The Sob Fest

Two days ago I had a sob fest. Ya know, the kind that hits a woman once in a while when every day life becomes so overwhelming and so unfair that the pressure building since the last meltdown finally blows open the gates. The kind that makes your husband want to run for cover until his calm wife who usually handles everything with goddess-like power returns.

Now, before I rant on about my so-called hard life, I must throw in a disclaimer. I work at a non-profit in a town that has its unfair share of drug addicts, homeless people, and teen mothers. I spent most of Thursday morning sorting out coats and snowsuits that were to be given away to those who don't even have the ability to clothe their children (or themselves) adequately for winter's brutal hand. I receive phone calls asking where a mother can get diapers because she doesn't have the $10 to buy a pack. I see children down in our childcare center who are dirty, disheveled, ramen-noodled, and most likely not walking at 18 months due to a mother who drank in her pregnancy.

I, therefore, write this post with the knowledge that I am fortunate, very very fortunate and blessed to even have a house that needs cleaning, to have enough money for the groceries that need buying, and to have the healthy children who can demand food and receive it.

Until 3 months ago, I was leisurely (haha) at home with my children, grocery shopping whenever we ran out of even just one item, putting away laundry while watching Project Runway, and making nutritious meals for when my husband came home. We all sat around the table together and discussed our day. When I had a few hours alone, due to naps and/or preschool, I was either writing or working on my journal instructor certification.

Of course, it wasn't remotely that easy. Life is hard as a stay-at-home mom but I have to say that life as a working mom is HELL.

I have already bemoaned this fact in this post but now I have to add the stresses of work itself. I work 24 hours a week; six hours a day for four days. I do not have enough time to do everything that gets thrown at me in that time. And I can't work overtime; I have to leave at 3:30 on the dot to get my son from daycare and my daughter off the bus. My job is starting to keep me awake at night. Three grants due by the time we close down for two weeks for Christmas... I don't know how I will ever pull it off. I try not to care quite so much, but I don't handle failing so well.

So, that's one part of the sob. Another: Groceries.

Over the summer I devised a wonderful system where I got a healthy menu together for the week and using a pre-printed shopping list I found on the internet, I would get all the ingredients I would need for the whole week. I didn't have to think about food (I hate cooking) and it made my husband happy to be greeted at the door with a steaming hot plate of sauteed tofu (I'm not kidding, I actually converted him!) But those days are gone. There is ZERO time to grocery shop. If you recall my grocery-shopping tale, you'll know why I can no longer shop with my children. And definitely not after school. Little Lady practically falls off the bus and onto the couch with only enough energy left to whine for a snack. And Tater Tot no longer appreciates the fun of sitting high in the front of the cart when he knows the potential of running full-speed through the aisles with mom hot on his tail. He has recently discovered his spoiled brat cry which he only employs in public; the one that goes, "IIIIEEEEEEEEE WAAAAAA CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDYEEEEEEE!'

No, grocery shopping needs to be done on the weekend using the buddy-system (Buddy=Daddy)immediately following a long nap (mine). Which means we frequently run out of meals - not food, meals. There is always a can of something starchy and sodium-filled in the back of the cupboard, but the greens don't hold up quite so well in the back of the fridge. The kids don't care, but I do, and it makes me feel that I am failing in one of my duties - filling my family with nutritious fodder. And so I sobbed about that.

And then there's the never-ending housework. I, who loves a well put-together house, does not appreciate the overflowing baskets of laundry on the chair and the randomly tossed toys that have replaced the perfectly placed, beautifully tasteful antiques. Sob, sob, sob.

And then there's my writing, journalling, and coursework. By the time the kids are finally bathed and ensconced in their beds, I, following my daughter's lead of a few hours earlier, crawl to the couch and whine. It is at this time that I pay the bills, check email, and maybe write this blog. Beyond that I'm useless, completely useless.

By the time Friday rolls around - which I scheduled off from work in order to write and study - my to-do list is longer than the day itself. They are so full of errands, chiropractor appointments, and housework I don't even have a chance to get to my favorite coffee shop for a sip of latte. Major sob.

I'm not even going to mention Christmas. Any woman knows the insanity of Christmas. We know there would not even be Christmas if it was not for us. No pressure.

Finally, I think my body is giving up on me. My back is always stiff, my sinuses are perpetually stuffed, and my lungs are sore. Sob, sob, cough, cough, sob.

This stress is unhealthy and something's gotta give.

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Amity said...

It's always good to have a good sob and a moan to get it all off your chest. Hope you're feeling a bit better today! I don't know how working moms do it.

gmcountrymama said...

I think hubby has to pitch in more? Taking care of shopping, cooking, housework and kids is a two person job, especially if both of you work.
And it is okay to eat something simple now and then for supper.

joanna said...

Problem is, he sometimes works 12 hours himself. He helps where he can, but you know men and multi-tasking...

I do put a lot of pressure on myself.