This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

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?

  • Kim Kelley-Wagner

    Yep, right there with ya. Thought I was crazy. There I am sitting my butt in front of a computer all week, then NEVER sitting down all weekend and waking up on Monday morning so sore I can hardly lift my bones out of bed.

    Then there are the magazines. I haven’t sat down and read one since March of 2008 and they have really piled up! That was when I learned that I had been matched with my second daughter from China and the chaos began, first getting ready to go to China, then being IN China, then being home with a new child plus the older one and going back to work as a single mother, ugh! So nope, not a single magazine read in all that time. You’d think I would just stop the subscriptions, but I keep hoping. *sigh* Please tell me I am not hoping in vain.

  • renaemcalister

    That’s not dumb at all. I think you need some “me” time. After I had my second son (19 months after I had my first, I know, I’m crazy) I had a very hard time relaxing and de-stressing. When you are a stay at home mom the weekends aren’t really any different from any other day of the week. The only difference is that my husband is home, which of course is nice, but I still didn’t feel like I ever got a break. When Jake was about 6 and a half months old and I had stopped nursing we made some changes that really helped me and made me look forward to the weekend.

    First, we started taking turns sleeping in. One of us would get Saturday and one of us would get Sunday. The way this worked was that one of us got both of the kids up, dressed, and fed and under no circumstances opened the door to our room until we emerged. The only way this worked was because of a noise maker that would drown out any crying or yelling. Man I love Sharper Image, best birthday present ever!

    Secondly, I get 2-3 hours to myself every Saturday. Sometimes I go shopping, sometimes I go play volleyball or workout, but I almost always get out of the house. I’ve even gone to the public library just to go sit and read in peace and quiet. Some Saturdays my husband and I will drop the kids off with Grandma or Aunt and Uncle so that we can go out to eat and take a trip to Barnes and Noble or something.

    Anyway, I think you need some time to yourself girl, you deserve it =)

  • tokenblogger

    Heather, the weekend is s..l..o..w t..i..m..e.

    Slow time instead of free time.

    Slow time means you can stay in bed a little longer.

    A really nice and lazy late afternoon lunch.

    A little bit longer nap for any of you.

    A nice and lazy walk with the pups: one-at-a-time.

    Cleaning? Go ahead, but slowly. Let Leta help because when you’re doing things slowly there is more time for her to learn the way you like to do things.

    Make supper something lite and make it together.

    Sunday is a little bit faster, but still lagging behind the pace of the week days.

    Sunday is still enjoying the weekend while getting ready for the week ahead.

    Have a Sunday afternoon outing or have some pholks over for the afternoon.

    Do stuff. Do anything you want. Do as much as you want — while keeping in mind you’ve got all weekend to do it.

    You’re not crazy, sweetie, you’re a Mom.

  • MontanaJen

    Yes. It’s weird.

    I say this only because I feel the same way – physically incapable of just ‘hanging out’ and ‘relaxing with a cold beer in my hand’ like my nutzo friends do. I blame generation upon generation of dirt farmers, and their knowledge that burrowed its way into our genetic makeup that if they were not productive every fucking daylight hour of every fucking day, we would LITERALLY die HOMELESS and ALONE.

    This feeling is the reason I knit (to feel productive in otherwise unproductive moments on the deck, or watching a movie, or riding as a passenger in a car).

    But really, I think (for me) this comes from being just inside of my head too much. I have an ongoing list of to-do’s, and can’t stop actually doing the to-do’s. Tonight, after 9 hours of pretty manual labor around the house (re-caulking tub, shampooing carpets, cleaning out garage), I had to deliberately sit down and make a list of the stuff that I had to do prior to relaxing. The list had 28 items on it, one of which was re-paint and re-carpet the bedroom. WEIRD. Too much. So I poured a glass of red wine, and the list looks better from across the room.

    So yeah – it’s weird – but only because commercials don’t recognize one’s inability to just SIT DOWN ALREADY. But weird is OK. Most of us have it.

