I’m not sure what’s happened to me lately. I used to be a good mom. I think I still am, sometimes, but not as much as I used to be. And I don’t know exactly what happened or when it all changed.

I’m just so angry, all the time. A lot of it is just about my life in general – I resent that I’m stuck raising two kids by myself while their dad gets to go do whatever he damn well pleases and show up for visits when it suits him. Some of it is directed at Lucy, because that whole “shared bedroom” idea lasted about three nights, and now she’s back to waking me up multiple times a night. Some of it is directed at Catie, because apparently 6 is the age when The Attitude kicks in, and man alive, I wasn’t prepared for that.

There are moments when I love them so much that I can’t stop kissing them and I feel so insanely lucky to have them. But those moments happen a lot less frequently than they used to happen.

I post funny stories and cute pictures on Twitter and Facebook, because it’s all I can come up with. I haven’t blogged in over a month, because the only thing on my mind is how awful I feel all the time.

My nerves are on edge from the minute I pick them up at daycare until I finally get them to sleep. I refer to it as my nightly marathon. Not a single night goes by without me snapping and yelling at some point.

The other night I was trying to eat dinner (after I’d already fed and bathed the kids), and Catie came over to me, and just her touching me on the arm made me flinch and snap at her, “What do you want NOW?”

She was trying to give me a kiss.

Yeah. Mother of the damn Year over here.

The happiest moment of my day is after I drop them off at school and daycare, and I get to go to work and focus on something other than their needs. I dread the weekends because it means they’re all over me for 48 hours.

There’s a constant knot of anxiety in my stomach. There are times that the worst imaginable thoughts flash through my mind. That I hate my children. That I wish I’d never had them. That I wish I could run away and never come back.

I think for a long time, the anti-depressant I was taking (Lexapro, for those of you who care, and which I’ve been on for over two years now) made life more manageable for me. It’s obviously no longer working.

And so, tomorrow, I’m going to see a psychiatrist for the first time. Because I think this requires more help than my regular family doctor can provide. And I pray that this new doctor has something that can fix me. Because this is not normal, and more importantly, it’s not me. This is not the kind of mother I want to be. I don’t want my girls to grow up and remember their mom as this bitter, angry, horrible person.

I know I was a good mom once. Hopefully I can be that again. Sooner rather than later.

37 thoughts on “Confession

  1. You are a good mom. A truly, very good mom. You love your girls, they know that. Parenting two kids is hard enough, to do it alone? You are succeeding at something that is exceedingly difficult. It’s hard, but you aren’t alone. And you aren’t doing anything wrong. xoxo.

  2. I’m so sorry. You are not a bad mother, you just don’t have much time to take care of yourself and that makes it hard to care for others, or to even WANT to care for them. Asking for help is so important and therapy is definitely a step in the right direction. I don’t have children, but was in a similar angry/exhausted headspace as you a few years ago and therapy, yoga, a change in diet, (and for a few months zoloft) really helped me get to a better place where I didn’t feel angry and irritable all the time. I can’t imagine trying to care for children while I felt that way. My heart goes out to you and I wish you all the best as you work to heal.

  3. You are a good mom. You know you need help and you’re getting it. Life’s tough and we all need help in one way or another. Hugs.

  4. Oh my friend. I am so glad you’re going to go talk with a doctor. You are a good mom, and I know this because if you weren’t, you wouldn’t give a shit about how you feel about your kids. When I was a single mother, I dreaded the weekends because they are hard. They are hard. I would get up in the morning with my beautiful son and as soon as any store was open, we would go there (usually Home Depot). We would walk around until he was done being patient. And then we would go grocery shopping, and then I’d go home in time to put him to bed for a nap. On Sundays we would go to my Grandmother’s house for lunch, getting there at 10 in the morning and leaving around 3 in the afternoon. I just needed a buffer. This lasted for about a year. And then it got better. With therapy and medicine. This shit is hard, my friend.
    Sherry Carr-Smith´s last blog post ..One Preemie Gives To ManyMy Profile

  5. You’re a good mom because you CARE. Because you ARE there for them. Even when you simply cannot be emotionally present because dude, things are not okay! You can’t be expected to just carry on as if everything is totally fucking awesome because it’s not. I’m so proud of you for sharing your vulnerability and for seeking the help you need. Asking for help is so hard.

