Things are better than they used to be

D. is gone for about eleven hours a day. Sometimes twelve or thirteen, but mostly eleven. He doesn't travel all that much anymore. He used to be gone for two or three days every week, sometimes more. But now it averages less than two days a month. Things are better than they used to be.

Dinnertime tonight was the same as last night, but shittier because I made Peanut cry. He sits next to me at the table and he has a chewing problem. The problem being that he shovels food in like he hasn't eaten all day and then chews with his mouth open. And he sits next to me. He's hungry. I understand. We eat dinner too late. The boys are starving by five o'clock and I really should feed them then. But that means I make dinner twice, or D. has to reheat a meal and eat alone every night. Neither situation seems like a winner to me. So, Peanut is starving by dinnertime. And he shovels food in. And chews with his mouth open. It makes me crazy, and tonight I yelled. I yelled. He cried. I am totally fucking this up.

Last night, D. and I talked about career. He offered praise and encouragement for the marketing work I'm doing. Told me I don't need the acknowledgement of being hired for a full-time job. That along with a steady paycheck and someone to tell you "nice work," being employed by someone else also comes with its downside (see first paragraph). Reminded me that self-employment is where it's at because I can set my own hours and take vacation when I want and do the work that I WANT to do and still pick the kids up from school every day. And I cried. Because picking the boys up from school every day and being alone with them for four to seven hours is exhausting. I love the crap out of them, but they're exhausting and I am tired. I'm tired of cleaning the same messes over and over, and wiping poopy butts, and not sleeping through the night even though my youngest child is almost three. And I'm tired of yelling.

I walk around the house whispering to myself, "it could be worse....it could be worse....it could be worse...." It could be worse. So much worse. Everyone's healthy. We have enough, everything. Food, clothing, shelter, wine. We have enough. D. is employed, I have awesome clients, we have a CABIN for pete's sake. A cabin. I have friends, both online and in real life. I even had a friend this week who just stopped by for margaritas. That never happens anymore, and it was so nice. D. and I have gone through some rough shit in the last year and a half, but I think we've come out better for it. We talk more. We COMMUNICATE more (though it's still a work in progress). He's a much more involved father. And frankly, less of a dick. I like him so much more when he's not a dick. We have so much to be thankful for. I have so much to be thankful for. And I am, I swear.

But this day-to-day? It's wearing me out. Things are better than they used to be. I'm just still so tired.


Amy said...

Oh my gosh! I relate to this on so many levels!

I think you know our history, so you know things are better than they used to be for us too.

It wasn't peaches and cream having M home all day every day for 2 years, but there were benefits.

Now, he works for someone else. Thank God! He's gone at least 12 hours a day, travels fairly regularly. We don't eat until 6:30 or 7:00 every night. The kids are starving by then and I'm pooped by then. But eating as a family is important to us, too.

I'm too busy to work--at anything I get a check for anyway. I volunteer my but off and care for my ailing mom, too.

I also have a kid who chews with his mouth open and another one who talks with food in his mouth.

I clean up all the same stuff over and over like a hamster in a wheel.

I make my kids cry sometimes too.

Maybe I'm trying to say misery loves company. But in reality we're not miserable. We love our kids and our husbands! We love what we do on our own, too--the work for you, the volunteering for me. It gives us our own identity.

We're just really tired, too.

Audrey said...

Exactly Amy. It's just hard to keep from getting tunnel vision sometimes. I don't know how you managed with M. home for that long. I think D. would be GREAT at home with the kids if roles were reversed (and I had the same earning ability as him, which I don't), but the two of us at home at the same time, all the time.....
You have a full plate.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

You are not alone. I don't know if knowing that helps you, but it offers me some solace to know I'm not alone.

Liv said...

you're so not alone. i'm having trouble articulating how and why, but you're not alone.

Meghan said...

I wish I could hug you. And then take you out for a drink. xo

Donna S. said...

My boys have grown and moved out (for now anyway). I can relate, too. I did work outside the home full time (3-12 hour shifts per week as a nurse also wiping butts and cleaning up messes). But work was my reprieve from the madness! As for spouses home all day.....my husband has not worked for the past 2 years. However, the positive side of that is that he does do almost all of the cleaning and cooking. I now work 4 days/week with weekends off. On that one day I do have off during the week I tell him, "you need to find something to do which is not at this house." Solitude is still precious!