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.