  • triplets of terror

    My husband and I went from no children (apart from three wonderful dogs) to having triplets after 6 great years of marriage. We’re not complete slobs but the house was generally tidy except for massive amounts of dog hair. With the coming of the triplets (and premature by 6 weeks) having a very clean house was a necessity. The trips are now 13 months but the cleaning regime has endured. I used to be angry inside at having to hold the babies all the time while in my head all I could think of was all the shit I had to clean and get prepped. I don’t get angry in my head anymore I just try to deal with constant re-organizing in my head about the list of things to do. The weekends are always hit or miss. I constantly find things for us to do with them to keep them happy and show them the world but it also keeps me from going crazy at home. The best and worst part is the constant stream of family members who come over. Some are very helpful and not only watch babies but offer to clean and bring food with them…others tend to sort of watch the babies and eat everything they can find…and ask for coffee to be made. Probably not very helpful comments from me today but I feel bettter for having gotten it off my chest. Don’t forget that no one goes through what you do…we all have our own experiences and way of dealing with them. Find what works for you:-)

  • carpe_vinum

    I am a teacher of high school students and I get depressed when it is nearly summer. It is at that time my boys become my primary focus. It seems as though my world ramps up from GO GO GO to GO GO GO FASTER, FASTER!!!!! I, again this year, am not looking forward to summer at all. It makes me cry.

    I often feel that way on weekends, especially on Sundays. Saturdays are so busy with sports, family events, etc. that it isn’t too bad. Sundays, on the other hand, are often horrid.

    I feel ugly admitting all of this.

  • smithie1996

    I am right there with you because when you have an infant you never get a day off but at least during the week there is structure to your day. But the weekend? No playgroup, Little Gym, pediatrician appointments, thousands of errands that can be run while he is in day care and I don’t have to race through the wine store buying stuff as fast as possible before he pulls every bottle off the shelf. The best night of the week is Sunday because I know my kiddo is off to day care the next day and I can finally relax and not worry about how to fill up those 48 hours of unplanned time.

  • nuttermother

    Not weird… I hate the weekend because i stand around waiting for kids/hubby to mess up the house with toys and dishes. I would like one day that everyone could put their own stuff away…by themselves…without prompting.

    In my head I can’t get anything accomplished unless the house is clean – not in a totally anal way, but tidy enough to see the counter tops (is that to much to ask?…or the floor…)

    Monday is nice, husband is at work, and the kids are busy doing little tasks and i can breath…

    There is too much downtime on the weekend for chaos…hence, we go to my parents house on Sunday’s so my kids can mess their house up instead! lol

  • alexwantsacookie

    Hates: Anxiety. Yuck.
    Loves: The suggestion from KMcWriter to make a list of fun stuff to do. I love lists and frequently use them to keep my anxiety in check (see above). I think you should give it a try!

  • shellliejelly

    Though I’m sure it’s something quite different, the minute I read that you dreaded the weekend, I remembered how the same feeling would come over me after having my daughter, only my dread was for the night. I’d have a similar reaction in that I’d start to subtly panic, looking around and just trying to get through until morning. The minute I could see the day start to break, I’d feel better. Most of it, I think, had to do with having a newborn and feeling things were somehow safer when it was day, as though if something went wrong fixing a problem was much easier in the daylight. I know, sounds … weird.
    I also had a severe thyroid problem that went undiagnosed for the first three months after giving birth, which was the root of the majority of my problem. Perhaps have your thyroid checked? Though I say that with some sense of tongue-in-cheek, as I’m now the woman who suggests thyroid problems for most everything as I was so miserable before my diagnosis. Cold? Thyroid problem! Cry at the drop of a hat? Thyroid problem! Don’t want to walk the dog? Thyroid problem!

  • Spookify

    comment deleted

  • CandleMom

    With three kids under the age of 5, relaxing on the weekends is nonexistant. We just try to plan something to do as a family. Hanging around the house all day drives me crazy!

  • Indiana Lori

    So not crazy. So very normal. I had a first, wildly high maintenance daughter, and then a 2nd, very smiley, no parents needed I’m so easy daughter. I was so overwhelmed at the difference that I QUIT MY JOB, right at Month 10. I found myself at home with Miss High Maintenance & Miss Suddenly Cranky. No work, no escape = let me kill myself now. I drank on the driveway every single night, alone in a camping chair. Luckily, I live in Indiana, so I blended right in with the neighbors.

