Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Tirade

I had a horrible weekend. I definitely am going through one of my "down" periods. No matter how many times I have tried, there is no way to accurately convey what this implies. The closest I can come up with is this: it's like someone flicks a switch inside my head and all my shortcomings come into sharp view. I then come crashing down under the weight of unfulfilled expectations, self-loathing and stress.

I am drowning. When I am not picking fights with everybody over stupid stuff, I am crying uncontrollably. I can't stand this.

Friday's incident with Paula, and seeing her report card, set the tone for the rest of the weekend. I can't shake the feeling that this is my fault somehow, that she would do better in school if only I could be more directly involved with school life.

Saturday we went to a fall festival from work and part of the time it was rough. Paula had quite an attitude and I had quite a short fuse. The results were not pretty. I am still reeling from it. I wish I was a better mom, more patient, less angry.

On Sunday I had committed to help Gabe with the formatting of a document he is working on that was due today. It took much more time than I anticipated, and I did not get clean the house at all. My parents are coming to visit on Wednesday, the house is a pigsty and I do not have time to rectify that now. I wish I wasn't such a slob. I wish I did not always bite more than I can chew.

I also very anxious about work. I keep getting new, high-visibility projects thrown on my lap and I feel overbooked and totally out of my element. I wish I was more confident of my ability to tackle the unknown. Learning periods are always so hard for me. Any situation where I feel I do not have complete command is hard to bear.

I feel like such a failure in every single aspect of my life. There is this vision inside my head of the kind of person I aspire to be. She is a great person: kind, patient, even-keeled, confident and accomplished. She does not lose it when she can't find her keys. She does not leave dirty dishes in the sink for days. She plays with her kids and refrains from yelling when they misbehave. The real me just does not measure up at all. I wish I could go to sleep and wake up in two years.


  1. Hugs, Ingrid. It's impossible to have all the answers all of the time, and it's a shame so many things happened at once this weekend. Can you talk to your work about your workload? It sounds as if they are being unreasonable. I know it goes with the turf, but still. Sorry about Paula's behaviour...I guess she's getting to that age. I feel the same way too about having much too short a fuse and not handling things as well as I should sometimes. Try and cut yourself some slack. If it makes you feel any better, the impression I have always had of you is very much as the confident, calm go-getter that you visualise. I am sure you ARE that person- just a little burnt out right now. ((hugs))

  2. Ingrid, lamento que estés pasando por esta situación. Creo que son momentos y así como vienen se van. Tú eres una gran persona, sigue adelante.

    Me alegra que tu familia venga a visitarte. Eso recargará tus baterías.

    Muchos abrazos,

    I. Enid

  3. I can RELATE to Every Single Word in this post. I know all about the switch, and the 'bad parenting'. I am ever so familiar with the mood swings that come with the switch and subsequent guilt.

    UNFORTUNATELY I have no advice, or words of wisdom.

    But I do have LOTS of HUGS.

  4. Enid and Meleah, thank you very much for the hugs. They are very appreciated.

    I am in a much better mood today. It is amazing how on change can make a world of difference. I have more clarity right now about one of my projects at work, and with that has come a clear goal and direction.

  5. Ingrid, I go through something kind of like that now and again, as well. In my case, just one thing too many that I see as a personal failing can send me off on a string of being angry about things that aren't being accomplished, then being angry with myself about getting so down about it that I'm still not getting it taken care of. And that sets off a whole chain of feeling like I must do one thing, then being upset about focusing on that and not something else that needs to be done. I get myself all worked up and stressed, then yell at people I love about not helping me when I'm obviously so stressed. And then I feel bad about yelling at them like that.

    I've found that taking a couple of days to do something like work in the yard helps. I enjoy working in my yard, so it relaxes my mind, but I also look out over it at the end of a couple of days and feel I've really accomplished something. That gives me the boost I need to feel I can accomplish things all through the week by focusing on what I am doing at the time, not what I should have been doing an hour ago or what I'll need to be doing in another few hours.

    As for being a good or bad mother? I'm not a mother yet, so I know I can't completely understand a mother's worries. But I have a hard time believing any mother who cares enough to ask herself if there's any way she could be doing better for her children is really a bad mother. At worst, I'd think that's a good mother who just may need to re-prioritize some things. And I can tell you this... I grew up with a father who had no choice many times and had to be at work. (He's a police officer, and that means long hours of paperwork, odd shifts, and working on holidays because crime happens on holidays.) I sometimes wished he'd just say, "I know I spend more time working than I do with you, and I'm sorry. But it doesn't mean I love my job more than you. It means I'm working to give you the best I can, and I sometimes forget to just be here for you. Let me know when you need that." Simply hearing that kind of love and honesty would have made a big difference, and would have made me feel like I mattered as much to his life as he did to mine. I hope I remember to say it to my kids when I do have them.

  6. Thanks, Kelly. What you are describing sounds exactly like what I do. Now that my parents are coming to visit I think my anxiety will subside somewhat.

    I think you will be a great mother. You sound very thoughtful.

  7. Hi Ingrid, how have you been. I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I'm wondering, for myself, if I'm going through some sort of pre-menopausal stage. I find myself getting mad at everyone around me all the time and then feeling like total shit after for how I reacted. It's like a weight that stays on you and can't come off. I wish I had some answers. Anyways, wanted to offer my hugs. Keep strong and keep writing.

  8. Thanks, Amanda and Helen.

    Helen, what you describe is exactly how I have been feeling. I have missed you. I see that you are blogging again. I need to catch up.