Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I feel like I SUCK at it

I was a school teacher. I was a coach. I was a writer. I was an editorial assistant. 

I was good at those jobs.

I worked hard and was successful. I was a good coworker. My bosses always seemed pleased with me. I got good reviews. I received raises.

And now my job is mom.

And honestly? 

I feel like I suck at it.


I wrote this post a few times and used other words instead of suck. I used stink or am not good at and they just didn't have the punch that I was feeling inside when I was writing this.

Those I love will tell me this is not true. They will tell me that I am a good mom. Or they will go at it from another angle and tell me that they understand. That they feel the same way. 

I appreciate people who say that. I really need to hear it. It does help to feel like we are not alone.

But the truth is, no one is with me everyday except me. No one sees me in the trenches. They see what I allow them to see.

If I am being honest, I think I know, deep down, that this is probably more PMS than actual truth. It's sthe culmination of a very busy week, a move three weeks away, a triathlon race on the horizon, trying to homeschool and eliminate pull-ups, a husband who did way too many 12-hour shifts in one week, the showings of our house for our landlord who wants to sell it after we move out, and a 20 month old that is simply into ev-ery-thing! 

But still, right now, at this exact moment, I feel like I am not capable of doing this job well.

My first job fail so to speak.

I waited soooooo long to be a mom. So many years of begging and pleading make you think you'd have a handle on this more than the next guy.


I try so hard. I wake up each morning vowing to do this day better than the day before. I pray and worship and educate myself to be the mom I want to be. But there are four kids. And one me. I am outnumbered and lately, I not only know I am outnumbered, but I  feel very outnumbered. 

I know there are successes. I see them when Isaac learns to tie his shoes or Hannah masters eating with a spoon or a child successfully wipes their own butt or stays dry during naptime or manages to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

But there are so many moments, interspersed within all the successes, that make me feel I just missed it. 

In my mind, I feel like I know that I don't really, completely suck, but these little miss-it moments add up and at the end of the day I can't help feeling like I did a really lousy job.

I lay in bed at night thinking, "I shouldn't have nagged them to pick up their legos. I shouldn't have punished Isaac for that. I shouldn't have tried to do math right after dinner. I should have hugged Hannah instead of getting exasperated with her."

You know.

Those types of things.

I want so badly to do motherhood like I did my other jobs. I want to go to work each day and work hard and do the right things and make my boss satisfied and leave knowing I did a good job.

And yet I don't.

Even though the day is filled with so many hugs and snuggles and kisses and silly moments (like Abigail telling me, when my tires hit the bumps on the side of the road that it makes her "bottom tickle"), at the end of the day, I often still think about all the things that didn't go as planned.

As I wrote this post, I tried to come up with a good conclusion. A good way of tying up all these emotions with a neat little bow. Instead, I felt like I just needed to write it without a happy-ever-after ending. I truly believe that because I have opted to make my life so public through my blog, people believe I have some miracle mom magic.

I don't.

I love this job.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

My kids are nestled in my heart deeper than I can explain in words.

But I don't feel good at what I am doing. I don't feel good enough to mold four little souls to become successful grown-ups. I don't know if I can homeschool them adequately. I am not sure Hannah will ever stop finding things (like my prescription sunglasses) and destroying them in a matter of 3 seconds flat despite the fact that they were tucked into a bag up on the counter!

(She also emptied the entire bottom part of the dishwasher -- steak knives included -- onto the counter. Oh and I have to put her shoes on .4 seconds before we walk out the door or she talks them off again which she does in the car anyways so what is the point.)

Some days I feel like motherhood has kicked my butt.

And so if you feel that way too today, I say YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

(And if you don't feel like you suck at it, then please keep it to yourself so that I don't start crying even harder than I have been most of today.)

That is all.

Back to my job.

(Which I love.)

(And which I know, deep down inside I am good enough at.)

(Just wishing I was a wee bit better -- mostly on days like today.)


Debbie said...

Oh me too. I'm crying with you as I write this. We moms do guilt perfectly. I was supposed to eat lunch with my 1st grade son today, I had starred it on his school lunch menu, but I hadn't written it on my planner. My husband volunteered in his class after lunch and said my son was asking why I wasn't there. I've been crying most of the day since I heard that. The shame and guilt is so very very deep. I know he'll forgive me, but will I ever forgive myself? Oh yes, I can relate. I feel like I suck at this job. I lose my temper, I'm selfish, I have low self-esteem, I have a hard time forgiving, in short I feel like I'm not a good enough role model. Am I a good enough Christian that I can raise them "right"? I can't think of a tidy, non-depressing way to wrap up my comment, so I'll just leave it at that.