    Cranky baby turned back into giggly happy baby by Month 12, and has stayed that way, now at Month 32.

    Whatever is creasing Marlo will pass. I hate the “this too shall pass”, but she will return to baseline, I’m sure of it. I think that first year with 2 daughters was harder than my first year with one, but after that, it got exponentially easier by the day.

    Hang in there. Daughters love to age their mothers. This much we know.

    Best,

    Indiana Lori

  • Whichann

    Have you tried to split your “days-off”. Your “day’s-off” could be Sunday and Wednesday or Thursday. You could call it flex time and couple of months (or years) go back to old fashioned “week-ends” of Saturday and Sunday. Or you could have four half days “off” . . . or . . .

  • nelking

    Yep, been there. It’s hard not to have those breaks from the parenting of small ones. It’s going to get easier I swear.

  • missusclark

    Heather, don’t you know about this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton's_toe

    You have the toes of royalty, dear.

    I, too, used to dread the weekends. Even though my husband is then home, it just seemed like I was “on duty” all the damn time! But when I had to pull the twins out of preschool, that went away. Now, I glad to have the backup.

  • jessalee

    I feel the same way. Sitting still and doing what feels like nothing feels impossible.

    This weekend it was 80 degrees here, and we took the kids for a picnic by the river, and they loved it. The only problem is I sat there thinking of all the things I had to do instead of enjoying the beautiful river and all that quiet. Even though my family and my children and that time together is my priority, it was hard for me to be thoroughly in the moment. My kids are 5 and 7, so I certainly hope it goes away sooner for you than it seems to be taking me.

  • elhennessy

    I have the same problem, but it’s more about transition times. On weekdays, I dread the weekend. On weekends, I dread the weekdays. Planning helps, but if I have too much going on, I get overwhelmed. I guess balance really is the key.

  • Jojo

    I’m stuck at home with my kid all week. I look forward to the weekends because it’s not just me stuck with my kid. I suspect that my husband feels exactly like this, though. He has the patience of a flea and acts as if it is just crazy to chase a hyper-active toddler around for a few hours. I’m all, “Asshole, I do this all freaking day. Why can’t you handle this for a few hours on a weekend????” I need a job outside the home, plain and simple.

  • reluctantcrafter

    I don’t find it strange at all (the toe or the dilema, as I have both). I don’t work, though, but still find myself in a state you’re describing. It’s like my mind is is going 200 mph, and my body is trying to keep up, but just can’t. Most. times I feel like a dog chasing my tail. My bad day? Sunday. Just is . I am lucky my husband and kids are so understanding. And this may sound totally messed up, but when i’m having one of “those” days, I’ll ask my husband if it’s ok if I take magazine break, or nap or whatever. Of course he knows this drill and always says yes. It’s not that I’m some 1950’s minded housewife, there’s just something about someone telling me it’s ok to chill that makes me feel better.

  • Rich

    Heather you are not a freak. What you are is normal, somewhat normal. It happens to most people that run their own business’ from home. There is no time clock so we work when we can, and something in your personality makes you want to stay occupied all the time. Luckily you have a job that requires lots of attention. What you need to do is set time aside every day to relax. So, no matter what is going on, you take from 5-9 off to do something not related to work.
    On the weekend, you need a set routine I think. Schedule something to do every Sat, and then do it every Sat. Like, on Sat you schedule time at the park with kids and dogs and do it no matter what every Sat. That will give you something structured to do every week and will help with your anxiety.
    OK, and remember, not everything in life is a competition.

  • The Dalai Mama

    No it certainly isn’t just you. While I love spending time with my kids–4 and 2, it’s also very stressful to fit in all the things you need to do with what you want to do. The week is much more about me and I like that–I’ll admit if freely–while the weekend is not at all about me and that is hard to balance, manage and adjust to.

    While I really have nothing profound to say about it, just know you aren’t alone.

  • KarmenTheGreat

    I have a similar issue, only I don’t have children. I dread the weekends because I am forced to realize I have no life and no friends. There is not a single person in the world who would enjoy spending that time with me so I sit alone at home all weekend long waiting for Monday so I can at least be at work where there are people I can socialize with. I’m terrified of my future, as of June 1st my work will be closed down for good. I don’t know what I will do.

