all the "relaxing" is killing me

I’m not really in the best frame of mind to be writing a post right now. And we need to be out the door for swim lessons in 40 minutes, and I haven’t showered (and one of my children is still in bed). But I need to let a little bit of my angst out.

I’m discouraged to report that I am not really enjoying our summer so far. And I’m more than a little irritated with myself because of it.

I don’t know exactly what it is. I do know that I went from having my husband home all the time (and just one daughter) to having my husband gone and all three of them at home.

And I know that our mornings are consumed by swimming lessons (2 hours a day for 2 weeks). And I know that we’ve spent at least 2 hours at the pool almost every single afternoon and/or evening for the past 3 (?) weeks.

And we’ve been to the doctor/dentist 5 times this month, which is 5 more times than we went in the last 2 years, it seems. And the girls are having play dates with friends right and left.

And I’m drowning.

I feel like I can’t get anything done. The house has gone to pot. My writing projects are on hold. My blog is languishing. I can’t keep in touch with anyone.

I know. Get some real problems, right?

I feel like I’m so far behind on Cambodia prep (we leave 2 weeks from today!). Our bills are coming in faster than they’re getting paid. Gabe works hard all day, then has to come home and work at night.

It just hasn’t been much fun.

Any suggestions for how I can snap out of this funk and get some joy back? If your comment involves some variation of “get over yourself; summer is for your kids,” well, I probably deserve it.

Actually, a quick prayer for my attitude and state of mind would be even more helpful than advice.

Thank you.

18 thoughts on “all the "relaxing" is killing me

  1. Kiki

    I kind of want to say snap out of it, summer is for your kids! But if I did, I would totally be joking.

    I agree with asking for daily bread. I can totally see the days that I ask for it and the days I don’t. And after asking, expect to receive it. I ask for patience and strength every morning. I try to do it before I get out of bed. And I try to get up before the kids to read my Bible. And the disclaimer on that is I’ve only been doing it for about 2 weeks and I have missed some days! But, keeping a little bit of a schedule for me has helped, not just trying to fit in a little Bible study when I can get my kids to be quiet for a stinkin minute!

  2. O Mom

    Praying for you.
    Don’t lose sight of the goal…..your trip coming up is huge and Satan knows it. He’s just trying to mess with you and we won’t let him, we’re praying for you and Gabe. What you guys are about to do is amazing!!!

  3. Betsy

    Oh, Marla. I wish I had back the time that my three were the same ages as your three. But that’s past and I can only offer advice from looking back. I tend to agree with Gail, but with this in mind “Too much of a good thing creates problems.” Going to swim lessons and the pool in the afternoon right away threw up BIG flags in my mind. Maybe every other day, or evening swims when Gabe can go, once or twice a week would be helpful. How about a Playdate Day? Part of summer should be relaxing with games, books, toys, learning new skills like how to do laundry (yes, your oldest can learn at her age…sorting laundry for the younger ones), and helping with all kinds of household skills around the house to help you. With Cambodia coming so quickly for you, take the time to enjoy summer in Ohio, and slow down to a slower pace. And most of all, enjoy your girls. As I tell everyone in those child-raising years, ” they grow up so fast.”

  4. Cheryl Pickett

    Well, the only thing I can think of to add maybe is to prioritize as best you can. As mentioned above, no one says you must do or continue everything on your list (except lessons you’ve already paid for and of course getting ready for Cambodia). If you’re that stressed, the girls/Gabe probably are to some extent too.

    As far as the house, pick one or two chores in the house that need the most attention and get them accomplished. Feel good then move on. If things aren’t perfect/spotless, the problem is what??

    Maybe instead of attempting to be an example of wonder woman, try to be an example for your girls of balance. And that will mean saying no to something. It’s okay, it’s healthy to be sane and less stressed (at least occasionally). I know some (or all) of this can be easier said than done, but hope it helps in some way.

  5. Holly V.

    How about coffee (or hot cocoa) and conversation one night when your kiddos are in bed?

    These first weeks of summer CAN be rough…..I’m praying for you.

    Love you.

