Sometimes I’m not sure if people always understand why I get a little burned out.
I mean, I love the situation I have…being able to work, being able to contribute financially to our household and being able to spend lots of time with my girls. It is the absolute best situation I can imagine. And I know that there are so many people who have much much more difficult lives, so I always feel bad complaining.
But there are times when I know that if I don’t get a break, I’m not going to be able to be the best I can be at any of my jobs…mother, wife, friend, designer, developer…none of them. Those breaks are what give me the inner peace or whatever that help me be ready to get through the more trying aspects of being a work-at-home-mom.
Like “getting a shower.”
On Monday, I needed to get a shower before my husband got home at 3PM, because I was actually going to go out that afternoon BY MYSELF. And I could not go out for my first fun me time in two months wearing my pajamas and having not showered for two days.
So, I get up, get the girls up, get diapers changed, get everyone fed, play for a bit, get my coffee, check my email. And I’m thinking I’ll just check it really quick and then go hop in the shower while Sadie is watching her morning cartoons and Ruby is playing in her play pen.
Well, I check my email, and I have several work emails that need immediate attention. This is around 9AM.
Between checking on the girls, keeping them happy and out of trouble and actually working, it takes me until 10:30 to finish the work.
Mind you, they’re in the next room, and the doors are open, so I can almost see them from my desk, and I can definitely hear them. So it’s not like I’m on the other side of the house or anything, playing on the computer while they roam around the house eating lead paint chips and sticking forks in outlets.
Then Ruby is hungry. And another email comes in about work. So I get back on the computer, and address those issues while feeding her.
Then Sadie has a dirty diaper. Then Ruby has a dirty diaper. And neither wants to sit still, and poo clean-up takes longer than expected.
Now it’s about 11:30 and Sadie wants lunch. I go make her lunch, set up her little table, and check on Ruby again. And she has a wet diaper.
And Sadie decides that she doesn’t like her lunch. She wants yogurt instead. And she will not rest until her yogurt craving has been satisfied. I try to bargain with this feisty three-year-old by offering yogurt as a reward for finishing her lunch, but she does not find this proposition acceptable, and continues to follow me around asking for yogurt. Finally, I convince her to finish her sandwich, and yogurt is produced for her dining pleasure.
I check on Ruby again, change another wet diaper, and go check my email. Another high priority request that needs to be done ASAP.
It is now after noon.
I take care of that request in about twenty minutes, and go check on the girls. Predictably, about half of the yogurt is smeared on the table, Sadie’s clothes, hands and all over her face. I get her cleaned up, and clean up the rest of the lunch mess.
Check on Ruby again, change yet another wet diaper. Check my email, and there are no new work requests.
This is not a drill…it is really shower time.
So, I get Sadie set up at her little table with a book and some toys, get Ruby’s exersaucer moved into the hallway in front of the bathroom, and FINALLY step into the tub. It’s almost quarter to one.
Within seconds, Sadie is pulling on the shower curtain, poking her little head in to see what I’m doing. I ask her about 40 times to close the curtain, assure her that I’ll be done in just a few minutes, and advise her that she should go talk to her sister or look at her book or play with her toys. My requests, however, fall on deaf ears.
“You taking a shower?! I wanna take a shower TOO!!! You all done? I want some more YOGURT! PLEASE?! I go get some yogurt NOW!”
So then I’ve been in there for about 5 minutes, which is the amount of time it takes me to completely finish a shower when I’m uninterrupted. As for progress on getting myself clean, I’ve only managed to get my hair wet. Oh, and the floor all the way around the tub.
More pleading with Sadie to be patient and stop opening the shower curtain. Then I realize I’ve just put body wash on my hair instead of shampoo.
I finally manage to get my hair washed, and then Ruby starts crying a little. I know that the crying is either a wet diaper cry or a “I’m tired of this exersaucer” cry, and I’m not going to just jump out of the shower covered in soap to change her diaper.
I’m talking to her through the curtain, telling her I’m almost done and I’ll be out soon, and softly comforting her in a hundred words that she understands about as well as I understand Chinese…all she knows is that she’s still sitting in the exersaucer in a wet diaper, and she is getting more and more angry by the second.
And then I realize that I need to shave.
Obscenities are flowing through my brain while I continue to comfort Ruby, bargain with Sadie about how much yogurt I’ll give her if she leaves the curtain alone, and try to cut the hair from my legs without bloodshed.
15 minutes after I got into the shower, I finally get out, clean and only slightly bloodied.
I step out onto the floor, and almost fall into the toilet when I slip in the puddle of water surrounding the tub. Sadie is trying to crawl around me to get to the tub, because she now wants to take a shower…and I’m trying to get the towel to stay on my head and the other towel to stay around my body while I’m also trying to pull her up out of the puddle and get to Ruby, who is now sobbing because she cannot possibly live in this wet diaper a moment longer, as quickly as I can.
By the time I have gotten dressed, gotten Ruby’s diaper changed and her calmed down, gotten Sadie to stop throwing her toys into the tub in preparation for a bath that won’t happen until after dinner, and gotten into a room with a clock, it’s about 1:30.
Four and a half hours after I started to get in the shower.