When you wonder if your life has any room for you

A golden honeysuckle candle burns in my office, barely flickering in the stillness of the morning. The quiet of the dimly lit kitchen is often broken by the sounds of the cat playing with a balloon in the living room. This is music to my ears because it’s keeping him from his usual routine of meowing in the hallway with hopes of waking up the children, his playmates and sometimes friends.

And here I sit pajama clad sporting bed head and white mug of coffee, wondering how quickly “my time” will come to an end. They call this “me-time” and I crave it with an inner need that makes me feel desperate, guilty, selfish and justified all in the same breathe.

room for me

Lately Caedmon’s first “mama,” the one that sends me into his room to scoop him up, it feels like work lately and not at all like joy, I hate that.  My whole life feels like a chore that I’m struggling through, always wishing for a weekend, a holiday that never seems to arrive.

Kel and I pass like proverbial ships in the night and I’m generally asleep before his work day finishes up.  I crave time with him nearly as much as I crave time alone, I feel so utterly spent when we’re finally together that I have no spirit left for him, just a few kisses and apologies as he tucks me into bed and retires back to the living room.

I play and work from 6:30 AM – 8:30 PM when I pass out with nothing left to give my writing , no strength to channel the creative spirit into something tangible or legible.  I often take comfort in chocolate, wine and pointless TV in the spare moments between the moment Noelle finally surrenders to sleep and the moment that I do.

Is this the best of my life right now?  A little chocolate and wine?  The cannot be my escape, oh Lord save me from the death of this rhythm immediately or sooner.

I want to run away, find a field to occupy, free and alone.  I want to blow dandelion fluff and find shapes and faces in the clouds. I want to my family drive away for a while so I can enjoy my home with a bit of peace and quiet, yet so I often protest the suggestion, because I’m wracked with  guilt for the very need of it.

Is this depression, stress, laziness or it the labor pains of something new being born?  Is it normal?  Is normal even real?

This is my adventure, the life I’ve always wanted yet somedays I wonder if there’s any room for me in it?

Are my house keeping standards too high?  My children too demanding?  Why am I doing wrong to wind up with this strong a need to run away from it all?

This isn’t a cry for help and I hope it’s not whining, it’s just my need to write mixed up with the only song I’m singing today.  I feel the need to apologize for it, but then I wonder if somedays you don’t feel it too?

Have you been here before, in parenthood, work-life or any other season?  In the middle of the life you love wondering if there’s room for you in it?  Shall we pray for each other, figure it out together?  Give it to God (virtual) side by side?

  • Maria Bassemir

    Sounds pretty identical to where I was a few years ago. As I’m sure you’ve heard already, they get older and life gets easier. Don’t feel guilty because how you feel is perfectly normal. Do try and find time for you because if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. :) Maria @ I refuse to have a nervous breakdown

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      I know! We Moms set the tone for the most part! Thank you so much for your encouragement and for the normalization.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amber.eledge Amber Lynn Eledge

    Thank you for your honest words. Somedays I feel as though I’m the only one not fully overwhelmed with the joy of motherhood. Somehow these daily rhythms of taking care of everyone else have left no time for my own self care. May we all find a little me time so we feel refreshed. Blessings and peace my friend.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Blessings and peace as well dear friend.

  • MatthewShedd

    I’m walking that same road right now. I don’t know how many times I have prayed this week that God would help me to love my family. I feel like I just want to sit in a room by myself all the time, but the guilt is there…

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Yes, I have that prayer on my lips often these days as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ladonna.kauffmanabbott Ladonna Kauffman-Abbott

    I have been where you are years ago and your words were exactly what I felt at that time in my life. The season in my life has changed as my children are now much older (16, 13 and 10) and i look back at those moments in my life with a wistfulness. I remember those never ending days that run into each other with no end and now I long for them. I thought life was hard in those days with wiping noses and constantly changing diapers and the never ending questions and talking! :) But as life progresses, those needs become so very different and so much harder in a very different way. Life was simpler and slower then and if I were to do things over agin, I would enjoy those moments more, be more patient and laugh more. I would stress less about the house and spend more time playing than cleaning; it is a hard balance to manage. Hang in there! Enjoy the “me time” that you get, it is to be treasured as it is well earned!

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thank you for the reminders of patience and laughter, so so easy to forget in the thick of it.

  • BrennaDA

    Oh, absolutely! I can’t even get myself up in the morning to write because I was up at 3:45 ever. blessed. morning. Sigh. I constantly scold myself for only writing two times a week, but honestly? It’s a miracle I can do that. And other writing projects. Pssh. Forget about it! It’s our season, lady. Let’s just keep telling each other someday we’ll miss this. Right? Maybe? :)

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Yes, all of this, I get it all! We’re gonna make it after all…

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      You know… Mary and Rhoda style.

  • Jasbuddy

    Thank you for being courageously honest and writing about the hard times. When you’ve had margin in regards to time, then you enter a season where there isn’t any, it’s kind of tough. We recently relocated after I got a new job and I realized how worn down I’m feeling too. For now, let’s just let these words reflect our prayers, crying out to God. He hears, he knows. Invite him into each moment.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      I know! When you get used to margin it’s like crack, they take it away and… noooo!

      I love the language of inviting God in, into each moment, yes. yes. yes.

    • anne

      What he said ^^^. We’re trying to adjust to our new schedules – new job, new(ish) location, a living arrangement half the size of our old one. The kids express their emotions around the move in a turdish manner. I’M TIRED. And sometimes it feels like there is no end to it… but I know there will be. As much as I really want to be carried away on a riptide of Nutella right now, I know the tides will change eventually. All that to say – right here with you. :-)

  • Sarah Crisp

    Wow Leanne. You said exactly what I’m feeling right now. Thank you for being brave enough to articulate it in an honest and refreshing way. I’m reading “gods at war” by Kyle Idleman and it has sincerely helped me. I realize so often what I complain about points to the god I’m bowing to. The “god of me” most of the time. But, thankfully the good Lord knows our estate and forgives us over and over again. I’ll pray for both of us. Juggling all that we do is exhausting. You are for sure not alone.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thank you! I have to check out that book, I’ve been picking away at his “Not a Fan”

  • Judi Tieri

    Hi Leanne; As old as I am, believe it or not, I had those same feelings. 3 kids under 4 and the last two were 14 months apart. I remember my husband coming home, and I would burst into tears. Or say, GET ME OUTTA HERE. And the guilt was HORRIBLE. God, in His mercy, was able to lift me up when I thought NO ONE could. He did NOT take away the craziness or my need to “Run Away”. However, he sent friends who told me they cared for me, and were praying for me. Hang in there sweet child of God. I promise it will get better. And the guilt? LET IT GO. You are a beautiful young woman. And I applaud you for how well you raise your sweet babies. Your writing is a true gift from God.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thank you Judy! Those friends are lifesavers eh? And the guilt? Quite the opposite.

  • http://joycannis.wordpress.com/ Joy


    Don’t you know you are singing my tune. So many of our tunes.

    I have definitely felt this and I absolutely crave “me time.” And then I feel guilty for it.

    You said this so well and spoke right into the reluctant thoughts of many.

    Just remember, The days are long but the years are short.

    This season that you’re in will pass and with it bring a new one. Easier in some ways and more difficult in others.

    You’re a fantastic mother, doing a great work, adored by your Creator.

    Love you!