Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mama, Interrupted

I think I may be in a bit of a slump.

Not the 'can't crawl out of bed', 'fifth of whiskey on the nightstand' type slump, but more like the stay-at-home-mama blues.  Perhaps the days seem extraordinarily long since my husband is away in Romania and I have no one to talk to but the neighbor's temperamental horse.  Or may because Amelia is sick with a cold and refusing to sleep, my patience is wearing extremely thin.  

Whether I be explaining in my adorable baby voice why she can't swim alone in the deep end or counting down the minutes until Amelia takes her comically short nap, I am feeling the guilt and pressure of not being the peppy, glittery glue stick soccer mom who fist pumps at the idea of spending another day at the petting zoo. 

I was a nanny, I tell myself.  I was destined to be a natural at motherhood.  Snot and bloody noses and disobedience and that explorer chick Dora are supposed to be second nature to me. But instead I find myself tired and mentally exhausted---all the while just wanting to curl up in a bed with a smutty novel and another McFlurry for my McShitty mood.

I feel you judging me right now.  Yeah, you.  I have the most wonderful baby girl with the most beautiful set of screaming lungs, and instead of feeling blessed and grateful and proud to have the most precious gift in the world for which I so desperately prayed, I am merely feeling overwhelmed.

Matt says I need an outlet for my boredom and exhaustion.  "Write your book today," he nonchalantly tosses out as he leaves the house for work.  "Ok, sure honey! Just as soon as Amelia finishes pooping in the bathtub, I will get right to it!"

I have no words for a book at the moment.  I can hardly come up with enough letters to send out a decent tweet.  Unless self-pity books or personal essays on McFlurry binges are the new Fifty Shades of Grey, I'd say I'm a few hundred pages short of a best seller.

It's not that I am without joy.  My love for Amelia is without a doubt the most incredible, enormous emotion I will ever experience. Hands down. I would give my life for that child, yet I simultaneously struggle to read her Curious George three times before bedtime.  He will still be curious in the morning, Amelia.  I promise. 

I wish a handbook came out with the placenta explaining exactly how these supermoms do it.  How do they muster the energy to navigate the entire children's museum on four hours of sleep? How on Earth do these superhuman baby-makers do it day after day and never seem to need a break?  Ten minutes into a puppet show and I could already use an intermission. Or a martini.

I constantly find myself wondering if I am truly doing the best I can do.  I stay up late at night worrying that Amelia considers me a bad mother; that I am scarring her for life if we don't finger paint and blow bubbles and pet filthy goats everyday.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things I am a fairly good parent.  My child is happy and clean. She has never gone without, and she will always be taught right from wrong. Yet I had such grandiose ideas when that pregnancy test read positive that I was going to be the mother who never questioned her abilities because she was so busy being wonderful at everything.

I was going to be the mother who hosted play dates all week since the other moms would be too tired to entertain.  I was going to make blanket forts and costumes and spend hours in an over sized toy box filled with educational games and anatomically correct baby dolls so Amelia could get a head start on her medical degree. 

I wasn't supposed to be this blasé.  I wasn't supposed to be this mediocre.


  1. Stefanie, if any stay-at-home mom claims 100% daily joy and enthusiasm in staying home with the children, she is a liar!

  2. I do believe the educational games are right around the corner and the forts...how about a blanket castle instead --- in about 2 years. :)

  3. You don't know me but I worked with your mom at French. I love your blog because you are so real!! DON'T feel bad for being in a funktastic mood. I stayed home with my boys for nearly 7 years and I have been there. People think a stay at home mom is an easy job, but it is hard. You don't have quality adult interaction which sometimes you find yourself acting exactly like the people/person you are around all the time which is your child, LOL! You need a sitter not because you are a bad mom, because you need a mommy break! Mom's don't ever get that 15 min break, lunch, or bathrooming alone. Kids can be frustrating, annoying, and disobedient yet loving, kind, and little rays of sunshine. The contrast is what makes being a parent worth it. So not only are you dealing with all that, but you just left "home" so eat your McFlurry girl, read a smutty novel, and let it make you feel better!!

  4. Also you are not mediocre!! NO parent is perfect, not one! You have a beautiful and happy child and she is that way because of the mother that raised her. Just to share..I went back to work this past year teaching full time. I LOVED my job, but my kids wanted me to spend more time with them. I mess up all the time, go through patches of funkiness, and I yell at my kids. Sometimes I think I have screwed everything up, but every time I mess up it gives me a chance to be transparent and show them how to apologize and tell them what I should have done differently. I know I haven't done to bad when my kids can recognize I am in a funky mood and they give me extra hugs, tell me I am the best mom in the world, and make me "tea" (water in a mug :)to make me feel better. Also, I totally had a funky last 2 days and ate several donuts and a blizzard....don't feel alone.

  5. Stefanie, this is amazing! I'm sending it on to my daughter who is staying home with a three year old that is so lovable but never stops talking and changes clothes 7 times an hour.
    You probably kept 10 moms from jumping off the bridge today!

  6. Stef, this is lovely and I can totally relate. You are normal and not alone for feeling this way. I'm also sorry your friend Kate left. Life as an expat is difficult because we make good friends and then they leave. That is the reality of this area! The Swiss also drive me nuts sometimes. Are you doing GEMS again this year? I hope so! Don't be lonely! We can meet for a playdate if you want?
    Love Julie