Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In which I realize the stress might be getting to me

It is a peculiar trait of mine that, when faced with mounds of work to do, I either buck up and get to it like I've recently become acquainted with crystal meth, or I feel so immobilized that I cannot even decide where to start, and thus nothing is accomplished. Kind of like a deer being frozen by the oncoming lights of a truck full of unwashed clothes, dirty bathrooms, an undecorated Christmas tree, and an unbalanced checkbook, all covered up with a flapping tarp of Childrens' Christmas Expectations and Dreams.
And so I am here blogging right now, because I can't decide where in my house to even begin. Do I tackle the bathroom that needs a biohazard sticker on the door? Or do I wash the kitchen floor before my kids are permanently stuck to the sticky spots that are growing in number and strength. But maybe I should just get moving on the laundry since Older Girl ran out of school socks yesterday (I don't know where she found the socks she has on today, nor do I want to). Or I could just ditch the housecleaning altogether and work on all the Christmas card addressing, and tree decorating, and cookie baking, and teacher gift-basketing that I have yet to finish (and which is littering up the whole dining room). Hmmm . . . I'll figure it out as soon as I finish this post.
Rob says this indecision, this paralysis in the face of Too Much, is actually a symptom of my struggle with my postpartum depression. I think about how bad it might be if I wasn't such good friends with my generic Zoloft, but maybe it's time to up my dosage because something's got to give. It's not that I don't try to get things done -- believe me, I have read every book and tried every scheduling system out there. I've also simplified, streamlined, cut things out, ditched the excess, etc. And all these things work for a while, until my brain chemistry just seems to get the better of me.
The good part about being medicated (besides, you know, not spending my days curled in a fetal position on the bathroom floor, crying, and choking down Oreos, while telling my children to "go away from Mommy") is the perspective, the ability to look and see that this is temporary. It's something impossible to see when you're in the thick of it with no help.
So I'll eventually get it together, hopefully in time for Christmas, because a Valentine's Tree just doesn't have the same appeal for my kids. I'll start with the kitchen . . . right after I read a couple of my favorite blogs . . . baby steps, people . . .

PS: Who is the patron saint of housework and/or Mothers On The Edge. And if you tell me St. Jude or St. Rita (lost causes, for those who don't know) you can save your breath, they've already heard from me.


  1. I believe St. Anne is the patron of mothers (on the edge or otherwise). I have experienced similar feelings of not knowing where to begin. It is a struggle, with or without the additional burden of depression. Good for you for recognizing it and trying to address it. I don't remember how old your kids are, but maybe they can help? Tell them the tree can't be decorated until a few things are clean and then find ways for them to help. And surrender to the fact that it won't be perfect but it will be done. Do what you have to in order to be comfortable and nothing more. That is what I tell myself. I live with kids and it is okay if my house reflects that and it is okay for you too. :)
    I hope your day improves.

  2. I hear you. When faced with too much, I just don't know where to start. It's like I have to sort it out in my own head, think on it for a time, before I can get going. And then once I get going, well, watch out. I have been making some progress on shortening the "thinking on it" part of the process, but it's a journey.

    "You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better." ~Maya Angelou

  3. How about Elizabeth of Hungary, Mother Seton or Gianna Berretta?

    I have been in your shoes and I know just how not-pretty that all can be. So I will be sending up some prayers on your behalf.

    Grr, everyone who switched to Beta--I can't logon with my Blogger name...
    --SFO Mom

  4. know what? i'm right there with ya. i was just sitting here looking at my calendar trying to figure out how i'm going to fit in laundry cleaning and decorating the house with all the other comings and goings this week. can't be done. i would call in sick or take a vacation day to clean my house/decorate, but having just spent all my sick/vaca time on maternity leave, i have none left to spare. sucks.

    i'll say a prayer for you, and all of us mothers who just need to keep our sanity a little bit longer...

  5. Anonymous10:15 AM

    The house desperately needed cleaning this weekend and it got done. It is clean, as in scrubbed, dusted, floors swept but... the clutter got left in place. I looked at the rooms and thought "by the time I get all the stuff put away the day will be over. How does that get the house clean?" Then I said out loud to myself and my hubby "that's it! Today I clean and, well, all the stuff can just sit there." So all the toys, change, tools, gloves are either stuffed into empty diaper cases or sitting exactly where it is but the toilets are sparkling, the floors are clean and you can't write your name in the dust on the furniture anymore.
    That's a serious breakthrough for this perfectionist. :)

  6. I've had that feeling of not knowing where to start all week. I usually wind up literally walking around in circles and muttering to myself and taking every chance I get to yell at the children. St. Dymphna pray for us!


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