Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Ugly Truth About Summer 2009

I feel like lately I've been barely getting by...barely getting by writing posts and reading my friends' posts, barely getting by with cooking and cleaning, barely getting by with the boys. Seems like every week I manage to post two or three carnival posts but nothing original. It's because I've been hiding...

Lately I've been having a very hard time with the boys. Should be good fodder for the blog but its more really bad behavior and not naughty behavior that borders on cute. But I know I should write about it...this blog is my family record, for better or worse. And though its hard to admit openly, it should be recorded that the summer of 2009 has been a really hard one.

I'm embarassed and frustrated and mortified and exhausted. I spend all day alternating between crying and shouting and, of course, niether is making a difference. And it seems like I'm bombarded with stories from other moms (IRL or through their blogs) about their kids sleeping in, fun family vacations, hanging out and snuggling in PJs half the day, different outings and classes and camps.

This could not be further from the ugly truth that is my summer. Sure I've had the odd sweet moment with my unexpected kiss on the cheek, a big grin for me while at the pool. But by and large, summer has been tantrum after tantrum and wild behavior after wild behavior.

I'm not sure there will be a Tuesday's Tips for Summer Survival post this week. I don't know if I have it in me to put on a fake smile and pretend like we are actually surviving when my head is so far below the surface of the water...

Let's see if I have the guts to publish this...1...2...3...


  1. Carey, my heart went out to you when I read this post. I've noticed you've written less recently. I think you are doing the right thing for yourself, though. You should focus on your family first. When you have those dreamed of moments to yourself, you need to take them to reenergize yourself and prepare for your adorable boys. This too shall pass-even though it's certainly hard to believe while we are in the moment.

    And, don't try to be super Mom. You don't have to do it all. I take great pleasure in knowing that my daughter and I are going to curl up on the couch for a movie or show at least once a day. I don't know if your boys will do this, yet. But, it's seriously the only way I have to take some time for myself (since she is 5 and hasn't napped since she was 2). It's my time to rest and read whatever I want while I pretend to be watching the movie. :)

    Hang in there!!! You know I love you!!

  2. oh man do I feel your pain. I have so been there. I don't have any good advice except hang in there. Do you have a schedule? Do you punish for the tantrums or reward? I am only asking because I see lots of kids throw big ol' shit fits and get what they want instead of time in their room (my favorite) or a swat. Also my (ahem)Dr told me if they keep just fighting they BOTH go to their rooms for 10 minutes, it took about 1 day to break their screaming slapping fights. I also started playing games where we all take turns with the boys that has helped them to recognize each person has to get a turn. I'm sorry I sound lame. you know what? every week I pack up my laptop and leave my husband to deal with the kids. They have a blast and I sit quietly by myself in a coffee shop.

  3. Hang in there, you are an amazing mom!

  4. No one said being a mom is easy. I know times like these can be frustrating. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed and at your wits end. Hang in there. You are a fabulous, loving mom. I wish I had the magic words to help. Unfortunately, this is just one of those things that you will have to wait out. Stay strong and remember we love you and are all here to support you!

  5. I'm sorry that this seems to be a tough phase right now. Know that you're not alone. Nobody's children are well behaved all the time and they all test our sanity. Hang in there because they'll surprise you one day and move into a very sweet period.

  6. I'm so glad you published this. I hear you loud and clear. Summer is a time of great freedom, for better or for worse. The kids just roam sometimes... For me, I feel like summer should be a less structured time, but sometimes the kids need structure anyway. Or they're glad to finally be loose from a challenging teacher. Or it's just really hot. Good luck- hopefully you'll get through it, only to find children who have passed through some sort of developmental milestone.

  7. with my boys i feel like when ive successfully dealt with one behavior issue, i just about blink and then we're on to the next one! its an uphill battle, that's for sure....i just take it day by day! I also struggle with staying patient throughout the a work in progress, just like my kids...

    maybe your tip for summer survival this week should be:

    "Mommy places children in front of TV and locks herself in the bathroom for 2 hours!!!"

    I find that it's easier for my to deal with my kids bad behavior when I know that ALL Kids are bad, instead of convincing myself that my kids are the only bad ones. should just kids are bad too! (And most moms who claim their kids aren't are lying...)

    Now please excuse me while I go deal with T, who is crying because I won't let her eat a packet of powdered crystal light...

  8. OH please, nobody is all snuggles and love with their kids. It's all in what we choose to publish, and quite frankly, you're braver than most. It's summer and it's hard to find time to post and visit blogs when you have kids that need/want/demand constant attention.

