Saturday, May 15, 2010

Time for a Little Reality

Among all the chaos for the play, and trying to do the bare minimum at home and work, something, or, rather, several somethings, fell short.

And, I've really nobody I can call to simply vent my own frustrations. Last night, after we got home, I so very much wanted to pick up the phone and call someone, just to tell someone how hard everything is right now. There just isn't anyone in my life I feel I can make that midnight call to right now. (This is one of those things that, for me, explains so clearly why our Heavenly Father made marriage and family central to the Plan. We all need someone to pour out our hearts to, good or bad. I really, truly, hate being deprived of that.)

(Side note to my fine girlfriends: please don't feel bad about this. I'd call you, if it was an emergency. This is only a mini-crisis, and you all have families and frustrations of your own.)

I'm not going to sugar-coat this.

My yard looks like nobody lives there. I'm at the office today, trying to race through several things that really should have been done last week, but were not. My Twins are home, doing...I don't know what. But I KNOW, for certain, despite what I've asked/told them to do, that the lawn will still have that "abandoned" look when I get home.

We're not going to go inside the house in this discussion, but, trust me, that's in your own best interest. If I didn't have to go in the house to shower, sleep, etc., I'd avoid it, too.

I'm not even going to try to explain how I feel about work right now. I said I wouldn't be in, and I wasn't. I've caused myself and my clients and co-workers a lot of frustration because I wasn't able to get everything done that I needed to. I'll own that. But that doesn't mean I can't be angry about it; even if it's me I'm angry at. I generally like my job. I hate that I have to work.
Sometimes my resentment gets the upper hand. I often think I should just shake that off, accept that this is my life: I am a single working mother. Most of the time, I'm okay with it. But, when I try to be both of those things, a mother, and an employee, like I feel I should be, that's when it falls apart. I simply do not have enough energy or time to do both, in full. When either one takes precedence, somebody isn't happy. It's a constant battle. My only hope is that I will be able to be a better employee once my boys are out on their own. I hate that what I have to look forward to is related to work, and not home.

This is not the life I wanted.

Tonight, the last night of the play, I wanted to look my best. The plan is for me to watch it tonight, instead of spending all my time backstage. I've tried to explain what needs to be done, so someone else can try to do what I'd assigned myself to do. I'm comfortable being "behind the scenes", but, I suspect, someone told Cam that I haven't once seen the show, not even in rehearsals, because I've been back there trying to help things run smoothly. (Incidentally, I'm feeling like a failure there, too. I don't know if I'm just trying to do too much, or if I'm not paying attention, but it's not going well.) He's insisting that I come out and watch. I want to see my kids perform. I just worry about things falling apart backstage while I do that.
The boys father is coming to see the play tonight. I don't feel a need to impress him, but it would be nice to not look like the mess I feel I am right now. It's also possible/probable that during the closing night "thank yous" I will have to be on stage, and look like I'm happy about it. I'm not an actor. I have to get happy between now and then.

You know what I really think tipped the scales here? What that one thing was, that was just one thing too many? Letting my thoughts wander into the realm of "social life". When a woman says she doesn't have time for dating or relationships because she needs to focus on work, or raising her kids, or whatever, this is why. I don't know about the singles without kids. I'm not entirely sure what their excuse is. But as a single mom, I can honestly say, there already wasn't enough time or energy in the day to be both an employee and a mother. I can't add anything else without the rest of it falling apart. I'm already just barely holding it together. There just isn't room for anything more. The paradox, of course, is that if I could manage to fit in a social life, to date someone, to give someone the time to get to know me, I may just be able to get that one thing I wanted most: to be a full-time homemaker.

For now, all I can do is try not to resent what has to be. That's just not as easy as it sounds.


Marcy said...

I feel for you Laurel. Even without a job mixed in there I worried about my balance between social life and being the mother I wanted to be to my kids. You do so much and are very good at what you do. I believe the Lord will help you balance it all. Love you.

Michelle said...

Oh Laurel. My heart goes out to you. I've only had a small glimpse of the world of a single mother. Not even close to the real deal by any means because 1. i am married and 2. i don't work, but what I've experienced the last three weeks has been eye opening to me. The lack of emotional support at the end of a long day is hard to deal with. I feel for you. I am glad you at least have a outlet here on the blog to account for those moments or days of difficulty.
I have always admired how well you have provided for your boys and have wondered how often you feel the tug and pull that comes from working and mothering. It's so true-- you can't give both 100%. I worked a bit for Kyle in the very early stages of the business. It was bout 20-30 hours per week and it was miserable. I felt so torn. I could not give my best to either place--my home or the work and it was so easy to feel like a failure ALL the time because of the perfectionist in me, which is clearly manifest in yourself as well.
I wish I had some magical answer. I really do. I just want you to know I am proud of you. It may sound trite or cheesy, but you've made the most of your life and have done the best you can. I know the Lord will absolutely make up for the rest. You just have to let Him. I think sometimes that's the hardest part, because we expect so much of ourselves.
ps I love the idea of getting rid of laundry baskets. that would really solve the problem I think!!! :)