I haven’t felt like myself lately. Lately being, oh, the last 6 months or so? A year? I’ve lost track.
I used to be a really positive person. I was always the one assuring Chris that God had a plan for our life even when we had our third unplanned pregnancy. I always could find the good in my day, joy in my kids and laughter in the midst of incredible stress. I didn’t let the fact we had no money bother me too much, I made time for my friends as often as I could and I had a job that fulfilled all parts of my creative being. I was happy. And even when I wasn’t I was still positive.
But not so much lately. Lately I have been quick to anger and slow to let go of a grudge. Most mornings I wake up in a bad mood and either stick with it all day or try my best to kick it to the curb, usually with little success. I worry and stress about things I used to trust God to handle. Money makes me cry on a weekly if not daily basis. I’ve let go of friendships because I can’t balance it all anymore. I’m always playing devils advocate and looking at my world with the glass half empty.
The strange part though is that sometimes I feel like my old self. I have great days sometimes! And on those days I do projects with the kids, cook meals, call friends, greet Chris with a smile and enjoy my life. And the funkified part of myself seems far away.
But that funk is coming back faster and carrying more weight lately. The funk has been harder to kick.
And when i’m in that funk all of my thoughts are totally selfish. Hating C’s coaching because it means I’m alone with the kids every night for dinner/bath/bed. Wanting time off, time away, time to myself. Wishing for something I never have and can’t articulate when I try. Yelling at the kids over silly things and greeting Chris at night with a bad attitude and grumpy demeanor. Not calling or talking to anyone, almost hiding at home, becoming hermit-like.
Last night it came to a head when I got a sitter at the last minute and went to what I thought would be C’s last basketball game. They were the lower ranked team and if they lost it meant Chris would be home the rest of the week in the late afternoon… meaning I had HELP and RELIEF and SUPPORT for the dinner/bath/bed time of day. And so i went to the game praying they’d lose.
But they won.
And as I watched that small group of 17 year old girls cheering and jumping with the excitement of moving on in districts I had to get out of there quick so I could cry in the car all the way home. Because it meant another week of no Daddy. It also meant absolutely NO break between the basketball and soccer season, that starts on Monday.
Oh doggies did I feel sorry for myself!
And when Chris got home MAN was I in a mood. One I couldn’t hide from him. One I didn’t want to hide I guess. I was mad. And the more angry i got at how this effected ME the sadder I got and more confused as to how I could be SO SELFISH to be upset at the best night in those girls lives.
So I went to bed confused. And sad. And really frustrated at myself. And that’s when I asked myself, WHERE DID I GO?
Is it hormones? Is it depression? Is it stress? Is it lack of sleep? Too much soda? Not enough good food? No exercise?
Or is it just the new me?
I talked to my friend Angie about it today and she assured me that she feels the same way too sometimes. That all mothers must go through this. And she encouraged me to write about it. So here i am. Writing.
Being honest. And open.
I wonder if I’ve lost myself to three pregnancies in three years. Jumping straight from marriage to babies. Did I lose myself to motherhood? Could it just be that winter is dragging out? Do I just need a vacation? Bible study? A good run? A break? I feel stuck, lost and not sure how to move forward. Do I seek counciling? Do I talk to my doctor in case it is hormones? Do I seek medication for depression? Do I start running? Stop soda completely? Sleep more?
I’ve never been here before and it’s a bit scary. I don’t want my husband to wonder which wife he’s coming home to each night. I don’t want to loose track of friends because I’ve become a hermit. I don’t want my kids to act a certain way so as not to upset Mommy. I want to wake up each day excited about what lies ahead! I want to love my work again, enjoy the kids and not get mad every time Chris walks out the door. I want to smile more. Laugh out loud. Be grateful for what we have.
I want to be myself again.
And what I’m hoping, is that by writing this, by tossing yet another huge struggle out into the void, that it’s the first step to finding myself. Finding my joy.
