Mommy Burnout

It just was building and building.

I know DearDR thinks I am helplessly overwhelmed by taking care of the girls. He believes that I am overreacting, too, that doing what I do night after night, and most of the time, isn’t as “bad” as I make out. But, as I pointed out to him, he doesn’t know. He has never taken on the two girls at the same time, for a more than the half hour or so it takes me to shower and get ready.

Babyproofing Your Marriage (a book described in depth here) suggests that in order for husbands to “get it” (the it being what is it like being with children for an extended period of time), wives institute a Training Weekend. Just leave ’em to it, and see how they do. And a part of me wants to do that to DearDR, just throw him into the middle of it. Heck, I don’t even care if it’s a whole weekend. I’d like to see how he does from 6 to 9 p.m., getting everyone fed, bathed and into bed!

Sunday was IT for me. I was scrambling to get everyone up and ready for a forty-five minute drive from my house to a reception for one of my cousin’s children (First Holy Communion). DearDR wasn’t coming — he was driving to Ohio with his dad and one of their buddies to buy wine juice. He walked out of the door at 9:30 a.m. Fortunately he agreed to stick around until I got a shower, so that was taken care of. But I had to get both girls ready, feed Bun (I had meant to pump, but Bun wouldn’t leave me alone), get a bottle ready (I didn’t feel like nursing her at the reception), and so on. You know what it takes to get out the door with two kids!

So, I did my best on my own. Bun was crying and crying, and wouldn’t sleep, so I finally nursed her to sleep. I managed to get dressed and get makeup on (including mascara!). I got the girls in the car. It was 11:15 a.m. (So much for 10 a.m. Mass!)

And then I got lost on the way. I tried an alternate route because the usual route was under construction. (The joke in Pittsburgh: How many seasons does Pittsburgh have? Four: Winter, Almost Winter, Still Winter and Construction.) Well, I should have looked into the alternate route a little better. There was a point where, for about fifteen minutes, I not only didn’t know how to get where I was going, I didn’t know how to get back home. Thank God Bun was sleeping soundly, and Monkey was just being great, singing to herself and looking out the window. That saved me a lot of stress.

Thank God, too, for the cell phone. I got in touch with my sister-in-law, and she and one of my cousins got me to the venue. I got inside the doors at 12:30 p.m., only about half an hour late. It was controlled chaos from then on.

I have a large family. I have seventeen first cousins on my father’s side. Most of these cousins are married with kids — there are twenty-five “great” grandchildren (neither of my father’s parent’s are living, but this is an easy was to refer to the third generation). I had to feed Monkey — she was starving. She wolfed down pasta, eggs, French toast and part of a croissant in record time, and ran off to play with the other kids. I finished off her leftovers, and went to give Bun her bottle. I had several five minute conversations with various relations. Bun got passed around like a sack of flour, and she handled it remarkably well.

Less than two hours later, we packed back into the car and came home.

I expected DearDR to be back from Ohio, but he wasn’t. It was about 3 p.m., and Monkey walked straight over to my in-laws. I was too busy with Bun, so I just called them. My mother-in-law let Monkey in, and when she declared, “I’m hungry”, Bella fed her. In the meantime, I was changing and feeding Bun at home. I, too, was hungry — I hadn’t had a chance to do more than eat Monkey’s leftovers, and I was starving. I grabbed some leftovers from my ‘fridge, and ate them at the in-laws.

Then when DearDR did come home, at 4 p.m., he said he had to go right back out. He had to deliver the wine juice. I knew it was going to take him at least two hours (it actually took him three). I had been hoping for the night off, and had asked him earlier that day. I wasn’t going to get it.

I wasn’t mad at DearDR, I was just so over it. I love my girls more than my own life, but for a change, I wanted someone else to do the evening duties, while I went out to have a beer or a cup of coffee. And DearDR — he doesn’t know how it is to not be able to just do whatever you want whenever. I don’t sleep all the way through a night, let alone sleep in; I can’t just go have a drink or even run an errand when I feel like it. I have to figure out who needs to be fed when, and if they need baths, and get them into bed. And then after everyone is down for the night, I have to clean the kitchen, and tend to laundry, and clean the toys up. And I didn’t want to do it for once.

So when he did finally get home at 8 p.m. I was waiting at the door with my purse in my hand and my jacket on. Bun was in bed. Monkey still needed her bath and to get to bed.

And I left. I went out by myself, had a beer and a bite at a casual restaurant, and didn’t go home until 10 p.m.

And I felt much better, thank you very much.

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