Don’t Wanna

Diagnose me, interwebs. I need you to tell me I’m normal. Or maybe just a quick kick in the ass and someone to drag me out of this giant hole of ennui and laziness I’ve fallen into. I don’t really feel like doing anything anymore. And I really mean anything. Getting dressed is boring. Going to Stroller Strides is too much work. Taking the kids to the grocery store is exhausting. Washing my hair is pointless. My diet plan sucks. Talking to people is hard. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I don’t wanna and this couch is so comfortable and no one actually cares if I get off it.

As a stay at home mom, I have the option to just…stay home. And lately that sounds more and more appealing.

I can complain about being So Busy with the best of them – “Oh yes! I’m So Busy! I’m on a diet and exercise plan, plus I’m really into making soup from scratch these days. And the blog! People are counting on me to…write stuff!” – but really? Besides providing basic food stuffs and making sure the laundry piles don’t get too high (and you know, keeping two children alive) I have no mandatory activities. So when I’m exhausted and in bed at 9 pm it’s my own doing. I’m not busy. I MAKE myself busy to make myself feel more important.

(Insert paragraph about how raising human beings IS important! I am creating loving, kind, functional adults who might cure cancer or fly to Mars or invent calorie-free dark chocolate! Now insert massive eye roll because all I’m actually doing these days is wiping butts and filling sippy cups.)

Lately, when we’re on our way to somewhere I start fantasizing about how I could just NOT. I can seeeeeeee us, all NOT DOING THINGS, and we are are enjoying it. I can feel my desire to be still and quiet pulling on me, whispering in my ear that my kids are too young to even remember these places so why bother? For the blog pictures? That’s stupid.

I’ve given in to my laziness a few times over the last few weeks and it is kind of fantastic. Kid’s TV for the toddler, stretchy pants and a Diet Coke for me, grapes and a teether toy for Caroline and we can all do nothing until E gets home from work. But it makes me sort of nervous because there is a fine, well walked line between taking a few days off from regular life and becoming a shut in whose kids no longer know how to interact with the general public. How deep can I let my hole get?

Also, my desire not to do stuff has also started creeping into stuff that’s slightly less optional, like dinner and laundry. How about pizza for dinner? Why put these clothes away when they’re just going to get dirty? Who cares if the half of the house we don’t use is a mess? None of the other people who live here seem to. And then a teeny tiny thought that says Why don’t you just not get up with the baby? You can let your husband do it. You can just stay in bed. He would HAVE to deal with it eventually. It only takes a few seconds for me to shake it off, but the idea showing up in my head at all is like having your grandma show up in your sexy dream about George Clooney. That’s weird, Grandma. Go away.

I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse, since the colder weather means fewer places to go (mall, aquarium, children’s museum, mall, aquarium, lather rinse repeat) and bundling up two kids is about as much fun as bundling up two rabid badgers. And when it’s snowing, staying home is allowed – encouraged, even! – so the people I see on a regular basis won’t even start to wonder where I am. Which might be nice for a while, since I can’t seem to hold a normal conversation without talking about my toddler’s potty training efforts or my baby’s habit of biting my nipples and NOBODY wants that mom at their party.

The irony of all these words is that I didn’t explain myself very well, but because I am so filled with ennui I can’t be bothered to explain any better, which might actually be the perfect example of what I meant in the first place.

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27 Responses to “Don’t Wanna”

  1. Londonmum says:

    you are normal. seriously. It is easy to slip into what you are feeling right now. I go through it once in a while but more so when I am on maternity leave. Everything starts to feel like a huge effort and kind of pointless and like groundhog day. You make up stuff to fill your day to make you feel like you have achieved something. “Guess what honey, I went to the store today”….
    Sometimes you need to retreat from the world and it’s ok not to tidy, do laundry, write your blog. My only word of warning is don’t retreat too much as that can turn into depression. You are a smiley, energetic woman who is looking after 2 smiley, energetic kids. It is hard work so cut yourself some slack but maybe think about other avenues to make you feel more fulfilled. Is there an evening class you could take in something you enjoy (photography, crafts, cooking) and have E look after the kids? He goes to hockey right? You should be able to do something too. Hope you feel better soon x

  2. Londonmum says:

    oo forgot to say. You are just back from vacation. that always makes real life feel way more boring.

  3. Brittany says:

    Sounds like maybe a temporary or seasonal thing, with the colder weather and darkness setting in. This is a daily thing for me, but I was the same way before kids. I did so much sitting around, and getting up to go grocery shopping or clean something was a serious chore. Now that all these people depend on me, I am a little better about doing these basic things, but I still feel a huge amount of guilt over how much TV Rory watches while I sit on the couch, when I should be out with her doing mind-expanding activities. I just don’t wannaaaa!

  4. Swistle says:

    I am fully invested in no one telling you this isn’t normal. For a reason I’d rather not specify, ahem.

