But that’s where the similarities end, unfortunately.
Officially, I went on FLMA leave starting September 22. But with our planned ACL vacation, visiting family, and finding an orphaned batch of kittens, yesterday was really the first day of my leave in terms of getting things done.
I’m on leave so that I can try and find an solution to this Mama issue, specifically that there are constant interruptions from her whenever her nurse, Charla, is not here. Her nurse is only here from 8a-11a, Monday-Friday. I work 8a-5p (or later, depending on volume), Monday-Friday. You see the problem.
I’m hoping to find an afternoon nurse or sitter, so that I can go back to work. Alternatively, I install a nanny cam in the main house, start working in the Little House, and hope for the best. The latter would also involve me getting up a lot earlier than everyone else to get most of my work done before Charla leaves and during Mama’s lunch, so that I am mostly around in the afternoon for Mama, and also Noah when he gets home at 3p, but still available for work calls/emails/fires. This particular solution would be quite elegant, except that it would involve me starting work sometime in the pre-dawn hours. Let’s just say that I am really hoping to find an afternoon nurse/sitter, since I am not known for my pre-dawn cheer or effectiveness.
I made a list of everything I wanted to get done yesterday, and it was fairly reasonable- dishes, bills, cooking dinner, feeding kittens, dealing with work leave issues, catching up on emails, and posting photos and blawgs from our trip. I thought I could get the bulk of this done by lunch, but I wasn’t even finished by the time I picked up Noah. No wonder I was losing my mind while I was working.
I have 10 more weeks to straighten everything out, and also get some other pet projects finished. I am already anxious about getting everything done, and going back to work, and what the immediate as well as slightly more distant future holds for all of us. I’m frustrated by my apparent inability to remain optimistic and cheerful for more than 10 minutes.
Nice people tell me often, “Oh, you are such a good person for doing this! How nice you are! It must be lovely!” And I’d like to say, with conviction and not a trace of sarcasm, “Yes, it is! It is lovely! I am so lucky to spend this time with my family!” But instead, I am thinking, “Oh yes! I just love living in East Bumfuck, physically isolated from all my friends, trapped in a house with a cranky, ungrateful shell of a woman and a frustrated, bored 5 year old. And also my great-grandmother.”
I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job. I’m lonely, and frustrated, and tired all the time. I lose my temper in little ways quite frequently, and in big ways only slightly less often. I don’t feel like I am giving Mama, or most importantly, Noah, the best that I could possibly give them. I feel like a failure at home. And let’s not even talk about work. My job requires a good deal of concentration and problem-solving and attention to detail, and I’ve been less than 100% in all those areas the last few months. At least no one on the job has complained. I can’t say that about home.
I do know that I am doing the best that I can, right now anyway, and that’s all I can do. I do know it won’t be like this forever. And I wish that either of those were a comfort.
I am trying, really hard, to find some comfort in my surroundings. This post sounds pretty maudlin, but in general, I am fairly happy, I swear. Being surrounded by incredible adorableness helps a great deal. And having friends that come visit or call or email me wondrous things or leave me with happy memories to recall (or not recall quite clearly) is better than Prozac for me, and I am terribly lucky in that area.
One of my goals during this leave time that I have is to write a little more (maybe some stories, maybe some blawgin, maybe some Really Bad Poetry- actually, *no* on that last one), and to focus on the Happy and not so much on the Oh My God If She Messes With My Cat/Dog/Kid/Head Again I Will Lose My Shit, etc. I have a lot of happy recent memories to share with all y’all, soon! Some which may be embarrassing for me! Ah, now you’re interested! And maybe make some more of the happy and/or embarrassing kind, either is fine with me.