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When Self Help Reaches the End of Its Rope

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It’s day 15 of what feels like nonstop crying.  My once angelic baby has turned into someone I don’t recognize.  He’s fighting sleep every single time I lay him down, which equates to 3 (if I’m lucky) to 5 times a day in which he cries and tantrums when he’s exhausted and each time my patience becomes less and less.

 

My suitcase still needs to be unpacked after a 10 day trip to visit my family.  Laundry needs to be done.  My dog has chewed up the fifth pair of panties in the past 3 three days because we can’t remember to keep the closet door closed.  I’ve lost more sleep than I can count the past few weeks from being up for hours with an inconsolable child who’s in pain from teething.

 

I burned a pot of quinoa last night while trying to get dinner ready and the child bathed before my husband got home because he’s been more stressed than usual.

 

I want to walk around my house screaming “what the fuck?” while the baby cries and my dog pouts and clothes are piled up in the corner. I want to slam doors and cry in my closet as I hear a voice in the back of my mind tell me, “he can’t help it, he’s in pain, you shouldn’t be getting this upset, it’s your fault you aren’t putting your panties somewhere she can’t get them, why aren’t you making time to unpack your suitcase and get organized, when are you going to get back to writing your book?”

And I want to scream again.  Because I feel out of control.  My breath feels shallow and my chest feels tight and tears keep welling up in my eyes.  Why does it feel like motherhood is getting harder?  What happened to my zen like state, patience for days, and overall easy going approach?  Why does it feel like everything is all of the sudden falling apart?

I’ve spent the past three weeks out of my routine and the past two weeks away from my husband.  I can feel the strain on our marriage as his stress increases and I try and take more off his plate so he doesn’t feel it as strongly.

There are more and more days when I want to be away from my kid.  I just want to scream and cry and complain and wallow and I feel shameful for all of it because all the self-help sayings echo in my mind to just let it go, surrender, take deep breaths but that doesn’t leave any room for what’s really happening – the very real demands of trying to mother and wife and dream and do while not losing your cool.

I’m not immune to it.  As much as I’d like to be, I’m not.  As much as I’d like to think that all the self-help I’ve bathed in the past ten years would save me from real life stress and the messiness of life, it doesn’t.  It can’t.  And I’m left with finding my enoughness in all of it.

I know it’s ok.  And I know all the self-help tools to shift my mood and blah, blah, blah, but sometimes you need to be angry.  You need to yell.  You need to slam a door.  You need to let the emotion move through you and acknowledge that sometimes life feels hard even though you know it’s as hard as you make it.

I have limits to my patience, limits to how much stress I can take, limits to staying positive when it feels as though life is crashing all around me.  We all have limits.  I’ve reached mine today.

So, yes, I’ll take some deep breaths, get back to my mantras, surrender it and let it go.  And I’ll also yell and scream “what the fuck?” while walking around my house and cry in my closet and stomp my feet like a two year old that it’s hard and it sucks and I don’t like the way this feels.  And I’ll start again in an hour.

I’ll start again and again for as long as it takes and realize that this thing called life and motherhood and marriage and dreams takes a lot to maintain sometimes.  I usually do okay with all of it and sometimes I lose my shit.

It’s all okay.  All of it.  And all I really want to hear is “me too”.  You know?

  • Tinesha Hill March 23, 2017, 1:12 am

    This is really awesome & so many women can relate, even myself. Thanks for sharing, it’s nice to know someone else is experiencing some of the same struggles I face. You have a true gift so please keep writing and be encouraged!!

    • Megan Hale March 23, 2017, 1:30 am

      Thanks, girlfriend! Today has been a big day of “me too’s”, which always helps to know you aren’t alone. We all have those day, right?! Or hours, really :) We start again tomorrow <3

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