Monday, October 16, 2006

Too Much Work

Sorry, I've been slackin on my blogging a bit lately. Have I mentioned yet that being a mother is EXHAUSTING? There is never enough time. Nothing is ever finished. My house is a mess and the girls and I spent the entire day in our pajamas. I've come to the conclusion that NOBODY can do it all. If their house is spotless, their kids are picture perfect, and they appear to have it all together, then there's something wrong somewhere.

I cannot keep my house clean, take care of my kids, take care of myself, and WORK a part-time job at the same time and remain sane. Or alive even. If I were to try, I am sure I would DIE from exhaustion. All the things I am expected to do in a day...brush my teeth, shower, comb my hair, get dressed, get my girls up, brush their teeth, comb their hair, get them dressed, make breakfast, feed them breakfast, eat breakfast myself, change diapers, put Eden in her stander, play with my kids, vacuum the carpet, sweep and mop the kitchen, do laundry, fold laundry, put laundry away, unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, check the mail, pay the bills, pack the diaper bag, drop the girls off at Nana's, go to WORK, pick the girls up, make lunch, feed lunch, make dinner, feed dinner, clean up from breakfast/lunch/dinner, the list goes on and on and on and on.... It is truly impossible.

Something has got to give. My kids can't watch videos all day so I can clean. I can't let my house fall apart around me. I have to work. John has to work. All of these things HAVE to get done. But I also want to have FUN with my family. And what about time for ME? I need that too! I constantly feel like a failure because I can't manage to do it all. Nothing is ever done. It drives me crazy. I know many people who seem to be doing it. Maybe I just don't see beyond the surface??? It must be that they only clean their house when they know I am coming. PLEASE, stop cleaning your house because I am coming! I need to know that I am not the only one!!!

Well, my house is messy, but we do manage to occasionally sneak in a wee bit of fun. The girls absolutely LOVED going to the cider mill and petting farm. The goats were absolutely the biggest hit. There was this one super sweet goat that ate out of the girls' hands. Eden was just so excited, squealing and trying to lunge out of the stroller to get to those goats. Holland kept saying "dog-a, dog-a, dog-a" because she thought the goats looked like dogs. We would correct her, and she would say "goats" but a few minutes later she was back to calling them dogs. She really gets so caught up in what is happening around her, that we can't even get her attention. It's like we don't exist. I'll call her name over and over trying to get a good picture, but she won't ever look at me. She is so funny. The cider, doughnuts, and pumpkins were also a big hit. So, we did manage to sneak in a little bit of fun. But boy is my house a mess.


hallegracesmama said...

Glad to know my house isn't the only messy one! And I've only got one child. :)

One of my mom's biggest regrets is spending too much time keeping things neat and tidy when we were growing up. She said she wishes she had spent all that time holding and playing with my brothers and me. So I vote for PJs all the time!

The petting farm looks much more exciting than the one we went to last weekend. My favorite pic is the last one where Eden seems to be squealing and Holland is feeding the goat. Precious girls! Wish I lived closer and I'd come and eat them up!

Anonymous said...

Dear Billie,

It's so nice to read your message this morning (in Viet Nam)! It makes me laugh for a very busy Mom like you ( I always enjoy your writing very much !)Oh how I wish i could be just a part of busy like you. I hate being free or in a lazy status, it makes me think a lot about everything, makes me feel bad, less confident about myself...
Well, you're in the most happiness time of your life, you know ! Many girls including me dream of being just like you, having a nice husband,cute babies,a good job, relatives and friends around always ready to listen, to share and to help as much as possible ! They all love you and your family so much ! I'm sure even you are tired of doing too much work, but you're always happy to do it, right ? Please send our big hugs and kisses to Holly and Eddie !
Linh from Viet Nam.

Michelle said...

Ditto on the messy house! I can't ever seem to get orgnanized, and my house is NEVER spotless. Even if it was my kids would have it destroyed again in 30 seconds. You're right we CAN'T do everything, though I still always feel like a failure too for not being able to. My friends always seem to be able to keep a clean house, I'd love to see one of their houses a mess just once, it would so make me feel less horrible about mine!

