August 5: Extra time with my pumpkins but still so depressed

Today I was lucky to have some extra time with Red, Twin Husky, and Twin Crazy – their daycare provider had a doctor appointment so I had to bring them in later.   Because of this I took the liberty to work from home.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got up a big slowly (drank too many beers the night before) but made it to the shower and downstairs in time to organize a few things before the kids were up
  • I took it slow.   There really was no rush since I did not have to take the ferry.   I enjoyed the kids.
  • I had four piles of clothes today, versus the normal two.   This is because daycare usually changes Twin Husky and Twin Crazy into day clothes for us – it makes our morning routine easier that way.  But today, we had four piles which was fun.
  • The kids cooperated with breakfast.   I made a full pot of coffee for my day at home.
  • When it was time to go, I had all kids get ready with shoes etc.  Twin Husky and Twin Crazy both came to me, one by one, to get their shoes on.
  • We dropped of Big Bro at school – he knew we were all coming in but he specifically requested that not everyone come into his classroom.   I agreed to this.  So the plan was to get the siblings set up in the “common room” at pre-school with toys and then privately drop of Tyler.  He was happy with this plan.
  • When I got them out of the van they were all well-behaved and stayed on the sidewalk holding hands.   The group knows to do this, especially if we are in a parking lot or crossing a street.
  • We got inside and the siblings were excited about the toys which were new to them.   Big Bro was happy that he had me to himself for drop off, and that his friends didn’t have to look at a huge group of kids (his kids) as they welcomed him into the room.
  • Red, Twin Husky, and Twin Crazy had a blast at pre-school.  We stayed there for an hour, playing with dolls, legos, plastic animals — playing make-believe in a kitchen area — climbing/sitting/getting down from chairs and doing it again, and again, and again.   They really had fun.
Kids playing with "new" toys at Big Bro's pre-school
  • When it was time to leave they were great.   Again, they stayed on the sidewalk until I shuffled them in the van.
  • We cruised by the library but it wasn’t open yet, so we went home.   Had a blueberry snack, watched our landlord mow our lawn, colored with markers, played with a keyboard, and did a puzzle.    There was only one problem (a BIG one)…. Twin Husky bit Twin Crazy’s finger.   I couldn’t believe it.   We’ve never had a biter.   I reprimanded him with a very harsh tone and he looked down but did not cry.   He took it like a man.   Then about a minute later Red came screaming over to me saying that Twin Husky tried to bite her.   Oh shit.   I can’t deal with this.  Daycare then called at 11:30 so I happily dropped them off.
  • After their drop off I headed to the food store – bought a chicken for dinner and a lot of other stuff.  Picked up a burritos for me for lunch.
I love experiences like this.  It gives me a glimpse of what it is like to be a stay at home mom.   I really had fun.  The kids had fun.  They were so well-behaved, with the exception of the bite incident.   But I was ready to give them to daycare.   I was ready to head home and get some work done.   So I know that I do want to continue to work, but I guess just a bit more time with my kids is all I need to feel more balanced, more happy.
Highlights of my Working Day:
  • I essentially sat on my couch with my feet up and worked on the go-to-market materials for the start-up initiative; we need those materials complete for a progress call next week AND for a client meeting next week.
  • I threw in a load of laundry.  I ran the dishwasher.
  • I booked a flight for a client presentation for next week – we were asked to go and present our findings and recommendations to a much larger audience… essentially all the people who were involved in the internal interview process and they are the ones whose jobs will be impacted as a result of the work.   This meeting by far will be the most stressful of any we’ve had to-date.   I will need to refresh the presentation deck to make sure the tone is proper so as not to offend anyone in the room on that day.
  • I threw the chicken in the oven at 4 PM.   I started to cook some beets.     I set the table.  I got the pajamas ready for the kids.   I confirmed that our Mother’s Helper was planning to show up tonight.   YEAH (there’s a whole pile of clothes to do, and a whole sink of hand-washables for her to attack).
Dinner and Bedtime:
  • I was on my own tonight since Hubby was at a baseball game.    This was fine since dinner was done and I was ready for them.
  • All ate well.   Twins liked the beets.   Big Bro and Red at least tried them.   The chicken was a hit.
  • Afterwards Big Bro and Red watched a movie and ate popcorn (we like to do this on Friday nights).  Twin Husky was having fun rocking back and forth and talking on our rocker.   Twin Crazy had a great time on the slide structure.
  • Pajamas were fun; the Twins were ready.   I got them milk and they took the milk and their blankets over to the stairs.  They were so ready.  Up they went – books, sing a song, kisses, and in their cribs — butts in the air, blankets in hand, thumbs in mouth.   Out.
  • Red and Big Bro were fine with teeth brushing, etc.   They both sat in my lap for two books.  Big Bro looked exhausted and was out within 5 min of getting into bed.
  • Red came out saying that her finger hurt – so I looked at it, found nothing, but offered her a band-aid.  She proceeded to put it on the wrong finger (wrong hand even) and I caught her in the act and mentioned it to her.   She looked at me, put her chin down and eyes up, and tried to hold back a smile.   She knew I was onto her.
I had a great day, but for some reason I was still extremely depressed in the afternoon and even now.   Spending too much time in an empty, soul-less house is really disturbing for me.   We are renting our place and it was meant to be a temporary spot for us (for a year or so) until we figured out where we REALLY want to settle.   But Kindergarten is getting underway soon, our place is so empty (no pictures up, bookshelves empty) and it feels like my life is in a holding pattern with no time horizon for any decision to be made.  It is so disturbing to me.   I find it so hard to believe that despite my working from home and having time with my kids (and kind of feeling like a stay at home mom today), I am still so unhappy.   I feel so misplaced.   And I think my meeting my old high-school friend last night had a lot to do with it.   I miss my home.   I want a home for my children.  I want less stress and less pressure.   I want simplicity.    I want to enjoy my time and live my life with my family – and get on with establishing a home and rooting for the sake of them and myself.   I will need to write more on this at another time – but I’m just feeling so down right now.    So empty despite having so much.
I think I’ll call it a night, check in on my sleeping kids, take my meds and go to sleep –
Till next week –
– Mama K


