How on earth do other moms juggle it all? I feel like in order to get one thing done, I have to neglect something else. If I need to clean house, I don't spend as much time playing with the kids. If I want to do something for me, I neglect spending time with the family. I really feel overwhelmed lately by all I should be getting done each day. For a couple weeks my house was really clean, but I realized it was at the expense of my kids, and it hadn't been much fun for them while I was cleaning and not playing with them. The sad thing is, I wasn't doing any deep cleaning that desperately needs to be done. I was just trying to keep up with the bare minimum around here.
As a family of 7, we generate enough dishes, laundry, clutter, and crumbs to keep me plenty busy almost all day every day. By the time Sean gets home I barely have enough energy to get us all fed and the kids into bed. Once the kids are in bed, I'm so exhausted I just CAN'T motivate myself to do anything other than sit on the couch, mess around online, and watch tv. I know this is bad, and if I could force myself to do just one hour of work after bedtime, I would get a ton of things done, but knowing and doing are two different things.
I am so embarrassed by the state my house is in right now. Sean's sister and her family stopped by unexpectedly Monday night, and I was so sorry that had to see our house in it's current state. Part of the problem is we are putting down a new floor in the main floor living room, but aside from that, the island is so full of stuff you can't even tell what color the countertop is, the floor is scattered with crumbs and dirt tracked in from the snowy mess outside, and of course, the basement is just one big toy box with toys everywhere. My brother-in-law assured me the house was fine, and no big deal, and the mess was minimal considering we have 5 kids, but I wanted to crawl in a hole.
I know things will get better as the kids all get older and not only are able to help out, but need me less. I met a mom of 4 at the orthodontist last week, and she was the sweetest, nicest lady ever. Her kids are older, and she saw me struggling with all the kids in the waiting room and she jumped right in and helped me out. I asked her to tell me it gets better, and she said, "No, just hard in different ways." I already knew that, but talking to her really did help. She reminded me I am at the most physically demanding stage of motherhood. All the kids need me for so many things right now and spending all my energy taking care of them is leaving me with no energy to take care of myself or the house.
Imagine dividing your energy reserves among 4 people, and see how little you are left with. It's no wonder I'm wiped out at the end of the day. I think the mental exhaustion is just as bad as the physical. The kids wear me down so much some days I just feel like crying. Then I feel guilty I'm not enjoying the kids while they are young, since I know I'll miss these days when they are all grown.
So am I alone in feeling like it's a constant neglect juggling act? Is it like this for all moms? Is it just worse because I have 5 fairly young kids instead of just one or two?
And mama Sue, sorry I haven't blogged in a while, it's obvious neglect is creeping in here too. :)