A long December

“A long December and there’s reason to believe 
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving 
Oh the days go by so fast”

-Counting Crows

Days like today I get a little down. It’s rainy, it’s chilly, we’re all fighting off some sort of allergy or cold and we’re all a little moody.

I walk through the halls over and over again chasing after one kid or another and barking at them to pick up something that they inevitably will drop again or leave in another annoying location. I feel as if it will never be clean.

I look at the playroom and see boxes of hand-me-down clothes that I sorted through and won’t use, because I got 10 boxes and Audrey’s drawers are only so deep. Where will I put them? Give them away? Give them back?

The dining room needs a fresh coat of paint. Aside from the fact that I should invest stock in Magic Erasers, they can only take off so much crud before it takes off a layer or two of paint with it. But the last time I painted the room, Matt got frustrated with me because I slopped a lot of it on the ceiling.

What do you expect when I have to hurry to get it done because I have a thousand kids? Sure, sure. I should wait until I have time. But when is that time exactly? Where is it that I can dedicate a solid two hours of paint time so I can get perfect edges? Clean lines? No mess on the floor? I guess I could finally get around to figuring out how to install crown molding. That’s been on my bucket list for … how long have we lived here? Seven years? OK, seven years.

And then I sit in the quiet nursery with Audrey laying on me, asleep, where I think about where I was this time last year.

Oh yes. I was done having kids.

Now, I wouldn’t trade Audrey in for anything. She is absolutely fantastic and I love her to pieces. But again, a year ago, I was almost to the point where I could do things. Leave the house without it being a giant hullabaloo. Perhaps NOT be in the house during the afternoon hours. Not have to physically strap a kid to me just to get to the grocery store, and if I forgot something while shopping, I could easily go and get it.

Does bringing four kids into a grocery store at four in the afternoon for a can of beans sound like fun to you?

And I know I could put my kids in preschool and such, but for me, personally it’s A.) a nuisance having to pick up kids at various hours depending on age and nap times, B.) they have the rest of their lives to be in school if they so choose, and C.) I’m cheap.

 

I’ve been cranky lately. It’s no one’s fault but my own. Partly because having an infant around makes me lazy. Where can we go when she has to nap in an hour? If she doesn’t get her nap, then she’ll be cranky for the daycare ladies when I teach. Walking around the neighborhood is boring. The kids are having too much fun building Legos and I got over that excitement a month ago. Maelie wants to go to the playground. Luca wants to build. Claire wants to bike. Audrey wants to sleep.

But then I notice the female cardinal perched on the ceiling fan outside on the deck from the silence of the house. She’s just sitting there. Enjoying her view and cover from the rain. It can be that simple.

I’ve tried long and hard to figure out what my malfunction has been lately. Why am I so annoyed by every other blogger coming out with these long winded tales of how they’re good parents despite the fact that they aren’t doing it to some code that I missed? It’s a long winded tale of truth, yes, but we get it. I get it. I’m there with you. Slogging through the muck. Wishing days away. Praying for nap time or bed time or Matt comes home time. For what? Why? Is there something I could do better with my time?

I looked back at some old videos from when it was just Claire and me. Simpler times. Times before I blogged, before I used facebook. When I had no idea half the time where I left my cell phone and could care less. When we would go for long walks and drives to Clarion to see my mom. When I made time for others. I used to get my hair done professionally and I’d even indulge in a sending Claire to my mom’s overnight so I could enjoy time to myself.

But who wants to take four kids at once? And when I’m sitting for the tenth time today breastfeeding, what am I supposed to do with my time? I look up races I’d love to take part in, but then realize that it’s a stupid idea because I hate asking someone to watch the kids at 6 AM just so I can pay to run. And days like today when it’s cold, rainy and we’re all a little off from feeling coldish, facebook is the only view into the outside world that I’ll get.

I consider often deactivating my account and getting rid of my iPhone thinking that’s the reason why I’m feeling this way. Then I think about what I’d do instead. Would I instantly want to hang out with my kids more than I already do? Probably not. They’re older now and like playing with each other and I have to let them. It’s been my mantra since Claire was a wee one that I was going to let them figure out how to function in society without me being there with them every second of the way. As morbid as it sounds, if I were to die tomorrow, I’d like to know that my kids will have each other and truly love each others’ company. Growing up with a single mom who had to work a lot to get by, Carly and I relied on each other for friendship and for that I’m thankful. She’s still the one person I can always rely on no matter what. I want that for my kids. So I facilitate that.

Will getting rid of facebook make me feel less isolated? Heck no. More than posting, I love when other people post. I love Instagram for the actual views into other people’s lives. I love Vine to see it in motion. It makes me happy to see how other people spend their days and know that I’m not alone or that I’m at least not doing it all wrong.

Sure, I’m grateful that I get to stay home with the kids and feel as if I’m in control of how they’re being molded. I’m very fortunate for that. I’m also super fortunate that Matt absolutely loves his job so I feel no guilt bringing in less than him by a million. True fact: every year when I do the tax returns we both giggle at my income versus his. I’ve jokingly called it the “Wow, that’s sad” income. But then Matt brings up some sort of article he read once where it said that if SAHM actually got paid hourly, we’d make 115 dollars an hour or something of the like.

