Late Fess up Friday: A moment to think: Ha!

When I started this blog I was on maternity leave with a 10 month old. I was busy. And tired. And I just wanted a moment to think. A moment for me. A moment to myself.

And now I look back at that time and wish I had the time for myself now that I had then.

People, I am sinking. And I know you all do and I am not in any kind of special circumstance. Stay at home Mom or Work outside the home Mom, we are all over worked (and underpaid!). We all wish we had a moment for ourselves. We are all trying to do it all and in many cases, succeeding with flying colors (I have a colleague with a 22 month old, full time job and is taking her MBA. Wow. Just Wow.)

I am not succeeding with flying colors. I am drowning. I am admiting this to you all because I need to write it outloud. And I have a strange ‘trust’ for the interwebs.

Allow me to complain a little. New very challenging job, which I love, but is hard. 14 month old who is teething and generally trouble. Trying to keep this blog afloat, because now that I have rediscovered the writer in me I get twitchy if I don’t write every couple days (I have been mighty twitchy lately). Taking an online course to try and get a certificate so I can get my human resources designation. Said course is a hell of a lot of work. Trying to keep family fed on something other then take out. Trying to keep clothing on our bodies and a house which isn’t a luxury hotel for germs. Trying to still have time and energy left over to spend time with the Husband. Oh, and I really should start working out. That is on my list for tomorrow. Maybe the next day.

Last night I slept for 3 hours (see teething baby) and so maybe I am a little emotional today. But I have been feeling this drowing feeling for a while now. And I don’t know how to deal. It’s not like I can cut anything out. I can’t not work. I can’t stop feeding family or have us all go naked. I won’t let go of writing (even if I let it go to the wayside for a week or two). Won’t because it is something I need to keep sane.

I should probably stop not take anymore courses for my certificate until this calms down. But really, will it ever slow down? Really?

How do you all deal? Do you have a magic secret? Because you all look so put together and doing great and all.

Now I understand why my parents got take out a lot and the house wasn’t always particularly tidy (no offense Mom!).

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21 responses to “Late Fess up Friday: A moment to think: Ha!

  1. ironicmom May 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I so hear you. I fell off the keep-it-all-together train this spring, when pneumonia made me slow down and scared the heck out of me. I am still not 100% but am getting there. I am stopping trying to do it all. I have pulled back. I am posting 1-2x per week (even though I originally committed to 3x). I cancelled some engagements.

    It will get easier. 22 months is not an easy age. I have two 6yos who are much easier than 1 two year old.

    And I highly recommend slow evening walks, followed by epsom salt baths.

    This too shall pass.

    • amoment2think May 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      (quick correction- I have the easy-peasy 14 month old, my colleague has a child of the delightful age of 22 months.) 🙂

      Isn’t is interesting (and totally crappy) how life sometimes makes you slow down- like your pneumonia. It totally sucks that you got it, but you recognized that your body was telling you something and you responded.

      Thanks for the support. I know it will get better. And if this insane weather ever ends I will totally try the walk followed by bath. Sounds relaxing.

  2. clara May 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Offering virtual hand into the sea…and some assvice, because this is the Internet. Take it with a grain of salt.

    1. everything is worse without sleep. For that you just have to hang on. Your baby is starting to get really fun now, she’ll be talking and laughing and way more rewarding. IMO and my experience: babies are precious but they don’t give you much back, right? When they start walking and talking and laughing at your jokes, they are MUCH easier to forgive for all the neediness.

    2. I mean you no offense but is your husband doing anything around the house? He could cook? Or do laundry? If you’re both working outside the home, you have to figure out shared duties at home.

    3. I would definitely put the course on hold and fill that time with something for *you* (not for your career..even though you like your career) – make it your writing time or your exercise time. Get through the next year with a toddler & full time job and then pick up a course.

    4. Cut yourself some slack! You are working your ass off! I am at home with my kids in part because the thought of working full time and then working full time some more at home makes me panic. It is hard and you are tired and see point 1, everything is harder when you’re tired.

    wishing you a restful weekend. 🙂

    • amoment2think May 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Clara for the advice, all very good.

      In terms of the husband, yes he does a lot of stuff around the house and is very good in that regard. I should have probably noted that. I wouldn’t say it is entirely 50-50 but it is close. He is also brilliant with A. He is out with her now so I could get a nap (which I did) and some alone time. So I am not at all at this alone, thank goodness. (Which makes me think about single parents and think that they are hero’s!)

