Thursday, August 18, 2011

stretched thin

i often get the comment, "Oh my goodness! How do you do it all?! You're like...supermom!"

this is usually after i've presented the hostess with a plate of cookies or a loaf of bread.

i reply with a brilliant tired smile & declare, "I don't even know!"
and it's true. i have no idea how i get things done.

people, i. am. tired. so very tired 75% of the time.

i work full time. i have kids. i have a husband. i have friends & family. i have things to cook & cakes to bake. i have promises to keep. i have to clean the house. i have to do laundry & clean up after animals. and somewhere in there i have to sleep- but only a little.

and recently i've added on taking pictures of people. other people. other people who may or may not be aware of all of the things i have going on, but it doesn't matter because if i want to legitimize myself as a photographer then i need to get pictures edited. like now- not 2 weeks from now.

sometimes i collapse on the couch & exclaim to the husband- "oh my God. i'm so TIRED!"

and then i pop up because the timer on the stove goes off & i need to check cupcakes.
then i sit back down. then i get back up because brynn is crying. then i intend to go sit back down but i hear the dryer bell go off & i know that if i don't fold those clothes right now then i'm never going to.

so i fold the clothing. by then the cupcakes are cool & they have to be frosted. but look at the clock- it's 8:30. son of a...whatever.
i frost them. it's 9. wait- the load in the washer is done- into the dryer.
crap- i need to defrost breastmilk & fill brynn's bottles. oh yes- and alex's "juice" & milk cups.
i should also cook that hamburger for tomorrow's dinner.
it's 9:30. hmm- i really need to edit a few more pictures for a client.
ok- i'll edit like 2 or 3 & call it a night.

i look up with glazed over Photoshop eyes- 10:30. crap again. the dryer is done- but that's ok. i'll pull the clothes out & thank GOD KB will fold them tomorrow...i have time to edit 1 more picture.

11:15. i have to be up in 6 hours. i should go to bed. the husband is already in bed.
i turn off lights & notice that the milk is now de-thawed. i REALLY need to get those bottles filled & into the fridge. and look at that- dishes on the counter. i should wash them now so i don't have to do them in the morning...

11:45. bottles filled. cups filled. dishes washed. lunches ready for tomorrow. living room picked up. clothes sitting in the laundry basket. computer on Sleep. doors locked. my clothes set out. teeth brushed. face washed. sleeping children checked on. bed? yes.

12:30. i fall asleep thinking about all the crap i have to do tomorrow. and the next day. and lets not even think about this weekend.

damnit.
the husband always tells me i need to "sit down & relax."
this actually annoys me because it's usually when i'm doing something that doesn't have the option to not get finished.

laundry. lunches. dinner. bathing the girls. etc etc.
i get snippy & say, "well if i don't do it who will? you?"

he usually rolls his eyes & tells me that i like "being busy." this is partially true. i can't sit still for too long. but it's not because i dislike relaxing- it's because stuff HAS to get done.
i know some people say, "welp- there's always tomorrow!" and this is very true, but tomorrow also brings more things that need to be done. & coupled with yesterday's stuff that i never got to- well, geeze.

at times he has a point. like on a sunday evening i'll actually have nothing else left to do & it's only 7. wow. so what do i do? i put in a batch of cookies.
wtf?! why wouldn't i just sit down on the couch instead?

well, i'm not sure. except maybe that i bake those cookies because that's for ME! i love to bake. it relaxes me. cracking eggs & creaming butter. sifting flour & pouring in vanilla. ahhh. nice.

but 2 cookie sheets later i'm over it. i just want to be done already- but i'm commited. cookie dough isn't going to go to waste on my watch.

despite all of the above- i feel like i do a ok job balancing.

if i'm folding clothes & brynn crawls up my leg & reaches to be held, i put down the socks & scoop her up. she's more important.
and if i'm on the computer & alex is watching a movie (after brynn has gone to bed) & i hear her say "mamma. sit! sit wif me!"- i immediately get up & go sit with her. wether it be for 5 minutes or an hour- doesn't matter. she comes first.

the only thing i really sacrifice is time for myself.
and sleep.
4-5 hours per night = typical.
i'm not one who needs her 8 hours. i function fine on less. i also don't need a coffee or a shower to wake me up.
once i step out of bed- i'm awake.
and my body has an internal alarm clock- so even on the rare weekend day where brynn sleeps in- i'm still up at 6.
my eyes open despite my weary body's protests & i simply cannot re-close them. it's time to get this day started.

