I wrote this post not too long ago. I feel exactly this way at times. When I'm in those dark times, I struggle terribly. I'm better now. Freer, relaxed, less frustrated and angry. I have found my breathing room.
I can't breathe. No, not physically. Mentally. I feel stifled. Stifled in this small apartment that's packed to the brim with 3 growing and changing people. Stifled in the kitchen that overheats the entire place, with its lack of adequate counter space for me to really do much, and the lighting is always off. I'm stifled in the way being at home all day, every day stifles one's mind and body.
It's not the place we call home necessarily. It's not the finances which I struggle to balance. It's not the one-vehicle family that we've become. But all of these things. Each of them collectively that wear me thin.
The inexperience of caring for Baby Boy day after day after day. The delicate balance between remaining sane for the sake of my family, the family I love dearly and didn't think I'd ever have. The figuring of our finances and debt we're now accumulating. The waiting. The unending tasks of caring for a family.
The waiting gets to me most. I'm getting impatient. My patience grows thinner and thinner for every circumstance that feels like I'm going in circles.
The little things get to me in the worst of ways - not being able to find something because it hasn't been put back or Baby Boy has decided it's a toy. The missing toys which I know are somewhere, yet I can't find them. The picking up of the toys which aren't missing, again and again and again and again. The constant following behind of someone. All day, every day, without end. The figuring out of a meal to feed my family. The constant of all these tasks together combining to define my days.
For all the knowledge I have, I know nothing about engaging a child all day, every day. Am I even supposed to engage him all day? Surely I'm not reading to him enough. He's still not talking clearly, what am I doing wrong? Why doesn't he vocalize the alphabet, we've been working on that since he was a month old? We don't play enough games, I'm sure. Our outside is relatively adventure-less, so what do I do with that? Why does he refuse to sign for milk? I've taught him that sign for the last 7 or 8 months. I'm filled with questions, doubts, and fears. Most of which I know answers to, but somehow don't suffice me in these times.
I don't like feeling this way. When I feel like this, nothing is going well. Or so my brain says. My stifled and bordering on depressed brain. It's hard to break loose on my own. I push others away with my darkness.
When I feel like this, I walk around wearing such a grim look. No matter the joy that's around me, my face is the embodiment of grim. My judgment is clouded. My outlook poor. I feel sick. This isn't really the life I chose. Or rather, this isn't what I envisioned the life I chose would be like. I didn't envision the utter desperation I'd feel, the fear that we're getting further behind without a chance of catching up. I didn't envision the struggle would be so great, so taxing on me. I didn't envision a life only rich in occasional experiences. Don't get me wrong, I didn't envision rainbows and butterflies every day. I envisioned more. More what I can't exactly tell you, but this, right now at this very moment, isn't it.
I have to snap out of it. No, I want to snap out of it. And, I will. Slowly. Slowly I'll climb out of the darkness off despair. Slowly I'll become more present, less angst-filled. Eventually, I'll break down. Slowly I'll begin to breathe again.
I'll be filled with wonder and joy at the sights and sounds of Baby Boy's play. The world won't be so dark and gray. My judgement won't be overshadowed by fear and angst. I'll see in Hun's eyes the reflection of admiration, appreciation, and love. I'll become re-acquainted with my confidence. I'll give grace to myself, to others. I'll let go of the unknown and the expectation of disaster. I'll live fully and embrace this wonderfully beautiful life I have today.
It starts by acknowledging where I'm at. And why. It'll end in me having a great time, enjoying the wonderful blessings that are my life. The life I've chosen and the life I wouldn't actually trade. So, here I am, acknowledging that, right now, this afternoon, things are rough.
Today won't be the last time this happens. It's certainly not the first. I'm sure no matter where I am, I'll occasionally feel suffocated, stifled. It's part of me. Sometimes it comes from comparison. Sometimes desire. Sometimes personal expectation. Sometimes exhaustion and lack of self-care. No matter where or what triggers it, it's always the same. What's different is how I manage it. So, right now I'm going to join my family for dinner at the tottoman (ottoman that's our table) and bask in the love that makes our family what it is.
Thank you for listening. Writing these feelings down and sharing them, is why I blog.
Read more from Life Breath Present
More from parenting