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Am I just lazy?????

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So. I've posted here before and if anyone remembers, I've been dealing with an undiagnosed chronic illness for ~5 years now. I've had HUGE improvements finally with some serious diet changes and supplementing but I still don't feel 'predictably well' (OK, I can predict I will feel well during the second half of my monthly cycle, once I ovulate, but before that I'm always tired etc. which is weird but anyway, back to the point...)

I have a very high-needs 20-month-old. I work from home 20 hours a week (with no childcare, so I am always getting up early, rushing home for DS's nap, etc. so I can work). Our house is... very unfinished. We tore it apart before DS was born & haven't been able to finish it because it turned out DH only knows how to demolish not build, and I was too sick to do it myself. So we are, as a family, chronically stressed. DH does almost all the housework and I do all the household organization (finances, planning daily activities for DS, organizing our stuff, shopping, researching for decisions, etc.) DH gets very little down time (2 hours driving to/from work, which he doesn't mind, and a 1/2 hour non-working lunch, plus I try to take DS out for several hours once a week so DH can chill or get stuff done). I have some down time but it feels like I have none because I'm always 'on call'... so DH is mostly responsible for DS in the evenings but multiple times an hour I am nursing or reading board books or redirecting or calming or whatever. So I never feel like I've gotten a break, even though I'm not doing much for several hours at a time. Maybe once every two weeks I go out for an hour or two by myself.

I have a few hobbies that theoretically I'd like to do (crafts, painting, working out) but I can't stand to be interrupted in the middle of something so I just choose to do nothing (and by nothing, I mean spend countless hours online...)

I kind of hate playing with DS, nursing him 500 times a day, etc. I kind of hate spending so much time online. I hate having a house that's not finished and I hate not participating much in household chores (although I despise cleaning)... I guess I just feel lazy.

I don't dislike my life. I hate my job and I think that's the biggest source of stress for me (and perhaps if I wasn't working I'd have more time for other things) but I can't quit until at least next spring. But other than that, I guess my life is OK. I'm just not that happy. I love DH but we are always getting on each others' nerves, there's just chronic tension that we take out on each other. DS is the best thing that ever happened to me but I just need to get away from him sometimes. I feel horrible saying that but after waking up with him 4, 5, 6, 10, 12 times a night and then trying to keep him happy all day long, I want nothing to do with him by the time DH gets home. He's not the kind of toddler that will play for 5 minutes while you do something. I end up going all day barely eating because me preparing food leads him to freak out, and I can't even go to the bathroom when I need to. Just that constant need to be "on" 24/7 wears on me. And he's not really happy with anyone but me except if I'm out of the house but I'm not really interested in sitting in the car all evening just to catch a break.

So I don't know. I feel lazy. I feel un-motivated. I don't think I feel depressed but all I've ever known is severe, suicidal depression and this obviously isn't it but maybe I'm mildly down. Mostly I feel like it's circumstantial and if I could just quit my job & finish the house, I'd be happier & more motivated and have more energy for DS, but I'm not sure that's true & I'm scared it won't be as helpful as I suspect. It seems like most of my friends think I should just hire childcare but I don't want to do that, that just gives me more time to focus on this job I abhor, and I don't really feel happy being away from DS (but I'm not always happy when I'm with him either, weird I guess...)

I don't know if I'm really making sense and I don't know if anyone here will really have any idea of what to say that could possibly help me but anyway... thank you for reading if you got this far and if you do have any feedback I'd love to hear it.
post #2 of 15
Hi,

I read the whole thing. I don't that can help other than saying I have heard you and related to a lot of what you said ( not preparing food, hating to be interrupted). You really don't sound very lazy to me. It is hard to be on with a demanding kid all the time. Sometimes making sure ds feels loved takes all of my energy and the laundry stays in piles and my journals go untouched and we eat freezer pizza and that is just the choice I make to maintain myself through it all. It does get boring to play all the time. I have suffered from mild to moderate depression in the past. It does seem like you may mildly depressed. As you said it could be purely due to circumstances and not chemistry but it may still manifest the same. Does that make any sense?

