Can’t Shake This Funk

Been in a funk a week or so now. Trying to understand where it comes from, and trying to share it with hubby. Neither part is going too well.

Truth is, I am borderline miserable and only enjoy life on those special occasions, not in between.

My job can make me feel proud at times, but mostly it is dull and I get behind because I put off tasks, either to avoid them, or to wait for a settled brain, or  a quiet house. So then it is a stress. I don’t have the neat *now you go to work* and  *now you are at home* distinction. I know I am blessed to work from home so I can be here with the kids. But I don’t feel blessed. I feel frazzled and worn out.

My kids are so demanding, and fussy, and I always hated on moms who let their kids be like that. So, I hate on me. I don’t know how it happened, but I feel so disrespected. And no one is even a teenager yet, so when people joke, just wait, you think it’s bad now?? Well, yes, I do think it is bad now, so thank you for removing all hope for a better future.

I HATE cleaning this house. I hate it so much. At least when I work, I can feel proud that I solved something or created a solution. If I just did housework, yay for me, I figured out how to smear soap and rinse it off. Again. And again. Everywhere. Repeatedly.

So I tried sharing some of these feelings with hubby. And now he is disappointed in me. I always knew he was. He thinks he got jipped, that his wife does not know how to organize and keep a tidy house. He thinks every bit of housework he does is *for me* and a *favor* to me. He truly feels it is all my job and thinks I waste my time. I asked him exactly how many hours I need to work each work to be excused from some housework, because I thought 20-30 hours counted for something. I guess not.

So I am trying to not be so angry, and hurt, but I am. I just am. I see no end in sight. I’m trying to accept that I ruined my chances of a high powered career, and that even if I wanted to do it now, I would probably flake out and fail. I know that I am strong, but I have to accept that I may never be fully mentally healthy. And that pisses me off too.

I’m trying to be constructive today. Hubby has a day off, so I am trying to explain to him, and see if we can work together to make my daily life easier and more enjoyable. I said this house needs a lot of work, and I’m so terrible at organizing. I asked for his help to make a list of goals and mini-projects, broken down into a timeline, so as I go about day by day, repeating the same day, with the same chores, is there something I can cross off my list.

We identified some serious problems, like if I actually wash all of our dishes or laundry at the same time, we do not have room to put them all away. So hubby has honed in on the first problem, like usual, and is tackling it today. And he does not understand why I am not happy with this. I didn’t want to spend today cleaning cabinets. I wanted to make a list of things to do, so I could do them bit by bit.  I am supposed to be working today, making up some lost hours over the last pay period.  So he is off at the Home Depot, buying shelving and paint. With money we don’t have the luxury of spending so I will have to redo the budget, and I can’t complain because he is doing this project *to help me*.

He just doesn’t understand that a shelf will not fix this. It never fixes it. He’ll go to bed tonight feeling great, he fixed a problem today. I’ll go to bed feeling miserable and guilty, since he spent his day trying to fix a gaping wound with a band-aid.

I don’t understand how to run a home. There is too much to do. If I focus on one room, I have a clean room and the rest has gone to hell. None of the strategies work. Nothing has a place, I don’t where to put it. 12 years in this house, and I still don’t know where we keep the sugar, because it is always different. Wherever it was left or shoved, or fit at that moment.

I am not Martha Stewart, have no idea how to decorate or even make a room pretty or functional. In the movies, they always say, *oh this home needs a woman’s touch*. Well not this woman.

The feeling I can’t shake, is that I am BETTER than this life. And I am ashamed of that feeling. Why shouldn’t I clean up my own house? Well, I always thought I would have a beautiful mansion, and a staff of service people. It was part of my escape fantasy, and the *I’ll show them* attitude I had growing up. So, it really boils down to admitting failure, and they were right. All the lies of *you can be anything you want* from every teacher was a lie. What is want is not accessible to people like me. So instead of enjoying my lovely family, I feel trapped in a prison of endless duties, responsibilities, and worries. So then I feel shame, guilt, and hate on myself for not feeling grateful.


12 thoughts on “Can’t Shake This Funk

  1. Your post is very heartfelt and I feel for you. Not only do you sound bored, frustrated and unappreciated, but your self-esteem is in the crapper. First and foremost, I would encourage you to believe in yourself and to know that you’re not a bad person, and that you have nothing to be ashamed of. While your husband appears to be willing to help with special projects around the house, it sounds like most of the day-to-day responsibility of running the household falls on you. That is an enormous task on top of working full-time. Plus, you work from home, which means you probably get out of the house far less than your husband. It’s understandable that you are feeling hurt and upset – and it’s not with out reason. I sincerely hope that you and your husband are able to work out more equitable means of sharing household and child rearing duties so you can have free time to focus totally on your own needs and not everyone else’s. Hope your funk passes soon. My thoughts are with you.

