The edge of the mommy apocalypse

My favorite time of year is when each season changes into the next.? However, I have the worst time with Summer into Autumn.? You would think this would be my favorite because Summer is my least favorite season and Autumn ranks right up there with Spring.? One would also assume that the person dealing with SAD would be at their lowest in Winter.? While it is true that January is not a good month for me, September is a close second.? It is that whole transition with day length and temperature change that gets me.

Last year I spent nearly the entire month of September in Russia.? It was the best September I have ever experienced simply because I was there to get my son.? This year is a little different.

This year I am dealing with my child growing up, potty training, trying to work (my piddly little 20 hours a month), start a web design “business*,” various and assorted church activities and throw in some fun time with my child.? It leaves little time for myself.? The weather change does not help matters.

I wake up every day and tell myself that I am going to be patient, kind and not yell.? I am not going to let the child push my buttons and I am going to take a more logical approach to parenting.? This typically gets me to at least lunch time.? Yesterday it got me through lunch, through nap, to the fabric store and nearly home before I lost it.

The boy informed me that he needed to go potty at the fabric store.? Great!? We went, he tried, but was preoccupied by the lady in the stall next to us .? Fine.? I’m not going to force him.? The fact that he will even step foot in a public restroom is a miracle.? So on the way home he tells me he wants to go potty at school.? Nevermind the fact that we are no where near his school, dinner wasn’t even started and he had to leave to go to music class in 20 minutes.? Throw in that I had the worst stomach cramps and thought I was going to die.? I discussed with my near 3 year old that he could try on the potty at school on Thursday when he went back, but for now we were going home.? Thus the screaming starts.

I calm him down just to have him start screaming again.? We get home, I get him to the potty because he says he has to go and he immediately tells me he wants to sit to go pee (he’s now going on the potty, but standing).? I put the potty seat on and sit him down, to which he begins the banshee scream.? For. no. reason.? I took him off the potty and tried to get him to put his pants on.? He threw his underpants at me.? This is where I lost my shit.? I dressed him, he’s still screaming.? I close his door and walk away.? Still screaming.? I then threw a hissy fit.? Not a shining moment in my parenting life.? But I did.? It stopped him from screaming.? I was so at my whits end that I sat on the kitchen floor and sobbed.? And sobbed.? And sobbed.

I calmed myself down to open my eyes to see how nasty my kitchen floor really was.? Which made me think that my housekeeping skills are seriously lacking.? Which made me start sobbing again.? 15 minutes later I pulled myself together enough to say goodbye to the boy as his father took him to music class and to start dinner.

At bed time the trusty husband told me that a friend request I call her about my own attendance in music.? I again lost it.? Those thoughts of, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a terrible friend, I need help but don’t want to be a burden to anyone, I’m a terrible wife started to seep in again.? It’s time.? The depression season is upon us.? I’m afraid I’m nearing the edge of the mommy apocalypse.

18 Comment

  1. Wendy says: Reply

    I have been there, in that place, so many times. It’s dark and scary and no fun. You deserve better. No one should be trapped in that place. It’s not a matter of shaking it off, pulling yourself up or snapping out of it. It is a chemically induced neurological imabalance. No one would tell a diabetic to snap out of it. This is the same. Have you tried photo therapy where you are treated with lights? (I know you have a loathing of pharmaceuticals)

    Huge hugs to you!

  2. Just for the record: My wife is an amazing person, loving mother and a great friend and wife. She may not see it in herself, but as a hisband I see it everyday and so does the boy. Don’t forget sweety that we all have bad days and times of frustration. I think the key is to not let them consume us and become the focus of the day. You do a great job and the smiling face of our son proves it. If you’re ever in doubt, just look at those beautiful blue eyes and remember how that spark was hidden from us just 1 year ago. I am proud of you, so be proud in yourself. Remember, I always love you.


  3. Jenny says: Reply

    I am soo right there with you. Every single day I say to myself, I am not going to yell and inevitably I do at least 1x (or am stern). If I can get through a day with no yelling, that really means it has been a good day.

    I have no advice other than try to let yourself be upset and just get through.

    And email if you need me.

  4. I, also, am right there with you. I have those sobbing meltdowns, too. But I think that my depression acts up most in the summer – when it’s too hot to get outside; all the other seasons lend themselves to outside time for us…but I do understand SAD.

    Anyway, it’s easy to beat yourself up…I do it to myself all the time, especially when I expect myself to be perfect. I will lose my temper a time or two, and then it seems like the day goes downhill from there. Fortunately, we’ve both got great, forgiving kids! And wonderful husbands who support us & tell us we’re great despite what we may think of ourselves. And remember, what CS said is right. You are a fabulous mother who is raising a fabulous (cute, witty, happy) kid.

