Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heaven Help Me!

Guilt.  Embarrassment.  Failure.
That seems to pretty much sum up how I feel lately.  What is it about Mothers' Day that leaves me feeling like even more of a complete failure of a mother than I already did?  Seriously.  I
 was served breakfast in bed this morning.  Kurt made biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs.
  Apple Cider.  I love this.  I am to stay out of the kitchen and am supposed to rest, right?  Well this leaves me plenty of extra time to think about all the ways I have no measured up this past year.  And the list is long.  
At the top of the very long list is the state of my house right now.  That's where Embarrassment comes in.  I mean, I clean it ALL THE TIME {at least it feels that way}.  BUt its ALWAYS cluttered, and I mean always.  Someone shows up yesterday to bring dinner (I keep telling
 people CLARK had surgery, NOT ME - I am fine and able to cook!)  and yea just walking into my house you can see its in disarray.  My sewing machine (with project) has been on the dining room table for 3+ weeks.  My office has stacks and stacks of papers on BOTH desks and a big
 box of stuff on the floor that I should have sold on ebay last month.  Oh and let's not even talk about the kitchen floor because seriously its a hazard,  if you go in you may get stuck and not
 make it back out!  Naturally that would be from the many spills of hot chocolate, apple cider
 and milk over the past week.  And don't go anywhere NEAR Emma's chair.  I have no idea how
 she does it but I think I saw rice stuck to the UNDERSIDE of the chair.  Little surprises like that everywhere.  What to do? I keep saying I WILL keep this place looking better but then I get that one hour in the afternoon where Clark and Emma are both asleep and yes I should clean and pick up toys and books but I find myself wanting to do letters with Christian and
 jump on the computer instead.  Its bad.  I feel great about the letters with Christian part, he is doing great.  Its a fun time for us and he calls it our "brain practice" time.  Its the only time of
 day he gets me alone for 20 minutes and I enjoy every second of it.  But I'm sure I could do without checking my email and getting wishful decorating ideas from pottery barn, I mean really how shallow am I? 
Another part of this is that I REFUSE to have all the housework and chores be my responsibility alone.  I suppose I could fold the laundry and run it up and put it all away so that I never have clothes out, but I feel that it is important for my children to take their basket of clean clothes up the stairs, put them away, and bring their dirties back down if they want them clean.  Am I crazy?  I really think they should each do their part around here.  It WOULD be easier to just clean up their room for them because it would take all of 10 minutes and it would stay that way until they got home from school {HA!} YET.... I cannot bring myself to do it very often.  I want THEM to realize that it only takes 10 minutes and that they can do it.  And they should.  In my opinion.  It may be harsh but its how I feel.  

Savanna is nearing her acting debut in the Wizard of Oz as Munckin #7 and I am sorry to say I have only seen her part ONCE.  A friend from school has been bringing her home after the
 practices so I haven't even been there.  Can you say absent mother?  OH and yea, notice how badly she needs her hair cut.  yikes.  She is still adorable though.  

Emma I am sure would not be nearly as destructive as she is if I were watching her all the time.  She needs 24 hour surveilance.  How do you spell that word?  No idea.  She wants me to read to her all the time and its so cute how she backs up into your lap with her blankie.  What kind of mother are you when you tell her sorry only 3 books and then its time for bed?  AHHH!  And if I would have gone upstairs with her this morning to put her in the shower 2 minutes earlier I could have prevented the painting all over her legs she did with a brand new stick of mascara.  thats nice. 
Christian is an awesome boy who deserves more fun outings to the park and baseball games.
  Most of this past year he has either been told no because I was pregnant, sick and tired; or because we were already late to the doctors office or because Clark was in the hospital or at the doctor office AGAIN!  Poor kid.  This is how he feels about that:

Madeline has finished her many hours of  occupational therapy and in now in an anxiety disorder therapy group.  While I am fairly sure that a good part of this comes through the blood (I have been told it is hereditary and runs strong) I also know that the rest is my fault for sure.  She is the most responsible, worried, helpful, over-protective big sister a person could have.  And I have had high expectations for her.  Which I am sure makes it all worse.  I am looking foward to a fun summer for her and Savanna both - they have worked very hard this year at school.  

