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Me – The Failure

I don’t have a middle name. I never did. If I gave myself one though these days, it would be “failure”. That’s how I’ve been feeling these days. I’ve been disappointing pretty much everyone in my life… including myself.

Well, I should amend that. I FEEL like I’m disappointing everyone in my life. If they were called to testify for this blog (wouldn’t that be fun?), I can be objective enough to realize that they may disagree with me. It may all be my imagination that I totally suck. I can recognize that. However, it doesn’t change how I feel these days.

I have a new job/career, a new baby and it’s a whole new world I’m living in. I think of my life several years ago (which was much like SEX AND THE CITY without the need for penicillin) and I’m overwhelmed with how much has changed. I was thinner, I could take naps when I wanted to, my job was comfortably boring, I had a lot of time to ponder my life choices and my biggest concern was should I stay in on Sunday and watch PRETTY WOMAN for the 100th time or go to brunch with my gay best friend.

These days, I work an average of 10 hours a day, naps are a thing of the past (as is sleeping all the way through the night), my ass is so big that I feel like it’s following me, I’m constantly lamenting over whether or not I should sleep train my son, I’m behind on my emails, on phone calls and every second of every day is filled with something I have to do, should do or am forgetting to do.

It’s not that I’m complaining. It’s a good life. I just haven’t figured out how to handle it yet. Every day I’m learning something new, worried I’m screwing something up and in a continual state of confusion. It’s like being terminally stuck in a David Lynch film.
And let’s take a moment and discuss my sex drive, shall we? I dare say it’s not so much a “drive” as much as it is “parked” and collecting tickets. It started when “trying to conceive sex” became a chore and has been one big complication all the way to today when I’m not only too tired to have relations but I could not feel less sexy these days. So, it’s official. I’m calling time of death on my sexiness.  Mark the time on your watch.
My therapy appointments are early in the morning before work and since I’m often sleep deprived, I tend to oversleep and am late for them. Then, instead of talking about my life, my therapist makes our entire session about analyzing why I was late to therapy. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar and an alarm clock in just not enough lady.
I have friends who I haven’t been able to find the time to speak to, bills I should pay, two missing credit cards (I know they are somewhere) and any goals I’ve ever had to be a super mom who power walks early in the morning, who takes her child to music class on the weekends and still finds time to throw dinner parties has gone down the toilet I haven’t had time to clean.
On more than a few occasions, because of the long hours at work, I have missed seeing my son before he goes to sleep. My husband has become a master of solo dinner and bath time with baby and he’s even nice enough not to be pissed at me for missing the routine.
One night recently, exhausted and frustrated that I once again missed spending time with my son, I came home, picked him up from his crib, held him in the glider while he slept and I cried. I worked so hard to have him. Do I spend enough time with him? Am I able to appreciate all of the little moments with such a full plate? Does he know that one of the main reasons I work so hard is to make a better life for him? Is there a way to explain that to a baby???
On the surface, everyone seems understanding (well, except for my therapist). People know I have an 8 month old, a new career I care about and that I’m doing my best. I just can’t go on like this though. My best, in my opinion, is crap. I’m always running behind, I’m always apologizing for something, I can’t lose weight, I miss quality time with my husband (both sexual and non-sexual time) and even though I spend as much time with my son as possible, I can’t help but feel like it’s simply not enough. I wish I was Wonder Woman. I wish there was an app on my phone to help. I wish that when I woke up in the mornings, I didn’t always have an upset stomach when I think to myself, “Ok. You’ve REALLY got to try to make progress today. Seriously.”
Like any situation in life, I always try to maintain a sense of humor and a sense of hope. All of us, our lives as they are now, will not stay like this. It’s always ever changing and we can only try to keep up with each change and enjoy it. I just can’t figure out how to. I’m lost and my GPS is looking at me and shrugging her shoulders.
Right now, I’m sitting on my living room couch, fighting a cold while my husband and son sleep in the other room. This is a VERY rare occasion to sit down and write a blog… or sit at all… or even breathe… or pretty much do anything. I had hoped that this quiet moment would bring some answers but it hasn’t.  The only thing I can think of that may help me handle all of these changes is more caffeine. Lots and lots more caffeine.
I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. I’ve worked too hard and too long to get to this point. I went through years of infertility treatment to have a beautiful son and I have used my experience with infertility to have a new career helping others with their treatment. I’m proud of that. Now, if I could manage my time better, get more sleep, have more energy, drop 50 pounds, find millions of extra dollars somewhere and have a real date night with my husband, that would be f*cking awesome.
I’m working on it. Stay tuned…

55 thoughts on “Me – The Failure”

  1. This is where I'm at too! I've been back at work after maternity leave for almost 5 months, so why do I feel like I'm still adjusting? I don't have any answers for you, but having a "me too" will hopefully give you some comfort!

