Neither Here Nor There

Sunday night my five hours of sleep was broken every 1-1.5 hours by an inconsolable boy who can’t yet express his needs. It was exhausting.

Hauling my ass out of bed at 5am on Monday morning felt damn near impossible.

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At work, Monday was one of those days where I’m perpetually behind and I spend the precious spare moments of every period frantically trying to get things ready for the next period. I couldn’t even get my coffee made until after my first break, over half way through my teaching day. Days like yesterday grind me into the ground. I could barely keep my eyes open on my commute home.

* * *

Sharing my medical history with my would-be life insurance provider has been a very negative experience for me. I didn’t realize how much I cherished the privacy of my medical information until I had to share it with a non-medical provider. I hated having someone at my house taking my vitals, determining if I measured up. The whole thing felt incredibly invasive and it’s taken me a while to work through the feelings it has brought up. Maybe more on this later? I’m not sure.

* * *

My husband was away at SXSW in Austin for five days. Now he is back. I missed him and glad’s he’s home, but my house was a lot cleaner when my mother and in-laws were here in the morning covering his “shift.”

* * *

I started searching for jobs in my area this weekend and, as I suspected, there isn’t much. I realize I have to decide what I’m comfortable pursuing. Do I want to work at a private high school for gifted and talented kids? Not really, but am I willing to? Maybe… I found a few positions that I would be very interested in if the worst bridge in history didn’t sit between where I live and the school that’s hiring. Maybe I will apply to those to practice writing cover letters and maybe even interviewing, if I even get that far. The idea of doing all the work for a job I know I wouldn’t take might be hard for me to actually do, and part of me is worried that if I did get it I’d say fuck it and try to brave the most horrendous traffic in an area with truly soul crushing traffic. I’m realizing that my current set up is pretty awesome in a lot of ways. My commute is very manageable, I make good pay and I have a decent schedule. It might be harder to find something that doesn’t require a hit in all those areas than I thought.

* * *

Having said that, I’m feeling more negatively about work than I have in a long time. Mostly I just dread my work day because it feels boring and I don’t want to do the same thing I’ve been doing for ten years. I keep reminding myself that I can change what I’m doing, I have the ability to switch things around, I just need to find the time to prepare my lesson plans accordingly. I have a few things I want to try this year that I’ve never done before, but I’m not sure I’ll have the energy or time… I’m trying really hard not to get into a negative head space about work, because that pit of quicksand is hard to crawl out of once I’m stuck fast in the muck of it.

* * *

I have a LOT to write about budget and money stuff, but I want to dedicate a few actual posts to it. Needless to say, this month has been eye opening, and while I’m not proud of what my spending looks like, I’m thrilled that I’m still writing down all my purchases. I look forward to documenting a few more months of spending as I lay out a more accurate budget and start planning some bigger expenditures down the road.

* * *

I want to write more about minimalism. I think about it a lot. I oscillate between feeling like I’m failing and accepting that I’m embracing a version of it that works for me. I hope I can keep moving in a more minimalist direction but it’s so hard for me. Why do I love stuff so much? Ugh. Stuff is my downfall and yet I crave it constantly…

* * *

I’m feeling better about my daughter’s school but the aftercare situation (or almost lack thereof) is really stressing me out. How do they only have 20 slots in the rec and park program? How can the registration date for this elusive program be in MID JULY?! How can all these parents pick up their kids at 1:50pm every day!? This is when being a working mom is logistically super stressful. These thoughts consume me.

* * *

This being a VERY expensive city to live in (maybe the most expensive city in the US right now), where a lot of women wait to start having children until their mid to late 30s, there are a sizable number of families at my daughter’s day care with only one child (by choice). March has been “birthday month” and I’ve been taking the kids by myself to most of the parties. I’ve really noticed how the parents with one kid at these soirees can chat contentedly with other parents (sometimes even holding meaningful conversations for prolonged periods of time) while those of us with two kids run in circles like a chicken with its head cut off, constantly scrambling to keep track of two kids, let alone meet their frequently contrasting needs. The parents with one kid seem well dressed and well rested, and they seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Those of us with two kids seem harried and frenzied, unable to manage the basic logistics of the the immediate moment. We are weary and we are overwhelmed, and we fail utterly in our desperate attempts to maintain even a simple dialogue. This is not meant to be a commentary on the realities of having two kids versus one, just something I’ve been noticing.

* * *

I’m typing this to the soundtrack of our leaky bathtub. We’re in a REALLY BAD drought here so I’m catching the water in a bucket and using that water to fill the toilet basin when we flush (only 4-5 times a day). Yes, that means I have to take the super heavy lid off and clumsily pour a ton of water in the top part, while inevitably spilling a bunch on the floor. I have to do it though, other wise the guilt subsumes me. And yes, calling the plumber is on my to-do list. (Just texted him! Yay!)