  6. Meghan

    I heard a wise person say last week that people love change…they just don’t like transition. You sound like you are in a pretty sizeable transition right now. Maybe just realizing you are in a crazy time of transition will offer you encouragment to see it through to the other side of crazy. Glad to hear its already feeling better!
    I was feeling this way earlier this month and drafted a post for myself. (below) Maybe it would encourage you, maybe not.

    http://mommydreams.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/ive-blown-it-today/

  7. Kathryn

    Marla, I so feel your pain! I am two and a half weeks away from my due date with my second child. I have been having a few complications, nothing major, so my drs’ pulled me from work. I THOUGHT that I would be able to rest and get things done at home. NOPE!! My almost 5 yr old is SO demanding and is always up to something. I know that this is the life I want and what I believe God is calling me too, but man, oh man! It is a lot harder than I anticipated. Please know that you have a blog friend in NY that is praying for you and your family. It does help, sometimes, to know that you are not in this fight alone. God also does not give you, or me, more than we can handle! I need to remind myself of that on so many different occassions! 🙂

    I love coming to your blog and getting inspired to be a better mom, friend, person. I don’t know if you know that you do that, but you do!! 🙂 Looking forward to hearing a positive report tomorrow! If you want to pray for me as well, that the baby will come quickly, soon and safely, I’d love nothing more!
    Yours in Christ,
    ~Kathryn

  8. Marla Taviano

    Home for lunch between swim lessons/eye doctor and heading back to the pool.

    Thanks to $10 eyeglasses w/Gabe’s insurance, a win by the USA soccer team, my awesome daughters and your sweet comments, I’m feeling SO MUCH BETTER. Thank you!!

  9. Elizabeth

    I wish I could give you some words of wisdom, but I’m right there with you. In. a. funk. BIG time. I think it’s mostly due to being overwhelmed, which is exactly how you sound. the one thing I’m trying this week is to be ok with “good enough.” That’s not normally how I roll, but trying to keep up like usual is just impossible right now. Your days look very different now than they did a few weeks ago, so roll with it. Take one day at a time.

  10. Rachelle

    my best advice: only focus on getting through today. Step by step those other tasks/to-dos will happen. Praying for you.

    I want an update on Cambodia-specifically the finances. Where are you on fund-raising, really? you can email me/or blog about it.

  11. joyce

    I think all of us have ‘seasons’ like this one. I always had my girls make short lists of all they wanted to do on summer vacation time. I made my own list and that always included a few household projects, math flash cards for my oldest or she’d drown when school started back up…then we tried to plan around the lists a bit. Maybe everyone didn’t get everything on their list but there was always overlap and I’m always better with a plan instead of floundering thru the days. I think we go from a rigid schedule when school is in session to lots of free time and I know I’m always more productive when I have a schedule.

    I think taking one afternoon off from the pool/play dates would make you feel better. Maybe give advance notice to the kiddos and assign each girl a few simple chores to be done. Then assign yourself a few simple chores too just to get the house where its not making you crazy. I get so crabby if my house is completely out of whack (I can live with a little but not a lot)… reward everyone by baking cupcakes at the end of the afternoon-a few to keep and a few to drop off to someone who is having a rough day/week/season…Hope you feel better soon. The coupon books arrived so thanks for that!

  12. Missy June

    You’ve had a lot of big changes and the pace of your life has become much more hectic, no doubt. My thoughts would be simplify as much as possible. Skip the pool this afternoon, say no to playdates (your girls have built-in playdates with each other), focus on one household task and gain momentum by accomplishing that – even if it is just to organize a drawer or clear the counters.

    Of course you know to focus on the posititives and that our Lord will certainly give you the strength and energy for what is necessary … but He doesn’t promise it for what isn’t. Discerning that difference is tough in our culture, but you’re up to the task.

    Best wishes as you prepare for Cambodia! Are you girls going with you?

  13. Gail

    Our summer has been much the same. Substitute “camp” for “Cambodia” and you have the idea. I’m trying a couple of things:
    1. A “summer routine.” Not as strict as our school year schedule, but we needed some flexible structure to our days.

    2. Consciously enjoying moments. When I’m getting nothing done again for the upteenth day in a row, I remind myself that it’s time with kids, who are adorable and fun, and who need my guidance (as evidenced by their exhibitions of their sin nature).

    3. Making a list of some stuff we want to do this summer. A SHORT list. I don’t want to be running everywhere every day. But I don’t want to go back to school on August 12 having done nothing but sit here and look at each other.

    I’m praying for you… specifically that this very day holds special blessings for you.

  14. Kelli

    I’ll be praying.

    You have your hands full.

    I just try to remember on days like that: I might beg for this day back in the future. Try to enjoy it. 🙂

    That is all I have.

  15. Colleen

    I wish I had some great advice for you my friend…I have felt like this sooo often as well…it’s just overwhelming…give yourself a time out, even if just for 15 minutes…thank you Lord that it’s only a season and in 10 years this will just a be a blip on the radar…heck, by the time school starts it will feel like a long time ago…hang in there my friend…you are loved and prayed for!

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