Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where Do You Get More Rope?

Rope, End of: Where I realized I was yesterday when the older ducklings were asking to use the markers and it was all I could do not to pick up the cup of markers and fling it out the window, followed by the ducklings. (The falling snow had not managed to construct drifts, so this would not have been good.)

It feels like lack of sleep, but it's not; at least, I'm sleeping better than I have in a year. (Which is still only about six hours, so perhaps it's just catching up with me.) Probably it's nothing more than cabin fever. I don't do well if I can't get fresh air every day, and bundling up all the kids to go outside has been too intimidating thus far. It's going to be a long, long winter.

Whatever the cause, the question at a moment like that is always what to do next before one winds up on the front page. People tell you to call them if they need help, but you know what this means: Oh dear, I'm terribly sorry, I'm busy today, but I could come by next Thursday. When what you need is some other person Right Now. By next Thursday--or even in the best case, by the time another person could drive over to your house--the crisis will be past.

What I did yesterday was shut the older ducklings in their room, leave the babies on the floor, and went outside to walk around the house several times. This helped enough that I was able to consider the possibility of tea as being a helpful beverage, so I came in and made some and we had a tea party with graham crackers even though it was almost lunch time.

I wish there was a truly happy ending with a nice moral to this story, but there isn't except that we all made it through the day intact. By naptime I was over the edge again. It was only green tea; perhaps more caffeine would help? I hate coffee and carbonated beverages, but I think I could learn to drink black tea. I'm a little concerned about its effect on the babies, though. DOB is also going to try to see that I can get a long walk at least three times a week.

Still, these moments happen. At least to me. Where do you go for more rope? Or am I the only one who suddenly finds themselves this far out of it?


the Joneses said...

I know what that feeling is. I encounter it less now that my older ones are old enough to be independent, if that's any encouragement.

The stage you're in is hard hard hard. You've got TWO babies, and your older ones still aren't very old. One idea that gave me a little more rope was that a friend and I switched off Fridays for a while: one kept kids, and the other went out for two hours. That's fallen off now that we're into school and co-op. We've played with the idea of one taking an hour, then coming home and the other taking an hour. With yours so small, I'm not sure how that would work. Something to keep in mind, though.

Winter is long for everyone with small kids. Oh, and winter is why God created videos, seriously.

-- SJ

Fe said...

No solutions here...:-( But I did want to reassure you that you're not the only one who feels they're out of rope:-(

Carrie said...

Yup. I'm with Sara. I save videos (Curious George & Thomas) for when I can't stand the "play mommy! play mommy!" clinginess for one more second. It buys me 20 minutes to go and breathe and recollect myself.

But then I only have one and so long as he agrees to take an afternoon nap I'm ok. It's when he doesn't and he's at my side the entire day that I start to go bonkers.

Otherwise, I'd say, yeah it's just you and you alone. ;D

Mary said...

I think if you polled most moms they would admit to similar ropeless moments. I am thankful I can go to the Rope Giver. My best advice is to pray, pray, pray. Find a verse you can cling to. Here are some possibilities:
2Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,
2Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Isaiah 40:11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Pick a phrase from your verse you can pray, like "Lord, gently lead me."

And then trust that God will get you through. There will be light in the darkness.

You are one step ahead of the game by admitting your struggle. Good for you.

I pray you feel some encouragement soon!

Deige said...

Wow! I too understand how you feel and I only have 2, ages 5 and 2. Today has been one of those days for me and I'm just counting down till my hubby gets home sometime after 8:30pm. In a strange way it's nice to know I'm not alone... all mothers need breaks.
Oh, God help us! Amen.

Devona said...

Olivia used to burn my rope from both ends. Now it's Elise.

When they are freaking me out and I'm about to lose it I do one of two three things:

1. in my less creative moments I put on a video, even 10 minutes of Kipper can get dinner on the table.

2. I love to put in a book on tape. They will sit and listen to Little House, Pooh, or Charlotte's Web. This has taken up whole afternoons if I don't come into the room and interrupt them (bonus I can't even be in the same room!)

3. Scream and jump and have a cow.

I pray this is a mild winter so you can at least go outside a couple times a week.

Anonymous said...

I have them and my children are slightly older than yours are now. (7 & 9) but from very early on, certainly by the age of your two oldest, I told them... point blank. "You have to stop. Mommy has had enough and Mommy can't do this any more right now. You have to leave me alone."

And then, I'd do something along the lines of what you did. Put them in a safe spot and walk away. Sometimes just to the bathroom... sometimes around the house. Sometimes I'd just put them in their crib and shut the door.

If they are safe, then do take some time. I'm sure you don't do this every hour of every day and your kids won't be harmed for it in any way. When I think of the time when I lived overseas... children were left alone often for quite some length of time. Simply because the parent was too busy trying to find food.

Thankfully you don't have that situation! There is some talk in early years psychology that we don't give children enough 'rope' with our current 'normal' parenting methods and the children pay dearly for this!


New Mommy said...

I think every mom can identify with you, though I'm not sure we could all express it as well as you have.

In my third pregnancy, hair started falling out like never before, and I started researching iodine. Turns out, after I started taking the stuff, I have way more "rope" than I used to have. Granted, I tend to be one of those nervous-impetuous types, but the iodine (Lugols solution from J. Crows Marketplace) has helped tremendously. Pregnancy seems to deplete the stores of it, and using RealSalt, instead of the iodized stuff from the store must have lowered my levels. People around me and I have noticed quite a difference.