To clean, or not to clean.

Tonight I had good intentions of cleaning the whole house. Pretty unrealistic really, considering it’s 11:45pm and all I’ve done is laundry and play on facebook (oh, I did have a snack too). Lately I’ve just been feeling so unmotivated in the evenings after my hubby leaves for work. I used to have such energy and a desire to do all the things once he left the house – the only real “free” time I have and when I’m alone (sort of). Even though both kids are asleep upstairs, it still feels like I have a small ounce of freedom to do (almost) anything I like. And what do I do, nothing productive.

Hubby and I have talked about the fact that I need to get more sleep but it’s just so hard for me to do. I’m exhausted after being with the kids all day but after they’re in bed, I want to spend what little time I have with him before he leaves for work (even if it’s only for an hour, sometimes less). Thus the “things” I want/need to do get pushed aside until he heads out the door (especially lately). And I really need that quiet time. Even if it’s just for sitting around and scrolling through facebook on my phone. Just the simple fact that I have no one to answer to is peaceful (until of course one of the little munchkins stirs in their sleep).

I don’t like to clean and distract myself too much during the day when I’m with the kids. Obviously I’ll sweep and tidy up the dishes after we eat but recently I’ve really been trying to just leave housework until hubby wakes up or until after the kids are asleep BUT it’s SO HARD for me to do that. I don’t like the dishes piling up, or toys strewn alllll over the house, or dirt that needs to be swept up just chilling on the floor like hey girl, I know you see me here, but it’s cool if you leave me here to chill until later. I’ll just get my awesome dirt buddies to come join me until you’re ready to sweep us up. URGH.

I’ll be honest, sometimes when the baby is down for her nap I’ll put a movie on the TV or give my son the iPad so that I can get a few things done before it looks any worse. I realize it’s not that big of a deal to some people but it bothers me. Even if we aren’t expecting any company, having it clean just makes me feel better, happier. And for some reason all of my motivation is raring to go during the day, the worst time for me to think about cleaning because, kids.

Gah. Tomorrow is another day.

A little time.

I ugly cried tonight. A lot. I feel like a terrible mother because I’m frustrated, tired and full of guilt for wanting some time alone.

My husband is in New Brunswick with my dad for a hunting/visiting/bonding vacation – my father was born out east. He has family (and land) there and has gone every October for as long as I can remember. This year was different though because my hubby went along with him; for 9 days. NINE. Eight overnights and nine daytimes. That’s approximately 216 hours, or 12,960 minutes. Which turns into long days of just me, our 3.5 year old son and our 3 month old daughter, figuring out what to do with ourselves. 

A lot has happened in the last year; I quit my job, we moved to a new city (well, where I grew up anyway) and added a second child to our little family. 

Back to tonight, right now. Right now I’m sitting in my daughter’s room holding her while we sway in the rocker (she just finished nursing). After multiple times trying to put her to bed an hour earlier than usual, I gave up and ugly cried while sitting with her; and nursed her again. I gave up on trying to get an extra hour of me time. And this week I need it more than ever.

My son is with my mom for a sleepover tonight. The times that my son goes for a sleepover, I have high hopes of doing things around the house because, let’s face it, trying to attempt anything more than the dishes is kinda pointless when you have a preschooler (and a baby). Yes, I do want to spend time with him and play, but it’s good for both of us if he learns to play a little on his own. Adding in a 3 month old presents its own challenges, which in turn, become obstacles at times.

Tonight I was hoping for a little quiet time, alone. I had it all planned out; my son was with my mom so I would put the baby to bed after she nursed around 9ish, finish the laundry, do the dishes, and sit on the couch relaxing. That plan went out the window, as I should’ve expected, like all my good plans do.

I’m exhausted, physically and mentally. The only time I have to myself is when both kids are in bed (and that’s if they don’t wake up multiple times). My little boy is inquisitive, energetic and curious (oh, and loud too) which makes this mama tired . He has so many little quirks and idiosyncrasies that make our days (and nights) longer than most. It’s wearing me down. And with hubby away until late Thursday/early Friday, the exhaustion is starting to take its toll.

