Monday, August 16, 2010

How To Be Everything

My biggest problem right now is that I'm trying to be everything. I am trying to do all of these things at once: be a good, healthy mom, breastfeed my child, be a good wife, maintain a house, have a dog, be a good employee, have friends (haha - more on this later), be a good family person. Notice I said "good" on most of those things. That's all I'm aiming for at this point. In the past, I would have been aiming for "great" but even writing the word "great" gives me hives at this point.

To say I am stressed would be the understatement of my year.

First off: try to be a good mom. Claire is such a good baby that really, she makes me shine by her own virtue. So, she can't read yet, but hey Claire! Thanks! You make me look good. Between you and me, I know it's really just your easy disposition that makes you a good baby, not necessarily anything I'm doing per se, so thanks. ;) I'll totally let you get a belly button ring when you're 16 or whatever kids are doing in 2026 to pay you back for this.

But sometimes I make tiny fails, and even though it's really not a big deal, I still feel guilty about it. Like, she rarely cries, but when she does, I am not overly eager to pick her up for fear of coddlng her. Then, when I finally do pick her up, I realize she's been crying because she's sitting in a pile of her own shit and her butt is red. Yeah, I'd cry too. Sorry about that, Claire!

I'll segue into my next point: I'm trying to breastfeed exclusively. By that, I mean, she only drinks breastmilk. Sometimes from a bottle, sometimes from me directly. But since I'm a working mom, this means pumping at work. Fine, okay. Not a big deal. But - there's always a but - I'm between jobs right now (within the same company/building) so training has been kicked in high gear (omg never talk about work, I'm getting Dooce hives already) and I can barely afford the time to pump once, let alone twice, and I try to make up for it at night or early in the morning before the birds wake. I'm barely getting by. I was just away from Claire for the first time last weekend and used up all of my freezer stash so I am literally hand to boob at this point. We're supposed to go away for Labor Day weekend (sans baby) so I don't know, I may have to just cut my breastfeeding ties. I don't know why, but I had made a mini-goal to myself that I would try my darnedest to breastfeed exclusively for six months. She turns six months right after Labor Day, so if I were following this goal to a T, I'd have to have enough freezer stash to last me through Labor Day weekend. I just don't know if I can cut it. I can barely give her daycare enough milk to last for the next day, let alone pump extra milk to cover for a weekend away. The stress of everything I'm writing about is probably making me produce less, plus with me pumping less at work (due to no time) I'm also probably producing less. Being that I work in Supply Chain Management, I should understand how this whole Supply/Demand thing works, you would think. I'm so close to making this goal, I feel like I should just do everything I can to try and make it to the end. Then the flip side of me says... this is not important. After all is said and done, does it really matter if I went 5.5 months vs. 6 months? No, not at all. But I always make these goals for myself, and I never follow through. NEVER. Such as, "I'm gonna floss once a day for a week." Fail after 2 days. "I'm going to clean my bathroom once a month." (Yes, I realize this is gross, but this would be a vast improvement over the cleaning schedule (or lack thereof) of the last eight months!) FAIL BIG TIME. Ugh, I'm totally rambling. But, I NEVER do anything I say I'm going to do, and this one thing, this thing that is supposed to be so good for your baby, I wanted to do this, for her, and for myself, to prove that I can follow through if I try hard enough. I think I'm going to fail at it anyway, the goal I mean. I know going 5 months is great, not a lot of people even do that.

I also mentioned that I'm trying to be healthy. I am trying to work out, jog, get in shape, train for a half marathon. Between working, trying (and failing half of the time) to cook dinner for me and Nick, feed Claire, put her to bed, keep a house clean, and get sleep so I am sane for work the next morning, I am barely able to get out for a jog during the week. Now I am finding the only time I can make it out for a jog is on the weekend, which is supposed to be when you do your long jogs. But not doing the shorter jogs during the week is only going to cause me injury, and I'm not actually being healthy, I'm just limping along, trying to reach another goal (finishing a half marathon in October). I wish I could manufacture more hours in the day, but duh, wouldn't everyone want that? Geez, I'm not even original in my gripes.

IF I were to have an extra hour, I better spend it on cleaning the house. HOO BOY. Let's just say... if Nick and I are bitches to each other, there's a 95% chance it's due to a spat about keeping the house clean. Or mainly, my lack thereof, and his picking up my piece of the slack. Or, perhaps, (not saying it's 100% this) it's his PERCEPTION of such a thing. Who knows. All I know is, we better get a maid, and fast. My lack of keeping the kitchen floors clean can ruin my weekend, quite frankly. That's all I will say about that. :\

Let's see, what else am I failing at. OH - friends. Haha. Those. I only have a small handful of close girlfriends, and I don't even know if we're close anymore, honestly. None of them are even close enough that we can meet for dinner on a whim. One is way far away, out of state, and she is so busy with a new, great career, and I am so fake-busy doing/not-doing all of the above mentioned things, that we barely even connect. I keep in touch with some people via email, which is nice, but there is NOTHING that can take place of face-to-face hanging out with friends. I guess what I need is mom friends, local mom-friends. But how do you start from scratch? Especially when you're a working mom. It's not like I can go to playgroups during the day, or those coffeeshop jungle gym cafes, whatever. WHATEVER. I don't even have anything to offer a friend at this point in time, I can't even feed myself breakfast or lunch (I just finished my first "meal" of the day which consisted of a pack of salted peanuts from the vending machine), or get a load of laundry done, or shave my legs. How am I supposed to have friends?! Really!

Then on top of this, I am a wife. Really, this should be #1. But I've put it down further on the list, and I think things suffer because of it. I don't even know what else to say about it. How do you make time for your spouse when you don't even remember to put on deodarant in the morning, or remember to send out that REALLY important email at work that is like the hot-hot-hot thing at work that everyone is relying on?

What else could be piling up at really inopportune times?

  • my car lease is up in one month, meaning we have to shop for a new car
    • I would rather go to the DENTIST than car shop
    • I mean, really, who can say that? doesn't the whole world hate the dentist?
  • my clothes make me feel uber frumpy, so not only do I feel stressed out to the max, but I feel like I look awful in my ill-fitting, poor quality, old and frumpy clothes
  • my sister is about to move in with us, which is GREAT! but I have to clear out the room that she will be in, because it's full of my stuff
    • this is only a minor inconvenience, though - I'm super excited she's moving in for a bit (internship!)
  • I really wish I could talk more about work, as that is about 40% of my stress, but we all read Dooce, and thus we all speak not of where we earn our keep. But damn, forty percent. That's a big chunk of stress.
  • I am the gatekeeper of our finances, and I usually "run the numbers" every 1-2 days. Which is really just me balancing our checkbook and looking ahead to see where the numbers fall. I am backlogged on doing this, because that takes TIME, remember, that elusive thing which I wish I could just slow down, or replicate? The fact that I'm behind on running my numbers makes me feel uneasy.
  • Oh, another gripe on the breastfeeding front? I think I'm getting a clogged milk duct. You're welcome... I know you REALLY wanted to know this information.
So, yeah, the title of this post was "How To Be Everything" but really should be re-titled "How Not To Be Anything" because that's more of what it feels like. Stress stress stress. And look at the time. I have to drop everything at work to go pick up my daughter. While this does stress me out (leaving loose ends at work), it truly is the one highlight of my day... walking into that room, making eye contact with my daughter, and seeing her squeal with excitement of seeing her Mama... it helps to make some of this above nonsense turn to garbage.