I was having a text exchange with a friend yesterday about how I tend to write more "negative" posts here because it helps me process my thoughts. Its very much a version of therapy for me. Having the space to not only express my issues, but the additional necessity of articulating them in a way that is understandable to another person, often helps me see my problems more clearly and often identify my own solutions.
In fact, this post began as a "woe is me" litany of all the things making me frantic and overwhelmed right now. Its been feeling like an unusually busy month and I keep waiting for things to calm down.
Then I realized I'd written a similar post this summer. And probably another one a few months before that. In other words, the "extra" in my life may actually be my new normal. I can continue to feel overwhelmed and frantic and count down until I can reclaim my precious margins in my life, or I could work to find some moments of peace amidst the craziness.
One of the worst things I've noticed in the past few weeks is the distance I've been feeling in my marriage. We've both been traveling a few times, and have had to divide and conquer a lot of household projects and kid management, and then I head to bed early and exhausted. We haven't had time to talk or even watch a TV show together in weeks. And since we are both feeling stressed and overwhelmed and not quite clear what all the other person has on their plate, we can't really help, and we find ourselves getting easily annoyed and snippy.
I realize it would have been a good idea to realize this ahead of time and book some date nights into our month. I have a tendency to put that off when we are too busy but in actuality, that is when we need it most. Thankfully we have greatly expanded our arsenal of sitters this month, as we've had "needing to be in two places at one time when only one parent is in town" happen a few times and we've got a few excellent kid-approved neighborhood sitters on the ready.
We also have had some drop-the-ball moments, like the day neither of us made it home early enough for our old dog's poor bladder's liking. We discussed that I would get the kids and whoever "got home first" would take out the dog...which was unwise, as we both got home the exact same time which was clearly too late. With the different evening activities, we need to sit down, calendar in hand, EVERY week and clarify who is doing what, and book dog-walkers as needed.
That same night, I found myself resentfully eating bowls of chips for dinner because we didn't actually have enough leftovers for all of us and I wasn't about to cook at 8:30 pm when the kitchen had already been cleaned (I'm not knocking chips for dinner as a valid option, I just was in the mood for the hot meal I thought I'd be having, thus the "resentfully"). We were completely out of the TJ's frozen meals because we've been resorting to those options a lot lately. We just need to keep them permanently on our shopping list and buy extra so there is always a yummy, no-cook option.
My parents are in town, and I have to head home to walk the dog and bake cupcakes for L's birthday party tomorrow so I better finish up work. I will be back next week, still have a lot to say, positive and negative and in between.