    So much of this is very familiar to me. Sending you love.
    Maria´s last blog post ..we are into some scienceMy Profile

  6. Wow. I could have written this post myself. Minus the two girls and adding four boys.

    Being the mommy and the daddy and the EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN is hard. And if you lose yourself in parenting, well then, what must happen to us when we are parenting alone-a job for two if not a job of a village.

    Sending you love and hugs and lots of understanding.


  7. I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way, but I’m happy that you’re seeing your doctor. I can’t imagine the stress you’re under. I know people say, “I couldn’t do that,” and I know that the answer is that of course you can, because you have to. Still, you’re doing more than most of us could handle.

  8. Hugs to you friend. Doing it all on your own IS really hard! You’re not a bad Mom. You’re a tired, exhausted, works full-time, takes care of the kids full-time Mom. A good Mom.

  9. You are not alone…I feel the same often. It’s hard to feel anger at a tiny incubator baby but it happens. Work on your reaction, that is what the kiddos see. Then you can work on the why but you know what? The why is legit. You are doing it yourself and that was not your plan, the anger is more at dad, who gets out of the responsibility portion, unfortunately the kids are the ones there. Work on the reaction, the why is legit. I chose this for myself, I knew going in I would be on my own, you did not, allow yourself adjustment

  10. It was very brave to out this out there. I know it’s hard for me to acknowledge to others the things I don’t like about myself. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you (I’m not a single parent, I’m not even a parent) but it must be extremely hard not to share the parenting duties so that you have time of your own.

  11. Glad you’re seeking help when you feel like you need it. I’m sorry this is such a hard time for you. Kids can be a handful of crazy even when everyone is in the best mood, so I feel for you. Hugs!

  12. My friend, you are a good mom, now, then and always.

    Parenting without full time back up is HARD. It’s unlike anything else. Knowing that on any given night there is no one else there to do baths or dinner or anything just so you can have five freaking minutes to decompress or take a Tylenol for that headache that’s been eating away at you all day.

    I’m glad you’re going to see someone and I honestly think once the sleep situation improves you’re going to feel much better. Dude, you’re beyond exhausted.

    And my dear? You have my cell number. You can call or text me at any time. No judgement, no recriminations if you need to vent and cut loose. I so get it.

  13. Want to echo what everyone else said – you are a good mom because you are getting help.

    Also? 6 is my least favorite age. Including age 3. They are just sassy mouthed and back talking and know freaking everything. I can.not.wait for my boys to turn 7. I have had daydreams of smacking Nate across the face this year.

    And this is not meant in a weirdo way, but Jon travels for work a lot (gone 4 nights this week) so any time you want to meet up to grab food with the kiddos or just get some fresh air, let me know. Jon’s been traveling since the boys were newborns and sometimes I take them to dinner at parks because I can’t bear being in the house, putting them to bed, dealing with their antics. Even a small change of pace helps my mental attitude some nights.
    Laura Case´s last blog post ..Beach photos… another dayMy Profile

  14. You are not a bad mother. As Katie put it, a bad mother would not seek help. You’re in my thoughts. And about seeing the psychiatrist, they will help you 🙂

  15. You are BRAVE. Man, you are brave to say those words aloud. Not because nobody else feels that way, but because LOTS of other people go through phases where they feel that way, and they’re too afraid to admit it – which means they’re too afraid to get help. Single motherhood seems pretty impossible to me, and I only have 1 kid. Add sleep deprivation and I can’t even imagine how you’re getting up every day and putting one foot in front of the other.
    Is there any way you can get a night to yourself? I’m thinking you need at least one night in your house by yourself to just sleep. Or maybe two. Getting a single good night’s sleep certainly won’t solve the problems you’re dealing with, but it might just make you feel a tiny bit better. And hopefully some new medication will help you feel a lot more than a tiny bit better.
    I don’t know you personally but I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and can tell you’re a great mom who had her world rocked and who has a sh** ton of stuff on her plate at the moment. Glad you are brave enough to seek help. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

  16. Good for you for saying (out loud) what so many of us have thought, & even bigger kudos to you for admitting that you need help. I remember after I had my son, one of my friends told me, “There’s not one thing in those damn baby books that tells you that you will have nights where you wonder what would happen if you just chunked the baby out the window…” Before I could even respond, she added, “Just remember that you’re a good mother every day that you don’t.”

