The lights are on but nobody’s home

Hello. Hello? Is this thing on? I’m not managing much by way of bloggy goodness lately, either of the posting or commenting kind. You might spot the occasional Tweet though, 140 characters seems to be something I can manage.

Things are still not quite right in my head (though I’m reading more which is a good thing) I’ve been struggling with feeling overwhelmed and unaccountably sad for weeks now. It’s kind of pissing me off. I was talking to Adam about it and saying how my life, by any objective measure, is pretty fucking awesome and to be feeling on the verge of tears rather more often than is reasonable and not being able to muster up any motivation to do things I actually really want to do sort of sucks. I’m tired because I keep staying up intending to do the things on my to do list but procrastinating until it’s too late and I’m falling asleep on the lounge. So I go to bed, don’t get enough sleep and do the same thing the next night.

I haven’t cooked anything interesting for ages. I’ve made no jewellery since before Christmas. I need to make a whole bunch of dark ages clothes for us before we go camping at Easter and I’ve done nothing about that. I haven’t done any glass bead making since mid-way through last year.

I’m working 4 days a week and still trying to do most of the volunteer stuff I took on when I was not doing any paid work. I’m not getting my alone time of being in the empty house during the day in silence and I’m missing that desperately.

I’m short on patience with the kids. I’m worried about David and how much work we have to do with his anxieties to get him up to speed for the transition to high school. I hate homework with a fiery passion because it means that for a large part of the week my interactions with the kids are in the form of nagging and arguing and because David in particular can take up to 2 hours to do work that ought to take about 20 minutes.

Bah.

I need a holiday. But not the sort where you run away for a while but it’s all still there waiting for you when you come back. Has anyone got a magic wand I can borrow?

19 Responses to “The lights are on but nobody’s home”

  1. Deborah says:

    {{{Hugs}}}

    Hmmm…. been there, done that. We’ve found that we can manage about 1.5 jobs between us, and after that everything turns to custard – grumpy parents, sad mum, upset children, dirty house, garden that needs weeding, all of which add to stress and keep the cycle going down.

    Time for a circuit breaker?

  2. yodaobi says:

    OK
    Here is a little remedy…

    Cut down on the volunteer stuff a bit. You are not wonderwoman! Also if I may suggest be BAD!
    Plan a Wagging day with each of your kids. Go somewhere they want to go and spend the day enjoying eachothers company… I think we get bogged down with life we forget to live.

    GET some SLEEP WOMAN!!!!
    I can’t stress this enough! Please be kind to yourself you are a wonderful, beautiful, amazing woman and if you let it you head WILL come right.

  3. Mel says:

    No magic wand but a definite feeling that you were writing about me.

    Dump the volunteer stuff – it sounds harsh I now.

    And homework – I call myself the ‘evil homework queen’ as I have the same problem with Mr 8. I talked to his teacher. We agreed that I will try for 20 minutes and if it doesn’t get done I just send a note. After doing that for about 3 weeks and asking Mr 8 when he would like to schedule homework (he chose 5pm – which can clash with activities but whatever) I am finding he can get most of it done. He still moans but he knows he chose the time so he has to have a go. (I HATE HOMEWORK.)

    Craft stuff has gone out the window (this from she who used to own a scrapbooking store). I am depressed about my weight which I am struggling with but apart from that life is amazing.

    So what is wrong with us??? Is it a midlife crisis/drama/situation? I don’t know.

    Talking about it with DH last week he said “You know I’ll always love you but you’re easier to love when you’re happy”. So I’ve been trying to use that as my mantra.

    Let’s do it together.

  4. Mim says:

    Thanks guys 🙂

    I did cut back a little on the volunteer front when I started working last year but I'm pretty much stuck with the P&C presidency role for another year. At least I presume I am, who knows come the AGM next week maybe a whole bunch of new P&C members will turn up and stage a coup….yeah, I can dream 😛 Truth is I don't want to drop that, and it's really not so very time consuming normally, it's just busier at this time of the year, should ease off again soon. Besides, once I've done my 2 years I can step back and be volunteer-proof for a good few years, just enjoy going along to meetings and having opinions without feeling like I should be doing more 🙂

    What I will be dumping is the bookshop job. Much as I love the shop I can't keep doing 4 days and stay sane. So that will finish by Easter I think.

    Mel, I tried something similar to that with Dave and homework a few years back, unfortunately it wasn't particularly successful for us. He just didn't do the work and then got depressed about not doing it and "how useless and stupid he was". Ended up stuck in a nasty negative feedback loop. *sigh*

    I hauled my bead making stuff out today and made some beads. My technique has gone a bit rusty so that was a bit frustrating but at one point I reached that zen state of feeling very relaxed and totally absorbed in the creative process. It was nice. Then hot glass snapped off the rod I was heating, dropped on the kitchen floor and burnt the cork flooring – that wasn't very zen at all LOL

  5. Lisa says:

    is it depression or just plain overwhelmed with life-ness………
    sending love and the understanding of another run off her feet mother xx

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hugs to you Mim

    At the AGM next week – hold firm – believe me when they realise that you can not take it on again – someone will step up – someone always does. Glad you are getting some of your own stuff done now

    Trish

  7. Ariane says:

    *Hugs*. I’m feeling that pain. I cried most of my way through Friday.

