Melted My Cold Black Heart

A way out, sometimes I need a way out. I need the ice to crack. I need a key to unlock the wall of depression I’ve built around myself. I get caught up in the stress of mothering way too much. I logically try to snap myself out of it but many times I just can’t. I’m just so overwhelmed all I can do is get through that minute and hope to survive the next minute as well.

The things that eventually snap me out of my “funks” are always different. Sometimes it’s time alone (that is 100% nonexistent these days), sometimes it’s a song, a movie, a talk with Allan, a fun time with the kids, a good meal, a good cry…

Tonight it was accidentally stumbling on some old pictures of my kids. Back when there were only three of them and life was infinitely easier! It’s crazy to say such, as life was anything but easy back then, but I’ve found that four kids has pushed me over the edge. Personally. Maybe if their ages were more spread out, or even if I only had one of the two little kids at home all day. The combination of Payson (my loudest, most whiny and demanding child) with Ember (my most clingy and destructive child) is lethal to my sanity.

And with the stress of handling it with a smile and not yelling or being crazy outwardly (shoving SO much stress and sadness and frustration down, down, down into my soul where it simmers and festers)… I was just DONE with life. Not suicidal done with life, but emotionally done; just going through the motions. I told myself that because I didn’t yell at or freak out on my children I was still ok. But I knew I wasn’t… I’m still not really ok. And I’m not exactly sure what to do about it.

I know my physician would offer me anti depressants. And I don’t know if I’d take them… I’m breastfeeding Ember (which is actually a source of a lot of my emotions and feelings of depletion but I don’t know how to wean her gently!) so medical “help” isn’t even possible. Well, maybe it is. But I’m not convinced it would help. I think mostly I need my body back to myself, I need to get out of this prison of a home I’m in (trapped with ZERO dollars of gas money has made me insane, I should be living outdoors and here I am stuck indoors 99% of the time) and just… make a change.

I didn’t even mean for this to get long, I don’t really want advice. I absolutely don’t want advice, honestly. I just started rambling. It’s just been a hard year for me. But what I started typing about was what melted my cold, black heart tonight.

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It’s not an overly special picture, well composed or lit, or even a fantastic memory… but it’s Brooklyn and that face she’s making and the fact that she invaded my space to jump in a picture with me. It’s how young she looks, how young she was, and everything about that time in my life flooding back to me. It was a difficult time, a really difficult day. I had retreated to my room in exhaustion and sat on my bed feeling drained. My camera was in there and I thought, I should do my makeup. Sometimes that’s all it takes to feel human again. Human and me and not just somebody else’s something.

So I did, my makeup, and I felt a little better. And I took some self portraits. And Brooklyn interrupted. And I was actually annoyed! I’d been spending time with her ALL day and just wanted ten minutes alone! But then… it was just special. She was wanting to be with me and she was so cute and sweet and all she wanted was her mom… we had a really good time taking pictures. We took a lot of silly ones and sweet ones and super smiley ones. But the one above is the one I treasure because it was the first… it was when she first joined in and I shifted from my selfish desires (and true needs) to step it up again and be mom when I didn’t have the energy to be mom anymore that day.

I wish I had something profound to say about God, about mothers, about inner strength. I don’t. I struggle a lot, I struggle and many times it doesn’t get better. I call Allan in tears, I sit on the toilet and stare blankly at the wall, I get home from dropping the girls off at school and the idea of leaving my car to enter my house (where I spend all day parenting the little two) makes me feel like breaking… I am a weak, weak woman, mother, and wife. I’m failing often. I feel selfish sometimes, I feel like all I want in the entire world is to be alone and do whatever I want to do because I’ve sacrificed every bit of the last 9 years for other people.

I should probably pray more. I should probably find a way to sleep train Ember. I should probably not let my kids walk all over me. I should probably just suck it up and be patient and sacrificing because that is my job.

And maybe I will. Maybe tomorrow I can be better. Maybe looking back at a picture from a time in my life that was extremely challenging and having fond memories of that time is enough. Just enough to remind me that it isn’t bad. Life isn’t that bad. It’s just me. I’m the one freaking out about cleaning my house. I’m the one worrying too much about all the things I need to do. I’m the one not focusing on the important moments nearly as much as I should. I need to just let go. I need to be more easy going and laugh about the out of control moments. I’m a mother of four, life is going to feel crazy at least sometimes no matter how much I do to keep order. So what if things aren’t perfect? From now on a perfect day is one where I have spent time with my kids, and we are happy, fed, warm, and safe.

