Don’t mind me, I’m just lost (in the existential sense, thanks)

by renegademama

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I get lost sometimes.

And then again. And again.

But I don’t want to write about that. I’m tired of writing about that.

I’ve written it all before.

I don’t want to write about anything, really. And that’s not new. I’m sick of myself. Do you ever get sick of yourself? Your story? Your “insights,” the shit you keep giving the world, even your humor or other things people like about you?

Does it ever begin to feel false and wrong or just simply totally uninteresting? Like it’s all a gimmick? A bunch of bullshit?

Or maybe that’s not even it. Maybe that has even too much definition, too much clarity. Maybe you’re just floating up in the air at random like a balloon 400 feet in the air and wind and clouds.

That’s where I am.

I think.

How the hell am I supposed to know?

I haven’t written anything here for a few weeks.

Can’t.

I’m struggling. When I’m struggling a little, I write a little.

When I’m struggling a lot, I write nothing.

(And worry all day about the fact that I’m writing nothing (because I’m never going to write again, obviously.))

I get ideas, but they don’t seem right. I start things but I don’t finish them, because it all feels like a lie.

It all feels so wrong I eventually determine I’m just fucked.

But maybe I’m not fucked. Maybe this is just new motherhood, again, when I’m rearranged and my life family home brain is recreated. Destroyed, and reborn, though I kick and scream and worry I won’t get found again. Maybe I’ll stay lost this time. Maybe I was never found at all, but rather just found some groove that felt comfy and cozy and allowed me to delude myself into thinking I had some control, like my life was moving in a direction that made sense, that I’m a grown-up.

I’m not trying to be deep.

IMG_9842

I’m fucking

confused.

I want to be “authentic” but I can’t find “authentic.”  What the fuck is authentic?

I want to be “real” but “real” is a series of days that knock me flat. How do you write about that?

I can’t get anything done. I NEED A MOTHERFUCKING ROOM OF MY OWN.

I get, you, Virginia.

Actually, at this point, I’d settle for a corner of the bed.

“Authentic” is that I’m so exhausted I can’t think of simple words and I wake up feeling like a bolder is flattening my forehead and my eyelids weigh approximately 12,000 pounds each and I’ve got 3 kids and a newborn in the house all day and night and it’s summer and every time I “finish” the laundry every hamper is full again.

But that’s not it.

My tired is a relentless tired, one that smashes me every single day, and keeps happening because Arlo goes to sleep at 11pm or so but I NEED SOME FUCKING SPACE so I hang out by myself in bed and read or play on my phone for an hour or so which puts me asleep at 12am or 12:30 and he wakes at 3 or 4 and then Georgia wakes at 6am and it starts all over again. I have a tired that makes me want to sit down and cry sometimes, or throw a temper tantrum, which I do occasionally, then I feel guilty for acting worse than the children I’m trying to raise. Sometimes I realize it’s 3pm and I have eaten only 4 bites of Cheerios, but not on purpose.

But there’s more.

I have ONE article due each Tuesday and it takes everything I’ve got, people. ALL OF IT. All the creativity. All the energy. All the mental faculty. Is that pathetic? Probably. But it’s real. There’s no time for creativity, for art, for spirit.
I’m an insane overly sensitive irritable zombie milky ass human.

Nah, not that.

IMG_0963I’m a mom hanging out with 4 kids, happy as hell to be home with them, loving her house and dog and backyard hens, grateful for the article-writing gig (virtually my only income right now). And in the evening when I give my baby boy a bath he coos and smiles at me and it’s just him and me and sometimes I hold him naked against my chest and I almost cry I love him so much and I’m so grateful for him and his milk sweet breath.

And we’ve been going to the library every week, which is a new thing, discovered because it’s hot as fuck and we’re broke and it’s free and cool. Ava thinks she wants to grow up to be a librarian. Last year it was a NASA engineer. I find that wonderful.

I told Rocket Arlo is getting his shots soon, so every day he asks “Is it today?” Finally I asked him why he keeps asking and he said “I just think I should be there.”

Those were the words, but the look on his face said “I don’t want my brother to hurt without me.”

And I thought about the way Mac always said he wished he had a brother and now there are brothers in our home and it’s gorgeous.

That’s true, too.

Georgia turned 4 and I enrolled her in a little nursery school around the corner. We got a cedar play structure as a gift from my inlaws and Georgia taught herself to swing. This morning I looked out there and she was naked, swinging in the sunlight. The light hit her gold hair and body and I just stood there watching because it was beautiful.

