Friday, November 30, 2012

guilt

Over the last several weeks, work has entered crazy territory. I find myself going in early, staying late, and putting in additional time at home at night/on weekends in an effort to meet ever-growing deadlines. As it stands lately, I see Elden for about 20 minutes in the morning to nurse him before I rush out the door, then again at 4:30 pm to nurse him (although lately Jon's had to give him a bottle as I've been leaving work after 4:30 with a 40-minute commute home). Usually after he eats in the evening, Elden goes down for a nap that lasts between 30 minutes to an hour and a half depending on how decent of a day he had. When it's all said and done, I'd say best case scenario I get to spend somewhere on the order of 2.5 hours with him in the evening on weeknights, so maybe 3 total hours per weekday. If you do the math, that means I spend about 16% of the week with Elden.
We broke our own rules and nap-cuddled in bed while daddy was at school
Since Jon usually works weekends, I am typically alone with Elden on Saturdays and Sundays. Two full days of uninterrupted time with my baby? Yes and please. Which leads me to my next dilemma: I never want to take a date night to nurture our marriage or any "me" time to help ground myself because I feel like I already spend so little time with Elden. I am well aware of how detrimental that can (and at times, has been) to our marriage. But when I'm away it's nearly impossible for me to enjoy myself because of the ever-growing feelings of guilt. And truthfully? I'm beyond burned out. During Elden's naps on the weekend, I am running around like a madwoman attempting to do the laundry, cook for the week, and tend to other areas of the house that are in dire need of some TLC. I feel like I haven't been able to slow down enough to take a deep breath for myself, no less connect with Jon, in over a month. But how do I let the guilt subside when I choose to be apart from Elden more than I already have to be to support our family?

The things I already have and will continue to miss due to being away from him so often during the week haunt me. What I probably need more than anything is a few hours to genuinely relax--no housework, no crying baby that refuses to be consoled, no looming deadlines hanging over my head. But then reality smacks me in the face and I realize I will never have all three of those things--at least not at once--and I want to crawl into my bed, pull the comforter over me, and pretend like real life isn't hard. But then the baby cries and we run out of clean pajamas for him and there's nothing to heat up in a jiff in the fridge and I find myself hungry, flustered, and despondent.

So how do I deal with the guilt? How do I nurture myself and my marriage when I often forget to brush my hair (don't get me started on my teeth), don't view cosmetics as enough of a priority on my constantly growing list, and don't have the energy to carry on long conversations to reconnect with my best friend at the end of the day? I don't. I bury my chin into my chest and I push forward through each monotonous day, cycling between guilt of being away, exhaustion of being home, and fear of not being present.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there! I know you're doing a great job as wife and mama. But simply NOT an easy task! I'm personally trying to sort through some tough decisions for work and am realizing that whatever path is chosen---return to work or stay at home---there will be guilt involved.

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