Figuring it out

Internet, can I talk to you about something and not have you walk away thinking I’m more of a freak than you ever gave me credit for? Yes, my second toe is longer than my big toe, so much in fact that I could hire it out as the villain in your nightmares, but this isn’t about the odd shape of my feet or the fact that I cut my hair to look like Peter Pan.

It’s this: I dread the weekend.

Don’t worry, I’ve talked to my therapist about this, so I’m not really asking you to diagnosis me. I know better than to do such a thing because inevitably someone is all THIS MEANS YOU’RE GOING TO DIE. Or THAT ONCE HAPPENED TO MY BROTHER AND NOW HE’S MISSING A THUMB.

It’s an inexplicable dread, and I guess I’m asking just in case any of you have ever experienced this. It could be related to postpartum depression, I suppose, since Marlo has become so grumpy lately (teething? Armstrong genes?) that I’m constantly reminded of those early days with Leta when I didn’t know what to do to get the noise to stop. And so on the weekends when the kids and not work are my primary focus I have to brace for hours and hours of moaning and screaming.

Do not misinterpret: I said primary focus, not priority. My kids are always my top priority. Well, right behind hot dogs.

Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t escape into work, or at least refuse to do so. In an effort to keep our lives balanced we agreed to work as little on the weekends as possible—good in theory except when the White House is trying to get in contact with you and you aren’t checking your email. Because my friend Maggie who knows someone who knows someone who works there had to call early that Monday morning and be all ARMSTRONG, WHY ARE YOU IGNORING THE WHITE HOUSE.

Because I’m trying to give my screaming baby more attention, MR. PRESIDENT.

But then, it’s not just the screaming, although that is a big part of it. I remind myself of my mother more and more every day in the sense that it’s hard for me to sit still knowing there are a million projects I could be working on. I can’t sit on the couch and read a magazine anymore, and it’s driving me crazy. You can just imagine how much Jon wants to shoot me to put him out of his misery.

I can start to feel the anxiety creep up early Friday morning, and by dinner time I’m pacing. Surprisingly, I can sleep, but probably only because it means I don’t have to think about the following two days. And then Saturday morning when I could start the day a little more slowly, when I should take it a bit easier, I run for the kitchen, Marlo on my hip, and I start cleaning. And I don’t stop until Sunday night. Because slowing down doesn’t feel right. In fact, it makes me sick.

Is this the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard?