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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer Struggles

Come the first week of June, for the last 9 summers, I have gleefully skipped to my car on my last day of work, giddy with excitement for the 10 or so weeks of vacation ahead of me. I couldn't think of a single thing better than a job that allowed my to have my summers off. This summer.....I was just as excited. Just as thrilled, and quivering with anticipation. Yet, somehow....I am struggling. I am ending week two of my break, and I am lost.

I have pondered what is making this summer so different. I quickly came up with two very plausible reasons. First and foremost, my husband is home....EVERYDAY....ALLLLLLLLL DAY! Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but not to far off the mark. For the benefit of those that don't know, my husband is a commercial fisherman by trade, and has recently decided to take some time off. Formerly, he would be gone for days, weeks and even months on end. Currently, he doesn't plan on working until November at the earliest. A couple things worthy of noting is that my husband doesn't have a single friend that doesn't work, and he can't stand to be alone. This is NOT a good combo.

The second reason I find myself in a quandary this summer is the fact that my darling little two year old has suddenly forgotten how to entertain herself. She is an only, and until the last month or so she was really proficient at keeping herself busy. She is an easy child, who rarely gets upset. She doesn't get into things, and she is fun to be around, but lately, she is needy. I hear the phase, "MAMA...come play with me!" at least 600 times a day. Don't get me wrong I love to play with my girl. In fact, during the work year I am usually lamenting that I don't get enough time with her, but I am not ashamed to admit that I am sick of pretending to be a lion. It was fun the first time....and maybe the second or third time, but after the 400th time I growled and chased my squealing toddler it lost a bit of its luster. I believe that a person can only find joy in the chase if it is a rare occasion. Am I wrong? Is it just me? Do other mamas find endless joy in repetitive play for hours on end?

Please know that I love both of these people in my life a whole heck of a lot, but seriously, I feel like I am being smothered to death. I feel as if someone is holding a blanket over my head, then suddenly and unpredictably yanking it off and yelling, "PEEK-A-BOO!!!" in my face, and expecting me to laugh, when all I want to do is cry. From the moment I wake up until the moment my head hits the pillow, I feel like I am only here to serve the needs of these two individuals. This isn't how I like to feel.
I realize that part of the problem is ME. I am a planner. I like schedules, and predictability. I am not at all fond of the "spur of the moment" mentality. These days, husband and toddler are more alike than they are different. They are both egocentric, have no one to play with, and think that I am the source of entertainment of choice. They are like two siblings jealous that mama is spending too much time with the other. I feel like I am in the middle of a tug of war tournament, and I am the rope. I am constantly pulled from one need to another.

When we wake in the morning, husband invariably asks, "so what do you want to do today?" When he asks this....he really doesn't care what I want to do, he wants me to come up with something for US to do that he likes. He isn't interested in the fact that I have housework, or want to get online. He doesn't take into account my need for a schedule. I want to keep up with my house, hobbies and still have fun with my family. I would like to do all this without having two people whining at me. I'd like to make some predictable plans each week, meet some friends at the park or the library. NONE of this floats my husbands boat. He fusses if I have plans to go meet a friend and her kids. He thinks I should wait to do that when he already has something else to do. Ummmm yeah, the problem there is that he never makes plans. He only knows what he is doing like 2 seconds ahead of time. I don't roll that way. I want to know that tomorrow, we are going to the beach with so in so. I don't want to just wake up and fidget around until we are all grumpy, then try to find something to do. It drives me crazy! My least favorite comment from hubby is, "I'm BORED!" He says this like it is my fault. I'm sorry if I am not entertaining you with my housework. I'm sorry if I WANT to check my blog and babyboard. This is what I want to do today, and I don't want to feel guilty about it.

I firmly believe that the first step in making all of this better is knowing the problem. CHECK!

