Saturday, January 05, 2008

In which post Shauna vents and feels sorry for herself

Sorry, folks, but I gotta to do it, and I’m warning you now so you can click the back button before it gets ugly. There. I said it. Carry on if you don’t want to hear my sorry whine. It won't hurt my feelings. I promise.

Being a single mom sucks. A lot. Surprised? Of course I knew that going in, but the energy required to parent my children alone in the quiet corners of the house, make money to pay bills, and live through some days without talking to one adult is tiring. The silly thing is I knew all that before my very-very-soon-to-be exhub and I separated. But it’s been 6 long months of living it and I’m flirting with a nervous breakdown. Most days I feel like I’ve got it together, but every now and then I’m begging someone to fit me in a straight jacket, load me with meds, and place me in a padded cell for 6 weeks.

The holidays were hard. And that seems an odd statement for me to make because it was a great time. The exhub and I shared a very pleasant Christmas and New Year’s with the kids, but a part of me was wishing I could catapult myself from my own life and land nicely in someone else’s.

I’ll own all my choices. I still believe they are the best ones for me and mine. I freelance from home because it affords me the ability to be with my kids as much as possible. What this job doesn’t provide me with is sick leave and vacation time, insurance benefits, or a guaranteed check every two weeks. So maybe my little pity party right now is directly proportional to the days I tried enjoying Christmas break with my children. The days I didn’t make as much writing.

And have I mentioned that I’m a worry wort? The two things that preoccupy my days are my children and my freelance. It seems I can't manage much else. My basement is full of unwashed clothes, my dining room table is lined with exactly 6 bins of clean, unfolded laundry, and I can't keep two rooms of my house clean at any given time. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always had what I consider a domestic disability, but now I’m messy-squared and that can wear on a woman balancing on the cusp of a police-escorted ambulance ride to the local psych-ward, a la Britney Spears.

So there you have it. Four paragraphs full of Shauna’s very own private (okay, not true) pity party. Sorry guys. It was either that or I was going to wave down Mr. Crazy and ask him to stay at my house for awhile. So far this has kept him at bay.

Thanks for humoring me. I’m sure things will look better in the morning…

24 comments:

Feener said...

you have every right to vent !! vent away, it will help and it is better than mr. crazy. i hope that you do feel some peace in the am.

Anonymous said...

I agree with feener . . . venting is better. Plus you're such a good writer that your venting is very entertaining. I mean, I think that's why we all have such a sick fascination with Brittany and her plight -- all of us who have young children have had those crazy feelings where we think we're going to go stark raving mad and "do something". She does the things -- and that reinforces to us how smart (or lucky) we were not to have done them. :-) Hang in there. And if you need an adult to talk to, call me! :-) M

Anonymous said...

It's early, I left something out. I didnt mean to compare your life to Brittany. I meant to say I was entertained by your comment about Brittany in your post and just started to ramble. You are WAY more together than poor Ms. Spears on every possible level. And I do love your work.

M

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I've got one word for you, and I'm not even kidding, PAXIL! Get thee to the pharmacist ASAP! There is no possible way to avoid a total breakdown without the help of some good SSRI's!

Love,
Been There, Taken That, Never Going Off

shawn said...

hang in there Shauna ... venting is good and positive, especially when it happens in a safe place ... Know that one step, one moment, and even one day at a time you WILL get through this ...

And the parenting thing ... instead of looking at ALL that isn't done ... start small - a friend told me once to focus on a 3' X 3' square and do ONE square at a time ... I cleaned the dining room (and it WAS A HUGE MESS) that way and it helped to take it one little step at a time ...

No easy answers though - just time ... one moment at a time ...

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

I have always marveled at single moms. I have no idea how they do it. They do do it though and many (including you) do it well. Remember, a clean house and folded laundry is not going to play a game with your kids or read them a book. For now, choose what's more important.
And, I must say, I totally love Carrie's sign off "been there, taken that, never going off"
Although for me it's the Zoloft, not Paxil. :)

Tola said...

i agree with all previous comments, and would like to add: go talk to your bishop, RS pres, or visiting teacher. and pray. if i were there id come and keep you company and help you with some of that laundry with tea and sympathy. but you need to allow someone into your hardship, because they need the blessing of giving assistance. do it, or im gonna make my dad go over there! love you, sweetie

Rhonda Barnes said...

VENT...VENT...VENT IS SO CLEANSING FOR THE SOLE!!! IT DOES GET BETTER BEFOR IT EVER GETS WORSE, SO THEY SAY. AND EVERYONE USE TO TELL ME THEY WILL BE GROWN AND GONE BEFORE YOU EVEN NOW IT AND ALL THE STUFF WITH THEM. WITH ANDREW GONE THIS WEEK, AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO CAME FOR THE HOLIDAYS...IT HAS BEEN PRETTY LONELY!!! I WOULD LOVE TO CATCH A PLANE AND FOLD THOSE CLOTHS, IF I DIDN'T HAVE TO BE TO WORK MONDAY, I WOULD BE IN MY CAR AS OF LAST NIGHT TO YOUR HOME. I WOULD LOVE TO STAY AND HELP YOU OUT, VISIT THE GRANDKIDS AND GIVE YOU A SHOULDER TO CRY ON OR JUST MELT DOWN TOGETHER!! JUST BEING SINGLE SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS BUT CAN BE FAR BETTER THAN OTHER THINGS. I LOVE YOU AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU....WE SHOULD HAVE A CLOTHS FOLDING PARTY...YAHHHH LOVE MOM

shauna said...

Mary, You don't have to worry about offending me. I didn't think you were comparing me to Britney--heavens, I did that in the post. And you're one of those adults I do talk with every few days. Thanks so much for that.

