Not Quite Right

posted in: Life, Long Post, Rant 98 comments

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I’ve been a shitbag of doldrums lately. Just ask my poor husband who’s had to put up with me.

My children are my joy, my heart, my life. They laugh, they smile, they play with each other, they love me, they love their father, they are cute, they are amazing, nothing short of exquisite. But. But. But, they also give me migraines, heart attacks and a case of oh-my-god-I-want-to-poke-my-eyes-out-with-a-toothpick. The tantrums, the stubbornness, the crying, the whining, the non-sleeping, the constant testing of my patience. It’s enough to make me feel like I am failing them, at each and every turn.

The past week has been trying. I have said to my husband that perhaps this stay-at-home mothering thing is just not me. I can’t do it. I suck. They may be better off if someone else looks after then for 8 hours a day. Do you know how fucked up it is when you feel like that, and say it out loud?

Fortunately, my husband is a patient, saint of a man, who assured me that I don’t suck, that I am the best person for these two boys. He tells me it’s just been a challenging time, a time of transitions and growth for everyone (you know, as opposed to just rolling his eyes and telling me to get over myself).

I told him, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. When my head hits the pillow every night, I don’t feel like I’ve done anything useful. He says, the children wake up healthy, in one piece and generally happy, well, you’ve done good. And I say, isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? Those things cannot possibly be the yardstick by which I measure my awesomeness. Those are the basics of looking after children, no?

Aside from general suckyness of the day-to-day where I am not supermom, I am feeling inadequate in many ways. My little business is not taking off. I know exactly what I need to do to get it to fly. After all, I am in the business of helping others do the same. But I can’t get my ass in gear. I can’t get to that right head space to do what I need to do, to be awesome at social media. I know I can do it. I just haven’t.

That comes down to my self-doubt. I am plagued by it these days. I just feel sick over it. Physically in fact. My stomach hurts. It has been for a few days and of course I’ve convinced myself I have cancer or some other illness because my god, surely self-doubt is not so toxic that it’s in my gut now (or it could be that chili I ate the other day, who knows). *Update: It was appendicitis. Damn.

I’ve just felt like a shitbag of self-doubt. My face agrees because lo and behold, I have a massive zit on my chin, and I only get chin zits when I’m stressed.

And this blog. This is mine, you know. My space. Where I’m supposed to be awesome. Or at least that’s what I try to make you think. I am tired. Tired of keeping my zitty chin up. I want to fall to my knees and cry, and tell you, I am not quite right. I suck. I am self-doubting. And you will be kind and say, no, you don’t suck, you are awesome, don’t be silly, you have all these things going on – people must like you, you must be doing something right?

Such is the beauty of blogging, isn’t it? All these people who’ve never met you, assuring you that you’re okay? That you can just write whatever down and people relate, or feel sorry for you, and reach out, tell you it’s going to be fine? That we use our blogs as therapy, just put it out there and hope that people don’t think worse of you because you admitted you suck most of the time. That you will most likely feel better after pouring your heart out, and after everyone pats your shoulder and tell you not to cry.

I’m going nowhere with this except to 750 words, making this a LONG rambling post, not just a rambling post.

I just wanted to write it down. Read it out loud to myself. What it’d do for me, I don’t know. I just know I had to.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • December 5, 2012 Lance

    Hang in there, al.

    I’ve been following your posts and been afraid to comment because I don;’t want to start tearing up like a little well, you know. we’re in the same boat mentally and emotionally. every day is effin hard.

    Your heart is huge and your sense of humor is awesome. Lean on your family. It’s what I’ve been doing with mine for the last month. They’ve haven’t asked for my house key, yet.
    Lance recently wrote…100 Word Song – CriminalMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thanks Lance. I’m sorry things are hard for you right now. Thank goodness for family, yes?

  • December 5, 2012 Suburban Snapshots

    I just looked at your site. It’s whimsical, adorable, and I think you could carve a nice niche if you decide WHO it’s for – “Social media for non-techy bloggers!” “Social media for busy dog walkers!” – you know. What if you make a list? I like having things to check off. “Today I will email so-and-so for ideas about such-and-such” then tomorrow, you put one of the ideas to work. Listen, I don’t know how many kids you have, I have one, and having her at home full-time I know I’d get nothing done. Nothing but keeping her happy and entertained and fed. Your husband makes a good point.
    Suburban Snapshots recently wrote…Averting CatastropheMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      You’re right, I may need to relook the whole thing, regroup and refocus. Thank you for your advice. (I have two kids, a 7 month old and a 3 year old)

  • December 5, 2012 Missy

    First of all, I’m so sorry about your appendix! (But glad your stomach pain wasn’t something more sinister.)

