Am I Still a Person?

Robyn - posted on 07/20/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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So I'm a 35 year old mother of three, ages 10, 7 and 3. I homeschool my kids and co-run a home business ( we live on a vegetable farm ). My life has been totally consumed with kids, housework, cooking, cleaning and work for 10+ years now - you know, the general servitude of being Mom - and I think I am starting to crack under the strain of all the demands. I have no personal space, nowhere and nothing that is just "mine" and the very limited time I get alone is usually swamped with running errands. My other mom friends are just as busy as I am, and none of us has much time to go out together or even chat on the phone. My partner and I are rarely in the same room together for anything besides eating dinner and sleeping, let alone ever having time to go on a date, and sex is virtually non-existent.

I feel like my life is over. I feel like I died 10 years ago and have been lingering on in purgatory of diapers and dishes ever since. I feel like I can't breathe, like I'm suffocating under the weight of everything that I have to do for everyone else in my life, while no one is doing anything for me. Am i still here? Am i even a person anymore?

I feel, more and more, overwhelmed with tension, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and anger. I lay awake at night, surrounded by my sleeping family, and I weep pathetically, mourning for my dead former self. What I want, more than anything, is to just bail - hop in the car and never look back. But of course that is just a fantasy, I could never leave them. I love them too much and they need me. But ...how am I supposed to deal with these feelings?

Do you ever feel like this? How do you deal with it?

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I'm new to motherhood, barely three years in with my first. I have two now, but I know this feeling. I think all good mother's feel this way because we go through so much as moms. I wake up, take a shower, get my babies give them bathes, get them to the nanny, go to school (for nursing), come home put them down for a nap, study and do homework, wake them up, feed them, clean the house, run the errands, grocery shop, come home, cook, feed the kids get them in the bath...it's just on and on and endlessly repetitive.
I used to wake up and go to work, get off and have the freedom to do whatever I want. I used to be able to go anywhere I wanted and not have to worry about three other people's comfort level. It's just as mom's we have so many responsibilities they can get so overwhelming.
You should seek the help of a therapist. Someone that you can go talk to and get away from the chaos of your house. Try to make time for yourself, I know that's easier said than done. Try to make date nights with your spouse. Take up a new hobby in your spare moments. I feel for you and wish you the best of luck! We are still people beyond just MOM. I know now exactly how my mother felt.

Lori - posted on 07/20/2014

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I think you are stuck in the here and now, not realizing that this is only temporary. I now have two adult children and wonder where the time went and am grateful for even the times when I thought I was going to lose my mind.

you have to keep your eye on the "end of the tunnel" and know there is a light. look for the good in everyday mundane tasks and rejoice that you have three happy healthy children who probably adore you as their mother.

you can mourn the loss of your former self but you will never get her back - we change and we are different people as time goes by.

that said, if it really is TOO overwhelming, you may want to contact your physician and be sure you are not suffering from a form of depression as well.

Lori - posted on 07/20/2014

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It sounds like you are incredibly busy. But it also sounds like you REALLY REALLY need some time to yourself. Can your hubby watch the kids for a few hours on a weekend once a month or so? Then you spend the time doing "non work". It's very hard to get into the habit of doing something for yourself when there is always so much that needs to be done, and kids, and husbands have so many needs. But I personally have found that when I start having fantasies of running away, it's time for a break. Sometimes an hour is all I need before I want to go back home again, other times it's a few hours. I find when months and months have passed without me having ANY time to myself I start to go a bit crazy. Depending on what you like to do, and your financial situation, you plan to do something fun for yourself. It can be as simple and free as taking walk all by yourself, or going out for a cup of coffee either by yourself or with a grown up friend, or going to see a movie, or a local play (my personal favorite), bring a book to a coffee shop and read, or go to a book store and read there. There are tons of things you can do… but you can't expect anyone else to say "hey you need a break, let me watch the kids for you" You have to tell them "hey I need a break, when can you watch the kids for me"

As far as time with your spouse - that can be tricky depending on his schedule, your schedule, kids schedules, etc. And if you don't have a relative or a babysitter who can watch them for you it's very hard to spend time together when there's always so much to do. If you can afford it, hire a babysitter and go out for an evening with your hubby. If not, maybe after the kids go to bed the two of you can plan one evening to actually spend some time together. Turn off the TV, have a late dinner together, or a snack, or just hang out together for a bit without doing any work and without the kids awake to interrupt.

If you can make time to take care of YOU, then you will be much better able to take care of those around you.

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