Now I need to work on the solution. I tried to talk with hubby about it, and he just laughed at me. He just doesn't understand that I will NOT survive many more weeks of this chaos. My tentative plan is to find a daily schedule for Sugar Bear and I that I can try to stick with. I need to set meal, play, and nap times. I find that when I don't plan out time to play with Sugar Bear, I feel like she is tugging at my leg all day begging me to come and play.I need to just go ahead and make plans with mine and Sugar's friends, and hubby will just have to deal. I will also make plans for us as a family, and just hubby and I. If those plans fall thru, I will revert to the daily schedule.

I just have to do something before I crack. Wish me luck!

13 Live It or Love It:

Nikkie said...

First of all, GOOD LUCK Corey!!

Second of all I know how you feel. Some days I want to pull my hair out strand by strand! It must be a big adjustment to go from working mom to stay at home mom. Once you get a routine going I'm sure things will be easier on all of you!!

Jules said...

Oh Corey, I know just how you feel. Chloe is pretty good about playing by herself too, but she goes through days where I MUST be on the floor with her every second. I hope it gets better for you guys!

And hubby is a grown man! Send him out fishing or something, you shouldn't have to entertain him TOO!

Hugs Mama!

Boricua in Texas said...

I am sorry you are feeling overwhelmed and smothered. I totally understand, and I wish I could just reach out through the monitor and give you a big hug.

Are there any home improvement projects you can come up with to "entertain" hubby so he gets out of your hair?

Amanda said...

Oh, Corey... it is no fun when your apple cart gets tumped...
Hope your little "schedule" will help you feel more together...

Funny, but you sound like an old retired couple LOL!

Laura said...

Big hugs, Corey! I know how much joy your family brings you, but I also know how much joy your hobbies bring you, and how much you need that YOU time in order to be the wife and mother you want to be. We all need that, and I hope you can work something out with your husband so that he understand that the more opportunities you have to recharge, the more you will WANT to give him the attention he wants.

Oh, and I'm totally with you on the repetitive play. I get bored with that SO fast! LOL

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Corey - I know just how you feel, except D has NEVER been good at self-play, so I have never had that luxury. But I really can relate.

Check out this post from Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary. She speaks to what you are going through - with kids anyway. I don't know about the hubby thing. Kyle does the same thing for his two weeks of vacation, but that's only two weeks. Like Ingrid said, maybe there are some projects he could be working on? Maybe he could start a brand new hobby?

Pam said...

Girl, I feel for you. I think I would be going crazy. During the week, I keep a pretty good schedule with the kids, but the schedule goes out the window on the weekend. I think your man needs a hobby or ten to keep him busy. He must make good money to be able to take so much time off. What a luxury!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you have this blog. I think just putting your struggles/challenges down on paper (the old fashioned way-now we blog) is a very good way to start. It kind of makes things clear, what's good and what's not working good. I remember years ago when my husband worked from home, and so did I! The struggles I went through then aren't the same as what you're describing, but similuar as far as us being around each other 24/7. Some days I'd say, "hey, I think there's someone walking around your shop looking for you" just to get him out of my office! LOL Anyway. Things change. This too will pass. You can only make changes for yourself, and Kenna. You can't change your hubby, but you can change how you feel about the situation. I really think you are the right track...stay on it and you'll work it through! I'll be praying for you! {{hugs}}

Corey~living and loving said...

Thank you everyone for all the love and support! I really appreciate it.
Hubby has hobbies, but they are spendy, and he is trying to spend less. He has done some great things around the house, but he is going on his 2nd month at he is just running out of steam on the home improvement things.
It is true...I need to find perspective, and hope and pray that he finds something to do at least some of the days. LOL
Fall will be here before I know it and I'll be whining about wanting to be home. LOL

MommyOfThree said...

Good luck, Corey.
I am so there with you, I feel for you, hugs !

Autumn said...

I can relate, I too have a needy child and husband. Oh and they are also very egocentric. I really have no advice for you.If you figure out how to deal with it by Summers end please blog about it so I will know how too! LOL
Hang in there and hope you enjoy your summer.

Anonymous said...

big hugs!!

Lori said...

Oh lord! I'd go crazy if hubby was home that much. I hate when he's on midnights bc he's home all day (even though he should be sleeping) and he gets jealous of my computer/friend time.

Good luck!

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