Friday, March 6, 2009

Is this the new normal? (Warning: Very Whiny)

I've been having a serious attitude problem since I got back in town from a conference last week. Every evening, when it's time to do our get-house-and-life under control routine after Leigh is tucked in, I just want to crawl in bed myself. Instead, I trudge through, very grumpily. I'm really not good company right now. And sure, some of this is pregnancy fatigue. After all, sometime soon here I officially turn the 3rd trimester corner, but a lot of it is just feeling really overwhelmed, and like we're already so buried we'll never get our lives back together.

Let's review how life has gone since that coveted BFP:
0) Lots of excitement and happiness. Enjoying lack of 50 million appointments.
1) Serious puking and pregnancy ick until about 16 weeks. Gail holds up OK and we lower standards dramatically, but house and life still slide toward chaos. (and for us, functional house (i.e. clean clothes, decent food, mess only couple inches deep) is essential for a moderate level of sanity.)
2) Entire family taken down by 8 weeks of viral bronchitis. All remaining holds on vaguely organized/functional life are lost.
3) Start to feel better. Get our lives slightly put back together.
4) Develop mysterious leg pain that makes walking extremely difficult. We don't have a car. Gail takes Leigh to/from daycare and does most of the weekend work for a couple weeks so that I can sit on my duff with ice on my legs.
5) Start to feel better. Get our lives slightly put back together.
6) The nose incident. Blessedly rapid recovery, but lose work time just before important conference.
7) Giant work crunch before conference. House and life slide further into chaos despite Gail's astounding efforts to keep the tide at bay while I neglect everything in favor of not making a fool of myself at said conference.
8) Gail gets really sick (4 days of 102-103 fever) while I'm gone at said conference and any progress we've made at all in keeping life in order is completely lost despite the kind caretaking of mother-in-law in my absence.
9) It dawns on us that we've done more or less nothing to prepare for our new arrival, other than wax eloquent on our blog.

I fear we are now *less* prepared for our new arrival than we were pre-pregnancy. And there is not really any light at the end of the tunnel. My next grant deadline crunch starts now. A family reunion is thrown in for good measure. Gail is currently at the "easy" part of her semester and that will change momentarily. Even under the best of circumstances, assuming optimum health, there is absolutely no way to fit the bare minimum of preparation jobs into the remaining weekends (which really only contain one working day due to shabbat).

Then we'll have a new baby, and our tenuous hold on sanity and order will slip even further.

Now, my mother-in-law might disagree, but despite being mathematicians, Gail and I don't demand a perfectly regimented life to stay sane and happy. We can maintain a certain level of chill in quite a few circumstances. But one of the things that helps us do that is that we generally have our life together enough to know our finances are roughly under control, laundry has not taken over the entire household, there is food in the house, and we know what is for dinner. I'm starting to realize that all of those things may not be true at the same time for the next...well...I'd rather not think about how long. It really just makes me want to give up and crawl into bed. Any inspiration for a much needed attitude adjustment welcome, but do be gentle. Assume all proper caveats (thrilled about the pregnancy, excited for Leigh to have a sibling, honored and blessed to be parenting with Gail, just really overwhelmed and crabby right now).


nutella said...

Aww, I can see why all you want to do is sleep. I mean, I don't have 1/3 of the stress that you do going on and all I want to do is sleep. I think my best assvice is to call on your "village". Even little things, like someone to make you dinner one night a week, or to chip in and get you a housekeeper once a month. I'm sure that in times of need you have pitched in and helped out friends and neighbors and I'm sure that others will be delighted to do the same for you. If we lived near you I'd happily do what I could to ease your time even a little. Hugs.

Lyn said...

Ah yes. The village. And we do have a good one. I think we got at least two offers of grocery shopping this week (one of which we accepted), not to mention my mother-in-law moving in for four days while Gail was sick, and now offering to take Leigh for an outing tomorrow. See? I shouldn't be so whiny. I'm not always good at letting our friends really help though. They have the same demands and stress that we do, if not more, so it can be very hard to say yes when they offer.

OK. Even that helped my attitude a little. Thanks for the reminder nutella.

giggleblue said...

in times like these, you have to outsource, as nutella mentioned. i know it sucks, but it can help you get things back into the normal range. if that means ordering premade food form a cushy little grocery store, or sending the clothes off to be laundered or bringing someone in for a deep clean of the bathroom and the kitchen, then do that.

i think the most annoying thing for me during this pregnancy is not having the energy to do a power clean of the house like i used to. before, i could go a whole saturday cleaning away, and scrubbing the house from top to bottom. as soon as the pregnancy kicked up, i can only clean in little parts - initially it was very frustrating. so to help me get back on top of things, i outsourced and it helped. it's going to get better. it has to!

Lex said...

We haven't had anywhere near the amount of stress that it sounds like you guys have had in the past few weeks, but my wife (24 weeks pregnant) has also been struggling with grumpiness/lack of patience/exhaustion. I think it's par for the course. I for one felt like a totally different person when I was pregnant.

I don't know about your household, but I'm sure that ours is going to be running much more smoothly (and happily!) once spring finally arrives.

Anonymous said...

If it is any consolation, you have waxed eloquent on your blog really well.

So here's the thing, having been there... you both know all you really really need to have in line is some diapers, some wipes and some ointment. Yes? Yes. And you need to read your big girl some books about the baby. And I bet you did do that already. Everything else will fall into place.

I promise you your life will fall back into place. But kiss that "know what's for dinner" thing goodbye. :)

Anonymous said...

We're the same way about our house/finances/food. If the house is a mess and we haven't been to the grocery store, we really struggle to feel sane. You've got so much on that plate of yours and the family's plate. I don't have advice except to suggest thinking about how this is a temporary state of chaos. Things will calm down somehow and while it might not feel that way, you'll get everything that's needs doing done for the baby before he's born or you'll come up with a smart solution. You'll live in a somewhat tidy, happy, family of four home again soon.

Anonymous said...

rather than re-write what oneofhismoms wrote, i'll just second it. we too are people who crave order and have had much less of it than we're use to and comfortable with. but it's all falling into place and we're thrilled to have our baby girl (2nd one) with us, so well worth the chaos that she created!

Mama N said...

This too shall pass... I don't have any suggestions or advice - I'm just sending supportive thoughts and love your way. In the meanwhile, keep whining. It doesn't help, but it may help you feel better, even if only temporarily.
Check out purim pictures - they will be up soon.
Love, Carla, Josh, and Frieda