Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Adventures of a Part Time Single Mom

My husband takes class two nights a week and on Saturday mornings, which leaves me solo on baby duty a few days a week.  It also means that I'm responsible for making sure dinner gets made for the family while also juggling an often cranky infant.  Then on nights when he doesn't have class, he often has homework, which puts me on infant duty again.  Then he's been going running with a friend one night a week for an hour, which leaves me alone with the baby to make dinner while he's running and then showering afterward.  The thing is, I want him to do all of these things.  I want him to go to class, and I want him to go running, and I understand that class means homework.  I understood the night that he wanted to go work on some projects with a friend after his family had been here all night, leaving me to clean up from the gathering and take care of the baby being put back to bed.  I wanted him to be able to go.  He's been excited to get the ball rolling on his project, and I'm excited to see him looking forward to something.  That said, I'm starting to wear a little thin.

Everything would be fine if she was always an easy baby, but she has a short shelf life for being awake, and she hates to nap, which leads to being pretty cranky in the evening.  It makes it hard to organize making dinner, cleaning up the house, walking the dogs, and making sure she's taken care of.  She needs a bottle at the same time I need to be prepping dinner.  If she doesn't nap, I'm juggling her needs with cooking.  It's not easy.  Lately, she's been getting bored with activities after a bit, so she gets cranky faster and it's frustrating to try to balance it all.  I've been dealing with things all right so far, but now I'm just starting to get tired.  It's easy to get frustrated.  It's easy to get tired.  I am trying to do everything for everyone who needs things from me, but it's not always a simple balancing act.  The other night my husband asked me to add a side dish to dinner and I said yes, because I didn't want to deny him something that he wanted, but at the same time, it wasn't part of my plan and it threw everything off.  It wasn't part of how I'd organized my evening, and I was left with last minute prep while my daughter was screaming her head off.  By the time he got home, I was irritated and annoyed because my plan, which should have worked just fine, was thrown off and now I was listening to a screaming baby when I should have had the time to look after her.

It just leaves me feeling like I keep taking care of everyone, letting them do the things they need to do and making sure they have the things they need, but I'm tired and I wish someone was taking care of me a little.  Most nights I walk in the door after work, start dinner, I'm the last to sit at the table to eat, everyone gets up and goes to do whatever they want and I go straight to doing dishes.  The first time I sit down for to relax is often near 8:00, but it's not really relaxing because I also have baby duty.  I'm not complaining about looking after her.  I love her, I like spending time with her.  I just sometimes wish every night wasn't like that.

Tonight I nearly had a meltdown because I was tired, I'd had a long day, I came home and started to cook while my husband went downstairs to work on some video uploads he wanted to do.  That left me with the baby while trying to cook.  When she started to melt down, he came upstairs and took over, but I felt like he was in the middle of something and I didn't have a right to ask him to come help because if he wanted to be nearby to help with her, he'd have stayed where I didn't have to shout for him to help.  Then, I made dinner and had to immediately get up and feed the baby while my foster daughter just laid on the couch complaining about how tired she was, and my husband went to work cleaning his video camera.  They had cleared their plates from dinner, but I hadn't had time to because the baby as crying for her bottle.  I got up from feeding her, went to put her down for a nap and after she finally was quiet in her bed, I went back downstairs to find that while they had cleared out their own plates, mine just got left on the table for me to take care of in addition to having to wash all of the dishes from cooking dinner.  I wanted to smash the plate.  I wanted to shout "I take care of you guys every day, you couldn't have just cleared my damn plate?!"  I wanted to walk out of the house for the rest of the evening and let everyone else deal with the fussy baby and the dishes, and making sure the diaper bag is packed for the next day, and just spend an evening doing something else somewhere else.  Not running away, necessarily, but taking a little break.  I just wanted to get angry.  Instead, I took a long shower and tried to let it all go.

I think I'm just tired.  I'll be happy when the semester ends.


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