Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Surrender

I need to keep in mind that my job is to balance family and work (a tight rope walk) and not lose my ever-loving sanity. Since both Allen and I are working 40+ hours a week and trying to do our best to raise our little fellas, blogging has fallen by the wayside. I wanted to use this blog to document the fun, the laughs, the dreams, and the parenting while trying to hold on to my marriage and friendships and pre-baby activities. Unfortunately, I need to admit doing this is harder than I ever thought it would be. My white surrender flag has been raised. I am not doing a good job at all, and I feel like things are falling apart around me.

It is likely many new parents feel this way, but I am just now to the point where I feel capable of admitting it. Up until the boys were about ten months old, I hadn't quite felt like myself. I still felt that my body was taken over by lack of sleep, post-pregnancy weight, "mush" brain, and going back to work. What I am now truly discovering is that I feel more like myself but less capable of handling it all. And this is a Type A personality admittance EVEN WITH all the help we have. Honestly, my family could not be more supportive. They could not help more than they do. They could not be asked to do anything else for us. And I am still feeling like quite a failure with keeping up with friends, remembering work-related tasks, remembering whose day it is to pick up the kids, unloading the dishwasher, finding time to still be in love with my husband, keeping the house clean, and sending cards to friends on their birthdays. While these tasks may seem menial, they were definitely a big part of my life before children.

Now, I dare not complain about having two boys because my biggest dream in life was accomplished when I became a mother. I want to admit that it is hard. It is so very hard. It is more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. It is the hardest thing I have done since taking sixteen college hours and working a full-time job. Being a parent while continuing on with life's responsibilities tops that by a million times more than a million.

I love my kids, but I feel like I just can't seem to give enough to anyone- friends, Mason, Brody, Allen, blogging, work, and last of all, myself. Time is stretched so thin that when all has finally been competed around the house by 9 PM, all I want to do is sleep. But sleep does not really offer me the quiet, reflective time that my brain needs to process work-related tasks, how to make time for friends, what I will cook for dinner tomorrow night, or how to thank my family for their unending selflessness.

All this being said, I am crying and typing- I cannot do it all. I am doing the best that I can. My Surrender flag is raised, and I surrender. I am sorry I can't do more, but I mentally, physically, and emotionally don't have more to give.

Parenting is hard, and it exposes a lot about yourself that you don't want to admit, although rarely do I think we give ourselves credit for all that we are doing. So, instead of feeling inadequate today, I am going to try and remind myself of everything I AM doing. I am sending prayers up to The Big Guy to help me remember I am only one woman and at the same time waving the white flag to surrender the guilt.

Every day with the boys allows me to see life through new eyes, and I am grateful and honored to have this chance. Each day I learn new things about myself as I parent two vastly unique and different little guys. I love Mason and Brody immensely, wholeheartedly, and without reserves. This is my best and most difficult job. This is my duty and responsibility. Until I can get everything else together, as long as I am honoring my children and teaching them about life, I am doing what needs to be done.

Anyone else want to wave their Surrender flag?

P.S. My dear friend Danielle gave my blog a new update. Isn't she amazing? Don't you just love it? I do! Simple and perfect. Just the opposite of me. Ha! Thanks, sweet friend. You and your work are fabulous!


Natalie Hudkins said...

Ashley! It will be okay, I promise. Motherhood IS overwhelming. I just tell myself, the boys have two parents who love them. Everything else (meals, "quality time," etc.) is secondary! It gets easier. I swear. You are in the roughest part right now.

genderist said...

Sending bucketloads and bucketloads of good vibes your way, Ashley.

Remember your "it's okay" post? It's okay to be overwhelmed. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to be stressed out. It's okay to wish you could do more. It's all okay.

strongblonde said...

first of all, i LOVE the new look. LOVE it.

secondly, you are doing a great job parenting your two little boys! it's hard as a type a person to let go of control and to have everything change so much, but it's part of the evolution of becoming parents. it's okay. it WILL get better :)


uncomplicateme said...

Sweetie, you are doing *awesome*, you really are. None of us can do it all, but we just keep moving forward. I've so been where you are, and I can't imagine having two of B to keep up with! :) I will say, very recently, maybe just the last 2 months (B just turned 18mo) - things are slowly getting back to how they were pre-B. Like he's just this happy little addition to our family, finally, and he's starting to be able to take care of himself in whatever small ways (putting his toys in the basket, one by one, if asked; finding his shoes; getting his toothbrush), so I feel like I'm not so frazzled each day.

Hang in there love, this too shall pass. xoxo

Jess said...

I've written at least three versions of this same post...! I'm definitely learning that these feelings show up during all different seasons of motherhood, and they always shake me as hard as they did the first time I felt them. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers, and like others have said, it will get better!


Hales Family said...

Oh, Ashley. We all have our breaking points. I know I have reached mine plenty of times. And yet, remarkably we always find our way back to "normal". You are an amazing mother, and a fantastic human being.

I love you, sweet friend. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I wish so much that I was closer! (really, even if you just need a late night venting session, or someone to distract you. CALL ME anytime!)

Photogrl said...

You've gotten a lot of great advice.

All I can add is that we tend to be much harder and critical of ourselves than we are of others. You are a wonderful mother to these two boys. I remember feeling this way when Miss O was little and I'm already finding myself feeling that way with the twins.

You are not alone.

Holding you close in my thoughts and prayers...

Gena said...

No, it's not easy. It's anything but!!! You're not alone in feeling overwhelmed and inadequate sometimes (although I know it feels like you are) Hang in there!