We have 4 hens. The kids named them all “Tina” so they can yell “Tina you fat lard come and get your dinner!” The labrador has made friends with Tina. Yes, that’s correct. The 90-pound dog kicks it with the chickens.IMG_1239

Rocket is begging to go back to regular school because he wants to be with the rest and he always wants the opposite of what he has, but did I mention he learned to read FOUR WEEKS after leaving school? Four weeks, people. Four weeks of homeschool and he went from knowing maybe ¾ of his letters to reading at a kindergarten level. By 8 weeks he was at a 1st grade level. And now, sometimes, he reads some 2nd-grade-level books. The pressure and anxiety of that classroom were literally destroying his ability to learn. It’s so hard for him.  He worked so hard to read. My God he worked so hard. I knew public school was slaughtering him. I knew it, so I responded, and he thrived. Sometimes I don’t blow it. What.

But he wants to go back to school, and we live in a better (read: wealthier) district so we’re giving it a shot, again.

I’m terrified though. And it’s probably a mistake. But as my friend said, “If he’s going to make it in public school, it will be this one.” So here we go.

 

Yes, here we go.

Please don’t tell me I’m depressed, or need help, or whatever the fuck. Maybe I’m a little depressed, but depression is an abyss, and I’m not in an abyss. I can see out, and I know it won’t last. This is different. This is right. This is life knocking you around, making you uncomfortable.

I’m just lost, so every story I try to give or say or write sounds not quite right, because if you’re lost you can’t wrap life up into some package, to be delivered and opened and consumed. You can’t turn it into something contained and palatable and friendly. It’s only messy and rugged and spilling wide open, everywhere, until it finds new edges, and contains itself a bit, and you open your eyes wider to a world you thought was much smaller, before.

And you’re glad you didn’t settle for the old, comfortable version. All worn out and tired.

 

Now the baby is crying. He was asleep.

I had a few minutes. Those few minutes are gone.  More will come.

Georgia is singing to him, trying to soothe him: “It’s okay, I love you, you love me, all the bad animals are gone….”

Kids are insane.

This shit is nuts.

I’m a fucking maniac.

Nope. Not that.

 

Here I am.

Alright.

 

IMG_0124

brothers, found.

 

  • Erin

    Yes. And thank you. I always think you blogger moms are fucking super Heroes just becUse someone while doing the insanity of what we do daily you have time to also be creative and witty and to sit down and actually type something worth reading. I’m preggo with our third. It was planned and I’m like what the fuck were we thinking being pregnant fucking blows. Trying to keep my eye on the prize and no that’s not actually giving birth or the weeks after, thank you, but the baby. And then I think I’m insane again cause it’s so exhausting. I have two boys who literally never never never stop moving- not even while they sleep. I’m already so tired and baby isn’t even close to being born. – thank you for sharing your struggle The good the bad and the ugly. It does help to know you are not a super hero and that’s it’s not just really hard for me to maintain some semblance of sanity but hard for all moms! Damn will we ever sleep again? I don’t think so. By the time the kids are grown we’ll be at the age where we go to bed at 9 and wake up without an alarm at 6. Ahhhhh! Still better than what I’m doing now, but I miss the good ole days of sleeping in until 12 or 1.

  • Beth

    Dude, I feel all those feels. Some days I don’t know who I am or what I am anymore. And then some days, the words just come, just when I think I will never find them again. It’s weird.

    I really hope the school year goes awesome for you. And I wish you 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

  • Maureen Wanket

    Yes. Thank you. Also, the two brothers is a sacred archetype of honor, friendship and strength and you made that out of your human body and beautiful heart so good job you.

  • Lisa Sadikman

    There is just so much “yes” in this. And did you see how your struggle to write turned itself into all that magical scenery and messy life awesomeness and you just brought us right there with you, quietly. Bravo. Keep on keeping on.

  • Kathleen

    This is perfect.

  • Jennifer

    Mmm Hmmm. We are 3 weeks into baby #3 joining us and I feel like it’s still the calm before the storm. I am waiting for the bottom to drop out from beneath us when school starts and we have to be places, and feed them regularly. I get you.

  • itzybellababy

    It took me a year after my FIRST to get enough sleep to write my name let alone anything else.
    Cut yourself some slack lady! You are doing it all, and it will slow down and you know that anyway..