* * *

I guess I’ll stop here. This got long and it’s been whiny since its inception. Things aren’t all bad, in fact there is plenty good to celebrate: I’m all caught up on contract work, we’ll have our tax refund in a couple of months, and I’m planning some fun things for this summer… There is a lot of good stuff to write about and I promise I’ll do that soon.

How was the start of your week?

12 Comments

  1. We get our tax refund next week THANK GOD that will take a chunk off the old credit card which is hurting quite bad.

    Is the money situation good or bad (call it the accountant in me)

    Work thing – I totally get you. I alternately hate and love my job but am stuck by inertia and the fact that I can’t get much else down here for the same pay.

    The two kids v one – I actually think it is a fairly accurate representation. It is easier with one you still get the same challenges but on a slightly reduced scale. And life is more manageable with only one tiny terror to control. I see the difference between me and my sister (3 kids). Sometimes I think she is some sort of weird valium induced coma but then I realise it is just her sleep deprived and brain challenged with her three kids ha ha ha 🙂

    1. I cannot wait until we get our tax refund, mostly because I want to know how much we can budget for some plans this summer. We got married this past year and we heard we’ll actually get less back on our taxes because of it. Blerg…

      “Stuck by inertia” is the perfect way to describe how I feel at work. It’s so hard to break free from that energy pulling me in. I am seriously worried that I won’t be able to find anything that pays me as well, with as good of a commute and with a schedule that works for my family. I may just need to figure out how to be happy at my current job forever.

      I probably seem like I am in a weird valium induced coma, just without the valium (unfortunately 😉 ).

  2. Jobs: I once ‘fired’ myself without telling my employer and spent some time thinking about the aftermath, needing an new job, no money, which parts of the job I DID like after all and what I could stop doing at the job to improve my life. What I would do if I came to the old job as a new employee …. etc. Really helped me redefine and reframe my employment. Really looking at what is available and what the new compromises would be helps a great deal.
    Afterschool care: It is not just normal afterschool care, it is also the holdiays, vacations, teacher’s inservice days, short days for what ever actually good reasons in the school district etc. I believe you are expected to be independently wealthy and not work if you have children in school. GOOD LUCK!!!! It is hard.
    Knowing the two bridges that touch your city I am wondering which one you think is really worse as I think neither is easy for commuting.
    Excited to hear more re your adventures in minimalism and also budgeting processes.
    Knowing now what you do about having two not one child what would you tell yourself or others who are looking at deciding to have a second child. (I am not not not suggesting you would undo having your existing second child ~ only what you would advise a person who is considering the question.)
    Hope your week improves and I am so impressed by your water pouring into the toilet tank. I am no longer strong enough to lift and pour that water weight at that angle myself. But am totally not always flushing and not letting ‘water run while warming up what comes out of the faucet’, I use the electric tea kettle to warm water instead. I assume everyone has low flow spouts … how else are people conserving water?

    1. I second this “Knowing now what you do about having two not one child what would you tell yourself or others who are looking at deciding to have a second child. (I am not not not suggesting you would undo having your existing second child ~ only what you would advise a person who is considering the question.)”

      I love your write-ups about parenting and while considering #2 myself, am very curious of your thoughts.

      1. Wow, I am humbled that you’d like to hear my thoughts on this. I’ve wondered what I would do if I were the “offering unsolicited advice” kind of person (which I try hard not to be). I suppose if someone has asked me to write about it though, I will. 😉

    2. I honestly don’t think people are doing enough to conserve water in California. I read recently that this is the worst drought in 1,000 years! No one seems to be recognizing how bad it is. People are still washing their cars and watering their lawns. That stuff she not be happening right now. It’s ridiculous.

      As for bridges, I currently go south and don’t deal with any bridges. It’s actually a reverse commute from the city to the peninsula and I get to work in 25 minutes, door to door. It’s going to be hard to beat that.

  3. I’ve noticed the two kid thing as well. In our case it’s more that families have older kids or one kid. Kind of mixed around here. I’m pretty jealous of the families who can contentedly chat and actually have a conversation.

    1. At least for us with two small humans, we often manage to send the two off to play and can chat like adult human beings for a bit. If there were one, it would be hard to do that with the 2 year old. I think some of it is just the absence of a toddler/preschooler (so the families I know with 2-4 children who are all school aged are far less stressed than those with a single 3 year old).

      1. My son, at 17 months, absolutely cannot be left alone, even for a second. He climbs dangerous things, opens stuff he shouldn’t get into, finds some random, choking hazard under a piece of furniture (that we can’t see). He needs constant supervision. He’s totally exhausting. I don’t know if he is ever going to be a kid that can play by himself as a toddler. We’ll see…

    2. It really is more hectic. You don’t notice how many moments of down time you have (however short) until they are almost all gone. Having two is a completely different ball game. (At least it feels that way to me, maybe because my second is way more active and gets into more life threatening situations, than my first did).

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