    I really hope you get your head above water because I'd totally miss you if you didn't. (It's all about me, don't ya know). Just remember, if you aren't reading about how other mother's are going crazy, it's only because they aren't writing about it. We are ALL feeling crazy - some of us more than others, sure, but then again, some have hired help. Some work, some have husbands who are actively involved, and some kids even play quietly to themselves (who these kids are, I don't know, but I've heard of them!).

    It's okay to feel crazy, just don't feel guilty about it, hon.

  9. We've definitely had our share of quiet time and or time alone in our rooms (for the kid and me). You're not alone. You're a great mom and the boys know it. If it helps, my kids are not sleeping in (to my dismay) even after a late bedtime. Grouchy!

  10. Oh, Carey! Thanks for being so honest! Don't feel bad, at all! Trust me, if you could hear'd hear me yelling! We sure have fun, but kids are kids..and siblings bicker...and so does mom! Remember, Emily bit Alex last week! haha! I don't always post the ugly side, or try to be funny about it, but we ALL suffer through this! Don't think all the fun, smiley posts are all there is! Hang in there...your kids are still at a young age...and testing their independence, I'm sure! WE {heart} you and you're awesome!

  11. Big ((Hugs)) Carey, I've been through this w/my sons, somedays I just want to turn in my Mommy card. I'm here if you need anything.

  12. OMG, it's not Super Woman after all! No way!! (kidding, of course... :)

    Good to know that you are actually a very normal mother and woman!! You don't have to smile for the camera and try to be having the perfect day all the time. I prefer, in fact, to read about normal people that have all the ups and downs that I do.

    It'll all come back around, I'm sure of it. Here's a big hug for ya. :)

  13. I recently cam across your blog and all I can see is I feel you. Why is it that every blog or facebook page you see, everyone is so happy and life seems so perfect.

    In reality it's not, it's their cover. I admire you for being the brave one, in putting it all out there. the good and the bad, because we all experience the bad, we all hit our rock bottoms. At this time you're my idol, there are people like me out there!! God bless us all.

    Stick with it, the tide will turn. Nothing like having a mouthy 9 year old, going on 16. I feel for you, not sure if it get's easier or harder. But we fight, cause it's our job and we are strong. Without it, ourlives would be boring.

  14. Ok. Let's talk for a minute. I'm actually one of those parents that have posted many fun times with the kids this summer, but it has not always been that way. The last 2 summers were horrific and miserable. I didn't enjoy spending all day with the kids and the two older ones fought night and day. Last summer, I learned a little from the crappy summer before in that I scheduled summer camps so that they staggered each other. So that the two older ones had a break from each other! This summer only my oldest went to soccer camp twice and they both went to VBS. They still argue, but it's gotten a lot better.
    I think you are where I was a couple of years ago and maybe last year, too. I used to grasp onto every last day of school like my life was, it's more enjoyable because they are, quite frankly, a little older and the arguments aren't as bad between them.
    Gosh, I feel for you more than you know cuz I've been there-wanting to check out. Can you find something for one of them to do in the coming weeks so you can spend some one on one time with them?
    Hang in there, you are not alone.

  15. I have such respect for you, admitting that maybe life isn't always perfect. I love when people can just be honest about life, whether it's pretty or not.

    As for the boys, I don't have a lot of experience & no advice but it sounds like mommy needs some "me" time.

  16. I have one son and 2 daughters. I have many more problems with my son than the girls. Summers are terrible. I would love to put him in a summer school, but it is not offered through our school district (only 1/2 days for a few weeks for children needing extra help). Camps are too expensive, so we have to deal with it. I feel for you and pray that your summer gets better. Please be sure to keep us up to date.

  17. Carey, Carey, kids are not cute all the time, and everyone is going through this. I don't know if it is something n the air or what. But you are not alone, you are soo not and you are soo brave to post it.
    Everyone who has children are going through what you are because summers are hard. Kids out of school, bored so they pick on their siblings, they want attention so they go for the negative...I am sorry you are dealing with this but I hope you no longer feel you are dealing alone.
    Go here
    Grab your button, and know you are not alone...
    I am sending you an email, to share something with you...

  18. Carey....I'm right there with you! Why does it seem like everyone is having a ball this summer and doing cute, fun, adventurous things with their beautiful well-mannered families?! My kids have spent the summer bickering and tattletaling and me...being exasperated! are NOT alone! Hang in there and drive on out here if you feel the need! We can lock the kids in the playroom!!!!

  19. Oh Honey, I have SO been there. Boys can be miserable. You're SUPPOSED to be all happy that the kids are there all the time, but the fact is that no matter how great of kids they are & how good of a mom you are this totally happens.

    It's just minute by minute getting through it.



