Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Longest Day Ever

It's Thursday. It's raining. I have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old who have already watched the same episode of The Backyardigans (Viking Voyage for those of you who might be interested) 3 times and spent 10 minutes in time out. I've broken up 3 fights, waxed philosophical on the reasons why we generally shouldn't spit milk and threatened to send them back to bed if they don't stop crying. And you know what? I sort of feel like crying too. Sadly, no one is sending me back to bed.

This is not going to be a good day.

So we all have bad days. One of my biggest struggles is keeping my writing life separate from my family life. When I'm having a bad day writing I tend to be short with the kids and when I'm having a rough day with the kids it's almost impossible for me to get any work done.

So how do you guys do it? How do you stay balanced on days that are anything but?


Unknown said...

I. Don't. Understand. Whatever can you mean? ;)

Whenever I used to tell my father I was having a bad day, he used to say "Oh Girl! Wallowing don't suit you, git yourself on that 'puter and look up some Holocaust survivor stories."
My dad is a self proclaimed redneck Floridian. This advice, I admit, is a little over the top... but I always keep it in the back of my mind.


PS: I always feel so funny leaving a comment first. Why IS that?

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, we know Viking Voyage by heart! I honestly am amazed that you ever get any writing done. Mine are four and five and this is the first year I have been able to write at all since giving birth!

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

I've always found that I have all my writing ideas when I don't have time to write. I think it's the universe's way of playing a joke on me.

On a bad writing day, my brain starts saying things like "Deadlines. Deadlines. You gave yourself a deadline" on repeat. I've been told that rushing to meet a deadline makes me snippy. However, I try to have a cold drink, chill for a minute or two, and then try again.

I think everyone falls out of balance some days. The key is to persevere.

Tana said...

Ah yes the stress test. God has given me many. Breathe.....this too shall pass..... go to that safe place in your mind... ;)

confused homemaker said...

My writing is how I relieve stress, given I have to write for work writing about life helps me refocus. We've been rained in on & off this week too. Although there are still days when I call my husband & just vent away to him. It's hard to balance everything some days.

Christina Lee said...

oh puh-lease! I've got nothing for you... I'm here for some answers too :) school- did I mention school? 6 hours to do all of my jobs in silence -ahhhhh! sorry I'm sure that doesn't help..

Danyelle L. said...

I feel your pain. Today's the epitome of Monday and why Monday shouldn't exist--even though it's Thursday. From what I can gather, it's all about commitment. And I'm about to commit myself to a nice, quiet place where the walls are soft, and everything's white, And where they have those nifty sweaters that help you hug yourself. All. Day. Long.

Rebecca Knight said...

Ummmm, alcohol?

Seriously, though, I have no idea. I think some people do a good job of compartmentalizing, and being able to separate "writing grouchiness" from family-related emotions, but it's hard. I think chocolate helps.

Here's hoping your day improves!

Jill Kemerer said...

Ummm...Three days left until school starts? That's how I stay sane! Good luck!

Elana Johnson said...

It's a hard act. I've mastered it, I think. Working with children all. day. long, I've learned to separate my impatience with my own kids, my life, my bills that need to be paid, etc. and allow myself to be happy when I'm with the kids. It's almost like those burdens aren't allowed inside my classroom. Especially while the kids are there.

I think it's something that takes practice to do. Luckily, I've had 10 years.

Good luck!

storyqueen said...

I get up early when the house is still silent do a bit of writing. That way, if the rest of the day goes straight to hell, at least I don't stress that I didn't get anything done.
(Of course, then I have to go to work, and after work, drive kids around to various activities, make dinner in there somewhere....and clean a bunch of stuff up. And do laundry....)

And yeah, my house is messy. Ya gotta problem with dat?

(P.S. If they ever nap, nap at the same will give you energy later in the day when you might need it.)

sunna said...

Easy: I don't. :)

--Ok, ok, I do try. I'll do deep breathing, take a walk, vent to a friend, even meditate. And, of course, the ever-popular sit in front of the computer ready to cry from frustration.

But my take on it is: bad days are allowed and we are, occasionally, allowed to wallow in them. This means chocolate, martinis, and a minimum 60 minutes on the couch reading something for fun.

Hope it gets better soon. :)

Abby Annis said...

I had three under three at one point and remember those days all too well. I'm in awe that you even have time to write. When my kids were that little, I'd get excited just to speak to another adult. My own interests rarely made it to the top of my priority list.

Hang in there! Tomorrow will be a better day! :D

Kelly H-Y said...

I SO hope your day turns around soon!!!! Good luck!

