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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

WARNING: Crazy, Long Winded, Ranting Woman Ahead

Is it wrong of me to just want to drop everything, get my jacket, my keys and without telling anyone where I'm going just walk out the door? Not run, just walk. Then get into my car and drive to wherever and take out my notebook or the book I'm reading at the moment and sit in the silence. Then when I'm done I could go wherever I wanted to for dinner; I wouldn't have to prepare a meal for anyone else and I could eat without interruption. Then I could find a nice hotel with a big queen size bed and I'd get in between the covers and curl up until I was warm and then I could stretch each limb as far as it will go. And I could fall asleep, alone, and dream uninterrupted and sleep until noon (if I wished) and I could wake up and start all over again.

Not very Mommy-like I guess.

And let's just be honest: I would miss my three boys. I wouldn't be able to not know what's going on with them. I wouldn't be able to go without the hugs and kisses, the knock knock jokes, a light peck from my husband's lips before he goes to work. I love my family with all my heart and wouldn't be able to stand prolonged separation, but it's not really them I have a beef with today. It's the routine of everything. It's the mundane details of everyday life. It's the constant laundry (in particular) list of chores that we must do daily just to get by. Not only is this monotony not inspiring, sometimes it is suffocating and my heart pounds almost out of my chest in protest as the anger builds up inside that I have needs that aren't being met, that I have dreams and desires that are being put aside so I can be a wife and a mother and a housewife and a worker ant - so instead of taking the necessary time to just be me, I am stuck to march in line and do what I'm told just like all the other ants.

I guess what set me off today was the unending list of things "to do." I work five days a week, like many of you do, and today happens to be one of my days off. I got up this morning and after a truly fulfilling cuddle session with my older son the day was forced to begin. I showered and got dressed while my husband dressed the boys. I took my older son to preschool and my husband took our younger son to his grandpa's house so that I could go on a job interview after the drop-off at preschool.

So I went to the interview, I picked up my younger son and then we both went and got my older son from school. And when I opened the door at home it started - that overwhelming feeling of having to climb a mountain without water or shoes and, oh yes, it's raining all the way up. There were still half-eaten bowls of cereal sitting out on the kids' table with half-filled cups of milk to go along with. There were pajamas on the couch, jackets strewn on the recliner and a rather large assortment of toys spread over the floor from one end of the living room out into the kitchen.

And of course, my boys wanted lunch immediately and when I say immediately I mean five minutes ago. So I got lunch going, I picked up the breakfast leftovers and when I went to drop them in the sink I was greeted with an entire sink full of similar, dirty dishes. Now, I will have to give my husband credit here and say that usually he is the one who does the bulk of washing the dishes (we don't have a dishwasher and when I speak of buying a house I joke quite seriously that my only requirement is a dishwasher or the space to put one in!). But he didn't get to it this morning, which is usually fine, but wasn't fine this particular afternoon because I am in a mood.

Add to the dirty dishes, two more loads of laundry sitting by the washer waiting to be done and this after I did two or three loads yesterday (or was it the day before?) and I'm about to flip out. Our laundry baskets are bottomless pits and just when you think you have the beast under control someone has an accident, workout clothes and towels get added to the mix and you're back at square one with two full loads awaiting your attention.

So I begin to plan out how my afternoon should go - Lunch, laundry, dishes, put clothes away from previous days' laundry which are currently sitting folded on top of my bureau or on my bed or laying in a pile next to the bed and then I see them - CRUMBS!

There are crumbs on the kitchen island from my husband making his lunch, there are crumbs in the pantry under the griddle from yesterday's grilled cheese sandwich preparation, there are salt grains all over the table, there are crumbs under the boys' table from breakfast and now lunch, cookie crumbs in front of the TV - AAARRRGGGHHH! I hate crumbs! It's just a thing I have and I didn't notice them last night (maybe I was too tired or in denial) and I didn't notice them this morning, but now I can't stop looking at them and they seem to be taking over my house!