  • Queen Bugaboo

    I totally understand–I feel like that on a bigger scale. I’m a teacher, so as the school year is ending I get all nervous about how I’m going to cope with the summer. By May I’m plotting all the things I can do with my “extra” time alone, out of the house. Then reality sinks in and it’s just not possible. The amount of household/farm stuff expands to fit the space it is given, like an alligator that grows to fit its cage of the gigantic pile of junk and clothes that is filling our attic. By August, I am DYING to get back into the classroom. I spend all the time I can in school getting things ready before the kids come.

  • momoftwo-21n2

    Not dumb at all, I have had weekend dread since my mom passed away in 2001. A few years ago I developed vacation dread, it sucks!

  • Damaris Santos-Palmer

    questions… why is it so hard to go from my RSS feed to your blog? Everytime I click on the feed it takes me to google pages instead of to your blog? This is why I never comment, not that you need my one little comment.

    anyway, I feel exactly how you feel. I have a ton of anxiety building up when I know I have to spend an extended amount of time with my kids. Now that I’m home with them every day I have anxiety pretty much all the time. The worst is when I get away and I have even more anxiety that the person who’s taking care of them is doing something terribly wrong.

    Your crazienss soothes me.

  • dolphy36

    Sounds very familiar to me, Heather. Not specifically weekends, but just “be time” with my kid. If I have an activity to do with him, great. Read? no problem. But get down on the floor and play army guys? Uh-uh. His dad, on the other hand, is his best playmate! I am envious–but then not. But I constantly feel a failure for not being in the moment and instead trying to knock something off the ToDo list. Phhft.

  • jenwilson

    That’s not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m the same way.

    So, I guess you’re one of the few people who LIKE Mondays?

  • Vander

    Heather, I lost my job recently. Now that my days are wide open, I find it hard to stop moving, because depression will smack me upside the face instead of just tapping me on the shoulder. If I keep moving, my shoulder is a moving target. I schedule as many appointments as I can (I looked forward to a teeth cleaning!) and on days when there is nothing on the calendar, I putter. Putter, putter, putter. Cleaning, organizing, making lists of things to clean and organize, etc. When everything is clean and organized, and my doctor is sure I don’t need another physical, then what will I do? I will sit there and the interview I went on last week still won’t call yet, and I’ll give in and cry on the floor till the dog gets freaked out. I never knew I was so defined by my job.
    So, weekends are just like any other day for me: looming ahead with hours of unplanned time.

  • cinddmel

    It doesn’t sound dumb at all Heather. I started to get a lot of anxiety and almost panic about just being home in the weekends too – I was working at home and like you had also nowhere to escape.
    It’s just natural, I think, to feel trapped and anxious about not having somewhere to go that you can use as a place to escape and distract yourself from everything else.
    I think you are such a strong woman and good parent, and I admire the fact that you manage to spend almost 24/7 with your husband and family and make it work.
    I’m not going to tell you what you could do different to try to help this situation, simply because I’m sure so many people have told you already or you thought about it yourself. I’ll be praying for you and your family that you can feel more at peace and keep being the great person that you already are.
    (((hugs)))

  • nemiccolo

    Try this and see if it helps at all. I’m Jewish and I tried this out when I had the same feeling and it really worked.

    Religious Jews celebrate the Sabbath from sundown on Friday to Sundown on Saturday.

    This means they don’t light any fires, turn lights on or off, drive, write, do anything other than eat, pray, relax, read, play.

    It is 24 hours of being totally unplugged from anything – a real day of rest.

    A couple of things – you do have to prepare for this by taping light switches and stuff and making sure you have food you can eat during this time period – but you would be shocked at how rejuvenated you feel at the end of a 24 moratorium on doing anything. No internet, no phone – just hang out with your family, read, take long walks – tell each other stories. It seems like the opposite of what you are looking for but I swear it will rock your world!

  • jen.yaya

    No diagnosing here, but an fyi…

    I don’t have kids, yet I’ve always been the same way. Many people in my family are EXACTLY this way. We just call it “The Patrick Workaholic/Perfectionist Gene”. You’re so restless, you feel like you’re going to just pop right out of your own skin if you aren’t busy doing something… anything. Only difference is that I dread any time when I’m supposed to be relaxing, or taking it at a slower pace. Maybe yours is kid-related, but we’ve got some of ‘the crazy’ goin’ on in my family too. Just sayin.