    I cannot tell you how much I relate… been feeling like this lately, too. I have no wise words just now, as I’m wallowing through the same trench.

    Sending you healing thoughts! Rest up from your surgery!
    Missy recently wrote…Hello, Poison Control, Is This Dangerous?My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I’m sorry you’re in the same trench, Missy. I hope things look up for you soon!

  • December 5, 2012 Natalie

    Yep and yep…totally get this and that’s why I had a hard time from leaving the corporate job to SAHM…b/c I just don’t feel like it’s where I excel. We all struggle with this…and I really hope you are healing up fast…so sorry for the surgery πŸ™
    Natalie recently wrote…Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree..My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      You’re doing a great job, Natalie!

  • December 5, 2012 Robin

    It might sound odd, but these are my favourite posts from you. Especially when you’re so passionate you actually drop an F bomb. πŸ™‚

    I know how you feel (except for the SAHM part, because I’m not). But I will say this: you are awesome. But every one of us is a little less awesome than normal sometimes, and it’s okay to feel that way.

    It’s also okay to not want to be a SAHM. It’s okay to say “this is not for me” (as I did) and think about what the alternative might be. It’s okay – whether you stay at home or not – to choose a different yardstick by which you measure your mothering.

    I’m glad you don’t have cancer, but I’m sorry the universe decided to fight the doldrums with something like appendicitis. (I am also appendix free and I know just how unpleasant that is.)

    Want to go for coffee?
    Robin recently wrote…Keeping the Channel OpenMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      It’s not odd at all. I also quite like these posts of mine, where I can drop the F bomb. πŸ™‚

      You know, I actually DO want to stay at home with the kids. I have loved it so far, but struggled for most of the 3 years, doubting myself. It can only get better, that’s what I tell myself.


  • December 5, 2012 Tara

    The last update I’ve seen is that you are still in the hospital – I hope you are feeling better, after surgery.

    I just wanted to say that I can relate. I get that way a lot (though my zits are on the jowls, not the chin). That doubt is there, whether you stay at home with your kids, or you work away from your kids. I’ve done both, and figured out which makes me a more sane mother. Try not to beat yourself up too much, it’s more difficult to stay home and raise kids than anyone has ever said.
    Tara recently wrote…A weekend at home…My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thanks Tara, I am home and so glad to be!

      I know I want to stay at home, and work from home, that’s my dream. I just wish it wasn’t so darn hard. Sigh.

  • December 5, 2012 Elaine A.

    I say that to my husband all the time – that I was so NOT cut out for this 24-7 Mom gig thing. It’s just so much friggin’ harder than I thought it would be. Surely it was NOT this hard for my Mom, right? At least I do not remember that it was… πŸ˜‰ The kids are resilient and what you are doing for them – being there for them, day in and day out is most DEFINITELY worth something. At least that is what I try to tell myself every night… πŸ™‚

    I hope you feel better after writing this. And I am guessing you will feel better physically too, now that your pesky appendix is out.

    Thinking of you… xoxoxo
    Elaine A. recently wrote…LIfe in an iPhoneMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I did feel loads better writing this down, and yes, so glad that stupid appendix is out! But damn, the wound hurt.

  • December 5, 2012 Susi

    Sometimes, just writing it out and letting it be is all you can do. Hang in there! And feel better. Hope you have a speedy recovery. ((hugs))
    Susi recently wrote…Scenes from a fight {Wordless Wednesday}My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Susi, hugs are always welcomed. πŸ™‚

  • December 5, 2012 Lauren

    My favorite post from you! Chin up, some days are worse than others. You can only stretch yourself so far. It’s kinda like having multiple personalities doesn’t it? You want to do everything but hampered by time, commitments, responsibilities blah, blah. But take a step back and realize you have done A LOT! Get well soon and try to enjoy the mini break πŸ˜€

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I am enjoying having things done for me yes πŸ™‚

  • December 5, 2012 Kimberly

    I’ve felt this way for so long. It’s hard and it surely wears on your mind and heart. But just know that it’s ok to feel like this sometimes. I think it’s natural to question things. It will either lead you to a different path or it will justify that you have chosen the right one all along.