    🙂 that is all

    http://www.itzybellababy.com/

  • Jeanette

    This all sounds very very familiar to me and my youngest baby just turned four! Possibly there is no hope for me!

  • jen w

    Absolutely perfect

  • Sally E

    Yup. You’re wonderful. Love your honesty. Won’t say anything else except thank you

  • Kari

    I wish we were friends. Like, actual ‘pick up the phone’ friends. So we could call each other and be all ‘fuuuuck’ when we need to. Nailed it all, again, Janelle. I can’t think of anything else to write so…

  • AJ

    Phases & cycles & life IS chaos & we can be so complicated because we are capable of holding so many conflicting things inside of us at the same time. And tiredness has a way of turning things a bit off kilter. I could relate to your words so well, and I don’t have a newborn. I recognise the days of being lost, & yet a moment takes you by surprise as you look at your child being all delicious and beyond words, and that brings everything back into focus. For a moment.

    I look forward to the next part of your journey.

  • Charlie

    You’ve got 4 children. Four!! Of course you are bat s%#t crazy. With nothing left to give. You wouldn’t be human if it was any other way (and if you pretend it is any other way I will stop following your blog 🙂 – I NEED you to tell it how it is). Hang in there lovely lady.

  • Brianna

    I think sometimes motherhood is defined as losing yourself. I only have one and she is three now. I have struggled each day since I had her to stop feeling lost. I’ve told people I’m stuck in a never ending existential crisis. It is good that you can recognize that your moments of being “lost” are temporary, even if they come back once in a while.

  • Em

    I get you, totally & I only have two boys (5 & 6 1\2) but some days I feel so lost, how did I get here? Who the hell are these small people & why don’t they ever leave me alone! Sometimes I feel so disconnected that it all seems totally surreal, like I just woke one day in the middle of someone else’s life. It all feels pretend, like the playing ‘house’ when I was a kid, fuck I’m not grown up enough to handle this shit (I’m 42 & feel like a badass a grown up if I can pull out wet weather gear from my bag on a rainy day, or bake cakes whilst cooking dinner & helping my 6 1\2 yr old read! Pathetic huh?!)
    Then again when it all clicks beautifully into place……like last night, OK my boys didn’t get to bed until 11pm but it was cool, its the school hols & we were having such an awesome time, no squabbling in the bath, then I got to have two clean, sleepy, chatty, chilled out boys in my bed, just hanging out talking whatever, making fart jokes, wrestling like puppies & it was like “ah here I am, here we are. I made this, I grew these, this is where I belong”. All of those feelings of being lost & disconnected only serve to make the reconnection all the sweeter. I guess as kids grow they push boundaries etc, well its a growing process for us too & the occasional out of body experience is only natural right? You Janelle, well your whole family are being pushed & poked & reconfigured into a 4 kid family, Fuck! There ain’t no way you can go through that shit & not end feeling lost sometimes! You don’t need me (a stranger) to tell you this (but I’m going to anyway!) YOU ROCK! You make so many Mama’s around the world (the whole freaking world Janelle, how fucking awesome is that?) You make us feel….Well thank fuck for that, I’m not the only one. So if you can’t write for a while because your family is in flux, you know what? We’ll all be here, waiting for you & loving & supporting the fuck out of you, because we get it, just like you get us. Keep on keeping on Mama. 🙂 xXx

  • Em

    P.S……That cooking, baking, reading at same time thing? It happens so fucking rarely that there is a good chance that it is a figment of my imagination!

  • Corey

    I don’t even know you (and only recently started reading your blog) but I wish I lived near you so I could pop in and help with the laundry and watch the kids long enough that you could just breathe for a minute. I can’t tell you how many times your “don’t be a dick” post has come to mind in recent weeks. Keep breathing! I too am mom to 4 kids, and it does get easier (well. it gets “different”.) but those early years when they are all little and all need you are tough, especially with the sensory overload.

  • Helen

    Get to a meeting !
    xo

  • Alicia

    This post made my heart buckle.
    The first half of it perfectly communicates how I’ve been feeling for months.
    Thank you for your continuation of this blog, even when (especially when!) you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or uninspired. Your authenticity… or for the sake of the existential concerns for what that even means, commitment to unrelentingly keep it real, is a beacon of support and solidarity to Moms or Dads who read this blog in earnest.

