Monday, April 25, 2005


Do you ever feel inadequate? I have been fighting this lately...this feeling of failure. It's hard to understand because there are no real "results" when it comes to being a stay at home mom (cringe)...there definitely needs to be a better label for what it is I am. When I was working as a teacher, I would teach a lesson and then there would be some sort of "test" to validate what was presented. There was a pretty clear picture of if the child understands the concept and is incorporating it into their learning.

That isn't so with my new profession. Sure, there are stacks of dishes to be done and piles of laundry to sort or wash or fold. And there are dust bunnies gathering in the corner of the room that doesn't get used because it is the "adult" part of the house and hasn't seen any sort of action. There are smudges on mirrors and rings around toilet bowls and handprints on sliding glass doors. These are the results of a job in which I feel I am drowning under. I am a big fat failure when it comes to this inadequate. Sure, on the outside I appear somewhat put together...but I live in a constant state of panic that someone will just "stop in" to visit and my house is an absolute mess. This is the fear that consumes me and yet I am so overwhelmed that I don't even know where to start and so I just don't start and it is the cycle much like when I have to re-wash something because I just didn't get to putting it in the dryer and now it stinks.

I know these are universal anxieties most every mom has, but it feels so individual and so isolating. I try to figure out how so many women before me have gotten it all done without losing their minds in the process. I've been thinking about all those vintage pictures you see with moms with aprons and clean homes and happy children and then I look at my reality of screaming baby, two year old jumping on the edge of the couch about to fall right on her head while wiping her boogers on my shirt, burning something in the oven, dog crying to be let out before she explodes, and dishes crusty with last week's baby cereal. *Deep breath*

People say "oh, don't worry about the house...the laundry will still be there tomorrow and your kids will grow up so fast. You need to enjoy them while you can." But, nobody likes to have no clean underwear.

It will get easier, I know, but I don't want to be so caught up in all this everyday junk that I miss the important parts...even if it's just Piper counting 10 or shouting "I did it!"

So if you get nothing else from this post...remember...always call at least 30 minutes before you show up knocking at my door, you've got to give me a head start.


Jason Egan said...

I can tell Jason’s been out of town… it is hard when you have to run the corporation by yourself. I just had to reply when I read the word ‘failure’… let me tell you something, you are NOT A FAILURE! From what I’ve read and what Jason has told me about you there isn’t any failure to be seen. I see some of the most amazing mothers that have kids with holes in their clothes and a husband that is never home. I’ve also seen mothers that seem to have it together, nice house, spotless, but no relationship with their children or spouse. You have an awesome relationship with Piper, and heck, anyone that can put up with Jason and his crazy job should get a few medals!

When I read your post I couldn’t help but think of my wife and how she gets down some times – how she feels the same way, but she is the best mother I know – heck, I start pulling my hair out when she leaves me alone with the kids for more than four hours. Hang in there; it doesn’t only get better it gets GREAT!! We sure am hard on our oldest son but he is quite an amazing boy – I remember when it seemed like all we did was follow him around with a broom and a bottle of windex! Now he’s starting to help us out more and more – he does well in school, has friends, doesn’t swear, reminds his mom and dad to make good choices (like stop for ice cream after soccer practice) – but as you know, it is TOTALLY worth it!

You’re awesome! Hang in there Shannon.

Danielle said...

Shannon, i live in that same's really hard juggling everything all at once. And i, like you, don't know where to start. But you're not a failure...i always look at you and wonder how you do things...and do them so well. But, sometimes it does get overwhelming. Hang in there. If you ever need someone to talk to, just pick up the phone and call me. I'll always be available...

Eric said...


First of all, I feel just like you. I think every SAHM does. No one ever talks about it though.

Second, those mom's in the 50's and 60's starting drinking at noon and popped a "mommies little helper" around 10:00 am and another in the afternoon.

I also can't tell you how many times I have had to re-wash a load of laundry because I forgot about it.