Sometimes I get so full of self-pity I think maybe I could cut it with a knife, were it to materialize outside my body. Like a giant gray mass with indiscernible edges, and me, sitting in the center, looking at Instagram feeds of expat women living in foreign countries, or in big Craftsman homes with plants on the porch that aren’t dead and grass and bricks and stuff, or on farms in Vermont, or really, anybody doing cooler shit than I am.
Why the self-pity?
I don’t know why.
Because I’m a self-centered immature sot.
Because I’m an ungrateful wretch.
Because because because.
Because I’m a bad human being and you’re a better one.
Yes. Let’s get that out of the way. Cool.
Usually there’s some catalyst to my sadness, slight depression, profound sense of WHEN AM I GONNA GET SOME OF THAT GOOD SHIT?
This time it was losing my last source of income: the column I wrote over at allparenting. Ah, financial insecurity, old friend. Fear, my old buddy.
It just felt like too much. Suddenly I looked at my little baby and 3 other kids and thought “UH OH.”
But I can’t complain because I was the adult who decided to have a 4th child. I can’t complain because my choices got me here.
You can’t complain either. None of us can complain.
There’s always somebody worse.
That doesn’t help.
(Can you follow the voices in my head? Yeah, neither can I.)
I hear you, Complainer-for-No-Reason.
Do you hate yourself for it, a little?
I know better.
I want to be better. But I’m not. So let’s just sit with that. Shall we?
My husband’s been working seven days a week. And I’m here, with the four kids, that I can’t complain about. Because I had them. And I love them. And they’re gorgeous and healthy and we have a great house with wood floors and a red door in California, in the United freaking States of America. And we own it. I mean, sort of. We’re buying it.
There’s nothing wrong with my life. I know this.
I’m a lucky ass bastard.
I know this too.
Six years ago I was sitting alone in a Ford Taurus drinking Ancient Age whiskey and smoking Pall Mall cigarettes, about to get a divorce, staying in a room in my mom’s house, seeing my children occasionally.
What sort of piece of shit human gets ungrateful and full of self-pity after surviving alcoholism?
Well me, I guess.
I know my life is the best it could ever get.
Because I wake up every day free, or mostly free, and not dying so quickly, and like a normal human being.
But my heart and gut say otherwise, folks.
My heart’s all “This shit is meaningless. ALL OF IT.”
My gut says “When are things gonna not be so hard? Why did you have that last kid, moron? You clearly can’t afford these kids.”
I don’t fucking know why.
Because newborn breath. Because siblings. Because family. Because maybe I make crazy decisions. Because maybe I just did.
Because your logical-financially-sound-thoughtful decision making bullshit lifestyle doesn’t make much sense either. It doesn’t really seem to work either.
I know some people with money coming out their diamond-kissed ears and you know what they do?
THEY BUY MORE SHIT. They buy things until there’s nothing left to buy and then they look around and say “Is this it?” And they’re REALLY screwed because they’ve got nothing, and realize way late they were sold a big, mean lie.
And others, they make well into the 6-digit incomes and you know what they freak out about?
The wrong private school. The wrong this or that or whatever the hell. Paralyzed with fear these rich-ass human. They can buy the best of everything this town’s got to offer and you know what they do? FREAK OUT ABOUT CHOOSING THE WRONG BEST THING.
So your way sucks too, grown ups.
I don’t want to talk about it because it’s wrong, and I know it. The way I have this strange sense of being unfulfilled and a little bored, exhausted and uninterested, the persistent feeling that life was going to be more. I try not to think about my year in Barcelona, when the world opened to me in a way that made me feel so alive I would smile walking down the street like some broad in a motherfucking Hallmark movie.
Or when I was 19 and it all seemed so goddamn possible, so there. Just waiting for me to decide.
I don’t want to talk about it because it makes me an utter and total asshole, and that’s a tough thing to face.
So instead, I feel pangs of self-pity, moments of dark gray, when I see somebody who I think has it better.
I yell at my kids more. I cry sometimes. I wonder if it’s depression.
I wish I were healthier. More patient.
I wish I hadn’t gained so much weight.
I wish I lived in the forest. At the ocean. Anywhere. Somewhere.
