May 26, 2011

Putting on my big girl panties.

Thanks everyone for your awesome and supportive comments! You're the best bloggy buddies ever!

I knew this time around with a new baby would be interesting and perhaps a bit more difficult than usual. (plus, rumor has it number five is hard, so I was scared chocolate-less, but so far so good)

No one was coming to help out, Hubby is swamped at work and hasn't really been able to take any time off, though he's tried to help as much as he can, and I knew not to expect much in way of meals, although a couple of my friends have come through for me.

But really, no need mail me military MRE's just yet. But I'll let you know.

And I was okay with all that. I like to pretend that I'm tough and buff and can handle anything. I'm not above pretending the ridiculous.

But staying up all night with a new baby and being awake all day with a bunch of toddlers can wear a girl down, even one with an effective chocolate stash.

So I must partake of humble pie once in a while. And it can be nasty stuff.

The other day was cold and dreary and wouldn't stop raining! Claira had quite literally kept me up the whole night.

Hubby left for work at quarter to six, and at 7:30am I forced myself out of bed, slogging my way through the foggy slush of my semi-conscious state to get Savannah up and ready for school.

With the other three kids up and about, I could only hope they'd entertain themselves since all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed. But toddlers left alone too long get bored, and that can be dangerous and very, very messy.

By 10:30am, I knew I was in big trouble. I called up Hubby at work hoping, but not really expecting, to see if he'd be able to come home for a while.


He could tell I was frazzled and suggested I call someone to come take the kids for a while.

Now, I'm not above asking for help, nor will I turn it away if genuinely offered. Still, the whole, "Now, call me if you need anything!" thing doesn't work for me. I probably won't call. I'm one of those people who need you to say, "Okay, I'm coming to get your kids! Does Thursday work for you?"

I feel like I'm bothering and imposing on them, you know? Not that I mind in the least when someone calls me, I just struggle to be the one doing the calling.

Still, I decided it was time to take a nice, big, heaping bite of humble pie. Yuck.

I called a girl in my ward who had offered help several times. Up to this point I was simply feeling tired and frustrated, but the second she picked up the phone, I literally started sobbing.

Ugh! How embarrassing! There's nothing worse than crying in front of someone!

Well, okay... yes, there are plenty of things far more embarrassing, but you get the point.

After she said she'd be over in a few minutes to get my kids, I regained my composer and again felt okay. Cause I'm tough and buff, remember?

But the second I opened the door for her, I started sobbing again! Gah! Where the heck was my self-control! I didn't have any at that moment I guess.

She was totally gracious about it, and left with the kids.

Poor girl will never be able to look at me the same again. I wonder if she'll hide from me at church?

I sat there for a while, contemplating on the whole of my situation and decided I needed to change a few things, mainly my attitude. I chose to have this baby, I want this baby, so it was time to suck in my gut, cinch my belt a little tighter (metaphorically speaking of course, even if it did give me a wicked muffin top) and get over myself.

Yesterday I said a prayer or two...... or sixty-four, begging for help, patience, energy, kindness, my skinny jeans back, and just about every other motherly virtue I could think of.

I got all spruced up and ready for the day, did some dishes and laundry, and instead of hiding in the bedroom, I lounged on the couch. It's amazing how much of a difference that makes for the kids!

When Hubby came home for lunch he asked how I was holding up and commented that I seemed to be doing a little better.

And then I said the first thing that came to my mind.

"Well, I figured it was time to put on my big girl panties and get over myself."

Clearly my response shocked him cause he burst into laughter.

But it's true. I can't allow myself to mentally go to the "woe is me" place. So yesterday was actually pretty good!

Although admittedly, I think pulling weeds was a bit much.

So, here goes another day. So far so good!

Of course, this doesn't mean that I don't plan on eating cookies and sleeping all weekend.

Nor does it mean that I won't call you up tomorrow sobbing, begging you to take my kids for a while.

Oh, wipe that horrified look off your face, I was only kidding.....

A little.

35 super cool people speak:

Cheeseboy said...

I think that sometimes the best service we can give is actually allowing someone else to help us. Glad things are going better, but I have no idea what "big girl panties" are.

Tristan said...

((HUGS)) I completely understand where you're at. I've been there many times Hmm, let's see, 6 kids, 3 miscarriages, and I'm pregnant again...with the current baby having just barely turned 6 months old....EEEKKK! I'm going to be there again soon. Maybe I should start looking for those big girl panties now...

Okay, just a few things of advice (feel free to ignore completely).

- Cereal is okay for dinner. So is pb/j.