    I sure hope you’re recovering quickly. I’m so sorry you’ve gone through that!
    Kimberly recently wrote…Night Time GuiltMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you my friend. It’s good to know that it’s natural to feel this way. I’m recovering somewhat!

  • December 5, 2012 Stasha

    Oh I hear you my friend!! I do. And I wish I could say this comes and goes but sometimes it just is what it is. There are mornings I wish I did not have to get out of bed. Cause I feel like I cannot be awesome. And there are nights when I am killing time doing something beyond unproductive caus eit is the only time I feel like I am in charge and can do whatever I want to do. And that is not looking at my business or my blog stuff but rather research the best fluffy socks and read reviews about them for an hour. Or read a book. You know?
    So glad appendix is out. It’s a useless little bugger anyway… Hugs xo
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      You have explained the reason I spend so much time on Pinterest. πŸ™‚

  • December 5, 2012 Barbara

    Big hugs. Being a SAHM is hard and rewarding work. I have accepted the fact that I suck at it and it is beneficial to both me and my boys that they go to “school”.
    Barbara recently wrote…Your typical weekend…in ParisMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      The toddler just started going to school 3 days a week – I am so glad! It’s good for him. And me.

  • December 5, 2012 Kimberly

    You know that I love you with everything I’ve got. I promise that I won’t poke at your zit with a long tree twig. I may stare at it though.
    love you xo

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Funny, sweet girl. Love you too. xo

  • December 5, 2012 Tricia

    I am so sorry you are struggling so much. I know those feelings so well and I wish you weren’t going through them. Do take a deep breath and take it easy on yourself. I’m certain you are doing better than you think. And remember that in this small children season of our lives, we sometimes need to adjust our expectations of ourselves. Hang in there and know I admire you and all that you do.
    Tricia recently wrote…how far we’ve comeMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you so much Tricia, for your kind words and understanding.

  • December 5, 2012 Katie E

    Maybe your appendix was just bringing you down πŸ™‚ I hope you recover quickly though I know it’s not that easy as an adult – and mom!

    I’m plagued by self doubt so often, so I just thought I’d at least say you’re certainly not alone in how you’re feeling. I don’t stay at home with my kids and have lots of mom guilt about that even though I know I’d honestly never want to. Because then I feel guilty about now wanting to πŸ™‚ I’ve actually said out loud, even though it may sound bad if you think you sounded bad, that I think I’m a much better mom because I don’t spend my whole day with them. That’s definitely worse to say than what you’re saying, right??
    Katie E recently wrote…Christmas Traditions: Ornaments #iPPPMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      It’s not worse at all! It’s just different. The similarity is the self-doubt. We need to be more sure of ourselves, don’t we? Hugs.

  • December 5, 2012 Susanna Leonard Hill

    Oh, Alison! I hope you’re OK from the appendicitis! That’s not funny! But aside from that, hang in there. Your husband is a good man who says all the right things. And you are a good mother. Bad mothers don’t worry about whether or not they’re good mothers. I have 5 kids. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for a large percentage of my life (although I also work from home, as you do – I write children’s books.) I totally and completely understand how sometimes… for long times… it can feel like the daily slog. And why is it that the moment you lost your temper and yelled at one of them is what sticks with you when your head hits the pillow, and not the moment they were giggling happily over a silly drawing they made and presented you with, or some other happy moment in the day? I think it’s the nature of good motherhood to worry and question and second-guess and feel inadequate… sometimes. Especially during those periods of transition, or when it seems like the kids have been sick all winter, or they’re going through a cranky phase or a sibling rivalry phase. But as my mother always says, this too shall pass. It’s all going to work out. And the good things pass by too – so you want to enjoy them while you can. My youngest is 15 1/2 now, and I frequently miss the days when my kids were little, and home, and wonder where the time went. So try not to worry. You’re doing a great job. Your kids are beautiful and healthy and happy. And you’re not alone πŸ™‚

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, Susanna. It is very assuring to know that I’m not totally strange and that I’m not a bad mother. Just a good one, having a bad time. πŸ™‚

      Appendicitis sucks, but I’m all okay now. Well, still sore, moving like a 90-year old, but alive.

