Monday, January 05, 2009

Frustration

While everyone else is writing blogposts about their New Year's resolutions goals, I'm sitting here in a pile of frustration. Or is it a puddle? I'm not sure which state of matter frustration takes, but there's plenty around here to make it rough.

Whether it's been the indulgences of Christmas, the off-routine of our days, or something else, the kids have been less giving, more whiny, more likely to fight and bicker, less likely to comply without an argument, and other obnoxious things. My patience is wearing thin, and I'm feeling swamped by the housework that I work on all the time but it never changes. I took a deep breath this morning, somewhat energized by Hubby's going back to work (the past two weeks he's worked 2 1/2 days, then off for the 'holidays.'). I started homeschooling up again last Monday just because the structure was needed, I thought. I pulled the sheets from the bed, as I do each monday morning, drug them and Baby downstairs, changed and dressed her, got breakfast ready (amid complaints about the menu), coerced children to dress themselves, scrubbed old spilled blueberry smoothie (have you ever had blueberry bits dry on anything? You need a plasma torch to remove them, even from a cup!) from all over the table, swept the not-small pile of Organique's mealtime cast-offs from beneath the table, and did other early chores. Before breakfast was over, Hubby called from work, to say, "it's that time of year again." Huh? What time of year? "The time when they mostly lay us off and send us to get unemployment." "That's NOT this time of year! Last year that was at the end of January, or even February!"

But this year it's now. And the prospect of smaller income right now as we are facing some larger expenses is scary to me. Hubby being home more gives him more time to work on his motorcycles, which usually translates into more ebay purchases of motorcycle parts. His rotation diet has encouraged him to do some crazy purchasing of crazy food that I would *never* buy or be willing to pay for (or eat, for that matter. Squid? Yuck!). All of these things are converging on my psyche to make for a most unpleasant Mama, I'm afraid. And right now I'm just not sure how to deal with it. I pray more, certainly, and read the bible. But half of my conversations turn into arguments (and of course it's not just my fault!). I'm sinking under the workload of this household this month, and I'm just not sure if or how I'll conquer it.

The snow is falling outside, and it's very cold. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere, but longing for spring has taken on another meaning these days. :)

I'm sorry to be so full of whining. I'll try to do much better next time I post. In the meantime, if you have any inspiration, I'd be happy to hear it. :)

13 comments:

Shadowmoss said...

Suggest to hubby that you need some help around the house for awhile as you are feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps he can get involved with the schooling, or some organization thing. This would keep him busy, you feeling helped, him feeling useful and not as much spending of money? Then again, I'm a single, no kids female who is probably going to lose her job this week myself. If I had another adult in the household to help me, I would at least ask for help.

MamaJ said...

Oh, I understand your frustration! Hang in there girl. I read an article about how women have more stress during winter than any other time of the year. Apparently things like: the holidays, being stuck inside with our to-do lists staring us in the face, and the lack of vitamin D from sunshine can stress us out. Who knew? I am sure unstable job situations and dried blueberry only adds to it all. :)

annie said...

I totally, completely, emphatically know exactly what you're saying, which is why I've refrained from even mentioning the new year idea on my blog. :) My goals this year: have another baby; don't lose touch with reality. I hope I can manage!

My inspiration for you? Come to Florida! We have lots of vitamin D and very little housecleaning. :)

EllaJac said...

Shadowmoss, thank you for your visit and comment. I've brought it before Hubby, and we agree (at least, I think we do) that we need to find a new 'routine' for these days. Working it out will be a challenge, because the blessed man just isn't programmed domestically. Tear apart and engine (or three at the same time) and recall where each and every spring and screw goes? Absolutely! Notice the pile of laundry he steps over sixty-five times a day? Not so likely. :) A chance to be refined, for both of us, I think.

MamaJ, thank you. It could be the vit. d. God knows I wear six layers and a knit hat - when I'm busying myself around the house! - so even if I *were* to encounter some actual, direct solar rays, my liver would never even notice. Is it the liver? Or am I confusing that with another vitamin/organ thing...?

Annie, sounds like some good, sensible goals for the year. Maybe I need to do the same (make good, sensible goals that is... like keeping reality in my sights). And Florida sounds like a grand idea! Except, you know, for the whole 'reduced income' issue. And Hubby can't exactly collect unemployment if he leaves the area. :) I find travelling with three kiddos and no Hubby is an exercise in another form of Frustration. Actually, Hubby or no, traveling with 3 kids is Frustration. :)

I did have a (way late) inspiration today... Why don't we plan (and save!) for these downtimes by doing a household project! Argh! Okay, if we didn't have the aforementioned expenses looming, I'd probably do it anyway. The snap-together hardwood floors would be fantastic in, you know, the entire downstairs of the house... and with Hubby HOME with SOMETHING TO DO... WHY didn't I think of this a year ago??? :S

Ah well, there's always next year, right? :)

sariah said...