I’m going to try (again) to lay the little lady in her bed. I guess I just needed to get all of this off my chest, thanks for listening.

big sigh.

wow, i can’t believe how long it’s been since i’ve sat down to write a blog post! like i’ve said before, i think about it all the time! there are things i want (and need) to vent, err, write about but i always think about it at the most in-opportune times; when i’m at work, driving my truck, putting my son to bed, etc. … i’m actually pretty impressed that i decided to sit down now and do this! i enjoy blogging/writing/etc but i find that life seems to be busy lately and i don’t want to sit at the computer to write a blog when there’s laundry to do, dishes to wash or just tidying up in general to take care of. that, and sometimes i just feel like sitting in my big recliner and falling asleep watching tv instead of using my brain at the end of the day (hehe).

what made me think of blogging this time around is the fact that, for the first time ever, i’m going on an overnight shopping trip with a girlfriend tomorrow (hi Laura!) – weeeeeee!! i’m so excited! not only because it’s the first time i’m doing this, but because it’s like a little mini vacation away from my crazy toddler (whom i adore but naturally need a little time away from).

i was feeling overwhelmed with work (and family) and hadn’t had a lot of time to myself – even bathroom trips alone are a rarity when you’re the parent of a curious little child … i decided to take a little break from the wedding photobooks and freelance design work that i do. back in the spring, actually, right around the time that i wrote my last blog post, we were going through some intense sleep issues with our son and everything started to pile up on me. all of my “free time” was being occupied by working for someone else. i would come home from my part-time job and hubby would head upstairs to go to bed (since he’s on midnights). i’d hang out with our little man, put him to bed and then sit down at the computer to work on photobooks, logo design, etc sometimes until midnight or after. i was doing this almost every night of the week (on top of that, add in laundry, dishes, tidying etc). i think i finally came to a breaking point when my son conveniently went through his sleep-rejection bout, as i like to call it. i was snapping at my husband and our son over the silliest and smallest little things. i wasn’t being the person i wanted to be; the wife and mother that i should and used to be. the stress of working too much was starting to take over and i finally noticed.

after a few weeks of less-work-and-more-me-time things started to change. my attitude improved, my stress-level dropped and i was happier. i wanted (and needed) to spend more time with my family and friends and was finally able to start making that a reality. it’s been an amazing and eye-opening experience over the last 4 months and i don’t intend for things to every return to how they were.

i’ll keep it short and sweet as i have laundry to finish and my overnight bag has yet to be packed … this mama is ready for some girl time!

mom.

well, it happened. for the first time in my employment history, i cried in front of my boss. i’m not an overly emotional person and have never been one to break down in front of someone other than my family or close friends, but i did today. i never thought i’d be that person who cries at work, but i crossed that one off this morning.

i went into work for a meeting with my boss about upcoming holidays (i’m hoping to get 2 weeks off, one in July and one in September so that we can have an actual family vacation) and was planning on mentioning my disappointment and frustration with working so many weekends (as of the second weekend in June, i will have worked 7 out of 8 weekends in a row). everything was going fine, and then we started talking about the work schedule and she mentioned that i don’t offer a lot of flexibility so it’s not always easy booking me in (that’s another story). i started to tell her about how the wee man hasn’t been sleeping (for the last 2 months), how he’s sick and teething right now, how hubby is on midnights so it’s just me with the little guy almost every night, how the lack of sleep is draining me mentally & physically, and, add to that, working every weekend, is starting to pile up and is wearing me down. i only have one day a week that i can spend with my husband and son where hubby doesn’t have to go into work (Saturdays). while i don’t expect to have every weekend off (i’m in retail and that’s just part of the job), i also don’t expect to have to work every weekend. i welled up with tears and they lingered there in my eyes for a good 5-10 minutes while we spoke. i told her i’m not normally this emotional and that i’ve just been going through a lot outside of work and it’s all coming down on me. she told me she thought i was going to tell her i was pregnant, ha! i replied with, oh gawd, i hope not. i’m not ready for another one yet.

i don’t want to quit my job. i enjoy where i work. i love the products we sell, our customers are great, and i have fun co-workers. honestly, it’s been a refreshing change after working in the newspaper industry for almost 12 years. and it’s worked out well with it being part time so we don’t have to pay for daycare (which is a little too pricey for us right now).

