Friday, June 27, 2008

Gratitude Friday: Friends

When I woke up this morning, I felt really tired and generally unprepared for the day. Yesterday I was so exhausted by day's end--which, by the way, was marked by a 40-minute screaming fit from Genevieve--that I skipped not only my usual Thursday workout but the rest of the housecleaning chores I had on my to-do list for the evening as well. That meant that this morning all I could think about was how much I had to do today. I thought about the fact that I need to get to Target soon, because we're running out of baby sunscreen and bug spray and toilet paper. And I thought about the fact that we're running out of groceries again--funny how that happens, week in and week out! you buy all these groceries, and then they're gone! again!--and how Genevieve desperately needs her first haircut and how I keep having to touch up the paint on that bed I fixed up last weekend because apparently that paint is made out of fairy dust and if you so much as breathe on it, it chips off. And how I don't have any of the weekend meals planned or shopped for even though we having company coming.

And all this made me feel even more tired and unprepared for the day. And a little hopeless, if you must know the truth, because when? When do I get to have an easy day? Just relax? Catch up on sleep, on naps, on movies, on fiction? As a friend of mine said the other day, "If the treadmill never stops and I never have a moment to catch my breath, why exactly is my house still always such a wreck and there are always ten million things left to do?" Indeed.

I woke up feeling like a total hater, because I'm so tired and so behind and so depleted and I keep thinking of people I know who don't really think this job of being a full-time stay-at-home-mom of two children this young is really all that hard. Who have sort of implied that I'm all kinds of drama, with my tired-this and tired-that and poke-my-own-eye-out-with-a-stick. (Of course, I know far more people who know EXACTLY how hard this job is, even if they're not doing it, and who routinely offer me support and compassion for why I'm tired and depleted. But I honestly do know others of a different mind.)

And I kept thinking, if this job isn't that hard, then why am I way more tired and beaten-down at this job, right now, than I ever was during any paid job I've had in the past? Why can I barely find time to wash my hair, if this job doesn't take every last minute from me, and if not every minute, then surely every ounce of energy I might have had for any free minutes, which I now spend comatose? And I also kept thinking: Every single person who has ever implied that I complain too much about my not-THAT-hard job has never a.) had kids as close in age as mine are, AND b.) been home full-time with them for any length of time with no childcare help.

I was not in a good place this morning.

But then two old friends came to visit for half the day, women I used to work with years ago, good friends who still keep in touch and ask about my babies and visit me once a year or so even though I've moved to a different town. And these friends brought presents for my children and a giant homemade lunch complete with a ridiculously indulgent dessert. And these friends talked to me like an adult. They adored my children. They genuinely cared about my SAHM life and how difficult it is. They asked me about it. They both agreed that sitting at a desk with a coffee at hand is a lot easier. They fed me and stocked my fridge with the leftovers.

When they left, I felt a lot better. I realized, everyone needs to be taken care of sometimes.

I'm still tired, and a little hopeless. I'm depressed that I don't have extended family to help with the children, not even one hour a month. I'm jealous of everyone who does. I'm still depleted--"impoverished," a friend of mine calls it. But I feel a little more filled up than I did when I woke up this morning. And for that, I'm grateful.


Mnmom said...

HANG IN THERE! This is the toughest time in your life and don't I know it! Oh, I just have so much to say. Perhaps it would be better to arrange a coffee date with you guys over here or at a park so you can have a break.

Rob Hardy said...

This week basically sucked, didn't it? I found out I need surgery, the painters screwed up on our house, our car needs more repairs...

Well, as my surgeon might say (quoting Vergil): forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit (roughly: "Maybe someday we'll look back at all of this and laugh").

Shan said...

To Rob: strangely. this week was good and bad for me. On the one hand, Julia had preschool summer school---a kind of mini-day-camp experience than ran for four mornings in a row--which gave her something to do at last and freed me up (down?) to have only one child to care for during that time (Yay! Hurray! Blissful heaven!). On the other hand, we were mega-busy (again: good and bad) which resulted in me being very, very tired, and also, Genevieve continued in her quest to be the World's Surliest Baby. As I said to Christopher earlier tonight, "Eh. The week wasn't harder than any other week" and he said, "That's not saying a whole lot." Which: EXACTLY.

To Mnmom: you know me and coffee. If we can find a common time, I'm there. Also: I've gotta chase after your older girls to pin down some July weekend afternoon (unless they have tournaments every weekend?) to re-schedule my little coffee date with my husband. Julia keeps asking about her glamorous teenage babysitters. :)