The Stress Increases
It seems as though, no matter what I do, there are never enough hours in the day. There is never enough time to get all my work done, never enough time to spend with the kids, never enough time to clean the house, never ever enough time for me. And I don’t have the endless reserve of energy that I used to have. I’m tired, I’m worn, I see myself aging every day.
Let’s start with work. Things are chugging along. We are having more and more meetings about our new roles. I was selected to be a part of a special team to move the changes along. Being on the team involves an entire week of 8-5 meetings. I will be in a room with people from all three departments plus our bosses and their boss and the person who is helping with merging the departments. We are to bring the thoughts and concerns of our teammates with us to the table.
We are also tasked with making a list of all of our job responsibilities. This is not as simple as getting our job descriptions and just listing what we do because we do so much more. At the end of each of our job descriptions is, “*And other duties as assigned.” When I started this job, I never dreamed that the majority of my job would fall under that category. We have to find duties that our departments share and figure out how our processes differ. We have to decide what duties we can switch over to completely other departments and what duties we will retain. All of us are overwhelmed just by this and can’t comprehend how this department merger is going to help with work/life balance.
On top of that week-long meeting, I still have to do my job! This means that all week, I’ll be dropping Shane off at before-school care at 6:30 am when they open. I have to leave my house with him at 6:20 when he normally doesn’t even wake up until 6:30! If I get to work by 6:45, I’ll have 75 minutes to do 8 hours worth of work before the meeting begins. My boss understands that no matter what, I leave at 5 pm. I do not work late. Shane goes to bed at 7 and I will not miss those precious couple of hours with him in the evenings.
After work I rush home and throw dinner together while prodding Serenity and Liam to get last night’s dishes washed. Why this is never done when it is supposed to be done is beyond me. They have few chores in the house and dishes is the most important to me. I hate having a messy kitchen but I can’t do everything. Sadly, the kids have never stepped up to the plate to help. They would rather retreat to their rooms and pretend like nothing needs maintained or cleaned.
The children want me to still be the stay-at-home-mom I always was and to take care of everything. I feel their pain. I’d love to be able to do that too! But I can’t. I have to make sure we have a roof over our heads, electricity and water, and food! I have to pay the bills. My house suffers because I’m just too exhausted to keep on top of Shane’s mess. I’m too exhausted to mop the floor each week and just spot clean anything that needs wiped up.
I feel like I never see the kids anymore. Serenity is technically an adult now so she’s off doing her thing. She’s a senior in high school and has friends. She has an extracurricular activity that she is heavily involved in and is actually in charge of. It is a tremendous responsibility for her and she takes it seriously. Liam is more interested in playing video games and hanging out with his friends than helping around the house (and what teen wouldn’t be?). Shane is in his own little world of creativity and is constantly building something new. By the time I get Shane in bed and asleep, I’m ready to collapse myself.
No matter how tired I am, as soon as Shane is asleep twice a week I sneak off to spend an hour or two with Treun, provided one of the older kids is home to be there for Shane. The amount of time I’m able to spend with Treun depends on how long it takes Shane to fall asleep. I leave Treun’s house at 9 so that I can get home and collapse into bed by 9:15. So many times I get a mere hour with him.
It is getting harder and harder to leave Treun’s house. I feel like I belong with him. I feel like I should be going to bed with him and staying there, sleeping next to him. It feels wrong to drag myself out to my car because I’m walking away from him.
Where do I find time for myself? I don’t. I made the decision that I’d rather spend my “me time” with Treun. It’s a delicate balancing act. I have so many balls in the air that I feel like I’m constantly dropping them and failing someone. It’s been quite a few months since the surgeries but I’m still not back to myself. I still lack the energy I had before it happened. I am tired all the time. On Fridays when I go over to Treun’s and stay till 11. I end up falling asleep around 9 anyway and sleeping until Treun wakes me up at 11 and sends me home. I think that two hour nap is the best sleep I get all week. I’m all snuggled up with Treun and I can truly rest.
I honestly don’t know how I can keep up this pace. Something has to give and I don’t know what it will be. I live in a constant state of stress with never enough rest.
I guess this is just another day in the life of a single mom.