we sat and talked for a little while longer and she shared some of her personal mom stories and struggles with her 3 kids. we spoke about mom “guilt” and how it has a hold over us in so many situations (when they won’t sleep, when they’re trying to get their way but don’t, etc etc). about taking breaks from our kids, for our own mental health and well being.

mom’s feel like they need to do it all, and take care of everyone and everything. it’s something most of us just do without really realizing it until someone points it out, or until we’re at our breaking point (ahem).

one thing she said really stuck with me and that was that i need to fix myself first and then focus on the little guy. i completely agree. it’s just easier said than done right now.

toddler life.

i have oh-so-many intentions of blogging more often than i actually do it. i am constantly thinking about situations and topics that would make for a good post and then by the time i sit down at my computer i end up doing design work instead. and, of course, the design work needs to be done but, really, when i have so much on my mind i’d rather be writing a blog! well today, i decided to put some of that design work aside and do just that (YAY!).

now, what am i going to write about …

for 10-ish days we’re dog-sitting my parents’ doberman Lola, so things are a little hectic around here. having her, plus our hound, plus a wild toddler (with a little too much energy) equals a crazy house! it’s definitely a change from when we watched her last fall when they went away. both the dogs are the same but i’m working more and my son has grown and changed so much since then, oh, and my hubby is on midnights (happy happy joy joy, right?) … she’s only been here 3 days and i think i’ve swept 10 times (not exaggerating) and vacuumed at least twice (and the dog hair still appears to be everywhere). our hound sheds more than any dog i’ve ever had and Lola is a close second.

oh, and add to that the fact that little man has been having a sort of nighttime sleeping hiatus (the fun we have around here, eh?). the past two and a half weeks have been rough. every few months he seems to go through something like this – whether it be from teething, a new developmental milestone or just being a toddler, it’s hard. on all of us. and of course, this all happens when hubby is working overnight. i now know how single parents feel at nighttime when their children just won’t sleep and they have to work in the morning. patience wears thin. very thin. especially when you’re going on only 4 hours of broken sleep from the night before. doing that more than 2 days in a row makes you go a little nutso, and by a little, i mean a LOT. the middle of the night seems to be when my patience is at it’s lowest. i think it’s even worse when i’ve literally *JUST* fallen asleep and all of a sudden the monitor clicks on and i hear a soft little voice calling out to me, “moooooom, mooooommmy, mom”. i love that little man of mine but my sleep is a close runner-up for things i love most.

when he was younger it was easier to be awoke in the night by his faint little cries. i wasn’t working at the time and he was still nursing so a little milk sometimes solved the problem and if that wasn’t the case, i didn’t mind sitting with him to help him relax again. the fact that he now has oh-so-much energy and enthusiasm (and tantrums, did i mention tantrums?) during the day likely adds to the frustration i feel at night; i’m much more exhausted than i was when he was a wee babe! but, alas, you do what you have to do to help your child feel safe, comforted and loved.

the amount of pure, raw energy that my son possesses never ceases to surprise me. he is a little ball of crazy! he’s always running (and i mean constantly), jumping, screaming and squealing. ALL. DAY. LONG. i’ve spoke to friends, colleagues and parents of toddler boys and i know that his behaviour is (fairly) normal. he does not sit and colour for more than 3 minutes. the crayons become a toy and then dumping them in and out of the container is the new thing to play. or peeling off the wrappers, or trying to eat them, or hide them, or colour on the floor with them. he does not sit and read a book for more than 5 minutes. the stories are changed to a short version with words left out so that we actually can finish “reading” one or two (two, ha!). the only time he’ll sit and listen to a story is at naptime or bedtime, otherwise, pffft, why would he sit down when there’s things to do?! he does not sit and watch an entire movie. he’ll sit for (maybe) 10-15 mins and then get up and play with his toys, but don’t you dare turn that movie off because he’ll tell you he’s watching it. and meal times? forget about sitting for more than a few minutes unless the iPad is on with one of his “shows”. it’s he only way i can get him to eat anything lately, and honestly, i don’t care because he’s actually eating something. i know this too shall pass and one day i’ll be able to sit down and do a fun activity or craft with my son, but until that time comes, i’ll let him be the wild, crazy, funny and loveable little man that he is.

