Giving Up

Some days I feel like there is no point in ever hoping to be anything. Like choosing to me a mother means that I don’t get to have anything else. The universe is allowing me to have Sam (and Otter), and I am also allowed to cook and knit and make various other things, but those homey, domestic pursuits are All I Get.

I know. What a fun, fatalistic way to feel!

Now imagine feeling that way and having someone say something that makes you feel even more worthless! And then, imagine that you are talking to that person (who really, truly didn’t mean to hurt your feelings), and imagine that your uterus chooses that exact moment to crush your diaphragm so you cannot breathe. And you’re crying and the baby is stretching and you can’t breathe and you just want to feel like you are important.

(AND you don’t get a single comment on your blog for twelve hours after you write what you thought was a pretty good post. Because this is a good time to not be getting validation.)


When I was pregnant with Sam, I was an emotional wreck most of the time. I blame several factors (giving up smoking and going off the pill shortly before becoming pregnant are both biggies), none of which are present this time. And hey, what do you know! I have been doing really well this whole time. Until yesterday, when I completely fell apart.

I don’t want to be depressed. I don’t want there to be something wrong with me. Even if it is temporary and hormonal and it will pass. I don’t want it at all, because I don’t do well with despair. So I grasp at straws for some explanation for my lows yesterday. I was on Day 8 of parenting solo. And I barely ate any protein, which might sound like the lamest of the lame possible explanations, but since I’m pregnant it really could have some effect on things.

But if that’s not it? Well, I think I have to give up. If no one believes in me, I don’t believe in me. I don’t care if that’s stupid. It’s true.

So, you know. That’s where I’m at.

28 thoughts on “Giving Up

  1. Sara

    November 10, 2009 at 2:59pm

    I understand how you are feeling. I don’t even have the excuse of being pregnant, and, for the last month or so, I’ve been too depressed to talk to people, to see friends or to write (hence no posting on my blog). You are an awesome mother, and that is a damn hard job! It can be difficult to find the space in our lives to do much more than be a mom, but if you want to do it, you will.

    Keep in mind that pregnancy and all those damn hormones wreck havoc with our brains. It’s temporary. Don’t beat yourself up for being depressed!

  2. Swistle

    November 10, 2009 at 3:08pm

    My favorite word at such times is “temporary.” The stage of life is temporary; the not-able-to-do-more is temporary; the pregnancy is temporary; having kids in the house at all is temporary; feeling like no one believes in you is temporary; depression is likely also temporary.

  3. B

    November 10, 2009 at 3:08pm

    Not long after Claire was born I read a quote (that I can’t find for the life of me right now) that said something I wish I’d been reminded of 3 years ago when Katie arrived. It’s okay to want it all, it’s possible to be a wife, a mother, have a career that stimulates you, and pursue interests that are yours alone – but it doesn’t have to be all at once. I really wish I could find the exact quote because it was quite eloquent and I’m too damn tired to be eloquent.

    I so get how you are feeling.

    I don’t know if it helps to phrase it in that sense but it helped me. It’s hard when there is no place you’d rather be (deep in the throes of day-to-day, all-day-long mothering) except you want to be everywhere else, doing so many other things, too.

    (having been on the same end of single parenting it while married because the other partner is super busy? I think yesterday had a helluva lot to do with you not getting your weekend of help, especially this late in the pregnancy – there, I grasped that straw for you)

  4. Jessie Mae

    November 10, 2009 at 3:23pm

    I keep looking at the post and trying to come up with something helpful to say, but all I can come up with is that I’m rooting for you.

  5. KS

    November 10, 2009 at 4:01pm

    I am thinking of you. We all have these times, and they suck. I’m sorry you’re feeling this way.

  6. Natalie

    November 10, 2009 at 4:39pm

    Girl, you whip up a pot of lentils or bean soup STAT! Feed yourself well and it will definitely help. You need some protein and then maybe a little something sweet.

    All I can say is dark days pass.

    Tomorrow get a bit of sunshine, smell a flower, hug that cute boy, pat your belly, check out the blue of the sky…

    Sending love & light your way.

  7. Emrys/BlowJob

    November 10, 2009 at 4:54pm

    Eat your protein, get some rest, tickle Sam.

    All of those things can help you out.

    Advice aside, I offer you this wonderful deal of a virtual hug and/or vastly pornographic joke whenever you need it. In order to recieve your hug or joke, say you are sad/stressed/tired on twitter.

    I’ll give you a two-fer right now.


    What do you get when you cross a rhino and a pug?

    A wrinkled horn-dog.

    What? I didnt say the joke would be funny.

  8. Sigmund

    November 10, 2009 at 4:54pm

    “Like choosing to me a mother means that I don’t get to have anything else.”

    That’s one hell of a freudian slip.

    Hang in there. We all struggle eternally with the loss of being a pre-parent. The remedy is in what we’ve produced with our sacrifice.

  9. uccellina

    November 10, 2009 at 5:03pm

    Clap your hands if you believe in Annika! *CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP*

    Look, Annika, now you’ve got the clap! Wait.

  10. uccellina

    November 10, 2009 at 5:04pm

    Oh, also? Me too, and holy mother of god is it depressing.

  11. Laurie Ann

    November 10, 2009 at 5:43pm

    Aw, Uccellina stole my bit. I guess great minds and all. Anyway, I just wanted to say, “I do believe, I do believe.”

