Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Inspired by a crazy cat lady

For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with balance. I'm up or I'm down... I'm on or I'm off.

There's an illusion running rampant in my head that believes in perfection and failure with no gray area, and both are toxic for me.

When I feel like I'm failing, a "fuck it" attitude takes over pretty quickly. Like, "Well, I'm late, so I'll just flake out altogether and invent an excuse to not show up." Or "Hey, this pan has burnt stuff on it, so I won't wash ANY dishes." Those are the days I watch Maury and judge other people for not knowing who fathered their babies. Good ol' Maury always provides me someone I can feel better than.

When I'm up, it's almost worse. So hung up on making everything perfect that I become a huge nag... "I JUST did ALL the laundry - WHOSE SOCK IS THIS!" With eyes so fiery that no one will admit to the orphaned sock.

Things have been nicer since hubby left. Weird. I don't have him to scapegoat, and it's much easier to manage the family because I'm not fixated on being pissed off at him. My main complaints about him aren't unique... I sound like a broken record. But with him out of the picture, I'm fucking happier. No guarantee it will last though.

But there are some differences. The kids are better about stuff. They aren't giving me any flack when I turn off the TV. They're helping to prepare dinner and with the clean-up. They're brushing their teeth without being told. They snuggle in my king-sized until one of them falls asleep and kicks me in the crotch... then they all go to their own beds.

I'm tempted to conclude that I am a better mother when left to my own devices. It's too early to tell, but I remember being a lot happier. I'm patient with my kids, I'm very IMpatient with hubby. For the past week I haven't had the luxury of noticing what he IS or is NOT doing... I'm doing it all, and things are getting done the right way the first time. It's nice.

Tonight the kids and I prepared a French gourmet dinner that was so delicious... my kids even ate brussel sprouts without bargaining. By 7:00 the kitchen was clean again, eveyone's homework was finished and in their backpacks, and we were free to snuggle and watch "House" without any obligations weighing on our minds. It's nice. We reviewed math facts during the muted commercial breaks. The kids seem happier and they aren't bickering over stupid shit. They're LOVING toward each other. It's a little like the Twilight Zone!

But I'm still awake at 5:30 am. I decided at 4am that sleep was not an option, 'cause I'd never get my kids to school on time if I hit the sack now. I tried to go to sleep at 2am... lights off and everything. I laid here doing nothing for damned near two hours before I gave up. I'm not going to sleep tonight. Not an option. I'm not wired to get by on a few hours sleep... it's all or nothing.

Today I'm going to hit the thrift store and look for a dress to wear this weekend (anniversary plans that hubby made before we agreed he needs to leave). I hope I find something cute because I don't want to pay retail.

I'm going to give it a college try... and look tasty all the while. I just gotta figure out how I can be MY best and not fixate on every single fucking thing he does wrong. He has to give me less ammunition.

It still pisses me off , though. The health of the family seems to fall onto the woman no matter what. It's not fair. When he has a bad day at work, I ask, counsel, and entertain... I do whatever I can to put a smile back on his face. When I have a bad day at "work," I'm abandoned and overlooked. I'm not designed to be invisible.

I guess that's the suckiest part... feeling like nothing matters, and I have too much freedom to indulge in my "off" days because no one gives a fuck as long as they have at least one clean pair of underwear.

Tomorrow's going to be great though. I can already tell. I'll sleep while the kids are at school, and I have a great menu planned for tomorrow evening. The only ingredient I don't have on hand is CHERVIL. WTF is that? Will it ruin the dish if I omit it?

Thanks for listening!


JRae said...

I looked it up- chervil is French parsley. It tastes like a blend of anise and parsley.


The above link has some substitutes (looks like a mix of herbs will have to be substituted).

Glad things are looking up for you. I'm unemployed and wondering what the fuck to do with myself. I don't want the same crappy admin job again, and yet I can't seem to muster myself to do anything to improve my situation. Anyway...

curmudgeon said...

Whooaaa!! Is that you?
You've been - uh, I dunno. I havn't 'seen' you around for quite a spell. Good to catch up a little though.
And yes, your writing has definitely changed.

I offer best wishes with the separation. It's stressful and nerve wracking thing, no matter how you feel about it.

ccw said...

It sounds like you are all adjusting really well. I hope it continues for you.

You're right about the health of the family almost always falling on the woman. This had always killed me because it's that way whether she works outside he home or not. Is it because we're supposed to be the maternal, emotional ones? If so my family is screwed!