    Could the teacher perhaps prioritise the homework for David a bit? He might be too old for this approach – but I’m thinking starting with a tiny amount that he can handle and add little bits at a time.

    Only other suggestion is one you already know – fix the sleep with the get up time instead of the going to bed time. It sucks, but it works. Got up at 6:30am for the last few days. Hate getting up, but by 9am the world is a better place than it otherwise would have been.

    Ask me in a week, I’m sure I’ll still be following my own advice. 🙂

    Any possibility there is biological cause? Hormones not behaving or some such? Not that the amount you are doing wouldn’t justify your feelings, but it always seems like a good idea to check.

  8. Liz says:

    No advice… just {{{hugs}}}.

  9. yodaobi says:

    Quite an eye opener this comment thread has been. I think there are frighteningly too many Mums out there (including myself) doing too much. I want to explore this a bit more on my blog and ask people to list last week, this week and next weeks activities. Maybe it will be a way to step back and cull things a bit…
    dunno.

    OMG Mel you hit the nail right there with “you’re easier to love when you’re happy”
    I too am going to work on that.

    hugs n kisses to all overworked mums and those that have to put up with us!

  10. yodaobi says:

    LOL sooooooooo hard
    I sound very yoda in that first sentance!

  11. Mim says:

    It’s the fact that I’m not particularly overworked, am very fortunate in having a super supportive and very patient hubby, have kids that don’t have any major problems and don’t have financial worries that makes me think it’s not only justified overwhelmedness. I have been medicated for depression before. The answer is still to reduce stress though.

    Ariane, I’m planning on getting rid of the Implanon even though it’s been great for me for the last 6 years, just in case that is contributing. I reckon it’s Adam’s turn. I should be getting up earlier, walking the dog in the morning works so much better than trying to fit it in later in the day, the alarm is set for 6:45am at the moment, I’ll change it to 6:15am tonight!

  12. Ariane says:

    I’m going to give the Mirena IUD a go. Only topical hormone, not systemic and keeps periods to tiny or non-existent. The latter reason making it more attractive to me than Crash stepping up to the plate. On the pill at the moment – but only have been for a week, so I’ve no idea whether it’s doing anything to me. 🙂

    Good luck, I hope you can get all the variables back in the appropriate range.

    It’d be great to catch up too, when you have time.

  13. Lisa66 says:

    Mim, first of all (((hugs))). I do understand how you feel. Really.

    I have spent the past couple of years making myself deliberately un-busy. I’m still busy, but only as much as I want to be, and I can control (to a degree) the amount of activity in my life.

    But doing too much is only part of the problem. I agree with you that being sad all the time is not necessarily caused by all the stuff you have going on. It’s funny, I was just having this conversation this morning with a dear friend who, like me, suffers from anxiety. She’s decided to get herself some professional help, a decision that I applaud.

    Over the past couple of years I have discovered some strategies to keep me sane, things that help keep the anxiety at bay. At the risk of boring you stupid I will share some of these now!
    1) I run as often as possible. This is like meditation for me. I’m not suggesting running will do it for you – but maybe more regular walks with Clara, or yoga or sitting by yourself in the garden for 20 minutes a day might help. In essence “me” time.
    2) regular time out with my friends. I have become better at organising nights out, weekends away, with no kids and no blokes. Time for me to be with my friends and to reconnect with myself as an individual, not a wife or mum.
    3) talking or writing about my fears as I am experiencing them. This has helped a lot, but it’s something I’m still working on. I think we all tend to ‘cover up’ and just get on with it. We don’t want to admit to feelings of depression or anxiety lest we seem weak or a ‘failure’. for me, being open about it all has helped.

    I hope the fact that this post has generated some many responses has helped a little. I hope that you can see you are not alone and this is some small comfort.

    Lisa xx

  14. Mary (MPJ) says:

    If you find that magic wand, I want to borrow it when you’re finished. 😉

  15. Megan says:

    Wrote a really long reply and comments section not working and lost it so here is the brief no holds barred version!
    1. Adam should have the snip (hehehehe, hi Adam, I’m trying with mine)
    2. Come out to the movies with me!

  16. Mim says:

    Megan – He promised he would about 7 years ago! I’m planning on holding him to it 🙂 Also, movies sounds good, a Tuesday night perhaps? (24th and 31st are free)

  17. Di says:

    *hugs*
    should you ever need a break, you know we’re just down the road so drop by whenever.
    regarding health related stuff, i would recommend going to an holistic doctor to get fully checked out.

  18. Penny says:

    love the comments here. having similar overwhelmed/want to escape feelings myself…
    can echo Emma’s suggestion of having a mental health day/sleep thing.

  19. Marjorie says:

    I hope this is better now.

    Re: your fiery, passionate hate for homework, you might enjoy this movement as much as I do. http://stophomework.com/

    (Sorry I’m late here–I’ve been reading on a little ipod and I’ve been barely getting to a real computer to write timely comments.)

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