It’s the fourth week of summer (how is that possible!?) and we’re finally falling into a routine. The days still feel long but I don’t feel totally ineffectual. I’m actually enjoying myself some days. Other days I feel like I might totally lose my shit. In a single hour I can oscillate between wishing I were really a SAHM who never had to go back to work to counting the weeks until our first day back.
I’m trying to stick to what I was doing while my husband was away so I can continue feeling on top of the house stuff. I thought long and hard about just offering to do the dishes during the summer but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just knew I’d feel too much resentment if I took on more, when he NEVER offers to do the same for me. (Is this my whole problem? Is this why our marriage always feels strained? Because I can’t bring myself to offer him that without feeling resentment?) Luckily, I thought of an alternative that I think we both appreciate: I will do the dishes in return for help with bedtime when he’s around to contribute. This is a win/win because by the end of the night I’m very grateful for a break from the kids and I can stay on top of the dishes throughout the day. I think we’re both happy with the agreement.
It’s interesting because my husband seems to respect my contribution a lot more now that I’m home all day with the kids. He tries to give me more breaks and when I offer to give him breaks he at first declines, saying I never get them anymore. I think it’s just easier for my husband to understand how long the days are with both kids because he gets a taste for it on the weekends. On the one had I appreciate that he recognizes how exhausting they both are, but on the other hand I’m frustrated that he can’t respect how depleted I am after a day of teaching AND mothering. But don’t worry, I’m mostly just appreciative that he is validating the intense effort that navigating the days with these two entails. It’s a welcome change in our dynamic.
My birthday is a week from Friday. I’m turning 35. A while back, when I thought my parents wouldn’t be around to take the kids, I decided I was going to try to do something with my friends this year. I actually have a few friends to do something with and that is novel and exciting. Later my mom’s plans changed and they offered to take the kids for our “birthday weekend” (my husband’s birthday is four days after mine and we love when our birthdays straddle a weekend like they do this year) so we took them up on it. Knowing I could fall back on dinner with my husband, I started to get cold feet about doing something with friends. I do have ten or so women to invite, but few of them know each other. Maybe it would be weird? Maybe no one would come? I couldn’t commit on what I wanted to do and I didn’t send out invites. I was about to just bail on the whole thing.
Finally last night I bit the bullet and sent out the invites. I invited ten women (and their significant others if they want to come). I’d be surprised if half make it. We’re just doing drinks and apps at our place. My husband will be mixing some mean cocktails and we’ll be (hopefully) enjoying our friends’ company. I’m proud of myself for trying to do something with my friends. It feels right to celebrate with other women during this year–establishing meaningful friendships has been so important to me. I just hope some people come and I have a good time.
The rest of the weekend my husband and I will be enjoying each other’s company in the city. We intended to go away but some unexpected financial obligations earlier this year made that impossible. We’re both okay with it. We’ve done all the weekend getaways we want to do (that don’t require plane tickets) and we so rarely get to enjoy this city without our kids. I think we’re both kind of looking forward to the staycation. My husband already has multiple reservations made. It should be a fun three day weekend (he’s taking Monday off).
Hosting people at my house on my birthday has lit a fire under my ass about getting rid of some of the junk I culled ages ago. I never ended up having that garage sale so I have a ton of kids’ books, toys and DVDs to get rid of, along with our cat tree and my daughter’s book shelf. I’ve already sold my husband’s stereo cabinet and an expandable gate we used in my son’s room when the elliptical was in there. Having people over will also force my husband to deal with the enormous CD collection that he pulled out of garage storage to go through but ended up leaving scattered in boxes across three rooms. It will also provide the impetus needed to actually clean the place. It’s almost always picked up these days (at least most of it is) but it hasn’t been properly scoured in a loooooong time. That will need to happen in the coming weeks.
My son’s eczema flared recently and then he scratched it and broke the skin. The results were ugly and on Friday before July 4th we realized the welts might be infected as we saw crusted yellow scabs. The poor boy is on his first round of oral antibiotics and finally after three days the inflammation is going down. I can’t tell you how much I hate eczema and how powerless I feel against it. It’s always there; we can never make it go away completely and it makes my poor boy miserable with the itching. Our pediatrician assures us he’ll grow out of it eventually but I won’t believe that until I see it.
Filling my son’s prescription at the after hours pharmacy was pretty much the only thing we did on July 4th. We’re never invited anywhere and we never make plans for ourselves; the holiday always passes without even the slightest hint of acknowledgment on our part. Scrolling FB this weekend I felt like the only person in America who wasn’t holidaying (or at least picnicking) with friends and family. I wish we had people to spend those kinds of days with. I don’t know why we don’t have families to do that kind of stuff with. All the people I would turn to turn to someone else. It’s odd to feel like an outsider in a city you’ve lived in for over a decade. I wish we were better at making and keeping family friends.
And now it’s late and I’m tired and I really need to get to bed. Sorry for the long, rambling post that probably could have used bullet points. I’m sure appreciate being brought up to speed.
So many topics tackled above. Feel free to tackle one in the comments!