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Self Pity (sorry this is a long one)

November 20, 2008

Why is it that even when things are going so well, I still can’t help but get stuck in a rut about stuff?

Both Ronnie’s and my jobs are going well and appear fairly secure, which is so much to be thankful for as the rest of the economy falls apart. We own a home that is still worth more than what we bought it for, and Skyler is happy and healthy. So what gives?

Try this perspective Monday through Thursday:

6:00 am: Alarm clock goes off. Hit snooze angrily.

6:18 am: After three snoozes, get up, let the dog out, and angrily get ready for work.

6:30 am: Kiss Ronnie bye as he heads to work.

7:00 am: Get Skyler up and feed her breakfast, change her diaper, get her dressed. No anger here, despite the rush, the part with Skyler is typically fun and I savor these minutes before she goes to daycare and I go to work.

7:30 am: Go out to warm up car, come back to make protein shake, grab purse and any other necessities for the day, take these items back out to car so I can come back in and get Skyler.

7:45 am: Carry Skyler to car, buckle her in, and head to work.

8:10 am: Arrive at daycare. Put Skyler’s socks and shoes back on since she’s removed them during the car ride over. Hug and kiss her and hand her off to Darlene.

8:30 am: Arrive at work.

12:30 pm: Eat lunch. Maybe at desk to keep working, or might run an errand since it’s the only “free time” I’ve got in a day.

5:20 pm: Pick Skyler up at daycare, buckle her back in the car and head home.

6:00 pm: Arrive at home. Put Skyler’s socks and shoes back on since she’s removed them during the car ride home. Fumble with keys at door, greet/kick Bruno out of the way, place Skyler in highchair, set purse/jacket down in a place that Skyler can’t reach, give her cereal and milk to keep her busy while I run to the bathroom. Get her dinner ready. If it’s something she can feed herself, put the dog outside so she doesn’t try to share. While she eats, I either find a snack for myself/clean the kitchen/rotate some laundry/all of the above, or just sit and watch her eat because she’s so darn cute. If it’s something she can’t feed herself, then obviously, I’m sitting there feeding her and getting nothing else done.

6:30 pm: We may do any of the following: play with toys, take baths, dance to hip hop music, take a “nap” which involves me getting comfy in bed with Skyler, who proceeds to roll around, climb all over me, lunge for the edge of the bed in attempts to dive to her own spinal paralysis, sit on me and “bounce”, and various other non-sleep activities, which usually end in her whining and getting fussy because “naptime” has gotten boring. I may also attempt productivity like cleaning or laundry if she’s independently entertaining herself. These times I usually lose track of her and go room to room in search, and find her emptying a laundry basket, cabinet, or drawer of all its content. In which case I’m following her around cleaning up those messes, sometimes several times in one evening.

7:30 pm: I might start getting dinner ready. It’s wholly dependent on how the night with Skyler has been and if anyone has been to the grocery store recently.

8:30 pm: Ronnie gets home, greets Skyler, and we either eat or he prepares (or sometimes unwraps) dinner. Meanwhile Skyler whines and points to our food, so we get her a late snack and her milk.

9:00 pm: The first three nights of the week one of Ronnie or I has a TV show on at this time (Monday is mine, Tuesday & Wednesday are Ronnie’s), so whoever’s show night it isn’t, keeps up with Skyler or puts her to bed (we have yet to establish a strict bedtime because I just want her to be up long enough to get some quality time with her dad). I do not like Tuesdays and Wednesdays, b/c not only does my life revolve around Skyler from her waking till her going to bed, but I also can’t stand the shows that Ronnie watches, so it’s not even time that he and I can spend together watching TV. So I’ve turned those nights into “catch up on the blog” nights. Thursdays Skyler goes to my parent’s for the day, so instead of picking her up, I just go there and we hang out for dinner and we head home around the time that Ronnie gets home. Thursdays are so much better than Monday through Wednesday because I have company with my parents, and I actually get to eat dinner at a decent hour.