  • Heather

    Just remember to breath~ keep breathing. I have four boys and the youngest two are 18 months apart. I remember the chaos and fatigue. We also cyber schooled so I had all the boys home all the time. You are amazing and were called to be where you are. It doesn’t mean it will be easy. At least it is sometimes entertaining!Thank you for sharing your journey,keep sharing. I hope writing is somewhat cathartic for you. Accept or find help. I had to hire some~ just a few hours a week but it kept me sane and my kids healthier.You don’t Have to do it all! Just remember to breath and write!Keeping you in my thoughts!

  • Renee

    Oh honey – you’re in the trenches. Peace will come – you see it in fleeting moments all day long – you’re a fine person. I love your blog, you say the things I always felt but can’t say around the people in my life (my husband and kids yes, my co-workers and mother and friends – no). My kids are finally old enough to not need my body so much. It’s hard in a different way (and now the husband needs me more – go figure!), but finally there’s sleep in my life again. You’ll be here soon. I wanted to suggest seeing about getting Rocket on an IEP (do they do that in CA?). Amazing that you taught him to read that quickly. Just freaking precious that he wants to be there for his brother when he gets his shots. You’re raising some great people.

  • Shannon

    You are not alone. I always tell my husband that I feel like I’m in a fog all the time. I’m aware and participating, engaged with the kids and it’s obvious that I love them, by I just feel like I’m not really there–if that makes any sense. And I can never remember an f’ing thing and it pisses me off and then THE GUILT of just everything. Thanks for writing this. Hand in there, I’m sure you are better than you feel at this mom gig. As for the writing gig, you kill it, every.single.time. Good luck to you and your son at school.

  • Emily Parsons

    your a rad mum doing an awesome job and thank you for making me laugh through this crazy bad ass journey

  • Jess

    I’m so glad you took the time to write this.
    I like to call it disillusionment instead of depression. Disillusionment with what I thought was everything. Then, slowly, we see there is so much more.
    My fourth baby starts kindergarten this year. I am reeling. The truth of no longer having a “baby” is so hard to process.
    But…we do it. We find the part we love and we learn to grow some more. Thanks for being human:)

  • Phd

    Ahhh….yes!! This. Is. Perfection.

  • Joelle

    Yes. Yes to all of it. So perfectly captured how I feel a lot of the time. Some days I have my shit together, some days life is totally insane and some moments I can’t believe how much I love my kids and wonder why I’d ever want to not be at home with them. It is such a relief to know that I’m not the only one.

  • AmazonErin

    For what it’s worth, and it’s not much, the knowing it’s going to get better in your head and still being able to appreciate the moments as they come is all that fucking matters when you’re in the shit like you are.
    It’s so shitty, the not sleeping (because it’s the main culprit) but it’s saddled up with the constant goddamn need from all the others, and how your body turns on you in order to support the little parasite you’ve birthed and love so much but he is literally sucking the life out of you. And poor and hot. That’s all, it’s the shit and until it’s over, you keep your head down and try not to kill anyone and day after day after day it’ll get better come one of them.
    My sleep deprivation made that nearly unreadable…but it’s over due for me to tell you that your blog has been a find. Thank you.

  • Grouchiegrrl

    Ooooh I know that one with staying up. I know any night I am awake after 11 is a sure fire guarantee of a 5am wake up for the small… yet I do it a couple of times a week. As you say, just to get some time to myself. To read blogs, watch some teev, finish a craft project – but I feel it so much the next morning. And when I do it on uni days – stoopid stoopid.

    Its weird when it is so hard and beautiful and crazy and exhausting and soo much love at once isn’t it?

  • Cavemomma

    I think where you are is called experiencing life, so you can write about it later. Just be lost right now, as much as the world will let you. Hope you get more sleep soon, so you can feel so much better! Thank you for writing this. (-:

  • Angela

    Perfect chaos. You’re doing it all so right. You appreciate the beauty of a naked baby playing and swinging outside……I love that.

  • Shelley

    You most likely will never have time to read this comment but if in some quiet quick moment you do……..I get you. You are totally normal but better and everything is just fine. I have the same type of days that you describe, especially when I’m hormonal and breast feeding a newborn. We have 7 children( 5 at home ) 23,21,16,7,5,4,2 and the 2 year old is about to put me over the edge but then she will tell me how beautiful I am after I’ve just screamed bloody murder and my 7 year old for jumping off the top of the van because he is teaching his sisters to be maniacs!!!!!!! We also have homeschooled the last 7 years and while it is one of the toughest jobs ever, it is worth it for some kids. We now do a homeschool/charter where the 5 & 7 year olds do 3 1/2 days at school and the rest at home-Awesome!!! High schooler goes 2 days a week-love it!! Your doing a wonderful job keeping it real and that’s what I love about you. Your lost feeling is real, the naked kids are real (2 of mine are almost always naked ), the last Costco post-so real ( wish I coulda been there to help )! Anyhow just keep doing what your doing darling!!!

  • Kelly Roberts

    I don’t think you’re depressed or need help or whatever the fuck. I think you’re authentic. Just perfect.

  • Ypsi

    Word. I cycle in and out of this on the regular and my “baby” is 7 and going into 2nd grade and my 12-year-old is turning into a teenager before my eyes. I remember feeling this when my oldest (who would be 16 now) was born. The landscape of this changes as they (and I) grow, but I think it’s part of the journey.

    I will definitely cop to having dealt with PPD and occasional bouts of real depression, but what you’re talking about is neither of those.

    Last but not least, you actually are an inspiration to me (and I have fewer kids and no babies and what seems to be slightly more financial security). Don’t ever stop 🙂

  • Vagina

    It’s funny because I want to say how much I love you, and how much you get me. And how I bawled out my eyeballs through this entire thing because you always seem to put the words down that are exactly in my heart, ..and it makes me feel better. Because I know that someone else in this crazy ass world understands what I am going through. I want to say all that to you, but I feel like I am always saying the same thing to you. But it’s true…..

    Especially lately….the only way I can really describe what is going on with me is the rabbit hole I am currently in runs real deep!! You writing this, ….for the first time in so many days, I actually took a breath!! Thank you….

  • Debra Jenkins

    I was so excited to get an email that you have a new post!!! I’m still all “holy shit, I got to hear janelle read “we don’t start with needles in our arms” at blogher. You are brilliant and funny and everything you write resonates with me. My kids are grown now – and my sons been clean for 18 months – and I promise, you will get your life back. Before you can blink. Thank you for finding time to write for us!!!

  • Dahna

    I’m sorry. It’s going to get better!

    My youngest (of four) is 13….. 2 have been at away at University and the 3rd is leaving in September…

    All I can tell you is that some days are better than others… And many days are amazing…. And some days suck – big time.

    P.S. Regarding laundry – lower your expectations.
    Regarding reading – how cool are you!!

  • loud wheel dog

    I have never commented cause, life. but I love that you say what we all are thinking, well those of us who stop by here, I love truth. I have 1/2 the kids you have and haven’t slept in 9 years cause kid 1 is intense dude…. and I don’t think you’re lost, I think you’re hungry. really hungry and sleep deprived, cause when I get to eat a sandwich, (I know, gasp) and sleep more then 3 uninterrupted hours it’s like I can take over the freakin world. seriously. two days in a row and I’m all “wtf was my problem? geeze I’m so fine” then bam, no food, no sleep and I’m all back to thinking I have no idea how to get to tomorrow. go right for the protein, nut butter right out of the jar, leftover hamburger cold from the fridge, I know, I know but it’s better then nothing, ya can’t feed 2 people on 3 Cheerios, not without insanity issues, we’ve all been there and it ain’t pretty. and we need you cause you’re brilliant. so eat! the sleep is hopeless so go for food, you will know exactly where you are; surrounded by the most fascinating array of lunatics.

  • Tupla

    And I thought I was the only weirdo who gets lost regularly and every time thinks its forever 🙂
    (I get lost for different reasons, I don’t have four kids, just one for now, I but I still feel it resonates with me) Thank you for sharing! I admire both your honesty and your resilience. Also, very very touching, especially about brothers.

  • Courtney

    You might feel like you can’t find “authentic” but this is pretty much the only thing I have ever read that even comes close to putting into words all the crazy ways I felt for the first 5 or 6 months after my 2nd daughter was born. Thank you!!

  • Tracy

    You’re so good. I wrote a parenting column for our local newspaper surprisingly called “Parenting, by Tracy Morales”. The tone was similar to yours without the ability to use the necessary word *fuck*. You’re a million times the writer that I ever was. You’re gonna be famous.

  • nel

    libraries are awesome

    here in australia, some of them have toy/reading rooms for kids that are partitioned by glass doors and comfy reading chairs at a safe distance so you can watch them and read books at the same time and the noise is muffled.
    (-;

  • Carrie

    As Jim Gaffigan said about having a fourth child “Do you want to know what it’s like? Imagine you’re drowning and then someone hands you a baby.” Keep your head up! Your kids are perfect and so are you.
    Love!

