Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Need a Timeout

I pride myself on the fact that I can handle just about anything.

The intricacies of Christmas? No problem.

Mothering Marie through the social politics of preschool while simultaneously mothering Thomas to use words instead of force to communicate his needs? I got it.

Wifing Harrington through the growing pains associated with his new promotion? Check.

The six weeks of festivities otherwise known as Birthday Season with Harrington traveling out of town for work? That’s a bit tricky, but I. Can. Do It.

Until I can’t anymore.

See, I get this total adrenaline high from doing it all. But then a few days later, I feel totally drained and icky. Perhaps it’s withdrawal from the adrenaline.

The more I do, the more I feel compelled to do, which leads me to believe that I really am an adrenaline junkie. Not the jumping out of planes or zip lining kind. But that rush of looking at all that needs to get done and figuring out a way to make it happen kind.

As much as I love it, it doesn’t feel healthy. And to be honest, this season is kicking my ass!

Here are the warning signs:
- Teeth clenching
- Shallow breathing
- Annoyed that someone asked me for food. Again.
- Outraged that The Babes won’t let me enjoy twenty minutes of Matt Lauer on The Today Show as they scream for Disney, Jr.
- Looking at the dust and taking it personal it decided to take up residence on my furniture that I JUST dusted. Last week.

I know what you must be saying: ask for help. No one person can do it all alone.
And I know, I KNOW. You are right. And I do ask for help. For the big stuff.

When I fell apart following Marie’s discharge from her neurosurgeon, I asked for help. A bit later than I should have, but I still did. I also got help for my PMDD. Again, not in a timely fashion, but I did.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to ask someone to take the kids for a few hours to refill my tank so I can, you know, take care of EVERYTHING. It’s hard work being a full time caregiver, housekeeper, event planner, and chef (I use this term loosely because sometimes it’s hot dogs and sometimes it’s whole wheat pasta with steamed broccoli and grape tomatoes with chicken and garlic sautéed in extra virgin olive oil).

I totally hate sounding like a martyr because that looks good on no one. But, sometimes after wearing all those hats in one day, I am too damn tired to do something for me. I am really trying hard to be more definitive in giving myself some time off. An hour here, twenty minutes there. . . trying not feel guilty because the TV’s on and I chose to write a blog post as opposed to orchestrating a craft that incorporates fine motor skills and letter sound recognition and color recognition and experimenting with different textures and whatever else The Babes need.

I think you get my point.

So much pressure being a parent, no? (And now I sound like Yoda. *sigh*)

But seriously, after this birthday season is over, I am sooo going to do something nice for myself, like a massage or pedicure. Or maybe some extended quiet time in a padded room. Whatever. Just something that does not involve organizing or fulfilling someone else’s needs.

So how do you handle it “all?” Are you good at delegating? Do you procrastinate? Do you just not care? If that’s the case, please, teach me.


Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

Oh man, I used to care TONS. I used to do TONS. It always left me feeling very overwhelmed and, I gotta say, it left me feeling really underappreciated. Not that I was doing things for credit, but I really need a thank you once in awhile. I really need to be given "permission" to just kick back and not do anything once in a while. So, one day I decided, enough. I stopped volunteering at my kid's school. I stopped offering to make cupcakes for friend's showers. I felt guilty at first, but it's really the best thing I've ever done. I even cut down my laundry to just two times a week.

Mommy on the Spot said...

Elizabeth, you are my hero. I am going to do that whole permission thing and work through the guilt. Just because "I can" doesn't mean "I should," you know?

Mom et al said...

I hope you got that pedicure, my friend. So many hats, so little time. Just make some time for you. I have decided that the little time you give yourself makes you better when you are busy giving of yourself. We all need that me time. Just do it!

The Empress said...

You are so funny.

Keep on keeping it real with your kids, they need to see this!!

Followed you over from TruthfulMommy.

Just sent you an email {from aschultze}