    It’s NOT fair that you’re having to do this by yourself. I know that we’re all adults here & that no one is promised a rose garden–life isn’t fair, blah blah blah–but that doesn’t make it suck any less. You are dealing with some suckiness, & you should have someone to tag in, ffs. You need a break, you need some sleep & you need some YOU time, but you don’t really have the luxury of that, while a certain ex has nothing BUT time. No, it’s certainly not fair. Ugh.

    You’ve got this. You’re asking for help, & you’re doing it for all the right reasons. Sending you prayers & good vibes & everything else I can send your way…& even though we don’t know each other, there’s a lounge chair & a margarita with your name on it here in FL any time you want it. *hugs*

  17. I’m sorry your struggling. 🙁 It took guts to write this post. I admire that. Youre a great mom. no one is perfect all the time. You’re doing your best. 🙂

    I hope the new doc can help you but I promise you with my whole heart that if he prescribes benzos (Valium, Xanax, klonopin, Ativan) it will be the worst thing ever. Take it from someone who took Valium (2003) for back spasms, the withdrawal of the drug is sooo much worse than I can put into words (google benzo withdrawal and protracted benzo withdrawal). I always trusted doctors. I never believed in any fru fru new age things but I promise you mindful meditation ( I have them on my iPod), journaling and deep breathing really, truly will calm your sympthatic nervous system (that’s what causing the anxiety and feelings you have now. You’re stuck in “fight or flight” mode). In 2008, I started having anxiety attacks and insomnia bc of very stressful life events. The ONLY thing that has helped me with no bad side effects is what I named above. I NEVER believed in that stuff. It really works though. A pill will mask the problem (which is a chronically amped up nervous system from your understandable stresses) and have side effects, brutal withdrawal and tolerance withdrawal. You will build a tolerance and start getting withdrawal symptoms even though you are taking the same amount and your doc will have to keep upping you until he can’t anymore bc it’ll be too much for your weight and then you’re effed. I never ever misused a pill. I’ve never even had alcohol ( not even for my wedding toast). I always took it as prescribed but after 3-4 weeks your body (the GABA receptors in your brain) become used to it and when you stop…I can’t even adequately express it…12 hour panic attacks, brain zaps, ZERO sleep for DAYS, puking, muscle spasms, intrusive thoughts, facial numbness, jaw pain, heart pounding like its going to explode etc…. I had NO idea what was happening. I started googling “mental illness that starts in your 20′”. I didn’t realize it was my Valium taper. I was tapering a little every week and that still happened. It took me 2 years before all the symptoms left. Everyone talks about Xanax like its aspirin. They think its great. I’d love to see them get off of it. It’s Russian roulette. No one knows how their brain and nervous system will respond. There are better ways without those pills that really help, not just mask. I never share this. I just care about you guys from reading your blog and I don’t want you to go through what I did and lots of others. There are web sites dedicated to this. 2 people I “knew” from the sites passed away. 1 from a seizure. 1 from suicide ( beautiful, sweet holly lejune). She hadnt slept in days. She was 31 with a husband and son. She was not mentally ill. She was on Ativan for her back following a car accident. Crazy that people don’t know about this…I had no clue either. Best of luck tomorrow. I know how bad anxiety feels. I hope things improve. Xo
    PS- if anyone ever reads this and is stuck on a benzo, ask your doc for liquid to taper with. Any compounding pharmacy can do it for about $40 a month, that allows you to taper much slower…I’m thinking about decently this. I’m not a soap box person but I just don’t want anyone to experience what I did. It’s from my heart from my experience, my years of research and the expereince of others I met along the way. Hang in there. Much love 🙂

  18. You are not a bad mom. No one said this would be easy. If it was easy everyone would do it. I truly wish I lived closer, I would take the kids for a weekend, give you some needed rest time. For now, do what you can, text your friends, tweet, facebook, email. Because that’s what we’re here for. We are your support. And we love you.

    I was on Lexapro and it just wasn’t working anymore. So they moved me to Celexa and it’s much better. Same drug class, no issues. Hope same goes for you.

  19. Oh Cindy, I cannot imagine. I have a husband and two kids who generally sleep through the night and I have nights like this a LOT. This age is just so freaking hard and having no sleep and doing it alone has to make it next to impossible. I think you’re doing exactly the right thing by seeking help, wherever you can get it.

