I know in my last post I talked about how I thrive on being pulled in a million different directions, juggling it all, what have you. And, I mean, it's true. I would always choose to feel busy over feeling bored, because being busy gives me the false perception that I'm important. I kind of secretly love when I'm out at Target and my phone is pinging with Important Work Emails! and Texts Requesting Playdates! and Calls From My Husband Asking Me to Do Stuff! I love saying, I have to skip Spin today because I have a conference call, and not just because I'm always looking for a way to weasel out of exercise.
Like most women, I thrive on the notion that I can do it all. When I think about it all--the kid, the house, the husband, the part-time freelance gig, the community theater, the blog, the triathlon, the diet, the t-ball team mom--I can't help but feel a bit jazzed. When my little calendar reminder thing on my phone's home screen tells me that I have five different obligations in one day--well, I feel important and dynamic. (Also I like how my recent life endeavors help me justify the importance of paying all that money each month to have a smartphone, something I think my husband questions.)
It's all good, really. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
BUT ... you knew there was a BUT coming, right? ... BUT, lately I have felt a constant case of low-grade stress tears looming just below the surface.
So, figuring this blog was a better outlet for my feelings than, say, eating (though I did blow my diet hitting the Culver's drive-thru last night), here comes the rant:
I think the main problem is that I probably need more childcare. It's too hard to care for Nathan while I'm trying to meet some work deadline. He does an okay job of playing by himself, but I can never count on him being able to do that, because he really just wants attention a lot of the time. So I park him in front of the TV way too much.
Again, this would be another reason why I wish he still took a nap.
The trouble is, I can't always predict when I'll need childcare. Plus there's the monetary factor: If I can just work and watch him myself, my pay is pure profit.
THEN there's the fact that my main existing source of childcare, preschool, seems to be closed all the time. Last week was spring break, then they went back Monday and Wednesday, and now they have this Friday and next Monday off as some sort of Easter break. Which means that they have another week off, since the next time they have school is next Wednesday.
Now, truthfully, I have never been one to complain about preschool closure. For one thing, it's preschool. It's not a major, important academic endeavor. But also, preschool is kind of a mixed bag for us. I hate having to wake Nathan up to go to school (Lord help us the next 13 years of much-earlier-starting public school), and I hate the constant worry that he'll misbehave at school. I hate how frustrating he is in the transition from school to home. In the end, it's a lot of emotional stress to give in exchange for three hours of childcare.
But this week? This week I need him to go to school.
You know what is supposed to relieve stress like this? Exercise. Except, now I'm stressed out about exercise. Since signing up for this triathlon, exercise went from being something I kind of vaguely suffered through for the greater good of my physical and mental health, to like this dumb major stupid obligation. I try to take the attitude that any exercise you do is better than no exercise at all, but now that I feel that I'm on this exercise deadline, I feel like nothing I can do is going to be good enough.
Oh, and I'm on this !#@$% diet. Actually, that isn't going that badly, minor Culver's-based transactions notwithstanding.
I already feel like I'm going to fail at being the t-ball team parent.
I haven't gotten the kindergarten paperwork ready.
I'm tired of always thinking my kid is America's Worst-Behaved Child. I feel bad for him that I always think that, but then I also feel bad when the bagger at the grocery store says something like, Wow, he's really rambunctious today, except somebody says that like half the time I take him to the store. And I'm tired of reading people who write on Facebook and blogs about how awesomely-behaved their children are at restaurants and grocery stores and how My child would never do that.
I'm tired of my kid's screen obsession. Yes, I did say that I use the TV as a babysitter, so this is probably my fault, but, I mean, come on, throw me a bone here, kid. I hate how he's always trying to bargain for some toy that he can earn with good behavior. I hate how he doesn't ever want to eat, ever, unless it's a doughnut. I hate when other parents talk about how much their kids would prefer fruit to doughnuts. I hate that my kid talks about poop and farts and butts all the time.
Can't he just try to make this easy on me once in awhile?
Mostly I hate how I always focus on the negative when it comes to my parenting. Last night, when Nathan brushed his teeth and sweetly snuggled in to read some bedtime stories, I finally thought, Do I ever focus on these moments? No, I'm more focused on how just 20 minutes ago, he ran around like a loon so I couldn't get him undressed to take a bath. I never think about the times he says, I love you, Mommy, I think about the times he says Poopy-butt, Poop, Fart-Butt.
I spend my time in a constant state of thinking I'm a Bad Mother, even though it occurred to me the other day that I don't even know what I think a Good Mother is. I just know it's not me.
So, that's my rant. Thank you and I'm sorry. I think I feel a little bit better. I feel those low-grade stress tears starting to break through the surface. Which means I've found an outlet, and a better one than Culver's. Once again, blogging trumps french fries. Dammit.