I send you good vibes and happy thoughts. You seem like a great mother. Even every day life can be inexplicably difficult sometimes. We do our best.
post #3 of 15
I read the whole thing too... I don't know that I could offer any advice that actually works. I have been going through a similar cyclic struggle my whole life (or at least as much as I can remember of it)

I've done several things over the years that helped at the time, but were never permanent solutions. Journalling, reading procrastination self-help books, therapy, fly lady, etc. None of them stuck with me for longer than a few weeks, or months. Eventually I would always end up right back where I started.

My new theory is that my childhood was too Good, and I have been spoiled to think that life can be perfect, beautiful, and all sunshine and roses. Life isn't all sunshine and roses. Life downright sucks sometimes. There is no such thing as the perfect life, or the perfect house, or the perfect relationship, or the perfect job, or the perfect family...

Sometimes, life just sucks. Real bad. I have never really handled that aspect very well. I let it get to me to much.
post #4 of 15
I didn't get to finish my last thought because my iPod stopped lettigng me type for some reason...

Anyway -- I'm trying to reframe my thinking lately to try to just be more accepting of the challenges or difficulties that life throws my way. It is too soon to know whether my new found understanding of my own ego will stick this time or not. But I am trying to be more realistic in my expectations. I am trying to live by the age-old addage: if life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

I'm not accomplishing much more than I was Before this new attitude hit, but I am happier this week than I was two weeks ago.
post #5 of 15
you sound just like me. only i have fibromyalgia. 20 months is an age where they want mommy.

got a stroller? turn off the computer and go for a walk. hard to do? yeah. i have a problem doing it too. will it help? yeah it will. just because you dont feel like it doesnt mean you cant do it. you can do anything for an hour. just one hour. sitting in front of the computer will make you feel worse. get up get moving. stretch those muscles. exercise cures depression. exercise get rids of stress. just get up and do it.

that is what i try to do. right now i am having a flare. i have spent 8 hours today (not straight) on this stinking computer. i would have felt better if i had turned on some music and danced around crazy like in the living room with my kids.
post #6 of 15
No, I don't think you're lazy at all.

It sounds like you have a VERY full life. Of course you're tired and you have low energy, you don't eat enough when you're hungry, you don't get enough rest or alone time, and you're very busy. I don't mean this in an accusatory tone, well, maybe I do. I am accusing you of thinking that you're lazy when you're clearly not, and not giving yourself the pat on your back that you clearly deserve!

I don't know what I have for advice, though. Spring isn't too far away, can you just tough it out until then? What about a mother's helper, just some teenager or college student who could come and play with your LO while you work? Or just sit and read?

I guess I can say that this too shall pass. My youngest is now almost four, and even though I now work almost full-time, it's just soooo much easier now that they can all wash their own hands, go potty by themselves, and even get dressed on their own, though ds2 won't always do that without some cajoling. It's amazing how much time those little tasks, changing diapers, nursing, making snacks, wiping faces, dressing toddlers, talking said toddler into doing XYZ, etc. take out of your day, and your energy level. It's exhausting.

post #7 of 15
LionnessMom, are you kidding me.."just because you dont feel like it doesnt mean you cant do it." This is pure brilliance! Wonder why I never really think of that

I will try to keep those simple words in mind. That is always the tricky thing with depression though. If you don't feel like it you really do think you can't.

I was going to add something to my earlier post about situational depression. I am happy. I love my life. It is great. However, it depresses me how much dh has to work. I can be in great spirits and he can call me (like today) and say he has to work all night and won't be home and also has something due on Monday meaning he will work all weekend. Depressed. The feelings I have and the behaviors that arise are very similar to what I experienced during bouts of real depression. It totally sucks and I get scared that I am really depressed again but then I think that it is just how much he has to work but that doesn't really make it any better.
post #8 of 15
HI there, I am going to respond to you from a totally selfish place and please take what I say in stride...

