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Never enough, never good enough.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way, so I thought I'd seek out some general advice and get those of us who feel way this talking to each other.

 

I'm spread too thin.  My life feels compartmentalized, but one area bleeds into another, and I'm never doing enough in any one area.  What I do manage to accomplish is not quite good enough (or so I feel and so the child/boss/partner/my body says).

 

I do not have enough time, compassion, patience, attention to detail, energy, love, desire, money. . .   I cannot keep up, but I cannot quit. 

 

Anyone else feel like this?   

post #2 of 24

All the time!

post #3 of 24

I feel like I cannot keep up with what I want to do, absolutely. I simply cannot. Exercise, for example, requires a monumental effort to include in my life, and I rarely have the energy to get it in. But not for lack of thinking it's important, not at all. It's not even hatred of doing it. I just don't have enough time or energy. Energy really - if I had enough energy I could MAKE the time, but I simply am not one of those people who can go nonstop all day every day. (I know such people exist though!).

 

But I think you're talking about something a little different? You are saying you can't meet the expectations of OTHERS? Are they your expectations or everyone else's?

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Some are my expectations, some are other's.  I would like to exercise, have a cleaner bathroom, take my poor dog for a walk on occasion. 

 

I have quotas at work that I sometimes meet and sometimes don't.  My work is being compared to my co-workers on weekly reports. My work is also occasionally sent back needing correction because I have a busy fuzzy brain that misses details. 

 

My partner would like more of my time and attention, when frankly, I would like more of my time and attention.  DS's need for my time and attention is insatiable - this is partly his personality and partly his age.  My animals often come stare at me like "we're so hungry!"  (awe, crap!  I forgot to feed the dog again).  

 

My level of guilt for all of this is through the roof.

post #5 of 24

Yes!  I have going maybe four or five of what I consider to be important life projects  --  the kids, keeping the house livable, studying for the bar, losing weight, and some time for me (alone!) and for me and dh.  At any given time I am totally dropping the ball on at least one of these.   Often I have a great day in one area but really screw up with regard to the rest.  I'm not good at juggling.  

 

Funny you mention taking your dog for a walk.  I took mine for a walk today for the first time in like, forever!  (Dh does walk them sometimes though, and we do have a yard, they aren't mistreated, but they sure would love more walks.)  I have been feeling really guilty regarding them.  They are old, 13 and almost 14 years old, gah, so they rarely ask to be walked anymore.  When they were younger it was not a question, yk?  There was no way they'd let you get away with skipping a walk.  But because they are so old, it feels like we don't have a lot of time to make their lives nice.  So it would really be awesome if we could get it together to make them a priority.  Sigh...

post #6 of 24

I was thinking about posting something similar.  I feel like I'm always sacrificing some of my parenting for housework or some of the housework to hang out with my daughter.  All in all, it feels like NOTHING I do in my life as a mother is any more than mediocre.  It's frustrating because, I mean, this is my whole new self.  I don't want my self to be mediocre, and I have definitely never been the mediocre type.   But there is no longer any part of my life that makes me feel like an expert.  It's been a big adjustment for me, as I've always been the high-achieving type.  I think my new definition of excellence is something like:  Everyone's eaten, there is nothing overtly disgusting in the house, and I didn't yell at my 2-year-old when she skipped her nap again.  Good job!!!  Now I will sit on my toosh, ignore my to-do-list, and watch the Biggest Loser.

post #7 of 24

Yep, I constantly feel like this. My problem is that I'm a perfectionist so if I know I'm not going to be able to do something perfectly I'd rather not do it (so if I can't get the whole house clean then I'd rather not clean it at all) which means I constantly feel like I'm failing at something.

post #8 of 24

I've really been struggling with this for the past year. That 4th kid just pushed me over the edge, things I used to do, now are just a distant memory. Exercising, ha! Someday I suppose. My work is a joke right now, i can not get anything done. Don't even get me started on housework, it isn't happening. Even with me not doing all these other things, I still don't have enough time to really be with my kids, or rather the other kids that aren't hanging off a breast. I also have a lot of guilt. 

post #9 of 24

I feel like this all.the.time! I have high expectations and there simply is not enough of me to go around to accomplish everything at the level I think it should be. I've never had a lot of patience either and having a demanding toddler certainly tests what little patience I do have on a daily basis. Most days I feel like I'm just running around in circles.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post

Yep, I constantly feel like this. My problem is that I'm a perfectionist so if I know I'm not going to be able to do something perfectly I'd rather not do it (so if I can't get the whole house clean then I'd rather not clean it at all) which means I constantly feel like I'm failing at something.



Yup, that's me. And I'm meticulous and like to do things all in one blow. That went for projects and papers in university, tasks when I worked, and now tasks at home too. It doesn't translate so well when you have kiddos around :(

 

 

post #11 of 24
I feel like this sometimes. It helped me a lot once I realized that a lot of the pressure that I feel is self-imposed. I read this verse over and over and over. When I'm overwhelmed, sometimes I try to just do nothing, even if it's just for an hour.


