Friday, January 10, 2014

Time, or lack thereof



This week felt like the longest week ever.  I got so used to having James home for 2 weeks, and loved knowing I had help with the kids and the ability to take breaks once in a while.  I feel like I really need that on a regular basis, but unfortunately it just isn’t possible.  My parents want to help, but my mom’s knee is still healing from her surgery so it just doesn’t make sense to ask them right now.  Our only source of help was James’ mother but we’re kind of on the outs (again) after a ‘misunderstanding’ (I have my own views on this but won’t get into the details here) on Christmas Day.  I feel like I can no longer accept help from her at this point in time (not that she’s offering it anyway, but yeah…I just don’t see it happening in the near future anyway).  Everyone else in our lives either has their own health issues, or isn’t good with children, or just plain seems to run in the other direction, or lives too far away to help.  So we literally have NO ONE.  No help whatsoever, ever, at this point.  And while James’ mom would help sometimes, it wasn’t like that was super frequent either, or sometimes, in my opinion came with a hefty price tag (not actual money, but a price tag nonetheless).  (Sigh).

Given that we’re starting a new, much more firm budget for the new year, hiring a babysitter is out of the question.  So basically we just have no help, and that’s that.  It’s hard to say the least, it really isn’t a positive thing for me to wrap my head around.  I appreciate James more than I could ever put into words, the amount he does and the time he does give me, I am beyond grateful for.  He is the type of husband/father who is very present and nurturing and he does an amazing job of looking after his family.  But I worry about burn out for the both of us.  He needs time, too, but it’s difficult for me to give him a lot of it because by the time he’s home I am completely done.  And on weekends all we end up doing is trading off ‘me time’ hours, but even at that it is never enough and it’s never as productive as we want it to be because we’re so tired, we don’t have the get up and go to accomplish a hell of a lot.

It’s just hard feeling so alone in looking after the kids sometimes.  I love it mostly, it’s just busy and tiring and I’m completely losing sight of who I am.  Or I can see snippets of who I want to be and can imagine ways to attain that, but then I realize that I don’t have time.  Yes, I could be using this time writing about my lack of time on something else, but I never have enough time to actually follow through on much.  I also have piles and piles of boring stuff (like laundry, for instance) that never seems to go away, things I really HAVE to do, and by the time those things are done, there really isn’t room for much more.  Obviously I try to get those boring chores out of the way during the day while the kids play, but I’ve been finding it a lot more challenging getting tasks completed with 3 kids around.  Someone always seems to need something, Margaret will start biting Emily after a while, blah blah blah….Nothing is simple these days!  It’s rare there is a sufficient enough time for me to feel like I can just breathe and clear my mind and not be on duty.

I did find a bit of clarity today while I drove the girls to and from their appointment for their 2nd flu shot (babies have to get it in 2 doses as they can’t handle it in their system all at once).  When I’m driving I know I can’t do anything else, and the babies are generally pretty good while we’re in the van, so generally speaking I don’t worry about them getting fussy.  I had to wake them from their nap to go to their appointment and I was nervous about how that would go but they actually did really well with it and weren’t really all that fussy at all (till dinner time when they were exhausted already because they hadn’t had a long enough nap in the morning!)  I like being able to just listen to music on the radio, sing along, chat a bit with Andrew, and just focus on the road.  I find that pretty relaxing.  It’s just a bit sad to me when the most ‘free’ feeling part of my day is when I’m driving.  I need a break once in a while, and I’m not saying every single day I need a big chunk of time to myself because that’s not realistic, and my role as mom and ‘home maker’ DO make up the majority of who I am right now, and mostly I’m happy with that.  I just need more time to decompress and rejuvenate and feel whole again.  The exhaustion takes its toll every now and then, I guess.  And this week was one of those times.  Last night I got the most sleep I got all week and it was about 5.5 hours, and I don’t think it’s good that it felt like so much sleep that I noticed I had more energy today as a result!  I’m glad I felt a bit better, but 5.5 hours is not enough!  I was averaging on 4 or less this week, though, so it really was an improvement.  It’s no wonder I felt burnt out as a result.  It makes sense that everything would start to look a little bleak with no rest and no real breaks to speak of either.  (Tho James was good about me going and having a bath or rest after dinner/clean up/getting the babies bathed and ready for bed all week – if not for that time I’d have totally lost it for sure!)

SO yeah…I’m glad James had that chunk of time off for Christmas, but I got spoiled, obviously, and adjusted too nicely to having him take some of the load off each day!  Now I have to get used to going it alone again, which I can totally do, and the kids and I had lots of fun moments together this week, ‘just the four of us’ but still…Breaks are welcome…Dates with my hubby would be awesome…It’s just a matter of finding people to help us out – which sadly I just don’t see becoming our reality any time soon =(

(PS, I know it could be waaaay worse than it is, the things I consider 'problems' are very privileged problems to have, but it's all relative, right?!)

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