I empathize with you. Whenever my husband putters in the garage it seems he ends up on ebay finding "great deals" on parts- which starts to get expensive! He rebuilt his whole motorcyle 2 years ago. But then he took it all apart again this fall because he decided he wanted to redo the shocks and some other doo-hicky....aaahh!!
By the way, let me know if guys are getting cabin fever. You're very welcome to come visit.

home handymum said...

I have a suggestion with the chore thing. It's fantastic that your hubby has agreed to do some of the housework.

My hubby is the same when it comes to completely not even SEEING stuff that "obviously" (to me) needs doing. We've worked out that if he's going to do house-work then it has to be the same job week in, week out, and that job has to be his. That way he's aware that it needs doing, and roughly how often it needs doing.

And for my part, I need to not nag or micromanage him into doing it my way :) (consequently he gets the jobs that I'm okay with him doing his way...like, getting breakfast ready, but not the laundry).

And I agree with the vitamin D thing. I'm doing okay at the moment, but it's mid-summer around here! Remember that cod-liver oil and oily fish in general have vit-D in them :)

TasJess said...

My heart goes out to you! The only inspiration I have is a phrase I read in a time of great need. "God does not give us more than we can handle but FREQUENTLY gives us more than we can handle without HIS help"

EllaJac said...

Sariah, I'm jealous... Your hubby has "a motorcycle." My dad asked me how many motorcycles Hubby had acquired, and I had to say, "um... how do you define motorcycle?" "An engine, frame, two wheels." "Do they have to be attached to each other?" :) If not, we're past the half-dozen mark, I'm sure. :]

Handymum, yes, I agree that we need certain things to just be 'his' domain (and not just the garage). Problem is, this is a month or two at most, and he'll probably just finally get into the habit by the time work starts in again! Thank you for the cod-liver-oil reminder. I've run out a few weeks ago, and haven't gotten any more. Hubby has some, in pill form, so I might steal some of his in the meantime.

TasJess, yes, I completely agree! I really need to tap into His grace (always, not just now) to 'be all I can be' in this wonderful life He's given me. Thank you for your visit and comment!

annie said...

Florida IS a great idea. And since you're the one with cabin fever, I say bring you and Organique and let your husband have an opportunity to homeschool and manage the house. It will keep you both occupied and allow you a good, healthy dose of vitamin D that doesn't come in pill form. :)

I read somewhere that men in general are fantastic at visualizing big-picture stuff but horrible at seeing the details. It makes sense to me, since my husband also seems to have the insane ability to see the same thing day after day but not really see it until I mentioned it. My husband also has ADD (for real) and can spend hours working on something without being actually productive. So, every night before we pray and go to sleep we sit down together and write out our goals for the next day. On his days off he asks what he can do around the house that will help me and prevent him from slipping into that 'make a bigger mess' mode. It's pretty win-win, since he gets done whatever he wants to do and I get some help when he's available. We keep my list on the refrigerator or in my home binder and his list at his place at the dining table, so we're both reminded to look at it occasionally. I don't know if that would help you guys, but it helps us. Otherwise I'd go crazy with my husband walking around aimlessly with half-finished projects and the sudden NEED every two and a half hours to visit the hardware store. :)

EllaJac said...

Annie, If they hadn't decided Hubby's schedule should be partial days Monday and Friday, I'd actually have a stretch of time long enough to consider it... :[ I don't know how he ended up with that kind of schedule. Maybe they did it for everyone, to encourage them to 'stay close'?

Sounds like your husband is at least very on-board with pitching in and being 'part of' what's going on household-wise. *sigh* I can't say mine is in the same zone. He did agree to my making a list (two actually - one of things that need done NOW, and one of daily chores he might be willing to do), but it's not like he plans to dedicate his 8 hours or other workday equivalent to things *I* think need done (and some things he just won't do, whether he thinks they need done or not. Toilets? diapers? ha. :)). Perhaps he's just stuck in 'weekend mode' when he's at home, and doesn't know any other way to be, or maybe this is just more of the 'stuff' he's been dealing with for some years. I wish I knew how much of it was my doing, and how much is just stuff God needs to deal with. Apparently I'm not very patient. :)

Rachel said...

Everything's gonna be ok :)

Meghann said...

I'll be praying for you dear friend! :)

Benny said...

I just read this post today. I'll pray for you tonight. I hope God will use this time to bring you two closer together and that you do not find yourselves pushed further apart.

That being said, I too find I get frustrated when my husband is home for much more than a long weekend, no matter how wonderful of a man he is. It just does not seem like a natural thing for a man to be home and not working... I think it grates on everyone, husbands and wives alike. If he felt called to work the land or something like that he might feel more productive and thereby better in general. But otherwise, that idle time just eats away at everyone.

Anyway. I hope good things come of this. God has used harder situations for greater miracles. ;o)

Benny