I went to the doc yesterday afternoon, and the verdict is in: I have bronchitis and exhaustion. Um, yeah. So I got some drugs for the bronchitis, and J. told me I need to take better care of myself or I am going to be really ill. Let's see....cut out the coffee so I can sleep better at night, cut down on evening activities, that kind of stuff.
And it makes sense-of course it does! But it's a vicious cycle, really, all of it is. I have absolutely no trouble falling asleep at night, I just don't get enough sleep. All the kids are in bed and hopefully asleep by 10:00 (unless it is a night like last night where Owen went to bed at 8:00 but fought me every step of the way and finally fell asleep at 9:30 after crying on and off for that hour and a half. And of course he wasn't crying for me, but for Daddy; nice, isn't it?), but then there are other things to be done so I can't just go right to bed. I have been getting up between 5-5:30, not by choice but because Owen is an early riser, and usually the puppy wakes me up to go pee at about 3:00 or so. So I really need my coffee in the morning to get me up and going, and honestly I don't think I would be able to make it through the day without it. I am not even willing to TRY, either. I don't DO a lot of stuff in the evenings-on Mondays and Fridays I have AA, which I need (and since I wasn't feeling well, I did not go Friday OR last night), on Thursdays we have the class, and the other nights the most I have to do is give one of the older kids a ride to their youth group stuff.
Anyway, I was a little mad at J. yesterday when she said that, because it's like, what? What the fuck am I supposed to do with that information? I can't do anything any differently than I am, you know? I feel like I am getting all of this pressure-well intended, of course, but pressure nonetheless-from all of these different areas in my life, and instead of helping me, it just makes me feel stressed out and inadequate.
And yes, tired. It makes me tired. I think that part of what made me mad about J. was that she is right. For some reason, though, placing a name to it-"exhaustion-" and hearing that it will make me sick (er), well, that somehow just makes it all the worse. Of course I am tired-aren't we ALL? But tell me what I am supposed to DO about it. REALLY. Give me a practical way to do this. Because believe me, I am out of ideas. My kids help me out a ton, they really do-but they are not the adults of the household, and they are NOT going to carry any more of the brunt than they already do. They are expected to do their chores and help out with the younger kids when I am in the middle of making dinner or whatever, but their real job, so to speak, is to do their homework and work hard at school. So after dinner and dishes comes the homework time; while they are doing their homework is my time with the younger boys-bathing, going over homework and listening to violin practice (if he sticks with it, I think Sam has some natural ability there), reading stories...you all know how it is. I am totally preaching to the choir here, I am aware of that.
The only option here is to keep going; I don't want to put a name to something I cannot do anything about, so I choose to think of it as just part of life. I have something to look forward to; on Thursday, Jacquie is going to keep Sam and Owen overnight, so I can just come home from class and perhaps go straight to bed, or shortly thereafter. I will also be able to sleep in, since I will have two less children and also won't have to make the trip to daycare. She is a good friend to me, this Jacquie, and while it might seem like a small thing to some, it is huge to me.
To take a real quick political detour here, my life is why I hate Sarah Palin so much. Not taking into account the fact that she is completely incapable of running our country when Mcfuck inevitably keels over, I hate the fact that she looks right into the camera and winks at me and says "I am just like you; just another soccer mom." I swear, that makes me fucking gag. Number One, I am not a soccer mom-I can't afford soccer, thanks much. And no, bitch, you are nothing like me. Take away your husband-and no, he isn't allowed to DIE, because then people give you sympathy and casseroles and encourage you to date people; he has to divorce you. Then take away the job and the house, because single mothers still make something like 60 cents to the dollar of their married counterparts and are fired much more often for poor attendance-because there is no Fair Pay/Paid Time off to care for ill children (and I am not talking about the Family Medical Leave Act-it only applies if you work in a company with 50 or more employees). Then apply for State Medical help, but kiss goodbye any chance you ever have of getting health insurance for yourself-but at least your kids will be covered. Even though you will then be accused of living off of the government and taking free handouts-you will be considered just another drain on society, like every other single "welfare" mother in the world. Last, but certainly not least, take away any kind of family or social support, because all too many of us don't have that safety net underneath us. Then, and only then, you will be like me-and I am certainly ill-equipped to run a country!
Argh. Should NOT have gone there. Still, it livened me up just a little, and I am grateful for that. At this point, I am willing to take what I can get. This morning via email, a buddy of mine told me I deserve a medal, and I have to disagree. On a political level, what I deserve is health care, paid sick leave, a support network in place that is there to catch me when I fall with no social stigma attached. On a personal level, I deserve someone who loves me enough to bring me soup and put my kids to bed for me so I can take care of myself. I deserve a the life I see other women have, other women who treat those precious commodities "husbands' with complete disregard and get to write out a check for the groceries without even thinking twice. I deserve all that, and more. This is what I am working toward-well, not the husband thing, as I have totally given that one up a long time ago-but the rest. And I have so many good things that they can't be forgotten, either, or go unacknowledged. I have great friends like C. and Jacquie and J. and April and M. and many others who are here to help prop me up-emotionally, physically, mentally. I have the Big Guy who seems to enjoy fucking with me regularly but also is always there, I have a job I truly enjoy. I am just-I am tired. Sick. Exhausted.