From Dr. Wayne Dyer's book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life:

Don't overtax yourself. Lao-tzu's reminder that excessive taxation will lead to a loss of spirit applies to you as well. If you weigh yourself down with excessive demands, you'll wear yourself out or develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, worry, heart disease, or any number of physical ailments. Give yourself a break from self-imposed pressures that burden you, allowing yourself plenty of free time to commune with nature, play with your children, read, see a movie, or just do nothing.
post #12 of 24

I recently took a day off from work to clean my house because it had gotten so bad. And I don't know what's sadder...the fact that I used a vacation day to clean my house, or the fact that I was so incredibly delighted that I finally had time to clean.

 

*sigh*

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

I feel like I'm always going over my life responsibilities to see which one's if any I can pare down or get rid of entirely.  I'm also trying to be concious not to add to my load by impulses like my current one - my toddler loves fish and I want to get him one for his birthday  BUT  I do not need a fish bowl to clean each week agh!!  Must. Resist. buying the fish!

 

 

ETA:  I've even found myself wondering when DS will be old enough for chores.  If he could dust without breaking things, that would be so awesome!

post #14 of 24
lol.gif I know what you mean. We got DD a Betta fish and clean the bowl like once a month. It's a really easy fish to have. Don't even need a filter. Just a bowl and water conditioner and food.

This is exactly why we don't have a dog. I'd love to have one, but we don't have a yard, and walking it would get old real quick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava View Post

I feel like I'm always going over my life responsibilities to see which one's if any I can pare down or get rid of entirely.  I'm also trying to be concious not to add to my load by impulses like my current one - my toddler loves fish and I want to get him one for his birthday  BUT  I do not need a fish bowl to clean each week agh!!  Must. Resist. buying the fish!
post #15 of 24

hehe. I totally get the fish. I bought a goldfish for my DD1 FOUR years ago and the thing is still alive! And it is one more thing to feed and just be in my house. He is in a tank with a filter and all I do is throw food at him once a day and add more water when it starts to get low. We just went a year without cleaning the tank. redface.gif Finally cleaned  it and just about killed the poor thing, a month later and he still isn't right. My cats gets NO attention. Someday eventually, we'll get another dog (ours passed on), but I can not handle that now. The fish is too much right now. ANd the plants. Watering once a week is out of my capabilities. 

post #16 of 24
ROTFLMAO.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

hehe. I totally get the fish. I bought a goldfish for my DD1 FOUR years ago and the thing is still alive! And it is one more thing to feed and just be in my house. He is in a tank with a filter and all I do is throw food at him once a day and add more water when it starts to get low. We just went a year without cleaning the tank. redface.gif  Finally cleaned  it and just about killed the poor thing, a month later and he still isn't right. My cats gets NO attention. Someday eventually, we'll get another dog (ours passed on), but I can not handle that now. The fish is too much right now. ANd the plants. Watering once a week is out of my capabilities. 
post #17 of 24

They say "it takes a village" because that is what we are supposed to have..the village dissolved a generation ago.  It used to be that not only did most moms stay home, they all knew each other and the kids played in the street while they took turns watching them (ok not everywhere but certainly many many times more than now).  This way - everything basically got done and the parents played cards every weekend.  

 

I'm not saying moms should or shouldn't stay home, in fact, now most of us need two incomes to live.  

 

I have one 4 year old and work part-time.  Between work, cleaning, and cooking, I'm putting in 12+ hour days.  DH works 50 hours a week and does laundry and finances.  DH and I have from 8-10pm every night to watch tv and hang out, and weekends are usually fairly free. Heck I even took my kid bowling today, just because we had time.  It's all good here - feeling a decent life balance.

 

Oh, did I forget to mention I'm not doing the profession I trained for for the last TWENTY years????  Including 10 years of college and a 6 year fellowship??   

 

Oh yea and we're TTC #2 now..so when my boss asks me when do I want to go full time and DO my actual dream job - I'm not sure if I say tomorrow, never, maybe in 5 years?  

 

F*&K!

 

-Jen

 

post #18 of 24

It is so nice to read this and feel less alone! I

 

My DH is at work from 7am-7pm every day. He gets home, and I leave for work within 15 minutes and work until 1am, 4 nights a week.  I work 1 weekend day for 12 hours.

 

Three kids, DSD is 16, DS#1 is 4, DS#2 is 2. 

 

DSD and DH have no sense of picking up after themselves, so I can't count on them.  Instead I just pick up after everyone all day long.

 

I feel like I have to choose between playing with the kids or keeping up on laundry and house pick up and not letting closets get full of junk.  I get so upset with my DH, on the weekend day he is with them, he plays for the entire, day, never forcing any pick up, or chores.  He says I could do the same.  I ask who the hell is going to do all the chores if I do that.  Or maybe I should do it when I get home at 2am? biglaugh.gif

 

I used to be a full time superstar at my job, now I am a part time has been.  People remember me when I was awesome, which I think is why they keep me around.  And I feel so guilty, b/c I do love my job.

 

And the dog! He is such a good dog, and I remember the days when he went for 2 walks a day or it was the end of the world.  Now he plays in the yard and I feel so bad when he is at the door, wagging his tail, hoping I will come out and play with him.  The weather will be nice again, then we will!

 

Losing weight, or at least exercising is a dream.  I just don't even know where or how to fit anymore in.  I know I would be so much happier if I did.  But where??!!

 

Annnd, we are trying for our last baby! I know it sounds insane, but I really feel like we should have 1 more.  And stupid, because the boys are just starting to let me do things like shower by myself.  Yet, I want this last baby so badly. 

 

End rant! Thank you, I feel less crazy! Still guilty, but less alone...

 

grouphug.gif

 

 

 

 

post #19 of 24

I fall prey to this all the time. I have come to learn that I have a scarcity mindset. i.e. "there is not enough...." (fill in the blank, usually with the word "time" or "money"). I have done a bit of reading and poking around, and I stumbled across Law of Attraction, which does have its share of hokey people promoting dubious ideas, but one thing that the Law of Attraction stuff did lead me to was the concept of focusing on what you DO have and what you DO love and what gives you joy, etc. The idea being that it somehow brings you more of that and really lifts the pressure off. I'm sure this coincides with the philosophy of keeping gratitude journals too. As in, you get more of what you focus on. So if you focus on the scarcity, you will get more of that, but if you focus on the tidbits of what's working for you (even though it's not perfect), it will tend to bring you more. Because I think that when we are happy our hearts and eyes are more open to seeing what's right. It sort of compounds itself.

 

So if you can throw yourself a lifeline when you feel like you're going under, let it be that you remember to focus on some kind of joy. Some little thing that makes you happy. Seriously! It can be little. But turning that big ocean-liner of overwhelmedness around is not going to happen right away. It takes baby steps.

 

So when someone, real or imagined, past or present, says "It's not good enough," just say "Yes it is, for now. This is me doing my best today and that IS good enough. I am OK as I am today and who knows what successes and delights tomorrow may bring. I will enjoy those things when they get here. But for now I am just fine." In other words it is OK to be where you are in the journey. There may be some inner need to perceive yourself as "accomplished" or "perfect," (mine was my Dad's critical voice) but that doesn't bring joy to your heart right now. Do what brings joy to your heart, which is to embrace yourself and say, "Just for today, I have enough. Just for today, the sky is blue, I'm here and I have a family, it doesn't bring me joy to think of our flaws or shortcomings, so I won't think of them. I will think of what brings me joy, and that will put me in a better position to do even more joyful things that I love. Beating myself up hurts, so I won't do that."

 

I can speak from real experience here. The only way to feel good is to do things that make you feel good. Beating yourself up doesn't feel good, so make a point of not doing that. Just say right out loud "I am going to treat myself kindly right now, and it would make me happy to go put my feet up and have a cup of coffee and read a poem" (or whatever you like). Because being happy is worthwhile. And I can attest to the fact that just that mere mindset shift can make your heart literally feel lighter, your body less tense.

 

Major attitude change, major life change.....that's just one more impossible-feeling goal. Too big. Just go for little joys and give your soul a break right now. ((hugs)). Just keep repeating, "It IS enough. I HAVE enough. I WILL have enough. The Universe has enough for me and I will find and/or accomplish what I need; it's all as it's supposed to be right now in this moment."

 

Being a mom is just so hard when you tend toward perfectionism, because there are SO many things that are essential. In other words, people tell you to prioritize, but even with that, it can seem like too much. So we need to dial it back a bit. You know what they say on the airplanes....put the oxygen mask over your own face first.  :-) 

 

That  might have sounded a little incoherent but I am tired and need to go to bed. Best of luck. You are not alone in this.

post #20 of 24

I often have Radiohead's "Karma Police" in my head: the line "I've given all I have, it's not enough."

 

I feel like that A LOT.

 

I am a person who 1. is deeply introverted and needs lots of downtime and 2. has depressive tendencies.. it doesn't take much to suck my energy or hope. Coupled with DS screaming at me that he hates me and I'm a bad mom because I turned off the ipad and told him to put his clothes on for school, while DH is travelling... it's getting so my version of a good day is one where I don't yell back, instead I just shut off and ignore and detach, which can't be good either. But I just don't have it in me. I was really worried before having kids that I just wouldn't have the energy and guess what? I don't.

 

Oh gosh... I keep thinking if spring comes I'll feel better again.

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