10:00 pm: Go to bed. Can’t wait to do it all again the next day.

So nothing about these days is inherently bad, but most of the time I just feel so alone. I know my husband is hard at work, but I still feel like at home, I do it all. My waking hours are spent taking care of our daughter through the entire cycle of our waking hours together. Even for the brief period at night when the whole family is together, it’s predominantly me that makes sure she is fed, bathed, changed, and put to bed, unless I ask Ronnie to do any of those things. I don’t loathe these things and most of the time spent with her is truly enjoyable. But did anyone see any time in there to workout? To paint my toe nails? To go shopping? To call a friend and catch up? On top of it Ronnie comes home nearly every day and complains how sore he is from an awesome workout the prior day and I can only imagine what that would be like and I get bitter. And I feel guilty for not having found time in my day to workout. If there is one thing I wish I could do for myself at least every other day, it would be to workout. I’ve tried so many ways to fit it in, but when I’m responsible for Skyler for her entire waking hours that she’s not in daycare, I just can’t do it! I could work out to a video at home while she’s playing, but I wouldn’t be able to get into it b/c I’d have to keep stopping to check on her/rescue her/go find her etc. On top of it, since she’s at daycare all day and her other parent isn’t home in the evenings, I feel especially obligated to spend quality time with her so she remembers who her loving parents are. Before I had tried putting her to bed at 8 and getting a workout in before Ronnie even got home, but then that meant Ronnie wouldn’t get to see her at all that day, and I just can’t do that to either of them.

Ugh. Sometimes I feel like there is no win-win situation. And sometimes I just get so dang sick of being so responsible for other people. Even though she is the most adorable and wonderful other people. I guess I just wish someone would be responsible for me. Me me me. And now I feel selfish and like an ungrateful wife and mother. I’ll stop now. I’m sure tomorrow will be a better day.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2008 1:40 pm

    You know you have summed up my days quite well. I kept reading, and just saying to myself, yep, yep, yep. I can’t say I don’t get help when Jake is home, but most the time, if Mom is there, well I feel obligated, because as you said they are at daycare all day and need quality time with their mom and dad when they get home. At the end of the day, I am exhausted, ususally, I am off to bed about 1/2 hour after Ben is out just so I can get some things done and get ready for the next day. Then, wake up to start all over again. What about “me” time? I have been able to go work out on lunch twice this week, and It helped soooo much. If I remember I don’t know if that is an option for you..to work out on lunch. Otherwise, I would have absolutely no other time to do it so, I am thankful for that. When I get off work, I am so anxious to pick Ben up, I can’t wait to walk in the door at daycare so he knows I am there to take him home. Definitaly the best part of the day during a dragging work week. LIke you, not that I complain about spending every waking moment that you aren’t at work with your child cuz I love him more than imaginable. But seriously, it can be exhausting. And when you say you feel selfish, well so do I and probalby about 75% of the other Moms out there do to because I KNOW they are thinking the same thing.

  2. Amy B. permalink
    November 20, 2008 2:48 pm

    Lori, you are not alone. With Aaron being out of town so much or working long hours when he is in town, I am able to completely empathize with you. I must say though, that you do a much better job of focusing on quality time with Skyler. I really do not make quality time a priority in the evenings with Calvin because it just feels like there’s too much work to do. So, good job with that!

  3. November 20, 2008 3:01 pm

    I completely, utterly and whole heartedly empathize with this! Some days I wonder how us moms do it, every single day and I feel like crying on my drive home because I would give anything for one day to breathe and not have to be responsible for anyone else. I wrestle with wanting “me” time and the fact that I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else than with my husband and daughter. Hang in there and remember no matter how exhausting life gets, you’re truly blessed.

