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I'm lazy and childish and don't know how to be a grown-up

(69 Posts)
sickofmyself Tue 02-Oct-12 11:01:52

My procrastination is terrible, and getting worse. I can sit and stare at the screen on MN or FB until I go slack-jawed and I'm not really looking at anything any more. I come home from the school run with DD1 (6) and plonk DD2 (2) in front of a screen for AGES, while I stare at another one alongside her. I know this sounds weak and lazy but I feel utterly physically paralysed ? I simply CANNOT tear myself away from the screen! This is despite me putting on appearances to the outside world about being hugely against TV for little ones ? which I am. I believe it does them harm. And yet I do it to my DD almost every day. I am such a fucking hypocrite. I know it's affecting my brain in a really bad way. My memory is getting terrible. I also feeling I'm losing the kids' childhoods as well as I feel I can hardly remember anything from when they were younger. Other people, including DH, will sometimes remind me "You know when DD did such and such last year ...?" and I won't remember and feel like an absolute fool.

I don't know what to do. I'm sorry to put this in mental health when most people here have awful problems to contend with ? I know this is just fucking weak and wussy in comparison ? but I was scared I'd get so much contempt on Chat or somewhere from the domestic goddesses of this world ? who I aspire to be like soo much. I take on board advice for disorganised people like me about starting slowly and trying to instill one small habit at a time, but I can't even fucking do that. I can't do it. I start trying to do one thing religiously, and another thing drops off the radar so I end up every bit as disorganised.

I've read books ? the NOW habit etc ? but nothing works. NOTHING WORKS AND I"M GOING TO BE LIKE THIS FOREVER. I've been trying for so long.

My lovely stepmother is one of the most organised people I know ? and also the least stressed. I've only seen her even slightly agitated once in 10 years ? and that was when her DS was taken to hospital, FGS. But her house is tidy, she whisks up and clears away meals with seemingly zero effort and helps me do the same when she comes to my house, which again makes me feel like a child (but I'm only angry at ME for this, not her!). She's the most relaxed, laid back person ever. I'm 41, fgs, and just the crappiest hostess ever ? I just have no idea when people need a top up of their drinks, how big a portion of food to give them, when to stand up and start clearing the table etc ... just so useless. I know, I know, it's all a stupid First World Problem, I totally agree. My own mother was terribly depressed all my childhood, I didn't see her much, she never did anything domestic like make dinner and certainly never instilled any kind of domestic responsibility into me. I sit on the PC in the morning ? once DH goes out, of course ? then try and fit 45 minutes of getting me and the DDs ready into about 15 mins. Which inevitably ends up in me getting inexcusably irritable and shouty at them, and utterly stressed and anxious myself. (One bright spot, however, is that we're never late. NEVER. I just feel it's so rude and irresponsible. The DDs might look a mess but at least DD1 is at school on time.)

I know I should put out school uniform, lunches etc the night before, but I get SO UNBELIEVABLY TIRED in the evening, after cleaning the bloody kitchen after dinner till about 8.30 or so and end up glued to the couch, usually surfing the net as usual.

When DD1 gets home at 3 oclock, things seem to kick into motion and I know I have to get the place into a reasonable state before DH gets home. So then I spend practically no quality time with her either ? I'm suddenly flying around washing dishes, sweeping, chopping veg etc. And this is getting to happen every single day now.

You know that mammoth thread about organisation back earlier in the year? I took so much wonderful inspiration from it and was all set to implement some of the tips etc - but it all fell flat on its face very very quickly. And I TRY and just pick myself up and start again if that happens, not be too hard on myself and eventually habits will just click ? hah! Not yet, in 41 years, and I just know in my heart that it's all too late.

I think it also might partly be some kind of rebellion against DH ? he is hugely organised and also faintly contemptuous of weakness ? if he knew I go home after the school run and my days often pan out like this, his jaw would drop and I really think he'd be pretty disgusted with me. As am I, of course. He goes out all day and earns money for the family; I repay him by sitting our DD in front of a screen and pissing my days away on the internet. Of course I use Private Browsing so he can't see exactly what I've been looking at.

