Monday, May 18, 2009

How to Get Rid of an Uninvited Guest

* Today is my birthday, but I don't feel much like a birthday girl. I actually cried this morning over nothing. Well, actually I think I am feeling the loss of my job, the financial security that came with it and also a bit of the personal sense of security that comes from the status quo. I am in uncharted territory and I am scared.

On top of that I am at home now and if you know me, you know I am no domestic goddess. Domesticity is a challenge for me. I don't like cleaning and organizing, but that really isn't what upsets me. What upsets me is that I feel like I'm not good at it. Since I've been home I feel like I've failed every day to organize the house, keep things clean, take some pressure off of mrp. I feel like Sisyphus, but instead of pushing the stone up the hill I'm picking up endless crap around the house and not only that but I hate doing it and I suck at it. At least for Sisyphus he might have had an inkling of personal satisfaction from pushing that stone up the mountain!

And to make matters worse, I am worried about losing the one constant thing that is just mine that provides me personal satisfaction among many other things--running. Mrp is getting irritated with babysitting and missing out on things he needs to do or would rather do so I can run. He is now the sole breadwinner with all the burdens, both psychological and actual, that come with it. I fully appreciate that. He is also trying to lay the foundations of our farm business and I appreciate that too. And then from his perspective here I am waiting at the threshold of an improperly cleaned house (holding a very contented baby, in my defense!) itching to get out the door all by myself for a glorious run when he gets home. No how are yous. How was your day? Dinner is on the table. No, it's "hey do you mind watching him for an hour so I can go run?"

And from my perspective it's quite different. It's I've been cooped up giving of myself so completely all day I need some alone time to rest and recharge my mommy/wifey batteries. I need to de-stress and reacquaint myself with myself. I need that one constant thread of myself to hold on to during this time of change. I need to make myself stronger both mentally and physically for me, for mrp and for peanut. I have lost a lot. I don't want to lose running too! It's my hobby, my guilty pleasure, the one perk I want with this job. That's it. I want this one thing for myself, guilt-free. I don't want it at the expense of peanut or my marriage or anything like that of course. If something comes up and I have to miss a run or five, whatever. But I remember my life before running and I am much much much happier and a much better me with it.

Yeah yeah yeah. I am whining. I fully believe and espouse the notion that happiness is made. But, sometimes unhappiness sneakily seeps in through the cracks and suddenly stands there as an uninvited guest. So, I am identifying how the unhappiness snuck up on me and I'm working to shoo him out and seal up the cracks to make it harder to sneak in here next time.

Ahhh. The coffee has kicked in. Peanut is down for his first nap. I have released these feelings and I do feel much better and ready to go make myself a happy birthday girl. Now I just need to forget how old I am!

*A photo from the 10-miler I ran last month.

14 comments:

E-Speed said...

Hey sorry you are feeling down. I am a domestic dunce too so I feel your pain!

Try to have a happy birthday with peanut and enjoy the sunshine!

jsmarslender said...

Happy Birthday!

I'm in my last few weeks of my job and next year I won't return to teaching. I'm expecting to feel like you do now - wanting my own time to be guaranteed. I've talked with Justin about this but won't really know what to expect until we're in the middle of it all.

Are you able to afford a sitter two or three times a week - an hour or two so you can get out and run? When my little siblings were really little, my mom hired a neighbor to watch the kids so she could go for a walk each morning. By herself. : )

Happy birthday again! Enjoy your day!

Clare said...

yup. running with the stroller just isn't the same as getting to do it alone. i'm going to have my husband read your post. i'm still working, but so much of that identity thing is still the same. can you find another mom to trade off babysitting with for an hour a day?? it's free and you'd both get some sanity/time to do what you need to do alone.

jessica said...

I'm right here with ya EVERY birthday, but later I always have a giddy new resolve to create a happy year.

I've also had trouble with basing my personal worth on how the house looks at 5 PM. My first priority is having a great day with my kids, but no one can see the awed look on L's face at the museum earlier, or how content H was sleeping on the lawn in the shade of our big tree. There's just that damn pile of laundry sitting in the chair, "psst, look who didn't do a damn thing today!"

Have a good birthday!

Alyssa mommy said...

Oh no! You cannot have a stressful birthday.
I hope you have a nice day. You two will figure it out. I hope you can keep running!

DC Running Mama said...

Hubby and I have this debate quite frequently...and, to be honest, one of my biggest fears if I were to be a SAHM would be that hubby would no longer be supportive of my running habit. In fact, yesterday hubby was giving me grief about doing my long run because he had a ton of work to do. But, running is a big part of my identity and what I do to keep myself happy. The only thing I can to allay the irritation that running may cause my husband is to remind him that we are a team and make sure he is aware of the trade-offs that I make for him. I have also accepted that at least 2-3 runs a week will involve a treadmill or a jogging stroller and typically have my "off" day during the workaday week. You definitely should see if there are moms around you that could swap babysitting with you.

Happy Birthday! Another year wiser!

Nitsirk said...

I hear ya. I am still on maternity leave and feel like there is no longer any such thing as "me" time. The hub helps a lot when he gets home but while he is giving a bath I get to cook dinner. I am actually looking forward to going back to work since it means a break from house stuff and childcare. I think nursing aggravates everything since I can't be away and miss a feed/pumping. It's hard but hang in there. Remember you need to be able to recharge your own batteries to be a good mom.

Katie Gregory said...

Happy birthday!

Mnowac said...

sending you a birthday hug! i hope you feel less "stressed" soon. i feel like i could have written this entry and G isn't back at work yet. all i do is clean and feed the baby. it's an endless loop. Maybe if I don't go back to work we can at least make a once weekly date (rotates houses) and watch both babies while the other runs an hour??

Chelle said...

I suppose it's inevitable that you're going to have these struggles, but you'd think they could at least hold off on your birthday! On the upside, that's a fab running photo of you :)

Happy 29th!

CJ said...

Awww...sorry you are having a rough time. I agree with the suggestion of looking into finding other moms that you could swap babysitting with. Seems like just an hour or two several times a week would make a big difference.

Hope you were able to cheer up and enjoy your birthday!

Kate said...

When I have a baby, I will try to remember this post. It's like looking into a crystal ball!

The Salty One said...

Thanks everybody! It'll take me some time to work through my little funk, but that just comes with the territory of big life changes. Your birthday wishes helped me get a little happier today, so THANKS!

Quinto Sol said...

Happy belated BD!!!

You, and/or your sister, may be interested in this article:

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-297--13149-0,00.html