lately i've been stressing slightly. i have a lot to do within the next few weeks.
wedding cupcakes to make. a 2 year old's birthday party to plan. photo shoots. a full weekend without the husband (as he'll be off doing his own thing)- then the entire next week off as i prepare to go to NY for a dear friend's wedding & fret about leaving the girls for 3 days.
then back home. more photoshoots. more editing. work. blah blah blah.

but i can do it. right? and on only 3 hours sleep. i'll survive.

and as busy as i am i have to admit that i love almost everything i have to do.
i love taking pictures (though i dislike editing. i so need to hire someone to do that for me.)
i love cooking & baking.
i love seeing people's eyes light up when i deliver a cake.
i love hearing people tell me how good something tastes.
i love the finished product of a party planned for weeks.

those things make me happy. and i can get them all done- because i guess i sort of am a supermom. like every other mom. and dad.

but a week's vacation in the tropics sounds pretty good too. i'd be down with that.

so- are you busy? wicked busy? how do you do it? do you feel like you're doing too much? how to you unwind & how do you balance it all? what do you do for yourself?
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18 comments:

Jessica@The Southern Belle Baby said...

I can relate to nearly every word of this post. I feel like I'm running on empty the majority of the time. I'm actually considering taking a 20% paycut and not working on Fridays anymore for the simple reason that THERE ISN'T ENOUGH TIME. I think moms, in general, tend to run around crazy, but we have to force ourselves to take a time out for "me" time or we'll crack.

Beth Anne said...

umm...yes. Just...YES. To this entire post.

I don't know. My "me time" is definitely my blog, but even that can come with duties that feel like obligations. Responding to email. Free-lance work. Deadlines. Reviews. I love it, but sometimes in the back of my mind it needles that once again, "my" thing has turned into something bigger for the entire family.

Or when we have out-of-town guests & some how, I'm supposed to work a full week, get dinner on the table, do the laundry & clean the house before the guests arrive so that I can spend time with them, bake my husband's birthday cake, take Harry to a playdate, clean up after guests leave...yep, all of that. sigh.

Desi said...

I am so guilty of leaving my laundry in the dryer for days....well the dryer gets turned on a few times and I tell myself I"m going to get it "next" time, which turns into days.

Also, my sister used to edit pictures for a guy when she was in college. He worked by himself and she got paid an hourly rate. That might be something to look into...a student looking for some experience and something to put on a resume!

Ryan V. said...

you ARE superwoman. dang! I used to be extremely busy when I was in grad school, student teaching, working where I lived (on campus), and wedding planning for myself. I am someone who needs quite a bit of sleep, like 7-8 hours! But, I did function on 5-6 hours when I was so busy that year. I actually felt like a got a lot accomplished each day. Now I'm a stay at home wife (because I can't find a dang teaching job) and I don't have school anymore. So I have lots of free time but still find myself not getting much done. I make a list of cleaning to do each day and get like 2 things done. Anyway, all to say, I feel better and get more done when I'm super busy! I guess that's how it all gets done!

Meg said...

wow...I really love your blog. You speak so honestly & I relate to it so often. I don't have 2 kids, but I work full time & try to balance a million things, and I do have #2 on the way. I totally relate. Thank you for posting! If anything, it just helps me feel less "crazy" and more "normal" because yes, I'm overworked & over tired, and yes it's probably partly my fault...but who else is gonna do it?

KB said...

...and when time has been stretched as far as it will go and there is no more, KB will also defrost milk/baby food for the next day, fill bottles/cups each morning, unload the dishwasher (at least 3 days out of the week, that is). :)

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Yes you are a supermom! I also work full time, have a 2 year old and one on the way... but, I am MUCH more of a slacker than you! I totally need my time after Leila goes to sleep to plop my ass on the couch and do NOTHING. And then I need to follow that up with at least 8 hours of sleep. Soooooooo, my house is probably much messier than yours and I totally don't cook - at all! Poor hubby. Can I have some of your super powers please?

MarMat said...

Yes, I do think you are a supermom. You are an inspiration for me. For real.
I'm much more a procastinator. I do need more sleep, like 6 is the least I can do to function properly.
Thank God my girl (only one) goes to DC 5 days a week and I don't worry about her food.
My relaxation time is pinterest, well I need to get back on the crafty thing.. I've been reading a lot for work, so that has taken my time. I love the weekends and when we spent time together as a family. I'm blessed with a husband who doesn't care much about the house or meals (he can buy and bring some).

