Spring Cleaning

I’ve started the process of packing.  We are moving… in about two weeks.  Not far or into anything fancy.  Just an apartment with a yard.  So the dogs can run around outside and not spend so much time bored and cooped up.  And driving me crazy.

The car troubles I’ve been having have brought to light some things about the friends I have.  It’s made me realize how much I’ve been the instigator, putting so much of myself into my friendships.  Always going above and beyond and out of my way.  Because that’s what friends do.  But since I’ve been unable to go to their homes, I’ve been pretty lonely.  Because no one will come to visit me.  It’s too inconvenient.  They don’t like to drive or they can’t find the time in their busy day or they just plain don’t want to,  I’ve freely admitted that I’m no neat freak, but since Seedling’s birth I have tried to be a little better about keeping up on things.  When my car first died and I was stuck home for a week I really put a lot of effort into fixing up and the place and inviting people over.  But all anyone knows is my pre-baby days.  Needless to say, no one came.  I recently had one friend tell me she didn’t want to come over because of the dog hair.  It makes me want to scream! I’ve certainly cried a lot.  It doesn’t matter if I made this place neat as a pin, and loaded it to the teeth with cookies and tea.  No one is going to come.

I love my daughter, but it’s hard to spend Monday through Friday totally alone.  All my other friends have husbands that come home so even if they are SAHM’s, they get some relief at 5.  I see my husband on the weekends because he is gone 17 hours a day.

I joined a local mom group.  And it is AWESOME.  But of course, forming new friendships take time.  There are various playgroups and activities almost every day, but without a car I can’t get to them,  And I don’t know anyone well enough yet to hang out outside of those activities.  But I think there is promise that someday I will get there with a few of them!

For my own sanity, I’m trying to learn to let go of the friends that don’t really put any effort into our friendship.  It’s not that they are bad people.  It’s just that I’m recognizing that our lives aren’t fitting together like they once did.  I need to take better care of myself.  I don’t want to be selfish, but I also don’t want to be a doormat.  

My daughter takes about 3 naps a day.  There are days, weeks, where I nap every time she naps,  That’s expected with a newborn.  I’m not sure it’s quite so expected with a 5 month old.  I just feel so exhausted and run down.  It takes effort to remember to wash my face and brush my teeth each night.  The main reason I get out of pajamas is because I have to walk the dogs, and I don’t really want my neighbors seeing me in my worn/holey/comfy PJ’s.  I had such plans to be the mom who takes long walks every day and makes healthy meals every day and keep up on the laundry and dishes.

it seems like a lot of moms are feeling these day-to-day mundane-burnouts.  SRB wrote a very good post, and PAIL had one as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy to be a SAHM!  And I would so much rather play with Seedling than dust.  In truth, when I go to homes with kids where everything looks like a museum it’s so perfect, it kind of weirds me out.  When I go to homes and there are tonka trucks on the front steps and babydolls strewn about the porch, it makes me smile.  It says that happy busy kids live here!  Normal kids.  So even as a part of me is struggling with feeling hurt that someone won’t come over because of a little dog hair, I keep telling myself that it’s ok.  It’s ok if my friendship isn’t a major priority.  It’s ok if we are just casually friends.  It’s ok if Polly refuses to drive out from Port Orchard.  It’s ok if Jewel can’t find the time to drive from Seattle.  It’s ok if Blithe can’t find time in his busy schedule for me.  It’s ok for me to let those friendships go a little.  It’s ok for me to say I’m not going out of my way anymore for people who don’t go out of their way for me.

Those words are hard.  They are hard to balance with a faith that calls us to give without expecting a return.  In truth, I still love all these people.  And if they had a real NEED, I would help in any way I could.  I just can’t continue exhausting myself for no reason though. I have to recognize my limits.  I only have so much time and energy in a day.  I have actually started telling people “I will not always be the one going to your place.  We need to take turns coming to eachother’s place.”  Interestingly, people still haven’t come over.  And regardless of my car not working, I have stayed strong and stood my ground and not gone over to their places either.