    • Thank you for such a nice comment! I appreciate your understanding. I think your summary is spot on, and may actually help me phrase it to hubby, though I’m not sure he’ll ever truly get it. And yes, you are correct, days can actually go by with me never taking one step outside. There always seem to be a reason (excuse) why the tasks fall back on me so often. I have been really enjoying and learning from your blog – your topics really make me think.

  2. You Go Girl! Let it out, express yourself!

    If you don’t know what ‘you go girl’ means, says “used by a (usually female) friend to encourage/praise another.”

    I hate housework, too and I hate cooking and I hate laundry. Just when it’s done you gotta start all over again. It’s the worst job in the world because there is never an end to being a “homemaker.” I used to care more than I do and things were in good shape. Everything had a place and was always put back in its place. Nowadays, my kids drop their stuff everywhere and there it sits until I move it or get the energy and inclination to stay on top of them to put it away. My front hallway is piled high with sneakers, flip flops, backpacks and sweatshirts. I’ve got a bench and a hallseat with hooks all over it but the boys never use them, instead stuff is thrown on the steps and the floors. When my children’s friends have their parents come in the front hall, I just wave my arm and say “I refuse to clean up all my kids messes so I’m waiting for them to get on this.”

    I realize most dad’s don’t care at all what my house looks like and the mom’s look past it and see that my kids are great friends to their kids. That’s the important stuff. A friend (without kids) just sent me an email with this sentiment. I believe it and so should you!

    You’re not in this alone, friend! –Daylily

    • Yes, I look in the future and see careless teens throwing stuff any where, and I don’t like that picture. I don’t want to nag, I don’t want to be angry while I do it myself. I’m trying to teach them good habits, but I don’t have any good habits of my own. I think we go through different stages too, where sometimes I focus on the house, and sometimes just let it go. I’d like to find a balance, where some things are routine, just to keep the chaos from taking over, because it really does bother me. Some of it is because of shame, the *what if someone saw this mess* and some of it, is just being practical. My house is too small for all of us to look the other way.

  3. OOPS! I just read the whole link I posted and that is not the right one! The link I gave you ended with a joke about beer. That was not the one my friend sent me. The last item to be poured in was coffee and the ending was “there’s always room to have coffee with a friend.” Daylily, who’s feeling a little stupid!!! : = )

  4. How to get your husband and children to understand that the day to day responsibilities of maintaining a home are EQUALLY their responsibility is a big job!!! Especially when the husband thinks otherwise. With great relief I might add. Special projects are fun and they have an end to them. The endless drudgery of housework does not have an end…it goes on and on and on to infinity. Having someone else manage that is a dream, one that the husband seems to have made you responsible for.
    For your situation to change to must believe that everyone in that house is responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Your conviction must be absolute. You must be firm.
    When you believe they will believe and take care of their own daily chores. You will provide love and understanding instead of trying to fill their expectations of servitude.

    • Thank you! Sometimes I don’t believe. It is easier to think I am a failure, than to think I deserve some help and respect. And yes, his special projects are fun and have an end, that’s why he chooses to do them. The kids are still little, but they do help out with age-appropriate chores, which is more each year. I don’t know if hubby will ever change his core beliefs here. But I’m not giving up. I want to believe!!

  5. When I’m in a funk, my house seems like a tornado went through it. Fact is, any real or even perceived clutter confounds my brain even further. My hubby and I try to keep it picked up, dishes mostly done (about every 3rd day) and laundry a couple times a week. I no longer have kids at home so it makes it easier. We’ve gotten to the point that we only really *clean* when we are planning to have people (besides immediate family) over. I let the dust bunnies gather (I HATE dusting), the spiders have condominiums in the corners, and the upstairs rooms where the kids used to reside have become storage/catch all spaces. We live on one floor despite having three.

    I used to think everything had to be perfect. My kids suffered because I was always making promises that I didn’t keep because they couldn’t do it *right*. Life is too short. I like comfortable and lived in now. I do understand where you’re coming from though, with little kids in the house, it’s a constant battle. I did daycare, so I worked at home too…then I got involved in a home-based business so I was still at home *working*. But because I was always home, everyone thought I was available 24/7 and since I was home it was my job to do meals and keep the house. It WAS/IS frustrating.

