Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'd like to call in sick

I don't know where to start.
I am tired and frustrated and angry. None of these are positive emotions, and none of them are good when you are the primary caregiver of a 2 3/4 year old and a nearly 11 week old.

Lately, I am yelling way too much and way too often. And way too quickly. I'm reacting too quickly to my frustrations.

Worst of all, I'm yelling at my daughter and scaring both she and the baby. I hate that he is hearing all of this yelling. I hate that I am yelling at her. I hate that that is my way of handling these problems.

I used to be the manager of my dad's business. In our company, if someone didn't show up, it just meant more work for everyone else. (usually me) I used to get so frustrated when my then-boyfriend (now husband) would occasionally call in sick when he wasn't sick, just needed a day off to relieve stress/have fun or even to handle a situation. "Don't you know you are causing someone else more work?" (I'd say. In his case, he was mostly just leaving more work for himself, because that was the type of job he had then.)

But when I finally got a job that a day off just meant more work for me to catch up on when I came back, I confess, I did take a few "mental health days" by calling in sick.

I want to call in sick. I want a day off to recuperate and de-stress a bit before I have to return.

But moms don't get sick days. Even when they are truly sick. (Which, I'm not really. Truly tired, sure, but I'm not feverish or whatever) I am a mom 24/7, 365 and a quarter days of the year. That never quits. And with a nursing baby, even if I could get a babysitter, I would still have to do something mom-like (be it pump or nurse or whatever) and half the time, when I do have a couple of rare hours without one or both of the kids, I'm doing laundry, dishes, picking up the toys, etc. I want a day off and it is literally impossible to get one.

I feel like a bad mommy because at this point, my fuse is so short that I was mentally writing this post about how I hate that I'm doing all this yelling while yelling at my daughter (who had just dumped half a cup of yogurt all over herself and was happily splashing around in it - spreading it all over my dining room - while I was trying to clean her up) and I just couldn't STOP yelling. I need a break and there is none likely to come any time soon.

I've been looking forward to this coming week for months - we've been planning this trip to Disney since January/February. But in addition to the excitement and fun, it also means more stress (packing, traveling, screwed up nap and eating times, a lot of chaos) and an audience to watch how I'm handling it (my husband's entire immediate family will be along, we've turned this into a big family gathering).

I've noticed a few times lately that when I'm rushed, aggitated and stressed I start to get this really sharp headaches. Oh yippee. Now I'm getting stress headaches that show up out of the blue. I'm in the wrong line of work for that malady!

In short, I know I need to work on my attitude and the way I react to things, even very stressful situations. But I feel like I need to step back and recharge before I'm going to be capable of making a big change, too, and I have no idea when or how that might happen. Maybe I need to take up yoga or meditation or something. Or maybe I just need to pray more.

Motherhood is hard. Any mom will tell you that. It's not for the weak or those who aren't determined to work at it. I need to work harder at my attitude. I need to stop letting it control me.


  1. Don't worry! My mom yelled at my siblings and I and we all turned out just fine. She got a lawyer, an engineer and a scientist who no matter what love her more than anything and would literally move heaven and earth to make her happy. And we do come the holidays ;-) I'm sure you're going to rock their socks off at Disney!

  2. ha! This was so me over two of the last three months. Hope it gets better or you at least get some time to yourself!