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?

  • ZoroUK

    What you need is to invest in an amber teething necklace and some herbal teething powders. I swear by them and used them with my two!
    Then just drink some gin and tonic to get through the rest of the weekend!

  • memphisq

    So, what exactly do you do for yourself, something separate from work and the family, somthing to refuel and decompress?

    Have you considered long distance running?
    Totally serious, I can cognitively process just about any amount of stress on a long run.

  • lizzieindublin

    No where near the dumbest thing I have ever heard. My son is in creche every day while I go to work and while my work is stressful and dealing with adults involves politics and being polite and using all of those lessons your mother taught you about “If you have nothing nice to say…” I find it a billion times more easy than being with him and my husband for two full days.

    I love my son deeply; more than I could have ever imagined loving another human being. I just want the best for him and I want us to experience his life up close but there are times when I just want to say “PLEASESHUTTHEFUCKUPTHANKYOU”. I don’t. I hold it back. At 15 months he doesn’t realize nor can he help the noises he makes because he’s in pain (teething) or he’s bored or he just doesn’t understand what is going on around him. He wants attention and love and I try to give it without going out of my mind.

    And I think the dread and anxiety comes from not being able to go out of my mind. When I come home from work I can bitch about my boss to my husband and at work I can bitch about my husband to my boss but there is never a place where you can say, “I’m just fed up with the whining!” and not be looked at like a monster. And I of course can not and will not say it to him.

    So where does this leave us?

  • Tonje

    I’m just going to throw this out there: Kids are a pain in the ass. Until it becomes socially acceptable for moms to admit that they don’t find motherhood to be the greatest thing than ever happened to them – we’re all screwed! On the bright side, it gets SO much better when they’re older. I enjoy hanging out with them on the weekends, and I get to wake THEM up!! mwaahaaahaaahaaaa

    Hang in there Heather. It’s cool.

  • katka

    Nope. And so that you know – my second toe is longer than my big toe too.

    Also, my impression is that this is cannot-stop-gotta-keep-doing-something is a women’s thing? I’m sure there are exceptions, but I think it’s mostly women who just cannot sit down and relax for a while… Like we first need to resolve all of the world’s projects and problems and THEN we can relax. Maybe.

  • Pixie

    I think it is a compulsion…
    slight, maybe?
    there, absolutely?
    weird, not at all?
    it is…..the need to do, maybe.

    The lines between work and life are now a blur,
    embrace it. Think about what it is this is teaching you.
    A slight weekend routine, might be worth a try. Start small.

    Remember what you are experiencing and how you are reacting to it is being observed by your children…..I know, the pressure. Use it to your advantage. Teach them well……so they can benefit.

    Their lives, of working and relaxing, will probably be even more blurred

  • Trina

    Our daughters are about 2 weeks apart, and i’ve noticed the same grumpiness with Addy lately as well…funny enough AS SOON AS SHE STARTED TO CRAWL….I think she’s just pissed she can’t walk yet, not to mention the loud HUH she grunts at me when I tell her NO YOU CANNOT EAT THE CONVERTER OR MUMMY’S CELL PHONE.

    Not to mention there is the teething issue. The fussiness is TOTALLY IRRITATING right now, and if you can take it great, if not there is always Motrin for her, and Bourbon for you.

    I go back to work in 2 months and I CAN HARDLY WAIT to communicate with adults again, but like you I fear I will dread the weekend once that happens.

    I feel ya sista.

  • gretchie

    Oh, Heather. I totally hate the weekend. I work o/s the home for ten hours a day (including travel time) occasionally more. That means the weekends are for yardwork and cleaning house – and I demand a lot of myself during that time. It also means that everyone is home and making a lot of mess at the same time I’m trying to tidy up. I HATE IT. There are some things I like, but overall – I only sleep in maybe an hour and I still go to bed at the same time. I still have to do the “Bed bath and beyond” routine at the same time so I can have a sane kid. Honestly, I go to work on Monday so I can chill. But, back in the day, I LIVED for the weekend. I know that when my daughter grows up I will start to enjoy it again.

    So, NO you’re not a wackadoodle for feeling that way. Totally normal.

