The Emptiness of a Full Mind

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on October 27, 2014 in Anecdote, Family |

Lately my mind has been so full of million things that when I do have some free time, I can’t actually get anything done except maybe sitting in front of the TV and watching reruns of 19 Kids and Counting.


I mean, it’s these little guys that take up so much of my brain power, so a worthy trade off, but some days it’s hard not to be hard on myself. The evenings are especially unproductive. By the time feedings and baths are done and the boys are settled down for the night, I’m wiped. And there’s pretty much always laundry to be done and other stuff.

My mind is full of feeding schedules, lists of things I need to get done that keep getting put off by more important things that need to get done, and little voices saying things like, “I need you, Mommy.” My arms are full of kiddos hands and dirty diapers (hopefully not at the same time), my shirt is usually full of breast milk and spit up, and my diet is full of, well, junk because so much effort goes into making sure everyone else eats right that it’s hard for me to do so.

I’m not really complaining…I mean, I signed up for this whole being-a-mom thing. It’s just with all this fullness, I’m also feeling oddly empty. There’s this sort of blankness or haze around everything in moments of quiet. Perhaps my brain has been wired for a slightly chaotic state and it doesn’t know what to do with any stillness. Maybe it’s just fatigue.

Anyway, I’m off to go stare blankly into space for a few minutes before I try to tackle another thing on my list.

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  • Meradeth says:

    Sounds like how I get after lecturing all day–I swear, I could stare at a blank wall for an hour and not even realize it. I hope you get a little time to relax sometime soon, and the haze abates, at least a little!

  • Beverly says:

    Being a mother must be the tougest job in the world, but also the most rewarding. Mothers should be awarded medals. Relax when you can, treasure the days. They pass way too soon. One day, you’ll have all this time to yourself, and you’ll be staring into space, with beautiful memories.

  • Kai Strand says:

    Beverly is right. It goes way too fast. Reading your post gave me a bit of a flashback. That first year of having two children is the toughest. I believe most women are hard wired to think of others before themselves, and when you are deep in it – like you are now – when you have a moment to give yourself, you’re are still too consumed with all the other stuff that needs to be done. Try to appreciate how much more relaxed you will be all those other hours if you give yourself an hour in the evenings, now and again, to read or write, take a bath, eat chocolate cream pie. I really didn’t get that until I had my fourth child. Boy what a difference it made in me as a mother.

    • Hi, Kai! I knew there would be an adjustment from one to two, but it’s been a bit bigger learning curve than I expected. And, yes please to a bath and chocolate cream pie.

  • Mirka Breen says:

    It’s been called “the Laundry List Phenomenon.” That’s what Moms do- this and that and the other. None of the tasks are a direct result of each other, the way professional projects are.
    This does play mental tricks of scattering if not downright frazzling the mind.
    I could never write creatively when my kids were the age of yours. Pat-on-the-back for getting any writing done.

  • You and I are in the same boat, paddling the same canoe. The only time I can write is after the kids go to bed, but I’m a zombie and I struggle to focus.

    • We are in the same boat, Kimberly…does your sometimes feel like it’s sinking? 😉 I try to write during afternoon nap, when they boys both actually nap. It happens sometimes. Consider every word you write a victory!

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