Thursday, November 4, 2010


Today is better.  Much better.

A few things happened after my melt down.  Jaren and I had a few talks, one of which lasting almost 2 hours about "feelings".  Mine, in particular.  I think we got to the bottom of the cause of my increase of emotions.

I have a giant to do list.  Ranging from my photo business, household chores, projects - I have a lot of projects and things I want/need to do.  I can't seem to look at something as an individual.  I group it all together and feel like I need to tackle, not one thing at a time, but all of it.  I want to either finish or start on something all in one day.  Problem with that is I can't.  I start and I get overwhelmed and I shut down.  The next day comes, I decide to start on it again, the same thing happens.  This goes on for days until I get a question, "What's for Dinner?"  and I break.  I cry, I feel horrible because the floor isn't vacuumed, the kitchen isn't glistening, I haven't started on or finished any projects and then I haven't made dinner.  It's hot dogs again.

So then I think, "what kind of housewife am I?"  I'm a failure.  I can't seem to get a hold on all of the things I need to do.  I dwell on those feelings and I am sad, and it get's worse and I feel like a lump of a person.  Then everything sets me off.  Everything.  And it seems like I finally start getting something done and more creeps up.  It's like, I clean the bathrooms - whoo for me!  Then a week goes by and it's time again.  Oh... but I have other things I'm trying to do, two weeks go by and I am feeling bad and every day that goes by I feel worse.  It's a vicious cycle.  But the worst part is that it only takes 10 minutes to clean a bathroom!  So, it's like, seriously?  You can't just do it?

My post the other day was a glimpse of a moment.  A sad, weak moment that I needed to vent about.  I'm not a giant mess like that all day long.  I promise.  Come to find a lot of other people have the same moments.  After talking to some friends and family I realized that they all set to-do lists that grow and can't get a hold of and it causes intense emotions.  I think in this society, being a housewife has this notion that the house is always nice and clean.  That because we/I call ourselves homemakers we should be able to do just that.  Make our house a home.  And when it's not perfect, I feel like I fail.

I didn't have to deal with this before I had Nae.  I was in school and so first, I wasn't home all day and second, I didn't feel like a 100% stay at home Wife.  I was busy - very busy.  So when things didn't get done, it was because I was gone.  Or doing homework.  Or at a group project.  Now, when something doesn't get done it's because I'm doing something else.  But I feel more obligated for everything to be nice and neat and clean.  Always.

Jaren and I have come up with a solution.  After telling him how I felt and why I felt that way he is able to understand why.  Why I start crying when he asks if I got the mail.  So, I am taking things one at a time and am trying to get caught up.  I'm working on getting a routine down so I can get a handle on it all.  I have high expectations that I think I can meet.  I just have to realize it's going to take time and it doesn't make me any less of a person if I can't get it all done in a day.

The thing is.  Is that when I'm having my super low emotional moments I'm still happy.  I'm happy with my life.  Happy I'm married to Jaren.  Happy I have Naomi.  Happy I live where I live.  Happy I'm in the house I'm in.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Except to not be so emotional :)

PPD is real.  And the spectrum is so vast.  If I have it, I think I'm on the itty bitty bit of it end.  And I think exercising and tackling my to-do list and talking to Jaren about it will help.  I think I can go back to my happy carefree - not so quick to take offense as easily Whitney.  Life is about growing and making adjustments and changes and figuring out what works.  With the time it takes to raise a kid, I am making adjustments to the way I normally would do things.  It's the process of making the adjustments that seems to be the hardest thing.

I think one of the worst things you can do is to dismiss the issue.  Like there's nothing wrong.  Because that's the last thing I want to hear.  Is that it's normal for me to be this emotional and sad and take things personal and feel like a failure all the time.  I was not like that before and I refuse to stay like this.  So, yes, something isn't quite right.  But it's fixable and I don't think it's too serious.  Things seem worse when your in physical pain, right?  Like with my root canal and another tooth that has started to be pressure sensitive on the other side. So, basically I can't chew.  Oh, wait, I have my front teeth and very back last molars on top and bottom.  Ugh. That's a whole other story!

And thank you for all of the support and nice words I got.  I really appreciate the advice and a bit of validation that it's not all in my head; that I'm not making it up.  Thank you, again :)


Jenny Robbins said...

That's the hard part about being a woman (especially a LDS woman). We feel the pressure to get things done. Because after all what on earth are we doing all day? However, I think we need to give OURSELVES some slack. You have a very small child that you have to take care of on top of maintaining a home and managing a photography business. And let's face it, Nae takes priority. :) You could say to yourself something like, "The kitchen isn't spotless today. It's okay. I had needed to take care of Naomi and that took more time." Or, "I cleaned another room and that one can wait for tomorrow." Or, "I edited some photos today and they look great so my time was well spent." I hope I'm not coming across like I'm dismissing PPD. Instead, I hope that that maybe these are just little things you can think about that might help. One other thing I thought was cool that Tiffany Fackerell did on her blog once was write a list of all the things she DID get done that day. You wouldn't need to post it on the blog, but it might be good to see all the things you have accomplished and find joy in those things, as small as they might be. :)

That Girl said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, and that you realize PPD is real. But honestly, there's nothing wrong with taking medication. Would you have a problem taking antibiotics for a sinus infection? Or chemo for cancer? If you're sick, you're sick, and you need medication. I don't know how I feel about being just a "little" sick and being able to "beat it." It's an illness, and it needs to be treated. (Although exercise and therapeutic conversation ARE treatment, like you said!)

Anonymous said...

I am just going to tell you what works for me. I spread EVERYTHING out throught the week. I run ALL of my errands on Monday, including grocery shopping. Then the rest of the day I just play with the boys. When Easton is sleeping, Wyatt has quiet time where he can read books, play with toys, whatever. That's when I have my me time. That is SO important to do. With my me time, I edit pictures, go on the internet, read a book, whatever. Then Tuesdays, I clean the bathroom, and start laundry. Wednesdays, vaccum, sweet and mop. Thursdays (if it's nice outside) I do yard work. And Fridays I do a project of some sort, or nothing at all. Do you get what I mean. I have found that life gets crazy when you try to do it all at one time. And some times I dont even finish what I started that day. Like laundry for example, I wash it all and then sometimes it take me a few days to fold. Then Randy and I joke about it just laying around the house. I dont know. I had to just not stress about the little things. I try to focus on the boys more than the house. Before the kids I was CRAZY, maybe a little OCD about the house and everything being perfect. Now I realize that my boys come first. So dont feel bad about not making the bed, you are just going to mess it up again, right ;)

Things will get better. You will figure all of this out. I dont even know if this will help any. But I too have days like you do. That's when I do NOTHING at all. I hate to say it, but those are they days where the boys and I just sit around and watch movies. And that is okay to do once and a while. Just give yourself a movie day ;)

Wendyburd1 said...

Trying to tackle all those projects at the same time, are you sure you are not a little OCD, in a good way!? I mean I am real OCD, like I can't get a project out of my mind until I do it even if that means I am up ALL night. But some people have a little bit of it in certain regards to things. Like I think perfectionists are full OCD's or have a little bit at least.

Alexis Treese said...

Loved talking to you yesterday!! It was cathartic for me... Is that the right word? Or therapeutic? My brain cant be bothered with vocabulary lately. I want to see some new pictures of your going ons...