PurpleClover said...

Trust me. I know what you are going thru! My daughter is 4 and son is 2 and they have, not only only watched that same backyardigans a zillion times - thank gawd we don't have dvr anymore, learned the spit-game and now are into more fighting games. Who can hit the hardest? Who's mommy is this? Who's gonna win this race this time?

It never ends pretty. I just count down the minutes until bed time and thank my lucky stars that I have school in the morning! lol. Anyhoo, for those that can't go to school...i suggest coffee and preschool or gymnastics! lol. But generally my kids are never the same two days in a row...good for the bad days bad for the good days. :)

Hang in there! We all feel your pain!

XiXi said...

Buy. Good. Food.

Don't. Do. Homework.

Those are my two solutions, and they generally work. The second one probably doesn't apply for you, but buying good food makes the world taste better. :-)

Little Ms J said...

Just give 'em some 'tussin.

While I never really did give the kids I babysat Robitussin or rainy days I always liked the way it sounded, "Shaddup or you're gettin' the 'Tussin."

Mom material. Right here.

Katie Anderson said...

Ahhh... leave it to MS. J, to crack us all up. I have no idea how to balance. Quite frankly, I am a selfish beeactch and suck at balancing.

Hardygirl said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!hahahahahaha!

Sorry. Balance??

We're all on this crazy rollercoaster together in my family. And, we're never all up or down at the same time. But, it does get easier when they all go to school (get ready though, because things shift to the afternoon--homework, tennis, soccer . . .).

My ten-year-old's new favorite thing to do is stand in her sister's doorway and stare at her until she cries. Nice.


lisa and laura said...

Ok, I survived the day everyone! I have raging headache that 2 Aleve and a glass of white wine haven't cured, but I'm still alive.

Suzanne - Your dad would have a field day with me.

Corey - "I'm not only beautiful, I'm extra extra tough!"

Dominique - Welcome! And yeah, I think you're right. The key is definitely to pick up the next day and make it work. Can you tell I'm getting ready to watch Project Runway? I'm totally channelling Tim Gunn.

T. Anne - I guess it's good to know that the lamaze breathing does come in handy even if you opt for the epidural.

CH - There is nothing worse than rain when you're dealing with the 4 and under set. Absolutely brutal.

Christina - 6 hours!? I hate you.

Danyelle - A Monday on a Thursday is really a cruel joke isn't it? Do they have room for one more in that quiet room of yours?

Rebecca - Wine and chocolate definitely take the edge off...

Jill - 3 days!? I'm so jealous. We've still got another 2 weeks....

Elana - Great advice, as always. You're like a writing Jedi.

SQ - Your comments always crack us up! And I love the old nap when they nap routine. It has saved my life on more than one occasion.

Sunna - I totally agree. Wallowing can't be all bad. Especially if there's martinis and chocolate involved.

Abby - 3 under 3!!! OMG. You should be sainted.

Kelly - Thanks! It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I just loaded the kids up in the car and brought them to my mom's house. It never seems as bad when we're over there.

P-Clo - The spitting is the worst, right? It's amazing how they're born knowing exactly how to push your buttons. But then a minute later they're all cuddles and hugs. It's confusing, to say the least.

Icy - The food thing totally explains why I've gained 5 pounds since going on submission. Ouch.

LMJ - We prefer to use Benedryl around these parts. My mom was totally busted when we started calling it the sleepy time medicine. Oops.

Katie - Ha! I love that there's more than one selfish biatch out there. Makes me feel less alone in the world.

SF - Oh my god. That's freaking hilarious. Clearly she went to LMJ's school for older sisters. My 4-year-old does this thing where he runs in place really, really fast inches away from my 2-year-old. Just watching it makes me annoyed. I can't imagine how my daughter must feel.

I love you guys! Thanks for all the comments on my pity party.

Sherrie Petersen said...

When my kids are at each other and making me crazy they either have to go to their rooms and chill out or I pack 'em up and go somewhere. For some reason, they behave better when we're out in public. Plus we have other things to distract us so they aren't just harassing each other. I'm not beneath bribing them, too. And with little ones, cough syrup can be a godsend (kidding, sort of!)

JennyMac said...

These are rare for me right now because we only have one so adults outnumber children and I can go man to man with him at any time...except yesterday when he bit me on the plane...which SHOCKED me. I then felt a touch sour towards him, ordered a cocktail, and took 20 deep breaths. I read a book on meditation...breathe in peace, breathe out stress. It kidding..and I couldnt be more Type A.

Hope today is a better day. Sending my best from Seattle.

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