  • Tracy

    You’re doing it. You are…and it is relentless and terribly unforgiving at times. Our minds go into the clouds so we can freaking survive. There are days when tell myself all I need to is love them feed them keep them safe, and I do a marginal job at the feeding part. It’s never all done or all together. Then I have 5 seconds of my little kids looking out the window together petting our cat in a moment of quiet and it’s beautiful.

  • Courtney

    You. Are. The. Shit!
    I’m a new reader – and you had me hooked at the get go. This post and subsequent comments completely exude motherhood and the miraculous mind fuck it truly is.

    Thanks for being real, sister.

    I’ve got some placenta capsules leftover — if you want any hit me up! I’m curious if someone else’s will help another out of a funk filled day.

  • Axelle the french reader

    You’re not depressed, you’re just exhausted. And it is totally normal !! I don’t know your entire life, but you’ve got 4 little kids (and with 2 teens, i’m almost falling evryday, so…), a home, a dog, laundry…etc…
    Dont’t worry, mademoiselle, you will get out of that one day. Sooner as you can think.
    One day, it will be ok.
    And i understand soooooooo much your nedd to be alone, quiet, for one hour….

  • Jen

    Thank you for this. Thank you for all your posts, really. I am not much of a blog reader and not a blog commenter! But I had to write in with this one b/c you just nailed it on the head, all of it.

  • Ashlie

    I think that so many of us feel like we’re floating around aimlessly at least some of the time. I don’t know if it’s part of a mother’s job description or simply part of being an adult, discovering who we are (or being completely unsure of who we are) as we get older. I don’t have a newborn anymore, but I still feel like this. If anything, the fact that I’m done having children and my role as baby oven is over has intensified these feelings. Because I know that I’m something other than a mother, a person outside of that, but I can’t figure out who that is yet. And I’m too fucking exhausted most of the time to even contemplate it. Not so much because of lack of sleep, but because I invest so damn much of myself into my kids and there’s not much of left afterward. I need to find that balance. Reading this made me feel so much more normal, that I’m not alone in this journey.

  • kelly lewis

    Lady. I just love you.

  • Kelly

    Your writing is amazing…it truly is. Maybe it’s the recovery I can hear or the grace but in the past three years of child-rearing, etc. I have felt unteachable…like I couldn’t hear the messages from the universe. I hear you and relate..it is both amazing and awful raising a family, making decisions, trying to guide these kids when I feel lost myself.. I think the trick is learning how to balance both those experiences…I have no clue how to do that. First blog I have ever commented on..ever. I hope everyone reads your stuff and you get the recognition as a writer you deserve…your voice is real and unique and you have talent…not just writing talent but the ability to voice what we all are afraid to say…you aren’t depressed…your human. Keep doing the next right thing..

  • Liz Henry

    You’re as authentic as they come, lady. Fuck that shit.

  • Francisca Reines

    One word of advice, get rid of the hampers. Everyone puts their clothes directly in the washing machine. (Never mind separating colors and whites, you don’t have time for that. Wash it on cold, it’ll be fine.) Turn it on in the evening before bed and move it to the dryer in the morning.

  • Aria Alpert Adjani

    I am living in the exhausted abyss of 2. And writing is one of the only things that is keeping me found. That and cooking and it is the only time I am using what’s left of my brain. And in those fleeting moments, when I don’t have a newly talking toddler repeating in my ear or a hungry hungry adorably delicious 3 month old hippo devouring my boogie I am kinda found. Even though those moments are really only like a few minutes they help reprogram me and am able to remember that I have a body that once was my own. What’s my point – lost, found, not found, never found (are we ever really found?!) – I look forward to riding the wave that is you when I read your words – your thoughts – cause you, lady, are fucking magnificent and beyond inspiring.

    http://saltyspicybitterandsweet.com

  • Lornadoone1972

    Your writing is beautiful, you have the ability to break my heart and make me laugh all at the same time! Thank you for sharing your life with us…

  • Rita Arens

    I honestly think it’s all about sleep deprivation. We don’t take it as seriously as it is. That shit’ll fuck up your chemicals.

