21 May 2012

The Ideal Mother

For a while now I have been struggling with all the things I should be doing but can't. My little family has been struggling through some tough stuff and I have been battling some negativity in my life. Here are all the things I should be doing as a person, a wife, a mom, a worker, and a member of the church:

1) Pray daily
2) Read scriptures daily
3) Exercise daily
4) Make wholesome meals for my family
5) Spend quality time with my hubby
6) Feed, play with, change, put to sleep, cheer up William
7) Visiting Teaching
8) Work
9) Laundry
10) Dishes
11) Vacuum
12) Attend the temple
13) Do service
14) Blog
15) Clip coupons
16) Keep in touch with friends
17) Look beautiful all the time
18) Do canning
19) Sew/craft
20) Practice piano
21) Go to counseling
22) Visit family
23) Did I mention work?
24) Journaling
25) Family history

This is a whole lot of stuff that I can't do all in one day. 
It gets harder when William keeps me up until 4 or 5 in the morning or if Tyson is having a depression episode. It's even harder since we have no one to watch William while I go to work for 4 hours a day. That makes it harder because Tyson has to watch him which means he can't go to work. The nature of Tyson's job is all 8 hours or none at all. So I am the only one working which wouldn't be that bad except that William is always super fussy for Tyson (William has learned that crying=being given to Mommy) so Tyson can't do chores around the house while I'm gone. 
Most days I feel like I'm drowning in all the stuff I should be doing but just can't get done. Some of these things have gone by the wayside. Some of those things should not be on the sidelines of my life. It has been hard to re-prioritize my life but I am slowly making the necessary changes. 
I signed up for Gold's Gym. That was a hard choice because it's a lot of money per month but I need to be more healthy and exercising helps me manage my stress and I feel more confident about myself. My brother is also a member/trainer there so he's been helping me learn the best way to exercise and he keeps me going when I want to give up. Tyson has been super supportive and he really encourages me to keep going to my classes and he massages my sore muscles and doesn't tease me too much when I whine about how much I hurt.
My house is a disaster. We finally got our room totally clean after like...a year. William's room is a hazardous zone. Right now our living room is littered with clean laundry and baby toys and mail. Our kitchen is almost clean...but not quite. Having a messy home makes me crazy but we are tackling it a little bit at a time. I am determined to have a peaceful home to live in, not a disaster area.
I took myself to the temple last week. It was the first time I could get myself to go in almost a year. It was also the first time in a long time I felt truly beautiful. Going to the temple reminds me that I am a daughter of God, that He loves me, and that I am sealed to my husband and son for time and all eternity. The temple was so peaceful and calm. I loved it. I loved it even though I could only go at 7am after only 4 hours of sleep.
I am working out other things but my blog is one thing I have to let go. It simply is not important right now. My husband and my son have to be my number one priority. I have to make time for myself, too. I can't make menu plans or gourmet food but my boys are fed and they know I love them.
If I can get up, go to the gym, get to work, and cuddle my boys, the day is a success.


Kelcy said...

Don't put too much pressure on yourself! You definitely don't HAVE to do all those things, that's just what society tells you. I struggle with this too and I don't even have a child in the mix. I would totally help watch William if it were possible and I know there are plenty of other people who love and care about you that would help too. I'm sure you know that you have friends and family that can support you and that care about you. I've found my mom to be my best friend again and I LOVE talking to and hanging out with her. If you are ever in Salt Lake please let me know because I would love to see you! Keep up the good work. You are awesome!

Avery's Mom said...

Denise, it sounds like you are already doing a fantastic job as a wife and mother. I know how you are feeling, and trust me when I say that you can do it! Take what is most important to you from that list and make those things your priority. You can re-prioritize later to include things that you can't quite fit in now. You don't have to be wonder woman, you just have to be a woman; I'm pretty sure you're already all over that :) Keep your chin up and do your best. You are amazing!

Jane said...

Denise! I wish I had known about this. We should text/call each other more often. It's too bad you guys can't be here or I can't be there because I would be more than happy to watch William any time! That's not a lot of help right now, but I thought you should know. Maybe you could get in touch with Stacy! She doesn't have any classes right now because she's just sort of coping with life, but she might be able to watch him while you guys are at work until she comes home to CA in July. I don't know if she's up for it, but maybe give her a call and see how she's doing and if she wants to take that on. I hope everything works out! I'm trying to get healthy too, so we should keep each other posted on that :) I love you a lot! Keep up the hard work!