  2. Take two for my comment. . . .

    My twin sons are about the same age as your son, and I can fully relate to all the feelings you described in this post. I don't have the solution, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in feeling this way.

  3. I'm going to send you an email that will say the same thing, but I figured hitting you twice is worth while.

    Lady, you are SWAMPED! It's evident and the fact you are juggling all of this is huge. So stop apologizing (and fire your therapist… he/she is being an ass). Just focus on doing what you can do. Because even though it doesn't feel like it, you are changing the world. All while being a new mother (which is a superhuman act). I know because I've already benefited from your help and amazing things are going to happen.

    Sending love and many, many hugs.

  4. Hugs! Being a working mom with an infant is no easy task. I've been there! You feel caught between work and home and wherever you are you feel guilty. I shed many tears in that first year of motherhood, missed a lot, harbored a little resentment toward the SAHM's I knew, and struggled a lot with finding any time to find ME in the whole equation. I even have the unique situation of being the "breadwinner" and having my husband stay home, so I grew to resent him a little too.

    It does get better. Babies don't seem to notice how little we're home, just that we are there. As they get older, they need less naps and later bedtimes, allowing you to reclaim a little of the time with them. I'll never be Supermom. I'm lucky if I make it out of pjs on a day off, I've never done a craft project with my 3 yr olds, we watch a little too much tv, my 1 yr old eats more processed food than she should. But, they're happy, I'm happy (well, I'd be happier if I won the lottery, but beggars can't be choosers!) and that's what counts. Anyone else who wants/needs me can just get in line!

    As far as the "sexy" category goes, I've just resigned myself to a motherhood level of fatness. Sure I'll try to stay healthy but I don't have time for more than that. My husband doesn't seem to care or mind one bit. In fact, he tends to want sex more than I ever think about it, enough so that I occasionally fight off the exhaustion and "take one for the team" if its been too long!

    In the grand scheme of things, you cannot be a failure as long as you are doing your best to juggle all these plates. Cut yourself a break and pat yourself on the back for the kick ass job you've done so far!

  5. Sounds like you have the same wishes I do to lose 50 pounds, find millions and have a real date night. I've given up on the energy and sleep. LOL

    Wishing you sleep and more energy at the very least.

  6. I have a boarding pass for the failure train as well then. Although, I have to say, I feel less guilt about doing crap-all at work if it means spending time with my daughter. While this economy sucks balls, I have the opportunity/ability to find another job if needed, but I'll never get this time with her back. She is priority #1.

    As for sexy-time, that hasn't happened in long-time. You're absolutely right that it is hard when you are utterly exhausted and for the few minutes that you aren't and are able to do something, it's usually pee in peace rather than get your freak on. I just mopped my house for the 1st time in…3…months… I'm not happy to admit that, a lot ashamed, but living in a house with dirt floors seem to work out ok for other cultures…

    I think where I'm trying to go with this comment is that you're not alone. There are probably thousand of moms that feel the same way. We just have a bit more guilt as we had to work and work for these little miracles. Hang in there! Big hugs for you!!

  7. Oh hon, I think a lot of us have these feelings. You are making it work, but I know it doesn't seem like enough. Perhaps chose one thing at a time and find a way to make it happen. Get someone to watch your son one night and go on a date. Then when you have accomplished that, plan a girls night with friends. Then plan an evening to spend with your baby, just enjoying him. And maybe hire a cleaning service to come once or twice a month to help out if possible. Just take things one at a time and take turns. There is no way to get it all done at once.
    I agree with finding a new therapist, this one is not being helpful at all.
    I wish you luck and hope you can find a balance (and some sleep).