  12. Katherine

    November 10, 2009 at 6:40pm

    I am so sad that I can’t drop everything and come rescue you again. I think you’re great and I love you.

  13. the slackmistress

    November 10, 2009 at 6:46pm

    I’m not going to read the other comments because the might say what I wanna say and then I’ll feel like I shouldnt say it because it’ll be redundant and I’d rather be blissfully ignorant of my redundancy.

    We are only able to do so many things at once. This isn’t a “can we have it all?” as women lament; it’s a people lament. There are only so many hours in a day.

    You can do it. You get to do more. You just may not be able to do it this very second.


  14. Cindy

    November 10, 2009 at 6:50pm

    Sweetie, you are a SAHM. That right there makes you worthy. Please, please, please don’t fall into society’s opinion that being “just” a mom and “just” a wife with the things that go along with both titles are the lowest of the low. You have a career right now. You are helping Froggie learn about the world, just as you will for Otter. It’s probably the MOST important job a parent can have. (Not that I think all of society feels that way but the traditional society).

    When I was young all I wanted to be was a wife and mother. That was choice and unfortunately, I had to work when my kids were little because Pat was laid off when Zach was only 4 days old. Then I see you and Will, making sacrifices so you can stay home and I realize that we could probably have done that too and I’m sorry we didn’t. I’m sorry that we put more material things ahead of our kids having mom home with them. And it’s something I can’t redo. I can’t change it and it’s a regret I’ll always have.

    You’re not a perfect mother. You get frustrated with Sam sometimes and you get depressed. Know why? The perfect mother doesn’t exist. You are so very, very normal. Do you stick Sam in front of a video to keep him out of your hair so you can get something done? Yes? And does it keep you from going absolutely insane? Yes? Trust me, it’s better for Mama to do what she needs to do to keep her sanity than hold it all in. And if you’re doing that a little more right now than usual, don’t beat yourself up over it, especially when Otter gets there. Sam will be fine. So will Otter. Mostly, so will you.

    I’m sorry if I haven’t articulated all this the right way. It’s always hard for me to do this in written form when I find spoken word so much easier to explain myself. Just know that I don’t think you’re worthless.

  15. allison

    November 10, 2009 at 6:51pm

    I do not want you to be feel sad or neglected or be lacking protein. I do believe in you!! And while that may not provide protein, I hope it can somewhat help in the other areas.

  16. chez shoes

    November 10, 2009 at 7:43pm

    No first-hand experience with pregnancy hormones, but I’m no stranger to the wacky hormonal ups and downs of a weird endocrine system. So I’m going to say that makes me An Authority, and blame it on the protein. Protein, and perhaps lack of potassium, as I’ve recently learned. If I don’t get enough of either, I become a bit, hmmm, let’s say, emotionally fragile.

  17. amie

    November 10, 2009 at 8:21pm

    I have days like that and I am not even pregnant. You really do kick ass. But I know how you feel.

  18. Stephanie

    November 10, 2009 at 8:31pm

    I believe in you. I think you are awesome and I always have.

  19. Sam

    November 11, 2009 at 12:39am

    Oh Annika, you’ll always be my favorite person I’ve never met in real life. You’ve got such spark and such a lovely personality, and you are totally in love with your family. Things of course will get yucky, life has that habit, but rest assured that even people who don’t really know you love you entirely. :)

  20. oslowe

    November 11, 2009 at 4:47am

    hee-hee! Uccellina gave you the clap!

  21. ~Sheryl

    November 11, 2009 at 7:41am

    “choosing to [be]a mother means that I don’t get to have anything else”

    Yea… I get that… more often than I ever admit.


    Also @ oslowe you are one funny mo fo… no wonder she’s bummin’ when you’re gone.

  22. Amy

    November 11, 2009 at 9:17am

    I think everyone else has covered supportive sympathy, and I’m not terribly articulate anyway, so I would just like to humbly remind you that you are very pretty.

  23. Amanda

    November 11, 2009 at 10:56am

    I feel like because I have a great career and material success, I don’t get to be a wife and mother. Too bad we can’t just mash our lives together.

  24. Wanett

    November 11, 2009 at 11:35am

    I feel this way, too. And without being pregnant like some commenting above. I think this is the plight of those who want it all, but realize on some level that it’s not entirely possible. We always want what we can’t have and that really, really sucks. I have to remind myself, daily, that I have a lot to feel grateful for even if I can’t do everything that I want. It only works sometimes, the other times I allow myself to wallow in it until it goes away.

  25. Min

    November 11, 2009 at 8:45pm

    Annika, I can relate to a lot of this. About wanting to feel important and needing validation. And how if no one believes in you, you don’t believe in yourself. I’ve had a dark past few days, feeling a lot of these same things.

    And… my comment here reminds me of EMPIRE RECORDS. Remember when they did the “funeral” for Deb and instead of talking about her, they all started talking about their own problems? And then Deb interrupted and explained about using the Lady Bic?

    Obviously there isn’t anything like a Lady Bic involved here. And what I’m really trying to say is that I relate, and I care about what you’re feeling. *hugs*

  26. leah

    November 12, 2009 at 6:30am

    i know this passed and you are feeling better, just wanted to throw in that i was the antichrist while pregnant with luke, same reasons as you mostly (smoking, pill, etc.)

    just want you to know that i understand how bad it can suck sometimes. writing about it is a good thing to do b/c you are getting it out of you :)

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