Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mowing the Lawn

Thank you, Jared, for letting me mow the lawn! Seriously, I often feel trapped with these kids in my little "cave" so that even a task like mowing the lawn can't be done without someone to watch the kids. Sometimes I just need to escape for a while, but I either don't know what to do or where to run or even if I will be able to do it. So thank you Jared, for letting me escape for a while to mow the lawn.

I've always loved mowing the lawn since I was about 12 when I started doing it There is something so satisfying and relaxing about it: the smell of freshly cut grass, the drone of the mower, the steady pace of walking back and forth, seeing how good it all looks and what a difference I am making. Tonight the sky was beautiful, there was a slight breeze, my blood was circulating, and most importantly, there were no kids to be held, fed, comforted, dressed, disciplined, cleaned up after, etc. It gives me time to think and get away, even though I am only in the yard. I don't think I will ever get a lawn service; nobody can take this weird obsession away from me!

I know that this period of my life won't last that long. I absolutely love my children and being a mom. They are so cute, innocent, loving and have such an enthusiasm for life. Watching them learn and reach different milestones is very fulfilling. But these children are also challenging, needy, and exasperating at times. One day last week I counted 9 times strapping kids in and out of car seats from going to preschool, the store and the dentist. Multiply that by 3 kids (minus 2 times when Erin was at school) and add the fact that at least one child is always hiding under the seat or needing to push one more button before I tackle them to their seat, and you get 25 very frustrating moments! Is it any wonder I stay in my cave all day?

But then this leads to loneliness and isolation. I have been struggling with this a lot lately. Please tell me I'm not alone in feeling this way! And don't get me wrong, not every day is bad. But some days are just so hopeless and discouraging. Of course I can't think of a better reason to hope than my three precious childrenI would do anything for them, despite the frustration at times. I do think that having a baby messes up your body and mind a bit. It's not the actual baby that makes me crazy; she couldn't be a better baby (at least for me). It's just what goes on in my head that makes things hard sometimes. And then when I do get away for school I feel guilty for leaving my baby when she doesn't like a bottle.

I guess I'm writing this because of a few comments I got about the photo I have of my family on Facebook. People see it and say that it's the perfect little family. But the truth is that while I love my family so much, we struggle just like most people do. Putting the good things on this blog helps me remember that through it all there are moments of great joy and my children really are amazing people. I was reading another blog about how there has to be opposition in all things and that without the hard times we would never appreciate the good times. Without loneliness I wouldn't appreciate good friendships as much. Without the car seat battle I would never appreciate how nice it is to drive somewhere alone. It is very true! Life is good, it's just not always easy.


Lisa said...

Okay, that first paragraph cracked me up! Andrew and I used to 'argue' about who GETS to mow the lawn! Easier than wrangling two toddlers, if you ask me. And I too will go to some great lengths to avoid the carseat thing- anyplace with a drive-through is my favorite. You are definitely not alone in feeling the hard parts of motherhood. I am totally grateful to stay home with my kids- but sometimes I just feel like I'm going crazy! I mean, I miss feeling like myself sometimes- I just feel like 'the Mom'. But that's okay. The occasional break helps a lot. HUGS to you, Laura!

Eric and Laura said...

Oh Laura! I could not agree more! We have missed our Florida ward playgroups so much since we moved here! At least a few times a weeks I got to get out of the house and let the kids run free while I talked to another adult. There aren't any families with kids in our ward here, so I really have to try hard to make playdates happen. I totally understand that feeling when you get to run errands's so liberating! makes it more fun to come home to those happy little faces too! Good luck. you're not alone!

Steve Frahm said...

I was raised to think that it is wrong to share unpleasant thoughts and feelings, but eventually I came to understand how important it is to not completely hide our feelings from others. I admire your honesty and insight about the struggles of family life. My wife and I both experience very similar dynamics with the kids as what you have described. The cool thing about kids, we have found, is that they get more and more fun as they get older.

Thanks for sharing your life.

Laura said...

Hey Laura. I have been thinking of you because I found some letters from you while you were on your mission. They were in a box of my stuff at my parents. Anyway, I loved the honesty of your blog. i am always afraid to post these kinds of things for fear my friends will host an intervention. You are not alone, though. Although being alone might help!!

Lirpa said...

Laura! I know exactly how you feel! You aren't alone in thinking this. I have felt that way so many times. Talking to other moms about how you feel I think you will find we all need to get away to be ourselves now and then. We need to nurture and take care of ourselves too. Also the ages of kids one has is also an important factor in the stress level as well. Don't ever feel like you are alone! I have a 9 year old, a 7 year old, a 16 month old and one on the way and I can say for sure that I have had many times when I felt hopeless. My 2nd and 3rd are 6 and a half years apart and I still struggle having a toddler most of the time! You kids are much closer together and it makes a difference in the needs that they have and the stress that comes with it. I think you are doing a wonderful job. Don't beat yourself up. It's ok to feel like you need some time away. It is very healthy to feel this way. It makes you a better mom to make sure your needs are being met too. Keep your chin up! :)

Kristin said...

Hi this is Jared crazy cousin :) I also LOVE mowing the lawn! My Jared thinks I am crazy.
Anyways thanks for you post and your honesty but your positive attitude about being a mom. All mothers have the reality of their cute kids but sometimes I find myself focusing on the negatives not the positives throughout the day. Thanks for the good example. Your family is beautiful!

Tyson and Stephanie said...

Hi Laura,
I love looking at your blog, and I especially love this post. Besides the mowing the lawn part, these are my thoughts exactly too (except I don't have 3 kids for carseats yet). I never dreamed I would feel like this with my two precious kids, but it is just the day-to-day struggles that can get me down at times. I appreciate your honesty so much in making me realize I am not alone in these motherhood feelings. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. I miss seeing you and chatting at the park. Love, Stephanie