  • December 5, 2012 Chaunie

    Everything you wrote here? EXACTLY HOW I FEEL just about every day. Minus the whole appendicitis part. I hope you are feeling better!!! Sending positive thoughts your way!!
    Chaunie recently wrote…My New Writing Gig: I’m a Pregnancy Blogger!My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I’m sorry you feel the same way Chaunie. But I’m kinda glad I’m not alone. Feel better! And I’m recovering nicely from the appendectomy, thank you for the positive thoughts!

  • December 5, 2012 tracy

    I love you my dear friend. I want to fly over right now and hug you and slap you maybe. You’re amazing. Know that. xoxoxo
    tracy recently wrote…Taking Chances – I’m At Mamalode TodayMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Hug me first, then slap me. Then hug me again. Love you too. Oh, bring ice cream. Chocolate. Cupcakes.

  • December 5, 2012 Maggie S.

    And you were right, because this is where I say, Me, too.

    Except I still have my appendix and I’m quite old.
    Maggie S. recently wrote…For Once It’s About Me{me}!My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Sorry it’s a me too for you, Maggie. You’re not old!

  • December 5, 2012 AnnMarie

    These are my favorite blog posts to read. They are so real and genuine and make me not feel alone or like I am the only one that feels like they are failing at all that we are supposed to do. Life is hard. It isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. It’s okay to admit that and why should we pretend it is? You are being really hard on yourself. Give yourself a break. You’re not a dweller of all things that are sucky so allow yourself the moments when the suckiness is overwhelming. Let us carry you or build you up because that’s what friends do.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…I AmMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      *sniff* Thank you AnnMarie. What would I do without you guys?

  • December 6, 2012 Kim

    The self-doubt seems to come with the job, doesn’t it? I think the questions and the doubts show our commitment to mothering our children the best we can. Your words and your heart touch many and I for one love to visit you in this space and see a piece of your world and hear stories of your beautiful boys. I hope that as you heal from your surgery, the positive vibes find their way back to you. Sending some now.
    Kim recently wrote…10 Great Things About MeMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kim. I sure hope so!!

  • December 6, 2012 Devan McGuinness

    I love reading these post from you — there are often many who feel the same way (hello, me) and not only does it help you to write it out, it’s helping me to read it.

    Devan McGuinness recently wrote…Finding the Light Through InfertilityMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Devan, thank you for that. Truly. xo

  • December 6, 2012 thedoseofreality

    I can’t help but think that part of this has to be that you are at some of the toughest ages with kids. The literal suck you bone dry of mental and physical energy 24 hours a day ages. I have no doubt that just by putting it out there you have validated the way someone else is feeling. Good for you.

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      It may be. It is hard and some days is just pure slog. But now that I’m laid up because of the surgery and they are staying with their grandparents, by god I miss them.

  • December 6, 2012 molly

    Rambling on your blog is OKAY. I have done it A LOT over the past six years and you know what? It’s just what needs to be done sometimes. I bet you felt better after you wrote this and got it all out. If I had the money I would hire you πŸ™‚
    molly recently wrote…Six YearsMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I DID feel better. And thank you, I appreciate the thought! πŸ™‚

  • December 6, 2012 lisacng

    Hope you’re ok after the appendicitis. Yikes! I guess I won’t tell you it’s all going to be ok, because you know that, somewhere. You wish it’d be ok now, but it’s not, not yet. But all great things come with time, no? Hang in there! You are awesome. Mom, blogger, social media expert, whatever you want to be! Plus, we all through seasons in life and maybe this is your season to be a mom, and another season will come for other things. Perhaps that season is next week, perhaps it’s later, but it will arrive!
    lisacng recently wrote…My photography in 2012 and looking forward to 2013My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I like the idea of seasons. I just wish I knew which one I’m in right now. πŸ™‚

  • December 6, 2012 Jessica

    We all have down times. Just hang in there my friend and take a deep breathe. Then make some cupcakes.
    Jessica recently wrote…Where To Give This Holiday Season in Northern NevadaMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I can’t even bake now, after surgery. Sigh.

  • December 6, 2012 Alexandra

    This is exactly what I do, A.

    I clear the mental clutter, take a deep breath, and then start the deconstruction.

    For me, that means I have to accept that my life is where I need it be for me and my family.

