Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fish Food


I am sapped.

I do not know how full-time working mothers do it. How do they do it? How do they meet everyones needs (not to mention their own) without losing every sane bone in their body? How?

I work from home. From home.

I work part-time, from home.

[And no, I'm not interested in getting into the STAHM vs WAHM vs Working Mom debate, not interested at all.]

I've worked, part-time, from home, for about a year and a half and while it's a big help financially and really the ideal situation for us, for the right now, I blow at it. That's right, I blow. I'm not talking about my job - the one that gives a paycheck - I'm talking about the whole big fat huge gigantic stinking picture that is me. Me, the mom.

Take this week, for example, this week I worked 6 days in a row. Would you like to see the laundry that I at least folded but didn't manage to put away? It is sitting here, in my "office space" on a spare couch, waiting. Would you like to speak to my sullen "pretweenager" who is currently on the warpath because I will not let him watch television while he does his homework? He lost the ability to multi-task after he'd been asked 3 times. He hates me. He wants me to run him to the pet store and buy more fish food because he is suddenly out and what a horrible mother I'd be if I let his fish go a day without food.

What a horrible mother.

[I did happen to watch season 1 of Weeds on the netflix website though...]

Truth is, I feel like fish food.

The cold that the kids brought home from school is lingering in my chest. My fingertips are still green from the dry erase marker incident in Katie's kindergarten classroom Friday morning. I have papers to fill out and return from curriculum night and my family has not seen a homemade meal too many days.

Fish food.

My husband leaves and goes to work. Goes to an office space without children and dogs and laundry staring him in the eye. I sit in an office space with children and dogs and laundry staring me in the eye. Oh, how I want to switch places with him some days. What I wouldn't give...

Fish food.

Doors shut angrily. Sighs are heard and I know more eyerolling is going on behind my back than I care to acknowledge at this point.

Fish food.

The middle child is tired from a sleepover and showing it in the way he responds to his little sisters requests. I know little sisters are a pain but can't they just get along? Just for one afternoon? Isn't this what Sundays are for, nothing? Why, on the one day of the week that requires nothing, do my kids suddenly want to pull me in thirty different directions? All I want to do is crawl back under the covers and wait for bedtime when I can slurp some Nyquil and call it a day.

But dammit, fish food.

Waffles. They've had waffles with peanut butter, waffles with jelly, waffles with bananas and syrup. I sure hope waffles are a food group all of their own at this point because waffles it is and will be until I can make a decent dinner not consisting of waffles.

I'm thinking corn dogs.

Not really.

I'll breathe, I'll put that laundry away and bite the insides of my cheeks as I ask that child of mine if he is done with his homework yet. I'll cut up some veggies for a snack and plaster a smile on a face that really, really feels like it wants to frown. I'll be happy that I'm alive, that the sun is shining and that we have all that we do (mainly that we have each other) because dammit, life really isn't that bad or that hard and if I have them, I have everything I need.

And I'll still want to switch places with my husband.

Which doesn't make me a bad mother.

But it might make me fish food if I let it.


slouchy said...

Yes, yes, yes.

Did I say yes?

I hear you, feel you, get you.

flutter said...

wanna come out for a visit?

kyslp said...

Sundays are God sanctioned days for fighting around here.

I don't work from home but I understand what you're saying. I do a lot of report writing, continuing education, and work-related calls from home. I feel pulled in a million directions and like I can't do any one thing well or completely.

Carrie said...

Amen. and I hope you feel better soon!

Ashley said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the first commentor.

Yes. Just yes.

Kristen said...

I have a question...what did you think of Weeds? We just started watching it (we are all caught up on avail. DVDs from Netflix) and we love it!

Hope you feel better soon, hope things calm down soon. I am a STAHM but I still get the fighting, the laundry, etc. Mine are still pretty little too. Feel like I'm non-stop ride to and from pre-school and K.

Love your blog!

carrie said...

Thanks Kristen, I am loving Weeds! I had always heard that it was good, but we don't have Showtime so I was thrilled to see it was avb on Netflix! And the first 2 seasons are avb ondemand so you can watch them online!

And I do feel better...sometimes just writing it out is all the help one needs. There is so much to be thankful for, on this "non-stop" ride that is...motherhood! :)

Mike said...

I'm a stay-at-home dad—and I love it. Most of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. That's OK. My kids do not know that.

Twitter: AboutParenting
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wyliekat said...

Ooooh, I hear you on this. It's an awful feeling to have the litany of Things piling up to such a degree that it feels like you'll never accomplish any of it. I've got nothing at all helpful to say, except that I totally feel ya.

How do they meet everyones needs (not to mention their own) without losing every sane bone in their body? How?

I keep looking at other working mothers and asking myself the same question. I assume they look at me with the same wonder. I think we're all of us a whole lot better at faking than we think we are.

Managed Chaos said...

Oh, I sooo feel for you, as I've been in that spot too many times myself (I work out of the home full time and my husband is gone M-F for work). It really bites the big one and the best remedy is to try and work in a day (or even a few hours just for yourself). I take a vacation day while the kids are school sometimes if I really need a break. Hope things start improving for you!

Pgoodness said...

No debate food is how I feel sometimes too.

Becky said...

i work full time away from home and IT SUCKS. i hate it. hate it hate it. i'm drained. i'm exhausted. i'm sorta crazy now. it's madness.

Kendra said...

Hope you're feeling better. As someone who works from home 10 hours a day (I do day care), I feel like the work never stops. Never. And yes, I get jealous of my husband getting to head out the door with his coffee and his music and his no-kids-for-a-while. But then I get out for a little bit, and I spend the whole time worrying about them, because I'm the mommy and I'm supposed to be there.

Crazy? Yes. I admit it. But mommy life seems to be full of contradictions. And yes, sometimes it's nice just to know you're not the only one who ever feels that way.

Cha Cha said...

You aren't a bad mom. You're human.

My own mama? Had many moments like those you describe - and those were just the ones I knew about. And my brother and me? We turned out just fine. Our fish didn't die of starvation, and neither did we. And we appreciate our sweet mama for the lovely human - not superhuman - that she is. She gave us permission to be real by being real herself.

I hope things are feeling more manageable and you've got a bit of spring in your step. Hang in there.

missharleyquinn said...

There are days I want to switch places with my husband and he's in Iraq! *lol* I'm with ya' sister, being everything to everyone is exhausting...eventually you just end up feeling like the lump in the corner with the fuzzy teeth and dirty clothing!

to sing and to dance said...

No need to be afraid till you notice the school teacher running down hill, out of the old school house, and past the community church, to take refuge with the young children inside a house. Be sure she locks down all the windows though....And LEARN from Hitchcock! BOARD-UP THE FIREPLACE FLU!!! And when they finally make their escape, don't run.....walk, that works every time I watch The Birds.
hehe maybe now is not the time to rent that old film for your children's viewing pleasure.

Kyla said...

Yup. I know all about it.