Monday, August 10, 2009

Ramblings of a Stressed-Out Mother

Yesterday I decided that James and I needed to write down all of our upcoming commitments on our calendar. I have three things this whole month that I am doing.

1. Visiting teaching on Tuesday
2. Go to a missionary homecoming on the 16th
3. Host the ward book group at my house on the 26th.

James is a stake auditor (I wish he was a steak auditor, mmmmm…..) And has to do 3 audits this month. When will they be? Tuesday, the 16th, and the 26th. It seems that if we were not Mormons, we would have a LOT of free time.

So, here is my dilemma:

My kids go to bed at 7:00 or 7:30. My VT companion’s husband does not get home from work until 7:30. Even if I can find someone to watch my kids on Tuesday they will probably be naughty/ornery/tired/etc. and the poor soul who volunteers to watch them will say to themselves, “NEVER AGAIN!” And I won’t blame them at all.

Also, and I really hope I don’t offend anyone here, but husbands are home in the evenings. And if I don’t really know the husband then I am not really comfortable with that. (This is probably because when I was little I remember being yelled at by three different dads of my friends and being really and truly terrified! Guess I was naughty too!) I know that beggars can’t be choosers. But I am a chooser when it comes to who takes care of my kids, and that is why I don’t go anywhere or do anything. It is my own fault. I know I am too overprotective, but I’m not sure how to change it or if I really want to.

McKenna takes a nap from 1:00 to 3:00 every afternoon. You do not mess with this nap time. EVER. Bad things will happen. The homecoming on the 16th is right during this time. I had no intention of bringing the kids to this because first, it is nap time and second, even if it weren’t I would not be able to enjoy the meeting or visit with anyone afterward.

When you have kids it is almost impossible enjoy church (until it’s time for nursery/primary and they become someone else’s problem. I know that sounds harsh, but we’ve paid our dues: we were in the nursery for 2 years right after we had JJ.) My time in church is entirely spent on keeping little voices quiet and little hands occupied. It’s hard. I missed portions of both of my grandmother’s funerals to wrestle with screaming children in the hallway. I still feel horrible about both of those, because not only was my ability to pay tribute to my grandparents compromised, so was everyone else’s.

Whenever I’m at church and someone else’s kid starts screaming or crying I am secretly glad, because now some of the attention is diverted away from my kids. The point? I really struggle with taking my kids to any place where they are expected to sit nicely and quietly.

As for the 26th: That is the night of the HOA meeting. And the book group at my house. And the audit. So what will probably happen is that while we are trying to discuss the profoundness of The Scarlet Pimpernel and To Kill a Mockingbird, we will probably be interrupted by a little boy who will treat us to a display of various achievements/sound effects/ bodily functions that three-year-old boys possess. There is only one good thing about this: This will most likely be the first and last time that I am asked to host the book group.

I stared at the ceiling until 1:00am last night contemplating all of this. I love my kids so much, but sometimes I really don’t know where to put them, or what to do with them. I guess every mom feels this way sometimes, right?

29 comments:

Nikki Taylor said...

I don't know what you are going through yet...but I am SURE I will in a few years. I am sure it is normal to feel stressed out and not knowing what to do with your kids. BUT...I would LOVE to watch them anytime. Seriously, they were SO good last time I watched them and so much fun. Even if they are onrey...I like onrey children. Especially because I know I can give them right back to you when you get home! ;) But seriously...call me. I would love to babysit anytime. Your kids are adorable.

PS...I NEVER hear your kids in church. Serious.

Ashlie Dalton said...

Seriously you should let me watch your kids! I know that Cole would have a blast with them and I am also really picky about who I leave Cole with- and I PROMISE they would be safe here.
If you decide to let me- and you really should let me... I can and would be more than happy to watch them during the book group on the 26th. I would love to help you out on Tuesday or the 16th but I think I have strep throat (which probably won't be gone by tomorrow), and we will be out of town on the 16th.
Sorry you are so stressed. I know how you feel. I really do. Call me anytime. I actually almost got desperate enough to call you today because I had a Dr. appointment (for my throat), and I was dreading bringing my tired 2 yr. old. Luckily my grandma offered before I called anyone...
Ok sorry that this was a novel.

Ashlie Dalton said...

SORRY
I just wanted to say that
P.S. I NEVER hear your kids in church!!! But have you noticed the side lights going on and off during sacrament? Uh yeah... that would be my child. *sigh*

Amy said...

1. Never hear your kids in church. Except when we sit behind you and my husband is trying to get them to play with him. (sorry!)
2. I like kids (because I don't have any yet) I get off work at 5 and I have a new appreciation/dedication to VT. I'd be happy to help you if you'd like (but I won't be offended if you wouldn't).
3. Mormons are the busiest people I know. Every. Last. One of them.
4. Book group is lucky to have you, maybe I'll come!
5. Always ditch the HOA when you have a good excuse. It'll only make you mad about living where you live.
6. I think Josh wants to be the next Steak Auditor.....

All of that said....I'm sorry it's stressful. I hate being stressed.

Rachel said...

Whatever, kids are fun at book group. I won't care. And if you keep coming I can promise we'll have it at your house again.

Emily said...

Amen! Having kids at church is hard and unpleasant. Last fall at Stake conference I was in no mood to chase after rolling crayons and sippy cups down the inclined floor, so Nick stayed home with the boys and I went alone. (Nick had a tiny cold, really tiny, but it was a good excuse)
Anyway, Elder Bednar got up and said that we should all delight in the joyful noise of the gospel, poking fun at all loud children. Then he said that he admired everyone for bringing their children and coming that day, because even if it was frustrating and we didn't hear a thing, it was the right place for them to be.

So, don't worry about your kids at church. Certainly they aren't bothering anyone aside from you. Plus you usually sit behind us, and we make our share of noise between the playing and the scolding.

Oh, I would gladly watch your kids. Nick won't be home either, he is out visiting that night as well.

Brett and Ali said...

Marianne...I was laughing so hard by the time that I finished reading your post, that I was almost crying. (In fact, I am still wiping tears out of the edges of my eyes:)!) All of us feel like crazy mom's some times. If your kids scream at church, who cares, at least you are there! Most people understand, because they have been there. If you ever feel like you are out of control, just think of me on Sunday when my hubby is working with 5 screaming kids in sacrament meeting...then laugh, and know that there are kids out there that are noisier than yours!!! Good luck finding a sitter...it looks like you have lots of good offers.

Adventures In China said...

My mom is just like you. She hardly ever left us alone and assumed the worst about everybody. It's called being street smart and wanting your kids to be safe! It's very inconvenient for you, but I think it makes you a great mom. Just my FYI.

Lee and Melody said...

I'm with you 100%. I don't go anywhere or do anything, and I have hosted playgroup once in the last 2 years. I truly believe that during the years when your children are very small, Heavenly Father gives us credit for endurance. We try so hard to keep from disrupting the meetings and letting the spirit flow to others while we distribute wipes and fruit snacks and crayons and whispered reprimands- and that's what matters because that's what mommies are supposed to do! Thank heaven for nursery.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Just to answer your question, YES. Every (good) mom feels this way. We take our responsibilities seriously, all of them and hate to pan them off on anyone else, but then struggle with how to get it all done. Do your very best, and as long as your priorities are in the right place, you'll be blessed for it... even if everything doesn't get done. This is why I love the Mary and Martha story; sometimes choosing the better part means it's okay to ignore our "chores" for a little while and relish what really matters. The real trick is learning to squelch our little guilt/Satan voice.

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