  • Dana

    I think most writers have a bit of what you have described- I often cannot stand to go back and read my own writing, even when others have complimented me on it. And it’s very understandable why you’d find it difficult to create on demand. Creativity requires some space and time alone! My two cents is this: simplify, simplify, simplify and every way you can, big and -It opens up room for creativity and peace of mind(which is what i am getting at on my blog.)

  • Amy

    man. you sell yourself short. you think you aren’t in the zone or wherever you are supposed to be. but holy shit, you are so completely speaking what i feel each and every time you write. this. THIS:
    “when I’m rearranged and my life family home brain is recreated. Destroyed, and reborn, though I kick and scream and worry I won’t get found again. Maybe I’ll stay lost this time. Maybe I was never found at all, but rather just found some groove that felt comfy and cozy and allowed me to delude myself into thinking I had some control, like my life was moving in a direction that made sense, that I’m a grown-up.”

  • Melanie

    I appreciate you putting this seemingly indescribable lost-ness that so many of us have felt before into words. It’s comforting to hear your own thoughts come out of someone else’s mouth. Thanks for being so unabashedly candid with us. All the good parts of life are still shining through to you in brief moments of beauty and gratefulness, and once you get a little more sleep under belt those moments will string together into fuller parts of every day. Wishing you sleep and peace.

  • Katte

    I call it limbo. I am there too.

  • mel

    Welcome back (if you can be welcomed to your own blog?!) I’ve missed you. I checked a gew times a week and hoped you weren’t gone for good. I’m a first timer and my son is three months and finally I am getting back to me, and have gained sanity injections from your. Words along the way. It’s lonely and shit and amazing and fucking heart destroying and renewing and all the other words failing me but keep capturing whatever you can and we’ll. Keep flocking to it and sighing with understanding and relief.

  • Rachel

    Good gracious do I get you! I’m a single mother of four: 7, 6, 4, and 3. And we’re balancing EVERYTHING! Or at least that’s how it feels. We’ve got my job and football. Two are starting regular school and they’re only allowed there as long as I promise to keep my first son in homeschooling. So, 3 in school, 1 in football, 2 hours of commuting per day, zero love life (by “love life” I mean no one to come home to that actually gives a hot damn about how my day went or that I’m exhausted or here’s a damn glass of water). So anyway, I’m drained. Just barely hanging in there. Being the “marginal mama”, as I call it. But we’re making it, right? Right. And in come the Hand-Foot-Mouth-Virus–attacking my children–one at a time. Marginal? I’m not even close anymore. So, in summary, yeah girl–I feel ya.

  • Katie

    Everything you just said was everything you are worried you can’t find the words for. Every perfect word.

  • Jennifer

    My fiancé is almost 10 years younger than me. We met when I was working in a bar to pay for my divorce. It was his 21st birthday. When he tells it, it was love at first sight.
    Yeah. Right.
    So I spent a year telling him that he needed to move on and get over it. I would pat him on the head and tell him to go find friends his own age to play with. (I was a little bitter in those days).
    He hung around enough to get me to be friends with him and one night, (worlds of not sober) I may have… flipped. A bit. I asked him why the hell he kept hanging around, why he didn’t just get a fucking life. I said to him, “seriously, are you a masochist or something? Can’t you see its never going to happen? Get the fuck over it. What is your deal with me anyway? Can’t you see I’m fucking broken??”
    He didn’t flinch. Didn’t yell back. Didn’t do much of anything except look me square in the eye and say to me, calmly and quietly, “hun, everyone is.”
    I think that was the moment that I fell in love with him – even if I didn’t admit it for another six months. He didn’t baby me with some kind of “no, you are not” bullshit. He didn’t turn tail and run. He didn’t take some angry offense. He just looked me in the eye and reminded me that I didn’t have a moratorium on emotional distress. As a matter of fact, many are far worse off.
    Truly, to some extent, everyone is broken.
    You are feeling lost and inadequate and awful and new-mommyish. Of course you are empty, someone was in you and now they are not. Fuller arms don’t really make for a less empty uterus. I’ve only got one child, but that one taught me 2 things in his pre-birth to newborn life: 1.Pregnancy sucks. 2.Lack of pregnancy after pregnancy is a special kind of loneliness.
    If I don’t stop soon, I may babble forever, so I just have to say this – it’s ok that you’re lost. Hun, everyone is.

