the smell of my desperation has become a stench

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?

  • cateyb

    2010/04/19 at 6:15 pm

    You have the opposite problem I have. I can’t get my ass in gear often enough to stay on top of anything. My house is a disaster, there are a million things I want to have done but I’d rather sit on the couch and read a magazine.
    …between you and me, I’d rather have your problem!!

  • rissa

    2010/04/19 at 6:15 pm

    Reminds me of the point in my life where I said I wanted to stay at home and be with my kid all day, because that’s what great kids need. A full-time parent.

    Now I know better. I’d go insane without my job.

  • cory212

    2010/04/19 at 6:15 pm

    Not dumb at all, Heather. When my son was younger I dreaded the weekends as well.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2010/04/19 at 6:16 pm

    Shhhh … don’t tell my family this, but: I totally feel you. Monday morning is a relief to me.

    As a fellow work-from-home-er, I can completely relate to what you described. In fact, since we’re perpetually broke, I often work on freelance web-design projects on the weekend … and like it.

  • monkeymama11

    2010/04/19 at 6:17 pm

    no, not dumb. not at all. you’ll get the balance again, when wee monster is more of a communicator.

  • ljnelson

    2010/04/19 at 6:19 pm

    Not dumb at all. Wait till the kids start playing with each other.

  • dooce

    2010/04/19 at 6:19 pm

    @monkeymama11, that’s what I was hoping. It just wasn’t ever this bad with Leta (the weekend part), but two kids are different than one.

  • cmomof4

    2010/04/19 at 6:23 pm

    Heather, I ALWAYS hated the weekends, still do. My kids are all grown up, it’s never changed. I think it’s the free-wheeling, no schedule, etc. part. It probably won’t change for you, either.

  • sloan1982

    2010/04/19 at 6:23 pm

    I fear being out of ‘the schedule’…I get anxiety Saturday mornings and start asking my husband what the ‘plan’ is almost immediately after we have coffee. I NEED PLAN….NOW!!!

  • theotherlion

    2010/04/19 at 6:27 pm

    Not dumb. And I would wager a bet that many people will chime in and say they feel the same way. It must be strange for both your mind and your body to adjust from GO GO GO NOW THIS MINUTE and the instant demands and feedback of the internet to the slowness and often mundane tasks of parenthood. Because lets face it, kids crack us up and all but when they are babies it’s all about giving and not much about getting anything back.

    You will find peace. I applaud the way you and Jon make boundaries in your life so that work isn’t constantly seeping into every minute. And in the end your family will be better for it.

    ETA: Also, it’s not normal for my toe to be that long? Hmmmm. Well, join the club!

  • llamonica

    2010/04/19 at 6:27 pm

    My wee monster is communicating (2nd girl, 2.5), and I still feel this way. I’ve lost the ability to sit and do nothing. I had surgery four days ago and can hardly move and I feel like a caged animal. Maybe if you can find a way to accept that your “relaxing” isn’t the same as the standard, read-a-magazine-hang-out-on-the-couch brand of relaxing? Mine sure isn’t…

  • Ellen

    2010/04/19 at 6:28 pm

    Paxil helped for a while, but the non-orgasm sucked as a side effect. So…. I tried breathing exercises, and then wine. Wine won.

  • whatevs

    2010/04/19 at 6:30 pm

    WOW. You said it. I am a total chicken and have been feeling major guilt regarding the exact same thing, but you went and said it to the whole internet. Now it’s out there!! Now I have to face this, thanks. Anyway, I totally agree and can’t tell you what relief I felt when I dropped the kids off at daycare this morning. Monday morning. And then I had a whole indulgent 10 minutes to sit in my car, ALONE, in silence. I took a few deep breaths and then went into work where I had a whole 8 hours of clicking and typing on my keyboard. BLISS. How has that become better than Friday happy hours and lazy Sundays? Hmm… Something about having 16-month-old twins, I suppose. God help me.

  • Alisan

    2010/04/19 at 6:32 pm

    I have a love/hate relationships with weekends. I work part-time and have three school-aged kids, and I think my ‘issue’ with weekends is the lack of schedule. In some ways, it’s great to have no schedule on the weekend — I can sleep past 6:15, I don’t have to hound the kids to get ready for school, we don’t have the crazy after-school schedule of homework, sports practices, etc. But on the other hand, I think I function better within the constraints of a predictable daily schedule, and that’s not what most families’ weekends are like. And like you, I have a really hard time sitting down to do “nothing.” Is that an age thing, or what?