And so as I pack and clean, I’m trying to clean up my life a little.  Prune back the areas of wasted energy, focus on the areas of productive growth.  I’ve wasted enough tears over these failing relationships.

(Admittedly, these are big words for a nostalgic people pleaser.  But it’s a start, right?)

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11 responses to this post.

  1. I think a lot of moms experience what you’re going through: the post baby “what the heck” syndrome! Life gets so much more complicated when the baby arrives. And it takes a while for everything to settle down. For me, it took close to a year before things started to feel “normal” with my friendships. And some were never the same. It goes with the territory!

    You need to be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to have good and bad days. I also found that having a schedule of what I wanted to get done was insanely helpful. On Mondays I do laundry, on Tuesdays I clean the bathroom, on Wednesday I dust/sweep/vacuum….so on and so on. And if you just do that one thing…it might help you feel better about everything (or at least it did for me).

    Please send me your new address so I can keep you on my Christmas card list!!!

    Reply

    • I think I just get extra defensive about the clean thing. I grew up in this pristine, white, sterile type environment and hated it. I loved going to my friends where I felt I could breath a little more… You know? So I get all antsy and squirmy when people say its needs to be cleaner and more organized, especially when they don’t see how much better it has gotten! But I’ve had more than one person comment on my lack of organization so then I’m even MORE defensive! I know I’ve got learn to let it go. In working on it!

      I promise to send out mass email/text/Facebook announcements with our new info! Not to worry 🙂

      Reply

  2. The other thing…have you looked into Mom’s Club International (http://www.momsclub.org)? I know a lot of moms who have found their support helpful!

    Reply

    • That looks really similar to the mom group I’m a part of! pretty cool! I’m thinking that after we are finished moving I will start hosting one of the playdates. start getting people used to coming over AND keep me motivated to have my home company-ready 🙂

      Reply

  3. You’re absolutely right. I owe you a visit. When are you moving? If the timing works, maybe we can load up my new van and get some of that stuff from one place to the other. If not, we can take all of our girls grocery shopping and get you out of the house!

    Reply

    • Aw, you’re so sweet! Although I didn’t mean to make you feel bad, I was writing this thinking of these childhood friendships that aren’t grasping that my life has changed. We are moving the weekend of the 22-23rd, but you are welcome any time!

      Reply

  4. I could have written this post. When I went on bed rest followed by lockdown, it became glaringly apparent that my friends didn’t value our friendships as much as I did… My husband is also gone from about 6a-8p M-F making the weeks really long, lonely and tiring. We have recently switched churches and I joined two parenting groups but like you said, new friendships take time… I hope things start looking up for both of us soon.

    Reply

    • Most days aren’t SOOOO terrible. Yesterday was just an especially low day.
      My church is great but most of the members don’t live close so it can be hard to do things outside of Sunday services, but I’m still hopeful that some of the other moms and I will continue our slowly blossoming friendships.
      Hugs to you my dear!!!

      Reply

  5. mom groups rock!
    now that most moms are back to work, we have lots of evening get-togethers without babies, just as girls nights out or in. Ans since we all live close to each other – it’s so convenient!!!

    hope the move goes smoothly!

    Reply

  6. Best of luck with the move, I hope you’ll like it in your new place. During major changes friends can easily come and go. It’s hard though when those you thought were your best friends ignore you like this. Maybe they think you are too busy and don’t want to disturb, I have had that comment more than once, maybe just an excuse, who knows. As for the complaints about the tidyness, what! that’s just mean in my opinion.

    My sister is a person who is a bit of a hoarder, it takes a lot of time for her/them to put things away/in the right place, especially after a move. But with two small children and both parents working, who am I to judge? Of course I would visit regurlarly if we lived closer.

    Reply

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