    I’m always here. xo
    Jen´s last blog post ..Katelyn – Two Years OldMy Profile

  20. I hope all turns out well for you. You are doing the hardest job of raising children and that’s very admirable from the outside looking in.
    Poppy´s last blog post ..finallyMy Profile

  21. I think all the above comments say it all. You are a good mom. But let us all say what is not being said. Your ex is a douche-y mcdouche for moving so far and leaving you to manage this by yourself. A grade a ASS. If he were a good father he would make whatever sacrifice he feels there is by living in your city and being there for his girls. I hope his folks are stepping up where their son left off. No one can know the hardship of endless nights, trying to feed, clothe, bathe, take care of yourself, by yourself. You will get through this. I am thinking of you, and wishing you SLEEP and peace.

  22. I’ve been reading for a while now, but never commented. Seeking help from a psychiatrist is a wonderful idea, but I also suggest finding a mental health professional to talk to. Often medication adjunctive to therapy is most effective at decreasing distress and improving functioning. I hope that you find some relief from what you’re experiencing soon!

  23. You are a great mom. Parenting 2 kids this age is tough with 2 parents and when you are getting enough sleep. Doing it alone and on lvery little sleep is just, I can’t even imagine. Good for you for seeking help. And bravo for putting this out there. Not a lot of people would have the guts. You are amazing and I hope the new doc can give you the help you need. Love and hugs.

  24. Oh, Cindy. I’ve been there. Sending you so much love. It will get better. You will get through this. And I’m glad you wrote this. Because you have something to show your therapist/psychiatrist. I was so bad at that. I’d go to my sessions and really downplay how I was feeling. Still putting on my “mom” brave face. Hugs, lady. so many hugs.
    Lex´s last blog post ..La Primera’s Delicious Slow Cooker Pot RoastMy Profile

  25. Any mom worth her salt will, at times, doubt that she’s a good mom. Sometimes getting by is all we get. I think you are awesome, thank you for sharing this.
    ::fistbump:: motherhood, yo. It’s haaaard.

  26. You are a great mom for trying to get some help! I think you had to be on autopilot for so long with going through the divorce drama, moving, adjusting the kids, and so on, that it took a while for everything to catch up to you. Yes, you were horribly betrayed and that hurts! I don’t think you went into marriage and motherhood thinking that you would be raising children all alone. I think if you’d gotten widowed you might have felt like it was worth the expense of using insurance money on a nanny to take up the slack. But with divorce, there isn’t that pot of money so you are just doing the very best you can, and now it’s taking a toll on you. Yes it might be easiER if you were getting better sleep. But I don’t think it’s ever going to be easy. Can you squeeze some counseling in there, somehow? I feel like you need some space to talk about this stuff in real time. Keep us posted on how it goes with the doctor, okay? I am thinking of you and sending hugs from an internet stranger.

  27. Cindy, you’re an amazing mom–you’re doing what you need to do to take care of yourself and your girls. I’m sorry this sucks so hard. Lots of love and hugs to you.

  28. I could have written this word for word about my own life and my own situation. I am on the verge of tears on a daily basis. Nothing ever seems good enough and I just never feel happy. Even when I think I’m happy, I can’t stop thinking about when the other shoe will drop.

    I am never one to ask for help, but I think it might be time.

  29. Darlin, what you need is a regular old BREAK. You are stretching yourself so damn thin. I know with work during the week you probably feel like you need to spend your weekends soaking up the kids, but my suggestion? Two weekends a month, someone needs to be responsible for the kids. OR, two nights during the week. Whatever works out. I know that can be difficult with their Dad living so far away, but find someone else. Sign up for and interview until you find the right person. Whatever it takes.

    Whether we are married or single, we simply CANNOT stay at the level of high alert we mothers are at, for a long period of time. You need time. I need time. We all need time. I don’t know what your psychiatrist recommended, but I think (through my own experience) that this is less of a problem of chemical imbalance and more an issue of you needing to rejuvenate. Mothering is work. Work is work. You, my lovely, need a break! And from one long-distance divorced Mama to another, so many smooches and hugs!!! xoxo

  30. Holy shit, you just read my mind! I stop by to read your blog occasionally because you are so honest and don’t sugarcoat. My husband is gone on deployment for at least 2 years and I feel like I’m going insane. I usually have a headache by 8am after yelling for an hour for everyone to get ready so we won’t be late to school. I work from home too and really feel like I never have a moment to do things I want to do. The stress and anxiety are really taking a toll on me and I think it’s probably time to see about meds.

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