    🙂

  • Roo8382

    Maybe it’s a mom thing. My mom is 64 with a grown kid and a house-husband and she still can’t slow down on the weekends. In fact, she ended up in the hospital over anxiety-induced heart palpitations that she thought was a heart attack. She’s ok, but JUST starting to take the advice to “pace yourself” to heart. And she’s 64. But she also has the long second toe.

    Maybe it’s just feeling like something bad will happen if you don’t stay on track…whatever that means for you. Seriously, I was concerned after the “Because it needed to be said” post. Not because there was anything wrong in saying F U to a bunch of hateful strangers. But you did express how hard it was to post constantly and how hard it was to know that this blog feeds your family. That’s a lot of pressure, dude. Plus, working from home seems to blur the lines between work and home. How do you manage it? I wouldn’t be able to and admire you for trying.

    Glad to hear you are talking with the therapist about it. Let us know how it’s going.

  • annab

    it’s not dumb at all. i hate the weekends and i don’t even have kids.

  • Mrs. Q.

    When I decided to leave my job and stay home with the kids, I used to rush around like crazy during the week to get everything DONE– food shopping, laundry, house cleaning– so I’d have the entire weekend free with my hubby and kids. Then I’d get the Friday-night blues, realizing we had NOTHING to do. Come Sunday night, I’d start getting blue because I felt like we didn’t make the most of the time we had, or we didn’t accomplish enough around the house. Ridiculous.

    Start making plans for every Sat or Sun. Same day, same time and get OUT OF THE HOUSE. All of you. A trip to the zoo, park, museum, hike, bike ride– anything. You’ll get in the groove of having a schedule and your kids will love the time with you. Sure, you have a baby and things are unpredictable, but try to work around her naps or bring a carrier so she can conk out. Once the kids realize they have the both of you during the same time each weekend, with no electronic devices, they will look forward to your outings and it will be contagious. Oh, and alternate making the plans– I started to resent my husband when he’d ask “so what’s the plan today?”, so take turns deciding where you will go, and don’t roll your eyes if he chooses to go bowling.

  • mjryates

    I have this problem, but it’s the polar opposite days of the week. As a stay-at-home mother, I dread Monday through Friday. Well, more like Thursday because by Friday I’m loving life because it means my husband will be home to share in the chaos that is raising a baby. Saturday and Sunday are awesome for me because my husband usually lets me sleep in until 8 (PARTY!). The only times I dread the weekends are when I know Jon (yes, my husband is Jon also) has to do some work to get caught up. Ick!

    One problem of yours I don’t have? The urge to clean. Sure I do dishes and pick up things, but we have a cleaning lady and I love her. If she wasn’t in our lives, my family would probably call CPS.

  • Tam4797

    I am sitting here reading all of these comments and hot tears are threatening to run out of my eyes and my chest is burning….I thought I was the only one who hated weekends…It is such a relief to read so many other accounts of people who feel the same! I have a 6 year old and 2.5 year old twins. I start to have anxiety on Thursday and by Saturday at 10:00 am (someone else mentioned this time as well) I feel like a thermometer whose mercury is going to bust right out of the top… the whining, the fighting, the crankyness, and worst of all, the panicked crying when I leave the room to do ANYTHING! All I hear all day is MOMMY! MOMMY!, where’s MOMMY! My husband uses the weekends to get stuff done too (renovations, fixing the dryer etc) which leaves me abandoned with all of the kids by myself upstairs. You would never know they even had another parent by the way they cling to me constantly. The thought of 2 whole days of this madness looming in front of me is enought to make me curl up in a corner.. But I don’t I put on the “good patient mom” face until I get to sit in my office and sip tea on Monday morning. My monday morning happy dance has become a ritual around my office. Don’t get me wrong (guilty disclaimer) I love my kids and I LOVE spending time with them when they’re acting like humans but that’s not so much lately with the terrible twos. Huh…if feels better to write about it, I think Heather may be on to something…..

  • settembre

    You’re not alone.