Part of the problem is that I can't just go cold turkey and never switch on computers etc ? I do work from home on things and need to be available on FB and Gmail etc. Or look at online banking etc.

I don't know why I'm writing this anyway as I know nothing is ever going to change. I'm desperate for suggestions but I've written threads like this before. I'm hoping for some kind of holy grail and it's not there. I know I"m going to be like this for the rest of my life.

Thank you for reading such a long, utterly pathetic moan.

Mother2many Tue 29-Jan-13 17:20:11

sick When I read your post I thought, wow, that sounds like me! Then I read your responses. I was so glad to know I am not the only out there!

I was on Zoloft, and emotionally, it calmed me, however, everything else in my life was the same. I took myself off (eeikk) off them over a month ago, and I do plan on going to see my Dr. I wanted to know personally how I would feel after I quit.

I am still just as lazy. I also don't do nothing during the day, until the kids come home from school. Then, I spend the time cleaning/cooking and not doing anything with them. I feel guilty watching them play on their Ipods constantly. IF I am not busy trying to make it look like I did something, I am on the computer or my own Ipod. On Fri. before my partner comes home, I "spit shine" my home, for his arrival. I HATE him showing up unannounced..as I am embarrassed at the way my home looks. I don't invite anyone over/in...or am I invited over to their home.

My poor dog never goes for walks, as I'm too lazy.

I am over weigh. No sooner to do say, "that's it, today is the day I am going to watch what I eat..." and I am walking into the kitchen to grab junk food...

In the past few years, I have withdrawn from the world. I no longer invite people over. I no longer go visit my friends.

I start college in Sept. and I am soo looking forward to that. Hoping it will help kick me into reality.

I was initially diagnosed with Bi-Polar 7 years ago, but now I question it...

I'm here too! Thinking of you!!!

Pythonesque Fri 25-Jan-13 09:21:56

Hey monkey, thanks for joining - means I can join too smile

I'm another for whom this thread resonates strongly. Currently back in bed really really glad the cycle path had improved so my son could cycle to school with his father - I've taken him by car the last 3 days. But often I have days where it's a struggle to get dressed in time to pick him up in the afternoon.

I've been on citalopram quite a while and I know it helps me - but for several months I've been struggling to remember to take it regularly ...

I need to get back into paid employment (even very part-time would be fine) but right now it all feels too much, need to master the basics first.

Loneliness is a big big issue. I moved to the UK 12 years ago and then worked away from home a lot until my kids were born. I have a couple of people I feel I can blub on perhaps and one of them is my psychologist ...

slowlycatchymonkey Thu 24-Jan-13 22:59:59

I hope it's ok to join this thread. I read the op and felt like someone was describing me inside and outhmm

Wifeofpie- what you said about not feeling sadness sums me up. I don't necessarily feel down. I feel lazy, demotivated, unable to sleep, anxious, and worst of all- so irritable. Like a slow burning simmering rage that is always always there, choking me:/

Sorry to butt in.

SoupyTwisty Thu 24-Jan-13 21:47:10

sickofmyself - I can identify with a lot of what you have described. I dont have any words of wisdom at all, but i can only share my experience.
I have had counselling through my GP and been on and off antidepressants in recent years. I'm not on them now although I wonder whether I should be. However, part of me is just plain fed up with the concept that perhaps I need to be medicated to feel normal. I just don't want to accept that, so I try to battle on. Then I have days like I've had today, that prompt me to look up 'fucking exhausted' in mumsnet and find your thread!
I question whether I just need to suck up all the monotony and frustrations I feel, because perhaps 70% of mothers feel the same about the realities of motherhood and they take it on the chin. I can be very optimistic about the future and very ambitious and other times I feel incredibly alone and become convinced that I'm the only person feeling this dissatisfied with my ability to cope.
I am forever writing lists about how I'd like my house to run, things I need to sort out and get rid of, great projects. I should probably start with me before I work on the house. I look a wreck and always wear old faded clothes and scrunch my hair back and don't bother with make up. I kind of dont care because I feel I could look alright if I could be bothered, so I allow myself the lazy appearances.
Basically, I think motherhood is fecking hard a lot of the time and maybe mothers should just generally be a bit more open and honest with each other. It might make us feel that we aren't doing such a poor job after all. Obviously sometimes people reach a point in their life when they would benefit from receiving help and I hope anyone who has posted here has that opportunity if they need it.