I have 6 year old dd and have weathered a few remodels during this time.

What I hear you saying is that you are tired and stressed and several different areas of your life really stress you out, but you love your life in general. YOu get locked into the computer, you need more YOU time and your little one seems to be high needs.

I think 20 months is old enough to night wean, I would do that without question right away.

I would let your DS be by himself, while you prepare your meals. Like in his play area, or right there in the kitchen but you keep your attention on the food prep, etc. Really and truely when it comes to this I learned that there will actually come a point when you HAVE to direct your attention away from your child for periods of time. Your child will survive fine with gentle reasurances as you transition into a space where your child knows that you are not going to give him attention 24/7... it is actually impossible to do this and stay sane. YOur child may fuss or fully trantrum, but with gentle reasurance and consistancy you will see your ds protest when you say "okay, mommie has some work to do...play with this" but he will learn to do it. ANd if you don't do it now you will be doing at some other point in toddlerdom.

For YOU time I would just take some time. YOur child is old enough to wait 2 hours for you to nurse hime, right? He does eat other food? You could take a walk... and I guess if you can pry yourself away from the computer you could manage a 20 minute stretching session, or meditation time?

As far as too much comp time and not enough work on the house being done... can you make a couple of rules for yourself. Like setting a timer or only letting yourself online at night, or before noon or whatever time slot you think would be best? ANd just do one little thing on the house every day. Make a list... clear floor, choose paint color, sand doorway or whatever.

I hate to say it but I think you are just adjusting to balancing this new life as a parent. In my experience nothing sounds too out of the ordinary. YOu have to find ways to balance... none of it goes away, in fact at 20 months I would say you are headed into a very trying several years...

Make some small positive changes little by little and all of a sudden you will find yourself in a different space (than you are now).
post #9 of 15
Every few months you post a variation on this question, and every few months I answer NO, sick is not the same as lazy. Have you checked out Feminists with Disabilities yet? It's not only for feminists! Would you tell a child with SN that they were lazy? Then why would you think that of an adult with SN (and a chronic illness is a type of SN, just check out the sub-forum for confirmation on that).

And have you been getting on asking friends and church for that household help and mother's helper-type help we talked about the last time you posted this kind of thing? If your friends think you should hire childcare and you do not want to do that, how about hiring a cleaning service instead? And have you tried throwing out a bunch of dishes like we talked about? What about your job, are there ADA accommodations you can ask for there since you'll be leaving soon anyway?

This isn't meant to be accusatory, really! I am worried about you that you don't seem to be seeing any improvement in your living conditions because you have the idea that you "should" be able to do everything a healthy person can do. You can't. Not with the situation you've described. Even if you felt perfectly fine, simply managing a chronic condition is basically a full-time job (why do you think many parents of SN kids quit their jobs? because it requires full-time management) so you actually are working two jobs already, plus the other stuff.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmony08 View Post
LionnessMom, are you kidding me.."just because you dont feel like it doesnt mean you cant do it." This is pure brilliance! Wonder why I never really think of that
I will try to keep those simple words in mind. That is always the tricky thing with depression though. If you don't feel like it you really do think you can't.
my therapist tells me this every time i complain about not getting anything down around my house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenlunatic View Post
Make some small positive changes little by little and all of a sudden you will find yourself in a different space (than you are now).
yeah that. i drink a cup of green tea with ginger every morning. i used to drink lots of coffee. green tea makes me feel like i startign the day in a healthier frame of mind. it isnt a big change, but it is a positive change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
you have the idea that you "should" be able to do everything a healthy person can do. You can't. Not with the situation you've described. Even if you felt perfectly fine, simply managing a chronic condition is basically a full-time job (why do you think many parents of SN kids quit their jobs? because it requires full-time management) so you actually are working two jobs already, plus the other stuff.

