Sunday, May 22, 2005

The blog ate my homework and other sad excuses for not posting lately.

So I had high hopes. In my head, I wrote a beautiful Mother's Day entry about my amazing children whom I adore.

Then there was the entry thanking the nice woman for bringing Bella back inside of the McDonald's without kidnapping her.

And Adelyn's dancing. That was a good one. She is absolutely divine. She bounces and rocks her shoulders and I had to openly admit to her that she is just my cutest dancing baby, but shh, don't tell the others.

And the one about Bella strolling into the kitchen, asking for chocolate milk, and declaring that "poop fell on the floor" (never leave your child in a skort with no diaper or panties. Bad bad bad.).

And Riley and his little best friend Jack holding hands while walking home from preschool, declaring each other best friends and then licking each other (is that what little boys do with their best friends? I suppose it's more sanitary than pricking fingers and becoming blood brothers, but not much).

Oh, and the time that Riley told me that he would hug me and that maybe that would make me less cranky.

But that's really what my problem is, because it hasn't been working.

I have been alarmingly depressed lately about being home with the kids, and quitting my job, and the great big home addition not starting yet.

I'm tired of living in a bedroom with no closet.

I'm tired of having a kitchen that is older than I am.

I'm tired of my toddlers eating every meal on my antique dining room set because we don't have an eat in kitchen yet.

I'm tired, tired, tired.

I brought my kids with me to drop off papers at my (very part-time) jobs the other day. So yes, my kids have now seen an inpatient psych hospital and an outpatient mental health clinic. Anyway, we were in the neighborhood, so we stopped at their old daycare and spent about two hours eating lunch and visiting their old friends and teachers.

Can I tell you home at home Adelyn was in that daycare? And Riley told me that he likes his old school better, because he misses his friends (he later recanted, I'm glad to say, and told me that he likes being home with me and going to his preschool, which is what he's been saying for a while now. I would have been devestated if he had really changed his mind but not surprised because I really have been that monstrous lately). And Bella hung on her favorite teacher (OK, OK, she's also our babysitter) and had a grand old time.

Melissa wrote something once about the "Starbucks Suggestion." Basically, a friend of hers suggested that she get a part-time job at Starbucks, in order to get out of the house without the kids and regain some energy. Melissa (brilliantly) points out that you would never make the same suggestion to someone working full-time outside of the home, if he or she was complaining of being tired and run down after working all day.

I bring this up because before I quit my job (that I loved!), Vincent and I decided that we could save money to finance the addition if I did some part-time work in the evenings when he was home from work.

Voila! No daycare!

Plus, I'd be able top get out of the house and have some grown-up time for myself. And get paid to do it! Bonus!

So here I am, now a behavior specialist, and I really don't like it. Worse, I'd have to work ALOT to truly make this addition affordable, and being a behavior specialist pays pretty well but it's not like you can work for large chunks of time - it's two hours here, and an hour there - because hey, kids need to sleep more than they need in-home mental health services. Can't hang out until midnight yammering on about family systems issues to a 5 year old, can I?

I'm afraid that I'm experiencing some delayed onset PPD. I don't feel like being someone's counselor. I don't feel like a specialist in anything, especially children' behavior. I miss my old job, and I'm tired of being in this damn house all fucking day. Even so, I don't feel like going anywhere at night.

And I've been mean mean mean to the kids. Downright mean. You know it has to be bad if your four year old is using magical thinking to cure your moodiness. Worse, Bella cowered the other day as I screamed at her for who-knows-what.

Now, I am feeling a little bit better the past few days. My period just ended, so I don't know if it was major PMS, or PPD, or Spring Fever. Or that I just threw a brithday party for fifteen 3 year olds yesterday and I need to start planning the next one for mid-June.

But no matter what, I need to keep writing, because it helps to clear my head.

Is anyone still reading?


Blogger Marsha said...

I'm reading. And I know.

There are a million suggestions, but only one solution and no one but you could possibly ferret out what that might be for you.

Cold comfort to know you're not alone, perhaps but it's all I've got.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Leggy said...

I'm still here- glad to see you are back. I've missed you. Wish I had some good advice...

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Allie said...

Amen sista, amen. Thanks for having the courage to write about something that so many of us feel, yet don't talk about. Everyone thinks I have it all together with baby #4 and school, and yet one of the reasons I am back in school is to get the fuck out of my house. Good luck in finding your solution. We are listening and hear you!

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Kelli said...

Still here!

I just keep thinking "Thank God summer is coming" because at least we can go outdoors.

A few hours at the park, sitting on the bench reading a magazine while Christopher wreaks havoc in the sandbox. And then not having to clean up the sandbox after he's done. Aaahhh! Now if only it would just stop raining!

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I just started reading and I understand completely. Thanks for having the courage to write about it.

On an unrelated note, I knew you had to be from the Philadelphia area when I read your gravy recipe on Julia's blog when you posted it the first time. I didn't post mine then because they are very similar (no rotel, grated carrots and onions instead of sugar and no bay leaf). I don't know why I didn't look at your blog the first time, but I did once Julia linked to it. I hope this doesn't sound stalkerish, but I think we must live nearby you.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I'm still reading, too. I think you have such a hard job, being at home with three kids. I work outside of the home full-time, and while it's stressful to get the kids off to daycare in the morning, and then come home after a long commute with only a few hours left in the day to get them bathed, fed, and put to bed at a reasonable hour, I think your job is much harder. I was laid off for a year, and was home with only one child, and thought it was the hardest thing I've ever done. My hat and heart goes out (or off in the case of the hat) for everything you're doing.

While I have no words of advice, I hope you take comfort in knowing that I think all of us at one time or another have been mean to our kids. Then the guilt kicks in and you swear to have more patience, until the next time it happens. I'm still trying to get my arms around that one myself.

Hang in there!

1:11 PM  
Anonymous jill said...

I'm reading too. Full time motherhood is 90 percent drudgery and 10 percent euphoria (if you're lucky!). I too left a job i loved to stay home with my three kids. I used to sit and stare at the phone and will someome to call me in the beginning. You need to plan one thing a day that's only about you, even if it's only telling your kids they need to play in their rooms for an hour so you can read a book. The good news -- these years go by so quickly -- my oldest is now 12 and off to college in 6 years. how did that happen, I wonder. There are plenty of us underutilized, nutty moms out there and we feel your pain!!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Lisa V said...

Oh Lisa, I am still here. I have been where you are and I know that this is not a problem that has an easy answer. I stayed home for 12 years, have only gone back to work this last year. I think I am happier working, but I don't regret that I stayed home with my first three. It sucked sometimes, but it was the right thing for the time. On the other hand, working and putting #4 in daycare is not the end of the world I thought it would be. I am lucky I found a three quarter time job I like and that is flexible. The pay is shit, but it's something.
I hope you find your answer soon.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Territorial said...

I'm reading and I can totally relate!

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Still reading here. I am in a slightly different situation since I freelance from home two days a week and send Sam to the dayhome. So I get a break. I think that is crucial. Getting a break. There is some weird thing in today's society where if you aren't with your kids 24-7 you are not a SAHM -- or at least a good one. My mom would go to the gym and put us in the gym daycare -- or swap care with her friends. I think it sucks to be around anyone 24-7 -- even kids you adore!


11:33 AM  

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