Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lost My Center. Or Something.

Dancing together at a birthday party. My heart is full. So lucky.

I've been feeling off my game. Again. I think I blogged about a few weeks ago also.

What's weird is that home life and the girls is GREAT. I've never been in such a great place about having two. I was kind of worried about the whole 12-18 month, mobile but totally senseless phase, but so far, I am absolutely loving Amelie at this age. I can't get enough of her. I sit and watch her with a huge grin. It's my new favorite hobby. She's just too delicious.

And Calliope is great, too. I don't know if it's her getting more sleep or that four and a half is just a great age but wow, it's wonderful. I ask her to do something and she mostly says, "okay, Mommy." And then often actually remembers to do it. When she doesn't, it's rare enough that it does make me enraged, I just remind her again. We have great little conversations. She is full of ideas and hypotheses about the world. It's a constant reminder that the world is fresh and new. Like, I told her we are going to Disney World next month. And she asked curiously, "Do they speak English there?"

This morning's conversation on the way to school: "Is it cozy when you are dead? Do you wear clothes when you die?"

And then, "Mommy, your voice sounds funny."

"Oh, did it sound funny? I had a little phlegm in it. Did I sound froggy?'

"No, not froggy. FOGGY. You can't sound froggy. You can sound FOGGY. Foggy fog. That's how you sound." My little expert witness.

She just started attending After School instead of coming to my office after PreK gets out -- well, she's been exactly once -- and I thought she might cry about it, but instead, she was thrilled and didn't want to leave. And so I get back an extra forty minutes of my day at work!

Home is good. Just very, very busy. It's rare during the day that I sit down when I'm not also doing something else, whether it's feeding the baby or ordering groceries. Otherwise, I feel like i'm constantly stooping down and picking something up to put it away. Constant.

But the big thing is work. It's just relentless lately. And I continue to be scared for the future of my program. I'll be bereft if I can't be in the same building with Calliope. It just simplifies my life to an incredible degree, even though it's hard and I miss my solo commute (and the ability to do errands after work).

The pace at work is driving me crazy. I feel like I don't have time to breathe. With stopping pumping last week -- sniff -- and Calliope going to After School, I hope that it feels a little less insane.

But with my girls being so delicious lately, I just wish I could retire for a bit. Temporarily. And just be home with them. The time goes so fast. And I spend so much of my time with them... not with them. Cleaning up or cooking or working out or checking things off my list.

But I don't see myself being a stay at home parent. Reality interferes.

So I'm trying to find thing to help me reset a bit. Also because, who knows, maybe it's not work that's the problem. Though I'm positive it's not helping.

So here's what I've come up with:

  1. Take a break from watching shows. I am not much of a TV watcher, but lately have been watching a show a night on my computer. And oh, how I long for that escape. But I know over a period of many years that that delicious escape tends to be followed by a period of depression. So I'm testing it out and taking a week off from watching to see if I feel happier.
  2. By skipping the show, I hope I feel and heed my fatigue earlier, and go to bed earlier. I don't feel sleepy during the day, but sleep deprivation can certainly interfere with mood.
  3. Also with more time from not watching a show, spend 30-60 minutes a night, for now, working on getting caught up on things. Since I just got my re-credentialing packet, due in a month, that will probably be thirty minutes a night on continuing education classes (online) and hopefully another thirty minutes working on photo books -- I want to make one for Amelie's first year, and also a book for her about her conception. Photo books are so intimidating but I'm hoping that if I do a little bit at a time, it won't be so overwhelming.
  4. My friend Scott came over for dinner tonight. I'm hoping we can continue to see each other once a month or so -- he's my old non-kid friend for the time being -- and go out to shows, too. I can't commit a lot of energy to outside interests, but a show now and then isn't too much of a commitment. Apart from missing sleep by being out late. That's an issue.
What do you do when you are feeling depleted and only have time for your kids? All suggestions welcome!


  1. I was just wondering how you were doing this morning! Sounds like you are trying to find your groove and hopefully you will soon!

    No advice here. I think I have just plowed through those times. But I have found the little tweaks, like not watching tv for you.. for me it was leaving work 30 minutes earlier and leaving Elsie 30 minutes later so i could get some exercise in, helped me. So I think you are heading in the right direction!

  2. It's so hard to find balance. I would love to be able to work just one hour less every day. Financially I could do it, based on how many patients I need to see to earn my salary. But because of crazy rules, it would put me as part time and the cost of my health insurance would be prohibitive.

    I love your idea of taking an hour you already have to yourself every night and doing something else with it. I'm currently trying The Power Hour as Gretchen Rubin called it on her podcast - one hour every week to do stuff that's accumulated from the week before, random bills, light bulb changes, that sort of thing. I don't always get it in, but even twice a month it helps me get a lot of done and keeps me from feeling so out of control.

  3. Do you have any household help? I have a woman come in twice a week for an hour each time. She cleans the kitchen, does the dishes, picks up toys and laundry and whatever else she can do in 1 hour. It's amazing. I feel like I can breathe when I get home, and the tedious tasks being off my list opens my schedule for more enjoyable tasks that need to be done less often. Last night I raked and mowed the front yard, for example. I'd rather do that than pick up the same 50 toys again and again. And when I come across a lightbulb that needs to be changed, I am less annoyed to stop what I'm doing and change it.

  4. Like the previous commenter, hiring some help to take the cleaning off your list sounds appealing. I don't know about NY but I think it will still be a reasonable expense. I also love the Power Hour idea - got to try it! As for what has helped me, I think my long commute is my saving grace - time to work through issues at work and regroup for home. Also plenty of sleep! I went to a seminar years ago about happiness - they said there were things you can quickly do - surround yourself with happy people it's contagious, give time to yourself, family and community (that's tough with small kids) but the thing that helped me most was taking up a meaningful hobby - I love crafts so I try to fit time in each week to do something creative!