Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Time out

As my MIL observed, you can tell when I'm busy when I go more than a week without posting. And it's true; life has been getting in the way of commenting on life lately. On the other hand, I am often hard pressed to detail exactly what has been occupying my time besides a sort of general nod to mothering. This was brought home to me this weekend when I was at a church function on avoiding stress. We were asked to make a goal and then look at our calendars and find time each day to make progress toward that goal, in the name of avoiding stress and guilt from lack of progression. I flipped open my calendar and found this coming week virtually blank except for a dentist's appointment.

And yet...

I feel incredibly busy most days and dog-tired most nights. I had a full-blown migraine today, a sure sign of stress, for the first time since before I was pregnant with Toddler J. I never seem to have enough time to finish anything, from household task to book I'm reading to crafty project to conversation. If I get of the house and accomplish ONE errand a day, I consider us ubersuccessful, yet our to do list is miles longer than that. I've got a million little goals that aren't getting done that are giving me stress and causing guilt but none of them are the type that show up on a calendar.

I've also got a million "little" tasks that don't make calendaring material either, like "feed E 6-7 times a day" or "feed J three times a day" or "change 8-10 diapers per day" or "find ways to convince E and J to nap at similar but not EXACTLY the same time so I can attend to both in succession rather than rocking and reading to J while bouncing E and keeping his pacifier in at the same time." See, there's not even a concise way to write that one, let alone put it on a calendar! As it is, I'm typing this post in the middle of the night with one hand while feeding E with the other, and, when I finish, I'm going to pay some bills online while burping E before putting him back to bed.

My father said, after catching up on reading a month or so's worth of posts "Your blog is so depressing!" And I don't mean this to be yet another depressing post. I guess I'm more wistful tonight: I wish my calendar were either more full or, paradoxically, my days were less full with those things that you can't quantify.

All of this reminds me that time does funny things when you become a parent. Some minutes pass with agonizing slowness: those during which you are desperately trying to remind your baby to breathe in the middle of what seems to be a never ending night, for instance, or those taking place outside the doctor's office; or those when you're stuck in traffic with two tired, hungry kids who make up for lacking most language skills and rationality with volume.

Other moments fly by, like those while you're finally napping, those when your two year old is unabashedly happy and not whining, those that are worry-free, those between the last bout of reflux and the next feeding, those inside the doctor's office at long last, or those passing by while you steal a second to read a book that's been sitting by your bed for ages. Again, none of this makes the calendar, but it certainly manages to fill the space in my days!


Betsy said...

Illness is depressing. I didn't leave the house with the kids until the baby was at least 2 months, and then just around the block. Sounds like you might need to lower your expectations even more. I accomplish NOTHING when one of my kids is sick. I find your posts comforting -- solidarity, sister!

joyful704 said...

lil- i know this time right now is so hard. but slow down and enjoy it. you are making humans. isn't that the ultimate craft! extra crafts and clean houses can wait. those first month were hard for me too but now my two llittle boys run and play together all day long and i can sit and read oh wait i just nurse all day too now. but my point is that is gets better and these crazy months are so worth what will come!