On February 7, my 84 year old father had hip replacement surgery. I wasn't worried about the surgery. I knew that the surgery was going to be great for him. He has spent the past 6 months barely being able to move, and that's not him. He's the most active guy I know. So, this surgery wasn't an issue, in my mind. Plus, he had his other one done 8 years ago and that went great. Unfortunately, I come by my anxiety issues honestly. The Thursday before my dad's surgery, he was in the ER for anxiety attacks. Apparently, the hospital was his trigger. My dad has always had anxiety, whether he admitted it or not, but this was the first time he had ever had a panic attack. It sucks, because I knew exactly what my dad was feeling. I could feel that tightness in his chest and the feeling like his throat was closing. I could feel how he just couldn't catch his breathe. I could feel his helplessness and his fear. And there was nothing I could do. First, I'm 45 minutes away from my parents, have two children who have things going on, and no help. Second, there's just nothing to do for a panic attack. Since this was his first one, he ended up in the ER, scared he may be having a heart attack. Doctors did all sorts of tests and determined it was anxiety and put him on some medication. It helped. Unfortunately, this is where my life started to get overwhelming. I decided that I needed to by there for my dad's surgery. I wasn't supposed to go, but I decided I needed to go. I am so thankful for my amazing friends. Because of them, I was able to divide my kids and go be with my parents the entire day. Surgery went well. I was glad I was there. But, as any mom knows, when you spend an entire day away from home, things start to get off. You start to get behind.
I have been trying to play catch up ever since then. It hasn't been successful. I am not saying that I am overwhelmed because my dad had surgery. It just happens to be where it all started. In fact, the very next day, I felt overly successful because I stayed home and got a ton of laundry done, but there was still so much more. The crazy beautiful weather we have been having hasn't helped. The last thing anyone wants to do when it's 60 in Ohio in February is stay inside and work!
It's just one thing after the other and I can't catch up. Normally, I feel a little behind in everything. I look at my house and see all the things that need to be done, but I also know that those things can usually wait. This isn't like that. This is a complete feeling of being lost. I look around and not only do I see so much to do, I can't even think of where to start. I'm very behind on laundry. Part of my anxiety (yes, I know I said I wasn't going to talk about it, but this plays a part) is that I can't have anything left in the washing machine overnight. That limits my laundry time. I can't do anything late at night because I have to be up late enough to throw it into the dryer. I can't run the washer or dryer too late because it keeps Sunshine awake. It's a Catch 22.
So why am I so overwhelmed? Let me tell you what my Thursday afternoon looked like. It was early release day, which was a blessing. It was a blessing because that gives me more time, oddly enough. I picked Sunshine up from school at 2:30. We had a little Mommy/Sunshine time until I had to get Monster from Chess Club. However, I had to get Sunshine ready for dance before going to get Monster. As soon as Monster got home, he had to get into his gi for karate. I had to take him to karate 40 minutes early because it was watch week at Sunshine's dance, which happens to be at the same time as karate. Monster left homework at school. Fortunately, we live close to the school and there happened to be a blood drive going on at school so the school was open. So, we ran up to the school on our way to karate/dance. Monster ran in and grabbed his homework. I dropped Monster off at karate and then Sunshine and I ran over to dance. I spent 45 minutes watching Sunshine dance (I can't believe how big she's getting!). Then we ran back to karate. Monster was running late, so I called Husband to see if he was home yet. He had just walked in the door, so I ran Sunshine home, told Husband what the dinner plan was, and then ran back up to karate. Monster was finishing up when I got there. Came back home, dinner was almost ready. Help finish up dinner. Get everyone to sit down and eat. Do dishes. Have the boy do his homework. Now, let me say, this is awful for several reasons. First, the school has implemented a no homework thing, so him haivng homework is rare. Second, he's in advanced math. Some of the stuff I can help with, but some I can't. This happened to be something I couldn't. He spent an hour on 6 problems with Husband, working extremely hard the entire time. During this time, we have to do flashcards with Sunshine since she had a timed math test on Friday (she passed, BTW). That takes us right up to bedtime. Then, I look around. I see all the things that I needed to accomplish, but didn't get a chance to do. And that's just one evening.
I look at my calender and it's a crazy overlapping mess. Add to that my daily list of things to do, and I don't even have a moment to breathe. The other day, I looked at Husband and told him I need help. I told him I'm completely overwhelmed. Being the amazing man he is, he asked what he could do to help. The thing is, there's really nothing. He can't go to meetings for me. He can't take off of work to make sure kids are where they need to be at the times they need to be there. For us, time together as a family is important, so we try to space work out to allow us time to be together. Lately, though, that's been an issue for me. We make time for us and then my work load backs up. Important things pile up and get lost in the shuffle. Actually, it's mostly me that gets lost in the shuffle. I have been carving out a tiny bit of time every day to take Puppy for a walk. That's my happiest time of day, until the last 4 houses of the walk. I get to those last houses and all I can think about is the amount of work waiting for me and how I should have thrown a load of clothes in the wash before heading out the door or that I need to get out and pick up sticks , but I don't have time, and on and on and on. Yesterday, a friend of mine, who has kids who are pretty darn busy as well, commented that she wants to head back to work because she's bored. I don't have time to be bored. I really wish I did. If I had time to be bored, I'd be heading off to find a job as well, but I honestly don't see a point where there will ever be time for that again.
Everyone jokes and says they need more time in the day, but I honestly just need more time. Or a bigger house so that the time I do have can be better spent. Or kids who actually sleep through noise. Or people around who are willing to spend time with my kids. Or a chauffeur. Or a cook....that one would be the best. I can't wait for Spring Break. I'll have a little time then. Time to catch up. Time to be with my family. Time.