    PS- We haven’t figured it out yet either.

  • socaldede

    You are not crazy. But, think of it from your children’s standpoint. As a child, I LOVED weekends. I loved jumping in my parent’s bed to wake them up. I loved that they pretended to be annoyed and then just moved over so all 6 of us could fit into the Full size bed. I loved that on weekends we got to have pancakes, as opposed to cold cereal during the week. I loved having chores to do on Saturday mornings so that we could do a family project or just be lazy together in the afternoon. I loved that on Saturdays, my Dad would take one of us to the deli and order special sandwiches for everyone. I loved that my Mom took a nap and snored loudly (we loved to make our Mom happy and naps made her happy). I loved that Saturday nights were always BBQ nite and sometimes company came over. I loved that even though it was Saturday we had weekend “bedtimes”. I loved that we were not allowed to watch television on the weekends because my Dad was “allergic”…I loved that on Saturday nights we would lay out our Sunday school clothes. I loved that sometimes on Sunday morning my Dad would pronounce Church HOOKIE Day and we would go out to breakfast, skipping church all together. I loved that Sunday afternoons we often took long car rides stuffed sitting backwards in the station wagon. I loved that Sunday nights we had BLT’s. EVERY SUNDAY. I loved that on Sunday nights we had Daddy night. He got us ready for bed, bathed and tucked. I loved that when Monday morning rolled around and my teacher or friends would ask what we did and I always said, “Nothing special, just the NORMAL stuff.
    Weekends are made up of Normal stuff.

  • poopinginpeace

    It’s really a shame that you live so far away and we can’t be friends and hang out drinking wine or whisky all weekend. I feel exactly the same way on the weekend. The lack of routine sends me completely out of wack. Plus my husband being home, which is nice on the one hand, but a pain on the other, doesn’t always help. You don’t sound crazy to me at all, because you feel exactly like I do. So either this is something that happens to a lot of people, or we’re just both nuts.

  • KirstenBH

    If nothing else, it’s really good to know that so many other teachers dread summer, too. My long break always coincided with my husband’s busiest time at work, so he’d get phone calls like, “So I moved the sink and vanity into the guest bedroom. What color do you think we should paint the bathroom after I rip out the wallpaper?” He knew I was like this going into the relationship, though. I dropped out of college on the first Sunday in September of my sophomore year because I could not face all the weekends stretching out before me. (I dropped back in, got a Master’s degree…it all worked out.) I have some anxiety around being idle, to be sure. Now with a 2-year old, I try to look at things from her perspective. I don’t want her only interactions with me to be my responses to her demands, though there’s a fair amount of that. But research suggests that children need about 20 minutes per day of our undivided attention– getting down and playing with them on the floor and being wholly present with them. That’s not much. It leaves plenty of time to clean with an infant on your hip or check email while making encouraging sounds about block towers or doll tea parties. With that said, the ‘inexplicable dread’ is one of the worst and most guilt-inducing feelings I’ve experienced, so I suggest you keep writing and talking about it until it suddenly occurs as a distant memory.

  • MontanaGirl

    Feeling your pain. Well, not about the weekends. But about the grumpy baby. Our 9 month old is grumpy with teeth and is just now escaping the motion challenged phase.

    SERIOUS SUGGESTION: Baltic Amber Teething Necklace. Check it out. I swear by it. I kick myself for not putting one on my first kid and having to suffer through 20 excruciating teeth without one. If were were to blog about one of those top 10 things you need to get for your baby, this would be on that list. At the top. Seriously.

    Semi serious suggestion: I formally challenge you to a cute off: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/nEXEx05BtrCvI442v9pnxxpQNgY1-SgpmBCj5gIa3Do?feat=directlink

  • MeMyselfandMommy

    I can not tell you how much I can relate. Life without anxiety does not exist.I do not work from home, partially for that reason.

    I worked independently from home for awhile, and I am really bad at “turning it off.” I need to have a physical barrier between work and home. Even with that barrier, I am still a nut case. Vacations are the worst. The last few days of my vacation I am a total wreck because, “Oh sweet Jesus what is waiting to punch me the in the face when I walk in the door?” Or, “I am going to have worked piled up on my desk so high I will have to work 17 days straight just to catch up.”

