Monday, April 27, 2009

Acceleration

When my children were smaller (and they are still so small, it feels weird to say that), I had more time somehow.

I remember the relentlessness of the newborn schedule, the sleeplessness and the constant need, but somehow room to think was built in to the routine.

[As long as I had a little sleep.]

I find it difficult to think at all lately.

I'm back at work, more or less full time.

The children are involved in different activities, they have different friends and this summer they will, for the first time, attend two different programs.

Soon I will drop them off at two different locations each morning -- and the locations will change from week to week.

Things fall apart.

I have been to the grocery store every single day for the last 10 days.

It's as if the salsa-to chip-ratio problem (also pervasive in the hot-dog-to-bun sphere) has infected my entire grocery list.

I can no longer get the shopping right in a single, weekly trip like a normal, well adjusted Woman of the House.

[Oh, my failure as the Woman of the House!]

On Saturday morning in a fit of household management vertigo, I engaged the kids in a massive calendar making activity, mapping out the diagram of our summer.

It didn't make me feel in any greater command of the details, but we did use crayons!

Sigh.

Every night when K and I crash land in our bed (far too late), we talk like any couple, about the day, the children, our incessant need for another carton of eggs, coffee, string cheese...

"I don't know what I think or feel about anything," I lamented.
"I am like a computer processing unit," K replied. "I take in information, synthesize it and spit it back out all day long."
"We're almost out of eggs."
"I forgot to pay the daycare tuition."
"Well, goodnight."
"Goodnight."
[The bodies are set to hibernate for six hours, then rise irritatingly early and begin again.]

What was that Socrates said about the unexamined life?

22 comments:

Sayre said...

It gets worse, but I hear that somewhere in the early teens, you start getting your time back. They are busy - but busy without you and in fact, regard your very existance as a hindrance. As hard as it is now, enjoy it. These days won't last forever.

furiousBall said...

I don't remember So-Crates saying anything about the unexamined life in Bill and Ted's

Bea said...

There was a time when you could actually limit grocery-shopping trips to once a week? For us, it's once a day. And I am at peace with that.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Who can remember?

Kyla said...

You're preaching to the choir.

The Sour Kraut said...

I have felt that way since we first had children.

Sayre is right, at some point -- earlier than you would expect :( -- your kids will not need so much of your time. I'm experiencing that right now and I'm so, so sad. Remember to live in the moment because it passes so quickly.

Also, Peapod helps. I started doing a weekly lunch and dinner menu and ordering from them once a week. It's cheaper and much more efficient.

Good luck.

3carnations said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who grocery shops every day. Normally hubby tells me something else we need as I am unpacking the bag.

Jenn said...

If someday I could be rewarded with what I have spent in string cheese....

It's worth living, right? All of it..and someday, we'll miss this crap. (At least that's what I've been told.)

Hang tight...thinking of you and with you in so many ways.

Jenn

Mimi said...

Oh lordy. Me too. Why does everything have to be so hard? Or not hard so much as *busy* and *irritating*? Why?

And what is up with the hotdog to bun ratio? That's designed to make me insane. Do I just buy six packages of eight buns and eight packages of six veggie dogs, freeze everything, and glow with accomplishment? Oh wait. My freezer is not that big.

liliannattel said...

Oh I sympathize. Sometimes I feel guilty for taking the easy way out. If the activity isn't close, we don't do it. If it involves too much ferrying around, we don't do it. The downside is that there are some interesting programs my children have missed out on (not that they've clamoured for any). The upside is that we have more hanging out time together, and there is only occasionally that frantic omg exhausted feeling you described so well.

HW said...

Each phase is difficult.
Each phase is tiring.
Each phase is magical.

The teen years do allow us a little more freedom. I spend a lot of time on bleachers now, a lot of time "checking in" and a lot of time worrying.

I don't know if it's because we're getting old but we seem so much more tired now than when our kids were little.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I feel your pain, as I am going through this exact same thing right now.

deb said...

It's hard this time, this time of small children and busy schedules. It pushes you to your limits. But it will pass and you'll look back and think "what happened?". Enjoy and know that it will end.

Anonymous said...

Ha! This must be why they say folks in their 50s and 60s are happier than those in their 30s and 40s! Neener Neener Neener -- Aunt Nancy

Anonymous said...

And we don't care what people think of us when we wear fuzzy socks with our Keen sandals! -- Aunt Nancy

Minnie said...

It slows down one day, and they have a driver's license, and you send them to the store for you and then two minutes after they leave you sit down at the kitchen table and think, when did this happen?
Then your stomach is in knots until they get home and are off the roads.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Hang in there. I still have yet to sign my 4-year-old up for any activities but she's about to do a 6-week tumbling class this summer.

Can you car pool with anyone? That has been a sanity saver for me this year and last in kindergarten for my oldest. I do drop off in mornings and then alternate with my next door neighbors in the afternoons.

Also? I need to run to the grocery now. Thanks for the reminder! ;)

p.s. this winter I started a wall calendar just for the girls' activities that I hang downstairs by our back door that we use all the time...it helps for us to all see their schedule...as it gets crazier...sigh!

Megan said...

Seriously. It gets WORSE?
(I had to rewrite that THREE WORD sentence 3 times, grammatically, spelling-wise due to the lack of sleep and "recovery time" I get on any given day.)

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I don't even work full time and I know what you are saying. It's as if everything has come to a head in the past few months and the month ahead looks even worse. I wish I had some solution to give you, just know you have my empathy!

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I so know what you're talking about. There is never any time to just be. At least, when they are tiny, your brain still functions. Now, as my kids enter teenhood, my brain works overtime trying to figure things out before the arguments start, and they always start. And they are still dependent to such a large extent, and yet want nothing to do with you...

CJP said...

I don't even have kids and have found the time saving wonders of having groceries delivered. Look into your local options. It's totally worth it. You can order the day before, there's no extra charge as long as you meet a minumum order.

Brochure Printing said...

I'm sure it's normal to feel that way, maybe from exhaustion or the stress of daily life. You may need a rest. Spend some alone time, get your thoughts back in order, find yourself again. Then re-bond with your family, spend time together, enjoy each other's company and find value in each other. The simplest things usually mean the most. Good luck :)