Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Mother of a Job

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.
-Erma Bombeck

I know the gripe is not new. I know that I am one of many. But tonight I feel like the only one. Tonight I am feeling tired and small and sorry for myself. I am so tired of doing the same things every day.

Tonight my husband was complaining about how nonstop his work has been lately. And it's true, he has been working fairly steadily for almost a month now. He works on a job by job basis that comes in stints of intense work followed by a week or two, or sometimes longer, without having to work at all.

I sympathized with him and told him that it would be over soon, that he only to wait until Monday, and he could enjoy a good week or two of relaxation. And then I started feeling sorry for myself. It's just that I cannot look forward to that in my life,

My work haunts me day in and day out. I am going on about 730 days straight now. This is how it goes with few exceptions: Wake up at the bleeding crack of dawn, nurse baby, change baby, try to exercise, feed self and baby healthy breakfast, shower and dress self, dress baby, clean house, take baby and dog to park to run and frolic, run errands, make and eat healthy lunch for self and baby, change diaper again, nurse baby, put baby down for nap, do all the jobs you can't do with you baby as fast as you can, baby up, run more errands, plan dinner make dinner do dishes, clean up kitchen, baby bath and teeth brushing (fun!), baby reading time, nurse the baby, baby goes to sleep, Mama already asleep.

And repeat!

The thing about motherhood is its constancy. There are no days off, and, if you're a stay-at-home mom like me, you never leave your work. I suppose this would be the same for anyone who works from home. The work never seems to end, you don't see any ending point and consequently don't feel the satisfaction of completion very often. Your work is always a work in progress.

I know this can be the same at work. When I worked in publishing, it felt the work would never end. But I did get the satisfaction of completion as there were deadlines, and there was always the satisfaction that I could go home and leave the work behind.

When I was younger and I felt truly overwhelmed by the demands I was under, I would call a personal time out. I would not go to class or work. I would call in sick to all of it. I would stay in bed most of the day, re-inspiring myself with writing and reading, or I would go on a day trip adventure. Even I knew this frivolousness could not last long and as my responsibilities grew heavier, those "mental health" days disappeared as well.

But I think those days of getting away, of taking the time to renew yourself are so important. You have to remember what you like to do and do it. It is hard when you have responsibilities woven into your day, however. But I would like to try to weave more fun into my daily round. To have more fun now, not later when I have forgotten what fun is.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I am going to try to come up with a tangible way to give myself some "mental health" time. I simply can no longer deal with monotony and need to salvage what is left of the free spirit inside of me. I need to nurse Her back to health and vitality. Even if that means nursing a martini while creating a F.I.L.(, December 17 post)! A woman has to do what a woman has to do!

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