    For me though, the stress and anxiety is so paralyzing that I can’t channel that energy into cleaning my house or running errands. I end up staring at the TV or sleeping because nothing else will get the voices in my head to shut the ef up.

    In turn, when I am at work, a lot of my time is spent thinking, “This is a waste of my time; I could be at home playing with my child and cleaning my house.”

    It’s a fatal cycle.

  • ewokmama

    No, not dumb. There is a reason I have a job outside the home…

    Also – have you cut down on nursing recently (sorry, can’t remember where y’all are at with that)? I always have depression at some level but it was noticeably worse when I cut down on nursing. So, just something to think about (especially if she is nursing less due to the teething).

    Also – my kid’s cry seriously makes me want to jump off a balcony. So I totally get why you would dread hours at a time with someone who is crying a LOT.

  • modchik

    I just had this conversation last night with my 12 yr old. He feels the depression creep up on Sunday afternoon and I tried to explain the irony that I feel the same way EVERY Friday.

    Its my inability to sit still that prevents me from enjoying the weekend. My 4 yr makes me want to run and hide. She too was inconsolable as a baby.

    Everything changed when she began to communicate. The more she could tell us the less suffering she put us through.

  • verbalicon

    Ah yes, the dreaded weekend! Glad I’m not alone … phew.

    Of course, I have only one Little Miss Kickboxer (so far), who as of late has been sick and feeling icky and refusing to learn how to walk and needy and “up” and more “up” and “mamamamamamamaaaaaa”–you get it. Then, there’s TBIK who will ask every Saturday morning, “So, what’s the plan for today/ this weekend?” As if I’m the entertainment director here … along with full-time wage earner during the week, of course. And maid. And seamstress, tax adviser, nurse. Ah well.

    So, I have accumulated staple activities that can fit together like pieces of a puzzle and that get us out of the house:
    – trip to the park, with bread for the ducks and a little bucket/ shovel for the sandbox. And the swing. If there’s enough wind, I will fly one of the kites in my trunk (I always keep at least 2 there).
    – trip to a little Disney-like town about half an hour away, with visit to the bookstore and the independent coffee house that makes a rockin’ spinach quiche.
    – trip to the Children’s Museum (only if it rains because that costs $$$).
    – round-trip hike at the nature park, where Little Miss Kickboxer gets to ride in the Kelty.

    All of these take an afternoon, aka about 2 hours plus 1-hour round-trip drive.

    If we don’t have that much time, there’s always grocery shopping, which LMK loves, or “driving” around the block in her little red car, or playing ball or whatnot.

    If it rains, we play the drinking game to The Wiggles. Whenever they sing “hot potato,” we take a swig from the good old raki bottle. Works like a charm.

    (I also bought _The Toddler’s Busy Book_ and will swear by it as soon as LMK decides she wants to walk by herself).

    All I can say is: Try to get a routine going. Routine has saved my sanity several times. Well, that and LMK’s giggles.

  • willibaldoea

    This makes perfect sense, Heather. I think when you lead such a hectic life, stopping seems like the worst thing to do, even if you’re not thinking it all the way through. Somehow, your thoughts don’t have to go that far back, because there’s a primal understanding that all that’s pushing you forward is your own momentum and the constant fear of falling behind. So, when you do consider stopping – even for a second – it scares you, because you don’t know that you’ll be able to get done; and by God are there things to get done!

    Chill, lady. You’ll be fine. But those toes. Those we will need to talk about some more. You must be studied!

  • brandialane

    I feel the same way. It’s the anxiety. I have to make myself sit there and do nothing. It’s not easy.

  • Katrina London

    You wanna know what works for me? I DANCE baby! Real dicky, high energy, around the house, no-rules, pseudo-Zumba, make your kids get all wide-eyed “why is she DOING that dad” and then turn the music up another notch! WOOOOT!

    You gotta do something physical with the nervous energy, and dancing lets it out of your HEAD, wears you out physically making it easier to blob on the couch, plus it is FUN and it stops the “I must”/”I should” voice in your head from being in charge and gets you back in the here-and-now where life is much more fun.