Whoa… am I the first to comment?? I am not usually a blog commenter…. 🙂
I am sure as moms we have ALL felt this way! Some days it is better some days it is worse. I had my 1st baby 9 months after I got married, and the 2nd one 19 months later!! I remember trying to hard to get out, be ‘normal’, seem fine. After 1 terrible day a totally random stranger stopped me in the parking lot and said “I remember those days, it was the hardest time of my life, no one told me how hard it was going to be… but it gets better”. I think I just stared at her blankly, but I got in the car and started balling crying. I was SO thankful for her words. So thankful that I was not a bad, boring, sad, person… just normal. I was so happy to know other mom’s felt the same way as I did and that it did indeed get better! 3 years later it HAS gotten better!! A lot better. I have to work hard at it, plan activities with the kids, plan activities with other moms, plan time away for me and my husband and/or me and my friends, and lastly plan me time…. the hardest thing to do! Looking back I blame hormones… but I feel certain we have all been there!
Hope this helps. Sorry for rambling. I do not have the gift of words like a lot of wonderful bloggers…. but felt I wanted to respond to this one! 🙂
I’ve never commented before, but felt compelled. So honest, and so familiar. I’m working through many of the same issues right now as well, so although I don’t have any wise words of wisdom I will say this, you’re are not alone. Hang in there. And maybe a few small fixes at a time rather than a huge change all at once? Thank you for sharing.
I’m feeling exactly like this right now. The most frustrating part is not knowing or understanding why and forget about trying to explain it to my husband who just wants to see me happy. I’m angry and resentful of the time he has away to do things he loves. I really, truly don’t want to feel like this, but I don’t know how to fix it. Obviously I have no answers so, I guess this post only goes to point out that this mommy feels the same as you do… Hang in there…winter will only last so long, the sun will shine again, we will be able to play outside and we will be our happy old selves again…at least that is what I tell myself! Thanks for your open and honest post…you are definitely not alone!
I know the feeling of being a Webster sports widow….the days are so long and hard it’s hard not to lose yourself. When we are in the thick of the football season I think this will be over soon and then he has to work security at other sports events or school functions. I am tired and need more time in the day to just be me (whoever that is)
I do have to say thank you for your honesty and your blog…..I love reading your blog so much that I started my own and I love it!
Would love to meet you…..maybe someday this summer we can have a big fun play date with Missy Lang (my neighbor)
It’s nice to know there are other mom’s and women feeling the same way right now. I have just been feeling blah about life the past few weeks and can’t put a finger on it. You are so not alone. I don’t think you have lost yourself-there’s just a lot of balls in the air (sorry had to use a juggler phrase being married to a juggler:) ) with your family, trying to keep up with a business, be a wife, mother, caretaker of the house, provide finances for your family, and everything that you have going on. I get upset because I really miss my sleep right now, have been sick 2 times in the past month and just feel like I cannot catch up with life. Anyways, I don’t want this to be a rambling about me, just know you are not alone. Praying for you, tahnks for the honesty.
DUDE. I will write more later. BUT! You know I have days like this. Then I go in spurts with awesome, upbeat days. Maybe you’re depressed and need medication, but I don’t know…
Something I’ve been thinking lately as I reflect on how I’ve changed over the years, is that being a parent and life in general is SUCH a transformative process. It’s not a journey so much as a metamorphosis. Maybe there are people out there who are the same person with no kids as they are after 2 or 3 or 4, but I don’t think I know any.
And I am in no way saying that the “new you” is grumpy or depressed or angry. I’m saying that you’re in the process of growth. You’re having growing pains. It hurts, and the pain is real and you’re entitled to feel it and hate it and wish it would go away. But it is temporary and you’ll come out the other side with something you don’t have now. Maybe that’s what you’re longing for that you can’t express — that *something* that you’re growing toward.
You’re awesome and totally normal and I love you.
DEFinitely been there. More than once. You are not alone!
