A good friend of mine recently downloaded the audible book "Girl, Wash your face" by 'Rachel Hollis' and called to tell me that I had to read this book. Crazy enough - a month later I bought the book and I'm through the entry and the first four chapters.
I struggle with keeping it all together. I am having a hard time balancing cleaning the house, taking care of kids and staying on top of everything else. I never get a break.. and at times that causes chaois in the home. The husband can relax and just lounge around all weekend. HE can play with the kids at his leisure and 80% of the time he takes the easy tasks. Don't get me wrong feeding and changing the baby is very helpful but I'd rather he change out the dishwasher and the washer/dryer while I feed the baby. While he is making our kids scream in delight and giggle.. I'm making dinner and missing out on the fun and y'all that makes me a little bitter. Please don't take this as an intro to "count the ways I hate my husband" because that is far from what I'm saying. In addition to never feeling like I get a break.. I have a tendency to compare myself and make myself feel lesser then. Like "how can Susie's house look so perfect all the time? She has three kids.. I have three kids.. my house looks nothing like Susie's. What is is she doing that I am not?" This very question passes through my head more then 100x a day and makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong.
In Chapter 1; pg 4 of this book she says "I want you to understand, my sweet, precious friend, that we are all falling short.""We live in a all or nothing society that says I need to look, act, think and speak perfectly or just throw in the towel and stop trying all together." here is the part that made me literally break down... "some of you feel so overwhelmed by your life that you've given up. You're a piece of jetsam being tugged along with the tide. It feels too hard to keep up with the game, so you've quit playing. Oh, sure you're still here. You still show up for work, you still make dinner and take care of your kids but you're always playing catch-up. You always feel behind and overwhelmed." <-- nail on the head this is exactly how I feel. Pg 5 goes on to say that "this is your life. You are meant to be the hero of your own story." "When I say I'm unhappy, I mean discontented, unsettled, frustrated, angry - any number of emotions that make us want to hide from our lives instead of embracing them with arms wide open like a Creed song."
I wanted to jump up & down with a big neon flashing sign and say "YESSS! This is exactly how I feel right now!" This! I wrote my friend and started saying exactly what I just typed above.. because I have never heard anyone else say this. It was so liberating to know someone else feels this way. Let't be honest - all social media is snipets of things that have made us happy that we want to share. People don't get on social media share a picture of their kitchen with dishes stacked up, piles of crap on the counters and laundry on the floor and say.. "I just can't today folks.. I'm just gonna play with my kids in the backyard".. because we'd get ridiculed right and left.. be called everything from lazy to bad parents.. because we are so quick to judge what we don't know. You don't know what I go through but you do know I have three small kids. You know I love them more then anything and fought to have them but you don't know that I struggle daily. I struggle with making daily 'to do lists' that never get completed, I struggle with feeling alone and isolated. I struggle with not having a tribe to ask for help and I struggle for the mom shaming that comes with asking for help. I mean heaven forbid I ask someone to watch my kids so I can get a break or just take ONE to the Dr without taking all 3. As one person told me.. I chose to have three kids so I should take the responsibility and take care of them and not expect other people to step in and help. Umm so that told me 2 things.. she wasn't someone I wanted in my inner circle and she was wrong. She is wrong in the fact that I don't expect help but it would be nice when I do ask. I don't expect you to clear your schedule to help me but I don't appreciate you sending me the link to 'care.com' either.
At the end of the chapter it says: (PG 8) "You become who you surround yourself with. You become what you consume. If you find yourself in a slump or feel as though you're living in a negative space, take a good hard look at who and what you see every day."... ton of bricks.. there is just one problem.. I'm surrounded by my messy house and my kids. The kids bring me joy and my house gives me heart palpatations (slightly joking). My husband doesn't help me the way that I need but he does help me. My brother & SIL aren't expected to help but it's nice when they do. So it has to be the 'what' portion of this passage more then the 'who'. So I decided to limit my interactions on facebook and instagram.. maybe that will help the comparisons of others. Also on a passive aggressive note.. it's not like anyone talks to me anyway. Three or Four people tag me, comment or simply reach out to me anyway. It's not like me staying off facebook would change any interactions.. so again.. I feel very alone. I also think that I need a new facebook circle all together because I shouldn't feel this alone with 124 'friends'. I thought having kids would make me become more included but actually it's make me more isolated. Crazy.
I love my kids, I love my husband but things get overwhelming at moments. It would be nice to have a tribe to go to for strength and support. It would be nice to be able to get help when I need it and not feel so strapped. She is right in the fact that this is my life and I need to be my own hero in my own story.
I hope you join me in reading this book, i hope this helps others jump in a share their feelings... and just maybe it will create a cool little tribe for us to go through this together.. i dunno... maybe.
Chapter 2&3 tomorrow.