    And the music at least covers up the sounds of babies squalling and squawking and sometimes makes them laugh too.

    Once you’ve done that for ten minutes see how you feel.

    Also, I would seventy-second the advice from previous posts about YOU-time, and re-assessing your current med/hormone/deep breathing/wine/meditation mix.

    Best wishes to all my fellow anxiety-driven nuts!
    xxK

  • Greta Koenigin

    Hello, Heather, this is the internet speaking. At least, one billionth of it. May I call you Heather? No? Okay, Ms. Armstrong.

    I, too, have weekend blues. For me, the direction or focus of the work week, especially if I like what I’m doing, is a gloriously directed airstream on which to ride. But the rudderless weekends, give me time to engage in the fullest of navel gazes. And with responsibilities at home that never end, and the SUFFOCATING freedom to do things on my own schedule, the line between work and rest looks like the ink on a Rorschach card.

    I think finding the balance (or the proper imbalance) takes time, constant readjustments, and permitting your head to blast off from your body and fly into the air, in a vigorous rolling motion, at least forty times. I don’t like giving advice, BUT, you might want to give yourself a little more time to learn what is going to work for you. And to learn that what you took so much time to learn won’t always work. But I’m sure you will find a way out of these feelings as you did before!

    Thanks for your openness! Take care.

  • FlippyO

    Ear plugs? Xanax? Or, maybe an iPod with soothing (but loud enough to drown out baby screaming) music? Sorry, I don’t have kids, just lots & lots of pets (a pet rescue) and my problems are completely different…foreclosure, worrying about being homeless, not speaking to my brothers (who actually were my best friends for 44 years, so it’s kind of depressing to think that I probably won’t ever speak to them again, since they refuse to apologize for being so incredibly wrong) for a year because they accused me of faking being sick (I have Fibromyalgia/CFIDS, chronic pain, etc.) and my sister-in-law accused me of being a drug addict (my pain mgt doctor disagrees, as does everyone else who actually knows me and actually sees me more than once a year) and that seemed to be just dandy with my brothers.

    So, different life, different problems, but I think we could both use some nice stress-free quiet time.

    My toes are completely normal and symmetrical, but then I’m many inches shorter than you are and I think tall & thin people probably tend to have longer fingers and toes. Just a guess.

  • FlippyO

    Oh yeah, and listening to Glenn Harrold on your iPod. His relaxing British meditation voice really does work. You can find him at Audible.com.

  • chasethefirefly

    I used pace around the house all the time. Slowing down means you have to stop and assess and that scared me. My kids are 8, 4 and just shy of 3. When the younger two were in the infant/toddler stages the weekends were a lot harder. Especially since we were working through some issues with my oldest at the same time. Husband and I both work from home, but the weekends were a jarring halt to the smooth running weekdays.

    Now that the kids are getting older and hanging out with each other a lot more it’s gotten easier. I have found that I can sit in the corner of the living room and watch over them for a few minutes, instead of standing at the ready, waiting for a need to be met.

    So the short answer to your question – Definitely not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

  • Truus

    Maybe the difference with Leta is the fact that Jon is now home all the time and you don’t get the relief on friday night that for two whole days you don’t have to take care of the baby alone. I work parttime and am always happy when my husband can help me in the weekend and I finally can read a book for half an hour. But for some reason I like my job al lot more than I did before. So strange what these kids do to a person…

  • Daily Cup of Jo

    Not the DUMBEST thing I’ve ever heard. Sarah Palin claiming Alaska’s proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience was pretty dumb. Imagine what her weekends are like.

    Things will change slightly as your kids get older, but you are who you are. You like your house a certain way, the kids need your attention, and the weekends are when you address that. But Leta, and especially Marlo, will engage you more and annoy you less (or in different ways) as they get older and it will resemble balance. And then it won’t. But that’s parenting. Surrender a little and just remember, we’re all nuts.

    http://dailycupofjo.com

  • RAGE against the MINIVAN

    I definitely feel the same way. I think it’s the prospect of those unstructured days with the kids, with no tasks to focus on. I don’t know why, but that scenario gives me anxiety. And I’d much rather be subverting my anxiety through my work. Not so easy to do with children.