    I remember a wonderful therapist I had, when the kids were so little: both under 2. I cried about how they’d be better off in day care and that I maybe should go back to work.

    She looked at me and said, “that’s just trading one problem for another.”

    She was so right.

    No matter where you go: your life is still there.

    What works for others, may not work for me. I am where I need to be.

    I love you.
    Alexandra recently wrote…What’s Love Without The Memories?My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      That’s amazing advice. Thank you my friend. Love you too. xo

  • December 6, 2012 Alexa

    Girl, I feel like I could be YOU today. I too feel like a shitbag of a SAHM. I suck at it. I do. The house is a mess, my kids are a mess, they watch TV while I write. I’m not motivated to do anything. Part of it, I am sure, is depression, that I am trying to get under control. Then I blog about feeling blue with our little anniversaries coming up, and people put me on suicide watch! My husband is NOT supportive though. He keeps telling me to get my resume updated cause I suck as a stay at home mom. Nice, huh?
    I’m sorry you’re having a wrotten day, week, month… however long. I”m glad you wrote about it though, cause I’m there too, and I’m glad I”m not alone! And judging from the comments, there are more than two of us there.
    Alexa recently wrote…Shutting Down – my 100th postMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Oh hon. I’m sorry you’re going through this too. Can we hold each other up? Let’s do that, we need to. For each other. Hang on in there, you are most certainly not alone, neither am I.

  • December 6, 2012 Amy

    Yeah, I’m afraid you can’t hog all those failure feelings for yourself. I just wrote on it as well. It’s just such a different definition of achievement when you’re a mom. I’m used to multi-million dollar budgets and program evaluations and legislatures. Now, I’m a success today bc I conned him into eating edamame. Today. Tomorrow he’ll hate it and I’ll have to lower even that bar a little. It’s totally nuts and not in any of the mothering books I read. How to completely reorder your own ego/sense of self. The best thing I did was give myself a break. He goes to school 2 or 3 mornings a week. He gets to play, I get a break. It’s so ebb and tide, right side up and upside down and generally bipolar with kids, isn’t it? Feel better.
    Amy recently wrote…The Art of WinningMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Um, yes yes yes. Reordering sense of self. That. Someone needs to figure it out, write a book and she’ll make millions. The toddler goes to school 3 times a week now, THANK GOODNESS. The relief is so palpable, I feel almost guilty.

  • December 6, 2012 angela

    Love you! You are awesome, and one day soon the sun will shine a little more and that silly, unnecessary organ won’t be a problem …
    angela recently wrote…My Forever HeartMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Aw thank you Angela. Truly. xo

  • December 6, 2012 Amanda

    It’s definitely hard. Sometimes it feels like it’s just too hard, doesn’t it? But it’s not supposed to be easy. These are the times when you call on your village and you put your friendships and family relationships to the test. The people that can be there for you are your village. Hang on tight to those people and don’t let them go! They will be strong for you when you don’t feel strong enough on your own.

    I hope you are mending well and getting some R&R while your village helps you care for your little ones.
    Amanda recently wrote…What Makes Me Great…My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I am so grateful for my village, truly. I am blessed beyond belief.

  • December 6, 2012 Sue

    I understand you.

    And I am hugging you. But not too tight. Appendicitis? Owie.

    And I am TOTALLY entering that rockstar giveaway of yours after I hit “post comment.”
    Sue recently wrote…Mama Loves her SparkleMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for the hug that did not touch the lower right abdomen where they cut me open. πŸ™‚ xo

  • December 6, 2012 Kristen

    I can’t say that we have ALL gone through what you are going through right now but I can definitely say that I have and I probably do about once a year. Everything just explodes and I am left feel empty, unworthy of anything and very lonely even though I have a lot of love around me. Just know that you are a wonderful mama! There are too many posts on here to say otherwise. We don’t always share the bad things but there is so much of the good that we do. Read through some of your older posts. Believe in yourself and if that doesn’t work…enjoy those painkillers from the surgery. πŸ˜‰ xo
    Kristen recently wrote…Christmas TraditionMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kristen. Truly.
      (they gave me regular paracetamol for the pain, can you believe it? Because of breastfeeding.)

  • December 6, 2012 Tracie

    Sometimes you have to write it out to get it out of you. Kind of like an appendix that is trying to kill you? maybe. I’m certainly no expert on appendixes. I am, unfortunately, more of an expert on sucky tiredness and self-doubt and feeling overwhelmed.

