I woke up at 1:30 and…

I woke up at 1:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. Partly because I could hear Kevin talking on the phone to a colleague (in Israel, I think), partly because I could smell lamb stew cooking (when it's Kev's week to cook, he often makes stews and such in the middle of the night). But mostly just 'cause I'm stressed.

We're at this weird transition point. Anand turned four months yesterday, and while he's already sleeping more regularly than Kavi was at the same point, he's certainly not just sleeping through the night. And the first three months were mostly the expected infant hell of horrible sleep, and then it started getting somewhat better, just enough better that we started picking up our lives again. I had a little time to read books, or do crafts. To cook something properly, instead of eating frozen food and takeout and hot dogs. (God, we've eaten a lot of hot dogs in the last three months.) I was getting a few hours a day, and it started to seem like I was getting my life back. Then classes started, and most of that time went away again, swallowed by class prep and student e-mails and grading. And oh, it is bitter, losing that time.

Now there's a part of my brain that seems convinced the worst of the infant stage is over, and that I should have a little more time off -- time to write and read and craft and chat on the phone with friends. When the reality is that I can't afford time off, not yet. There's a ton of stuff to do for the new house, there's a ton of backlogged e-mail, there's a ton of cleaning -- I spent hours and hours and hours cleaning this week and I managed to get this house clean and all the laundry done -- everything except vacuuming, which is really hard to manage, what with children's nap schedules and all -- but it was almost clean, for about oh, three hours. And now it's a disaster again, which makes me cry.

Now that the semester has started, and I'm teaching three classes, there is just too much stuff to do, even with Jarmila here 35 hours a week. There's no room for writing and reading and crafting. I make room for them, because the creative part of my brain has switched itself back on prematurely, and it's making me crazy not to do them. But I then get super-stressed because the entire time I'm reading a book or writing or crafting there's a little clock in my head counting down the time until I'm back on kid-duty, and also telling me that there are dishes strewn all over the counter, and the dining room smells like pee, and there are 300+ backlogged e-mails, some of which are undoubtedly important.

And I get angry at Kevin, which isn't fair because he did a chart and clearly he's logging as many childcare hours as I am, but I don't care what's fair, I'm just at my limit and I really want him to do more, but he's at his limit too, and equally frayed, so sucks to be us.

And I know. It's the middle of the night, I'm underslept, and irrational, and this too shall pass. Anand will eventually sleep through the night, and spring break will come, and then summer break. In two or three years, Kavi will be in school; in five years, Anand will be too. It's not really reasonable to expect that we can both work full-time jobs, have two small children, and have much time for anything else. This is what I signed up for, and life is certainly full and rich, which is what I wanted.

But if I don't get some more downtime soon, I am going to break something. Putting my fist through a wall sounds really good right now.

P.S. This journal entry took me twenty-three goddamned minutes to write.

9 thoughts on “I woke up at 1:30 and…”

  1. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Heh. He made the chart in response to my freaking out about my eight hour shift followed by more hours and him saying he’d just done a sixteen hour shift and me saying no you didn’t and him laying it out (it ended up more like 2 + break + 12) and me going sullen and silent.

    I think part of my frustration is that much of his shift work is at night, and even if Kevin tells me Anand didn’t have a great night, I still think that mostly, the children are asleep at night, and that Kev must get long stretches of time on his own. Which I would kill for. It makes me feel like 1 daytime kid-watching hour = 2 nighttime hours. Or at least 1.5. Kev doesn’t seem to agree with this assessment.

  2. Instead of killing for it, why not shift things so you are responsible for some of those night shifts, and he gets some of the day shifts? If you really think that 1 daytime hour is harder than 1 nighttime hour, that would be the rational solution to that. I suspect you’ll find it isn’t the case — for me personally, it was much harder to do the same things at two a.m. instead of two p.m.

    None of it’s easy. You have my empathy!

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Eloise, I think that’d be tough, since it’d involve shifting sleep schedules on a day by day basis. I’ve worked the swing shift before, and it’s okay, but not if you have to go back to a normal day the next day!

  4. I remember when V. used to wake up six times a night. You are a rock star and I understand EXACTLY the feeling that nothing will ever, ever, ever, ever get any better, ever. I think it’s okay to wallow in that feeling for a moment.

    Big, big hugs. That is all.

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Heh. Lori, if I could blame Ursa for my house, I would, trust me. 🙂 But it is hard for me to find a way to make a dog responsible for my sinkful of dirty dishes.

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