  • MrsKelliT

    2010/04/19 at 6:35 pm

    Like the great Michael Jackson once said, you are not alone. I am here with you.

    My husband and I both dread the weekend occasionally. Our kids seem to wake up earlier than usual, they’re cranky (because there’s less of a routine, and they thrive on routine), WE’RE cranky due to this just FANTASY of getting extra sleep on the weekends which really, admit it, is just that. A wild, crazy fantasy which won’t come true until the children are teenagers.

  • OhBlahDah

    2010/04/19 at 6:37 pm

    Yes, you can talk to me/us.

    I get a little OCD with the cleaning sometimes. Once I start, I focus on DIRT and SMUDGES and YUCK, and find more and more and more things to fix/clean/move/put away.

    I feel like it is a bit manic. And I just started some sort of brain chemistry altering medication since my daughter ran away from home (she’s 18 so it’s sort of socially acceptble, except to her mom).

    I say make a schedule of a day that would not make you anxious. I have a rule that if I wake up early (before 8:00) on Saturday, then I get to watch a movie. When my daughter was little, it was cartoons instead of my choice, though. Hopefully, you can totally dive into some Sponge Bob with them.

    Plan an outing to the park or shopping if it’s not too dreadful to drag them along. Sorry about the teething screaming. My daughter started at about 8 months and I swear the teething lasted until she was 3. Waaaaahhhhh!!! I should have bought stock in Tylenol.

    I did find some relief in the Homeopathic Chamomile Teething Tablets that melt in the baby’s mouth. Also, the Anbesol numb-zit stuff was a godsend. You’ve probably tried all this. In that case — a drop of whisky or brandy on her gums and a shot down your throat. Yup.

  • msj22

    2010/04/19 at 6:39 pm

    makes total sense…I have been doing VERY PART time things from home, and when I finally get out to a meeting here or there, I really wish sometimes that the meetings would go longer. I quit my job to stay at home, and I love that I can, but sometimes, I envy the women who drop their kids off at day care and go to work. They get to talk to adults about things that matter, not why eating leaves off of the plant is a bad idea. And it seems as though when they finally pick up their kids, they have missed them so much that the time is that much more enjoyable with them. The crying for no reason goes on a lot with my almost 1 year old. But then again, I guess the crying of people I used to work with was just as bad. Seems very, the grass is always greener, I guess.

  • caroline

    2010/04/19 at 6:40 pm

    Nope. I am with you. I am all TGIM! At 9:20 am on Monday when my son is in Kindergarten, my daughter is in preschool, and my husband is at work I’m all whoo hoo!!

  • mburtis

    2010/04/19 at 6:41 pm

    Seriously?! I thought it was just me!!

    I’ve had this problem since my daughter was born 5 years ago, and I still have no resolution.

    Like others, I think my problem is lack of schedule. It’s also about figuring out how to solve that problem in concert with my husband. It always seems like when the weekend roles around we both have these tacit, unspoken expectations about how the weekend is going to go. When my daughter was a baby, that seemed to always involve him expecting to spend the weekend outside/in the garage getting his stuff done. Meanwhile, I imagined blissful days of the three of us playing happily in the sun and chasing butterflies. Instead, I’d find myself “abandoned” inside to the laundry, cleaning, and, oh, screaming baby/toddler.

    I finally put my foot down and insisted I needed more of him on the weekends. That resulted in weekends of us circling each other like caged animals — each denying that we needed/wanted to do anything, and each feeling like we REALLY needed/wanted to do something.

    We still haven’t found that balance, but I think, *I think*, it involves this thing called communication. At least, that’s what my therapist told me once. APPARENTLY, if we talk about these things ahead of time before we’re angry or feeling aggressive we can PLAN a weekend where we both get to do some of what we want/need. Go figure.

    But, really, sometimes I just long for those pre-children days when we would spend the weekend in bed watching M*A*S*H reruns on FX. Sigh.

  • KMcWriter

    2010/04/19 at 6:41 pm

    Heather — I hear you! The endless abyss of “free time” sometimes seems overwhelming. (It’s gonna be super-fun and RELAXING, right?!)