    I’ve had many different *jobs* in my employment years. The kicker came one time about 6 or 7 years ago when my husband insinuated that I’d *wasted* my college education because I didn’t *stick* with anything for very long. UGH! We decided that it was good that I was home while the kids were growing up. I had a job for 11 of their growing up years at our church…very flexible, could be there for every activity. My kids still say they had it the best because I was home. That is heart warming. They don’t remember or dwell on the more difficult times. I wish I could stop dwelling sometimes…

    I think part of the funk comes in with our mental health struggles…I’m in a funk too. Part of it is because I’ve been fighting a stupid upper respiratory thing for 3 weeks. Even though I’m getting enough sleep, I’m still tired. I told my husband a few minutes ago that I just want to feel really excited about something. I can put on *the face* for everyone and feel ok, but just not really good or even really bad for that matter. Bordering on dull and numb and blah most of the time lately.

    It will get better…really. Give yourself some slack. Believe that you are doing the best you can RIGHT NOW at this minute. Don’t let what other people think or what YOU think other people are thinking get in the way. We are so much harder on ourselves than is necessary. Others would be black and blue on the outside if we beat them up like we do ourselves. Self-care and self-compassion.

    I’m trying to take my own advice. Today is good. I’m doing my best.

    • Yes, the clutter confounds my brain. I have learned to overlook so much of it, because it is never done, so I have to sit here and work in the mess. I would not have time to work if all I did was clean. I don’t mind the spider condos, that means no flies!

      I don’t want perfect, but our tiny house can actually be difficult to walk through. It is out of control, and not comfortable at all. It is beyond frustrating to move boxes, bins, and baskets just to get to my corner of the dining room I call an office. I hear the email bing-bong from the kitchen, and run the obstacle course to get back there.

      And yes, sounds like you get it. When working from home, I am still mom and on duty, doing both jobs and feel so torn. I have sacrificed my career dreams, for my family, and also from my mental health. It is hard to accept. And even harder when hubby thinks we waste our time. I don’t know how hard his daily job is, so I know he doesn’t know what mine is like. I try to be understanding. I try.

      I do hope that one day it will all be worth it, that the kids will look back and have nice memories, feel supported, and will have been protected from the grown-up realities as long as is appropriate. I was never allowed to be a child, so it is so important to me that mine keep the magic of childhood, while also feeling the love and structure and support a true family can provide.

      And wow do I get the dull and numb and blah most of the time. Not sure there is an answer to that one.

      And I am terrible at taking my own advice. I know some things that make me feel better, but struggle to make myself do them. Why? Do we think we are not worth it? I’m not sure yet.

  6. Wow can I relate to this! I work from home also – which is a blessing – but there are no defined times for things – the line between work & personal time is a blur. And with busy, always-changing kids schedules, there can be no set schedule. I’m not so good at going with the flow. So my focus turns to my PAID work and the house is a mess. We need my paycheck of course. And yes, cleaning is so boring!. My kids are old enough to help now but complain that they always have to do my work. My is it only MY work? This is one time I actually envy my OCD friends with their beautifully clean homes!
    During the school year the schedule is easier obviously. And this past year I started getting up earlier and having morning quiet time. I did a short 5 minute devotion and then planned, updated the calendar, even meal planned for the week. It was wonderful and I really felt calmer and not frazzled. I have gotten out of the habit now but really need to start that again!

    FLYLADY! Seriously. If you have not tried her program you should. It will be annoying at first but then it starts to sink in, and it really really works.
    Now I need to take my own advice and get back on track. I wish you the best 🙂

    • Yes, yes yes! You got it all exactly. The morning thing may work when my kids are older, I have tried that, and the kids just get up earlier if they hear me up. They tend to get up at 6:30 am anyway, and I SO NOT a morning person. So I tend to get my alone time way late at night, folding laundry while I watch TV for grownups. I also envy the beautiful homes, but even the not-perfect lived-in homes are tidier than mine.

      I have read the flylady before, and never made it very far. But I am much more open and willing now, maybe I’ll have to try again.

      I’m trying to raise my kids to know that having a tidy home is part of a happy/healthy home, and that we all need to do our part. I am hoping that I won’t have to battle grumpy/lazy teens and that they’ll have some good habits by then . . . But then I also thought I wouldn’t have whiny/fussy kids, that mine would eat anything and would be polite. I thought MY kids would never cause a scene. Yes, well, that didn’t quite go as planned. 🙂

      But I am getting the most resistance from hubby. I think I’m making progress, but he has some real deeply ingrained ideas about chores and roles. But he is listening, not yelling, and TRYING to understand. So I am hopeful we’ll come to a solution. Or at least an improvement.

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