And Clark, poor Clark.  I am so relieved that surgery is over.  I am so thankful that we had an excellent surgeon and that he was able to correct the hernia that he found at the same time.  So glad he found it!  I hope I can nurse Clark back to better health and get him the physical therapy he needs to get moving and growing and being a 'normal' kid!  These past few days without the feeding tube have been wonderful.  So much easier.  No more gear to haul around and no more changing out the tube.  I am fairly sure he looks at me as someone who is always causing him pain - since I have been the one caring for the tube and since I feed him and every time he has eaten since he was born has been painful.  This little guy needs a new start and I hope and pray he is about to get it. Thankfully the surgery was done laprascopically so rather than being slashed open and have a huge scar with a bunch of stitches he has these 5 little 'holes' that are just derma-bonded (that's just a fancy way of saying super glue for the skin!) back together!  Right now I think his tummy looks a bit scary because he is so small but I am being told that in a year or so you will have to look hard to find them and they will be tiny pinpoint scars.  The best part {in my opinion} about minimal invasive surgery is that there is no need for moving organs around and so it dramatically lessens the chance for other issues to arise.  That, along with no stitches or large wounds open for infection, makes me so much more grateful for technology and for fabulous doctors and a great surgeon.  You can tell also in this photo how puffy he has been from the iv fluids, along with the swollen belly.  The gradual feeding schedule after the surgery was a bit rough [3 hours after he could have 1 oz, then 3 hours later 1.5 oz, you get the idea] so they made sure to keep him hydrated and yesterday he looked a little like the pillsbury dough boy.  Don't get me wrong, thats a welcome change from the skinny bones we are used to.  I just hope it's here to stay.  
Anyway, here's to a cleaner house and less guilt next year.  Maybe if I get locked in the house for the next 12 months I could catch up on half of what I am behind on.  Maybe...  For this week I just hope I get that silly wizard of oz skirt done before the dress rehearsal on tuesday!  Then maybe I will get my sewing machine put away and put the center piece back on the dining room table.  Maybe.... Not to mention the yard work I love to do but have been neglecting so far this spring because I can't be far from Clark and he hasn't exactly been outdoors portable with the feeding pump hooked to him.  I have very high hopes for my garden boxes, although the other day when we went in for surgery I left the seedlings outside for too long and fried a bunch of them... failure.  I have big plans of getting Christian going on his bike more and putting the future healthy Clark and Emma in the trailer and getting my thunder thighs on the bike trails around here.  Like I said, high hopes and big plans.  Honestly if anyone every told me the reality of how hard life really becomes, I blocked it out.  I read this today and I wish I would have learned it 15 years ago: 
"If you feel that personal righteousness should preclude all loss and suffering, you might want to have a chat with Job." [Elder D. Todd Christofferson]
Right now I find myself quite thankful that indeed I will not be having a chat with Job - I'm pretty sure he would want to... I don't know, throw cold water in my face or something, and tell me to wrap up the pity party and get on with it. 


  1. Em I love you! You are an awesome mother. Thank goodness for the gospel of Jesus Christ that can help us put it all in perspective, right?

  2. Emily, I have to tell you that I love this post. So much of what I was feeling yesterday you expressed too. Mother's Day for me was extreme feelings of guilt, inadequacy and lonliness. Thanks for sharing what you really feel like instead of painting a rosy picture that everything in life is perfect.

    You are a great mother even if you don't feel like you are. I've always looked to you as an example in many ways. Thanks.

  3. Isn't it amazing how easy it is to look at our weaknesses rather than our accomplishments? Em, you have 5 beautiful children who have a wonderful Mom who loves them and does everything she can for them. You have been taking care of a sick little baby for months, enjoying a very active toddler, and helping 3 older children to learn and grow how they need to. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! I am so grateful for your example and I love you.

  4. I'd have to say that I too think you are great and yes life is hard, but sometimes the best we can do is 10% when we wish it were 110%. The great thing is, each day, hour, minute, we have a chance to do better. Thanks for expressing your feelings!! Thanks for the example you are to me!! I love you!!

  5. I love you Em and think you are amazing. Wish I was there to clean your kitchen floor. Maybe it would motivate me to mop mine too. :) Should we boycott Mother's Day next year?

  6. Happy belated Mother's Day! I think everyone can look around at our house and kids and find things to fix....oh well! Your kids are adorable and it's been fun reading about them :).