    I have an idea — how about creating a “To Do” List for the weekends — filled with fun things to accomplish/check off? Think about the things (big and little) you and Jon always wanted to do — as a couple and with the girls. Keep a Word doc. (or something fancier — I know there must be an app Jon can join in with!) with things like:
    1. Sample fine cheeses with Leta (ok, ok, maybe sampling gourmet chicken nuggets might be a start)
    2. Explore local wineries (what? SLC doesn’t have wineries? How about water purification locales?)
    3. Collect 12 different-colored stones on a neighborhood walk
    4. Leave the kids with relatives and watch a “16 & Pregnant” marathon on the couch — guilt-free (what? it’s on the LIST!)
    5. Organize ______________ .
    6. Take Marlo out for her first sorbet
    etc., etc., etc.

    You get the point! Just schedule yourself a little downtime and see what happens.

  • kiwijuice

    2010/04/19 at 6:42 pm

    Nope, you’re definitely not alone in this.

    Except I dread free time because it means I have more time to miss the STC (sexy-time companion, or what ordinary folk would call a boyfriend) who fairly recently moved 1000+ miles away. Last quarter, I worked full time and took 3 night classes so I didn’t have a spare moment to worry about him. Now that I’m only taking two, I’m going absolutely NUTS trying to figure out what else I can do to distract from his absence. And I pride myself on being an independent, modern woman, but I’m starting to get all boo-hoo, black eyeliner emo-like!

    I’m supposed to be in the prime of my life going out, hitting up bars, and getting pish drunk, but all I want to do is nuzzle into him and nest!

  • WebSavyMom

    2010/04/19 at 6:44 pm

    –>I live for the weekends but there is a small, small part of me that looks forward to being alone in my office on Monday morning. It’s short lived though.

  • anjing8

    2010/04/19 at 6:45 pm

    You might find this shocking coming from a teacher, but summer used to be my least favorite time of year. The first few days of summer freedom were always glorious, but gradually, I would wake up later, wear my pajamas longer, accomplish less, and start to feel generally crummy. It happened slowly … so that, like a mammoth in a tar pit, I almost don’t notice it until it was too late and the depression swallowed me whole.

    Two nervous breakdowns later came the advent of the “summer project”, and summers passed merrily along while I worked my ass off redecorating, learning new languages, writing curriculum, and fixing everybody else’s problems.

    Finally last year, with no project in sight for the summer, I learned to quiet the committee in my head that insisted every minute be productive, the same committee that likes to remind me that I’m always one tiny step away from losing my mind. I can’t say I retired them, but I at least got them to step out of the room for a coffee break. Learning to be relaxed (aka lazy) without going insane became it’s own project involving lots of breathing and a few comical stabs at meditation and yoga. I’m still not quite sure how I did it, but I did manage to enjoy the summer without really accomplishing anything significant.

    Anyway, I hope you get this all figured out in time to share your wisdom before I have kids and surely fall off the relaxing-time-off wagon.

  • BlogalaCart

    2010/04/19 at 6:46 pm

    Girl, I was just all, JAMES, READ THIS! SEE! I’m not a total wack-job!

    I suffer from the same nagging need/compulsion to constantly DO! And it’s maddening, and I have a tough time not instantly responding to emails, or OMG, IGNORING them for a hour, let alone an ENTIRE weekend. It drives my partner B-A-N-A-N-A-S. ANd now that we have a 11-month old baby, I know that the weekends are when I should devote all attention to her since I work during the week away from her, but it’s so. damn. hard.

    I wish I could say that I slept, but my mind is going a million miles a minute thinking about everything I must get done, NOW!

    So basically, I’m ZERO help to you. But boy can I relate!

  • Scott-5x5

    2010/04/19 at 6:54 pm

    I’m with you and everyone else here – weekends are dreaded! My therapist actually called me on it, noting that I would work poorly during the week, forcing myself into overtime on the weekends so I could avoid being at home! Gah! It’s better now that my kids are older (9 and 11), no doubt. I realized at some point that their age makes a difference, yes, but so does the experience of suffering through those weekends when they were bad. You learn from them. This past weekend there were tough moments, but it was very much life, and that’s more than okay.

