I get resentful sometimes.
I'm learning, slowly, how to handle feeling this way, but it is a work in progress. Without a doubt, the thing that is hardest for me is the fact that my entire schedule relies on other people, big and small. I have 15 hours a week, when Finn is in preschool, of unfettered freedom. I simply can't pack everything I need to do into those 15 hours, but my expectations of this free time are always lofty: I'll go to the gym, make all the jewelry orders, get writing done for the book, clean the house, grocery shop. If I get one or two of those things done in that time period, it's a lot.
The rest of my week is spent in fits of stops and starts. Errands with a 4 1/2 year old are torture - one step forward and two steps back the entire time. Getting him out the door takes 10 mins of negotiating. Thinking clearly while in a store is next to impossible. He is either getting into trouble or peppering me with unanswerable questions. He is like a little dictator - if his needs aren't met immediately he pitches a fit. Errands that should take half an hour take an hour.
When I'm home, if I can get ten minutes of uninterrupted time it's an accomplishment. And I can't watch him every minute of every day, so the messes that wait for me if he does actually leave me alone for a bit are staggering. Greta was different at this age, more able to play independently and not destroy the house, and getting accustomed to the differences between a boy and a girl is taking time.
Sometimes I think I should just chuck out the idea that I can pursue the things that are meaningful to me, postpone my dreams until he's in school full time. Two years from now. But I know in my heart that these things that keep my sane - jewelry, writing - make me a better mother overall. Even though in our day to day lives it doesn't feel like it. If I had a nickel for every time I said, "IN A MINUTE!" to Finn I would be a rich woman indeed.
And then there are the evening and weekend activities. I rely on my husband to be home to attend meetings, go to social events, go to the gym, or go do some writing. We have sitters we use, but we can't afford use them very often. So I feel like a child asking for permission to go out and do the simplest of things. And then, of course, his work trumps my needs. He is the breadwinner in the family, so if he needs to work late my plans have to be put on the back burner,or cancelled. It gets really frustrating.
In recovery I'm learning about acceptance. Acceptance of people, places and things. I know, and accept, that this is just my life stage at the moment, that it won't always be this way. On my good days I cherish the fact that I can be home with my kids, that I'm there to get Greta off the bus, that I can play with Finn. On my bad days I just want to speed up time and have more freedom. I get frustrated with myself when I'm wishing away the way things are at the moment, because I know better, now. I'm learning to sit in my frustrations, wait out the bad feelings, tolerate boredom, resentment and frustration as simply feelings that will pass. And they always do.
But today is one of the bad days. I have a list a mile long that involves going to three stores, and then making a bunch of jewelry orders that have to be done today. And Finn isn't in school. He has already asked me several times when we're going to the playground, when we're going to play a game, and can we have friends over? The guilt stabs me in my heart. Who am I to put my needs before his? I know how today will go: putting him off for periods of time, forcing myself to stop and play for a bit, and then putting him off for more periods of time. It is a juggling act that is extremely tiring.
So I decided to write about it. Vent a little, here, to work through how I'm feeling. To own my emotions instead of stuffing them, which never works, it only makes me erupt in other more irrational ways.
I'm trying to name it and claim it. To set my expectations of today realistically. I'll do the best I can.
That's all I can do.