  5. Honestly, it sounds to me like you might be slipping into a bit of depression, possibly seasonally affected. I may be reading too much into it, but I *have* had seasonally affected depression for a long time, and it starts with just not wanting to bother with getting out of bed – for weeks at a time. It could just be a funk, but if you start to feel worse, you might want to mention itti your doctor – and definitely head outside on days when you can – sunlight helps. You do have that gorgeous new patio after all!

    • MKP says:

      Yes, this – for me, lethargy follows depression, not causes it. Every year around the first week of October I start to feel Seasonal Affective Symptoms kick in, and some years I succumb and some years I remind myself that my feet don’t have to listen to my crazybrain and I fight it. Take good care of yourself, lady–if that means getting a sitter in once a week so you really can go someplace and be Suzanne instead of mama, DO IT. If it means asking E to help more, DO THAT TOO. A lazy day a week is awesome – even freaking GOD needed one – but a consistent slumping feeling of “whyyyyy” is different.

      So yes, it’s normal, but that doesn’t mean you want it to go on unchecked. *hugs*

  6. Robyn says:

    Have you read “Radical Homemakers?” How you are feeling sounds a little bit like what the author talks about as being a type of depression stay at home moms tended to get during the 50s and 60s. it was part of what propted the feminist movement of women going to work outside the home. Don’t worry…i’m not going to suggest you go to work and put your kids in daycare :). Basically the author talks about how with our current consumer based society, many stay at home parents get trapped into a cycle doing a lot of stuff that doesn’t really feel like real full filling work…not like back in the pioneer days when women did actual work to keep their families fed and clothed (making everything from scratch vs buying everything somehow premade). it’s a ver interestign read and explains a lot of current culture as a backlash to our past.

    that wasn’t too helpful…

    but i feel the same way as you somedays. this morning i was daydreaming of calling in sick to work and hanging out on the couch with Rory, just so i wouldn’t have to get dressed, put on make up and go talk to people at work all day. for me it’s seasonal though. it took me a few years to realize i have a mild case of seasonal depression.

    • bebehblog says:

      I haven’t read it but I definitely will, because it sounds both interesting and reassuring – obviously I am not the first person to feel like this. And it’s such a good point – even if I DO hand-knit baby clothes and make our own bread and do special holiday crafts with the kids, I don’t HAVE TO. Target sells perfectly good clothes and bread and wreaths. I don’t NEED to provide for us like a pioneer woman.

    • Rebecca says:

      I’m always saying that we all get depressed because we have too many conveniences nowadays. Can’t wait to pick up this book! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. I’ll just jump in and say that I wouldn’t be quick to diagnose you as “depressed.” There’s the possibility you could be headed that way, but that’s a big, scary word (and one that I have some experience with, so I’m not just talking out my arse here).

    I’ve gone through similar periods both before and after I had Noah. I wish I could say I’d found a quick and easy cure, but I haven’t. I think some of the things that do help are (as someone suggested earlier) making time for yourself and things you truly enjoy, but also doing things that’ll get you out of the humdrum routine. Don’t want to go to Stroller Strides? Skip it and take the kids on a day trip to pick apples at a nearby farm. Don’t feel like blogging? Get out a book you’ve been meaning to read and curl up in bed with it until you fall asleep.

    What you’re feeling is definitely a normal thing. Something that HAS helped me with the whole blogging thing is that I’ve just decided that when it feels like a chore, I’m not going to do it. Not as many people read my blog, but I do put pressure on myself to write. However, not feeling obligated to do it every single day has actually turned me into a more consistent blog writer (funny how that works).

    Anyway, hope you feel better. If you find some things that work for getting out of this funk, I’d love to hear about them!

  8. What you just described is my regular life, so I have nothing to add. Um, snap out of it Suzanne. Get excited about boots or something: feet boots, not Dora’s Boots. If you are excited about Boots, it has gone too far and nothing can help you.

  9. Nicole says:

    I’m totally gonna jump in and offer unasked-for advice. I say, go with it. Give yourself a week to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Enjoy it. Wallow in it. And hopefully, by the time the week is up, you’ll be bored out of your mind and ready to get back to it.
    I don’t get Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I do get really bored with food at times. And I LOVE food. Eventually, I snap out of it. I hope you do too.

  10. MomEinstein says:

    I get like this sometimes, too. (As I sit here, unshowered at 2pm, in gym clothes when I haven’t gone to the gym yet.) I usually let myself take it easy for a day or two, then make plans to meet a friend for lunch or do something fun on the weekend. It helps me to have a reason to get out of the house to kick me out of the funk.

  11. Brigid Keely says:

    It does sound, to me, like you are sliding into minor depression– which is different from, say, Chronic Depression ooga booga alarm sounds augh!!!!!!! You also might just be burnt out. Or, as I like to say, burnt the fuck out. Which is actually slightly different than regular burn out. It’s a bit snarkier, for one.

