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August 30, 2005


Hey mate, hang in there! I was reading your post today and thinking, yeah that's just how I feel. You have described it exactly. I bet lots of other Mums feel the same. I don't even work and I feel like I don't have enough time to be the type of Mum I want to be. We lived away from family too so I know how that is and also finding the time for your hobbies is so important {keeps me sane and happy}.When it all gets a bit too much{like now}I just try keep it all in perspective and have to think to myself ,this is what I've always wanted to do,it only lasts for a little while and I should relax a bit and enjoy it. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves. Our kids still love us and think we are the best thing in the world no matter what we do to them.
ps nice photo!

First of all, I love your freckles! I really appreciate you writing this post. There are really no answers or solutions to this modern-mommy angst. That you ask yourself these questions is a reflection of what a dedicated parent you are. I do try to remind myself that it is a gift to my children to stop what I am doing, quiet the nagging worries in my mind, and really be present for them. However, it is also my responsibility to show them how to be true to themselves and their interests and desires; that being a woman and a mom is more than just serving and caring for others.

My husband and I want to model a healthy partner relationship for our kids, but, we too, struggle to find the time to be together. We've had some luck with trading childcare with other families, or just designating an evening once a week when we have an at home "date" after the kids go to bed (with special food and cocktails). Anyway, my thoughts are with you as you struggle with this! Those gut-busting laughs do make it all good, don't they?

Great self-portrait. I wouldn't worry about the eyebrows, though. (But then I haven't done mine for over 20 years after I spent three months working on a campsite where it just seemed irrelevant. Now it hurts too much.)

It's really hard finding the right balance when you have children. I think you've articulated the feelings so many of us have brilliantly. I had my three in Germany & Belgium so there was no family help at all. Even though we were exhausted we tried to get a babysitter once a fortnight so we could go out to eat. Usually we were back after about an hour - tired and ready to sleep, but having had some time to talk. And the children barely noticed our absences.

I simply gave up with any hobbies when I had three under three (except for a little knitting when they were in bed) but, I can promise you, it does get easier. Having said that, we're just about to enter the teenage years - a whole new world of angst and emotion and hormones. But I'll fight my corner and do my best to keep something back for me and Simon.

amen kelly! i think we are living in such a fortunate time, where we can have a home, a job and a family and for the most part juggle it all. but by far the most fortunate aspect of it all is that we can be honest with ourselves and ask questions and get help and advice from one another. we arent expected to bottle everything in, grin, tie on that ruffly apron and make the house perfect. thank goodness! i love stephanies idea of having a date night after the kids go to bed. david and i just had our seven year anniversary and we look back an marvel at all that has happened. we dont have very much time together, especially with david being a writer, meaning that he works around the clock. but making making a point to carve out even a half hour to talk about adult things, have a cup of coffee together, argue about the finer points of some movie, makes such a difference. even if that half an hour is in the dark, in bed, talking like old friends at summer camp. i was completely taken by surprise a few weeks ago when we were having one of our in the dark talks and david told me that his real reason for working so hard was so that we could have more time together in the future as a family! i say, enjoy the moments that you can, gut-busting laughs and all.

ps. loving those blue eyes as only a brown-eyed girl can...

Hey Kelly...
Your secret pal is calling to you...


Nice picture, by the way!!