Laura said...

Oh, Neesie, you are discovering the peculiar pleasure of being an LDS woman, especially in Provo. There is so much cultural crap that gets thrown in your face. I know because I dealt with it, and I'm dealing with it to a certain extent now. Here are some things that I'm having to tell myself almost hourly right now:
1. The most important thing you can do today is love your husband and then your child. Everything else is secondary.
2. Try to see at least some of the things on your list as serving a dual purpose. When you clean or cook, you are serving Tyson and William. When you blog, you are creating a family history of your family.
3. You are, always have been, and always will be beautiful. I know how easy it is to look at other people who are skinnier, have nicer hair, wear nicer clothes, and all of that and feel like a frumpy doorstop next to them. Oh how I know that! But remember that line from that one son in "Prince of Egypt" (assuming you've seen, since I think we got the video from your family!): "See yourself through heaven's eyes." And if that's too hard, just spend a minute looking into William's eyes. That's pretty close to heaven and to him, you are the most beautiful thing that ever walked the planet.
4. You may be depressed. Like, not just having a bad day or a bad run of days, but really, truly depressed. I know it's somewhat taboo in the family to acknowledge that "pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" isn't always the answer. But it's not always the answer, and seeking help is not bad. BYU has some great resources. Take advantage of the chance to just talk to someone. Sometimes a few minutes with a disinterested person (and you know I mean someone who isn't so close to the situation) is all it takes to give you clarity.
5. Most important of all, Neesie, remember that so many people love you and are praying for you and your family. Being married and being a mom is hard. You are an amazing, strong woman. And you are a daughter of God. You are destined to succeed. Hang in there! Love you so much!!

Kate Curtis said...

I agree with Kelcy, society tells you that you have to do all those things. You are trying your best and that is ALL that matters. I am sorry William has been hard at night. Hopefully he'll get better through the night. But as long as your family is fed and they know they are loved is ALL that matters. I often think about little babies and I pray every night that babies everywhere will feel loved. Loving your family is all that matters. You're more beautiful and stronger than you know. God loves you, your family loves you, your friends love you... regardless of how much canning or blogging you do!

Tiffany said...

Please remember there is a time and season for everything. That is probably the best advice I've received as an overwhelmed mom! Maybe you can't do everything on your list and that's okay. Your season now is having a husband in school and you are a working mom of a baby. Expecting yourself to do everything on your list will only make you more stressed. It is absolutely okay to let some things go. What you're doing already, just taking care of your family, makes you awesome! There will be time when William is older to delve into that family history and make your gourmet meals and have an immaculate house. You are amazing, never forget that!

Laura Hayes said...

Denise, I'm really sorry to hear life has been so rough for you lately. I whole-heartedly agree with the statements from the previous posts, but thought I'd share a few more. :) I obviously don't know the details of your life, but I can promise you that if you make the time to pray and read your scriptures daily (even if all you can fit in is a verse), your love for yourself will swell, because you will better be able to feel God's love for YOU. Prayer is especially so, so crucial, and there's really no way you can accomplish what you need to do without the Lord's help and guidance. To save on money and time, you could exercise at home doing aerobics. I do zumba and aerobics dvds at home, and William would probably love watching you! You could also exercise by taking William for walks, or going on hikes as a family. And I'm curious, why is William up til 4 or 5? Figuring out what's causing his sleep trouble and getting it fixed would GREATLY take out a big chunk of negativity and stress in your life, I guarantee it. It would also cure his daytime fussiness, so those chores and dinner-making could get done. When I'm feeling overwhelmed by my list of to-do's I always remember "good, better, best." Put what's most important first, and all other things will fall into their proper place and time. Remember how much you are loved. William does not care one bit how you look. He loves you because you're his mother and he thinks you are perfect just the way you are!

Pulido's said...

Hey Denise, don't feel so overwhelmed. Just remember that if you get the important spiritual things in each day and make time for your family then you will be happy. I felt the same way with so much going on and I had to be reminded to just take a step back and breathe. The chores will get done, the family won't starve, and things always come together somehow if you just put family first and most importantly...make YOURSELF happy. It truly is amazing how if you do that first, then everything else just falls into place.