  8. Yeah, that's a lot of balls in the air with spinning plates and all….I wish I was wonder woman and I only work on the weekends, and not even every one at that. So as swamped as you are, you're doing an amazing job!

    Aside from your therapist, I think you'll find everyone will remain as supportive as ever. You are doing a special job by sharing how hard you worked for your son with others who are still fighting. You are not alone in your feelings and you are your own worst critic….I've missed your writing and posts, but the ones you get to post..yeah they're pretty awesome!

  9. It will get better.

    You'll start to get more sleep. (Seriously, you will.) With more sleep, amazing things can happen. And then, too, your son will get older, and you'll find ways to spend time with him and get things done at the same time. Eventually this will be routine.

    In the meantime, be easy on yourself. We aren't superhuman, we're just human. There's only so much one person can do. Life will be much easier when you truly believe that. It was for me!

  10. Man, you sound so tired, and reasonably so. I am a new mum and trying to find the time in my day to just make sure both of us a clean dressed and fed, let alone fitting in work and all the other things life was full of before. You are a wonderful mum, and I hope that you can continue to strive for balance until you find a rhythm that works and makes you happy. Wishing you all the best.

    Chrissie @ the days of our lives

  11. I so relate to you! Currently I feel my 19 month old daughter likes her daycare provider better than me. It sucks. I wish we could all afford to stay at home with our babies. When you figure out how to balance your life, write another blog and let me know too!!

  12. I am sorry you got so overwhelmed. As you said your plate is really full. Adjusting to life with a new baby takes a lot out of you. I hope you may settle in a good routine pretty soon and you will feel more efficient in many ways. You work so hard, and you have achieved so much you deserve to feel happy. Its' only you have no more than two hands and so many hours in a day. Btw, your therapist s$cks waisting your time on those peptalks. You are very ambitious and you care, so things will get better for sure! I am in a somewhat same situation after a long ART struggle with a baby. The main difference is that I fell into a pithole in my career. Something got to give I guess. I just try to remind myself of the good old rule: one step at a time. It got me through a lot already.
    I am glad I found your blog. Keeping up with a good cheer is key.
    Happy ICLW! #52

  13. Society likes to make us believe that "we can do it all and have it all!" Call me old fashion but I think it is a load of crap! Something/someone always suffers. Whether it be your work, your husband, your son, your health, etc. I had the career and I gave it up to maybe have less "stuff" but have SOO much more! I am a better wife, and better mom, a better me. Now I am not perfect and I still get tired, and have bad days, but I wouldn't change it for one second! I know so many women don't feel the same way I do, that is fine. But I would sell my house in a heartbeat to be a good wife to my husband (and yes we do it at least 5 times a week!), and a good mother to my kids. I truly hope u can find rest and peace!

  14. I could have written this post, right down to the "take the sleeping baby out of his crib and cry in the glider". I did that last week! I have been reassured by others that it does get better. Hang in there!

    PS: Quitting her job may have worked for the last poster, but please don't feel like a bad mom / wife for working.

  15. Jay, I feel your pain! I experienced everything you wrote about after I adopted my two kids. I don't know if this is true for you or not, but the anxiety was compounded by my feeling of being unable to express myself because I felt I didn't have the right to "complain" about my situation, having wanted kids so long and tried so hard to get them. So I kept all my feelings inside and eventually it got so bad that it started to manifest itself as actual physical pain… My lower back was in a constant state of throbbing, aching pain. I went to see my doctor who had helped me with back pain a few years earlier and after he examined me, he said, "There is nothing wrong with your body." Then he asked me, "How's motherhood?" and I burst into tears. After listening to my story for a long, long time, he gave me this advice: look in the mirror each day and say out loud, "I am doing my very best. And my best IS good enough."

    You know what? After a couple of days, the back pain was gone. And after about a year, I found that I had learned how to be a mom and manage my life with two little kids in it. I am not perfect and neither is anyone else. But really, how can you ever do better than your own personal best? So take it easy on yourself. I'm sure you are a wonderful mother. And I'll tell you what do many people told me, and it really is true: it gets better. Right now you are LEARNING. Learning takes time. Give yourself time, and take good care of yourself, physically and emotionally. You deserve it. If I knew you IRL, I'd give you a big hug. 🙂

  16. Hang in there!! You're clearly a great mother and I swear to you, this will all work out the way it's supposed to. You owe it to your family not to carry too much guilt around on your shoulders. Clearly you've done so much already- you can keep going!