And maybe I can find a way to go stay in a hotel alone during the two days of the month where my hormones make me insane πŸ˜‰

And maybe from now on I shouldn’t blog during those two days, either! haha

21 thoughts on “Melted My Cold Black Heart

  • I will not offer any advice, just wanted to share that you are not alone. Our lives are completely different, but I relate a lot with your post. Moms have a lot of pressure, weather from themselves or from other people, and it totally is overwhelming many of times. It is good you have a way of venting, and good for people like me who can relate with a complete stranger and know they are going through many of the same things you are!

  • I also have no advice, I also have four children and completely understand that NEED to have space from it all. Thank you for sharing so eloquently, I hope today will be a wonderful new day for you!

  • No advise, but didn't want to read and run. You are not alone. What you are? Is honest. I can't think of one person who can handle everything all the time with grace and nerves of steel. If they say they can? They are not honest.

  • Ariana, I just wanted to thank you for being so honest and transparent on your blog. Your post probably could've been written by myself or any of the other moms on this planet. We all go through periods like this. I'll be praying for you! Heather B.

  • You just wrote exactly how I feel most days. Every night when the kids go to bed I feel so guilty about the day and how stressed and depressed I feel towards my kids. It is so hard with little ones and all we can do is just keep on going. ?Even though we love them so much, the days are long and hard. Thank you for sharing this in your post πŸ™‚

  • I read your blog regularly and I just wanted to say that any of us who have been reading your posts for even a short time know that you are an awesome mom and should never feel like you aren't doing an incredible job. I only have two kids, and there are days where I read your blog and am in awe of everything you do (and do so well)! You play with your kids, take them places, teach them, and do so much that it puts other moms to shame. Seriously…you are doing a great job and although it's hard, you should feel very, very proud.

    I had my kids at 21 and 24 so I know what it's like to feel like you have no identity. I went from being a careless young adult who spent her days shopping and going to the gym, to working and changing diapers and trying to stretch $40 over a two week period. My kids are now (almost) 16 and 13 and I can't remember what it's like to just be “me.” All I know is being a mom and wife and chef and house cleaner. πŸ™‚ It's ok to admit that it's hard, and it's ok to ask for help. I tried for way too long to be the perfect everything, and all it did was create stress and anxiety. The truth is that our lives will never be perfect…all we can do is our best and take it day to day. I still struggle with this so it's not easy, but if I could go back this would be the one thing I'd change.

    I hope things improve for you soon, and I promise there will be a time where you'll look back and wonder how you did it all. If there's any way you can make just a small amount of time for YOU, I think it would help. Take care of yourself…you deserve it!

  • Ariana,
    I'm glad that you aren't really looking for advice, because I have none to give. I have really hard days just adjusting to the one munchkin in my house. Today was one of those days for me, to be perfectly honest. Being a mom is hard. And, as y mid-wife says, “Being a good mom is really, really hard.” The thing that I wanted to share with you is that I totally look up to you. You are so truthful about the ups and downs of motherhood on your blog. And you know what else? You are a good mom. You get things done, and I can tell from your posts that your children are having a wonderful childhood. As far as how to help yourself, I'll let you know how to do that after I figure it out for myself. πŸ˜‰ I did just start reading a book titled “Contentment- Inspiring Insights for LDS Mothers” by Maria Covey Cole. It seems to be what I need, and I'm not sure if that's the case for you, but I thought I'd throw that out there. Anyway, *hugs* to you. I hope that the last two days have been looking up for you.

  • Ariana,
    I have read your blog for a long time and have to agree with the other commenters you are a wonderful mother and inspire me to be a better mother. I just recently had my second child and have had many days like the one you described. Being a good mom is hard work and exhausting! Just know that you are not alone by any means!

  • Venting does seem to help me so much. I try not to do it too often, but sometimes I just have to. haha
    I am surprised other mothers feel similar. I had no idea.