Eventually I get so sick of myself and my wallowing and self-pity I drag my ass to the motherfucking wilderness.
While there, I see my nearly teen go fishing, catch a trout, clean it with her dad. We fry it up and eat it at dinner.
I see my toddler naked for all the warm hours of the day and the Labrador curled up next to her.
I watch my kids learn to play poker with their dad.
I tell my nearly 9-year-old stories about this and that when I was a kid and he sits riveted to my face. He looks at me like he wants to look at me all day for the rest of his life.
I see my husband smoking his pipe in the sweater I bought him 10 years ago, because he says it’s the thing to do when we’re at the cabin, the cabin his great-grandparents bought when his grandfather was a boy. His grandfather who was born in the 1920s. There are pictures of his dad as a baby on the wall.
I tease my husband because his shirt came up when he wrapped the baby on. He pulls it up higher. We have a smoke after the kids go to bed. I feel oh so bad. At 3am Rocket pees outside and looks at the stars for a minute. I do too.
I row onto the lake on a little fishing boat and I’m rowing backwards. The kids laugh at my idiocy. I jump in the cold mountain lake and feel 30 years of mistakes roll down my back as I get out of the water.
I watch the smile of my baby.
I watch the smiles of my other kids in the eyes of my baby.
I watch the fire throw strange light on the faces of these tiny sleeping humans.
And I remember.
I remember that this pain is mine and mine alone and it isn’t because of this life, now, these kids, this house, the money we don’t have.
It’s the ache in me that’s lived forever, down down down and it’s the one that reaches out to you, you there mother, yes you, and says I hear you.
Talk to me.
It’s the one that laughs hysterically, sings terribly, old 1980s songs, while the sun hits the kids’ dirty scruffy little heads and we row, back into life, to family.
Cracking the hell up, because have you got a better plan?
I didn’t think so.
So just talk to me.
I hear you, mother.
And I fucking love you, too. We’ve got a thousand beautiful things to see.
BeckyTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:18
You’re the fucking greatest.
I literally pine for your next blog post. Not in a creepy, stalk you in the daytime kind of way but in an “I have all these kids too and everyone is screaming all the time and this lady is hilarious and smart and I can’t wait to see what she says next” kind of way.
You have a fan.
And as far as I can tell (from over here on the other coast where, granted, I don’t know you at all), you’re doing a fucking GREAT job.
GraceTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:19
I hear you, mother. You’ve done it again: perfectly capturing so many of my thoughts and feelings and put them beautifully into words. Thank you.
VaginaTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:25
I love you so damn much!! <3 I can't tell you how many times I ask myself…is this as good as it gets?? … It is good….but sometimes..
Monica TaftTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:33
Thank you so much! I could say so much more, but I needed this today, thank you for sharing your gratitude for the life you have. Some days I forget to look for the beauty in a smile and a laugh and really that is all I need.
AnnetteTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:37
A beautiful perfectly imperfect life you have there. ❤️
JudithTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:48
You are beautiful and most excellent at being human. You are willing to walk down that dark hall, embrace it and look at it and then have the strength to set it aside and keep walking. Despite the darkness you know deep down you are a fighter. Nature is weird in it’s ability to help us mend our hearts.
EveTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:51
Grateful that you share that beautiful life with us. Reminds us of our common,sometimes crappy, yet deeply rewarding existence. Keep that shit up!
Jen W.Tuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:56
1) Thank you for being in my head!
2) Where does his beard end and baby’s head begin in that wrap? 🙂
AmandaTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 18:59
So much beautiful-ness. And thanks for the reminder of what really matters. It’ll last for at least a few hours, or until the baby wakes me up 4 times tonight. But for the moment, I know what’s important.
NikkiTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:00
I just recently started following your blog and need to say, thank you! This, in particular, really hit me. My husband and I have camped together since we started dating in high school. It really is the perfect way to appreciate what ‘is’ and not worry about what isn’t. Perfect.
NicoleTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:02
The words of my soul…you have captured them and put them down in a way I cannot. If only, if only we women could all admit these things and hold each other through these times, the journey wouldn’t be so difficult. Thank you.
AshleyTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:06
Oh, Janelle…this is perfect. I cried myself to sleep the other night because no one loves me everybody hates me I think I’ll go eat worms. Same dog, different leg. You nailed it.
Now, for a tacky comment. That’s your HUSBAND? Damn.
Jill (mrschaos)Tuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:08
I fucking love you. That is all.
DameDawsonTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:10
Thank you. For going deep and getting dirty. For writing out loud what so many of us feel but are afraid to speak. For finding beauty in pain, chaos and mistakes. But most of all, for helping the rest of us not feel so goddamn alone.
MaiaWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 5:32
Thank you for being able to comment what I was unable to write so beautifully!
MichelleTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:14
Truly love this, thank you. It helps to be reminded that I’m not alone when I feel this same way.
smimsTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:19
I know the dull, gray feeling of motherhood. Of not being able to imagine any other life, but feeling a vague sense of dissatisfaction…constantly. Thank you for your honesty and bravery and for sharing.
HilaryTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:22
Thank you. Your point of view is necessary and always seems to give my feelings words.
Jennifer B. / BrooklynTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:29
I love you, too, mother, with all of my heart. I hear you.
ShelleyTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:32
You and your family are so beautiful and so real!!
Love u guys for that!!
ReneeTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:40
I love you.
BobbyTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:41
You are my spirit animal.
Corinne KnightTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 19:53
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Momma you are looking great! You kids are growing up and looking so healthy and happy. New babs is perfect! Sexy hubs but I wanna shaave his beard. Thanks for sharing your life with us! xo
Amy HalperinTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 20:01
You know how I love you. I love the pictures, especially the last one. Your beautiful face. Those beautiful eyes that speak volumes.
sheri williamsTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 20:01
I love this oh so much. As I am currently going through this it helps to know it’s not just me. It is one thing to know that there are surely other people feeling the same things as you but no one talks about it. Why does no one fucking talk about it?
EllisonTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 20:09
I hear you. Freedom from alcoholism, a fucking miracle. Life, also a miracle. You were able to get back into gratitude, thank you for writing about it. I love your renegade mothering- your posts are hilarious, insightful, and a relief. Thank you for the reminder to get back into gratitude. It’s what saves us from the shitty, not-good-enough thought process. Word.
shaunaTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 20:38
I could just cry and cry. Love you, dear sister. We are in this real and beautiful hard life together!
SusanTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 20:39
I wrote this recently, months ago in my journal and then on a blog post:
“Have you ever felt like you wanted some else’s life?
Not because yours is so awful, No.
Because your life is great and you still don’t appreciate it…
Because you still can’t get it right…
It’s the most terrible kind of self-hate – You are not worthy.
One day you realize all the positive thinking in the world won’t save you from these days… That maybe it’s you who’s broken.”
Seems we all struggle in similar ways. And then (hopefully) find our way again. I’m half you over share. I do too.
sarahTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 20:40
Once again you’ve hit it right on the head! 4 boys here, 13 (on the 12th), 9, 6, and 7months…and yeah when I’m driving my 45 minutes to or from work and think about checking homework, making dinner, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning the mess that they no doubt left for me, feeding the baby cuz he never stops wanting to eat lately, and changing diapers on my 9 year old who is severely autistic and epileptic and he likes to kick me now, or even better take his diapers off and tear them up around his room….sometimes I think about running away for just a little while, finding me, who am I anymore? Mom?? Who is this mom? What do I like? What do I even want to do??? And why doesn’t anyone ever do the damn dishes or clean their own mess or even take the trash out???
but then we go out fishing for a day, or for the first time in over a year get a sitter for 4 whole hours and I’m recharged again! They’re amazing, fantastic, (mostly) well behaved, smart, and considerate boys!
KatherineTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 21:32
Funny when you come across something, some bit of gold online that is exactly what you needed to see/read. Damn. This is a fantastic post- thank you for writing it
itzybellababyTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 22:02
I am feeling you.. I just lost my major freelance client.. it is maddening because I knew it was coming for awhile, but was powerless to stop it. It is maddening because I quit a very good job to stay home with one baby, and now, I don’t know where more will come from..
It is maddening but I won’t let myself regret my choice, and neither should you.