  17. Wow, although we're in different places in our lives (I'm still TTC#1), I can relate to your post. I will admit that my life is not nearly as busy as yours and there are times when my expanding ass sits on the couch instead of cleaning that toilet that so desperately needs it (so I make a choice to be lazy, a luxury of being childless that I do feel ready to give up . . . but only for a baby). However, I can relate to feeling like you're spread too thin, pulled in too many directions, and in trying to do it all you feel like you're failing everyone. That was how I felt when my husband was in the hospital after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 30. I felt like I was failing him by not being at his side 24/7 and failing at work because my head wasn't in the game. I do hope you ask for help when you need it (something I'm not the best at myself) and try to cut yourself some slack. You're trying the best you can.

  18. You are doing great. Really, you are. I am a new mum as well (through IVF) and I know how you feel, but give yourself credit for all that you are already accomplished. Then clear your 'to do list' from everything that is not 'absolutely essential'. Paying bills needs to be done but no power walks, no hosting dinner parties, no catching up on emails and phone calls. It is simply not the right moment for such an ambitious agenda – you will again have time for all these things, just not right now. Once you have done that, give yourself one or two goals per week, to accomplish ON TOP OF your everyday's routine. For example: one week it may be spend one afternoon during the weekend just playing with your son; one other week it may be to get a baby-sitter for one night, dress up and go for a date with your husband; one other week it may be just to get some take-out and watch a movie together on the couch. Remember, one, max two goals a week. It is already a lot, weeks go so fast! Do not feel guilty for not being in touch with friends, they understand – you can send a collective email once in a while to update them on your life (one 'weekly goal'). As for the need to lose weight, I know what you mean, I still have all my baby weight to lose… but if you are so overwhelmed, this is not the time. We should all try to eat healthily, of course, but apart from that, give yourself a break on the losing weight front. The time will come that you can put that on your agenda again, but until you feel more in control of your life, this would only end up depressing you more.
    Hang in there, you are doing great, your son has everything he needs, and better times will come!

  19. I feel for you, friend. It is hard, this plate full/no sleep thing. But you are kicking ass. And just remember that things will get easier as he grows–apparently they start sleeping at two! Holding out hope for that!

    Remember, you need some time to yourself, too. Every once in a while, play hooky for a day and hang out with your little dude. It will refresh those batteries.

  20. [Oh, Man, I lost my comment!] You are an amazing woman and an amazing friend. It WILL get better and you WILL fight your way through this. MJ knows that you love him every time you hold him, feed him, change him, touch him, talk to him. He could not have a better Mom. Bring your therapist a cigar. Cry if you need to. You have alots of fierce women pulling for you and we know you'll get through this rough patch.

  21. Don't you dare go there! You are amazing and I love and admire you more than words can ever say. It WILL get better and you WILL get through this rough time. MJ has the best Mom he could ever have and he knows this just by the way you hold him, feed him, change him, love him. Cry when you need to. Bring your therapist a cigar, and remember that a fierce force of mighty women is pulling for you.

  22. I am totally in the same boat as you. My daughter will be 9 months in a week, and my career is killing me. All I want to do is be with my daughter. BTW-You are NOT a failure! You are amazing and will figure out what path to follow next. Hang in there! (

  23. Here from ICLW as well.

    And omg, I remember this so well. I started a new job when Lucky was 6 months old, and it was SO hard to figure out how to juggle everything (especially because he didn't sleep through the night until he was 18 months old). Bad, bad, bad.

    The one thing we did was seriously simplify. I gave myself more TIME. I didn't worry about working out, I stopped doing things (like therapy) and getting together with friends. We hired a housekeeper. We did a TON of crockpot meals. I texted and emailed to stay in touch with my close friends, used my commuting time in the car to catch up and call people.

    You CAN have everything; just not all at once.

    Can you take the holiday season and recuse yourself to focus only on work and your family? Stop seeing your therapist (because seriously, the issue is YOU'RE TIRED. Which amplifies emotions, for sure) for a short time. Get a housekeeper to come in every two weeks and clean and maybe run a load of laundry.

