Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the caged bird publishes a post...

before i bore you with all the tedious detritus that is my life...

i should mention that this past weekend, i published two posts on filipina moms blog - "involuntary captivity" and "PSST!!! FREE STUFF!!!"

i also neglected to mention it earlier, but a few weeks ago, i was asked to contribute to another group blog - chingchong.com - "a place to share and discuss the chingchong as well as other stuff about being Asian American". i was very happy and honored to accept their offer. my latest is "ching chong chinaman - the play".

ok, back to my depressing detritus... or maybe i AM depressing detritus... and i have been for a little while...

my depression may been compounded by the record amount of rain we received... or the record heat... or that the paloma is out of school, day camp, ballet classes, yoga classes... or that the porkchop is almost to his terrible twos and not really "talking" (no worries, we've had him evaluated)... and my ceramics classes also came to an end for the summer too... and i hate september... and then, there was that total lunar eclipse which i suspect wreaked havoc on my hormones which were legion o' sybils already....

which in turn, reminded me, that if i were a "normal" sahm who drove a car, my children would be enjoying themselves at one of the gazillion family friendly indoor attractions we have in chicago. but instead they were re-enacting graphic scenes from "lord of the flies" in the playroom... and yes, i saved the cats from a kebab-ish end...

last friday, everything came to a head. words were said, actions were taken. all of which i regret. i regretted them so much that i started to send out a couple of resumes while they napped... i rationalized that no matter what - i never wanted to experience another day like that again. i never wanted to talk to the children the way i'd talked to them. i never wanted to handle them as roughly as i did. the children would be much better off at an all day school/day care. at least there they would never be bored, never be yelled at, possibly rough housed but not by someone who should know better. i felt that working full time in a job i hate would just be another sacrifice i'd make for them. another example of me "taking it for the team".

to say that the house and every being in it was "fitful" would be an understatement. every time one of them cried out, i wanted desperately to cry out in response.

although i've been thinking about getting a job for a while, i haven't been able to get around that "feeling" that it wouldn't "solve" any of our problems. that it would in fact make new ones and make me feel miserable and robotic, doing something that wasn't fulfilling.

to say the least, when i confessed to the thin man he was not happy about me taking actions to pursue such a big decision without consulting him first. and of course, because the whole reason we moved back to chicago from the bay area was so that i could stay home and take care of the kids.

obviously, i wasn't happy either - but i felt that it was the only path open to taking. and after feeling physically, intellectually and emotionally confined - i took a baby step in some direction, any direction.

as i've mentioned before, we cannot move back to the south loop where i'd have most of my mobility/independence back (the rest being taken over by the actual weight of two kids in an early model, used double stroller.) the housing market is in the tank. the house is in good shape - better shape than when we purchased it - that's for sure. but, it's not in any shape to sell really. the thin man's employer just went thru a merger and so, we're all "waiting and seeing" over that issue. even if we did move, there are no guarantees that i'd be happy or that it would be a healthy move for the whole family. blah blah blah - infinity...

but, here we are on wednesday. no call backs from potential employers, the weather has been agreeable and we've notched a few more playdates on our bed rails . and i'm calm and thankful.

i also talked with a dear btdt mom friend and she was so helpful and supportive. she completely blew my job idea out of the water, and although i feel like i'm back at square one, i also feel like i see a little bit clearer now and that the weight i carry is slightly lighter...

there were a few things she said that put things into perspective for me (you probably already thought of this):

* the bad horrible regrettable days don't stop after you get a job (even if it's a job you love) and after the kids spend all day at the best care facility, getting intellectual, academic, creative, emotional, and physical stimulation, eating the best organic food for lunch and snacks and even squeezing a nap in there somewhere. we're human. that's our beastly nature.

* our generation is one of the first generations who is expected to entertain children for 10+ hours a day. in previous generations, they were considered labor or decoration. parents didn't play with them and if/when they did - they didn't do it for 10+ hours a day. our work is NOT cut out for us.

* after experiencing a friday like yours, you are not automatically inducted into the abusive parent hall of fame. you actually love your children deeply and frequently tell them and show them that you love them and you spend time with them in whatever capacity you can, you establish and build the foundation of your relationship almost every minute of almost every day. and when you screw up, you own it. you heartily apologize for your mistakes and missteps and you promise to do better and you move on.

you are however an angry parent. you have this anger because you don't allow yourself to ignore your children for x amt. of hours a day, for weeks at a time to watch tv or talk on the phone or play videogames. you don't allow yourself to needlessly pawn them off on others to care for them while you chill out with other childless people to attend an overpriced lunch everyday. and you don't allow them to run amok among the general toddler public to kick other children in the face or rip toys out of smaller weaker hands, etc... you don't allow yourself any "luxuries" that other parents do. THAT'S why you're angry. as far as i'm concerned, you're allowed a little angry.

well, if you made it this far. thank you for your patience. i didn't want to write about this and bore you, but i just had to get it out... again...

hopefully, i've managed to pull myself out of the latest funk and am just in the process of cleaning the residue off... :)

8 comments:

Rachel said...