Kristin ShawTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 22:46
It’s a wonderful life. and I love seeing pictures of these beautiful children and your beautiful family. somehow, these choices have led you to THIS. This beautifulcrazylovelyfantastic family life. Here there are, and they are the best things that have ever happened. I know this feeling too. I hear you.
KatrijnTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 22:52
Hello, expat mama here. And when I look at your instagram sitting in my high rise condo overlooking palm trees and the Ikea and six lanes of traffic, I am filled with longing for a life with a cabin and a lake and nature without the low rumble of cars and planes and construction work, a life lived in proximity to family, with a car, and a garden, and a dog.
I so know how you feel. You are lucky. I am lucky. I need to find me some mountains that are not made out of dishes or laundry.
Thank you for writing, please keep on doing it.
evaTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 23:34
Just beautiful and so very true. Morning madness in our flat in Glasgow/Scotland and I am trying to keep my sanity. Your blog is helping. P.S. your sweet kids look a lot like you.x
Emily JaneTuesday, 2 September, 2014 at 23:48
Brilliant post. I feel like this all the time. Then
I wonder if anyone looks at my life and thinks ‘I want some of that good shit’!!
StephanieWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 0:26
I love your honest writing…
I am a generation ( love the generations before and those to come ..
Like the space in your cabin from your granddad ghee who likely
knew you would come back to gratitude there)
before you. My 6 kids are grown and I , too ,
survived alcoholism . ( there’s a miracle )
Anyway, we celebrated the first marriage of
one of our daughters this weekend…
In the mountains. Half the guests were from Holland.
The whole thing was amazing… I knew your kids
wedding would be special . But I would come to feel
that it is so much more…we did all the ‘work’
And that made it even better. Not hard.
I write this because I went through all those
emotions too but no one was brave enough to say it.
You are . And as I look back I know it was awesome
and sometimes really hard and lonely. And that’s
Ok. But the way all that love manifests is
AMAZING. I miss my little ones but I’m also loving
this part . We are all so beautifully human
and when I read your words I remember
and I’m grateful…
Yvonne HILLWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 0:50
I thought I was the only 1 feelin like this yesterday!!! Omg, thank u mom, me 2 sober 13yrs,and this fucking weight where did it come from and my man who says I will buy u a whole new wardworb if u just lose the weight bc he is not attracted to me the fat woman, no sex in almost a year!!!! See ur life is just fine at least your hubby is attracted to u!!!! Is that Tahoe ??? My fav place in the whole world.
Yvonne HILLWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 0:53
KellyWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 3:58
This was so good. I’m gonna read it again.
KateWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 4:22
I’m reading it over and over! This is exactly how I feel all the time. I am sorry you are feeling it too! But secretly happy to not be alone.
AnitaWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 4:58
Oh, you did it again. Thank you.
Erin OsborneWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 5:26
I swear, it’s like you live inside of me. Thank you for helping me realize I’m not alone
MaiaWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 5:27
I think the condition that you described is called “being human.”
I am you, sans the alcoholism and involved husband, oh! And the super cool cabin… Here is my mantra: I am in God, God is in me. ( I use the word “god” for “love”- use whatever word works, you know?) when I repeat this, sometimes silently, or screaming it pissed off, or whatever- it helps me to have a millisecond of perspective. I am whole and solid and stable just for that one blink of an eye.
I wanted four kids- I could only have two. I have three dogs, a few acres of land that looks like hell, a toilet bowl ring that is like engraved into the shit-bowl, my husband hasn’t fucked me in almost five years, and I constantly want “different.”
As soon as I wrote, “I want…” I felt guilty and undeserving. I don’t bring in an income. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to fend for myself let alone me and my kids. I live in fear. I am afraid. I pretend that my fear is one mark of maturity, when I was younger I’d work any job, travel to any country- I never worried about money or my health- I just wanted to live freely.
Now I just refuse to drive a mini van.
ElleVWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 6:11
Saying these things out loud set them free to go somewhere else. You’re ahead of your time Janelle… People aren’t so comfortable with truth and that’s stifling. Those pictures though… Amazing. Now you’re the one doing cooler shit than anybody else. As for the column… Did you let us all know you were writing there? I’m not sure exactly how that works but I would be happy to follow and share you’re stuff if they are looking at those things for your reach (sorry, I’m in marketing 🙂 )… Just let us know how to support. Your story… I love your journey. Thanks for sharing.
HeatherWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 6:12
I adore you and your family is beautiful. Sorry about the job but please never stop writing without your words the world would be craptastics. Thank you
RachelWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 6:50
I think we were separated at birth.
MaygenWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 7:11
I went to the washroom to hide from my 2 year old and read this (only door that shuts in our house that she can’t get open) and cried. You have summed up exactly what I have been feeling for the entire summer.
She is banging on the door and screaming at me, now; back to the grind.
Looking forward to your next post
peggy millerWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 7:21
Hey, in the pictures you post, I think you look Queen of the Universe, Alpha and Omega, beautiful. Stellar and Earth-Mother at the same time. Glad you got to go camping, looks gorgeous.
Rita ArensWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 7:35
Yeah. I am having this week, too. I don’t have a better plan, either.
BetsyWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 8:09
Thanks so much for sharing what you feel with me, with all of us. My baby Elliott is two weeks younger than Arlo. I read his birth story the day before going to the hospital to be induced and I wept and laughed and roared like a woman for you. I am so proud of myself for birthing a human child and joining the ranks of motherhood. The mother inside me is a raging bitch, a lover, a fighter, and a damn good person. But she is also sad and intimidated and so afraid of failing. A few hours after I read this post I read this poem and I decided I should share it with you: I.
I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.
Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.
Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.
After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.
ShayeWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 10:38
Your words are REAL and they help me. Your honesty helps me. Thank you for being brave enough to put all this out there for other people to read. Thank you. Motherhood is tough shit.
MollyWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 11:50
You’re wonderful, and you give a voice to many of us who feel things that no one else in the world shares…
Please keep writing — someone will notice … If you put all of your blog posts together in a book, I would buy it every time I knew someone was having a baby and give it to them 🙂
Do your best, it’s all we can ask of ourselves … XOXO
ChristinaThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 2:28
That’s a good idea about the book, I would buy one for friends having their first babies for sure… This blog has certainly helped me feel a little more sane now and then!
LindsayFriday, 5 September, 2014 at 9:43
I was thinking the same thing! I am having a baby- my first- due in 10 days. I found this blog and love it so much. I find it helpful and realistic and love it when I see a new post. I would absolutely buy the book!
IsabelWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 14:10
I needed this post because there are days when I feel like such a self pitying asshole and I look around at all the goodness that surrounds me and wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I guess we all want more than we have or think we need more or just have moments when it all doesn’t seem like enough. Reading this post makes me realize that I’m not alone in all of that and it makes me want to kiss my kids again before they get on my nerves AGAIN. 🙂
JenniferWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 17:32
Seriously one of the best “Mom” blog posts. I hear all this shit in my head all the time! So glad you wrote it out so that I know I’m not alone.
AmyWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 17:54
I fucking love this post. You described my day in words I couldn’t find and reminded me what the point really is. Of all of it. And when I look at it through your camera lens, I think–I never wanted diamonds anyway.
AprillWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 18:00
Nice. Beautiful photos too.
KathleenWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 18:01
Thank you. Amazing and wonderful and real. I love your posts and check for new ones constantly- they’re just so relatable and refreshing…I’m a single mom but the things you write about feel like you have my journal and are narrating my thoughts better than I ever could. Also, with a husband that looks like that how could you not have four kids?! Thank you, again.
AmyWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 18:05
You have a rainbow sling?!?
ColleenWednesday, 3 September, 2014 at 18:30
Thank you. This is beautiful. I always enjoy and look forward to your posts! You are a wonderfully funny and poetic writer and it’s so nice to hear about your adventures in motherhood from a down-to-earth mom like you. So nice to hear I’m not the only one thinking some of these thoughts!
ClaireThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 0:57
I’m an expat woman “living the dream” in Switzerland with a toddler and no 2 on the way and I feel much the same as this most of the time! It’s lonely. Stuff is hard, but the small moments… Great post 🙂
EmilyThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 4:49
I tried to respond through this site before, I hop it works. You always seem to kill it. The pictures look like paradise. I am a glass half empty girl much of the time. So great when occasionally it looks full!
SarahThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 5:22
This is beautiful and I love you. It’s hard to choose what you want when it’s so clearly not what everyone else seems to want and then still to feel a little unfulfilled, like maybe everyone else was right and you were wrong. To feel defensive of your life even while you kinda wish it were someone else’s. It sucks and then it doesn’t.
AshlieThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 6:09
I cannot love this post enough. You sum up the thoughts and urges and wants that I have been experiencing for ages and paint them beautifully. And I realize that these feelings are so common that I am not alone. That maybe I’m selfish and a little ungrateful, but that’s okay. We all are. And you’re absolutely right… the people who seemingly have everything still WANT, still WORRY. So money won’t make our lives easier or better, it just gives us new problems.
Also, your pictures from your getaway? Incredible on so many levels. You are lucky, mama, even if you can’t always see it. We all are.
markThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 11:44
Conservative, christian, dad of 2 loves your thoughts and family. I really enjoy how through all your trials and tribulations it all gets back to love and family (some times little quicker than others).
Nicole fritZThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 13:14
Just … Thank you ! I’m not the only one . Thank you !
NatalieThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 13:58
This whole post is almost exactly the text I sent my husband this morning.
I’m there. And I have the money. And I bitch about the money.
I also have 7 kids, 4 of which I homeschool, 2 cats, 1 puppy and a partridge in a pear tree.
I feel like I’m losing my fucking mind. I daydream about running away. How shitty does that make me?
I think you and I are doing the same thing to overcome this shittyness. We are trying to see those golden moments. And some days (like today for me) are so much harder than others.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. Here’s to hope.
NicoleThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 19:37
Thank you for writing about all the shit that most of us moms are too scared to say out loud.
TarahThursday, 4 September, 2014 at 20:10
You literally make me cry or laugh every post. How you manage to express strangers emotions through your own is beyond me… Thanks for making me feel something other than helplessness and exhaustion today!!
CocoFriday, 5 September, 2014 at 6:50
New here. I think you are in my head.
I think of that Avett Bros. song that says “I am sick of wanting. It’s evil and it’s daunting…” I have those same feelings of not enough and struggle and “if only.” I always feel guilty for those feelings. The 3 year old has been asking to go camping. Maybe that’s exactly what we need. (:
I love your writing. Thank you for sharing a piece of your soul.
KateFriday, 5 September, 2014 at 10:01
Love this, thank you. There is something about trees and quiet that makes everything shinier. We go camping and my son asks if we can stay there “for more than two weeks.” I told him we had to go home for his soccer game. “Don’t you want to play soccer?” I gave him what I thought was an easy choice. I mean, who would rather sit in the woods, with no TV or entertainment or friends? “Would you rather go home for soccer or stay and camp?” He says with out hesitation “Camp!” Maybe it’s my priorities that are messed up?
BreezyFriday, 5 September, 2014 at 10:28
I cannot tell you how goddamn beautiful this is.
And I totally followed the voices in your head.
adelfaFriday, 5 September, 2014 at 19:33
I’m very financially secure. I mean, not like a movie star, but “well into the 6 figures” as you say. And I want you to know that I feel the same way many days. Why did I have 3 kids? Why did I give up the life where I was someone? I feel self-pity just like you. I mourn the loss of the smart girl who could do anything…because I’m doing many things, but I still feel an ache to do something “big”, something “important”. I feel self-pity because why did I have to have 2 kids with ADHD to manage? Why do I have to drive so far each day to take them to the school they need to be at? Why am I throwing my life away playing “driving Miss Daisy” to a bunch of whining kids?
And then sometimes, like you, I pull back and really look at my beautiful family with all their challenges and strengths, and I remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. I see the times they play together, laugh together. I see the sisters making a tight bond, and I remember how I longed for a sister growing up. I remember.
And then I forget all over again. It’s a cycle, and you are right. You cannot buy your way out of it at all.