Ponyinthepool Thu 17-Jan-13 20:19:22

So glad you came back, OP :-)

So do you think the CBT is helping? What sorts of things does it address? Do you think that will help you to change things in the long term?

If you're prepared to throw a little money at it, why not book a private session with a psychiatrist and explain how you feel about going on AD's, explain that you can't discuss it with your husband and ask whether they think there is a chance it's ADD? Just a suggestion - I'm considering doing this myself because I think I might be waiting a very long time to see someone on the NHS and the citalopram is still doing nothing, it feels like it's actually making things worse. I'm sticking it out for a bit longer though and hoping for the best.

sickofmyself Wed 16-Jan-13 15:55:34

Hello everybody :-) Sorry for disappearing from the thread - I have been following it and it's really ... reassuring? affirming? I don't know ... that so many people seem to identify with all the crap that I do on a daily basis. Sorry that you feel like me though sad

Things with me are more or less the same. I have started an online CBT therapy thingie with some woman in the US to try and sort out my thoughts. Haven't told DP as he'd flip at the price of it. (£150 for about 6 or 8 weeks, which we totally cannot afford, but I'm desperate sad). I haven't managed to get to the GP yet (I know, I know). Terror and ongoing procrastination are kinda holding me back a little bit, along with the thought (probably unfounded) that I'll probably just be whacked onto the nearest generic one-size-fits-all ADs, especially with my family history of depression. I just don't think I can get across what I want to say in a 10-min GP appt.

Branleuse and others, I read the ADD/ADHD symptoms with great interest. A lot of them do apply to me ... but a lot of them don't. I've never been considered "a dreamer, a goof-off, a slacker, a troublemaker, or just a bad student." I always did really well in school with the minimum effort, I was just lucky. I don't think I have poor listening skills and I'm not hyperactive or impulsive. And I'm actually good at not being late, as I think I said in my OP. But of course the poor organisation/procrastination is the main symptom on the list on that page which fits me perfectly. The "Emotional difficulties" bit definitely applies to me too.

So ... I don't know what I'm saying. I know things have to change.

Branleuse Mon 14-Jan-13 18:35:28

Reading your OP, it sounds a lot like me. I suspect I may have ADD.
www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_symptoms.htm

WifeofPie Thu 10-Jan-13 23:04:54

Darlings smile. Citalopram.

I didn't realize I was depressed until after I started taking it. It doesn't always manifest as sadness. Sometimes it's irritability, procrastination, apathy, rage, weird physical sensations...
Combine a low dose with daily exercise (Yes, daily), a balanced diet, a little bit of chocolate, lots of good sleep and you might feel much better and get your get-up-and-go back.

Ponyinthepool Thu 10-Jan-13 22:43:58

I'm fairly new to MN so I'm not sure whether its ok to post on an old thread like this but if any of you are still out there, please come back!

I've been struggling with depression for years, feeling like a chronic underachiever, hating myself for having made so little of myself and generally feeling like a failure.

I too read the OP's post with eyes on stalks, I thought I was the only one who felt this paralysing lack of motivation. On the back of some of the comments here I've been looking into ADD and I think that might be at the root of it. I think there is even a book on ADD called 'No you're not lazy, stupid or crazy' - all the things I have always thought I was. I've been on citalopram (which has had absolutely no effect) for about 6 weeks and I'm waiting to see a psychologist. I'm worried they won't take me seriously. I'm also worried that even if they do nothing will help. It would be great to hear from anyone who has any experience.

I'm so grateful to the OP, I feel for the first time that there might be light at the end of the tunnel.