- Sleep when you can. Yes, it would be nice to be concious when your hubby is home in the evening, but really, if the baby is not crying for you then GO SLEEP. Your hubby wants a happy wife and sleep will help.

- What are the activities your children love that hold their attention for a long time? Sure, they're probably messy, but it's worth an hour of drifting on the couch while they play with playdoh, paint construction paper with plain water, play with water (give them wash rags to scrub the house while they're playing).

- Movies may be your best friend at least once a day.

- Enjoy every minute, even the hormonal crying ones, you're blessed beyond measure to be a mother!

Kirk and Cami Hull said...

Sending love vibes your way Serene. I recently had my third - admittedly different from your fifth, but with Kirk at training over the birth, I was mentally exhausted by the time Molly was born. Then came the physical exhaustion. You're still recovering from childbirth so don't feel bad if you do have moments of "woe is me". I think it's natural to feel overwhelmed, even when you've already done it four other times. Good for you for calling up a friend for help.

Amber said...

I would take your kids for you. Any day. I sure love that little Claira. : )

Neisha said...

I wish I was closer because I would call you and take your kids and make you meals!

Ben, Heather and kids said...

ditto to neisha. i wonder if fed ex would have a problem sending your 4 kids my way? my 4 would love them! and i've lost my mind, so it wouldn't matter to me anyways :)
i've learned the hard way a few times, it's better to ask for help before you cross the point of no return. (swallowing my pride...gulp)

Melissa said...

You totally just made me laugh, reading that. And I'm glad that I'm not the only mom who feels so overwhelmed some days. And I only have THREE kids! If WI was closer to you, I'd be there in a heartbeat! Keep that gorgeous smile on your face, you're doing FABULOUS!

Will and Marcie Davis said...

Okay now that I know you are literally 40 minutes away I can TOTALLY come take those kids for a few hours. (We are always down in IF for shopping anyway) They are the EXACT same age as mine so we will definately have to do a playday or something. I'm thinking Blast Off.....;) That should get them out of your hair for a few hours anyway! Hang in there girl.....I am RIGHT there with you. This weather is throwing us ALL off!

Will and Marcie Davis said...

P.S. Has anyone told you you TOTALLY loook like Jennifer Garner?? Lucky you! ;)

Polly Blevins said...

You were only crying because of the hormones. That is what I would blame it on. I hate to cry in front of people, even my husband. Totally embarrasses me. Don't pull those panties too high or you might get a wedgie. :) You are doing well and you inspire tons of women.

Cassie said...

I hope you know you can always call me and cry and I will come right over to pick them up. I don't ask for help either so I know what you mean. And your not getting meals?? I thought the RS would have it all planned out so that's why I didn't offer. When we get back from memorial day weekend I am going to bring you dinner!
Are your kids sick of apples and oranges since I sent so many home last week ;)?

Rachel Sue said...

I would totally come get your kids. If I lived up there. And honestly, I bet that girl in your ward thinks more of you than she did before. Because it makes you a real person. Does that make sense? I like real people much, much more than I like facades.

M-Cat said...

Big girl panties indeed. But sometimes we need a little help finding a clean pair. And since mine are totally on inside out today, and I cried at the office of Vital Statistics - I really have no room to talk.

Hoping the days get better

Garden of Egan said...

It's OK to feel overwhelmed! And those pregnancy hormones going wacko and wondering what they are supposed to do next. EEK!

I hope the days get better and you're able to keep up.

Everyone will settle into a rountine soon enough....well, except the baby and she's gonna do what she dang well pleases.

Jackie said...

I foresee myself needing to re-read this in a couple of weeks. Remind me then, will ya?

Thanks for helping all of us be better by sharing. You are awesome!

The Bagley Family said...

Hey we have all been there! And some of us have less kids and we still go there!!

It will be okay:) And somedays it won't be but you will cone out the other side:)

Brittney said...

I wanted to comment on the birth but blogger was down. Claira is absolutely adorable and precious and totally looks like your other kids. Congrats! Happy for you :)

You're doing a great job having a good attitude. I totally sob when I am having a hard time and someone/anyone shows me a little sympathy. You're in good company.

Terri said...

Hey, I drove past your house today, and thought of you. I'd love to take your kids for a day. Mine would love to have the company, especially now that they'll have long days with no school. If you don't call me, I'll have to call you...

Amy said...

Serene, I love you!!! You tell it like it is. You don't gloss over. Life sometimes... well... sucks. Even when things are great. Even when you get what you want. Sometimes we're still tired, cranky, hungry, chubby, nasty, ugly, smelly, dirty, angry, moody... oh dear, I could go on and on.

