Monday, December 2, 2013


i totally yelled yesterday. like, borderline screaming rage...well, not screaming, not red-hot shaking, not really rage, just "i've fucking had it!"-type [loud] rant. i didn't name-call or to speak...okay maybe i did say something about ungrateful children...a couple of times. i was ranting about about holiday stress. i was trying to get the kids to help tidy the house after the holiday week trashing, they were whining about decorating for winter/xmas bc i said we could on dec. 1st. but the house was trashed and i said we can't decorate a trashed house. totally logical, right?

well they didn't seem to get the connection, and nobody was doing anything, including my husband. i am stressed out trying to make gifts bc we are broke and i am crafty and have lots of supplies. i clearly expressed my anxiety about holing up in my studio to work while the house is a mess, bc the mess will get worse if i'm not around to help reign it in (i.e. supervise!). the house is extra trashed bc hubs and i have been sleeping in (since there was no school last week) and the kids are unsupervised for a couple of hours each morning which means mischief galore...despite our attempt to curb it by leaving the room with the tv unlocked and tuned into pbs. guess my kids are tired of tv! (good thing i suppose). ANYWAY, the mess is not really that bad if you think about 7 ppl pitching in. an hour would do it. but no one wants to freakin help. okay, i'm rambling...

so, as usual, my tantrum was triggered by no one respecting my need for peace and order (if we want to get all NVC about it) and my clear and respectful (if repeated) requests for help. it was getting toward the end of the day and i was panicking that no one would do their jobs for the day, then it would be time to go to grandma's for dinner and that would eat up the rest of the evening until bedtime! so i lost it. i ranted about holiday stress, ungrateful children, no one helping me, etc. i don't even remember. i wasn't even talking to anyone in particular, just ranting while violently unloading the dryer and transferring the wet clean stuff in (lol). so everyone is begrudgingly doing some pickup/put away as i continue to rant. (they did make a decent dent so it was okay later.) so then i announced i wasn't going to the ILs' for dinner bc i needed a break. so i got a couple of hours to myself to recharge. and i will admit i took some anxiety medication to help me calm down and recenter myself. it helped a lot. i was calm and loving/playful when they got home.

so i don't even know how i could have done things differently. this was a case of me feeling disrespected and worthless...walked all over...because my repeated requests were repeatedly ignored. EVERYBODY KNOWS that mama needs peace and order, and that starts with a clean house. i mean, that's one of the reasons i put them in school! i could not stand living in chaos anymore! i am able to PLAY when i am not bogged down with mental clutter caused by environmental clutter. why wouldn't they want that? you would think they would notice that and want to help. i have certainly verbalized it enough times; pointed out the connection between mama's moods and the level of order in the home. everyone plays better, not just me! the house stays company-ready (or close to it) during the school week, and even on weekends i'm okay with the extra mess bc i know come monday i will be able to get things right again. and they do help. our rhythm just got all fucked up last week. i'm proud that i made it almost all the way through the 9 days without losing it, but now i'm disappointed that i failed at the very end! argh.

today, things are finally quiet, but there are 5 loads of laundry to fold and the sink is overflowing with dishes. i asked hubs to do them yesterday (twice) and then again this morning (twice). he has now left for his jobs and still they sit in the sink. so now, once again, i have to do them myself. 3 days worth of dishes. FFS.
my husband repeatedly says he'll do something and then doesn't follow through. so in the interest of NOT being a martyr, i do it myself because (bear with me here) i'm doing it for ME--no one else seems to give a shit if the house is a shambles. and many times i have asked him to do something and then started to do it myself within minutes, i guess as sort of a point that it needs to get done NOW, not just whenever he feels like it, if he even remembers.

the NVC formula works wonders sometimes. saying "would you be willing..." puts the option to do good for someone else into their hands, and people like to help others bc it gives them satisfaction. i just feel like i'm the only one putting forth an effort to be compassionate and empathetic around here. my husband's version of getting ppl to help involves turning into a drill instructor. he feeds off my moods so when i get upset about stuff he steps in a deals with it...meanly. it does not make things better.
 the thing with the kids is that we have made chores/jobs/tasks a mandatory part of daily life, and they have come to accept that (if begrudgingly sometimes).  so when they are just wanting to play (and add to the mess) all day, i get frustrated. i really think the screw-up in our rhythm is what made things so bad. i had to trade the screentime rules for extra sleep (the need for which was brought on by more couple time at night...staying up way too late), and normally they have to do their daily jobs before getting screen time, which is strictly limited under normal circumstances. having unlimited screentime caused them to self-regulate and it lost it's novelty (a good thing). so then it turned to "we can't go anywhere until the jobs are done". but then they got involved in playing (another good thing) and the desire to go somewhere disappeared. result: no more ammo for me. and who am i to disrupt one thing i desire very much from my children--that they are happily playing all day long, no screens, no field trips?

it was just the one day. the week in general was pretty relaxed. i think i was just starting to panic bc things got so out of the ordinary. i like routine, i like order, and i like my alone time. those needs are met while they are at school. i'll be okay for the next 3 weeks but then winter break starts and it will be TWO weeks of everyone home, PLUS the holidays. omfg. i guess i will have to be more prepared for that than i was for this. live and learn.
the tentative plan: try to keep the routine, i guess. the tricky part is the sleeping in thing. we are not morning people, and getting up at 6am on school days is the pits. sleeping in till 8am is a treat, but the kids still get up at 6! i have a feeling we will be adjusting the bedtime over winter break. let the kids stay up a little later (than 8pm) and maybe they'll sleep in a little later than 6am. we like night time festivities anyway, fires, movies, etc. so we will have to spend the last 3 nights getting back into the 8p-6a groove before school starts again (to avoid monster-children), but perhaps it's worth that price. 


i think i'm becoming agoraphobic. or i always have been but have just had to deal with it for the sake of everyone else. i like being at home. i don't get cabin fever. lately i mostly only leave for errands or babysitting jobs. i haven't been going to church, and i don't miss it. i like having friends over, but i generally don't want to go anywhere. it's like this one vehicle thing (going on 5 months now) + 4 out of 5 kids in school (almost 4 months) is allowing the agoraphobic in me to blossom, so to speak. i've always had social anxiety (with strangers -- hate small talk) and claustrophobia, fear of heights...all symptoms. i'm not *afraid* to leave my house, i just don't want to, and will avoid it whenever possible. i am thankful that i have the one-car thing as an excuse. or maybe i *am* afraid. i don't know. i have always "joked" that if i wasn't married with children, i would be a hermit in the mountains somewhere, like the grandfather in Heidi. this is weird. maybe this is just some strange manifestation of depression. or maybe i am still recovering from 5 years of homeschooling with 4+ spirited children with me 24/7. or maybe i'm feeling apathetic about my marriage/life bc i'm thinking too deeply about the past. maybe all of it. maybe i have just given up on some things bc the current (very multifaceted) situation has ripped so many things out of my hands, so in order to survive i have had to just surrender and not care anymore.