  • The Christine

    2010/04/19 at 6:54 pm

    I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old and Saturdays make my skin crawl, they really do. It’s like a creeping, itching panic that sets in at about 10am in the face of all the things I could possibly accomplish but won’t, stacked up next to the inordinately large number of things that need to be disinfected, to the tune of the intolerable and painful screaming and the whining. Sundays are even worse. Sunday nights make me weep for the death of the week. Then I go and make it worse by listening to Prairie Home Companion and all those damned sad songs and GAH, yes, I hate weekends.

  • hammy

    2010/04/19 at 6:56 pm

    Sounds to me like you’re in a groove. It’s hard to stop.

    You’re go go go for work and ‘every day’ stuff during the week. Weekends? Your five-days-a-week routine is thrown off. Doesn’t sound dumb to me.

  • beckwithc

    2010/04/19 at 7:00 pm

    My husband and I had 3 kids, in very quick succession, while in our late 30s. My oldest is 5 and my youngest in 18 months, and I work full time in corporate finance. The weekends are knock-down, drag-out exhausting. We do as much as we can to create weekend routines to give the kids the structure they (and we!) need, but it can be tough to keep everyone sane sometimes. I desperately try to remember that in the not-so-distant future, I’m going to miss their tiny bodies, their silliness and my ability to make almost anything better with a hug and a snuggle. Some days I succeed, and some days (usually Saturday at 9:30 in the morning) I daydream about turning the key in the ignition, checking in to the W and not returning until Sunday night just in time to tuck them in to bed… So, you’re not crazy or dumb, at least I hope you aren’t because that would mean I am, too.

  • Wombat Central

    2010/04/19 at 7:01 pm

    It’s not dumb at all. Maybe a tiny bit of routine would help you enjoy your weekends a wee bit more.

    What if you did select regular things to do, such as special breakfast one or both days either at home or maybe monthly out somewhere. Then you could have time cut out for cleaning tasks for 30 mins (okay an hour if you’re on a roll) here and there. Maybe special TV time for the girls while you read that magazine. Little benchmark activities throughout the day(s). And it DOES get easier as they get older!

  • Gwenevere

    2010/04/19 at 7:02 pm

    That’s interesting….most people I know (which isn’t many) feel that way on Sunday night when the thought of going back to work on Monday can no longer be ignored. It must be nice to love your work that much.

    Look on the bright side, at least it’s only 2 days and not 5. I know it doesn’t help. but…it’s all I got.

  • MustangSally

    2010/04/19 at 7:04 pm

    You need a weekend home. Like a cabin. Or a timeshare condo. That takes dogs. Only with full maintenance/landscaping and housekeeping service so you can go home Sunday night and leave all the dirty towels on the floor and they’ll magically get freshly laundered before you come back the next Friday (or in two weeks).

    Someplace with a community pool, and a ton of kids stuff to do (and maybe, just maybe childcare services?). Preferably at the bottom of a ski lift somewhere.

    If I had your moolah and access to all those fantastic resorts in driving distance that’s what I’d do.

  • leafgirl

    2010/04/19 at 7:06 pm

    Funny because I was just talking to MY therapist about this anxiety I have about the weekends. Its not in the same way, I only have my son 3 days a week and I miss him like crazy and yet I have two separate schedules, two separate lives and its hard for me to make the change between the two each week. Good luck with your transitions. I’m still trying to figure mine out.

  • jessicak

    2010/04/19 at 7:07 pm

    You are normal. I always had mixed feelings about the weekend. For me, weekends meant more sleep because I could at least trade off one morning with my husband and get some sleep. But, then by Sunday evening, I was so tired of it all and ready for work. The bottom line with those who experience post partum is usually some level of control. And sometimes, we feel trapped in the weekend. I understand. It will soon pass and you will LOVE the weekends again.

  • hender_sk

    2010/04/19 at 7:10 pm

    I think it is because before you had kids, your weekends were your own, and now they are not. My kids are older (teen/pre-teen) and weekends are much better, but I STILL feel guilty taking a nap or laying around watching TV, even tho they don’t need constant supervision.

    Weekends also got alot better once I started working fulltime outside the home.

  • elru

    2010/04/19 at 7:13 pm

    The only thing I dread more than weekends are … long weekends. I have such wistful nostalgia for the days when a 3 day weekend was something to look forward to. I live my children, but I’m totally with the commenter who said Monday morning is a big relief. The way I have rationalized it is this whole parenting thing is by far the hardest job I have, on pretty much every level. My two youngest go to daycare 3 days a week and I tell people “I work Tues, Thurs, Sat and Sun. Mon. Wed., and Fri I get to do what I want to do.”. I like my day job, though it’s not all peaches and cream. But it’s nothing in comparison to just getting everybody at home through one day. My husband and I count down the minutes til bedtime most nights. Not because we don’t adore our kids but because we’re just so damn tired.

  • linnysol

    2010/04/19 at 7:16 pm

    I have an 11 mo., 5 , 6, and 42 year old 🙂 and all I can say is AMEN my friend. My 80’s sticker collection had a Boynton sticker that read “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” I am smarter than those turkeys and they won’t get me down! I will say a babysitter on a Saturday night works wonders. I highly suggest it! And…plan out some weekend activities ahead of time. Marlo will be able to participate more and more as the weeks pass.

  • courtneydonati

    2010/04/19 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I secretly dread both coming home from work and the weekends. My daughter is 6 months old and, like Marlo, is teething. So lately, all she does is scream and cry. She’s my first, so she’s a tad needier than most since I’ve spoiled her and hates being by herself, she must be held, or on your lap, or be right next to you, or oh my god I haven’t taken a pee by myself since she was born. Ok, I’m rambling.
    I agree with the other comments that I hope/know that things will improve once she’s older. It’s this side of motherhood that people don’t talk about. I have friends that have babies and see pictures of them out and about with their kids having lots of fun, lots of smiling pictures, etc and it makes me feel like I’m the only mom sitting at home with this baby that I cannot seem to please while I feel very isolated and alone.
    Anyway, I could go on and on. I do also agree that it could be a bit of postpartum, I feel I may have some too.

    Thanks again for writing this, Heather.

  • blondefaith

    2010/04/19 at 7:23 pm

    I had to let the weekend be. Also…you know, not worry about what all the cool kids were up to. Helps my husband is a pastor, he works Sunday. Our weekend is Saturday and Monday. Monday is the best weekend day. I feel like I have a secret.

    Finally, trust. Trust that even if I stop doing, things keep going.

  • cmglynn01

    2010/04/19 at 7:23 pm

    I have that second toe thing, too. On the one hand, it’s a disorder. On the other hand, it is “often associated with royalty” and is the “idealized form in Greek sculpture”. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

  • erinloechner

    2010/04/19 at 7:24 pm

    Ahh, I feel for you, Heather. And totally, 100% empathize. I can’t vouch for the kid theory, but I can say that I have The. Same. Problem.

    Maybe it stems from having an online job where you can never really turn off the noise? There’s always a conversation going, an email to answer and a social media platform to update. It’s enough to make you want to simultaneously throw your computer out the window — and cuddle with it while watching Golden Girls.

    Just me?

    Anyway, I don’t give advice, b/c I hate people that give advice online. But I do get it. And it’s part of the reason I keep my pharmacy in business.

    So hey! Economy boosting! A positive!

  • dykewife

    2010/04/19 at 7:24 pm

    i had the opposite problem as well. i lived for the weekends because on weekends the mailmen didn’t come and the number of people who intruded on my sanctuary was even fewer than the rare ones (like the metre readers). despite having managed to get out of the house and go to school and work (after nearly 10 years of very hard work) i still hate hearing the mail box and the phone ring.

  • Mandy

    2010/04/19 at 7:24 pm

    Hmmm, interesting. Without thinking about it I would have said I love the weekend when my partner is there to help with the kids but I’m finding myself relating to you. Sometimes this inertia just descends and I become a bit of a zombie.
    I also felt really anxious about the two week easter school break thinking how the hell am I going to go back to having the two at home!!! (as it turned out it was GREAT and I didn’t want it to end but I know I’ll be dreading the mid year break just as much)

    Oh my GOD I am so with you on the constant background noise of whinging. Yesterday was insane with me tearing around trying to clean while my son was making those noises the whole day. I mean why was the housework so important all of a sudden? I actually think it was me rebelling against this demanding creature. I think I even said to him something like ‘no, for once I’m going to do what I want to do’ Poor thing was crawling around with his awkward lumbering crawl following me. I ended up walking around with him on the hip but I’m getting tendonitis from it! In my cleaning I found my old dictaphone and recorded his whinging with me announcing ‘for everyone who thinks Sweeney is an angel, he’s NOT’. I think I’ll keep that..