You are doing a great job, and the pumpkin patch looked so fun. I vote for fun over a clean house any day!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know what your house looks like, but I know your girls look beautiful and happy. Trust me, they won't remember whether the kitchen is clean in 20 years.

What they will remember is going to the cider mill, and the hundreds of other things you and John do with them.

Bottom line, you are an extraordinary mother, and you inspire me. Keep up the good work.

PS: I love the picture of Eden eating the caramel apple! Just precious!

Kelly said...

Hey Billie!

From one exhausted, tired, and overworked Mom to another, here's a little tidbit that might work for you:

I try to let my 1 and 3 year olds "do" laundry with me. They really love it, I get it done, and we're having quality time together. Sure they will make a mess of the clothes, but after they're done tearing through them, I'll just fold them and put them up out of reach. We've even worked on "please" and "thank you" this them handing me the clothes out of the baskets.

Stuff like this really kills 2 birds with one stone!

LoneWolfArcher said...

My wife Lori could have written the same stuff! She often laments to me how she feels like a failure and that there isn't enough time in the day. She is running a home business and raising our 3 year-old daughter. And we plan to home school her as well. AHHHH. I try to help as much and often as I can but it is good to read that others are experiencing the same thing.

I once had a bunch of stickers that said: "A tidy house is the sign of a misspent life." Clutter is going to happen with kids, as long as it isn't filth then I wouldn't feel like a failure. You (and my wife) and all mom's do an incredible job! Don't get down on yourself.

Anonymous said...

I was just there! Your house looks like you live there but it is NOT messy. There are even places to sit down, you can lay on the floor with the girls, there are flat surfaces with only the things that belong there. My kids are big and can help with all the house work and I don't have a "job", and all those things don't happen here!

Anonymous said...

Boy do I ever know where you're coming from! I only have one toddler, but I also work a part time job and have a husband addicted to Warcrack, so chores hardly ever get done around here! I'm pretty sloppy most of the time anyway, but I still feel bad, like I SHOULD have a nice clean house and that it's my fault that I don't. Of course, even if I did spend all day cleaning, my son would wreck the place again in a matter of minutes.

You know how they say that "messy cooks are the best cooks"? Well, maybe messy parents are the best parents. We may not ever be in Better Homes and Gardens, but our kids know that they are more important to us than having a spotless house.

Anonymous said...

It could be worse -- no electricity, no washer and dryer, no dishwasher, no gas furnace, etc. etc. We are fortunate to have these things. And most of us feel we could or should be doing things better. Stop beating up on yourself!

Anonymous said...

And yet somehow Holland and Eden are always dressed in adorable coordinating outfits! You should see the stained-t-shirt-and-a- diaper-type ensembles my (one) son sometimes sports. That said, I totally hear you re: the push and pull of housework. You want your house to be a place that calms you and builds you up and if it's dirty or a mess it just won't be. On the other hand, it takes a real commitment of energy and time to keep it nice, and energy and time are such valuable commodities to parents of young children. Clearly, you need what I need -- a personal assistant who does dishes :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to read that you are struggling too...I guess glad is not the appropriate word...more like relieved because I feel the same way too. I have a ten month old surviving twin (24 weeker) and I work full time. I feel like her grandmas are raising her as I have to work 8 hours a day and be away from her which is not a good feeling(I carry the health insurance for our family and Lord knows what would preemie families do without the insurance?!?!) My house has not been deep cleaned in forever and I am going crazy being pulled in a million different directions. I am tired and I am so glad there is someone else who understands. L from VA

Linda said...

I know. My girls are 2.5 years old and I work 24 hours/week. I am unwilling to compromise on myself and our family time, so our house is a mess. C'est la vie!

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie,

I know you don't want to name names, but that person you refer to as always having her house clean is me, isn't it? (JK)Seriously, I promise to keep my place a complete mess for you! It will be difficult, but you are worth it and I want to do whatever I can to help you feel better about things. I know it is a long drive, but come over anytime!!!


Michelle and Jim said...