Anonymous said...


No worries.

I'm pretty sure that you still have job security:)

(A nice piece to save for your book, now that you really expressed yourself)

love you, mom k

Anonymous said...

I think it is ok to feel like you suck at things sometimes! Some days will be better than others. As long as you feel it and move on, instead of feel it and wallow in it, it's all good. Without the negative, how would we know the joy that positive things bring? I have to remind myself of this often, in many aspects of my life! :) I hope you have a better day, and an even better tomorrow.


AW said...

Oh friend. I SO GET THIS POST. And when we've struggled to GET the very children we dream of and the whole fairy tale is not very fairy-tale-ish...gah...the guilt. And if we're not careful, we can allow that to weigh us completely down. But here is the Truth: we are ARE failures at this job. We are NOT enough. And I think that's the beauty in the story. That our Jesus IS enough and NOT a failure. He fills our gaps. By choice He works with us broken humans to raise more broken humans, so he can fix all the broken humans. On my better days, I find myself giggling and realizing that Jesus really is just a show off...he LOVES coming to the rescue for us and showing us how brilliantly he can fix broken humans. ;-)

Love you tons sweet friends and NO...you are NOT alone in this struggle. Not by a long shot. Praying for you right now...

AW said...

I just read this blog. I loved it. The perspective is one I believe and yet have a hard time EXECUTING. Turns out...I need to rest instead of strive. Not sure if this meets you where you're at, but I thought you'd at least connect a bit about it.


Sherrie said...

just remember, you don't have to impress the boss - you ARE the boss! As long as they still love you and want your cuddles at night, and they're making their major milestones, you're keeping the client pretty dang happy :-)

Jane said...

I totally feel this in more moments and on more days than I'd like to admit. I've lost my temper more in the past two years than my entire life. And I wake up in the middle of the night worrying, worrying, worrying over raising kids amidst the horrible things in this world and America - guns, drugs, consumerism, self-centeredness - and terrified that they will not be healthy, strong, resilient, well-adjusted, compassionate, kind, content adults, which is the best I can hope for them.

So you are definitely not alone - lots of us out here holding you up and working hard with you.

Donna Forcier said...

My kids are now grown (32, 30 and 26) but boy oh boy does this sound like me back then. Now I have 4 grandchildren (7,6,4,2 - all same family) and I watch them for a couple hours every Tuesday and sometimes all I feel like I do is chase and reprimand when I am their grandmother and I should just enjoy. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Anonymous said...

I think you are AMAZING! I remember feeling so many of those things and I still have regrets. I look back and wish I could do so much of it over again. But then I look at my amazing children raising amazing children and I thank God that He helped me and covered those mistakes.
Love you special daughter!!

TAV said...

I totally hear you! And I only have one, nonmobile, baby. I was struggling so much as a "mom" that it was almost a relief to go back to work, to do something I felt "competent" as. You are an amazing mom!

Dana said...

I have four kids too. The oldest is almost 19 and just moved back home after finishing his first year away at college. (He did amazing finishing the year with a 3.485GPA) and truthfully all 4 kids are doing SMASHINGLY WELL at everything. But I recently went to work outside the home for the first time since my firstborn arrived and the way my youngest clings tome every night from the time I get home at 5pm until her bedtime at 8:30pm makes me feel like I am doind something WRONG! We all have moments like this....where no matter what we do that little voice starts rambling the minute we settle sown at night to go to sleep. "I shouldn't have...I wish I had....I should be better!" Like you our journey to parenthood was a difficult, windy one and I thought "Once I get there it will be rainbows and unicorns with the occasionally gentle shower to make me grateful for the sparkly unicorns!" The reality is so much harder and the blessings are so much greater than I could have ever dreamed! Deep Breaths is the only way I make it through most days. That and when I overhear my babies telling their grandparents, teachers and siblings just how happy they are that I am their mama! Each time it is like a shot of "I can do this!" straight to the heart!
You are absolutely not alone in how you are feeling. There is an army of us out here traveling the same path and feeling the same things. Just think of us all cheering you on when you are feeling at your worst and we will all do the same!