But you bring out the hilarious, the beautiful, the simple, the glorious. You make a good point and make me laugh while you're at it.

Way to go, Madam Awesome. Way to go.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Ok i must admit....the title of this post scared me just a actually a lot. I wasn't sure I wanted to see you in your big girl panties, but I'm glad you didn't GO THERE! :) ha ha! Buck up,cowgirl. You're doing great!

ldsjaneite said...

That first picture is so adorable! Always a great way to bring in the perspective. Keep at it--you're awesome!

Saimi said...

Cheeseboy nailed it...But it doesn't make it any easier to ask..

Wish I was there to help!

Stef said...

Okay, for starters, you need to move next door to me. We would have a great time. Secondly, I would totally take your kids.
Thirdly, after you have just had a baby, it is okay to put on granny panties. Yes, we have no choice every now and again to put on the big girl panties, but HELLO!! You had a baby! And you don't have people helping you out!!
Just move here. I would take you kids every day for a month. And maybe I would clean your toilets for you as well.
Your baby is beautiful, by the way.

Sue said...

I'm glad you called someone up and got some help! Anybody would be a zombie on so little sleep.

If I lived near you, I'd be happy to come over. And yes, I would call YOU.


Mama Smith said...

Wish I could have been help to you...this time...but, you will be even "stronger"...once you get through this "tidal" wave in your life...You will "ride" it through...and "land on your feet"...I have GREAT CONFIDENCE IN YOU! LOVE YOU...

joy said...

You're amazing!! You're more amazing than you are giving yourself credit for. I love you, Serene! You are wonderful! You're children and husband are so blessed to have such a strong wonderful woman in their lives. Love, Joy

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

Oh my WOOOOOW!!! I loooooooooved reading these new baby posts!!! Mostly because I sooooooooooo know how you are feeling! And I LOOOOOOOVE this post!!! That is so awesome that you called someone to help you! Good for you. :) I just sat in my "little girl" panties and sobbed my swollen face off, haha!

KT said...

Keep calling people in to help!! I have no idea how you are handling this with no meals and no help. The hormone adjustments alone would drive me bonkers. Just getting through the day should be a nomination for superhero status. Seriously, this is when you call for help. I'm sure you've helped other people, and you'll help them again later. We all take our turn needing help. Just think of this as taking your turn. You'll be on the giving end another time.

Maybe one of the young women or activity day girls in your ward who is just starting babysitting might be willing to come to your house and play with your kids for cheap for babysitting experience. :)

Wish I was closer, I'd so bring you dinner and take the kids.
And, as a friend of mine used to say, "You can raise kids on frozen pizza and vitamins."

Lisa said...

If you can UPS them to Syracuse, I'll pay the postage due and take them off your hands for a few hours...days, really, because it's hardly worth your time and trouble for hours. Seriously, sorry about the whole overwhelming mother of five feeling. But you rock and I'm so impressed with you. If anyone can do five, YOU can. Not me, though. I'm glad I figured it out before I had another. :)

Larsen said...


Oh, girl! Call me too. I will if I can. I on the verge of needing surgery, we'll have to talk...

Love you!

Vanessa said...

I am so sorry that it's been hard for you, but truthfully I have to admit that it makes me feel better knowing that some one out there knows how I feel. Although I am ashamed to say that I am that bad with only 3 kids. I have been trying to put on my big girl panties, but right now I just have big panties down. We can do it... I know we can.

gigi said...

Such a beautiful baby! Wish I lived closer but Georgia is a bit far away to give any help. Sorry. I do pray that your ward can come through for you just a little bit.

brandy said...

I am so happy to stumble upon your blog again! So much has happened since I last read! Congrats on your gorgeous little girl. She looks like a little angel baby.

Sorry things have been a little rough lately. But good for you for letting someone help you. I know for me that is almost as hard as doing the task itself. I have recently been put into a situation where I have desperately needed help from others and it has been the most humbling thing for me.

Keep your chin up and enjoy life's little moments :)

Charlotte said...

I used to chant to myself, "It's just the lack of sleep." And then I figured the kids would survive a little more TV/less supervision/cereal for three meals a day for a couple months until I was sleeping again.

It's called survival mode and it is essential for anyone with more than 2 preschoolers.

Garvin Smith said...

I think it's called postpartum depression and it is NORMAL! It's not a bad thing, just a hormonal thing. Nothing to be ashamed about. It is intense to have a large family close together, BUT, as I look back over my life, I have nothing but the fondest memories of raising our children.

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