I now make sure I exercise regularly. If I don’t, my patience level goes WAY down the tubes. Oh, and sleep is another extremely important factor in being happy! Treat yourself to three nights in a row of 8 hours, and see how you feel. I bet it will make a huge difference!!
Motherhood is the hardest job on the planet, and it’s harder x 1000 if you don’t make time to take care of yourself 😉
ps. I posted earlier… at the top! My husband too is a coach.. football.
I have also been feeling kinda down the past week or so — chalking it up to mixture of hormones (I’m in my third trimester with my second), tiredness, end of winter blahs, stressed husband. Plus just whatever. It is really helping me to sit down and find your post. I mean, I don’t want you and others to feel this way too, but it does help, doesn’t it? To know we’re not all feeling this by ourselves. Well, we are, but it seems like a common feeling for mommies of little kids.
Jodie, I so completely appreciate your honesty and openness! I don’t have kids yet, but truthfully, I have had these ups and downs for a couple of years. And it makes me a little nervous about the hormonal changes coming up after the baby is born.
I don’t have any answers for your situation, but I wanted you to know that I admire you for all that you do. You get more done while the girls are at school or while the kids are napping than I get done in a week. I don’t know how you do it all and I certainly don’t expect you to do it all with a positive attitude each and every day. What I do know is that you are not alone!! Hang in there! And thanks again for putting yourself out here!
I feel like this a lot too. I haven’t been able to go to the gym in six weeks and I have noticed my crabbiness multiply. I highly suggest a class. I know you like to run, and that’s awesome too, but most gyms let you try a class or two for free. There’s something about being in a class with other struggling women who are there doing their best and panting right along with you. As silly as it sounds, there is such a cool energy in the classes. Spinning is my favorite…the lights are out, the music is blaring, and the endorphin high is like nothing else! I feel SO good for days after a class. And if I can drag my butt there consistently enough, I don’t feel anxious or moody or angry…at least not nearly as often. There is also a very cool yoga studio near you called Sweet Peace. Maybe check that out? Good luck, sister!
Oh Jodie! I love and admire your authenticity! I think you’d be surprised to hear how many moms have gone through a similar phase. I remember going through an identical funk. My husband was working ALL THE TIME. I had two young children underfoot. My photography business was skyrocketing and I could barely keep up. I was averaging about 4-5 hrs sleep every night and I never had any me time or time to exercise or do any kind of self care whatsoever. I nearly had a mental breakdown! The way I worked my way out of it was to: 1) GUARANTEE myself at least 6 hrs sleep every night but shoot for 7 hrs if I could somehow swing it. 2) Start exercising again. You’d be amazed at how incredible those workout endorphins can feel. Plus, you get some time for YOU and you start losing baby weight (my last “baby” was about 4 yrs old but hey, whatever) and you just generally start being healthier (eating better, cutting out the bad stuff, etc.. because you don’t want to undo the hard work you just put in with your workouts). Now, I realize how hard it is to find the time to get more sleep and exercise so I fully understand that this may not be a realistic goal for you. But I wanted to just let you know how transformative it was for me. I was in a BAD place. I still have bad days here and there but the good days far outweigh the bad days and I feel like a MUCH better mommy now. GOOD LUCK and good for you for being so open and honest. It is refreshing and I assure you that you are probably going to be the catalyst for someone else feeling the same way being able to address their sadness/frustration/anger/depression that they are struggling with thanks to you being so open about your own struggles with it. Too many people out there give this illusion of perfection. They WANT you to believe their lives are perfect, but perfection is illusive and trying to be perfect will only make you miserable. My motto is I like my life to be perfectly imperfect! 🙂
Jodie, thank you for being raw, honest and BRAVE! I was so inspired and in awe of your post that I linked you to my blog. I’m a SAHM of a 5 year old, 2 year old twins, and pregnant with #4. I adore my husband & kids but some days it’s REALLY hard being a mom!! Thank you for saying out loud what I often feel but can’t articulate. Cheers to a better day tomorrow (and a losing streak for the rest of the BB tournament – jk!)
