Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Frustrated and Frazzled

Yesterday was a replay of a few weeks before. I was tired, cranky, and on the brink of just yelling at my husband and the kids. Why?? I don't like this! Please understand, this is not like me. It's unusual. I'm generally known for my incredible patience. And it has nothing to do with my menstrual cycle! I know what you're probably thinking as you read this: Ms. Schedule is over the top, wound tight. About time it caught up with her. Didn't bake her bread on Tuesday, and is having trouble coping with the failure of it all. But no, it's not like that at all. The schedule acts as an outline for the week. We pick and choose what really happens; the schedule just gives us some focus. So yesterday, I was just in a really bad mood, feeling frustrated and frazzled. When asked why by my husband, I couldn't put my feelings into words. I had no idea why I felt this way. I kept telling myself, "you're so lucky. You have a beautiful, healthy family, and an amazing home. You have no right to be on such a tear." This did not help. Not one bit.

This past week, my life has been very relaxed. I shouldn't be full of anger. What's my problem? For a week and a half, the kids and I are dog and house-sitting right now 33 miles away, for my parents. The kids and I are staying in Bristol, and my husband is working and living at our house in Rockland. So, the only real schedule we have is breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's fun for a change. We drove up here today, for storytime at the library, and then, since we didn't bake any bread, walked to the bakery and bought a loaf. Stuntmom - it was a delicious cracked wheat loaf. You would have approved. My parents' house is relaxing - it's out in the country, and inside it's neat and tidy, everything has its place.

So, back to The Mood of yesterday. I was already grumpy, as I drove to Rockland. But I get to our Rockland house yesterday, right before lunch, and it's a mess. Frustration rears its ugly head. It hasn't been cleaned in a week and a half (we've been away since Thursday of last week) - and general disorder reigns. Toys are all over the parlor, dirty dishes are in the sink, dust bunnies are running rampant. It's not terrible, mind you, but it's pretty messy. It's not just my husband's mess - it's our mess, and houses just get dirty over the course of a week. Then I find out that tomorrow, some prospective clients are coming by, to meet with my husband about a house they want to build. So the house must be cleaned.

So, I rolled up my sleeves, and started the daunting task. Keep in mind, I came back to Rockland in order to attend my Fiber Arts get-together, not to clean my house. Now I found myself scrubbing toilets, washing dishes, taking care of laundry, and dusting. At 2 o'clock, I thought I'd better skip the FA gathering (it's from 2-4). I had too much work to do. But I was in such an incredibly foul mood, that I decided to go. I was just a bit worried for the women in the crafts group!

And guess what? I came back a changed woman. I sat and chatted with some really nice women for a couple of hours, and worked on one of my sewing projects. I'm still in a good mood, and I think it's simply because I was able to get out of the Mom Space for a few hours. Just a few hours a week, that's all I think I really need. It's so important to do this, and yet so easy to skip taking the time out. My anger has totally dissolved. I am once again the calm, happy person I usually am. I need to remember to take time out for me. It's for the good of the entire family. A happy mom makes for a happy family.


StuntMom said...

I agree, it's so important to take time to yourself, even if it's only for a few hours a week. My husband is a big supporter of such time away. He encourages me to go out, even when I can't find anyone to accompany me to a movie, coffee, or an evening walk.

Anonymous said...

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StuntBec said...

You know, my husband is a big supporter of me having down time as well. But here's the trouble: he is self employed, and works a lot of hours, so that I can be a stay at home mom. So he works all day, has dinner with us, hangs out until about 8ish, and then goes and works for a few more hours. He always works on the weekend as well. Lucky for us that he loves what he does. Oh, and in his spare time, he's putting in those much needed home improvements. So any time I take for myself ends up costing us money. And having been raised with an intense work ethic, it's very difficult for me to cost us money in order to stay sane. But sane I must be.

When I get into these snits, I can't stand it. I remember my mother being this way when I was little. I remember crying a lot, because she was angry. She had four kids, pretty much one after the other (another one 6 years later). She also started her family early, at 20. I don't remember her ever getting out and doing stuff for herself. My family moved around a lot, and so she didn't really have a chance to make strong connections. In hindsight, I bet she wouldn't have been so crazy if she had had some sort of outlet. I need to learn from history, and copy the good stuff from my upbringing, not the negative stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think we've been going to some thought-provoking places on StuntMom, and it's great. I hope that nothing that I write comes across as critical of the methods that we moms find to improve our days. I think the schedule can be a great thing. The comments that I make are really reminders to myself that I'm hoping will strike a chord with others, to draw out areas where we might share habits that drag us down. But I think that the things that make you feel good should indeed be celebrated. When I get angry, snitty, whatever you want to call it, I find that some little inner voice (yes, that's going to be my signature piece, as the schedule has become yours :-) ) needs quieting, and getting together with some really nice women is a great way to do that! I applaud you for making the choice to do that rather than continuing to clean the house. The house will be there tomorrow, the women will be somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

P.S. And I don't want to ignore the commenter who loves this blog (2 comments up). Glad you found it! And that you shared your thoughts. I think it's a great blog, too.

StuntBec said...

To Inner Voice from Ms. Schedule: I love where these discussions lead us. I certainly don't take any comments critically. They are thought provoking, which is so wonderful. The writing and thinking about what we do every day is so reassuring, in a way. I feel like I've got some new friends. And it's so great, to hear that we have so many differences, yet so many things in common (sorry, enough sap). But I'm get angry from time to time : ) !! Hurray! It's not just me! Everyone: What do you do to pull yourselves out of it?

I did come back from the FA gathering and clean the house until 9PM that night, but having spent some time away from my surroundings, I didn't mind the work one bit.

Keep the conversations going! And I'm writing a response to the "who are you" comment - I'm so glad you're joining in!

Anonymous said...

Anger can be pretty tough to pull yourself out of. I read somewhere once that anger follows a set pattern, a sort of a bell curve, and trying to pull yourself out of it at the arc of the curve is fruitless. I think I agree and that you need to let anger run it's course a bit before you tackle it, though I also think there are ways to accelerate its decline. One thing I do is to try to step outside of it. I think about how angry I would be about the situation if it were happening to anyone BUT me. i.e. if I heard a friend describe the same situation. I would be sympathetic, but I wouldn't really be dragged down with it.

StuntBec said...

I like that. I think I'll try it. Try and see the situation as a neutral outsider.

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