Friday, November 20, 2015

Balance - Is there such a thing?

Lately I've been struggling with balance.  I have these weird hangups about things.  Like, I love my daughter and I want to spend time with her, but I also am faced with a million other things that need to be done all the time.  I'm not one of those mom's who is like "Oh, the house is a mess but that's just how it is, I'm a mom".  Lately, it's been a lot of "The house is a mess because I just don't have time to get to everything" and that makes me crazy.  But, more than that, it means I spend a lot of time in the evenings trying to make any sort of headway.  That means less time spent with my daughter during her awake hours after work.  That feels crummy.  Leaving dishes dirty, or carpets unvacuumed, or clutter everywhere also feels crummy.  So, I don't know how to balance it.  And as much as I want to play with my daughter while she's awake and then work on things after she goes to bed, I find I have a finite amount of energy and I am just tired.  At some point it just becomes too much.

The tired is another issue that needs dealt with.  I'm starting to worry that it's related to something medical and not just chasing a 10 month old, because no matter how long I sleep, I always wake up feeling like it wasn't enough.  I wear down easily.  I am back to getting semi-regular headaches that last for days.  There are some other things going on as well, so that's going to be addressed in the near future with a doctor, but still....I don't think I'll ever just not be tired.  I feel like I've been tired my whole adult life.

So, I find myself trying to balance chores with baby time.  Saturday mornings are ours.  I wake up with her at 6:30 and I don't do any chores until she goes down for her nap.  She gets her bottle, we play on the floor, we eat some snacks or some breakfast and then she goes down for her nap.  The tv doesn't get turned on.  I try to leave my phone on the counter so it's just me and her, and I hope that makes up for the lack of time during the week.  Thursday nights are also ours.  My husband has class so I don't work on dinner until after she goes to bed because he's not home until late.  So, I feed her something quick and easy for dinner and then do a quick pick up of the house and vacuum really fast, then the rest of the night is with her.  It's very nice, actually.  Sometimes I wish I could spend all nights just hanging out with her and eating dinner really late, but that's not the reality of things.  But, it's at least two nights that she gets some solid mommy time.

I have an issue balancing my needs with her needs, though.  I still haven't figured that one out.  When we're not working, my husband and I have her pretty much 100% of the time.  I take her grocery shopping, or out to run errands.  If I need to run errands that would be faster and easier without her, I wait until she goes down for her nap and leave her sleeping while my husband works on homework.  That's about the only "me time" I get.  A stolen hour here or there.  Sometimes I do just want to have an afternoon to go to a movie or to get lunch without having to tote a baby along.  But the thing is, I don't feel like I have a right to get that.  I feel like I can't complain that I don't get enough time with her during the week and then dump her with a sitter on weekends.  That seems wrong.  The one time we've gone out to a friend's house lately without her, we put her to bed before we left so someone just had to sit at the house and make sure it didn't burn down.  I feel like not spending time with her when I have the opportunity would make me some sort of hypocrite.  Sometimes I wouldn't mind the break, though.  Sometimes it would be nice to just have quiet, and to not worry about whether I brought enough snacks to keep her happy etc.

And maybe that's part of this constant tired feeling.  Maybe I just don't pull myself away enough.  I know it's not a "fun" thing, but my husband gets several hours every Thursday night when he's in class that he doesn't have to think about her or chase her.  He just gets to handle himself and this one thing he has to focus on, and sometimes I wonder if that's a little bit nice.  That even though it's work, it might still feel like a break.  I don't know.

Yesterday I cried, because I feel like the last couple of weeks I've been having a really hard time.  I feel too tired, everything seems like too much work, I can't force myself to really care about anything I should be caring about, and it's just such an out of character way for me to feel.  It's not me.  And I worry that I'm losing some sense of me.  But, I cried.  After bottling everything up for weeks, I broke down and cried to my husband and then apologized for crying because I don't feel like I have a right to be having a hard time.  I feel like it makes me selfish.

So, here I am, wondering if balance is really a thing people achieve, or just some sort of unattainable mystery we all delude ourselves into thinking exists.


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