  4. Sheri permalink
    November 20, 2008 3:31 pm

    OK Lori…you may not know this about me, but I’m a “fixer”. When I hear about someone feeling bad, I want to “fix it”. So ignore me if you have done all of these things, but here goes….

    It might be too much to ask EVERY Thursday, but talk to your folks about being willing to keep Skyler maybe until 7 or 7:30 on every other Thursday, or every third Thursday. Since you said that you hang out there anyway with them it won’t be extra hours really.

    Or set up a kid-exchange program. One night a month, you agree to watch a friends little one for two hours after work so that they can have some “self time” and then they do the same for you.

    Then make sure that you don’t use that time just to run errands, pick up dry-cleaning, go to the bank, grocery shop, clean house, etc. (You know what I mean) That is NOT allowed.

    Then….schedule time with friends (have a drink or dinner)….set up a happy hour…..use the gym here at PForm…..get a pedicure…..(if you only do it once or twice a month) give yourself a $50 budget or something like that and go shopping for something that is fun and not just functional…..go to Borders and pick out a book and sit in their coffee shop and read for an hour….join an aerobics or dance class…(in nicer weather) go for a walk with a friend or your dog….you get the idea.

    Just having a couple of hours to do something for YOU that is about YOU will hopefully make a difference. I know that you are a great mom and that you and Ronnie are adorable together, so just make sure that you don’t get lost in the shuffle. DO NOT feel guilty about taking that time.

    Then….you can come here and tell us all about what fun little thing you decided to do.

    Just MY 2 cents. 🙂

  5. Kim permalink
    November 23, 2008 4:13 am

    Thanks for posting this Lori! We all feel this way now and again, but its such a hard thing to put into words.

  6. Miranda permalink
    November 24, 2008 1:12 pm

    I hear ya sista very funny tooo since I could totally agree with it all! I am so thankful Bryan’s schedule changed, that way he can actually take Landon to daycare and pick him up on some of the days….it was tough when it was ALL me….

  7. Joy permalink
    November 24, 2008 9:31 pm

    Hey Girl – I haven’t talked to you in forever, but I love to catch up and read your blog. It seems that when you are going through something – so am I. That same feeling has been boiling up inside me only I have huge amounts of guilt because poor Justin has taken on my 4 girls as his own and so I don’t even feel like I can say anything to him. I do know from experience – it does get easier. The girls are soon to be 10,11,12 & 15 and so much fun! As for Lachlan – who is one – well I have spent the past 2 months chasing him at volleyball games, basketball games and crying because I don’t get to watch the girls. I love the way you say it in your blog. It feels like you lose your life for this short period of time. It will all come back and just so you know – it will be even better then you can imagine!!

  8. November 25, 2008 4:49 pm

    You are correct in your voice for all the women in the world. I love the quote from The Breakup where Jen Anniston says,”I want you to want to do the dishes! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I hope you are feeling better, it’s not the same without you here. Bethie

  9. Deborah permalink
    November 30, 2008 3:19 am

    Dear Loving Hubby-
    WHY WHY do I have to ask? I shouldnt have to ask you to do something….!!
    hey how about fixing the light or the cup holder or the garage or the………..that I had to ASK you to fix! ugh.

    oh and I hate hate your new schedule….what happen to “Oh Ill be home on Mondays and every other Friday…I can clean the house I can do the laundry…..Well BUDDY you have been on this schedule for the last few weeks? I havent seen nothin yet..oh wait yes I have. ME! I have seen Me-I had a ROOT CANAL at 7 am, cleaned the WHOLE house from top to bottom-yeah even the microwave..went and got OUR daughter from the sitter (yeah she was there b.c I had to go to the dentist), and then went grocery shopping, came home and put it all way, feed our daughter, and packed our bags for our trip out of town…….so you tell me….WHY DO I NOT HAVE THE ENERGY TO DO you AT NIGHT>>>because I have been DOING everything else all day and night….im sore!
    Love your wife

    THanks LOri for helping me remember I am not alone!

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