AnaFriday, 5 September, 2014 at 20:07
Thank you. Your writing touches my soul. I have a 10 year old, a 7 year old & a five month old. I probably had no business having the baby but I desperately wanted “baby breath” after a surprise pregnancy three years ago ended in a tragic miscarriage. and now..there are times when I find myself wondering what I was thinking..and then I have that conversation with myself about what an ungrateful bitch I am that I got what I wanted. Sigh. Thank you.
krisztinaSunday, 7 September, 2014 at 22:03
I love your raw honest voice.
No mediation.just saying it as it is.
Fall is in the air. More moments like this
will Come.i think you are totally in love with life.
MegMonday, 8 September, 2014 at 14:00
I love your posts. I have a thirteen year old and a two year old and I really want more and I waver between wanting to go for it and being scared shitless about actually getting what I want because be careful what you wish for! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your sweet family!
BelindaMonday, 8 September, 2014 at 22:55
Wow. I totally identify.
LauraTuesday, 9 September, 2014 at 13:14
Try City Life Church in Sacramento. They will love you and they get it.
KateTuesday, 9 September, 2014 at 13:59
You will never know how deeply this touched me. Thank you for making me feel less lonely, less crazy, less imperfect……I needed this deep honest connection. It’s exhausting pretending to be in Mom bliss all the time, and I crave real conversations with real Moms. Not robot Moms. Not competitive Moms. Not showy, know it all Moms. Thank you for being brave enough to share your messy, confusing, honest, beautiful, vulnerable truth. From way across the country you made someone feel less alone……and isn’t that what its all about? (You are doing important work my friend ) Thank you.
JulieWednesday, 10 September, 2014 at 13:15
That picture of your sweet babe nursing? My ovaries are cramping now.
I have four kids, too. I remember those first days after #4 was born and I thought I would just die. She’s two now, and there are still days, you know? But I guess it gets easier and better and then I look back and I long for those baby days. You probably know what I’m talking about.
I found your website by accident, and yet I know it was no accident. Some of your stories made me cry over my morning coffee. In a good way, though. Lots to think about.
Sending positive vibes to you and your sweet family.
Oh, and I love your man’s beard! The pics of him with the wrap…priceless.
MelanieFriday, 12 September, 2014 at 16:21
Beautiful. I love it.
CharleneFriday, 12 September, 2014 at 22:55
So I found your blog through some random post on Facebook like a week ago. I was hooked. I am not the only woman in the world who does not have this mothering shit figured out! Thank you!
karaMonday, 15 September, 2014 at 7:55
you make me laugh. you make me cry. you speak from your heart straight into mine and I thank you. really, thank you.
claireMonday, 15 September, 2014 at 11:28
Thank you so much for being so real. I don’t think I have ever identified with a blog post more. What a relief to know i’m not the only one.
LaurieWednesday, 17 September, 2014 at 17:03
Few people are so self aware and so honest. I’m grateful that you are one of them and that you share so much of yourself. It’s a sort of salvation to know there are other people who feel what you feel.
CarolineSunday, 28 September, 2014 at 11:50
What can I say that hasn’t been said before? Everything you wrote in this post hit the nail on the head for me. I am suffering from such terrible pnd as well as struggling with stuff in my marriage and reading this post made me cry. I have found that my favorite place in my house is the toilet – I can lock myself in; it is a small space so I don’t feel overwhelmed; I can take reading material in with me; AND the kids generally don’t start bugging me for at least ten minutes.
Diana Ann BisaresSunday, 19 October, 2014 at 20:05
Literally cried as I was reading this. I feel you, mother. I feel you.
CindyFriday, 21 August, 2015 at 18:24
Whenever I see someone who has more, no matter if it is more time, more money, more stuff, a better body than mine, whatever it is, I remind myself would I trade my entire life for theirs? We can’t pick and choose the parts we would like to trade for. Would you swap everything you have, for everything they have. The answer is always a resounding no. It is something I remind my children of as well when they see a friend who has a car their parents bought for them, or when their friends get to go on a winter family vacation that I can’t afford. I say yes, they are lucky to have those things, but would you trade? Not just parts of what you have, but the whole damn thing. The answer is a resounding NO. And that’s when you know you have done a wonderful job raising your kids because they wouldn’t trade your love, for the stuff of others.