I’m not going to pretend like this is the answer for you but I wanted to let you know that being a coach’s wife is a totally different profession and it often brings along many issues that most women are not accustomed to. My hubby is a college football coach and has been for 16 years or so now. It took me several years to adjust to the unique issues that come from that particular career path. And there are several of them. And having three young children, a thriving career and all the illness you have had these past few months, leaves very little time for you, as a person. I highlight this coach’s wife issue because it is a HUGH difference in many women’s lives and people don’t really know how different it is unless you are one. Please try to take some time to consider and research this a little. You are not alone. And just to let you know – I don’t know how you do it all. I love your blog and am just amazed at how it taken you so long to get to this point. We all have to break at some point. We are all with you though.
When I read this today I felt you on every level. I have been grappling with this for a little while on and off. Thank you for writing this! You are always so gritty and honest. LOVE.
Yesterday I kind of wrapped my head around it and had a little talk with the hubs. At least for me I think that I need more time with my hubby as a couple. It feels like forever that I have felt like a woman and not just a mommy. I need that. I need to be cherished and valued. It can be so hard when we are all just busy trying to scrape by and making time for each other becomes a side thought instead of our priority like it might have been before babies.
I want to give you a hug and tell you that you are not alone. You are amazing! And because it might be awhile before you and your love have some you time here’s praying that you’ll find strength and hope in the comments these supportive women are leaving you here. God bless.
Jodi–once again you have compelled me to comment and this time I actually did it! I still have your post from a week or so ago in my reader with the intention of going back to comment/read comments (“my constant dilemma”). You are so good at putting thoughts and feelings into words. I know exactly how you feel. I feel like that a lot. And knowing my husband is out of town or working late only seems to make it worse. You know it’s going to be a long day so you are already thinking and dreading bedtime at 8 am! I have so many bad grumpy days, especially with this long drawn out snowy winter. I am finding that making myself lists, even if it’s just empty the dishwasher, clean the counters, sweep the floor, to give me something to cross off to feel like I’ve accomplished something.
I too wonder what the heck is wrong with me! I don’t know if it’s depression or hormones or lack of sleep or lack of exercise or too much soda (diet coke for me) or what. I wish there was an easy answer. I do know that forcing myself to bundle everyone up and take them outside on a sunny day makes everything better.
I LOVE your blog, your openness and of course your photos. Keep sharing.
J, you are not the only one to feel like this, I have been this way for the past couple of years as well. The best thing you can do is keep talking about it. Do not hold it in, that’s the worst thing to do. I’ve made that mistake and now friends I let go are now gone for good, just can’t reconnect. Just talk, talk, call those friends, hug that hubby, cuddle those babies. You have had a busy year, slow down, and above all talk. You have a great biz, but don’t let it be your life. Live your life, don’t let it live you. ~M~
You are so brave to post this. Even though I do not know exactly what you are going through, I can imagine that it is terribly difficult. I think you are too hard on yourself. Having three small children to yourself 98% of the time would be exhausting (emotionally, physically, mentally) for anyone. You can only do the best you can. Hang in there. From the looks of your other comments, you are totally not alone, and I am SURE that will be some comfort to you. We are all on your side and you should post about this anytime! Especially if it makes you feel better.
Jodie, I have to admit that sometimes I read you blog and think it would be much easier to just add your link to MY blog so that I don’t need to re-type everything you just did! I would love to offer some great advice, but I’m sifting through your comments to see if anyone else has some good tips, because I’m right with you. Only my addiction is lattes and not Mt. Dew. anyways, I did want to share one book that I’ve read and in this season, I keep going back to it. it’s called The Seeking Heart by Francis Fenelon. It’s very short and is a collection of letters that he wrote to someone he was discipling. I HIGHLY recommend it….it helps me keep things in perspective and is sometimes a soft reassurance that you’ll make it, and then sometimes it’s a swift kick in the rear. but it’s incredible and I think you’d really enjoy it!
