Friday, February 18, 2011

Depression or midlife crisis?

...or plan old selfishness?


Each day I am faced with a mountain of tasks. I must teach my children in math, reading and writing. I must do laundry and cook 3 healthy meals on very little money. I must teach the children to pick up after themselves and to do tedious weekly chores and to take care of the poultry.

With all these things comes a litany of complaints and moans and whines of great injustice.

Over the last year, and ever so more evident in the last few months, I find that I do not look forward to this any longer.

I feel frozen. I feel as if I cannot nor do I want to hear it anymore. I don't want to hear the constant complaining when I try to teach or expect cleanliness nor the constant dissatisfaction in the food on the table.

I've had this dreaded feeling for months that I have not been able to put my finger on. At first I thought it was depression or the lack of organization in my life, but I think it really is just the fact that no matter what I do for my family, no matter how hard I work at things, no one is ever happy with what I do. There is always someone there to complain about something.

I lay this out here because I am hoping with all my heart that I am not alone. That someone out there knows what this feeling is. That someone will pray for me and maybe even have some sort of secret advice that will help me get through this. But maybe it is depression or lack of parenting skills. I don't know, but would love some words of wisdom and prayer.


Thank you for listening and for your prayers.

12 comments:

elizabeth said...

Hmmm..... is it possible to ban complaining at the table?

I have dealt with depression in my life before; one of the things that helps me is to strive to cultivate thankfulness in my heart.

It is hard to not have a lot of money for food; can you go to the public library for recipe ideas...there are often books that are for the budget conscious... I know that I have made a lot of soups to save money ...

maybe you need some ways or strategies for your kids also to cultivate thanksgiving; it makes a world of difference if one lives in an environment of thanksgiving verses an environment that is more sad or with a tendency to complain; there is a lot of unhappiness in the world; I see it in people too... life is not easy...

are there any good monasteries near by? sometimes by just being there one can feel a bit of relief.

It can take time to get past the feelings of inward frozen-ness; and it is hard to know why one feels that way - I find that regular confession helps me slowly sort through what is going on and needs to be changed... and I, in my few (34) years have found that the situation is complicated and that more than one factor can be at work. Eating as well as you can, drinking water, avoiding sugar are all things that help me emotionally...

our society is incredibly self-focused and self-loving so if selfishness is something you find in yourself, it is in me too and you are not alone. we do have to ask God to help us fight it but the good thing is that God will help us and will not leave us.

Hang in there. You are NOT alone...

Stacy said...

Hi Susan-

I'm sure the winter and cold don't help much in the emotion area, either. In our home, bad attitudes and complaining are punished, like any other trait I don't want my kids to possess. Life will always have its sorrows and hardships, but they will be made much harder by a bad attitude, so I really want my kids to have a better outlook. As far as punishments go, I make them clean, and clean it right. Punishing and follow-through are a pain, so it might as well benefit the house.

As far as complaining at the table? "Oh, I'm sorry you don't like dinner honey. You don't need to eat tonight, and go to bed. See you in the morning!" This will also save on your grocery bill. :)

I prefer to come down strong right away. I don't want to be dealing with the same issues 6 months from now. I have enough to do, and so do you!

Hang in there, Sue!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

You are definitely not alone !

Sending hugs and prayers your way......

Winter is always a hard time; hopefully things will get easier as the Spring arrives and you can spend pleasant time outdoors rather than in mud, rain and snow.

Matt said...

When my children complain I remind them that people in Hell think the fire is too hot, and they should be thankful in whatever situation they find themselves.

When they say "I want.." I reply that people in Hell want iced water, and that they should be grateful for what they have.

I hadn't thought of using Stacy's idea of cleaning as punishment. But now that I look back on my childhood, I remember that if I ever said i was bored my mother found a toilet or a refrigerator for me to clean.

As for kids not liking food at the table, Lent is a good time to cure that. Rice and beans and a slice of orange for 40 days will make the rest of the year's meals seem like a Las Vegas buffet.

Mimi said...

You are certainly not along, hugs to you, my dear.
I think it's hard to parent teenagers - no, I KNOW it is hard to parent teenagers. They are defining who they are, and that involves detaching from mom and dad. Unfortunately, where you are, you get the brunt of it.
My advice is to draw inside - pull from your faith, your marriage, and your inner core to be calm and steadfast.
Huge hugs. Love, more huge hugs. And I'm here if you need me.
Thank you, for the warm hospitality. I loved visiting!

MrsChocolate said...

A lovely, encouraging book with lots of good quotes to share with your children is "Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives" by Elder Thaddeus. Another beautiful book to read aloud as a family(and the wonderful BBC movie version) is Pollyanna. It is available to listen to on Librivox.org for free. Maybe a "thankful book" or a wall calendar where each person writes something they are thankful for?? Sometimes the opposite virtue is the easiest way to battle a vice.

Good strength! We are all here fighting alongside you for our children---same skirmishes, just different battle grounds!

Susan Sophia said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom and your prayers.

Helen said...

I have only one child. A "burden" which is much less than four. I do the chores and am infamous for "nagging" too much. By far dad is way more popular with the computer games, movies, movie star knowledge and pop music. What helps me is to repeat what Jesus said, "Who is a good and faithful servant who will bring food to the household at the proper time? Happy is that servant if when his master comes, finds him so doing." I love you Susan and I'll say a prayer for you. And I ask that you pray for me also. We have issues to address also and could use someone's prayers too. Helen

Helen said...

I put the word "burden" into quotation marks cuz I didn't mean to use it like a real burden, but what I should have done is used another word. It's a labor of love and not really a burden. You know, you might get tired once in a while, but you wouldn't trade it for anything. I think.

Jane G Meyer said...

I will pray for you... One of my favorite books for parenting--and for being inspired to be a parent--is Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. It's even a fun read for the whole family, filled with humor and subtle messages...

Sending warm and peaceful prayers your way...

Anonymous said...

My mom often feels that way. I am sure that it is a normal family problem. Despite their efforts, families have a hard time expressing their thankfulness for all of the long, exhausting, endless chores that are done. May God Bless you~with love, me.

editorOrthodoxNorthwest said...

You are not alone in your struggles, open up to close friends, take a hike just for yourself once and a while. A glass of wine at the end of the day and just sit and relax with a fire. Your kids are probably turning out much better than you believe! And remember we all struggle with similar thoughts and temptations at times (men and women). Anthony