  20. Oh are NOT ALONE!!! I always appreciate people that are real on their blogs...we all have our great days, but we also have our days, where we feel like we don't want to climb out of bed and face being a mom! Hang it there because you will have an awesome day...that will erase the hard moments. Keep on keeping on!!!

  21. Good to know that I am not alone. It is always nice to post the cool and fun stuff that is going on, but to be real on your blog is even better. I am one of those people that posts only the good because my MIL reads it everyday. Trying to keep it light for her. But oh do we have our days too. Summer has been good for us so far, but only because everyday has been vacation or full of visitors. So no time yet for boredom. It will happen to us after next week.
    Hope this week is better for you.

  22. Hi Carey...hang in husband and I like to call the "rough" days phases. They come and go...some are a little harder than others but they do resolve itself.
    We recently went through one of those phases...I told my husband I NEED 5 hours. So, on a Saturday he sent me to the spa. I finally used my certificate he gave me two years ago lol and I went shopping and ate lunch. It was quite rejuvenating. Now, we are back to enjoying an in-between-phase with the girls. :)

  23. I'm so glad you had the guts to post this. Sometimes we just need to say "I'm not okay." Only then do we allow others the chance to support us! Hang in there...this too shall pass!

  24. Thanks for your honesty. You are human! We often put on a happy face while we suffer miserably by ourselves.

    You've got to ask for help. Someone to give you a break from one or both. Are there some play mates to hook up with or a VBS coming up for one or both?

    Hopefully you can get some time for yourself once in a while.

    My prayers are with you. Hang in there mom. You are a good mom and things will get better.
    Take care of you,
    Nannette @ Life: Be In It

  25. Who said being a mom was easy! Boys fight. Boys bicker. I'm going to be doing a blog on discipline, but I'll give you a hint: squats-individually and corporately. Squates holding hands facing each other when they're blaming each other. They have to say, "I'm in trouble because of you. You're in trouble because of me." About 50 squats. They'll end up laughing and hugging by the end. You can do squats in the grocery store, in front of a police man. They, when they've done them for quite a few years, they can kick for the football team:)

    It's tough! They'll never know how tough until they in your shoes:) Be blessed:):)

  26. hey, carey! you are so not alone.
    i SCREAMED at maya because i had had it. (i'm not sure if you read that post of mine or not- "priorities") and i didn't just yell at her, called her a big fat stinkin' liar. and i was frustrated with brin, so i called HER a baby (not good to do to a 2 year old).
    most of my comments on my blog were saying things like "it's okay, you're not that bad, etc." but the truth is i needed to wrap my head around what was happening in my heart to be able to make significant change (and really trust God).
    so i guess my "advice" is to accept that this is where you are right now and it's OKAY! it's okay to not like it. it's okay to be frustrated. it's okay to be sad.
    it's okay. and once you've wrapped your head around that, then you can make a game plan and take baby steps.
    i am reading parenting with love and logic. i HIGHLY recomment this book. (i'm not completely sold on everything yet, but i've been implementing some of their tools with brin for 2 days and i can already see a difference in BOTH of us!)
    thanks for being real.
    you are FANTASTIC!

  27. Oh Carey...I know how your feelin and its okay.

    What is with this summer? MY son has had me at my wits end as well!
    Just take a breathe and realize that this WILL NOT last forever. I have to tell myself that daily sometimes and sure enough things do get better for awhile.

    Make sure and get some time in for you. THe stress will seem much less if you have an hour or two here or there where you can get your mind off things! :)

    Im sending you good thoughts and I understand, I really do! Keep you head up...keep smilin!
    Hugs, Danielle

  28. Oh Carey... GREAT BIG HUGS from CT!!!

    Blogs are funny things... they serve as windows into our lives. But like windows the amount of light they let in varies. We must remind ourselves that these are select and limited views. As open and honest as we try to be, most of us are really only revealing limited amounts of our lives.

    I've attempted to be as brutally honest as possible... those long tough days have been blogged about as often as the more pleasant ones.

    I've been forced to grow up and put on my big girl panties this summer... it helps... but so does the whining and moaning and complaining.

    I'm sorry the boys have been so rotten... it sure doesn't help motive you, does it?

    Here's a link with some ideas for you... I think you'll laugh when you see it!*&q=crafts+for+children+using+cream+of+tartar&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

  29. Oh sweetie ((((hugs))) Our big school holidays fall over the Christmas break, so I have a little while still to prepare myself.
    Just think, if you hadn't written thsi post people would believe your summer had been all pooping sunshine and farting rainbows...who's to say the others mums you've been talking to aren't hiding behind pasted on smiles?
    You are NOT alone!

  30. Carey, I'm so so sorry that you have been having a time of it with the lads. I can completely comprehend what your are talking about though. Hang in there and a really big ((hug)) from me.


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