Hi Jodie – First of all let me tell you how much I admire you ability to just put it all out there. I read through the comments and as a mom of 2 under the age of 4 I definitely agree that we all struggle from time to time. I am not as brave as you – I tend to keep what I’m going through under wraps – but I feel compelled to share what I’ve been going through in the hopes it might help you.
I started counseling about 6 months ago, because I could not shake the sadness I felt deep in my heart. My husband travels a lot for his job, and I’m alone with 2 kids a lot of the time. I’m starting my photography business but that often means a lot of work by myself, without any adult interaction. I was overwhelmed and angry and taking it out on my kids. That’s when I felt I needed help – when I realized I didn’t want my kids to grow up with an angry mommy.
Counseling has helped me tremendously. It helped me figure out what I needed to do to make my situation more manageable (more sleep and exercise will definitely help you, BTW). I wasn’t able to rely on faith alone – I needed someone who could listen and tell me objectively the steps I needed to take to feel better. And while things are not perfect, they are far better than 6 months ago. I am so grateful.
I’m not suggesting that you NEED counseling, I’m just offering my experience as one possibility for you. Just know that you are not alone – if you ever want to chat about things drop me an email.
BEEN THERE. and when i was feeling the worst, God sent me some structure to my days… He got my A** out of bed every morning to run & have time by myself & with Him before the kids & husband get up (yes, this is freakin’ early). i can’t tell you what a difference it has made in my days. i am more tired, yes, but i don’t feel as grumpy & resentful all the time (just sometimes- it’s natural, i suppose). i’m not saying this is the quick fix- nothing really is. but it has given me a few things that i crave, and i find that i’m a little more ‘me’ than i have been in a long time. a little less angry, a lot less likely to overeat on junky food, a lot more likely to be nice to my kids, and more tolerant of my husband going to watch WG basketball. : )
not trying to fix you… i hate it when people do that. just know that LOTS of us have been there, and we all have to support each other! i hope you find ‘you’ soon!
I think I have just the thing for you! At least a place to start. Your post sounds very familiar to my life about 3-4 months ago until I attended this great online seminar by Sherri Nickols at Unleash Yourself. It is called How to Find & Own Your Playful Sexy Self and it is not just about finding your playful sexy self but finding your passion again and specifically for finding your Self again. It was a great start for me. You deserve to do something for yourself and make yourself happy! You can find more information at http://www.unleashyourself.com
WOW! This is like reading my own thoughts! I think its true that as a Mom we do lose ourselves and its hard to not be resentful of the lives that others get to lead when we are at home wiping bums and cleaning the house for the millionth time that day! I love how you are so honest and I think it speaks volumes about you Jodie!
I had my kids 17 months apart, some days it’s easy, but mostly its hard. I am not always 100% truthful about how much work it is being a Mom, its almost like I feel that if I just smile and act like I am not drowning in my own thoughts and worries that its not really happening.
Dont be afraid to ask for help , whether its meds, a friend, family member, or just for a day for YOU! No kids, no husband, no errands , just FUN Jodie time.
I hope you start to feel better and I cant thank you enough for posting these words, they ring WAY too true for me right now!
Hang in there Mama!
It sounds like my past experiences with hypoglycemia. I would feel myself getting angry at something while at the same time realizing that it was totally ridiculous for me to be angry about. But my physiological response was out of my control. I’d go from laughing hysterically one moment to crying hysterically the next. Got the diagnosis of hypoglycemia, avoided sugar (or only ate it after a large helping of protein to balance it out), and my body evened out. No more dramatic swings or feelings that I didn’t understand. Are you drinking regular or diet Mountain Dew? If regular, the amount of sugar could be a large contributing factor. Try cutting out sugar for a while and see if things improve.
