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I Need a Vacation from My Life

By Jen at PIWTPITT |

Today I received an email from a helpful editor here at Babble gently reminding me that I was lagging way behind my contracted posts and I’d better hop to it. I’ll just add that to my list, I thought wearily.

I don’t know about you, but this summer is killing me. I’m not complaining about the oppressive heat. I’m complaining that this summer I am really feeling the need for a vacation — from my life.

Let me explain. I work full time as a realtor and I work from home with my only co-worker: The Hubs. Summer is my busy season. I blog full time on my own site and I blog here several times a month. I’m writing a book. I am the primary care giver for my two kids and they are home all day every day with us (i.e., no nanny, daycare, camps, etc.) .

Everywhere I go in this house I am met with a mess (some of the messes were caused by me, but most of them were not) or a whiny individual begging to be entertained (notice I said “individual” because sometimes the whiner is The Hubs). In my defense, I try to get my work done in the early mornings and the nights so that I can spend the afternoons with my kids at the pool or bowling or at the movies or whatever fun activity I have planned. The Hubs will pitch in, but his idea of a fun afternoon for the kids is twenty minutes at the pool and then naps for the rest of the afternoon. They haven’t napped in years, so it ends up with The Hubs falling asleep on the couch and I’m the one left to entertain the kids.

I know this is the life I chose, but today it’s kicking my ass. I always thought it would be wonderful to have the flexibility of working at home and being surrounded by my children. It was great. For a little while. It was great when my kids still napped every day and I got 2 to 3 hours of uninterrupted time to work in the afternoons. It will fan-freaking-tastic in the fall when they both go to school all day.

This year I’ve added on all the writing. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I finally have the opportunity, but creating so much has its own stresses. When I write, I need to be alone. I need to be somewhere quiet. I need very little distraction.

In case you haven’t noticed, I am never alone. I’m not exaggerating. I am never alone. The other day I tried to use the bathroom in peace and Adolpha came in and shut the door behind her and said, “Let’s give you some privacy, shall we?” It was all I could do not to scream “Get out!!!!” That was just me trying to get my business done in the bathroom, can you imagine what it’s like when I’m trying to write?

Today has been one of those days. I need to get a lot done and I need some time to myself. It hasn’t happened. Everywhere I go in the house I’m met with distractions. Right now, my kids are sword fighting in the other room. I can hear Adolpha whimpering that she got hit too hard and I can hear Gomer telling her to defend herself. They’ve both come in my room at least twice in the past 5 minutes to show me pictures that they’ve drawn, to perform somersaults for my pleasure, to “shuffle” dance and to ask if they can have a sleep over together.

I don’t usually feel guilty about the way I treat my kids, but today I do. Today I haven’t had any patience for their interruptions. I have a lot of work that needs to be done and it can’t get done with them constantly interrupting me to ask me if we can go to the pool. I just had it. The noise, the mess, the constant demand for my attention.

Normally I do the bedtime routine and tonight I just couldn’t handle it. I told The Hubs, “It’s on you tonight.” I can hear crying. That’s never good. Now I feel even guiltier.

I have to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can, but today I feel like I’m doing everything half-assed. I still have a month of summer break left with my kids. I don’t have many more years that they’re going to want to show me their somersaults or their drawings. I know that. I get that. That’s why I feel so bad that I pushed them away today.

The crying has stopped now. When I’m done here, I will go up and kiss everyone goodnight and tell them tomorrow will be a better day. I know it will be for them, because tomorrow they get to spend the day with Grandma and Grandpa. Phew! And just in time for both me and my kids! I get a quiet day and they get to have a blast and we’re all happy to see each other when they get back home.  Thank goodness for grandparents!

Am I the only one feeling this way?

Be sure to read my daily rants at People I Want to Punch in the Throat where you’re sure to laugh and/or might be offended (it’s where you can find my R-rated rants).

Follow Jen at PIWTPITT on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more of Jen at PIWTPITT – Why I Don’t Get Offended When Someone Asks Me if My Children are Adopted and Do You Ask Your Child or Tell Your Child?and I Think My Kids Could Be Future Nudists and Am I Raising a Mini Hoarder?

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Photo: free digital photos

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About Jen at PIWTPITT

jenatpiwtpitt

Jen at PIWTPITT

Jen is a blogger and author who recently published the book Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat. She started her humorous blog, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, in April 2011. She has written for Babble, and has also been published in The Huffington Post. She resides in Kansas with her family.

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12 thoughts on “I Need a Vacation from My Life

  1. Kacy Faulconer says:

    I’m in the same boat, man. I am floundering. The kids are home for summer break and my husband is working from home until his new office is ready. There are good things about it but it is taking a psychological toll. Plus, to the kids my “writing” just seems like “playing on the computer” which–let’s be honest–it is.

