Sunday, November 16, 2008

The whinefest of an overeducated, underappreciated char-woman

A while back, Elizabeth from Three Channels referred to herself as an overeducated char-woman and the term stuck with me. I liked it, because it was such an apt description of what I feel like most days. I went to college and studied English. After college, I worked in a legal publishing company and then decided to go to graduate school. While pursuing my Master's degree in Education, I taught English as a Second Language at a community college. After getting my degree I taught English at an inner-city, alternative high school, a university and a couple of community college. In all that time, I don't ever remember being called upon to clean up poop. Once, a high school student who was pregnant puked in my class after eating a breakfast of Red Hot Cheetos, but the dean came and cleaned it up.

I don't just feel like a char-woman because of the messes I regularly clean up, but also because sometimes I feel like I am completely sapped dry by the needs of my kids and others. Here's an example. At church, I am one of the women in charge of the children, so every Sunday, I spend most of my time with other people's kids, while trying to get my kids to behave at the same time. This Sunday was an exception. They were having a special program for the women, so the men substituted for us with the kids. I am a bit embarrassed at how excited I was at the prospect of hanging out with some women and no kids. I couldn't wait.

Then, comes Sunday and Danny was beside himself with crying when he found out I wasn't going to Primary with him. I stood in the hall for at least 30 minutes trying to coerce/bribe him into going with the other kids. I even offered him the option of coming with me and hanging with the women, but he wasn't biting. He just wanted to sit in the hall. With me. In his defense, I think he was a bit overstimulated. Church is the one place where he regularly has difficulty--it isn't really set up for kids like him, and the changes I have tried to institute have been met with some resistance.

Anyway, as I stood with him in the hallway, watching the minutes tick by, the precious minutes during which I could have been sitting with the other women, I actually started to cry. I know, I know, you will probably say my pregnancy hormones are to blame, but I was completely disappointed to miss this opportunity to be childless for an hour or so. And not just childless, but childless while having the pleasure of other adults' company and conversation. Bil finally did manage to convince Danny to go to nursery. He is too young for nursery, technically, but at that point I didn't care.

And now here I type while my two kids and their two friends laugh and play in the family room and my husband naps. And naps. And naps. I can't really complain; he was up really late last night working on a project to help me. But still. Here I am alone with kids. Again. I know this is a recurring theme with me and I shouldn't be so ungrateful. I should enjoy the time with my kids and not ---- OK, I just had to run into the family room and give all the kids a timeout for fighting and throwing toys all over my heretofore previously clean family room. So much for enjoyment.

I need to get out. I need to get out with some friends. I need to make more friends. I need a cleaning service, because I am so totally done with cleaning up endless messes and never having any of my work staying done for more than an hour. Sigh.


Quirky Mom said...

Just sending some hugs. <3

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Patty, I would have cried too. That is a total bummer. I admire you for serving in children's ministry. You are very much underappreciated.

Many if not most moms get time off in short spurts through family, church, etc...but for those of us away from family and doing ministry ourselves, we don't get off time at all. Maybe we can barter with ather moms???

Amy Jane said...


My poor friend. Sounds like we BOTH had less-than-stellar weekends (read my blog). I agree - you do need to get out with friends and without kids. Please make every effort to make that happen! I only wish I still lived there and could be one of the friends that you're going out with! You are frazzled, and you need some respite. It's OK to ask for it and to take it. So do so! I expect you to report back to me and tell me about how you've taken time for yourself.

mrsbear said...

It's hard. I don't think other people realize the exhausting pull of being mom 24/7. Of course you need some adult time away from the kids, even if it's once a month, it recharges you. I hope you get a much needed break soon, preferably before your new arrival.

Kim said...

I am so there with you. It is totally understandable that you would cry in that situation. Having some time away from the kids, spent with other adults is so important. Not getting that is sometimes like not getting air! I can't remember my last moment of child free adult conversation... and it makes me feel like crying as well.

I hope you find a way to get some time for yourself soon.

BQkimmy @ Life With Meechi

Anonymous said...

I am right there next to you. I wanted to Osh-bosh to look for wedding dresses with Mom and "A". When I told my DH this his first response was "What kid are you taking?" Yet I am convinced I will always have a kid hooked to my side:)

Elizabeth Channel said...

Oh how we could be the same person. Down to the Master's Degrees, university teaching and all! I so feel your pain, and I find myself in your shoes on a daily basis.

Getting out is so hard to do but so changes your perspective. I hope you can find a way to get some free time with adult conversation. I'll pray about that for you (and for me, too.)

I love Amy Jane's idea about us all serving as "free-time-accountability-partners." I know Mrs. Bear did a post about a girl's night and so did Hello Kittie Mama.

Maybe if we all pledge to plan a night out and then blog about it, we can all get a great post out of the deal and the free time we all deserve?

Any takers?

Shellie said...

some days, you just have to whine, go ahead and whine if it'll make you feel better!