Saturday, December 16, 2006

I want to take most of this past week, smash it to bits just like a Prince Rupert Drop, sweep all the insanity and the nastiness and the exhaustion up and start again. The nap I just took is a good beginning, bodes well for the new week on its way. Sigh...

It didn't help that Dan was away on a business trip most of this past week. The only part of his trip that I didn't envy was that it was up in the great white north, in Minneapolis. As most folks who have read my recent blog posts know, temperatures in the freezing range and I do not mix. It turned out that the temps. were in the forties up there, so I couldn't even razz Dan about the cold. Sigh again...

I had to endure calls such as this:

Dan-"Hey, we went in to the Mall of America today! And I rode some rollercoasters that would make your Dad queasy!"
Me-"Oh, honey, I wish I were there with you. I love rollercoasters. I can't remember the last time I was on one."
Dan-"Yeah, I wish you could have come along, too, this trip..."

And another lovely call, coming as I am dropping off into exhausted sleep, shortly after putting the little guy to bed:

Dan-"Hey! Guess where I am?"
Me, in a drowsy stupor- "Hell, I don't know - the Walker Art Museum?"
Dan- "Whoo, good guess! You're right! I'm looking at the TV cello right now."
Me- "Oh, the one by Nam June Paik? Dammit, I really wish I could have come with you!!!!"
Dan- "Yeah, we missed the Walker last time we were in Minneapolis because it was being completely redone. I wish you could be here, too."
Me- "Dammit, dammit..."

One last one, during my teaching hours:

Dan- "Hey, I'm in Ikea. Just wanted to let you know, I found a bunk bed I think the little guy would like...and it's only sixty inches off the ground for the top bunk! Not too high."
Me- "Oh, that's nice, hon. But I'm not too keen on Ikea's kiddie furniture. I think it's not built too well."
Dan- "Well, I'll take down the information on the bed and we'll look it up online."

I'm ashamed to say it, but I even wished I was wandering around Ikea with him. I wanted to eat the Swedish meatballs and lingonberries in the cafeteria with him. All I had on the brain was escape.

But I couldn't do it this past week. I was Mom, responsible, home-bound mom. I had to get the little guy off to school each morning. I had to work my tail off four days this week at the school where I am only contracted to teach two days, all because the Hanukkah pageant costume and background decorations, and the hallway decorations, fell on my shoulders. I had to get the kids to do a lot of it, which they did, but then I had to handle all the rest of the details. I freaked out over having to lead services at my synagogue this past Saturday morning, only to find I wasn't needed for it when I walked in (oh, the relief!!!). And I am just exhausted and cranky. I hate feeling this way.

I now know why some parents run from their obligations. All of this stuff - work, child care, school, preparing meals, taking care of pets, keeping things reasonably tidy- can come to a head all at once and drive one insane. I have essentially been a single parent for this past week, and I feel awful.

Wasn't the so-called "women's movement" supposed to move all of this stuff around for women's benefit? To spread household stuff around fairly evenly between married partners (or whichever partners are involved in a relationship with offspring)? Well, it hasn't worked well at all. And that is the absolute truth.

What happens with me is that I go in and out of minding it and not minding it. That is what I am reduced to. This is what I saw all my life, what I never wanted to have happen to me, and here I am in the thick of it. I wish I could say that there are times when it is all very worth it, but I have real problems seeing that half the time. I get blind with work and pain, and it is hard to see the worth.

I want to see it. I want to be healthy in spirit. There are times, however, when this is a real battle. Plus, I have been taught how wrong it is to say how I really feel, that it doesn't help, that it doesn't get things done. That kind of teaching hasn't completely left me, either.

So it leaves me with telling it to my husband and not being able to effectively communicate it, and having him want to solve all my problems, when all I want him to do is just listen. It's a tad easier to just write about it in a post here, but I risk sounding like a candidate for Oprah or Jerry Springer. I've opted for the posting largely because I just haven't written in a while. But I'm not a big fan overall of being a true confessions type of girl. I'm depressed enough as it is.

I also know a large part of this week's depressive state comes from working and mommyhood all at the same time, minus Dan. Aaaaaaargh. Ouch. Yeeeesh. I don't recommend it for the faint at heart. I will only be crawling through it all because I need to for the benefit of the little guy.

And I would like to see the Walker Art Center before I die. And ride another rollercoaster at an amusement park.


puddlejumper said...

My husband has to work away for days at a time too sometimes so I know just what you mean about feeling like a single parent.

And he does the same, he phones up and says "oh you'd love this place" he means well. At least you know he's thinking of you while he's away.

I find it helps if I can arrange having a friend round for a glass of wine one night or try and get out for lunch or something. Use the long evenings alone to pamper yourself, or read the books you never have time for, or watch chick flicks on DVD.

And go easy on yourself. You can only do what you can do.

Leigh C. said...


I do do my best to keep the sanity somewhat intact when my husband is gone, it's just the tiredness that really got to me this time. I would have done the pampering stuff at night if I could have managed to stay awake! 8-)

And I did get a neat book on the Walker's sculpture garden and a baseball cap proclaiming that the Walker was "Closed Mondays"! I love the souvenirs sometimes.