  2. Miranda says:

    Mine are 8 and 1. Both boys. They are driving me INSANE! I too get followed to the bathroom by them, the dog, or my hubby (seriously, a grown damn man!). And I work 2-24 hour shifts a week and come home to the craziness at home. We are going on an 8 day vacation in 2 weeks. I am dreading it more and more the closer it gets because I know that I am going to need a vacation when I get back. School time is 6 weeks away! YIKES!!

  3. April says:

    This post could have been written about me…I work from home, so summer vacation is brutal, and also a really busy time for work. The one down side of school is that it’s taught my son, 5, that he needs to be entertained & stimulated every second of the day, but that doesn’t include playing with his 2-year-old brother… I try to work early in the morning, too, so we can have fun afternoons, but usually the kids sense my awakeness and feel the need to join in. I do the best I can to keep everyone alive, and as long as they all go to bed breathing, I feel accomplished. And I wait on baited breath for September, so we can all do our “stuff” during the day and enjoy the evenings together.

  4. Kristi says:

    I am a faithful Jenn reader so why was I surprised – and then super grateful – for you to admit you’re struggling over the summer months too?! It’s unbelievably reassuring to know I’m not the only SAHM who adores her kids but escapes from them in the bathroom … or tries to ;)

  5. Megan says:

    I’m totally with you. But I’m being careful not to complain about my kids being home for summer because I know it’s almost over and it’s worse when they’re in school. Don’t worry, moms always feel guilty. Comes with the package.

  6. Chief's Wife says:

    First time responder!
    Great post and no, you are not alone. I just got home from a three week “vacation” at the g-parents house with my nearly five year old and nearly ten month old. Endless days of hearing g-pa tell five year old to shut the door bc the AC is running, coupled by sleepless nights for five month old who is off schedule and in a strange place. I can’t believe I tricked myself into thinking it would be a “get-away!” Just got home and the hubs, Chief Daddy, is way for the weekend doing Navy things…which to me sounds pretty darn relaxing :)

  7. Tab says:

    I totally and completely get it. My oldest is 4 and I have 5-month old twins. The 4yo had been in preschool 4-days per week and I thought I would strangle them all the first day of vacation. No one is getting the time and attention they deserve, and it is usually the 4yo that gets the short end of the stick.

    I know you know that “this too shall pass” and I read your blog enough to know you know you are a kick-ass mom. The day with the grandparents is perfectly timed. You will be back to feeling like the mom you are. In the mean time, use the the lock on the bathroom door. It works wonders! :-)

  8. Nat says:

    I am definitely feeling this way; I feel like I am an entertainment coordinator on a cruise ship with my kids. Every morning it’s “What are we doing today?” And if I don’t get them out of the house at a decent time, they are either a) beating each other up, b) whining, or c) making a mess of the entire house. I love spending time with my kids, but I’m running out of energy entertaining them. Even as I am trying to type this comment, I have my 4-year-old playing a toy piano behind me, constantly asking me, “When are you going to be done?” (PS — I just typed those last few words as he was saying them…..again….)

  9. Tina says:

    You are talking to me Jen! I have been feeling the exact same way. I have three little girls, 6 y/o twins and 3 1/2 y/o. I work full time at a job that requires a 1 1/2 hr commute. I just can’t take it anymore! Something’s gotta to give. So true confession time…I yelled at a woman over a parking spot at my girl’s dance class today!! WTF is wrong with me?? I’m not a bully…but based on my actions this morning, you wouldn’t know it! I desperately need some time off…from my life! Now if I can only manage the guilt I will feel as a result?!

  10. Gretchen says:

    Do you have an older neighborhood child who could use some extra money? Someone in the 12-15 year old age range? Hire them to play with the children in the afternoons while you work from home. Because they are a bit older, they will be fascinating. It will give you some freedom and take some of the stress off of you.

    And might I also recommend another tact? We quickly discovered after having children that a vacation with children is just the same job in another location. Once a year, usually in October, my parents come to stay with the children for one week while my husband and I go on vacation. Just us. I HIGHLY recommend it!

  11. Andree says:

    I wish it was as simple as what Pat is saying. Invariably, when that time period is over and they *DID* stay away… it’s 99% of the time because they found something “interesting” that they should not have been playing with (um, how about a half bottle of hand soap in the bathroom sink)… Mine are about the same age, 5 & almost 8 and I am counting the DAYS until fall so I can actually work from home, for real! Thankfully, I’ve had their dad on the bedtime routine since they were 6 months old (mostly his only time with them when he works), but as they are getting older, they don’t want him in the bathroom anymore… at least they are getting old enough to take care of themselves (mostly!).

  12. pamb says:

    Jen, I know summer is hard, but why don’t you sign the kids up for any activities? Even camp for a week or two, or trade babysitting days with a friend. Your kids probably need additional stimulation that being with people other than you can provide!

    What about programs at the library (you can work while they attend class) or a ‘movie afternoon’ with a $1 rental from Redbox and some junk food?

    I understand trying to do it all, but looking for cheap/free activities for the kids is really worth it.

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