I had a kind of realization a week ago, as I was dragging myself off to bed. I’d just stood and cried, apologizing profusely to the county officer that had been dragged out of his shift to check on us, because the baby dialed 911. I still have no idea how she did it. My husband was gone all last week, and we had just been talking to him on the phone. I could NOT get her to quit crying after we hung up. It wasn’t bed time yet, but she wanted to HOLD the phone, that’s all. So I let her. I’m guessing there’s a menu item for police or something?!? because it’s not labeled on the front of the phone, I would never have even let her touch it (the big kid either) if I thought they could accidentally do that… Anyway, the realization was that I never want to be a bother to anyone. I feel like if anyone takes the time to talk to me, or ‘deal’ with me that they’re just doing it out of pity or obligation. They feel like they have to. Certainly the other night was a big low for me.
Obviously anyone dropping by here does so because they’re interested in what the ‘happenings’ are. All.. you know 4 of you…and that’s okay. I like actual readers, I just wish there were more comments so I knew if you were liking what you read or not. No one wants to be a boring blogger. I started a facebook page for the blog, which got a lot of hits recently when I gave away a diaper. I’ve only lost about 8 of those new ‘fans’, but I only have one or two responses over there when I ask a question. The thought has occurred to me to abandon that page. If it’s just annoying people by clogging up their feed, why bother? Sensing a pattern here?
It’s the same with life. I don’t call my friends because they could be busy. Their kids could be sleeping and I don’t want to wake them. They could be running errands and I’d be interrupting them. It goes on and on. I torture myself with every single decision, and a lot of times, just don’t do things because I could be inconveniencing someone else. I’m in the way in stores, my kids are too loud, I can’t take a weekend haircut because some working woman really needs that time slot, she works all week. I’ve shoved myself so far down, I’m not even sure where I am anymore. I don’t feel ‘worthy’.
Some of the ‘worthy’ attaches to money. For instance, the kids always get new clothes (bought on deep discount, yes, they need them), but I rarely buy anything for myself. I recently donated nearly everything long sleeved in my closet, and just before winter, but none of it fit anymore, hopefully someone else will get some use out of the items. Post-babies nothing that was
on trend sold in any store, a few years ago when I last bought clothes fits. Nothing’s LONG enough. I’m managing by wearing the shirts I bought this summer (again I hadn’t had new for several years) with sweaters over them, or the few long sleeved shirts that KIND OF fit I wear a nursing tank under. Kind of pathetic, but those summer clothes are still sitting, unpaid for, on my credit card, so I don’t really see much option for buying long sleeved right now. Not when my husband also needs clothes.
It does make me feel ‘less worthy’ though. I don’t feel like I look good, so I don’t want to be seen anywhere. It doesn’t help that no matter how much I try, I end up with a snotty nose wiped on me SOMEWHERE, whether I can tell right away or not. All the sudden I look down, or over at my baby and there’s a dried mucus trail on my clothing. Blech. Who wants to see their brand new shirt covered in snot? Yeah, me either. It’s not worth it. Not to mention the prices are insane. I’m even MORE picky with the discounts I try and pick up on my clothes, even though they should last for several years, there’s always the chance that one of the kids will blitz the item with something that can’t be saved. Red marker, or the like. It’s not worth buying things that look good (which also pretty much mean expensive) JUST to wear at home and possibly ruined. There’s another component of course, and that’s time. I do NOT want to go clothes shopping alone, my husband hates it and the girls of course could care less, they just want to run around. The best option would be to PAY a babysitter so my husband could go with me. Therein lies the problem, you could go to a store and find out in 10 minutes that they have nothing, or try on stuff for 4 hours and still find nothing, either way you’re still paying someone so you can find clothes. No I don’t want to go buy a bunch of stuff and then say I’ll take it back if it doesn’t fit. That doesn’t work here. Goodwill is also pretty much out for the same reason. You still have to find someone to watch the kids while you shop. It’s frustrating… and not ‘worth it’. I’d rather wear the same 4 shirts than take up my husband’s precious time off work and pay a babysitter to get something new. It would be too much of a bother to him.
To that end, I don’t get my nails done, hair cut, or anything for ‘me’. The only things I generally do are sneak some ‘food treats’ into the shopping cart that my husband and I can share. I’m already doing the shopping, the hardest part is hiding them from the kids. I can’t justify expenses for anything else though. I don’t think my husband has any idea how good he ‘has it’. I have friends who get a pedicure about once a month. He just about croaked when he realized how much that costs each time. They probably feel better about themselves, treating themselves, etc. However most of them do work or go to school to further their career, so they have some justification for the ‘extras’. I just don’t. I just stay at home, I don’t bring in any money, and if I ended up in a bad situation with money, wouldn’t I feel like crap if I’d gotten a haircut but my kids needed milk and I couldn’t buy it for them?
Just not worth it, just keeps ringing in my head.
*Everyone* says you have to take the time to treat yourself so that your family can be healthy and happy. However, mine seem to be just fine with me being at the bottom all the time.
It’s definitely not a new problem/feeling, that being last. It comes from you being a caretaker/giving person. Putting everyone ahead of yourself. I think all of us do it to a certain extent, and if you think about those women you know who do not, they’re often thought of as selfish and narcissistic.
I know you know about my penchant for 2nd hand clothing, is it possible for you to put aside a few dollars each paycheck and have a mini spree sometime in the next few months? Because you ARE worth taking that time to yourself once in awhile.
Yes, you are.