this is so true. you cant compare yourself to other people who seem like wonder woman and can do all this stuff and still have time to super crafts people. i had to learn that. i have fibro and can only do 1/3 of the stuff other people can do. but i do what i can and i do it well. but i have to accept the fact that i cant do everything i want. you have to let that go, it creates more depression.

op- have you been checked for chronic fatigue? i am unaware of your actual medical problems.
post #11 of 15
I go through these feelings as well. I have not totally overcome them but I will give you a few ideas that helped me:

1) I highly recommend the book "The Highly Sensitive Person". I found that this book put words to certain "quirks" about myself that finally gave me the reassurance that I am not crazy. Things such as just not doing something I enjoy because I don't want to get interrupted, for example. You may find that some things about yourself are related to being a "highly sensitive person".

2) Definitely start getting out of the house more and meeting people or making new friends. Whether you join a gym that has a daycare or go out for runs or walks. If you have friends that you can hang with then pursue them more and let them know that you really need support.

3) Go back to your "roots" per say of what makes you tick inside. Are there things that you have left to the wayside because of all the changes of house and family but that you really loved? It could be as simple as playing classical music in the house or cleaning on a certain day or baking regularly etc.

4) Do everything you can to really get your house in order. I don't know if you believe in Feng Shui and really you don't have to to know that a clean and orderly house helps you to feel amazing. Your external environment reflects your internal environment. So start mustering up the energy and time to do little things to clear your space thus offering YOU more clarity in return. Even look into some Feng Shui books at the library to see what little things you can do to start getting the energy flowing in a positive way to where things feel really good at home (and that can relieve tension in your relationship too!).

5) Another great book: "The Way of Transition". I recommend this one a lot in threads like these because it really is amazing. It acknowledges and honors that there really is a process that we go through when things change in our lives that if we don't ourselves honor this process step by step then we can get stuck and not really embrace the new chapter that has unfolded.

I know you have a job that you have to keep for a while, but for me (I dont have a job) I am realizing that I really need a job to keep me out of trouble and to keep me sane. So I am in the process of finding something that will work for me and my family (doing the research on daycares and potential jobs, and hours I would want to work etc). I wished that being home full time would have been enough for me but it just isn't my gig. I need more of a balance and what I really need is a social outlet.

I love my home and have tendencies to be a homebody too but it is sometimes to my detriment so I force myself to get out of the house once or twice a day to run errands at the very least (or take DS to a different park). It breaks up the day and helps me to know that my child got what he needed (released some energy and explored something new with me by his side) and I also got a break from the typical daily routine at home where DS can be much more whiny and demanding because he gets bored.

I think what you are going through is normal. And when you can affirm this to yourself, then the natural next step will be to start exploring what it is you want next and then begin to create that whether it be through just visualization (which is a huge start!) or actually taking action.