      Yes, I think I need to stop with the course. It will be done at the end of June. And I won’t take another until I feel a bit better about things.

      I hope, I hope, I hope I have a toddler who sleeps tonight. 🙂

  3. Susan May 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I too hear you. I don’t know what the recipe is. It’s so different for everyone. But I’m with Clara, can the course wait a year or so? And maybe there’s something about expectations, and letting some of them go? In my opinion, some “you” time is a must, an absolute priority, for parents. I’ll take a messy house all day every day, if it means I get a work-out in, or a walk, or an hour to write, or a coffee with a friend, or whatever feels restorative. And I refuse to feel guilty about it! You can’t afford to lose “you” in the shuffle.

    Hang on. Rest when you can. Nourish your body well. And make space for you. It will get better.

  4. janetlansbury May 29, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Dear overwhelmed mommy,

    Don’t ever worry about the clean house and the take-out. You’ll never look back and regret those things.

    Sounds like you are expecting an awful lot of yourself! Online course will put you in supermom territory with a young toddler. Toddlers, even the easiest ones, are wonderful, but draining and exhausting.

    Don’t compare yourself to the MBA mom. She’s letting something slide somewhere.

    Funny, because I saw your tweet about not being able to write the other day. Another mom echoed you, and I almost tweeted back because I was feeling EXACTLY THE SAME thing. Thankfully, my husband guest posted Thursday night, because I had no ability to write AT ALL. And I have 3 school aged children, lots of time, no excuse. There must have been something in the air!

    Do keep doing things like exercise that make you feel GOOD. The first 3 years with a baby are a very intense, but brief time of your life. Take the best care of yourself that you possibly can. Hold on. Enjoy the craziness! Years from now you will look back with longing for these days.

    -an older mom

  5. Chelsea May 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    As the “MBA mom”, I am definitely letting things slide. Kathleen, you have seen my house! My bathroom hasn’t been cleaned in ages!
    And I relate to so much of what you wrote. I am so overwhelmed. When everything is going smoothly, I can manage, but for the past week, as S has entered this *please let it be just a phase*, I realize that I have no reserves. Nothing. He wants me to hold him all the time and carry him around while he whines in my ear, and it is taking all of my energy to not lose it and run screaming from the house.
    And please, if you compare yourself to me, compare yourself favourably. You are doing just as much as I am. Your course is an insane amount of work. Your job is newly created and you are under a lot of pressure to produce results. You don’t have family support here anymore. It is a lot to take on, and you are doing a great job.
    I am trying to let something go, or to have something not be a priority and I am struggling. I don’t know how to let go when everything seems important.
    Also, my offer still stands to take A. for an evening or afternoon if you need some time, either to yourself or with your husband.

    • amoment2think May 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks Chelsea. I know. Also, I didn’t mention you because I was trying to compare, more because I admire what you are doing and impressed by how well you are doing it. Clean bathroom or not. I hope it didn’t bother you that I mentioned you.

      I think that ‘struggle to let something go when everything seems important’ is the hardest part. I am with you, I have no idea what isn’t a priority.

      I also know we all feel this way sometimes. And we all have no reserves sometimes. You are doing great with S, especially given how challenging he is being this week. Offer stands in the reverse too- I would be happy to take S anytime.

  6. brookelinville May 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I hired a cleaning lady, and she only comes twice a month. It’s better than nothing. My medical bills wait a month or two to get paid. My clean laundry often hangs out on the floor until I’m ready to do laundry again. It’s survival.

    I’m glad you fessed up 🙂

  7. Sophie May 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    My husband is home and I still sometimes wonder how I’ll be able to hang on for so many more years with another child on top of it! And I definitely have it pretty easy by comparison: no class, toddler who sleeps through most nights, easy-peasy job with awesome security… When I come home from work, I can usually play with my son while my husband cooks dinner. And still…

    In the evenings, it’s bed time, dishes, laundry, etc. while said husband does some contract work (or goes to one of the many meetings he seems to end up having to go to). The house goes from disgusting to acceptable only so often, and spends much more time in the disgusting phase than the acceptable. The bed is covered in clean laundry most of the time. If anything extra happens, dishes do not get done at night, which means double dishes the next day unless husband manages to do dishes while our son entertains himself. Which never lasts long. So yeah, life is crazy. But we’ll hang in there like they all manage to do, all the parents of the world who are ripping out their hair. You’re new to this, being just back to work. Give yourself time, you’ll find your balance (however precarious it may be). And sometimes you’ll fall and feel like drowning. But the balance will come back. And more days than not, when you put A. to bed in the evening, you’ll have that fuzzy feeling while smoothing her covers and think of all the funny and sweet things that happened that day, and figure it’s all worth it.