How timely to read your post tonight. A few hours ago I cried over the phone to a friend who was trying to talk me down out of my craziness. I had my 3 month old baby in the car, my other 3 kids at basketball practice, and I was about to take the baby and bolt for a few days away alone. My husband is a youth pastor and gone an incredible amount of time ministering to OTHERS while I’m suffering alone at home from something (post partum depression, winter blahs, grumpiness, lack of contentment, too many kids, anger that my dental career is on hold for his ministry, etc). I’m really struggling with that one. The ups and downs of my moods are like yours…my husband never knows which one of me he’ll come home to every night. My only glimmer of hope right now is when I think about starting to serve and focus outward. I need to get my focus off my self (even though there is work that needs done there along the way too) and look to how I can use my giftedness (cooking, hospitality, dentistry) to reach out to others. I am amazed at how many moms feel as we do, yet if we all started pouring out to those who really need help maybe we’ll start doing better ourselves? Because, really, what do we have to complain about or be grumpy about. God has graciously given my family more than we need (financially and realationally). So my prayer and challenge for you is to get your kids involved and go pour out to someone who really needs you. One idea would be to find a homeless shelter or mother/kids shelter and go take pictures so those mothers have memories of their kids (I doubt taking pictures is huge on their list right now). Find ways to bless people and love on them–your kids will eat this up if they can do it with you! A great book to help you realize how good your life really is and also to spur you to help others is Same Kind of Different as Me. Even though serving/pouring our lives out to help others somehow helps to fill us back up, I’m sure that exercise/days off from mothering/sleep/time with God will do wonders for you until warm summer days arrive!!
There must be something in the air lately, because reading your post was a little bit like seeing my inner monologue being played out in front of my eyes. I don’t have kids or a husband, but for some reason the last few weeks/months I have felt like I am losing myself, bit by bit.
I wish I had something helpful and uplifting to offer you, but since I hate it when people offer me platitudes I refuse to offer them myself. The best I can say is that the world has felt rather gray lately here in St. Louis. I have hope that the Lord will send major sunshine rather soon, because I could certainly use a breath of fresh air.
Your blog offers me hope that one day, even I might have a sweet baby to photograph. Your honesty offers me the reminder that seasons of life cycle in and out and that even in the midst of sludge and muck, beauty can be found.
God Bless you and your family right now. And I’ll be praying for a major snow storm to delay the start of soccer season, even if only for a day or two 🙂
I could have written this myself nearly word-for-word. Actually, I have read a lot of your blog posts and found myself nodding my head, knowing exactly where you’re coming from and wanting to give you a big cyber hug.
Just yesterday I had a big mental breakdown. I work full-time; my husband has a job that takes him away from us for days, sometimes weeks at a time; I run my own business on top of having a full-time job; I’ve got 3 kids in 3 different stages of life, all pulling me in different directions and needing different things from me all.the.time. I’m stretched too thin and I know that, but I feel like there’s something *bigger* going on with me.
I don’t find joy in anything…or if I do, it’s a fleeting moment that goes just as quickly as it came. I hate being out and about. I hate getting up and having to face my life everyday because I truly just want to be ME and worry about MYSELF and what I need for once.
The truth is, for the last 7 years I’ve put everyone else ahead of me, and I think it’s finally getting to me. I go to work and I take care of people (as an RN); I come home and I take care of my kids, my house, our pets…even my husband! I take care of him and his life, but I don’t feel like I get anything in return because most of the time I’m here doing it all on my own.
*sigh* You probably didn’t need or want to read a novel, but I just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone. If you ever need a sympathetic ear, email me (or text me, if you’re into that…I’ve become texting buddies with a lot of my blog friends and it’s great!). Hanng in there…we’ll get it figured out!
THIS week Kalie & Gracie will come over and play with your children. Tell us what night besides Wednesday. Seriously. Go to the gym, go for a walk, or go get a glass of wine with that hubby of yours. We are not kidding.
what you do is get with Bridget, SET A DATE and get your bootie out to California for some sun, relaxation and a mini-break from it all. Let’s connect today friend!