know your limits: Or how I became a screamer.

I am starting to realize my limits as a mother and it makes me sad. Yes, I realize we all have our limits, but I've found that mine are much (but I really mean extremely) smaller than what I would like.

Would I like to be prepared to go camping, have everything organized and ready and come home ready for a holiday on top of it all? Yes. Is this something I can do right now after two weeks of pink eye laundry and me getting horribly sick? No.  The just normal, every day demands of our house and kids right now feel like more than when Rodney was a baby, and boy was the first 18 months of his life hard. I have the pictures to prove it, but I have withheld them from the blog because I try and put my best foot forward. Maybe some day I'll cave and show you my real life.

Back to limits, they are small. And I keep trying to push them. And when I do push them, insisting that I can, in fact, be just like that other blogger mom or the one down the street, or my mom, or blah blah blah insert the blank... bad things happen. For example: screaming. I wasn't a screamer until the end of Rodneys' pregnancy. What's a screamer? A mom that screams. And trust me, it's not something a mom feels good about...ever.  I had never, nor even thought about, finding myself screaming.

 It was the end of the pregnancy, a hot Sunday morning, getting ready to head out the door to church (we were still consistently late back then) and Lucy sits down on the laundry room floor and starts to take off her tights. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I screamed. "There is something itchy in these tights!" She complained.  "YOU CANNOT TAKE THOSE OFF! GET IN THE CAR RIGHT NOW!" I screamed even louder.  Dear readers, this was my lowest of low points of motherhood. I could, not, stop. The screams just kept coming and coming, and I didn't even know what I was saying. Literally, it was almost like an out of body experience. I sat there watching this horrible mom, screaming at her kid, the one kid, by the way, who cannot handle being screamed out (this is something i now know).

And this black crud of a muck washed all over my brain and I felt like dying right there and then. I am never doing that ever again.  I declared. HOw many times have I said that? I am never letting the fridge get this disgusting,get this behind in laundry, let the car get so filthy, be this late to church  etc etc etc.

Well, insert new baby, broken a/c on SUV and a nice whopping dose of post partum-depression and the screaming was a constant. I couldn't control it, the medication definitely helped ease it up, a TON, but it was still there in dire circumstances.

Now, with the help of prayer and simplifying my life, a little more organization and mt.everest amount of more cleanliness, the screaming has abated. But boy, catch me on a whopper of a day, and someone does something stupid, it just pops out. OH! I hate it.

So my limits get smaller and smaller. As of today I cannot handle:
...staying out later than 7pm at special events with the kids.
... traveling on holiday weekends.
...doing more than one small project a week.
... not getting quiet time every day to read/nap.
...not having the kids ready and in bed by 7
...getting behind on the cleaning
...not having my meal schedule done
...not dancing every other day at least
...not reading my scriptures every day
...not sincerely praying
...entertaining people more than once a month
...making intricate meals
...phoebe not napping two days in a row

What are your limits? Last week I looked out my bedroom window at the beautiful cottonwood leaves rustling and cried (and I NEVER cry) because I've always wanted 6 kids, and I said out loud. "I've reached my limit". Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, things will change in a few years!"  And I know they mean well, but I don't want things to change.  Heaven help me, a mormon mom that doesn't want more kids. As my mother would say, I'm going to Hell in a handbasket for sure.


Meja, Cory and the girls said...

Two kids, a full time job and running...I've hit my limit!

Meja, Cory and the girls said...

P.S. Don't check out my blog because I don't have one. I made a couple of entries at the beginning of the last two years and then quit. I know my limits!

Jed Wheeler Family said...

My limits...
I don't have to feel bad when I'm not the perfect me I envisioned when I was STUPID (unrealistic)and pre-married and kid-less. AND I don't have to feel bad when I can't juggle all my roles at once.
One. step. at. a. time.

stephanie said...

Mormon moms of "only" four kids unite! ;)

We all have our limits, and the fact that you recognize yours makes you ahead of the game, I think.

Anonymous said...

At least you recognize your limits and admit to them. I'm still trying to figure mine out and realize that I have them.

Rose said...

I started yelling when I was pregnant with number 2, and now pregnant with number 3 I've screamed a couple times and feel TERRIBLE about it. I was not raised with that example -- my mom had 7 kids (we're Catholic) and is as cool as a cucumber, and even when I could tell she was upset or overwhelmed she wouldn't take it out on us like I find myself doing. I'm glad to hear from someone else that you've found yourself in that situation. I feel like we've hit our limit, at least for now, and I think that's the key -- I won't close my mind or heart to what God wants of me, but I'll do what I can to give myself a break after this next one for everyone's sake, and to learn my limits and triggers and what I need to do to keep myself sane (for me it's also teaching dance). Thanks for always keeping it real :-)

Whitney Baldwin said...

I have so much I could say in response to this, but right now I am too brain dead to come up with anything coherent. So for now, just a big THANK YOU.

turleybenson said...

Four kids sounds like a billion to me, so I saw good for you! And it's soooo important to know your limits! (still deciding whether 2 kids is mine)

Tara : Damon : Ellis : Hudson said...

i love this post so much i've reread it a few times... this is so me. i hate that i scream at my son (a 2 year old! jeez!) but i have many of the same limits- if they don't both take a nap at the same time (i have a 7 month old too) and i don't get a break to read blogs. the baby waking multiple times a night till he was over 6 months old. not getting to leave the house for a few hours once or twice a week. so many others, but don't want this to be a novel. we are moving in 2 months and i cannot wait to start up your cleaning schedule idea. i know it will help me have a happier home.

Tara : Damon : Ellis : Hudson said...

oh yeah, and a few months ago i said we'd only have these 2. now i think we will top out at 4 max. i always wanted 6 or 7. kinda sad, but i want to be a happy mom. we'll see how it goes. mormon mom misfit here too! =)

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