the kids I needed a few weeks to get through this funk.  I asked them to be patient and give Mama some time to get through March and soon we can get back to good.


  1. Prayers for you Julie! I can tell you are a good Mom. And also, yes you are normal! Don't be too hard on yourself. Kids are MASTERS at manipulation and guilt trips. :)
    What would we do without them, though?! Life would be kinda empty.
    Have a great day!

  2. I don't think there is a mom alive who isn't plagued by a certain amount of guilt - guilt for the time she wants to her self, guilt for the way she spoke, guilt at not being able to meet every need, guilt for looking at her child every now and then and thinking, 'I don't like you much right now!'

    It's like you said, Julie, kids are kids and they are going to always want more of us. There is not a measuring rod inside them that says, "Okay, mommy's loved me enough today." Kids always want reassured, especially if there are siblings that they are just as loved and special as the others. Their little eyes are always watching and checking to see who was snuggled a little longer! My girls say the same thing - 'You didn't tickle me as long' 'You didn't hold me as long.' I know how it can feel that the things you do are never enough, never satisfy. I plan so many fun things for the girls and often I feel after they are finished, they (the things we did) drop into a black hole never to be remembered again. I want to say, "we did this! and this! and this! I spent this time with you! and this! and this!" We as moms can expect a longer lasting gratitude then what are 'live for (and only remember) the moment' children are capable of.

    As for bickering, whining, and complaining I don't think there has been or ever will be a discipline plan that eliminates these things entirely. Children have sin natures just like adults that have to be overcome. Keeping your cool and calmly explaining what you expect and what God expects will hopefully plant seeds that will grow as they grow.