So I immediately put the game plan aside and get the broom and the vacuum and a washcloth to wipe down every flat surface I can find . . . and 20 minutes later when I'm done, I go back to my list. (I may in fact need medication for these sudden compulsions.) But as I start thinking about what else I have to do today I get angry. I get angry like a teenager who doesn't like being told what to do. I want time to myself. I want to do some writing, some reading, some web surfing - I want to do whatever I want to do! Then my mommy voice takes over and I tell myself that there will be time for that later. The washer is calling and I just stepped on a transformer that I swear just broke a bone in my foot - it's time to answer the call of Responsibility.

But I don't want, too!!!! I need to be swept away again. I need to be taken care of instead of taking care of others. I need to be the one who gets to enjoy a day of fun instead of being the one who had to plan it and make sure it goes smoothly. I need my husband to plan a weekend for us to go away for our anniversary. I need time to be selfish - to demand quiet and to be left to write regardless of what problems are raging behind my computer chair. I need a vacation from reality and I don't mean at the beach with the kids in tow because that's a chore in and of itself!

I want some excitement. I want some good conversation. I want to drink a few too many beers and not have to get up early the next morning. I want time alone with my husband and I want him to be interested in spending time alone with me without the TV or car magazines or the internet. I want him to do something to try and impress me again. I don't want comfort, I want spontaneity, I want romance, I want a back rub . . .

High maintenance, I know.

But I just want something different for a little while. I feel like I'm drowning in the everyday except for those precious moments - like when my older son tells me I look beautiful or my younger son runs to me when I walk in the door yelling "Mommy! I missed you!" or when my husband wraps me up in his arms and spoons me at night to keep me warm - in those moments I can take another quick breath, but something pushes my head right back under until the next, long awaited, gasp.

Selfish, whiny, unrealistic, immature - Call it What You Want (Never one of my favorite NKOTB songs, but brings a smile to my face regardless.) I guess it's the stagnancy I'm reeling against; that while my children are growing and the laundry pile grows and shrinks like the peaks and valleys on a lie detector printout and we go to work everyday and face different challenges - everyday is different, but everyday is the same. I'm feeling a need to break it up. I just wish I knew how.

P.S. I skipped the dishes and wrote this instead :)

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At 9/13/2006 04:10:00 PM, Blogger cherylann said...

hey... i go on strike. but wouldn't it be nice if we could meet in the middle somewhere for a night of margaritas and reminiscing. no kids. no husbands. just a weekend girl getaway. it doesn't mean we love what we have any less, but sometimes we need a break. nothing wrong with that. *hugs*

At 9/14/2006 04:09:00 PM, Blogger Linus said...

Meet in the middle, huh? Not sure, but I don't really think the Midwest is known for its vacation destination status :)
Although there's always Chicago - which I have been to once and loved. We should start saving up ... I could use a good margarita or better yet, a daquiri. Foo foo girlie drinks all around!

*hugs* back to you :)

At 9/14/2006 07:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit I am not a mommy yet, but I can understand where you are coming from. I clean up around here all the time, work both my jobs and clean up after Nick (who when it comes to that stuff is 25 going on 3). I can only imagine what it is like for you mommys. I will have to take the boys for you again, so you can at least have an afternoon or whatever to yourself. Cause as you know I love spending time with those boys!!!! You will also have to maybe spend a Friday night out with Me and Shorty and we can go get some drinks :)
Love your little sister Kelly Leigh

At 9/15/2006 07:34:00 AM, Blogger MuseinMeltdown said...

"Cooking and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow - babies grow up I have learned to my sorrow.
Quiet down cobwebs, dush go to sleep, I am rocking my babies and babies don't keep."

The same applies to creativity. Drowned and stifled by To Do lists, the habit to think dies, and then we end up on anti-depressives and spending money on life coaches.

My advice - buy more crockery, and take time out for something nice in every single day. But hey, I don't take my advice, so why should anyone else !!

Seriously. Just sit down and look at the bigger picture, and work out what you have done in the last week, not what is still in front - at least you then you will retrieve some sort of sense of self-satisfaction.

Hugs my friend, hugs... Shani

At 9/15/2006 07:35:00 AM, Blogger MuseinMeltdown said...

I have done the strike thing too.. but unfortunately it is still all there...


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