Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be Forewarned: Vent Session In Progress!

I feel tired. I feel defeated. I feel lonely. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like running away from it all!!!

Now that you know how I feel, I'll tell you why. Being a mother and a wife is a VERY DIFFICULT JOB! Especially when you live with the bunch that I live with! I feel like a glass of water, that has 5 straws in it, and they are sucking me dry! I'm not a person with a whole lot of energy anyway. In fact, I'm quite sure that I never had to be told to go to bed as a child. I've always needed my sleep. So, add this trait to the fact that my children and husband are FULL of ENERGY and FULL of STUBBORNESS....well, I'm just worn out!

After all, I'm only one person....Gasp!....Really I am! This is difficult for me to admit, but it is so true! I can't please everyone and I really need to stop trying! Lately, I feel drawn in so many directions and I really feel the guilt trips setting in. Do you know how often I actually do something for myself? Hmmm....well, I use the bathroom and I occasionally get a shower in. Of course, someone always seems to barge in or come knocking on the door when this rarity occurs. I have no hobbies or outlets. I RARELY get out, except to shop for the family or transport children to and from school. The rest of my family seems to have no problem doing extracurricular activities. Let's see....there is soccer, softball, hunting and hunting trips, cadets, football games, target practice, etc.....and yet, I'm always put on the backburner. I'm O.K. with this most of the time, but sometimes it starts to wear on me!

I have put my family first and I believe that this is what I should be doing, but some perks would be nice too! I told Joel that he may have to get up eary and go to work and support our family, but at least he gets perks at his job! People thank him for helping them. They bring him gifts. He gets a paycheck. He even gets to play catch and football on the job! I know that I get perks too, but they sure are few and far between. Plus, most of the time I hear, "What did you do all day long?, "Why can't you make us better meals?".....and the list goes on! And, just so you know, I feel that I make great meals. Yes, we have hamburgers, spaghetti and hotdogs more than I'd like to admit, but I also make Tilapia, steak, orange chicken, shrimp, and crab legs for crying out loud! And, no my home is not the cleanest and most organized home around. Unfortunately, It's far from it, but I do have more important matters to deal with. Like for example; making up many meds, doing nebulizer treatments, doing strengthening exercises with Gavin, playing with Gavin(since he can't even do this alone.), helping with homework, scheduling and going to doctor's appointments, remembering to order new supplies and medications, giving my other children some attention, driving people everywhere they need to go, and getting some much needed sleep every once in a while too! Oh...and again, I'm only one person!

Back to being a glass of water sucked dry; the guys in my life seriously have an abundance of energy! I feel like I'm in the middle of a tornado most days. My voice is almost never heard. I repeat myself constantly and no one seems to listen. The guys in my life are so kind to others outside our home, but once they are with me.....everything changes. I guess I'm the safe dumping ground and the permanent fixture that gets taken for granted. No one takes time to talk with me. All I hear are complaints and arguing. I'm rarely given friendship or support. My needs just don't matter! Like I said, most days I'm O.K. with this, because my main goal in life was to become a wife and a mother and I do not take the fact that I am married and have 4 wonderful boys for granted! I am SO BLESSED! But, I have needs too!

I invest a ton of time in caring for my family. They are a tough bunch to crack and this is an emotional task most days. But, I never give up and I never will! The other day I told Joel that when I finally lose it and walk out the door for a week to find myself again, this household will get a huge wake-up call! This fairly well-oiled ship, our household, that keeps on sailing even when bumps come along, will definitely be hitting an iceberg and start to sink fast once the driver of the ship stops steering! Of course, I will never just leave, because each morning I buck up and take my responsibilities seriously! But, it sure would be nice to get away for awhile!

I truly LOVE my family and I truly LOVE to be with them, but ALL Mommas need a break, some appreciation, some love, some friendship and some time alone.

Our boys have such great qualities, but they are also very headstrong. It takes a dedicated person to keep them in line and heading in the right direction. I often feel so alone in this daunting task! I realize that I should be looking to God for my needs to be met. I realize that with Him I am never really alone, but some days it sure does feel like I am!