I'm sorry you had such a terrible day. I've been there. After I wrote that post the other day, I found that putting it in words helped. I also realized that I just really, really needed a break. Could you maybe find a babysitter for a couple of hours here and there? Or you could park them at a home day care for a little while. I've found that when I have the support I need, I'm able to be much more patient and loving.

Mama's Moon said...

I remember days like these...in fact, it wasn't too long ago that I had one, maybe two days that fell exactly in line with what you've described in your post. But your pal is right, even if you get a job it doesn't guarantee that days like these will disappear. Like you said, it just creates a whole new set of, um, probs. Trust me, I thought that by heading back to work life would magically fall into place - now I'm not only having to deal with kiddy-crap but with other ppl's crap as well! Shoot me in the head for ever saying that I missed Corporate America! Now my whole 'other set of problems' lies with my mother at home whenever she's alone with the kids (as I posted on the FM site).
Which, by the way, was my whole purpose for visiting. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know that I'm not the only one dealing with stuff like that. The village can, indeed, be a maddening place at times!
Chin up, Mamazilla! With the bad come the great!

mama speak said...

I have so been where you are. And you got great advice from a very, very good friend. I work PT, supposedly the best of both worlds, but on my days off I tend to try to fit in the things I wish we had all week to do. I get angry cause it's not fair to them and it's not fair to me.

At work I'm frustrated w/a lousy job and lousy boss. I want to quit, but I still want/need the paycheck, so I'm angry at myself over that.

Lately I've realized that we all need a break, at home or at work. We've been doing stuff like taking a walk around the block. doesn't matter if it's sunny or rainy or whatever, we just walk around the block to burn off some energy and get a change of scenery. We also will sit in our play room w/our girls after dinner & encourage them to "cook" for us. We generally veg during this time, but they feel like we're playing w/them and everyone is getting a little of what they need.

Maybe you could institute an hour each afternoon for "quiet time" have special activities that they do by themselves only during that time & they're really not supposed to NEED you. I know easier said then done, but even if you're just sitting on the couch nearby observing it's still a somewhat break for you. I have a few other suggestions if you want them. email me & I'll send them to you.

no way said...

I just read the link to your post about your friend Andra. It is something I wish you didn't have to post about-it's a horrible thing to happen. My best friend was also killed in a car accident, six years ago. I know how this feels. I have also thought about writing a post to her on her "date," and perhaps I will, inspired by yours. What an honor your was to her.

On a lighter note...I'm surprised we don't know each other. Is that a feed to dlisted I see on right of the screen? My secret addiction...

Darth Goalie of bloggo chicago said...

Well, as you're well aware, I don't have kids, but it's obvious that you do so much for them and not enough for yourself.

I was going to suggest that you sign them up for one of the kids' camps at Lillstreet, then realized that you don't have a car. Is it possible to have someone watch them maybe one day a week so you can go do something for yourself? Like have lunch with me? ;-)

Seriously, Mama, it sounds like you desperately need to do something for you.

Angela said...

The previous commenters all gave great advice, which I have to echo. I hope you can find some way to find time for yourself. You sound like an awesome and caring Mom, please try not to be so hard on yourself, you are doing your best. I'm sending you warm thoughts and a big hug.

Irene said...

Once again you and I share the same brain to which I say that us in Bizaro-World must be having a great time. I am feeling the same burn out that you do and it sounds like Nubbly (http://www.nubblywubbly.com/wp/) feels the same.

I'm sending out what I have left in good thoughts your way. I know things will get better because we try to make things or see things get better.

samokdaddy said...

MamaZ,
Hey, I'm feeling ya. I'm going through some changes right now and walking through some emotion...basically fear. I'm taking on a second job that will wear me down and take me away from the family. We need the extra cash flow now that Goobs is starting preschool. The pay is really good, but I'll also start grad school at the end of October-just one class at a time.

I'm nervous that I'll be stretched too thin and I'll always be exhausted. I talked to a friend, who is a spiritual mentor of mine. He reminded me that it's not forever and it's just today. He also told me that happiness is an "inside job" and that jobs, kids, spouses, and anything else added to my life on the periphery won't change things. It kinda sucked when I heard it again, but it's a truth.

In any case, keep on keepin' on. Know that life is pretty sweet despite the crap that we walk through.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails