Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I don't know how you do it
So, it's been a while since I've had time to keep up with the blogging thing -- I go through spells when it's a really fun way to connect and then have times when it feels like just one more thing to check off of my to-do list. And man, has that list gotten really long as of late. It all started off a few weeks ago when Lucy woke up on a Sunday night with pinkeye plus a horrible cough and fever that turned out to be croup, and said croup turned into pneumonia by week's end. Poor baby looked and felt awful for days on end, and Andrew and I were struggling with what to do about caring for her. I'm desperately trying to hoard my days off for maternity leave, and he only had about 3 paid days off for the rest of the year by that point. So we alternated staying home with her every day that week until Boogie swooped in like a granny angel on Thursday and stayed until everyone seemed to be on the mend. It just about killed me going to work at all that week -- when your baby's sick, you don't want to do anything but hold her. But... you do what you have to do.
Already exhausted from a long and trying week (Lucy was up almost every hour on the hour for nights on end), I spent that weekend processing approx. 750 projects for the state social studies fair and then had to head to Lake Charles to oversee the registration desk on Monday. Of course, by then I had become sick and my doctor told me that I since didn't need antibiotics I would just have to "wait it out." Super. I was already way behind at work and the goal of catching up was slipping further and further away.
Let's just make a long story short by saying that between trying to manage being a good mommy, wife, friend, sister, daughter, etc. and various personal and professional commitments, I've been drowning for a few weeks now and I absolutely cannot seem to get my head above water. I've told Andrew on several occasions that I feel like I just can't get it together. I know it's the combination of few factors creating a perfect storm -- budget cuts at the state level creating dread and stress, job boredom, the onset of some serious "terrible two" behavior, raging hormones, and an ever-expanding belly that's making it uncomfortable to do just about everything (including sleep). It seems like everyone needs or wants something from me lately and I can't deliver. At least not as well as I'd like to anyway.
I went out to eat last week to celebrate a girlfriend's birthday, and one of our friends without kids delivered the old stand-by line of "I don't know how you do it." I smiled and said something about just trying to take things day by day. But on the ride home, I discussed with a couple other moms how much I hate it when people say that to me because it's a falsehood. (Plus, I never really know if they're saying it to be supportive or judgmental). The truth is that it's impossible to be a full-time mom and a full-time employee. For me, the two worlds are constantly spilling over into each other which leaves me feeling like I'm never devoting my whole self to either responsibility. I know there are some people that make it look easy, and maybe they are just better at managing the struggle than I am. Some of them may have relatives nearby that help out a lot, can afford to hire a housekeeper, have the flexibility to work from home a few days a week, etc. I don't know.
But I do know that as we add this new baby to our family in just a few weeks, something will have to give. Since I have to go back to work, I'm guessing that something will either have to be my ever-present guilt or my expectations, or... both. Even though life with a newborn is exhausting and stressful, I feel like if I can just make it the next few weeks until I am holding that precious little girl in my arms that I'll be okay. I won't have a lot of time off, but the time I do have will be filled with joy and lots of reinforcements. And I won't have to get dressed up everyday, put on make-up, or fight the horrendous morning commute!
So, please pray for me to have the stamina to make this balancing act work just a little bit longer and to maintain my sanity in the process. Lord knows I can't do this alone. And please leave any advice and/or words of wisdom in the comments section. I need them.