hang in there!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow thank you all so much for the thoughtful responses!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmony08 View Post
Sometimes making sure ds feels loved takes all of my energy and the laundry stays in piles and my journals go untouched and we eat freezer pizza and that is just the choice I make to maintain myself through it all.
This is one thing I have to think about more, some ways I can simplify (i.e. freezer pizza) so that I can devote more energy to DS. I get caught up in DIY (i.e. making our own nut milks, breads, etc.) and right now, I don't think it's worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
My new theory is that my childhood was too Good, and I have been spoiled to think that life can be perfect, beautiful, and all sunshine and roses. Life isn't all sunshine and roses. Life downright sucks sometimes. There is no such thing as the perfect life, or the perfect house, or the perfect relationship, or the perfect job, or the perfect family...
I don't think my childhood was 'too good' but I was definitely very sheltered (my co-workers always joked that I must have grown up in a box!) and I do forget sometimes that no one has a perfect, easy life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post
that is what i try to do. right now i am having a flare. i have spent 8 hours today (not straight) on this stinking computer. i would have felt better if i had turned on some music and danced around crazy like in the living room with my kids.
Yup. I am trying hard to work up the motivation to just DO something. I do take DS out every day. We go to the playground or the library or for a walk or playdates... Sometimes it's too much for me and we come home after just half an hour, but other times we can stay out most of the day, and it's great. I need to DO more and get away from the computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmony08 View Post
However, it depresses me how much dh has to work. I can be in great spirits and he can call me (like today) and say he has to work all night and won't be home and also has something due on Monday meaning he will work all weekend. Depressed. The feelings I have and the behaviors that arise are very similar to what I experienced during bouts of real depression.
This is EXACTLY what happens to me. I will be going along OK and then suddenly something will happen, DH will call that he's going to be late, or my work computer malfunctions, or whatever, and I just get soooo depressed about it. I need to remember to step back & look at the big picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
Spring isn't too far away, can you just tough it out until then? What about a mother's helper, just some teenager or college student who could come and play with your LO while you work? Or just sit and read?
Yeah I'm trying to tough it out & some days it's fine & other days it's so hard. I did have my sister coming to help for awhile but she moved thousands of miles away. She was the only person DS was comfortable with. He's starting to get more comfortable with a couple of my mommy friends but they are super stressed too at the moment, but I might be able to work something out (not so I can work, necessarily, but maybe do SOMETHING without DS underfoot for an hour!) They are new friends (but great ones) so it's taking me some time to feel totally comfortable, you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
It's amazing how much time those little tasks, changing diapers, nursing, making snacks, wiping faces, dressing toddlers, talking said toddler into doing XYZ, etc. take out of your day, and your energy level. It's exhausting.
Yes, so true, and even if DS wasn't high-needs and I wasn't sick it would still take a lot out of me! I'm glad to hear it should get easier in another couple years!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenlunatic View Post
I think 20 months is old enough to night wean, I would do that without question right away.
I've considered it but I just don't have the energy for it. When he's sleeping well, it's much easier to roll over and nurse a few times, and when he's sleeping badly, he WILL NOT accept any comfort except nursing. I don't know how to mother without nursing, especially at night when I'm so tired. But it's something I'm keeping tabs on and reading up on more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenlunatic View Post
Your child will survive fine with gentle reasurances as you transition into a space where your child knows that you are not going to give him attention 24/7... it is actually impossible to do this and stay sane.
Yes, I'm gradually trying to get him used to playing while I do stuff, it's a very slow process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenlunatic View Post
For YOU time I would just take some time. YOur child is old enough to wait 2 hours for you to nurse hime, right? He does eat other food? You could take a walk... and I guess if you can pry yourself away from the computer you could manage a 20 minute stretching session, or meditation time?
Yes, he'll eat a few bites of food, and I could leave him for an hour or two. But DH doesn't get home 'til 5:30 and then needs a few minutes to settle in & it's dark by 6pm so I don't know where to go (I won't walk alone in the dark, I'm not a fan of shopping aimlessly, ohhhh I NEED TO JOIN A GYM for the winter!!!!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenlunatic View Post
I hate to say it but I think you are just adjusting to balancing this new life as a parent. In my experience nothing sounds too out of the ordinary. YOu have to find ways to balance... none of it goes away, in fact at 20 months I would say you are headed into a very trying several years...
Yes, I'm not adjusting well to being a parent at all. I knew babies are a handful, I babysat tons etc. but I just didn't realize how different it would be to be "ON" 24/7. I knew babies nursed frequently but I thought that meant every 1-2 hours, not several times an hour. I knew they don't sleep but I didn't know my DS would wake up every 45 minutes on a good night. I knew babies cry but I was always so good at calming babies -- EXCEPT my own. I didn't know he'd cry even when he was warm, dry, clean, fed, and bouncing in my arms. I think I'm still reeling from the shock of being a mom to my DS. I also didn't know I would love him so much & all that goes with that. I do need to find more balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Every few months you post a variation on this question, and every few months I answer NO, sick is not the same as lazy.
I'm sorry... I guess I'm just incredibly stubborn and need to be hit over the head with a bat 50 times before I accept that things are the way they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
This isn't meant to be accusatory, really! I am worried about you that you don't seem to be seeing any improvement in your living conditions because you have the idea that you "should" be able to do everything a healthy person can do. You can't. Not with the situation you've described.
I am making baby steps. I think things ARE better than a few months ago. I'm not as sick and I'm getting the house simplified & organized better so that cleaning etc. is easier. I can't accept that I can't do what a healthy person can do. I still think I just need to find a way out of this illness. And I do think I'm making progress, the last 2 months I've felt better than I have in quite a while, but maybe I will never feel 100% and maybe that is one thing I really need to work on accepting. I'm sorry to make you feel like a broken record, but the things you say DO sink in... I guess it's 2 steps forward, 1 step back....

