Can I be allowed to whine?
I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted, and yet I know there are moms out there living my current lifestyle all the time, and I don't know how you do it. You see, all of us in our house are the type who don't like to be overscheduled. Anna can only handle one or at the most two extra activities or she loses steam. Ethan melts down when he's rushed places all of the time. Dan starts to grumble about being "overbooked" when we run from one activity to the next all weekend. And if I don't have quiet time in the morning, and a slot of time during the day to putter and try to get my house together, I feel parts of my sanity slowly chipping away. We are not the family running from home to school and work to activities and sitting down at 8pm to eat. Or when we are, all of us start to get very grumpy.
However, all of us have been asked to adjust a bit, with starting a business. For the past two months I've found myself in some ways out of my comfort zone and in other ways back in it. I've been working my old job, the one I had before leaving to stay home with Anna when she was a year old. Ironically, I've been filling in for someone else on maternity leave before having my own baby. I know the ropes. It's gone pretty well. I enjoy the people I work with.
I am not used to this. I now know why a little part of me always knew that I would not be a full-time working mom (unless I absolutely had to). I'm not really cut out for this.
Thanks to years of semi-insomnia, I tend to wake up every morning by 5-ish, no matter how late I want to sleep. By 8:20 I'm out of the house, bringing Ethan to school and rushing up to work. I leave just in time to get him from school and come home. Then with Dan working so much at the business right now, I'm on duty with the kids most nights until around 7:30-8pm. Saturdays are a mad dash to get laundry, grocery shopping and other chores done while Dan works all day. Sundays are a little better but not a break. Throw in the work I attempt to do from home for either my current job or marketing for our own business, and there's not much downtime. And now leaves have fallen in our backyard -- the bane of our existence each autumn. There are so many leaves, we can't ignore them. I've raked so many leaves this weekend that when I lay down to bed last night I literally saw leaves and rakes and piles.
I know...whine, whine, whine. This is life. I am trying to stress less and be more positive. And so, in the midst of all of this, I've realized something:
Life is so crazy right now, having a baby will probably feel like a break.
Okay, maybe I'm delusional. But I know one thing - having baby #3 will be a break from expectations.
Here's the way I see it, and forgive the gross generalization. It seems to me that many people who decide to stop at one or two children are the more orderly, organized types. The ones who know what they can handle and know when they're over their heads. These are people who talk about not wanting to be "outnumbered" by their kids. These are people who would like to maintain some sense of composure and control in their lives, to still be able to afford family vacations or still be able to get out of the house relatively easily.
I know, I was one of them. So was Dan. I find it almost laughable that we've chosen a route in which everything is now completely out of our control. This can be terrifying, or I suppose it can be refreshing. I've heard numbers of people say, "The third kid is what really threw us. I gave up trying to keep it together."
Well, I've felt that way for three months, so this is good preparation. Thank you, baby girl, for relieving some pressure. By that I mean:
1. When I have baby #3, I can better excuse the messiness of my house, because hey, everyone says they threw in the towel on really being organized after the third one.
2. When I have baby #3, at least my semi-insomnia will be worthwhile. I can nurse the baby rather than lying awake thinking of all the things I have to do. And I won't even feel tired because I'm already used to feeling tired. Woo-hoo!
3. When I have baby #3, I can feel better about the trash in my car, the forms I lose, and my lack of involvement on the PTO. The newborn excuse is better than the I just can't juggle a million things at once excuse. I am so far from SuperMom, it's not even funny.
4. When I have baby #3, I will be back at home instead of running around everywhere. I can justifiably hunker down for awhile. And that sounds, really, really nice, even if it involves diaper changes and spit-up.
Don't get me wrong. I like my job. And I'm really excited about us starting a business. I'm not the only one making sacrifices. Dan hasn't taken a full day off in four months.
It's just a really crazy time. And the holidays are coming. Yea! Seriously, that wasn't just sarcasm through gritted teeth. What's a little more hustle and bustle? I've done a lot of Christmas shopping already. Now I just have to find where I put the presents. And figure out a Christmas card...and think about teacher gifts...and...
- Philippians 4:13