    The only answer I have is to keep going. Sometimes the basics of looking after our children is exactly where we are, and that is okay. We are okay. You are okay. Remember all those things that you said people would write to you, because you know somewhere deep inside that those people are right…and that even when you don’t feel it, you are amazing. I promise.
    Tracie recently wrote…Child AloneMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      *sniff* Thank you Tracie.
      Getting that pesky appendix out helped as much as writing this down did. πŸ™‚

  • December 6, 2012 Ann Mc

    *sigh* ….I heart you! I know that everyone goes through this sort of thing and when you do – it’s nice when your friends rally ’round. I’m here if you need to chat and you are made of awesome! Hugs, girlfriend!

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Ann, I can always count on you.

  • December 6, 2012 Alma

    Most times I see you posted I sit away from all distractions and kids and grab my favorite cup-of-something because I know I am in for a treat. But today you read my mind. I know all mothers feel this way at one point. For me, I worked for most of my kids life and worked long hours and made more money than my husband. Then last year it all changed when I lost my job and was now SAHM. Sometimes I think I am evil to think I’d rather be doing something else than be dealing with a whiny toddler.
    Its good to vent here and know I am not alone.
    Thank goodness for the good men in our lives Alison. My hubby is away on business and have major respect for those that do it alone. We are so lucky.
    So happy you are recovering nicely and got your shower.
    Alma recently wrote…The Captain Saves the DinosaursMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      You’re not evil, you’re normal. No one appreciates what we do, until they experience it themselves. And yes, thank goodness for our good men. I don’t know what I’d do without my level-headed, patient husband!

  • December 6, 2012 Leslie

    Lots of hugs coming your way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like an absolutely horrible mother over the last few months. Having a toddler and an infant is HARD. REALLY HARD. Don’t beat yourself up over it too much. I’m sure this time will pass. And hopefully at least half of your frustration was due to the appendicitis. Take the strong stuff, lie around for a couple of weeks and don’t overdo it.
    Leslie recently wrote…{Etsy Finds} Stocking Stuffers for MenMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      I can’t take the strong stuff, I’m on regular minor-headache-painkillers because I’m breastfeeding. Gah. So I’m powering through it, just as I powered through 7 months of back-to-back illnesses when I was pregnant. πŸ™‚
      And hugs to you too!

  • Oh Alison… come over here and let me hug you!
    There is not a woman out there who hasn’t felt just the same way as you do/did. And if they say that they have never had those feelings they are lying.
    Hang in there sweet.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…It is the little things…My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for everything, Tinne. Truly.

  • December 7, 2012 Jessica

    Alison, this post is one that I think we all could have written on any given day. You are not alone. You are doing all that you can right now and you’re doing the best you can. Just keep doing what you can and accept what you can’t. I always do personalize posts, so bear with me when I talk about how your words once were my own. When I was really into blogging, my life felt like it was in a shambles. The more I wanted to make something real of my writing career, the more I felt like a failure for not making more of my writing career. You know that feeling you get, or I get, when you feel like you could be doing so much more but you’re not and then you feel like crap because of it? That was me all the time. I felt like I was never enough but then. at the same time, I felt like I was doing more than I could do. So it was me, I though, who was insufficient, unable to balance my life’s demands better and make more of myself. I am learning now to be happy with what I am doing and accept that I can do a lot but not everything. Your business will grow and you are a great mother. Really. I hope this helps and that you’re feeling better. Hugs.
    Jessica recently wrote…In the pursuit of (more) happinessMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Yes, this helps. I KNOW what you mean. Doing more, yet not doing enough. It’s a circle that is bound to drive one to the ground. Thank you. Really, thank you.

  • December 7, 2012 Christa the BabbyMama

    Hey, setting up little businesses takes time! Don’t poo poo on yourself πŸ™‚ You’re great!
    Christa the BabbyMama recently wrote…Plan of Attack: My Month 2 Maternity Leave StrategyMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Christa. πŸ™‚

  • December 7, 2012 Christine

    oh Alison. It’s hard. Really hard and so many of us have been there. I know that I have especially feeling unproductive and that it doesn’t count if your kids are generally happy and one piece. But it does. Parenting and being a mother is so much and it’s OK to feel like this. You’re human. We’re all human. I know that I’m not cut ouf for the SAHM thing – tried it for 3 years and it’s not me. I don’t fit the motherhood mould in so many ways and it’s been hard to be OK with it but I am. You are an incredible mom with a very big heart. Hang in there. Rest and feel better.
    Christine recently wrote…Stepping up to the barre with Olympian Lashinda DemusMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      The problem may lie in the fact that I believe I am superhuman. πŸ™‚ Sigh.

  • Girl, first off, a large part of your feelings of suckage were from the appendix, right? You were sick and drained long before your trip to the ER. The week before I got my appendectomy, I was going back to bed after the kids went to school (you did not have that luxury, you had to deal with your little ones). I was saying things like “I am TRAGICALLY tired.”

    Secondly, I have worked as a doctor in a trauma center and mothering babies and toddlers is the only job that has brought me to my knees in tears. That may be why I don’t mind the adolescent years so much. πŸ™‚

    You are great, but mostly, you are normal. I think that is what I love most about blogging, being able to let the perfection facade fall. Ellen
    Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently wrote…Does McFAD — Maternal Calendar Flippage Anxiety Disorder — Got You Down?My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Tragically tired – I need to steal that!!

      Normal. Yes. That. But I want my boys to see me as beyond normal. That’s my problem. I am trying to overachieve in parenting, that’s insane and not doable.

      The appendectomy is somewhat a blessing in disguise. I cannot be more knocked back, yet this may be the best thing to happen to me right now.

  • December 7, 2012 Nina

    OH my goodness–sorry for the pain (physical) and the other pain too (emotional!) I think real is great for any life–on a blog or not. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with us.
    Nina recently wrote…Some Not Very Romantic Marriage AdviceMy Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, Nina. I need to feel less apologetic for sharing the slightly ugly on here. It is my blog after all, right? πŸ™‚

  • December 8, 2012 Julia

    I’m so sorry you are having a hard time right now. I am so glad you figured out the stomach problem and are getting better now, though!! We all get in slumps like this, I think. But you will come out of it, and you will remember how amazing you are. Because you really, truly, are. xoxo
    Julia recently wrote…Choosing MemoriesMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thank you Julia. Truly. xo

  • December 8, 2012 Elizabeth Kane

    Think less of you? Heck no! More like think *more* of you. It’s exhausting being an awesome parent all day. I think most parents feel they have to always be “on” – tuned in with your kids 24/7. But sometimes you just need a day (a week!) off from it all. Perfection be damned!

    Plus you are starting a business – you are allowed to have lots of fits. The tantrum annoying crying kind if you want! The growing, the failure, the starting over again is much more a part of success and happiness in life than I anticipated, that’s for sure.

    And no more pressure of being always awesome – only support and understanding here! P.S. I hope you feel much better.

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for your kind words, support and love, Elizabeth. Much needed and appreciated. xo

  • December 10, 2012 Rach (DonutsMama)

    I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. Self-doubt is a nasty, lying thing. I really can relate to this post (complete with the whole wondering if I’m doing the right thing by being a SAHM to my kid and having my husband constantly reassure me that I’m doing fine). I really am grateful for your honesty and for your openness. I’ve always looked up to you and felt like you were able to do it all–or at least so much more than I ever could. I’m sure you’ll get your groove back soon.

    And I’m glad you’re feeling better healthwise.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently wrote…Creatively Stalled OutMy Profile

    • December 10, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for your support Rach. Truly. I can’t do it all, clearly. At least, not without sacrificing some sanity. πŸ™‚

  • December 10, 2012 Leighann

    Even thought I go to work every day there are still so many of them that I feel as though I’ve accomplished nothing.
    You are doing great! Keep focused on your goals, you accomplish so much
    Leighann recently wrote…Christmas Must HavesMy Profile

    • December 10, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Leighann!

  • December 12, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I WISH I had seen this on time so I could have given you long distance hugs!! As I was reading, I was thinking – I bed it was the appendicitis that was causing even more than the stomach aches.

    Are you better now? Emotionally?

    Hugs anyway, even late. πŸ™‚

    • December 12, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, I am better now. It’s not 100% perfect/ rainbows and sunshine, but I can see (somewhat) through the fog now. I was just so overwhelmed. I guess the appendectomy was a blessing in disguise because it literally forced me to stop. Like, everything. Thank you for the hugs, always welcomed!

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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