Molehillmountain Tue 09-Oct-12 16:46:54

Chocobananaballs, I've been in a real fix at work because of my procrastination before. I am really trying to override my natural setting which doesn't seem to recognise the point at which I need to get started on a task in order to avoid chaos or disaster. I have got better in lots of ways since children but the net result is only slightly ahead because the task has got bigger! I also recognise the fits of rage-mine are related to my parents and issues with them in the past. I really found cbt helpful as it helped me to stop sinking too far into the damaging thought patterns. Also, having a dh who resolutely refuses to accept that I am a no hope waste of space is a big plus smile

Woozley Tue 09-Oct-12 14:36:59

I have never seen a GP about it. I don't see what they could possibly do that I am not doing myself. I think anti-depressants would be a seriously bad idea.

Woozley Tue 09-Oct-12 14:34:50

OP, I am soooo glad someone has posted this, particularly on Mumsnet. Often I feel I don't know why I come on, as it's just full of threads talking about how people wash their bedding every week and full of people sounding terrifyingly organised. I wanted to post something like the above but didn't know how to begin, and it all sounded so self-absorbed and rubbish when I attempted to write it down.

For me, I am not a disorganised procrastinator all the time. In fact I am pretty organised, or my procrastination would get me into a lot more trouble. I have periods of being "good" and then it slips, quite quickly, into something which feels a bit out of control. Then I wrest back control, then things slip again. The thing is, I am quite relaxed about it now. I know I have mild depression, and sometimes it gets me in its grip and sometimes it doesn't. But it's a lot better than it used to be, as a lot of the stress, causing, a lot of the depression, came from my job. Now I work for myself, in something I enjoy, and it allows me just more flexibility and TIME to do everything. Also the kids are at school/nursery for 3 days so it allows me time to be knackered and melancholic and go back to bed if I want to if I haven't slept properly. I am actually quite content and learning to be less hard on myself. The really worrying things that were happening more than a year ago - sudden bursts of anger and tears and the real feeling of sadness and numbness, and the inability to do anything whatsoever, have gone.

ChocobananaBalls Tue 09-Oct-12 14:19:31

wow sickofmyself, I am another who could have written your OP sad.
Because of my laziness and procrastination I am in serious trouble at work, but I just can't seem to do anything about it sad.

*I feel like a phoney, though, as I'm perfectly capable of having hysterical laughs with people/at TV, etc etc, and the work-from-home I do often involves setting up stalls at events where I need to be totally customer-facing for hours - which I do cheerfully and competently. Surely I would feel sort of dead and numb inside all the time if I were truly depressed?
Really going to leave this thread now – have things on with DC after school. Which will involve chatting and being perfectly normal/cheerful with other parents* ..
Are you me OP?

I have started a thread on this section of the board about how I don't think I am depressed but nonetheless 3 health professionals have said that I am?? I have the anti depressants but not taken any yet. From what i haave read on this thread I wonder if they are right after all and I should start taking them??

Molehillmountain Tue 09-Oct-12 12:31:07

I try to look at guilt and regret in perspective too. If I'm feeling them, then I'm feeling something and I can use them to make myself overcome procrastination. The timer is your friend-if you really struggle to play with the kids, set it for ten minutes or even five and allow yourself to stop at the end of that time. It's amazing what ten minutes of concentrated attention can do for your relationship with the children.

SpeshK Tue 09-Oct-12 11:36:43

The only thing that really matters here is that it sounds as though you have forgotten how to enjoy your kids which is really sad. You sound like you are weighed down by your own guilt about all of this and this seems to be paralysing you, stopping you from sorting it out. Forget about all the domestic crap for a minute and spend some time thinking about how you can enjoy being a mum again. Be as honest as you can about this. (For some people the answer is simply to do it less. Get out, do grown-up stuff and then you can enjoy your kids more.) In the meantime, try to make time to enjoy the little people you have. Tickling a small girl until she is doubled up in hysterics is more entertaining than looking at your mate's holiday photos on FB isn't it?

jojane Tue 09-Oct-12 11:09:21

I feel exactly like you, I am exhausted all the time, and spen half my time on the Internet on my phone, I sit down and put things off til later, I fell muggy and tired all the time, I am overweight and have been saying for months I am goin to start running in the mornings starting on Monday, Monday comes and I don't get up so outbid off til the next Monday and so on, we aren't poor but live month to month and I get so fed up of constantly worrying about money, my car if an old banger and DVD school is in posh village so everyone else have new posh cars so I feel embarrassed about my car but can't afford another one. I spend hours on rightmove daydreaming about winning the lottery and how my life will be magically better if we had more money! I work 3 evenings a week which means come Sunday I am shattered. I get stressed at the kids and do the whole race round trying to tidy before DH comes home

I have found that the busier I am the better I feel and get more done if I only have an hour at home before I go out again. Thing is we don't have the money to be out and about all the time either, especially in bad weather.

