What is that on the baby?

Some of you have asked what was all over the baby -- finger paint. Yes, finger paint.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's a Pity Party

For the past few weeks (maybe more) I've been pretty grumpy. I'm having trouble with the balance between work, family, life and me. Welcome to life as a mother, right? Yeah? Not helpful -- but then not much seems to be helpful these days. Looking back, I really struggled with some serious hormones for years (like 4 from the pregnancy with Peanut until Pumpkin was about 1 and I stopped BF). The problem is that now I seem leveled out, but the level is pretty low.

At home, the kids don't sleep (Pumpkin has been getting up at 4:00 AM for the day and Peanut wakes up several times a night), Pumpkin has been whiny, Peanut doesn't eat, the chores are endless, the house is old, the dog's eye is runny, the cats keep puking, and my life is a money pit. I'm tired and short of patience with my family because I'm pretty much wasted by the end of my work day. My job is crazy social, and I'm not. Before we had kids, I used to come home from work and just veg for an hour in silence ( we called it teacher hangover). Now, I don't have that option. I'm just "on" from my waking moment at 5:30 AM until I fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 PM -- and I just can't catch my breath. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I get to shower alone -- but only sometimes.

At work, I used to be the go to person for many people. In reality, I know I'm not really able to do this anymore, but I have trouble admitting this because my ego is too invested in being uber-capable. The other problem is that most of the people around me are having trouble with my new limitations, too. Some of them won't admit that I'm not everything I used to be because it would mean more work for them, and others just don't notice I guess. Either way, I've never been good at admitting that something was beyond my ability, and I'm not any better now. So this results in days when I skip meals to work, or try to do too many things at once and end up having to start again because I've screwed everything up.

On Thursday, I finally lost it. I had to kick a  kid out of my class because she was loudly profane and absurdly disruptive. When I met with her after class, we tried to have a conversation about it, but I couldn't dig up even an ounce of empathy for this kid. She's going on and on about her horrible life (starting with a rape at age 8 and ending with the birth of her son 4 months ago), and all I could say was, "Hmmmm. Sounds like you need some therapy. You still need to behave in my class."

When I got home, I dumped on HM for making a beautiful dinner because I would have rather had a frozen pizza and less responsibility for the kids. He didn't get my point and was hurt (rightfully so) by my ingratitude. After wallowing in my own guilt and self pity, I broke down and cried at the kitchen table for a while (HM took the kids out of the room). I then announced that my life was overwhelming and that I felt trapped. I fell asleep on the couch a half hour later.

The next day, I finished my tirade by melting down at work. My boss (a truly wonderful woman with whom I've always had a great relationship) accidently pushed me to the end of my rope. I ended up in her office having a very "honest" conversation about my feelings in relation to my job that took almost 2 hours and ended with another tearful announcement that I was trapped in my job and feeling desperate. Then I drove home (normally 25 minutes) in terrible traffic for over an hour and a half.  Dinner was ruined and HM was upset because I hadn't called (sabotaging my career was an impulse move, not a plan). Again, I wallowed in guilt and self pity until I fell asleep on the couch, only to wake to the 2.5 year old kissing me goodnight.

Nice, huh? Tell me it gets better.


  1. I love you darling. I know how hard you try and I appreciate it. The kids will get older. If they still don't sleep then at least they'll be able to get themselves up to go pee or get a drink. And I wasn't hurt by your ingratitude, I didn't consider you ungrateful. I was just a little confused. Anyway, I love you, we'll be together for ever, and everything will be ok.

    But 8:30 huh? ;P

  2. oh my gosh, i know these moods. i really do. I feel like this A LOT (and I only have one kid. and a part time job.)
    And I really do think it will get more manageable. One day you will just find yourself handling it fine and it will be balanced. They kids grow up a little and take on some self responsibilities.... they entertain one another.

    Sleep is probably a major factor in your mood. When the little one starts sleeping better you will feel better (schedule? have you tried?)

    Having two little ones, the hard part is what you are doing now....and then the benefits come later. Well they are a few years older and can be friends, playmates, siblings. Right now its just hectic/crazy managing two toddlers/babies.

  3. Totally understandable - all of it. If you can, try to at least remedy the lack-of-sleep situation. Since my husband had the paying job, I always took the night shift (sorry, Homemaker Man!); I figured I could always doze on the floor in front of the TV with the little ones climbing all over me during the day, while my husband could hardly put his head down on the desk and take a nap. Sleep in a different part of the house, if you have to; but get sleep! Once you do, you're better able to deal with everything else and come up with solutions.

    Because there are probably other solutions: your county education board has other positions for experienced teachers other than managing an entire classroom, I'm betting. Admin, tutoring, special programs - anything that might be a tad less demanding would help.

    Sleep comes first, though. Everything is overwhelming when you are sleep-deprived.

  4. *BIG HUGS*

    For days like those, I have this website bookmarked:http://theapple.monster.com/benefits/articles/4277-teachers-guide-to-avoid-teacher-burnout

    I can totally relate to your frustration, though. I want to change the world, and help out as many people as I can, but at the end of the day, I'm realizing I'm not superwoman. I'm also realizing I take too much work "home" with me. Work is my life, and I need to change that. Don't forget, even though you are a super teacher and super mom, you are human too and you need your down time. You need your "you-time" and so does HM. Looks like you should totally just come to Maine again!!

    I wonder if someone in your neighborhood goes to work early in the AM, or gets off the night shift? Maybe some noise is waking her? I don't remember windows, but if you have them make sure they are boarded up so it stays dark?

    You probably already did this, but I found these sites to have interesting suggestions:

  5. I can empathize, though I don't have the job thing going on. Just one day at a time. Hopefully things will look up once the weather changes and summer vacation is here. Do you get summers off?

    If anything, writing about it helps. The way I see it, journals are the cheapest therapy out there.


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