    ANYWAY. What might help you is actual time off. You are basically working a full time job and a part time job and you don’t get lunch breaks or smoke breaks or to leave work and go home and take a breath. So try to arrange more time for yourself that is actually time for yourself and not just, say, “running errands sans children” or “pooping with the door closed” because while both are kind of blissful, they are also NOT ENOUGH.

    You might also get some benefits from doing volunteer work. Work in a soup kitchen/food pantry once a week, join a neighborhood/block/whatever cleanup crew, tutor adult learners of math or English or what have you, volunteer at your local library to reshelve books or help kids with homework. Interacting outside of the house, sans-children, with people who don’t see you in a parenting light might help lift your mood and recharge your batteries as well.

    Your husband works outside of the house with adults, and for fun he plays hockey with adults. He has an identity outside of “navy guy” and “dad.” What can you do to expand your identity?

  12. Sarah-Anne says:

    just remember: IT GETS BETTER. trust me, it does.

  13. Julie S. says:

    I think it’s just a phase. I totally do this too, especially when the seasons change. I want to hibernate, not care about anything, and just BE. And then after a few days, things start piling up and Brayden gets antsy so we have to go about our normal routine…and it helps. :)

  14. Alana says:

    I find this post interesting because I read your posts and after reading them I think, how the hell? How do you redo your patio, knit a whole outfit, always have a monthly post up about your kid, do things on a weekend with pretty pictures to prove it, and have the time to make a full dinner for your family while taking care of two kids.
    You see, you do a lot! You do a lot more than most people I know, yet you are saying you do nothing! Give yourself a break. You take care of two kids all day by yourself. Do you need to go out and do something everyday for the sake of having pics on your blog? NO! Yes, they look pretty and they are great to have as memories, but in the long run it is not what makes people come to your blog. They come here because you are honest and down to earth. Just like this post.
    Cut yourself some slack woman!

  15. Nicole says:

    I hear that. All of it. In fact, I’m having a week like that right now. Since I’m in the middle of my period, I know exactly what the problem is, but still. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s true–your kids won’t remember not having done the things you don’t feel like doing. You might need to build some downtime into your routine–and that means for you, too, not just you and the kids. Are you getting out by yourself enough? Getting enough vitamins? A multi and some iron improves my outlook considerably.

  16. I get like this sometimes too. I run myself ragged most weeks. My to do list is never ending. The weekends are even worse. I do all the cooking, cleaning, taking care of child, pay all the bills, do all the shopping etc. I get burnt out, and just stop doing anything…For a few days. Sometimes I get so burnt out I just don’t do anything until I actually feel like it. You’ll eventually get tired of holding down the couch and decide you have to get up and do something, anything! I pretty much devote every monday to lazy day. We don’t go out unless we have to, or want to. We usually don’t even get dressed. We watch a lot of tv and that’s about it. No cleaning, barely any cooking and that’s about it. I think it sort of saves my sanity. My husband knows monday is lazy day for me and he is used to it. So I have no expectations from him on Mondays really anymore either. Maybe give yourself a lazy day like me, to just do nothing, or whatever you feel like.

  17. Kimberly says:

    After cramming a week’s worth of activities into one day, I can’t even think of an intelligent way to say this, but I feel what you’re feeling, and I hope it’s normal. I just started getting a babysitter to come once a week so I can have “time off” to be lazy without even having to wipe butts or fill sippy cups. I feel guilty about it, so I go crazy making up for it on the other days, but when that day comes it is INCREDIBLE. All day today I was thinking about what sweats I would wear and if I would even bother leaving my bedroom. It is keeping me from getting burnt out, and I am such a happier person after getting recharged.

  18. Rebecca says:

    this totally happens to me. on a regular basis. i work full time so i use the excuse that i “deserve” to just veg at the end of the day or on the weekend, but ultimately it’s just laziness which makes me feel worse :/

    mustering up the gusto to be creative, or even mobile, sometimes seems paralyzing but is generally the only cure to my funk.

    the other cure is reading http://www.kellehampton.com. that woman seriously inspires me to savor the little moments. hope you enjoy her :)

  19. Michelle says:

    Caroline is still under a year old, so you do need to keep checking in with yourself just in case you do have some mild post partum depression. One of the symptoms of depression is a loss of interest. This happened to me while pregnant with my first (and only). I was happy to lie on the couch and watch TV every minute of every day. It messed with my marriage because my hubby was still living life while I was happy to let it pass me by. We didn’t do stuff and grew apart a little bit. Certainly you might just be burned out a little, (ditto the person who doesn’t know how you do all that you do). Just be mindful of where it’s headed.

  20. Denae says:

    Hello have you ever heard of burn out? Its also called burning a candle at both ends. I second the take a week (or two!) to do absolutely nothing. Detox from your crazy busy life and maybe when you get bored and start it up again try not to fill every single day. Schedule a few days showing your children how to relax at home and enjoy each other without the fun places and special things.

  21. […] bebehblog on September 24, 2011 TweetMy ennui from Tuesday lasted all week, which means I’ve got a boring week of photos today. I didn’t FEEL like […]

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