I know things are tight on one income, hell, things are barely working here and we both have jobs… although the two of us together are making the salary of one poorly paid person. 🙂
I wish I could offer something concrete to help you feel a bit better, you really are worth care from yourself and from others.
Not whiny at all – and not just you. I do suggest you find something for YOU – be it a hobby, a special treat (not to share -but for YOU!), a comfy new shirt or some “mommy time”. Those little things can help – and won’t take away from the girls or your hubby. They need a happy, healthy YOU, and you need to let them take care of YOU a bit!!!!
I have been there. I second what the other ladies were saying. Take some time and maybe squeeze out a little bit of money and treat yourself sometime. Chances are, when you’re at the store you semi-regularly buy something for the hubby and the kids that’s non-essential. You are worth that non-essential too. Even if it means saving $10 every time you get paid and going on a Saturday and taking that appt from the working mom. You work too, you just aren’t paid for it!
I recently had a baby and none of my clothes fit either. I went to Old Navy and scoured the clearance items and found a couple of shirts that I like for super cheap. It makes a world of difference having a few new things. I told my husband I want new clothes for Christmas, but I know I can’t spend much on myself because I’ve already spent so much on the kids. But I didn’t get a birthday present this year because our finances were tight, so I feel like I deserve something this time around, even it it’s small. I promise that your happiness will improve if you can find a way to make yourself feel like you are as important as your husband and kids are. I know without a doubt that they couldn’t get along without you. You are not an inconvenience or a bother to others. You have just as much of a right to “be” and to “do” as anyone else!
Jill, I think one of the most refreshing things about your blog is how raw it is. You are the real deal, a sincere person, a fantastic mom, a loving wife, doing her absolute best every day. You are incredibly hard on yourself and you have such high standards. These are good, but can also be self-defeating. I don’t know if this helps, but I get very few comments on my posts unless they’re giveaways and the same people tend to comment on my fb page as well. I’ve had nearly 100 people join my facebook page from a sponsorship recently and I had to beg to get 3 more to follow my blog, which I found so odd! Plus, tons more follow twitter and they didn’t follow the link.
Your value (and mine) is not based on numbers. You are amazing. You are individually loved by God. You are important. You have terrific things to contribute. I am so grateful to know you and wish we could be IRL friends. ;0) I know we don’t attend the same church, but this talk from one of the leaders of mine has meant so much to me and I think so many of the words are meant just for you and what you’re feeling today. I hope you’ll read it. http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/general-relief-society-meeting/2011/09/forget-me-not?lang=eng&query=forget
Oh, and most especially #s 1 and 5 is what I thought of for you. :0
Some days I just want to shake you, Jill! You are JUST AS if not MORE important than anyone in your house! YOU are the one who holds down the fort, budgets the money, takes care of the kids. You may not bring in any money, but you are the person who makes that little group of people a family and holds it all together. Go get that pedicure. Take the money you’d have spent on B for Christmas (who will be perfectly happy with a box to play in) and buy a nice outfit to wear to church or whenever you need to go out. It will improve how you feel about yourself AND improve your family life as well. Tough love, I know – but you are important too and you need to make sure that not only you know it, but that they do too.
This breaks my heart. I worry about you. Nobody should ever have to ask if they are worth it. Of course you are worth it. You are priceless. You are just as precious as anyone else. I wish you could see the value of you.
I know people tell you to take time for you, but part of the problem is the lack of money to do anything for yourself. I’m not one for trips to the salon either. That’s a want that people have. You need to have enough clothes to get by and feel decent in. That is not a want. That’s a NEED. Yes, I understand that Matt needs clothes for work and the girls are constantly growing and in need of new clothes. But you deserve clothes that work for you just as much. If anyone can arrange a budget to fit in another need, it’s you. I agree that you don’t want to spend much on clothes because they could get ruined. But there are plenty of less expensive, not fancy options out there and you need to somehow work the budget so you have a little to spend on yourself. You aren’t going to like it, but perhaps you should cut back on some of your charitable givings to be able to afford some clothes for yourself. You are just as important to help out as someone else.
You have heard it before, but it’s so true. In order to take care of your girls you have GOT to take care of you. Matt needs to hear what ways you want to get out of the house and help make it happen here and there. But you also have to be willing to get out of the house. Plan something out that you want to do, find a day when you can do it and Matt can watch the girls, and then go through with it. And I know you don’t like driving, but that’s part of leaving the house.
I get that you don’t want to bother people. And sometimes that’s a valid point. But you are entitled just as much as anyone else. The police are to help people and to keep people safe. You are people. Don’t feel bad. Pay attention to the clues of people around you, but try not to overreact to them. If it really looks like your kids noise is bothering people, do something about it. But most likely, they dont’ care. We have had people ask to move away from us twice in the last 6 months because of how loud our kids were. It was awful. Only once did I feel it was justified 🙂 But it happens. It doesn’t make you any worse than anyone else.
Of course your family is fine with you at the bottom. THings are good for them. And the girls are too young to understand anything except Mommy will take care of everything. You really really need to talk to matt and come up with an actual plan for you and then follow through. Hopefully he will listen and understand that you need some help. Because it isn’t okay for him to be fine with you being at the bottom. And he may not really realize where you are. Unless you’ve come straight out and said something, he really may be clueless. I don’t know if he still reads your blog, but hopefully this time he will.
I read the link that Mindy provided. I thought it was a very well said essay. She was spot on when she marked 1 and 5 for you. I hope you read it.
You are important and you are loved. God made you exactly as he intended to. You need to treat yourself with the same respect that you treat others, because you are one of His children, too.
I feel like there is nothing I can say that will be adequate for this post. You just need to know you are loved.