    One thing I find though is that when it’s bad it feels like it’s never been good but right now he is having a long nap and had been gorgeous all morning and I realise it’s just a moment (or, rather, day) that will pass. Chin up ol’ chap 🙂

  • scargosun

    2010/04/19 at 7:25 pm

    1. My second toe is longer than my big toe too. I have monkey swinging from trees feet.
    2. I don’t have kids and yet I find the weekends lately to be the same thing. I can’t relax. I know there is stuff I have to be doing. I can’t enjoy a cup of coffee in the AM on a Saturday without thinking of the thousand things I have to get done in a short period of time. I hate that feel this way too but I am glad not to be the only (crazy) one.

  • keagansmom

    2010/04/19 at 7:25 pm

    not dumb at all…I feel the same way most weekends…it’s just the endless NEED that gets to you, with no reprieve. I love my kids. you love your kids. I couldn’t be a stay-at-home Mom anymore than you could. You enjoy working. So do I. there’s nothing wrong with any of that. and any Mother out there who doesn’t admit that she doesn’t want to spend every single waking moment with/attending to her children is lying to herself.

    you is just fine, darlin.

  • schmeidel

    2010/04/19 at 7:26 pm

    Do you think it could be because you have too much to do in general, and so you have trouble slowing down on the weekend?

  • onlywords2playw

    2010/04/19 at 7:28 pm

    Your anxiety sounds a lot like my own, especially the words you use to describe it. “Inexplicable dread” especially hits a raw nerve. And your pacing. And using sleep as an escape, or a way not to experience whatever it is that’s causing you to worry. The inability to sit still and relax. I’ve experienced all of that: I’ve found my self fleeing classes because I just couldn’t remain still any longer; dreading mornings, because to be awake in the morning means I have an entire day of potential anxiety ahead of me; constant pacing or movement; and the worst, is that it IS inexplicable. I mean, you can puzzle through all these logical reasons for your anxiety, but that doesn’t really help to relieve it. At least it never helped me.

    So no, I don’t think that this is the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

    The only thing that’s really ever helped me (besides meds) is talking to people who know exactly what I’m going through, who have experienced it first hand. The feeling as though I’m not alone in my anxiety provides a comfort that reasonable explanations for my worry cannot. I hope you feel better soon. And you’re not alone.

  • TheWeekendIsland

    2010/04/19 at 7:28 pm

    I am starting to get like this. I work all week, then wake up Saturday morning and just have to get things done. All weekend. I can no longer read or relax at all or I start to feel overwhelmed by all the jobs. Why? How do I fix it? I woke up Sunday am last weekend, hungover as all get out and HAD to drive for 1.5 hours, catch a ferry and clean our holiday house.

    I suspect there may be something wrong with me.

  • Bluestalking

    2010/04/19 at 7:28 pm

    Heather, when my doc added Abilify to my drug cocktail I felt like I’d crawl out of my skin if I sat down. It drove me crazy(er). It’s a total anxiety thing, and the correct med mix could be the problem. Once I came off Abilify I was better, but I still don’t sleep through the night.

    BTW, the only thing that helped me, in these moods, was to meditate. To sit still, close my eyes, breathe in and out and focus. Didn’t even take all that long, either.

    Methinks you need Heather time. Not Dooce, not someone’s wife or mom, but YOUR time.

    Feel better.

  • momof8

    2010/04/19 at 7:28 pm

    I get it, I got up at 3AM and paid bills. Really.

  • msmimi

    2010/04/19 at 7:29 pm

    I have the same problem a LOT of the time, and it goes back to when my now 6yr old was a wailing infant who NEVER slept more than 2 hours at a time…I had postpartum depression too, but let it go way too long, was placed on an antidepressant, the dose was raised way too quickly, and I subsequently became manic. A mess, and really TMI. But the thing is during the week, I could go out to work, even if it was only P/T. On the weekends I felt trapped. And now that she’s older, she still seems to demand near constant attention, and exhausts me on the weekend.
    So yeah, most weekends I’d rather be at work caring for my psych pts rather than at home caring for my daughter- who btw is sure to be someone’s future psych pt. My point? You’re not alone.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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