Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Bad Day

A few people have asked me to set the record straight and really tell it like it is on a particularly bad day. So, dear Internet, here it is:

Today was bad. I'm emotionally exhausted for several reasons, none of which I'll name here. Just know I was already in a fragile state before the events of today unfolded. Woke as usual and started cleaning the house.....not a total clean....but my usual floors, dust and prep for a house showing scheduled from 11:00-1:00. Yes, right in the middle of my kids' nap times.

We made it through the morning and leave just before 11:00. I'm praying to make it out and back before the kids fall asleep because my kids think that if they fall asleep for 10 minutes in the car, nap time is unnecessary. Far from reality, children. Nap time is as much for me as it is for them. So, we drive out to Costco. While driving, I make the millionth dreaded call to TMobile requesting a new phone because the one I have shuts down 5-10 times a day. For no reason. They give me the usual run around.....none of the details are interesting at all....but refuse, yet again, to send me a new phone even though mine is under warranty and I also pay a monthly fee for insurance. Seems as though I have to smash the thing to pieces before they'll issue me a new one. Thinking about it.

So, in to Costco and out.....nothing entirely good or bad about it.....just acquiring the usuals (cheese, Red Bull, dishwasher detergent, etc). I'm en route to the house and Lainey falls asleep, which I simply can't do much about. They usually nap around 10:30. It's 12:30 at this point.

I stop at a new coffee shop/bakery in town to occupy a few more minutes before 1:00 and the drink they made for me was horrible. Not a tragedy.....but I look forward to little treats like this here and there, so when they're not good, I'm disappointed. We make it home and I get the kids in bed....close all the blinds and lay on the couch, excited to finish the last 20 pages of my book. I'm slightly relaxed because I know I'll have at least an hour and a half of peace. It's 1:25 and the phone rings. It's the call service letting me know someone is down the street and wants to see the house from 1:30-2:30. My sweet children had just fallen asleep. But, I can't turn anyone away....any showing could be our buyer....which we're so very desperate for. So, I pull my sleeping kids from their beds....who are now cranky and whiny....and put them in their car seats. I go back in and open blinds, turn on the music, turn on the lamps, clean the litter box, set out the candy dish and fliers, etc, etc, etc......and off we go. Where to? No idea.

I'm near tears at this point....needing so desperately to have some time at home away from the kids....when I get a call from our realtor with our second offer. Great, right? No. Wish I had never received the call. It was for $25K under our price......which we just lowered $25K from our original price. Insulting doesn't really cover it. They were looking for a steal and so our realtor politely directed them to the foreclosure listings for such.

So, I'm feeling exhausted and upset and like all of this effort spent over the past 6 months has been a waste of time because if we're getting such offers, we're still no where near what we need.
Real tears. Lots of them.

I wanted to call let someone know how I was hurting....but I kept it to myself. I don't have a relationship with my parents, so I couldn't call them. My siblings are mostly supportive, but each is dealing with a significant issue in life as well, so I didn't feel comfortable dumping all of this on anyone there. Close friends and relatives all had plans for the day and my sobbing call would have surely interrupted their good time. I called Blake and he tried, but nothing seemed to help. Britney was supportive as always, but had her own mini-tragedy going on and so we could only talk for a bit. I texted Courtney regarding the offer, but didn't want to interrupt her plans with anymore.

I drove in the direction of the zoo...and after spending 20 minutes trying to find a parking place.....I decide to go in despite the enormous crowds already there. It's a perfect spring day and so 1/2 of Denver is at the zoo. I go in and we get our usual popcorn and an icee for Carter. We head towards the elephants and while I'm chatting on the phone with Britney, I look over to see Jack IN THE ELEPHANT EXHIBIT. OK, so not anywhere near an elephant, but beyond the fence - put there for a reason - yet before the moat which would keep these monsters from gobbling him up. I grab him, yank him back over to the trail and throw him in the stroller. He's upset and crying because he's embarrassed and I feel every eye (1/2 of Denver, remember?) on me. I look up to confirm just that.

I collect myself and keep a secluded part of the zoo and breathe. Nothing else...I just stand there and breathe. Carter is chatting away about wrestling and Captain Underpants books.....Jack is still crying.....Lainey is screaming for her lovie....and I think to myself, "OK, here we go. This is the breakdown I've been approaching and now I'm going to have it in the zoo. Classic." I start thinking about going to jail for allowing my child in the animal cage....that wide stripes would make me look fatter than I feel right now.....and where would these darling kids go......these very precious children that drive me crazy, but I cannot live without.

Somehow, a wave of calm comes over me and I'm able to keep going. There is no turning back now.....going home would only mean I had to find entertainment for 3 kids for several hours before bedtime, so we keep walking the zoo. I'm feeling stranded and frustrated, but I know the smartest move is to keep them occupied. The usual occurrences present themselves.....Jack hitting Lainey, Lainey falling, Jack falling, Carter chasing Jack and making him scream. Normal kid behavior, but every instance was weighing on my nerves.