And no, I don’t find the whole getting paid in hugs and kisses a cute term.

Gosh that felt good to vent. By this time next year I’ll be back at it with older kids. Claire will be finishing her first year of school, Luca will be about to enter Kindergarten and Mae and Audrey will be a little bit bigger. And who knows, Mae might even listen to me a bit better.

“And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass.”

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on June 6, 2013, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I think this is a really beautiful post and I get it. I think that was part of the reason for my PPD spiral after Sarah. That’s also why I fell headlong into reading again. I know reading isn’t everyone’s thing, but it was a great escape from reality for a while and I truly believe it was the thread that kept me holding on to my sanity.

    I often think about what having a second one is going to mean. How I’ve gotten Sarah to this independent point and how I’m about to start all over again. Sometimes it’s really exciting, sometimes terrifying, sometimes even a little sad.

    Of course I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything, but it’s nice to keep those “escapes” no matter what form they take.

    • And it’s so true, Jess. It is a little sad. I’m not going to lie, the thought of being pregnant again literally makes me nauseous. I guess that’s a good sign I’m actually happy with the fact that I’m done having kids.

      Thank you for this.

    • I can testify that independent kids are great. I have exactly one (Flora), and even sometimes she’s too cranky to do it herself. Kate stays glued to me (or someone, anyone, that girl!), and M thinks he’s independent, but he’s not.

      I’ve been fascinated by my children getting older. Because it’s getting easier. (Mostly.) And more interesting (TOTALLY!). But, yeah, they don’t say “down in the trenches” for nothing. Even watch a war movie when they are in trenches? Can’t even see the sky.

  2. Oh man did I want to stay in bed and sleep in on dark morning like today. Especially after suffering through the entire debacle last night that shall not be spoken of.

    It’s interesting. I sometimes get equally melancholy thinking of how I have to get back on the treadmill of work every day, giving one-third of my life to something I really don’t care that much about. And spend an hour-and-a-half in the car getting there and back. It just feels like I’m going through the motions and wasting my life when I should be doing something much more “important.” On days like today, I’d much rather stay at home.

    Perspective is a bitch.

    • It is a bitch. And we all have reason to complain. Sometimes the day to day is just so…gross. But you look back at 9 o’clock and realize the day wasn’t that bad. But in the thick of it? Yah, sucky.

  3. You vent whenever you want and we are here to listen. You have so many things on your hands and you are doing a mighty fine job. And with every job come the days when you wish for it all to be different. Why should it not be that way with yours of staying at home and raising four kids?
    And those rainy, dark, chilly mornings so often make me want to stay in bed all day long and whatever forces me to get up makes me moody and sad – be it work or people or whatever…

    • I often wonder if I could do something better. If I’m missing something. Because on days where we kind of stare at each other, I think there has to be something more. This is when I’d love to be a fly on the wall at anyone who stays at home with their kids all day. Just to gain a new perspective.

  4. All things pass. And that’s the good news, and the bad news.

  5. Tuesday Gouch

    Wow, thanks for this post…I can relate to it in so many ways. Michael’s car is in the shop and he has been using my truck for the past week. So home bound I have been with a 9mo and a 3.5y/o. And I was a bit cranky today as well b/c of the rain and not being able to go anywhere and Michael worked a double shift. boooo Being a stay at home mom has it’s interesting days!! And today was one of them for me… lol

    So please keep venting..Reading your post makes others no that there not alone.. You’re an awesome mom Cassie!!! Just keep telling yourself that!! 🙂

    ~tues

    • It’s so nice to know I’m not alone. I like to think I have all my shit together, and I really do, but some days I just don’t feel like going through the motions. That just makes me human, right? I still read to my kids and feed them and make sure they don’t burn the house down. But if we’re not doing some craft or something I can still be proud that we made it through the day.

  6. This was great. And you can rest assured that everyone feels this way. You know I happen to love coming to work for the most part, just like you love staying home with the kids for the most part, but there are definitely those days when I’m like, “What am I dooooooooing?!” and everyone’s life on Facebook seems so amazing I want to never look at it again. I’ll still be holding out for baby #5.

  7. It’ll get better, which of course you realize by the end there. But we all get down. You’ve read my down post, and now I’ve read yours, and we can say, “I feel ya, sister.” And (I like to think) that helps. Knowing we’re not alone, you know?

    My question with my kids lately is: When do they understand a single directive? I can say, “Go clean your room” without breaking it down into “Make your bed.” “Put the books on the shelves.” “Pick up the stuffed animals.” You know the drill. That’s starting to drive me a little batty, and I don’t even have to do it some 40 hours a week, which is when I actually get paid to work.

    • Yes. I can tell Claire to clean her room and it gets cleaned (mostly.) Then there’s Luca. I basically stand there and dictate. Whatever. It is what it is. For now.

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