Oh, and add a child that has special needs to this mix! Did I mention how tired I am? I recently read a shirt that said, "I am the mother of a special needs child. What's your superpower?" I laughed when I read this, but it sure does take a lot more strength to get through your days when you are caring for a child that needs so much! Especially when you add this child to the bunch that I already have!

The truth is, life with a special needs child can be VERY difficult, but it is also very rewarding as well! I was at the mall with Gavin this past week. A lady came up and asked if Gavin was my first child. I told her that he was my fourth and that I had 4 boys. She said, well it doesn't really matter if you get girls or boys, as long as they are healthy. So, I said, "Well, actually he has not been very healthy in his life and he has spent lots of time in the hospital." I told her that he was born with Down syndrome and she said, "Wow, I give you lots of credit." I thought about it a minute and then I told her that I didn't deserve any credit, but if I did then it would be for dealing with my other 3 boys, not Gavin! She just laughed, but it's true! I told her what a blessing Gavin has been. Caring for him is definitely more physically difficult. My neck, back and shoulders hurt most of the time. His not being able to sit up on his own is SO TRYING to my body! If you happen to have a child with special needs and they can at least sit up on their own, thank God for this great blessing! I have to carry him everywhere and just holding him takes so much support. Caring for him can be emotionally trying as well, especially when he is sick and in the hospital, but the other guys in my life are actually more emotionally trying than Gavin ever is!

In fact, Gavin calms my nerves and lowers my blood pressure more than anything else on this earth! If I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed, all I have to do is pick him up and I feel better, emotionally anyway. He brings such peace to my life. He makes me see how blessed I am to have all of my abilities and he brings such a sense of innocence to my life.

Life is hard for ALL of us! And, I know that I could have it a WHOLE LOT worse, but sometimes I just need to get it all out, so that I can continue to forge through this life of mine! Thanks for being a sounding board.....as if you had a choice! I am so thankful for my blogging friends and the support that I am given through them! So, thank you to the many that do provide me with friendship and love. What would I do without you?!

Say some prayers for me.....or maybe you should pray for my family instead, just in case I do walk out the door someday to catch a break! :)

Any of you feel the need to vent? I am a terrific listener! Purge all your worries in a comment below. I promise to listen and I will understand! HUGS!!!

"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord!" Psalm 27:14


Shan said...

A rant... where to begin? I can't help but feel my grievances are not to be aired here, it's not the place... that said, I remember feeling the way you feel right now (only I have daughters).


Alicia said...

While I can relate to a lot of what you said here, I can't totally, since Marissa is my only kid. And, while she is very challenging aside from her special needs, it sounds like she is nothing compared to your other 3 boys. I am so sorry you are feeling this way. And I'm sorry you are being treated this way. It is not fair that moms give and give and give and rarely get anything back. I just pray that sometime soon, your boys will realize just how much you do for them on a daily basis. It may just take you walking out for even a day to let them fully feel the impact.

It sounds like you and your hubby need to reconnect too. I know this is probably an impossible suggestion but is there anyone you know that could come in and get trained on how to take care of Gavin for at least a day so you and hubby can escape for a short time? My sister lives in town and about once every month or two she comes over and plays with Marissa so we can get out. It is usually just lunch and a movie, but it has proven to be so important for Jeremy and I to have this time together.

And I have had to suck up my pride and let Jeremy know when I am not feeling appreciated. Luckily, he is open to hearing this. I also tell him on a regular basis how much I appreciate him and his contribution to this family. And for putting up with me. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the easiest person to live with.

I too don't have any hobbies and it sure gets monotonous living this life. The only thing I do outside of the house that really keeps me going is getting together with girlfriends. Have you tried reaching out to other mamas in your area that have special needs kids, specifically Down Syndrome? I find that when I am able to get together with my fellow trach mamas, I am so happy. It makes a difference being able to be around people who know the path I am walking. I never have to explain how I am feeling, they just get it!

I hope I'm not giving advice or suggestions where they are not wanted. I just hear so much frustration and pain in your writing and I want you to be happy. I know you said most days you are fine but it still doesn't make it right.

Hugs and prayers, friend.

Tamara said...

Sweet Friend, I love you and am sorry. These roller coaster ups and downs are not fun! I am hugging you from the hospital, wish you could be here and just sit... I actually feel like the Lord has blessed me with sometime away from it all, even though it is in the hospital... I am very relaxed and loving my time here, funny I never thought that I would say that! I was even a little bummed when they said I may get to leave early... oh boy what does that say! I am thinking of you and praying for you!!!!

Lacey said...

Sister, you know I know how you feel. Our situations are eerily similar. Boys are such whirlwinds, and daddy's are just big boys. Call my anytime, we can't go out on a girl date, but my phone is always on me. 801-792-4661

Unknown said...

How well said and well put your post was for my life as well right now. I don't have 4 boys and a daddy in my life such as you, but I feel that same tiredness. Overall, I try to deal and don't complain much because this is my life and what will complaining do for me? But every once in a while it just all needs to be let out.

We momma's of special needs little people and then on top of it runners of the house, do need breaks. We do need to be appreciated. I say in my house that the only down time for me seems to be when I take a bath and even then it often has to be short because things need to be taken care of.

I have had to recently tell my husband that I need to have just a little more time for me. Sometimes that works and sometimes not, but I am thankful for what I get.

And you are so right. We are so blessed by the families we have. We just need a little vacation from life every once in awhile to re-energize. Praying for a break for you even if it has to be little moments at a time.

Amy said...

YES, she is a terrific listener! I should know: she's been listening to my yappity yapping mouth my whole life. ;o)

Alicia, I'm so glad you have this place to come and vent. Just getting thoughts out can make all the difference. I mean, it's not like you'd change things, it's just that you don't want to feel so alone. I totally get it. As I was reading about you just leaving the house for a bit to "refind" yourself, I kept wanting to shout out, "COME VISIT ME!! ME ME ME!!" See, I'm selfish and want my big sister all to myself sometimes, just as you want yourself all to yourself sometimes. Ha!

IF you are serious and would like to get away for a weekend, you just let me know. I can call my massage therapist and make an appointment for you (I have gift certificates, and I would be more than happy to share one with you...); I can make you breakfast in bed; I can drive you around to your favorite stores where you can buy something for YOU and no one else. You know who to call if you want this mini escape....it would be as much of a blessing to me as it would be to you. (((hugs)))


catherine said...

Alicia - You are NOT alone!! Everything you've said I feel way too often - and I get very resentful with the family. I was so upset recently that I could barely talk to John for a couple of weeks.... God blessed those around me with survival because I really felt homicidal!! Then I heard something on TV which struck me - "resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die". WOW! Now, wish i could say that snapped me out of it - but it didn't. I did what you did - posted a blog :-) It took me a while, it was the middle of the night, and I just cried and cried and cried as I typed. I found just releasing the stress and getting a good cry helped. It has taken a bit for me to get out of the funk. I too have a large family and live in that constant stage of exhaustion, and then the pressure of being the only bread winner. I wish I had wonderful words of wisdom but all I can say is I understand - you are not alone - and I hope that you can find a way to get away for a bit..... even if it means your hubby watches all the boys one night and you can run out to a chick flick all on your own. HUGS!! catherine krause

Heather said...

Vent away Alicia.I think that is one of the beauties of blogging.It is why I started one.Not when Zoey was born but when seizures came.I needed a place just for me where,on most days,my voice was listened to.This venue is great therapy and filled with an abundance of spirited,strong,smart women(and some men!),that have such amazing wisdom and advice.As you know,I am a mom of 6 pulled in SO many direction.A husband who works ungodly hours and well,just like you,the list goes on.So I get it.I understand and always,I think you do an incredible job juggling it all.Breathe in breathe out and pray along the way.Tomorrow is a new day.I wish I could promise it would be better but at least it's a new day!!Take care and most importantly try and take care of you.

Annette Gysen said...

I can remember leaving the hospital at night, getting in my car, and thinking, "If I just keep driving west, eventually I'll be in California." I hope you can find a way to get some sort of break--sounds like you need one. And it looks like some of the commenters have some great ideas!