Glad to see you back sickofmyself I've been thinking of you.

I'm not ready to see a gp yet. I think I'm too frightened of what they might say. I'd rather just think I was lazy.

If you are ready you really should make that appointment. Imagine the relief you'll feel afterwards.

Molehillmountain Tue 09-Oct-12 10:39:10

Sickofmyself-all the things you describe are symptoms of things. A gp would know that. You might have depression, anxiety, add-all kinds of things. Also, even if it can't be named, cbt or counselling might help you move forward. Although Mu natural tendency is towards procrastination and shutting off from the world through telly or screens, cbt and flylady (check out flylady.net) have helped me to get better. Also, helped me counteract some of the negative voices I hear that prevent me moving firward(eg I've already ruined their childhood, I can't get enough better, yes, okay this moment is nice but what about all the others). They all are completely unhelpful and are what stop me fulfilling myself. Do go to the gp. You'd be surprised.

PrincessSymbian Tue 09-Oct-12 10:34:29

You also seem to be trapped in a cycle of punishing yourself. You don't get ready in time, so then you have to run round being a mean mummy, which means that you are bad! Except your not.
But if you start trying to accept yourself for who you are, things will get better. If your husband does not get this, then you need to take him to marriage counselling or something so someone else cam help him get it.
Procrastination and self punishment are classic signs of depression. Start trying to accept yourself for who you are.

sickofmyself Tue 09-Oct-12 10:16:41

margery, Aspergers - what where who???!??? I am really stunned that you could think this but please, tell me more.

sickofmyself Tue 09-Oct-12 10:15:46

Sorry to have disappeared from the thread after all your helpful posts. Just been feeling pretty <meh> and hating myself for appearing normal and cheerful to those outside my immediate family while treating my nearest and dearest like shit ... shouting and screaming at the kids for things that are MY fault (failing to get things into motion early enough in the morning to avoid a rush); constant, constant irritability with them ... watching DD1 trailing behind me to school this morning while I was cajoling her to catch up every 30 seconds so we'd make it before the bell rang, I thought "THIS is the kind of thing she'll remember from her childhood" - the feeling of miserable walks to school with a grumpy mummy. Sick of it.

I know I should make a dr's appt but I'm worried I won't be taken seriously - all the Gps at my surgery that I've met seem to be incredibly well put-together high-flying, sorted women in their late 20s with manicures and no kids. I just can't see how they'll deal with me saying "I'm really irritable and I sit procrastinating in front of a screen all the time" with anything but uncomprehension and contempt.

dysfunctionalme Tue 09-Oct-12 06:38:02

SilverPussycat - I have 2 kids, hardly an army! I am a single parent and work ft, no other commitments. It may sound v strange but I think it is a sign of improved mental health in that I used to be highly anxious and highly organised and, as I've relaxed, I've been able to let things go a bit. IYKWIM

TheSilverPussycat Mon 08-Oct-12 23:05:24

How interesting, dysfunctional, I thought some people were what Flylady calls Born Organised, and that that was how they stayed. How did you come to change?

How many kids have you got? Have you got one of those crammed full lives that younger people seem to have these days?

dysfunctionalme Mon 08-Oct-12 11:11:02

I sympathise!

Used to be the most organised person on the planet but somewhere along the way morphed into a slothful creature who leaves dishes in the sink, bathrooms unwashed for weeks, cajoles children to watch tv/any screen and every freaking night am panicked about what in god's name to rustle up for dinner.

Is there a name for this condition?

Molehillmountain Thu 04-Oct-12 19:40:51

This is me! I'm so, so relieved to find this thread. Now what to do about it? I'm determined to get better smile

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