I'm cranky. I'm cranky because I'm tired. I'm tired because I haven't stopped moving and/or thinking in over a month. Every time I think I'm going to be able to slow down, something else gets dropped on my plate - a stack of graduation folders, a broken dishwasher, an email that needs to be answered. I was so beat the other day that I was going to sneak a twenty-minute nap while the kids ate lunch with the babysitter. I handed them off to her as she parked her car on the street and I emptied our car of their backpacks and papers from school. Before I made it into the house, my son ran the toy stroller into my daughter, who face-planted on the pavers. I spent the twenty minutes playing Dr. Mama, worrying that my mediocre skill with steri-strips would leave my baby permanently scarred and wondering if I should rush her to a real doctor.
Today I had intended to go to the gym, or at least to go for a walk. I haven't been able to fit it in this past month, and I think the lack of exercise is contributing to my foul mood. My husband, as he does every weekend, set himself up in his basement gym; I got stuck cleaning the garage alone - unless, of course, you count the helping hands of my 2-year-old son, who my DH dropped in my care.
There have been many times in the last month that I have wanted to sit and write a blog entry. Like the day I came home from a long day at work at 10:00 at night and sat on the couch with my "dinner snack" to the sound of crunching, plastic Easter eggs. "Am I the only one who sees this mess?" I thought. I had a lot to write about that topic...
And then there was the Wednesday of "hell week", the week I had three professional development workshops plus my classes to plan. I thought I had made it to hump day, only to find a stack of folders for graduation review in my mailbox at work. I really wanted to rant about the to-do list that is ever growing in my professional life.
Of course, there was also the day my husband emailed me to tell me the dishwasher was broken. Or rather, it was the next day, when my babysitter asked me what we had decided to do about the dishwasher as soon as she walked in the door. Since I hadn't gotten home until after 10PM the night before and my husband was already groggy in bed, we hadn't really had time to resolve the issue, and I didn't have the patience to explain the craziness of our lives to her. I didn't have the guts to tell her that I had broken down at the breakfast table that morning, crying out of sheer frustration and exhaustion.
I've been struggling to hold it together lately. My administrative workload has been increasing steadily, our home has been under construction with endless tasks for us at night and on the weekend, and my son has entered the "why" stage. He has been testing me, rejecting me, and screaming at both my husband and me. I'm trying to toe the line, to keep consistent with my discipline, and not to take it personally. And it's hard. It's exhausting. And I'm walking like a zombie, a shell that houses a mother, professor, wife, and all the other selves I am.
The stress has taken it's toll. I've been fighting pain in my knee, my hip, my shoulder, and my neck for weeks. I knew that a trip to my chiropractor would help, but I hadn't been able to find the time to make an appointment. When my fingers started going numb the other day, I figured I had to make the time. While I was on the table, Dr. Jenn told me that she has seen 80 year old women with better spines than mine. She said, "It's like someone poured Elmer's glue all along you just to hold you together."
Well, that about sums it up. At least now I know what has been keeping me in one piece - and now I know why my daughter's bottle of glue is nearly empty. I thought it was just because she loves to glue cotton balls to construction paper, but I guess my sweet girl is really the one who is holding me together!