it’s a blog

here i sit at my computer, 11:21pm on Sunday night. there are SO many things i’ve been thinking about blogging lately but just haven’t found the time to do so. it’s been a little busy around here. and by a little, i mean, A LOT. everyday we have something going on, whether it’s big or small, there’s always something preoccupying our time instead of just being able to sit and enjoy our little family. for example, i had to work 11-5 today. since hubby is on midnights my mom came over to watch the little guy so that the big guy could sleep. i got home close to 6pm, we had dinner and then put our wee man to bed. tomorrow afternoon we have an in-house appointment for transferring funds to a spousal rrsp; i work  on Tuesday so hubby will stay up to hang out with the little guy until i’m home and then he’ll sleep until he needs to head to work for his midnight shift. little man and i may be visiting with a friend of mine that day as well. Wednesday we actually have no plans (shhhh, don’t tell anyone). Thursday we have a funeral in the morning (sudden death on my father’s side of the family). Friday we’re visiting with my sister (YAY!). i work Saturday & Sunday so we’ll have one of the grandmas over to watch the little man so hubby can sleep, and that brings us back to Sunday night. somewhere in there we need to get groceries, cut the little guy’s hair, clean the house (which is seemingly neverending), dye my hair, work on photobooks, do freelance design, oh, maybe some laundry, perhaps squeeze in a workout or two and maybe, just maybe, find some time to relax. sigh.

i promise i’ll get back into the swing of things and my usual tone of blogs; i just need to find the time … i’m heading off to bed. thinking about being busy is making me tired, go figure!

 

the hound

for those of you who don’t know, we have a 6 year old, black and tan coonhound named Gus. he’s been driving me batty these past few months. he seems to be reverting back to behaviour from when he was 1-2 years old – not listening, extremely roudy, more vocal than normal (he’s usually pretty “chatty” anyway), begging for food ALL THE TIME, and howling/baying whenever we leave the house … a little background on our playful, loving, noisy, silly and very handsome hound: we brought him home at only 6 weeks old (we were told he was 8 but found out otherwise when we received the paperwork with his actual birthdate) back in the fall of 2008. he was (and still is) and extremely stubborn dog, as most hounds are, however, he was very easy to train, go figure! full of energy and always ready to curl up on the couch beside us, he seemed to be a good addition to our little family.

my hubby never had a dog growing up, which i always though was sorta odd, but every situation is different and i’m sure his parents had their reasons. i think for me, growing up on a farm instilled a need for always having some sort of furry companion; as well as the chickens (upwards of 20,000 at a time), or pigs (a few hundred at a time) we always had a house-cat and at least one dog around.

i think on a weekly basis, for the first 2 years that we had Gus anyhow, i told my husband, “this is NOT how most dogs are. Gus is special, and by special, I mean a wild and odd dog, nothing like any dogs I’ve ever had.” as my father likes to say, he’s 90% nose, 10% dog! haha

i feel now, with the little guy growing like a weed (he’ll be 2 in February, ahhhhh!) that my time is spent even moreso, chasing the dog around telling him to leave the kid alone, stop barking, go lay down, stop begging etc etc. it’s rare (lately) that he receives positive interaction from us and i feel terrible. he’s not a bad dog, he’s just frustrating us lately (so much so that my parents will take him out to their house to run around with Lola – their big, loveable, red doberman).

i think we need to invest more time with him, but honestly, i don’t know where that time is going to come from, which makes me kinda sad. going back to work hasn’t really helped the situation. before i was working, i would take both our son and the dog for daily (sometimes twice a day) walks, but i’m just so exhausted now that i rarely feel up to it. no good, i know. with hubby being on midnights, the days that i’m not at work he’s sleeping, so getting the dog out of the house, with the kid in the stroller isn’t always easy – especially because the little guy doesn’t really want to always be in the stroller, he wants to run free!  it’s hard to contrthehoundol a crazy 80lb dog and carefully watch a wild & curious almost 2 year old walk down the street with ease. if the dog (or our son for that matter) wasn’t so energetic, hyper and easily excited, it would likely make things a little less stressful around our house. alas, that’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we’re (somewhat) dealing with it with a minimal amount of sanity.

but i know that one day i’ll look back and say, remember when?