And thanks, Feener. I've thought about deleting the post just because it's such a downer (and whiny).

Carrie, I honestly hadn't thought of that, but considering how down I've been lately (and near the brink) I should go see a doctor about it.

Shawn, Thanks for the advice. I'm going to clean out our junk drawer this week and try to fold all that laundry on the dining room table. 3x3 square. I can magage that.

Karen--that's a good reminder. I worry to much about what other people think (about the house, the laundry baskets on my table, etc.) and need to get over it.

Thanks, Carmel (Tola--it's going to take me awhile to get used to that). My sister is coming this weekend to help me paint the playroom and I know that will help. And after my big cry following sacrament meeting today (and three trips out with Zack) I'm sure everyone knows now...

And mom--what else can I say? You're great (and understand what this is like probably better than anyone I know).

Love you all!

Becky said...

Hang in there Shauna....I can't even begin to put myself in your position, but I do know that it must be very hard. Parenting is the hardest job, let alone single parenting. I agree with Tola....having a friend or relative over for a while can help immensely. Sounds like having your sister will be just what you need. {{{{{BIG hugs to you}}}}}

suburbancorrespondent said...

So...I'm wondering why my house looks as bad as yours, and I'm not a single parent, and I'm not working.

You do know about Flylady.net, don't you? She's the only way I keep my head above water. Way more helpful than anti-depressants (in your case, where the depression is brought on by circumstances, not brain malfunction).

An acquaintance of mine who is a single parent says that it is imperative to carve out "me-time," meaning having a time every single week when the babysitter comes. And you get out. She ran a home daycare business so that she could stay home with the kids and was very good at it. But she needed that time to herself.

Although, don't you get entire weekends to yourself? With the custody arrangement? Maybe you should arrange that he have the kids a couple of evenings a week?

shauna said...

sc, The ex does take the kids every other weekend and one night a week and I probably should dedicate some of that for me-time, but I spend the majority of it writing. I'm just always anxious about the freelance--and I do depend on that child-free time to get lots of writing done. But obviously my sanity is valuable too...

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

Every once in a while I just want you to know I'm still listening. And I always will be :)

linds said...

Shauna, you should never feel bad for venting. It's healthy to speak your mind. I really should follow your example, I tend to bottle things up which only makes them worse.

Just remember you can't do it all, all the time. It's okay to ask for help. Try not to stress out about laundry and house cleaning, you'll find time for that eventually.

I wish there was something I could do to help you! For now, I will always be a listening ear (more like a reading eye!). Hang in there!

Eileen said...

Shauna,
I am glad you vented. That is what we are here for, and I don't think that you are feeling sorry for yourself. Going though a divorce, being a single mom, working from home .....all the changes you have been though in such a short time has got to be overwhelming.

I totally agree with Carrie, about talking to your doctor about medication. I know it helped me a great deal,actually saved my life. It didn't make me happy, happy, but put things on a more even level where I could just deal with the stresses better. I researched it, talked to my doctor, tried other things, in the end, it was the best thing I ever did....really. Depression and anxiety (worry wort...like me) are very serious and get so overwhelming,as you know. At least talk to you doctor about how you have been feeling.

As for your house, I am not a single mom, and have 3 teen girls, and it looks like a train wreck. I work all day and it is so frustrating to fight the never ever ending battle of the laundry and the dishes and the dusting, cleaning, etc. I think it sets me over the edge more than anything. Having little ones, and no extra adult...all falling on you, has got to feel like you are just never able to come up for air. Add on top of that, unresolved emotions from the divorce, the kids feelings, school stuff, on and on.

I do know this, and I know it with 100% of my heart and soul: You are an amazing person, a wonderful, caring mother and a very talented writer. Things will get better, they really will. Don't be so hard on yourself, and please don't be afraid to ask for help or ever be afraid to vent. I'm here if you ever want to "talk."
LOVE.

Kristi O said...

I am still here too. I am thankful you vent. It reminds me how to pray for you. I was so hoping you would have come to the Big Lew for the holidays so you could have had a girls nite out. Since you do freelance, come visit. Heck if you come visit I will find a way to have all that laundry folded for you while you are gone. woohoo!!

PS I work two jobs have a hubby and still have laundry. Its evil I think. I vent all the time on my blog I am glad you feel safe venting on yours.

shauna said...

Kristi O and Eileen,
Thanks so much. More than words can say...
S

Midwest Mommy said...

I feel for you. I can't imagine what you are going through right now and how tough it must be.

jason said...

I don't think mom was kidding about the clothes folding party. In fact she will probably call me anytime for a verbal invite.
Lov ya Shauna

shauna said...

Heh, Bro, you can come and fold my laundry anytime... ;)

Michael Irwin said...

Hi Shauna,
As you know by now, I've stolen Tola away to another life, but I'll let her out again on limited parole to fold laundry if you're desperate.

Before you dive for Mother's Little Helpers [showing my age here :)], get the ex to take the kids an extra evening [staying at your house, even] and go out with a friend for some mindless fun - an evening of bonko [a silly game popular here in the east] or wittering on about knitting and the cost of yarn or whatever. Just something to let your mind relax by not working 24x7 on the same unending tread-mill.

Karen said...

and if they don't look better, is there any place to ask for help?

korij said...

OMG, if this is venting than you are way more sane and calm than I am! I have four kids aged 19 months-15 years, been single-parenting in one form or another for approximately 14 years, and this venting is nothing! LOL, but really...glad to hear you vent, it does help, and hey, don't EVER tell yourself that "it could be worse." Usually it immediately becomes so!

Liza's Eyeview said...

(((HUGS)))

There's a support group on-line of loving single moms, in case you're interested:

http://elasah.com/thecoveringforsingleparents.com/

(((HUGS))) again - I know it's tough...