28Jan

The Death of Chipper

My mental dialogue lately has been about as opposite from chipper as possible. (In fact, I completely despise the word “chipper” and would love nothing better than taking a sharp, rusty eraser to it. Case in point.) I’m partially proud of myself for not letting this negativity spill over onto my blog and partially guilty for not having the balls to write through the rough times. Either way, I’ve missed you, sweet Internet.

I seem to have come down with a raging case of Incurable Motherhead that has left me flat on the freshly-scrubbed bathroom floor wondering if I will survive the month. The choices do not look good from here: 1) Live in abject squalor, forego cooking, and largely ignore my family so that I can make a foray into the world of writing… or 2) Continue to be a tolerable housewife and mommy while stifling 97% of creative impulses because free time? Doesn’t exist so much.

You mamas whose children are finally in a less-needy stage of life—Was it this hard for you? I feel terrified that if I give up on my daydreams now, I won’t be able to pick them back up once life has settled enough to allow for them. I’m likewise terrified that if I don’t find contentment now, my girls will grow up with an aloof and unhappy mother. Occupied, distant, unfulfilled, absolutely not the kind of parent my little girls deserve.

And now you all need antidepressants. Apologies.

I’m unsure where to go from here—should I redirect my lagging energy away from cleaning or blogging or venturing out of the house or occasional grooming practices?—but I assure you: it will not involve the word “chipper.”

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5 comments

  1. AW man, you’re bring back the, um…good old days when the kids were small. All I can say is HANG IN THERE. This too shall pass. You will get time again, you will. You will! I swear!

    It was that hard for me, and harder, but you just go. Just do. Get out. Do what you can and sweep that damn guilt about the rest of it under the rug. You’ll get back to it later. You will. 🙂

  2. I want to tell you it will get easier and I believe it can. There will always be the need for moms to do the necessary albeit mundane tasks, even when the kids are older. But there is a freedom when the kids can make their own lunch, set their alarm, wipe their noses and more. The key will be to be patient and instill in them independence little by little and remember, they are your ultimate creative work.

    I vote for you to keep writing when and where you can because you put into words beautifully what I’ve thought many a time and I’m positive many others have felt this way as well.

    I agree with lizardek: sweep the damn guilt under the rug! (I need to heed that advice as well)

  3. I got to thinking further about your thoughts shared, and my comments. I wanted to assure you that your children are indeed your ultimate creative work (as a mom), but not so much that you need to put yourself aside. I think you’ve got it already, knowing that you need to be whole in order to be there for your children. Just my second thoughts. Nice new photo btw, you’re beautiful!

  4. We are definitely living parallel lives – scary. Everybody has to make their own choices as to what works for them and their family. I for one choose to let a lot of little household things slide. Although I’d love to lose another 2 kilos (it took me a year to start losing the baby weight, damn that ppd) I choose not to use my limited free time at the gym. I’ve also stopped taking German classes for the time being. I’m hoarding time everywhere I can and shoving it towards writing. I feel like I have to keep one foot in that world now so that when I have more time I have the confidence and the mindset to go more into it.

    Do you read the blog Writing as Jo(e)? She’s on my sidebar – she’s got four and the youngest is 14 now – I think – and she’s a huge life inspiration for me. Just the other day she wrote about how she was always stealing time to write. I use her as a guidepost – she got through 4 babyhoods and has a professional and a creative life. It can be done. We can do it.

    I do believe we have to make some time for the thing that makes us happy that has nothing to do with our families. You know what they say: If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

  5. I don’t have any wisdom as I’m not a parent– but I do have LOADS of compassion and care to pass on to you. The thing is, you haev these gorgeous amazing kids! There are people who want to write, struggle with their creativity and spend their hours in a dead-end job, going home each night wishing they had more time/energy to pursue their inner callings.

    My point is, you are doing FABULOUS. Seriously. no need to be chipper– hell, I was beyond cranktastic last week and I have no excuses whatsoever– sometimes life is just harder than other times.

    but, back to YOU and your FABULOUS kids– they are here. You did this. Frankly, I think you get the next 10 years off just for that much productivity.

    But if it’s your soul energy you want to feed– find one hour, once a week and make it sacred.

    You’d be amazed at the power of one hour.

    okay, you can tell me to shut up now.

    just know, you don’t have to do anything to be fabulous– you are fabulous RIGHT NOW.

    ~bluepoppy

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