    Sorry, I’m ranting. I guess we all feel it!

    • Sophie May 31, 2010 at 10:24 am

      Oh, and another thought… Here is a childhood memory from a friend of mine. Coming back from a friend’s house one day, when he must have been 8 or so, he asked his mom: “How come my friend’s house are always clean and tidy and our house is always a mess”. His mom wisely replied: “Well, I could clean up the house right now, or we could play a game of Monopoly. Which would you prefer?”

      My friend never asked again. And I bet he has better memories of playing Monopoly with his mom than he would have had of a clean and tidy house.

    • amoment2think June 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks Sophie. It’s true, none of us are really alone in this. But when your in the thick of a funk, it is hard to see that everyone is having the same struggles.

  8. Perpetua May 31, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Oh, lady, I don’t know who it is (besides your friend) you think of as keeping afloat, because, trust me, we’re all down there in the deep with you.

    You are doing SO MUCH. Go back and look at that list. SO. FREAKING. MUCH. Some people also have easy kids. If a kid sleeps 12 hours in a row, that makes life easier on a level that we probably can’t understand. Think about what it was like to have a one-month old vs. a 14-month-old. Life is easier now, right? Now, imagine if that kid were, you know, sleeping. Imagine what life would look like.

    You are doing a good job, you really are. Full-time work and school and kid? I can’t pull that off, and I’ve decided (yep, decided) not to try. We can’t do it.

    Give yourself a break. Can you take a day off from work, maybe take an overnight away somewhere? When’s the last time you rewarded yourself for working so hard?

    • amoment2think June 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Yes, in fact, I am going away. Twice! In one month. Some of my best girl friends and I are taking off to a nearby retreat-ish town this weekend and my husband and I are going back (sans A… who will be staying with my parents) later this month. I. Can’t. Wait!

      Yes, I know (and this post has reminded me) that we are all having the same struggle. And I have taken on too much. Oh well.

  9. Ginger June 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Ok, I’m very late to the party here, but I just wanted to say hang in there. Do what you must, let go of what you can, and try not to expect so much of yourself–you’re only one person and you can’t do everything (even though it looks like you’re trying to!).

  10. Fearless Formula Feeder June 3, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Also late to the party… evidence of how I am SO NOT keeping it together, as I don’t even have time to check my favorite blogs anymore… but wanted to tell you that anyone who seems like supermom is probably on major drugs (obviously not your friend, who commented on here and sounds awesome and fallible like the rest of us!!). Seriously. I don’t know how those women do it.

    At my commencement speech from Northwestern, Sherry Lansing (former head of Paramount) gave a speech in which she urged women to remember that while you can have it all, you can’t have it all at the same time. She didn’t have kids or a husband until her early 50s, after her career was established; she found joy in her grown-up stepkids, so she got the “mom” thing accomplished in a different way, but she said there was no way she could’ve been a decent parent and do what she did professionally.

    I think about that speech all the time.

    I’m currently trying to get various articles done by deadline; shoot a documentary; write a book; maintain a blog; take care of a crazily active 18-month-old who barely sleeps; and grow a new human (yeah, I’m knocked up again). It sucks and I feel like I am drowning.

    But I feel like if I give myself permission to be a lameass in the areas I can afford to be (ie, I haven’t worked out in 12 weeks. Screw pregnancy fitness; my house is a mess; we’ve been eating a ton of takeout and soup/salad dinners), I can get through it. It’s one crazy time in a whole lifetime, you know?

    I’m here for you if you want to vent. We”ll make it through, I know we will! And if we don’t… there’s always drugs. 😉

    • amoment2think June 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      Well, the headline of that comments was certainly hidden! CONGRATULATIONS!!! When are you due?

      Now that I got that out of my system, Thank you so much for your support. I really appreciated it. I think you make a good point about not being able to have everything at the same time. I think that makes sense. I know part of my issue is that I need to let go of some things. Although, from the sounds of it we are both gluttons for punishment in that regard. Oh well. And yes, we will make it through somehow. 🙂

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