Sarah-Anne said...

you are my hero, T. for serious. :)

Ana B said...

That's crazy! But I can relate... There is never a single moment when everything is 'done'. I can't function on little sleep though, I need my 8-9 hours especially being pregnant. But I have insomnia and wake up every night now and stay up for an hour or two and then go back to bed and sleep through morning with my toddler. As I'm typing this my kitchen is a huge mess and bread is in the breadmaker! So ciao! Off to clean up and pack lunches for a zoo trip tomorrow morning!

Laura MolSteck said...

As others have said, wow,....you are superwoman/supermom!! I understand the running on empty,...because I feel like this 95% of the time,..because,....there is no time!!

Between my son, my husband and my job,...it is so tough to juggle. It sounds like you do a wonderful job taking care of it all!

I am so jealous you can run on 5 hours of sleep,....i need my 8 hours (or more) really badly....and when I don't get it, I don't function!! Hmmm....doing something for myself. Honestly do not know when I last did something just for myself...maybe in a few years!! Great post!!

Mel said...

You write:

i get snippy & say, "well if i don't do it who will? you?"

Why not him? It sounds like you have a lot on your plate.

Peeper said...

Oh, mama. Sounds like we lead the same life. Sometimes I get home from work and don't even take off my shoes until I crawl into bed. Seeing it written down this way? No wonder we're tired!

are you busy? wicked busy?

yes and yes. My job is a very active one that doesn't leave me much, if any, time at my desk for personal matters. This is why you never see me on the message board(s) anymore. No time...and I'm not just saying that.

how do you do it?

Caffeine.

do you feel like you're doing too much?

yes. DH disagrees that having someone do the floors and bathrooms once or twice a month - that "we" can handle it. Yeah, babe. I totally got this, don't worry....read your newspaper....

how to you unwind & how do you balance it all? what do you do for yourself?

I drink more wine than I'd like but since I can't find the opportunity to run (Oh, believe me - I've tried everything)...Once every couple of months I have the nanny come for the afternoon so I can get waxed, haircut, nails - it's like a spa relay race.

Jess said...

Honestly, I don't know how you do it. I'm NOT working, and I only have one baby (but he's about as difficult right now as three toddlers...) and I am SO INCREDIBLY EXHAUSTED. ALL THE TIME! We're thinking about TTC #2 but every other day I change my mind, because I honestly can't imagine juggling TWO right now. Seriously. Elliot is a super clingy, demanding, high energy, wild child. If #2 turned out the same, and he hadn't sorted himself out a bit yet, I'd probably pull all of my hair out.
To relax, I light candles. Take long hot showers (because that's about the only time I get a break during the day, lol), and demand foot massages from my husband. I highly recommend the last one ;)

t.bird said...

grcias ladies- it's nice to see that i'm not the only one who has a bit much on her plate.
but as my mother always said- clean your plate! ...what?

no idea. ha!

KB- sweet, because i may or may not have done 3 loads of laundry this weekend...and not folded any of it. ha!

Diana @Hormonal Imbalances said...

I don't know. I am exhausted just thinking about all you do. And I feel guilty because today I had nothing (again) and I am bored out of my mind and actually kinda wished I could go back to work just to dress up and get out of the house.

But now I'm rethinking all that. And? You are amazing.

Carol said...

Wow. You busy. I work 30 hours a week, I can barely get it all done. I thought when the oldest trotted off to Kindergarten that things would get easier. I'd be there to drop her off and pick her up, well that happened last Monday and my reality check is that now I am even busier. Two schools to go to, lunches to make, homework to help with, etc...it's madness. Anyway - I don't know how you do it, but at least it is getting done! This is why moms are heros :)

Mitzi G. said...

I feel you on this whole post; I stay home with the boys so the "job" part is different but there is ALWAYS something that has to be done. Sleep is what you make of it & the days are too. I try to live each day by saying "it is what you make it to be"; if you get up pissed because you are tired you should just go back to bed because your going to be a cranky butt all damn day.........suck it up smile & get what needs to be done done!!

Life is always going to be crazy busy (in my opinion) so enjoy it & worry about sleeping later!!