When Parenting Feels Like Drowning...

I had never had these moments before I had children. I don't rightly know what to call them either. Panic attack doesn't seem right. However, I have heard panic attacks likened to a sense of drowning or not being able to get your breath. For the most-part that is one element that defines these horribly emotional moments I find myself in. I suppose another way to illustrate it is that when my sense of being overwhelmed borders on the extreme I feel somewhat like a dandelion. You know, when they are an all while pouf, brimming with seeds and potential, and just waiting for a gust of wind. Of course the dandelion wants the big gust of wind to reach its potential and I, on the other hand, am just hiding from it. All the seeds of potential clinging to me are little wants and hopes I've collected throughout the week. When I become overwhelmed I can feel it building,  though it is still surprises me how abruptly it overwhelms me. After it happened this morning I stopped, slowed down, and tried to break down the situation. 

Okay, so back up a bit. It was my morning to sleep in. What this really consists of is me still getting up with the kids usually and helping my husband get everyone situated and happy, he goes "back to bed on the couch" and turns the tv on. My youngest is definitely in the only Mommy phase. So while in bed "sleeping" it is broken every half hour with cries for Mommy or banging on the bedroom door. Sigh. So, I cross sleep off my list eventually and just get up.

Then Sunday mornings consist of my very kind husband cooking wonderful breakfasts for him and I (as the kids have eaten right at sunrise). We attempt to sit leisurely with our meals, coffee, and conversation, watching the morning come on. Does this picture seems too hopelessly perfect? Well I can assure you that yes, every weekend, the calmness of it vanishes in about 30 secs flat. Before you know it the whirlwind of everyone's needs but ours begins again. We shovel our food, run around assisting, and by 10:34 the house is a disaster. 

I'm still so optimistic that I sit down amidst the ruins with my cup of coffee, still unfinished, and try and have that moment. Whether catching up online, reading a book, writing, what have you. This is the time I am that dandelion puff. I have all this things attached to me that need to be done, I have all these wants for myself that have collected throughout the week, and then comes the gust....

Something will happen with the kids interrupting me and I just loose it inside. I get so angry and go blank in my head other than seeing everything that went wrong and not right. Everything that just was ruined. 

So in exploring why and when this happens to me I do realize it isn't that Sundays are any more stressful than any other day. It isn't the kids more demanding, my husband more removed from helping, or that I've postponed daily housework until this day. This day is no different than the six that came before it aside from the amount of HOPE I've built into it. There is level of expectation I hold, to grant myself the loving kindness I give so readily to others an withhold so often from myself.

These moments continue to plague me. How can I meet my expectations throughout the minutes, hours, and days of the week rather than putting all my eggs in the same Sunday basket. As mothers I think we get in a rut, a routine, of brushing things off that negatively affect us, soldiering forward, because we feel we have to. We feel that other things and other moments deserve our attention more. There is always the advice for us to mind our own hearts and minds first because it benefits everyone. That is so obviously true. 

What I struggle with though is the unobvious. That 4.5 years into the journey I have not mastered must, and instead I always place my expectations for myself as "maybe if I get around to it". So here's hoping that through continued acknowledgment of how the situation is created and builds for me, I can have a better internal reaction than I have in the past. The anger and frustration that spirals within me in those moments I know isn't healthy and I hope to move beyond it. 
how to do this. I haven't made it



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