pure exhaustion from working again

My rhythm in the last week and a half has changed, and my mind is strained. I’m forgetting things, mis-speaking and generally feeling like I’m losing it. Especially when my 2 1/2 year old says: “Mama, you mean dishwasher, not washing machine.”

I started part-time work again for NPR from my kitchen table in the desert. Every week-day morning. I’m doing what I did for four years (and change), but it was two years ago. (Here is a glimpse of my fancy office.)

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And I’m currently not getting much sleep. CP still wakes two-three times a night, and CM moved into his homemade bunk-bed — and new bedroom — Sunday. He’s thrilled, but has been getting up in the middle of the night searching for me: “Mama? Mama?”

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So it feels hard. Really hard.

A. asked me what I thought would give once I started working again. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far: baking (probably better there isn’t a stash of cookies and muffins in the house anyway), phone calls with friends and family (they were few and far between anyway), exercise (though this is a priority, so the past two mornings I got up at 6 a.m. to run), blogging (rectifying that now) and playdates.

But those are just activities.

What I forgot was how much energy it takes to think. How, if my mind is focused on editing, I forget to return a library book. (We currently owe 50 cents.) How I couldn’t remember today if I’d signed CM out when I picked him up from school. How I forgot to put my wedding ring back on after pottery on Sunday. And I took both sets of car keys with me to the studio, leaving A. stranded with both boys when our swamp cooler stopped working in 110 degree weather. Yeah, that happened.

I didn’t suspect my mind would give.

At the end of the day, I collapse into bed because that kind of thinking — editing and writing headlines — saps me. It requires conditioning, like anything else, and I’m out of shape.

But I know I’m lucky to work part-time from home. It’s ideal, really. And the work is getting easier each day. My friend and co-worker said it’s like riding a bike, and it is. I am thrilled to be working again for an organization (and people) I love, and A. and I agree that I couldn’t say “no” (and I didn’t want to). I’m settling into a new rhythm, and I know — I know — I’ll get there. But man, I hope I get more sleep soon.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “pure exhaustion from working again

  1. Dad

    Maybe have CM help you edit a bit?

  2. Oh we have so much to catch up on!

  3. Now you know why I call myself Brain-Dead Mom! 🙂 There is this clock we bought when my eldest went into a big kid bed. It’s from American Innovations and sells on Amazon. It works as a night light but it turns from yellow to green at whatever time you set. It worked to keep munchkins from wandering as they knew that they had to stay in bed until the clock was green, then they could come into our room. Before that, I’d wake up to find a two year old staring at me in a creepy way at 3am wondering if it was time to go outside to play yet!

    • Now I do, in the full sense of your awesome blog. And yes! We bought that clock. Thank you! I haven’t implemented it yet because he’s still potty training and I want him to find me if needs me. But I’ll have to start using it soon!

  4. Betsy

    I don’t want to be Debbie Downer and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn’t get easier the older they get!! Well, that’s not entirely true. The sleep thing definitely gets better. But the crazy brain, mine at least, is worse now. Juggling all our schedules (sports, school, appts, etc) and working full time is, let’s just say, a challenge! I am generally in a state of mush brain, feeling like I live inside a tornado…
    I’m sure you have been getting tons of advice, but here’s more – do Ferber or whatever method is in vogue these days and get that baby sleeping through the night. A few nights of torturing everyone is worth it. It may not be as bad as you think and it certainly won’t hurt him! Everything is harder when you’re sleep deprived!!

    • Thanks Bets! I’m just seeing this now, I haven’t even been checking my own blog. Ahhahahaha. So, we did cry it out with big C. when he was 6 1/2 months and it worked awesome. Little C. is just now sleeping mostly through the night (7 am till 4 or 5) at 5 1/2 months, so I think we might get through without doing the Ferber. But I’m not opposed. Miss you so much, wish we could have a glass of wine together and talk about all of the different stages. xooxoxox

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