  1. I totally feel you on this one. I am worried about feeling the same way after we move. I think SB has some great advice – working in time to care for yourself and do things that feed YOUR energy. Working full time makes life so busy. I am realizing how important it is to build in time for reflection and connecting with people and exercise. Somehow in the next phase of my life I really want to carve out time to do that, and it is going to have to come from work-day time somehow. I don’t know how that will be possible and still have a full-time job, but that is what is going to have to happen. I am convinced I will be twice as efficient when working if I have time to do those activities that renew me, and not at the cost of spending time with my kids (which is also an activity that renews me, but that one is one I don’t compromise on, so it’s not as much of an issue as the exercise I don’t get, the people I don’t connect with, and the self-reflection time I can’t seem to create for myself).

    • Mama J –
      Move to our neighborhood and we can be excercise buddies! We’ll excercize over to a local bar and then excercise back home! Think of the possibilities….. 🙂

  2. Awwww Honey, I know it’s easy for me to say “Don’t be so hard on yourself” but I know how it is. I’m so happy that you started this blog so that I have gotten to re-know you after all of these years. Do you know what I see? Not just a mom, not just a wife, not just a manager. I see an amazing woman who cares so deeply about EVERYTHING she does. I understand how you feel a bit uprooted. We went through the same thing before we moved. I was so worried how the kids would adjust. Ya know what? A house is just a house to them. I really believe that. As long as you’re together, that’s all that matters.

    My favorite mothering quote of all time- “In having my children, I have lost my mind but found my soul.” xoxoxo

  3. I just have to write to you today. We all have empty days and I suspect that even though you can identify that you would like more time at home, planning the best route to get there can be evasive (which in and of itself feels very heavy). For me, the best remedy to all my woes was to take care of me first. I could not be a good wife or mother if I was depleted. I started running 2 years ago (only 2 miles at first). I have worked up to 10 miles and I am now training for a half marathon. The running time is very therapeutic for me. I have time to review my day and I also listen to very loud pulse pounding beats that make me feel like I am in a dance club (I love dancing). I think this produces some variant hormone that helps drive me.
    I also need people. I pursue one on one relationships to the best of my ability. We lived in the DC area for 2 years and it was extremely lonely for me. My neighbors all had nannies and au pares and I really had no community during that time. My husband was never home and I learned that I need to vent to someone on my bad days and share my epiphanies when I have them. We now live in a place where I know and see my neighbors and I have pursued making friends at the gym and in the schools.
    My family lives 3000 miles away and I would love to be closer but I am in a pretty good place right now. I think that there are so many variables that contribute to our sense of self and many we cannot control. Start with the ones that you can. Give yourself one on one time with your kids when possible. 4 kids is overwhelming, so if you can enjoy them one at a time, even briefly, you will get a chance to enjoy the simple nuances. Definitely take time for yourself. I started by doing little things while they slept. I would wake early in the morning to run and I would meet with friends after they went to bed. I am sure that you are exhausted at these times but your energy should build as you do for yourself. Also, the ages of your kids are draining. Your light is just ahead. You probably see your oldest boy as becoming more helpful and your Redhead as becoming more independent. 3 years old is a tipping point and Kindergarten next year is monumental. Do the best you can for yourself and the rest is a bit of a waiting game. Young children bring us our greatest joy and our biggest depression. It is short lived on both fronts so embrace them both. The joyous memories you can hold onto for a lifetime and the days of struggle will only make you appreciate the joyous time that much more. OK, now I am sounding like a Hallmark card so I will sign off. Don’t let your heavy days become suffocating. We all have them and we need them so that we will continue to search for the things that will fufill us.

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