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post
op- have you been checked for chronic fatigue? i am unaware of your actual medical problems.
Yeah chronic fatigue doesn't quite fit the picture but the symptoms are very similar (as are the fibro symptoms) to what I experience... I wonder if I am dealing with more than 1 illness and that could be why it's so hard to pinpoint. I have noticed a big improvement the last 2 months with a gluten-free diet and tons and tons of supplements (which goes against everything I believe about nutrition lol but IT HELPS so I don't care anymore). I know I'm missing something (or maybe multiple things) because I'm still not right but I'm so sick of doctors and medical bills so I'm taking a break from all that for now....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonahRoo View Post
3) Go back to your "roots" per say of what makes you tick inside. Are there things that you have left to the wayside because of all the changes of house and family but that you really loved? It could be as simple as playing classical music in the house or cleaning on a certain day or baking regularly etc.
Thanks for the book suggestions!

"Roots", I like that... I am having trouble remembering what I really loved to do. I definitely loved working out & I think I will try to join the new gym down the street. Even if I only get there a few times a month, it's something to look forward to... I love to read but I get so wrapped up in my books that it becomes another obsession. I really need to learn moderation. I used to like to cook but now I hate it (because cooking while someone is screaming & climbing up your leg isn't all that fun...) but I'm trying to do it anyway a few days a week. I really really loved to do art but I can't seem to figure out how to make that happen because DS needs to be out of the house for me to enjoy it, and where on earth is DH supposed to take him when it's dark & cold at night??? Maybe I should try to find them a weekly class or something. Money is tight but maybe there's something affordable out there....
post #13 of 15
No need to apologize, I wasn't annoyed-- I'm glad you are making baby steps.

I hope you can get a dx soon though. That always makes a huge difference in terms of finding a community and resources (to say nothing of treatment).

Have you been reading the Unclutterer blog? the blogger has some kind of chronic illness and tends to have good suggestions for organizing around such things, compared to other similar bloggers. Also if you like those kinds of TV shows, "Clean House" features more sick and/ or disabled people having their houses cleaned up and set up than the other comparable shows. Those things don't make the show and blog more interesting to me in the "yay I'm represented" sense or anything like that, but they do make the tips a lot more practical for me.

If you think you truly do have a gluten sensitivity, does your son? Those things do run in families.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
We don't have cable but I will look up that blog!

I don't *think* DS is reacting to gluten but I'm not positive. I did a trial with him at the same time I went GF and he didn't seem all that different... he might have slept slightly better at first but I think it was coincidence because it didn't last. He does seem to have a lot of similarities with food-sensitive kids but none of our dietary changes seem to help him much.

It would be great to get a diagnosis soon but I've temporarily given up on it out of frustration & I'm just focusing on symptom relief.

I did have a great day today though... my dad came over & helped DH with a bit of the remodeling, I took DS to a Halloween party, I did some minor repairs and light cleaning, I only spent about 2 or 3 hours online (most of it while DS was napping in my lap). Felt very productive & the house is feeling a little more peaceful.
post #15 of 15
The http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com website (which includes a blog and is also on Facebook) has some good household management tips as well, as does the http://www.arthritis.org website.
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