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April 19, 2010


I know my well has run dry when I find myself saying yes to more TV than I believe is OK, while I sit reading blogs! Not that I don't thank you for writing, really I do!

Sorry if this posts twice.

I live in a place away from family and realized I would have a need for child care for times like these. I started a babysitting co-op that is thriving two years later and has grown to include 25 families. It was really only a moderate time commitment to get it up and running. I'd be happy to share all of our guidelines/by-laws and general ins and out of it with you if you think this could help. Let me know--but email/Facebook me because I probably won't check back here for a while.

I ,too, spent a lot of time putting burdens on myself that weren't really there. It's just something you have to talk yourself down from until it gets easier. You have to say: They won't starve. They'll make a sandwich or eat cereal and the world won't end. You have to say: Daphne won't die of crying- the sitter might, but that's her job. You just have to kick that space out to refuel yourself and meet your needs. If you don't, unhealthy things creep in. xoxo

I also feel guilty taking time to myself when I think I should be with the kids, but I have figured out it makes me a better mom later on.

In my case a standing sitter appointment for a few daytime hours one day a week helps me stay sane. Knowing I have a few hours to do whatever I want, even if I usually run errands, helps me be more patient when I'm tired of arguing with a know-it-all 4 year old.

I hope you find a solution that works just as well for your family.

I guess the grass is always greener... Wait till you are juggling everything you just described AND your work schedule. Because the dr's appts-- yours and theirs-- and the need to get your hair cut and shop don't disappear, but the guilt for time to yourself ratchets up. And then there is the mental energy of trying to run the different worlds. Then again you will be able to go to the br on your own. Most likely. :D

Maybe your "lady cycles" are returning? Crying-check, near-weaning - check, 15-month old - check. It usually hits me at the 15-18 months mark. And it hits like PPD with crazy and a side order of job angst. In fact, I switched jobs when my first turned 17-months because OMG, my job and my baby and arggggh. Am currently mom to a 17-month old and I dream of quitting my job and taking a different job, but I now realize it is some hormonal something going on. Let's just hope I don't quit in a panic one day.

And once I found the hair cutter/waxer place that was upon until 9 pm, I programmed their number in my phone because I have the guilt of being away from the little buggers all day, so I sneak out after they've gone to bed, but it's still like a treat since I am not cleaning the kitchen and folding laundry just then.

First of all, it may be your "only" job, but it does not have set hours like work outside the home. Meaning that YOU have to be the one to carve out time for yourself because there ain't no quittin' bell. Second of all, when I start feeling mom-guilt, I always remind myself what I have learned about child-rearing practices across the world: there is no one "Way" to raise healthy, happy kids. In the West, for the past 60-odd years, the "ideal" has been one SAH parent, but that is NOT the norm for most of the world and for most of human history. For example, there is a tribe in Africa where all the nursing mothers nurse any babies that they happen to be holding at the time--biologically theirs or not. Children survive (and thrive) in many different contexts. Go forth and shop, and banish the guilt! :-)

The longer I am a parent, the more comfortable I am booking preschool (more and longer) for the 2+ set and babysitters for the baby. I just need. some. time. to. myself or I am completely unpleasant.

Sometimes I have work (freelance); sometimes I have errands; sometimes I just need to take a shower in peace.

And you might be happier juggling a schedule of work/school; I know I am happier, if more frazzled, when I have work projects than when it is just endless rounds of playground/laundry/dinner.

I work outside the home three days a week (full 8 hour day) and I'm the one who drops off and picks up from preschool, and so my sentiments echo Cat's, above. Imagine having to take care of work responsibilities (including looking professional and commuting) on top of child bonding/house cleaning/errand running responsibilities. Not that I'm complaining or starting a Mommy wars, but to get to the point that it is hard for everyone to get "me" time, but it's essential.

i agree with anne - sure, it's yer "only" job. but A.)you *don't* suck at it and B.) it's a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week gig, mama. wish you'd cut yerself some much deserved slack. if it makes you feel any better - my kid's dad and i aren't together, we live 400 miles apart and the child goes back and forth between us, every other month. so, ya know, rest easy. i'm away from my kid 30 days at a time and he seems to do just fine. aside from torturing the neighborhood cats, that is.


thanks fer all you do, fer all you write - hope you take some time to go shop, drink a beer and sing yerself a nice little love song.

I posted this earlier, but it didn't stick --

On the subject of working, Micaela, Cat, I totally get you -- but I think for me it's like Carla says upthread. When I have another mental space to inhabit, I'm more frazzled but I'm happier too. When I have a project going, something that engages me outwardly with the world, I'm busier but a more present mother, if that makes sense.

After all, it's not the clock time that's preventing me from doing the things I need to do for myself -- it's *head* time.

Huh. /realization

Best bra ever for me is a Wacoal -- very worth it.

I know I'm hittin' the bottom of the well when I find myself up at 2am reading romance novels. I don't think it's coincidence -- I started reading romance around the same time my (then alcoholic, but always unreliable) dad walked out on us.

And again, that history is one reason why I've never even considered staying home full-time. It doesn't matter that my husband is rock-solid and wonderful, just the thought of not having my own income about gives me hives. I made sure to get my MA and a great job (that I love, too) before I got pregnant. Backwards to most folks, I guess.

So for ME, working is essential to my sanity, kitchen floor be damned. Your sanity may require a sitter one day a week, and there's nothing wrong with that.

No man learns but by pain or shame.The lesson sinks into his mind

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