Kelly. There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said in the previous posts, but I will impart what few bits of mommy perspective I have. I too celebrated my 7th year wedding anniversary earlier this month. What's really funny is that both Marshall and I had completely gotten the date wrong and no one was in the doghouse.
Emily is three now and my daily struggle is trying to carve out some sane space for myself so that I can be a good mommy and wife. I hate dropping Em off at daycare, but I also know that I'm no good as a 24 hour mom. I've tried...I'm no good. So I work 4 days a week (no matter how guilty I feel about leaving projects undone, half finished or when something is due) at jobs that allow me to go in at 10 am and leave at 5:30 pm. I sacrifice part of my work ethic and quelch my inner workaholic to make sure that I can be home by dinner/shower/story/bath time. I don't know how many of those shared times I'll get so I do my best to remind myself that my little person won't always be little and I only get one shot at this with her.
I'm blessed with fantastic in-laws who live 4 hours away and enjoy having Emily for a week or two during the year and we try to visit one weekend a month. Emily LOVES being with granna and papa and Marshall and I LOVE the time together to bum around and just hang out.
We counter the estrangement parenting brings on by trying to keep interested in what the other is in to. He tolerantly looks at every project I show him and makes appropriate (or often times misguided innapropriate) comments and I do my best not to take them personally. I keep tabs on his industry and try to engage him in conversation about the latest advances. We both try to tune in to NPR during the day so that we have outside stuff to talk about with eachother and debating politics, religion, media, and the merits of pizza vs. hot dogs for dinner helps us learn more about each other. We treat eachother as best friends and not just odd strangers who climb into bed together at night. We also play computer/video games together, which makes for some serious hilarity.
We also try to have our conversations in front of Emily and with Emily so that she sees what our marriage looks like. We are ok with disagreeing in front of her because there's usually no heat to them, and when there is she also sees us find ways to alleviate the anger and appologise. We treat Em like an adult and don't pander to her. I remind myself daily that my job as a mom is not to be her friend, but to raise her to be a good person, even if that means sacrificing brownie points. Sometimes these things work, and sometimes I wonder if anyone even notices the efforts I make. I guess I won't really find out until Emily has a child of her own. Good luck and hang in there Kelly, it seems like you're doing just fine. Or at least we're all in this together in the same boat, juggling the same balls. It's nice to know that I've got company in this three ring circus.

Dig the specs by the way.

just a note to say that i hear you, as i did with stephanie's post...i can't really add to what everyone else has said so well. i have almost always worked at home (writing), and it has been quite an adjustment, no longer being "in control" of my day. my husband works awful hours, and we are both exhausted at the end of the day. and crafting right now is usually relegated to about 1/2 hour or so in the evening...though i'm thinking about it all of the time!
during the tougher mommy times, i try to remind myself that those moments really are temporary, and the beautiful ones are priceless. sometimes even that's hard, though, and i just try to keep going until the next day. and inevitably, a blessing comes along.

thanks for the post; it really helps to know that there are people struggling with these same issues.

i am definitely in the same boat. my hubby is trying to finish school and works p/t at night. i work f/t days and am trying to eek out my degree as well as try to find time to craft (usually i spend more time dreaming of projects as opposed to making them). date night?! ha! wishful thinking!!! we are resigned to the fact that this is a tough time but we express our love through laughs when together and emails when apart. judging from the response, at least we aren't alone in our wish for more quality time in our lives! my best advice is to let little bits of housework go in order to spend more time with the ones you love.

It's interesting how posts about the challenges of being a mother/wife/individual really seem to speak to everyone and draw such long and intense comments! I share many of the same feelings you've expressed. I would recommend spending a little money on a babysitter one weekend evening each weekend, after the kids are in bed, just so you and your husband can spend some time together as grown-ups. It really does make a difference!

OMG! I was just thinking about Six Feet Under, when Ruth tells Brenda that motherhood is the loneliest job.
My husband and I haven't even been married a year, yet. (I was a bit pregnant for our wedding) It seems like we were a couple for a short time, and then BOOM we were parents. Our family lives out-of-state as well, so we depend on the kindness of friends if we want to have date nights. Which we have had, ONCE.
And now I have to decided whether to go back to work (and miss my son's first steps/words) to a job I don't even care for. Or should I go back to school? These thoughts keep me awake at night.
Glad I'm not the only one who is thinking about these things right now. I'm just sorry I have no advice or wisdom to dole out.

Hi. I'm not sure I can add any more to what has been said already. You're not the only one going through this dilemma. I have 2 lil ones under 3 years old and 18 months apart. Hubby works out of town for 8 days a month. I don't have any family nearby (not consistently anyway).
My solution is to give quality time to everyone. Kids are obviously a high priority but I always make sure hubby has some quality time too (and its not just the s*x). A home date is always fun although it does sometimes get interupted. We also exercise together. And funnily enough, when he is out of town, we actually talk more on the telephone. Go figure.

I'm a little slow to respond, but wanted to say THANK YOU for your honest and wonderful post today. (Oh, and I love having a 'face' with your name when I think of you now! Even if it is just a gorgeous eye, ear, and half a nose! LOL!).

It's certainly clear that you're not alone on this journey and struggle to parent the way we think is best, while still remaining whole and intact as a person, let alone as partnership in marriage. In the hardest of times I try to remember the ebb and flow of it all--and that things get easier for a time, too, just when you need it. I hope that relief is coming your way soon. xoxo, amanda

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