  • Emily

    You don’t sound depressed. It’s just that feeling like when you’re wearing comfortable shorts that feel good and maybe you even like the way you look in them even though they’re just exercise shorts, but all of a sudden you realize you’ve been wearing them long enough that you’ve sweated a little bit and now they don’t feel quite as soft, and the sweat makes the elastic sort of itch, and they have that not-washed-recently-enough slackness in the material. It’s kind of like when you need a shower and you feel it acutely enough that you don’t want to face the feeling of peeling your clothes off, even though you’re going to feel soooo much better after you do. It’s a combination of boredom and having too many things on your mind at the same time.

  • Cayenne

    Man, the rhythm of this is so on. I don’t even know exactly what the fuck that means, but I think it’s true. Good for you for letting what is be what it is. It’s really powerful to read/see/feel.

  • Katie

    Janelle,

    Thank you for all you do. Not for us (although I check daily, maybe hourly…to see if you’ve posted again), but for your kids, your family, and yourself. Somehow you’ve given me the gift of great birth control at this point in my life, but the reassurance and knowledge that not only can I be a mother when I’m ready, but that I want to be. Because of you, I’m grateful for my days now, a twenty-something workaholic, and I’m already grateful for the thousands of days I’ll have being a mom. Even when I forget why I chose to do it and I’m doubting everything I ever thought was reality, and I’m begging for the days when I thought my dog was a suitable child substitute, there will be a few days I remember gratefulness. Thank you, I’m looking forward to it.

  • eeoc

    I could hardly keep my shit together at home with one newborn–scratch that, PPD with my first, shit not together for months and months. #2: shit only kept together while I was home with her for the 6 months I stayed home w/her b/c I sent her 4 year old brother to daycare. You, my friend, are a total rock star mother, even when you feel like this. Thank you for telling it like it is for you right now. (I know, everyone else said that too…but I figure one can never hear it too many times, particularly when it’s true.)

  • Kristi Nichols

    Thanks!!! I look forward to seeing you in my inbox always. I reckon we’d be mates! x

  • Marisa

    Another great piece of writing about motherhood and the struggles and joys therein. Always look forward to a new post.

  • Carli

    I have to confess that I often find myself reading your blog when I feel shitty about myself…because I know there is a good chance that I can read about you feeling shitty about yourself. And I can read the comments from all the other moms who feel shitty about themselves. And it’s clear to me that none of ya’ll (the Missouri in me always finds a way out) are actually shitty. You’re good moms and good people. Real people who mess up and make mistakes, sometimes every day. Real moms who love their kids with their whole selves, but yell and let their tempers fly. Who are capable of so much because you’ve survived so much, and that goes for everyone’s story. And then I know I’m that shitty, good mom-person too. I’m doing ok. I love my family even when I just want them to go away. All the things I feel about them are ok because they’re real (murderous thoughts excluded, of course) Thanks for that, ya’ll. I think we all might make it through, and helo to make some good people aling the way. What more could anyone expect?

  • Jayme May

    Janelle,
    You are a phoenix and will be rising from your ashes soon enough. Just ride the flames till then.
    Thanks again for keeping me sane while on bed rest. Claira will be 3 weeks tomorrow and I am in that “EVERYTHING makes be cry” phase of post baby. (including Rocket’s “I don’t want my brother to hurt without me”) I hope you find some peace….and sleep. Write when you can, don’t when you can’t. We’ll all still be here when you do.
    After all, you can’t keep a kick ass chick down. (or something like that)
    -Jayme

  • Melissa

    That Michael Jackson song, “You are not alone” is streaming through my brain after reading this. But, hopefully just getting it all out, has provided some release/relief. Good Job!

  • Jennifer S

    Yep. Right alongside you in the trenches.

  • Mela Breen

    Your writing rings so true and deep. What your are doing is both totally ordinary and extraordinary! You are giving voice to an experience many of us are sharing and I appreciate that I can read your words, late at night, after my kids are asleep, when I finally have a moment to myself, when I could go back to working at my computer but I don’t!

    It is a “heros journey” you are on. I hope you emerge from the fog safe and sound.

    -love from up in the foothills

  • Carole the Kiwi

    I just wish I could give you a hug and remind you that this stage passes, and that you will get some sleep. Most of all though I just want to give you the hug 🙂

  • ashley

    So happy I found you!!! Thank you for your blog

  • Wendy

    I had 3 and remember this feeling well. Does it get ‘better’? Well … it changes. 2 of my 3 are grown. One died. And now I’m a grandmother. But there are still days like this. Like today for instance. Maybe it’s just part of the human condition. If we’re honest with ourselves …

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