I tried very hard to enjoy the pretty weather, ignore the crowds and give the children the day they deserved after being pulled from their slumber, but I simply wasn't up for it. The low point came when Carter, after sensing my frustrations, put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Don't worry, Mom. Pa will be here next week and give you a break." The worst. The absolute worst. I was already feeling like an unfit parent and then without knowing it, Carter basically confirmed it. I try so hard to hide my anxiety from them.....they're suffering, too, through this the last thing they need is to worry about me. Sweet Carter was comforting me...and I thanked him for it....but all the while, felt horrible inside.

We exited the zoo around 4:30. Jack fell asleep and Lainey cried the entire way home. Screamed crying the whole way. I knew I had dinner, bath time and our bed time routine ahead, so I rallied and made it through it all. Kids are in bed. It's 7:00 and I'm off to finally finish my book.

So, there you have it. Yes, it could have been worse. It can always be worse. But, it was a bad day for me.

And, Pa (my father-in-law) will be here on Monday. He is claiming it's a business trip, but I secretly think he knows I'm about to lose it and so while he's "working", he'll actually be driving around Denver until our next scheduled time to meet. I'm totally fine with that. Ain't no shame in this game. I'm just going to be so happy to see him.


Monica said...

I'm so sorry you hit a breaking point. I've been there many times. You'll get through it. I hope you enjoyed the last pages of your book and have a good night's sleep. Sweet dreams.

Shannon said...

I'm crying while reading this. I think we are all going through some tough times and I applaud you for being able to articulate a less-than-perfect side. Your family is so gorgeous and you seem to have it together most of the time so it's nice to see the vulnerable side as well. I feel your frustration though it manifests itself differently for us all. Hang in, Case. Glad that Pa is coming. Glad you're open to the shame in taking a break.

Heather said...

okay - I am stopping right now to pray for you... okay - you sweet thing you just seem to always have it all together and you do such a great job holding things together without your hubby. I don't even know how you do it!!! I'm sorry you had such a bad day. Praying that tomorrow will be better. also praying for no more showings during naptime!

Tammy said...

That could be published!!! It is so real and heartfelt, and makes me feel so normal, because I have so, so many days like that. You are handling all of this better than most would, and I know the feeling when the first born senses your frustration, but you know what I think? I think it's very healthy for them to see us as real people with real emotions. This will serve him later in life... in fact, all that you are dealing with will somehow serve you later in life. Blessings on the Starnes' family, especially the mom!

Amanda said...

I am going to have to give you a big Texas "Bless Your Heart". Although I can't say I have been there, I do feel for you. I admire that you were able to weather the storm. I'm not sure I would be able to...but then again, that is why I carry Xanax in my purse and will continue to when I become a Mommy. I don't know you very well, but I can tell you are a great Mom who is rasing some pretty great kiddos. Chin up. :)

Allyson and Dave said...

I hope today is a better day for you!! I don't know how you do it with three kids all by yourself for the most part. I think you are a wonderful Mom. I just admire the way you go above and beyond for your kids. They are so lucky to have you.

The Soladay Family said...

You are such a great mommy, and that is a huge accomplishment in itself. Hang in there, and before you know it, this will all be over!

Dee Stephens said...

You are a great Mom! I admire you being a single Mom for so long! I'll pray that your house sells fast! Do you have a statue of St. Joseph in your yard?
It has worked for several of my friends.

Anniebanannie said...

All GREAT moms reach their breaking point at one time or another. To me, this means you're doing your job and giving it more than your all. Keep up your mental toughness as you guys go thru time in your life. I'll pray for a house selling REALLY soon!

merrilee said...

So sorry you had a bad day. You are incredible in every way and your children and husband are blessed to have you. I wish I were there to lend a helping hand--God knows we all need help(remember it takes a village)!!

starnes family said...

Thanks, girls, so much. I don't know where I would be in life without your support! I've had many days like this since Blake moved.....just never think of it as blog material.

Dee, I think I need a statue!

The Lenzers said...

It is so special of you to share your true feelings with friends. So many of us often keep them hidden which can't help matters. I know how you feel, especially with the house for sale. Hang in there and remember you can always call or email me- i am great with listening and venting. I hope your weekend was better. Remember, you are a great mom, wife, and friend and we all have those days.

5 Boys And Me said...

Oh what a day! This has to be such a hard time for all of you - sometimes crying makes it a little better. The best part of this story is Carter comforting you - reminds me so much of my oldest, such a nurturing personality that I don't take time to appreciate often enough!

Anonymous said...

Oh Casey...I'm so sorry. I hope you got some much needed rest that night!

Just to let you know that I agree with the other poster that I don't think it is a bad thing for Carter to notice you were struggling. It shows that he has compassion...which he has learned from someone (ahem). And for a boy to have that is a good thing!

He saw you at your breaking point and still going, still taking your kids to places they love to go, etc. he will learn good things from that!

Hang in there won't be forever. The weather in the spring will bring REAL buyers your way...the winter is not good as you know for buyers.


michelle matthews said...

Oh Casey...I am so sorry. I just read your email and came straight over to read this post. How are you now? I am praying for you.
Can they not show your house during nap time? that is a big deal and something you really need?
I can't believe the elephant cage story. Oh that breaks my heart. You are so strong adn taking on so much. You needed this breakdown to let it out.
Can I do anything for you? I will email you my numbers. Please call when you want to!

Moni said...

Poor is absolutely okay for you to "break down" once in awhile. I would be in jail or a small padded cell by now. Love you :)