  • It's hard for me to be honest partly just because I live a pretty privileged life even at the worst times. I have a house, money for food and clothes, my family is all healthy. I feel like such a jerk to complain about being stressed over having to clean my house or cook or mostly, to have to listen to whining and crying from my children. haha

  • Thank you, Heather. I had no idea other moms, and certainly not most moms, go through these feelings! I've been texting with a friend of mine and she was saying she felt the same way and I was so surprised! It gave me the courage to share because maybe I *wouldn't* be met with judgement. And I haven't been! I wish more moms would share the struggle but I totally get why they don't… no one wants to come off as negative and whiny!

  • Wow, I totally feel the guilt at the end of the day. There's just so much placed on our plates as mothers that we can't possibly do it all, at least not all in one day. And kids have no off button, kids won't wait for anything, they're always there at our sides no matter the day's must dos (dishes can't wait, unless everybody wants to eat off rotten food! ha) or the important calls we need to make or whatever else.
    Of course we feeling guilty, we can't possibly be with them every second and that's mostly what they want!

  • Wow, I agree with everything you said. Reading it makes everything sound so simple… it makes me feel nothing but sympathy for the things you're going through and other moms are going through and makes me feel less alone in it all.

  • I really like what your midwife said about being a *good* mom being really, really hard. It is so hard!
    I'm glad you think my kids are having a wonderful childhood. Because of certain people in my life and their experience as children and growing up to blame all of their problems on their mothers I have this belief in my head that my kids, no matter what I do, will grow up to resent me and blame me for whatever problems they have!
    And it's so hard for me to ever feel like I did a good job because there is NO feedback except good feedback.
    Maybe that's why I'm so addicted to blogging. Nobody in my real life says positive things about the sacrifices I make (my kids don't care that I spent twenty minutes cleaning their toilet, they just want more food!) so sharing with other mothers, who GET it, is such a relief.

  • Awe, ((hugs))!! Hope you are feeling better! I don't have advice or anything that will help — rather to share that I only have two home with me and I have days I feel like this. With homeschooling I find I am very hard on myself, burden my soul with too much, set high expectations to live up to when reality is — my children really just need childhood, love, hugs, play, food and rest…. it naturally happens in any ol' order. Some days are great, others not so much. I can't tell you how many times I have laid in bed at night feeling great heartache that I am not enough for them, I am exhausted to no avail and my patience level has plummeted. I have a desire to be better or more present, to only add more to my plate tring to do so. I think blogger land can be hard, we see the the good – not always the bad, the tantrums, the extra long bathroom trips with the door closed for just an extra moment of silence. Keep it real! Stay connected for yourself and breath. At least that is what I tell myself. I'd rather look back and have enjoyed my days with them and have a messier home then wake up one day to a super clean home that is empty because they grew up before my eyes and I missed it. Hope tomorrow is a better tomorrow!!!

  • Ariana, I also feel this way! As you know, I have two children who passed away…and I *still* feel this way about the two I get to have with me. Example: Tuesday night my friend and I went to the grocery with the kids. Both kids got new clothes and a toy they wanted. As we were leaving, my friend pointed out a sale at Papa Murphy's and asked if we should just grab pizza. I agreed. Both kids were getting their own little mini pizza kits. Should be fun, right? Ohhhh, noooo, not for my two! My son was complaining that he wanted sausage AND pepperoni (the choices were pepperoni or plain cheese) but instead of just asking for it, he got whiny and cranky and rude. My daughter was pissed that she only wanted cheese, not pepperoni (???no sense!) I was so frustrated by their bad attitudes! My friend got down on their level and patiently spoke with them. While I was watching him handle them, I kept thinking, “I should be able to do that. That should be me handling this.” but I was just spent. Sometimes Mommas are forced to use up all their patience and understanding and grace before the day is up. It doesn't mean we are bad people, it means we are human.

  • Ariana, You are such a sweet, loving, great mother. Anyone who comes here and sees you and the pictures of your children can see that and they are going to have such great memories of their childhood. You are feeling normal things, taking care of children takes a lot out of you if you are doing it right. All we can do is take it day by day and do the best we can, but that doesn't mean perfect. I know you don't want advice but I will say be kind to yourself and try to get away and refuel your spirit, if you can. We have to be good to ourselves in order to be good to our children. Big big hugs girl!

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