    And let go of the idea of being supermom. It's WAYYYY too much stress. Just get through until you can get full nights of sleep. THEN you can add something back in (powerwalking, maybe).

    Hang in there. It will get better.

  24. PS – I would like to add that I am the daughter of a working mother who did her fair amount of juggling work and family at the time. She was not home when I came back from school, our place was always a bit of a mess, meals were rarely made from scratch. And yet, looking back, I had a happy, fun and serene childhood… love, affection and understanding are much more important than ideals of perfection.

  25. Oh hun I can relate. It sucks sometimes even though its overall good. Its hard keeping up with everything! There's really not enough time and the downside of being a woman these days is your expected to find it and then some, all the while looking perfect. Give yourself a break! Being a non is HARD, being a mom to an infant is even harder, and add the word "working" in front of mom and its damn near impossible. It's going to get easier and you will find your groove. Don't be too hard on yourself, I think we're all in and out of that exact problem, just the brave ones admit it! Thank you for sharing! It really does make me and others not feel so alone! So happy to read an update:)

  26. Hi, Jay. Thanks for sharing your struggle. Please know that you are not alone in feeling like this. Try to cut yourself some slack. If you keep seeking balance, you will find it. Also know that MJ understands intuitively that you miss him and want to see him. Kids are very forgiving when it comes to mom. You are not a failure, you are a great mom who is also human. I can't tell you how to manage, but I can tell you that you are not the first to struggle to balance your family and a career (and friends, and extended family, and housework, etc., etc.) – you're doing fine and it will get easier with time, trust me! 😉

  27. I am sorry you feel so down 🙁
    I think you are doing an amazing job. 10 hours a day is a lot – even without a baby and a husband waiting for you at home. But this is a new beginning and perhaps in a year you will be able to work more normal hours? And your baby will never remember what's happening now.
    You will figure it out. Hang in there!

  28. I'd like to say AMEN. I got a Wonder Woman coffee cup to remind myself that nobody else gets to be Wonder Woman, just her. Wonder Woman is only on my coffee cup and nowhere else. I let a lot of things go and I finally started to feel vaguely sexy around the time the kid turned two so hopefully things calm down for you sooner.

    In the meantime, breathe deep, enjoy the good stuff, and hang on until things get better!

  29. "any goals I’ve ever had to be a super mom who power walks early in the morning, who takes her child to music class on the weekends and still finds time to throw dinner parties has gone down the toilet I haven’t had time to clean." WOW that sums us all up!!

    I feel the same way that you do. So blessed but not equipped to handle it all most of the time 😀 Humm maybe thats why back in the day schools had home ec? :p

  30. Love your writing! To be able to do what you do is amazing in itself. Ten hours a day! Even without kids i feel that i cant meet my own Goals, and that i let everyone down. For me i try to Stop putting so much pressure on myself and Realize it is okay to let some things fall through the cracks. I Use to wake up every morning with that same thought, "Today I will catch up.". Oh i was so miserable.

    I'm hoping everything falls into place for you!

  31. I'm here from ICLW – and I have occasionally felt like picking up our baby (who we also worked damn hard to have) in the night just to give him a hug! We are looking at Mr Spouse working away and missing bedtime too, so I feel your pain.

  32. I so feel like this! I was just thinking today about the fact that I feel like a failure at everything, my blog just being the latest and least important thing. Thank you for sharing this. It encouraged me to know that I'm not alone; I hope that helps for you as well.

    Visiting from ICLW.

  33. a.) Ditch the therapist. I did this after a "late" lecture once and realized that it was a GREAT freaking decision. Scary, but great. If your therapist can't realize all you have going on right now, then he/she is not going to be able to help you.
    b.) Give yourself a break. 🙂 I have never met a woman who didn't feel like this after having a baby. You're doing fine. Trust me.

    ICLW #7

  34. I SO know what you mean! I'd love to hire a housekeeper like some commenters have mentioned but that would require those extra dollars I'm also dreaming of. I could have written this post myself – never feeling like you've ever done anything "properly", like you should always be somewhere else, doing something else. I try to keep in mind that thing about there being no such thing as the perfect mother and the best we can aspire to is "good enough" – not sure I'm feeling that though!

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