I promise you, my house is a disaster and I am home all day! There is dog hair all over and the toys never get put away each night because I'm too tired. There are sometimes so many dishes in the sink that you can't wash your hands. I figure I'm good if we're all clean and dressed by noon.

By the way, I'm pretty sure Alex fed that same goat on Sunday with his grandmas. Wonder if you were there together?

I love the pumpkin photos-Eden is such a happy girl. And go Holland, the little walker that she is!


Anonymous said...

No one can do it all!! It looks like you guys had an awesome time at the cider mill and in my opinion that is a zillion times more important than a clean house!! (PS when I come over to babysit please don't clean, i'll have to kill you) Enjoy your girls and family the house will always be there. They are growing way to fast to miss out on any of the fun. Luv Liz

Kendra Lynn said...

Hey! We went to the Plymouth Orchards, too, on Saturday. :)
My girls loved it.
I know how you feel with the house a mess and kids takin' up all your time.
Its crazy.
I finally realized that there will be some days when my kids watch videos while I clean, and other days when we skip it all and play or go somewhere, leaving the laundry behind.
I don't want to have a perfect house and kids who don't know their mommy can play with them. I'd rather play with them some, clean some, and rest when I can.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I only have a tiny apartment and one kid and I can't seem to keep it clean either. Between work, school, the baby and errands all I want to do is go to sleep once I put the babe to bed! Maybe that's just the "curse" of motherhood???

kristin said...

join the club!
Try and think back BEFORE you had kids....remember giving me such a hard time for being messy??? And no, I would never take a picture of my house messy and put it on my blog! You should look for a good house keeper!

Kim said...

Ugh, me too. There is dog hair collecting in small piles under the kitchen table. I can't tell you the last time we scrubbed the floor. I should probably vacuum more often than I do. The babies' hamper is overflowing. My school books litter the table. But, if you were to come over, I'd throw all of that stuff into the closet and sweep up the dog hair with my hand as you were knocking on the door. Maybe that's the thing--you have to look in the closets of the people who have immaculate houses!

And your kids always look so happy--obviously you are doing everything right, so cut yourself some slack and go fill the tub with bubbles and uncork the wine--leave the dishes for later!

Anonymous said...

I have this posted on my Fridge:

Excuse this house

Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there,
Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere.
For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the door;
I should apologize I guess for toys strewn on the floor.
But I sat down with the children and we played and laughed and read
If the doorbell doesn't shine, their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times I'm forced to choose the one job or the other,
Sure, I'd like the house kept clean, but first I'll be a mother.
-Monrow Mohrenweiser

Anonymous said...

I'm Busted!!! I'm one of those people that's house looks like a train wreck most of the time. Between Sarah, working part time and just trying to keep up, I'm a horrible housekeeper. So I admit that I'm one of those people that panics when someone comes to visit!

LOL - DH came home from work the other night and I was cleaning the bathroom. He said 'Are we having company?' I wanted to hit him with the toilet brush! That's how my life goes now. No panic until company is pending.

Anonymous said...

:) No one can do it all!
My family just doesn't understand when they call at 1pm and wonder why I'm just getting out of the shower. (I'm thrilled that I GOT a shower!)

Amy said...

As someone who is anal about her environment, letting the housework go once B&B got here was something I had to slowly adjust to. I'm still not completely there, but I DID hire a housekeeper to come once every two weeks, rather than forcing myself to do it all.

My saving grace is that my twins go to bed between 6 and 7, so I get a lot of the picking up done between 7 and 8. Then I can barely prop my eyelids open. Me time is definitely on hold. And my laundry suffers the most, but at least I can just close the door to the laundry room and not look at it. As for the "deep" cleaning--well, thank God for the housekeeper.

Viscouse said...

It's pretty simple. You do what you can.

And from where I'm sitting, you're doing great.


Anonymous said...

Billie, It can't all be done, we all have a front. The secret is to be "good enough" not perfect! You are doing great because you are real. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...


when I started readign your list of chores I thought, 'oh, I could do that, I dont know why it's so hard for her.' then I continued reading and noticed that you mean you do this all before work! Like, in the MORNING. Like, I'm probably not even up yet morning.


Congrats on even trying to do so much!