  5. Jenny2 says: Reply

    I know about the changes you’re feeling in the weather … and this one caught me by surprise. Too fast for our bodies and souls to catch up. You’re smart to see the early warning signs and I hope you’re brewing your ass tea right now.

    Everyone is allowed their time on the floor crying… it’s not “pretty” perhaps, but it’s real. I’m sorry, but you’re comment about noticing the dirty floor WHILE having YOUR fit made me smile. I thought “she’s very observant even in times of stress.”

  6. I wake up every morning telling myself the same thing…I don’t even always make it to lunch so bravo to you!

    I have a feeling that you are an amazing mom…cut yourself some slack. We all have the sobbing on the kitchen floor (or in my case – in the shower) days. There are days my husband comes home from work and I have to tell him to take the girl and leave my sight. Then I hear her giggling with him after I’ve listened to 4 straight hours of whining and crying. That makes me feel like I must be an awful mom because he gets giggles and I get whining. Then instead of enjoying my 30 minutes alone, I alternate between guilt over not being a good enough mommy and the desire to join them rather then have some time alone so that I too can enjoy the giggles.

    This mommy shit is rough on the psyche.

  7. YOU ARE AN AWESOME MOTHER AND WIFE! Never forget that! Your family loves you for who you are, not how clean the house is. There’s nothing wrong with not keeping the house up when you need a break. Everyone does. Then we get better, and the house gets clean again. Until then, your family, who still loves you and loves you and loves you, can help out a little more.

    Just try to keep smiling (yes, I still say that!), and remember that this, too, will pass. Having a two-year old is one of the most challenging things we have ever taken on, but we’re almost through it! I hope that next winter I can come over and help you smile! Just keep strong, and do what you can. The rest really will get done when it needs to be done, and it’s ok for it to wait a while longer. Go out and take some time for yourself. We all need some pampering and alone time! Love you!

  8. Lena says: Reply

    Been there, done that, taking some happy pills for it.

    More personal support and advice on Saturday when we can hit the crap out of a few hundred golfballs.

    Big HUG in the meantime!

  9. D said it all.

  10. Go get a jug of wine…seriously, you’re a great mom, wife and friend. It’s easy to get caught up in all the crap and get overwhelmed. It just makes you human. Take one day at a time. That’s all we can do in this life…

  11. Mom says: Reply

    Everyone has meltdowns. Don’t let one bad moment reek havoc on your life. I too know you’re opposed to pharmaceuticals but am a firm believer that sometimes they’re needed. That little yellow pill that you so fear has been a God send to me. There was absolutely no change in who I was but the anxiety that I always felt was lifted. I discussed in great length with my Dr. the pros and cons and with her reassurance took the leap. I’m soooo glad I listened with open ears. Also worth mentioning here…. Motherhood is rewarding but at times VERY frustrating. Don’t confuse frustration with depression.

  12. chou2 says: Reply

    Elle – you are an AMAZING mom. And an amazing person.

    I really get you on the season thing (as a fellow SAD sufferer). But I gotta tell you, that post from the Trusty Husband is like a beacon of light – focus on it, because it’s full of truth and love.

    Wish I had me one of those!

  13. Lauri says: Reply

    I start my day with that same mantra & prayer…. perhaps we can start a prayer circle and throw a shut out for our fellow Mamas in the terrible two, trying threes cycle of parenting …. LOL

    Hang in there

  14. Okay first of all that comment from Capt Smartypants beats the pants off my husband encouraging me to go to a tailor. You win the best husband award hands down.

    Anyway – Im sorry you feel the lows so much harder this time of year. It sounds like you are aware of it, so who cares if you do a little (or a lot) of sobbing? You always pick yourself back up and continue on, so if sobbing gets you through, don’t worry about it! And hey, it did get him to stop screaming…maybe I should try the hissy fit approach….

  15. Rhonda says: Reply

    I loved D’s response. I’ve seen you parent Oleg and he is in good hands. That is one joyful, happy child. And a little sobbing never hurt anyone 😉

    I am sorry that things are tough right now. I know that everyone has meltdowns, but I am tending to agree with Wendy on this one. I don’t think its a matter that you just need to pull yourself out of this. Something doesn’t feel right, doesn’t sound like you.

    September’s over soon. Here’s to some brighter days. Oh, and the web design business? Very cool.

  16. Leggy says: Reply

    I’m sorry you are having a rough time of it- we all have our mommy moments. I’ve been pretty short with my older son lately because I’m just so friggin tired. I feel bad about it, but I have so little patience lately. But you are a great mom with a great kid- hang in there!

  17. Lauren says: Reply

    I am sorry things are not going perfectly for you right now. I loved your husband’s comments. That in itself is a great gift. I hope you feel better soon. September is almost done…

  18. […] wait… I also wanted to say I can relate to Elle’s hard day that she had this week. And to Rhonda’s frustration at the suggestion she […]

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