Friday, September 28, 2012

The Human Hampster Wheel

"Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today."
 
- Phil Connors, Groundhog Day


Do you ever feel like you're the living embodiment of the movie Groundhog Day? I do. I wake up, shower, get Kiddo ready for school (which can look a lot like pounding my head against a wall..."You're STILL not dressed?!"), go to class, pick Kiddo up, go home, do homework, make dinner, put Kiddo to bed, hit the sack. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The many faces of me:  wife . . .
I love being a wife and mom. Most of the time. I also enjoy being a student. It offers me some much-needed neural stimulation while allowing me to work toward my dream career. But it is almost as exhausting as being a parent. I said almost. Add to that the fact that my husband traveled about 200 days a year for the last eight years. Fortunately, he scored a new position that allows him to be home waaay more. Turns out I like having him around. Go figure.

. . . mom . . .
I think most moms feel this way every now and then. Taking care of kids can be mind-numbing work. It's exhausting and no one knows how to push your buttons better than your kid. I wish more moms opened up about that aspect of parenting. I always, ALWAYS love my child...but I don't always like him. I'd throw myself in front of a bus for that stinker at any given moment, but don't always enjoy his company. There, I said it.

. . . and me.
So how do I go about excelling as a  mom, wife and student without losing my soul? You know, that Weeds-watching, martini-drinking, tattoo-sporting, driving-a-Jeep-up-the-Pacific-Coast-Highway-with-the-top-off kinda gal that gets suppressed day after day. The woman with wants, desires and needs outside those of her family. The person who sometimes craves independence and the freedom to do what she wants when she wants it. Yoga class at 7p on a Tuesday? No problem. Two hour drive to an outlet mall because I feel uninspired by my wardrobe? On my way. Throw caution to the wind and drive to Seattle? Packing my bag as we speak. But that's not reality. The fact is, I love falling asleep next to my best friend every night. And nothing smells as sweet as Kiddo's hairline or feels as good as one of his hugs. They may know my buttons better than anyone else, but they also know better than anyone how to make me laugh. Water out the nose hard. They also make me feel smart, beautiful, and loved.

So how do I strike a balance between who I am fundamentally, the world around me, and the life I've made for myself? I can start by taking the opportunities presented to me. My husband often gets free hotel nights because of his frequent travel and offers them up to me on a regular basis. I always come up with 101 reasons not to take them. "I really need to catch up on laundry. I'd have to pack up all my stuff which is a pain. I should really [fill in the blank]." If I stand back for a minute, even I realize how ridiculous I'm being. I have a husband who wants to take over the parenting/household duties and wants me to have a break. In a nice hotel with room service and fresh sheets that I don't have to wash. Why can't I do that for myself?

Because I can't stop micromanaging everything. As much as I want a break from the minutia, I can't seem to get my hand out of the pot. What if they eat crap for dinner? Uh, so what. What if Kiddo doesn't go to bed on time that night? Not my problem. Husband will deal with Grouchy Pants in the morning. And last time I checked, he is perfectly capable of loading the dishwasher and washer and dryer, and running a vacuum. Sure, it's not the way I would do it, but in the end, who cares?

So I've decided to take the offer. And resolve to take more of them. I almost procrastinated my way out of two free nights at a Marriott because they expire at the end of this month. I'm glad I came to my senses in the nick of time. Next time we talk, it will be from a plush bed with crisp white sheets. Which I will be eating sushi on.

Update: After writing this, I stumbled upon this great post about "motherhood vacations" over at A Cup of Jo. She posted it back in March, but it popped up as if she knew I needed to read it. Today of all days. How serendipitous.

5 comments:

  1. Love this post! I'm sharing a link to this post on my Twitter. I hope you don't mind :) Thank you for linking up with the Friendly Friday by the way.

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    1. Thanks for reading (and sharing) my post! It means a lot. And thank you for the opportunity to link up!

      Sarah

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  2. Oh wow!! That sounds awesome!! I know what you mean...if we moms would just stop trying to be superwomen, we would be a lot happier!! Go for it!! And, blog all about it!! :))

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    1. Thanks for visiting my bog, Roshni! It means a lot. Being a mom is hard enough...but we so often make it harder by placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves. I really need to work on that.

      Sarah

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  3. So glad to have found your blog. Thank you so much for your blog comment. I love Neely's blog but I was totally disappointed with her post...I am also very sorry you had to experience melanoma with your mom. Heartbreaking disease, I know.

    Anyway, I hope you RELAX and feel completely refreshed after your little getaway! It sounds like it is very much deserved!

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