Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mommy overwhelm

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly wonder if you're doing everything wrong? How you've possibly gotten this far into the parenting job and are only now realizing you may be completely screwing up?

I'm having one of those moments. Day, perhaps. Week. Weak. That's how I feel. What am I doing wrong? I know I'm doing some things right. Out of the house my daughters are superb. I couldn't be prouder the way they interact with other people: parents, teachers, peers. But at home they seem to have completely different personalities. I think I'm mostly feeling this with my 5-year-old, whose behavior heavily influences the behavior of my 4-year-old. They are just 15-months apart. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with.

My dearest first-born is incredibly smart, funny, talented, beautiful, dramatic and articulate. Sometimes this combination is amazing and makes me so proud of her and the job I must be doing as a mother. And sometimes, this combination is volatile and makes me wonder if I'm raising a sociopath! Or perhaps, just a serious DIVA. Yes, capital letters. In bold. DIVA. She can hardly handle the slightest criticism, constructive or not, or difference of opinion. She must be right, she must have her way and if she doesn't she says, "I feel like you think I'm a stupid, bratty girl when you speak to me like that." I told you she was articulate. Last night she told me, quite seriously, that she thought she was beginning to hate me. This because she was out of bed for the third time in the hour I put her to bed and I told her I was starting to get upset with her.

Maybe I'm too soft. Maybe I'm too hard. I don't know. I'm having one of those days where I doubt everything I do. I'm not even PMS-ing. Are all children such extremists? Clinging and loving you so much one minute and then hating you the next? A wise friend of mine who had decades on me told me once, "Little children, little problems. Big children, big problems." I try to remember this, but I feel that if, at the age of 5, my child is already acting like a 15-year-old, what will life be like when she actually is?

Deep breath. Thank you for reading my vent. I'm going to stop here and clean a closet. With such a task I can see clearly the impact that my efforts make. Or exercise... Wait, cleaning is exercise. Especially if I turn on the 80s station. Off to clean myself skinny again then and forget about parenting troubles for awhile.

Anything troubling you? I've got a great ear and a shoulder to go with it...


  1. My youngest siblings are 14 months apart. I remember the trouble they use to cause, but also the funny memories too. I hope that the day gets better!

  2. Hi! I found and am following your lovely blog from the Mid Week Blog Hop! Please stop by and visit my blog at:

    Have a great day!!

  3. I totally know where you are coming from!! Ethan is 4 years old and I call him "my little Drama King." Maybe it is something about that age!! The other day he wanted a toy that he didn't get and he looked at me and said, "Mamma, you just break my heart sometimes." I was thinking "What? Where in the world did you get that?" Just breath and clean, breath and clean! It will get better!! LOL

  4. LB: Thanks! I hope yours is a good one.

    Kelly: Welcome! I'll be surfing your way soon!

    Kristy: That is so funny. It is and isn't and you know what I mean!!! Back to breathing and cleaning!!!!!!

  5. Oh - the sisterhood of us has begun! My 1st 2 are 14 months apart and I know the attitude and drama! My 3 year old told me the other day that I was mean and she wanted her daddy. Knife - heart - twist.

    We'll get through it- especially now that we can lean on each other!!!

  6. Love it, Lori. I keep reading about bloggers making friends. Now I get it! Yay, bloggy friends!!

  7. Sweet friend, I totally know how you feel, because I have had LOTS of those days as a mommy. I often wonder if it's not a typical first born straight. My eldest princess sounds so much like your little treasure. I certainly don't have all the answers for you but I can comfort your heart by saying that you are not alone! A few of my dearest friends have expressed the very same frustrations. Thank goodness us moms have each other to glean from. Sending you a BIG hug.

  8. Great post! Following from Mid-Week Blog Hop.TP

  9. I sincerely understand your struggle. My boys are 16, 11, 7, 3, and 9mos. All but the baby have said hurtful things to me (and I know that day is coming). They learn very quickly what hurts you and it gives them a sense of power over you. The best/hardest thing to do is to see through the words because that's just what they are...words. Just be as quick to forgive as your children are. :)

  10. Oh lord. The more I read about older children, the more I want to freeze time even if means I'm up to my elbows in Poopapaloozas, potty training, and recurrent ear infections paired with teething.

    My 3.5 year old has already Chosen Daddy many times over me, and while it hurts, I try not to let it get to me - I'm the SAHM he sees all day. He makes up for it on the rare occurrences I'm gone for several hours and then I get the super hug greeting - and I melt.

    My 14 month old girl still has My Mommy Syndrome so I get lots of snuggles - although at 1 AM I wish Daddy was preferable.

    She is already A DIVA and is quickly learning to work The System as revenge for being the brunt of her big brother aka The Tackler.

    I live for the sweet moments when they hug each other, or do something sweet out of the blue. You know, those 5 minutes out of the entire day. :-)

    I look forward to reading more and feel free to check out my Dances with Chaos. :-)

  11. My ten year old daughter is quickly learning the guilt trip method. However, I am not sure where she has learned it. The other day I told her she could not spend the night or talk to her friend on the phone until her room was presentable. She stomped off to her room and said "Fine I will live in my room forever and alone with no friends just like you want me to." I just responded with "I guess you will, until it's clean." When they see it doesn't work, they stop doing it (but it takes FOREVER)!
    I hope you have a better week :)

  12. We all have those moments, just some of us are more willing to admit than others, I think. Whenever I feel like this, I take it as a sign that I need a moment of introspection and through that, I know there will be growth, even if only a little...
    Thank you for you honest sharing in this post. Its what makes people want to come back for more! :)
    I'm now following you through the Catch a Wave Wednesday Blog Hop! I hope you'll do the same! You can find me @

    Sofia's Ideas

  13. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. It's very comforting to hear from you, especially those of you more experienced moms!
    Sofia - thank you so very much for your comment. I love writing and it's very good to know that people want to read it! I'm headed to your blog now!

  14. I have those days and how strange I just posted something about "overwhelm" today, too. I think it creeps up on us once in a while. You hit it...take a deep breath! I try that and then to regroup. Hang in there. The 80s station always makes me happy. Add some bad dancing and you'll be laughing before you know it!

  15. I totally feel you. Today is not a good one. I am exhausted, DH is not due home for another 3 hours, I am babysitting a friends 3 year old mixed in with my 5 y.o. and a 7 month old. I am frazzled. I think we all have these days, I too cleaned myself silly's to a better tomorrow!

  16. I felt like I was reading something I could have written myself about my 4 1/2 -going-on-14-year old. She is way too smart, and picks up on everything even when you don't think she is listening, it comes back to bite me. I have been so stressed lately with stuff and have been very short on patience, and I see her "acting" it out back to me. Sometimes I just look at her and am in fear of the pre-teen years! So you are not alone!

    New follower from the Friday Hop, hope you can visit back!

  17. Jennifer - Is she your firstborn? Man, I have to start watching my own mouth because she hears EVERYTHING!! And does the same as yours. Thanks for following me and for your comment. I appreciate it!

    Mimi - I hope your husband took good care of you when he got home!


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