    And in all actuality, I’m dreading my 3 kids’ summer vacation. I fear it’s going to be somewhat like a straight 3 month long string of one long weekend. My kids are all school-age. My youngest is in 3rd grade. I am very goal-oriented and I suck if I don’t have a schedule. It’s near impossible for me to relax. There’s just too much to do. I love my kids. I really do. But summer vacations… they are rough. All the screaming and the fighting and the HE DID THIS and BUT HE DID THAT and the WHY DID HE and WHY CAN’T I and the MOMMY MOMMY… makes it hard to meet goals. You know those silly goals of budgeting and paying bills and the ability to have a coherent thought without disruption… and those goals of having money *to* pay the bills… single mommy & full-time college student (entering my 4th year come fall) taking 4 summer classes starting in June… need I say more… So I totally feel ya. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finding that beat to your own drum. I don’t think you have to steal anyone else’s beat if you know what I mean. Your normal doesn’t have to be someone else’s normal. My normal sure the hell isn’t. And I think that’s okay. Individuality. 🙂 Good luck. 🙂

  • nolemonsnomelon

    Wow. I actually admire the fact that you have something that makes you get up and work on projects. I have the opposite problem.

    I also wish somebody in my house had the impetus to get up and clean. It would be cool to not have crumbs everywhere. For once.

  • tuggs

    I’m so glad you told us. And look at how many people feel the same way! Either you are not weird, or we are ALL weird.

    I dreaded weekends when I lived alone, and was single. It was too much free time that I had to fill. And I can totally understand how that could relate to having too much free time with one’s kids! Plus, you work from home. So it’s like having your whole family invade your work space when you can’t do work (can’t or won’t – same diff in this case, I think). At the moment, I live with my boyfriend and we have his kiddo 50% of the time, so half of my weekends involve scheduling the shit out of them so we’re busy with the little guy and we don’t go stir crazy in the house.

    I liked the idea of making a to-do list for the weekend, scheduling your free time so it’s not free, it’s maybe more productive, even if that’s just psychological.

    And if you want to clean like crazy? Clean like crazy. Whatever makes you feel better, right? You’re not harming anyone (“don’t harm me!”) and as the monkeymama pointed out, this will change once Her Screamy Screamness Who Won’t Stop with the Screaming learns to communicate.

    Meanwhile, keep communicating with us – and Jon, and Leta, and anyone else who helps you feel better about this. You’ve been through worse – you can do this. This too shall pass, etc.

    Go have a hot dog. You deserve it.

  • thechettis

    I work from home, and I know what this feels like. My son is almost seven now, but when he was tiny, he wouldn’t sleep (like, REALLY), and I was a disaster of sleep deprivation, while still trying to run my business. I was working every moment, trying to catch up all the time, and everything suffered. I found–for me–that I had to surrender to the boy. In other words, I didn’t try to do anything but be with him on the weekend, whatever he was doing, and I made that my “job” and did it the best I could. The more he got of me, the less he needed me, and that still holds now. If I give him my undivided attention for a bit, he’ll go off on his own and do his own thing for long stretches of time. He’s an only child, too, so he’s good at that. Good luck!

  • skydivegal

    Hmmmm. I adore/cherish my weekend time with my little boy so very much that it is almost all-consuming. I get the depression on Sunday night when I have to emotionally prepare for more weekdays. I have a hard time understanding not being 100% excited about weekends, UNLESS for whatever reason we are stuck inside the whole time.

    Have you tried staying busy outside of your home? Getting out to museums/parks/zoos, etc?

  • Sister Slick

    Weekends stress me out as well. I can’t figure out how to cram all of the things that I need to do in those few precious hours. Monday mornings, while they are stress filled in themselves, are still a relief compared to the juggling act of family, fun, chores, and laundry of the weekend. Honestly, my favourite time of the day is when I sit at my desk, and watch my computer booting. Then I KNOW that the family stress is put on hold (at least for 8 hours). Work stress….I can handle that. Whining, grumpy, spoiled children and a pouting, demanding spouse….still can’t figure those out.

  • dad

    Same thing at our house. My wife cannot slow down until everything is done, and, of course, everything is never done. I try to make her go outside with the kids or we both agree that Saturday mornings are for cleaning and that is it. Sometimes it works, but I’ve noticed that I slow down more to try to compensate.

    Try to remind yourself that you may be feeling anxiety about stuff that needs to get done and kids that are screaming, but your kids aren’t, they are just glad to have you.

  • knittyknatty

    When I was a bike messenger I dreaded weekends because I loved my job and my co-workers. Two days without biking and adrenaline seemed so boring to me. I’m a student now, and I do enjoy my weekends, but I’m not a mother!

  • AndreaP

    I, in contrast, dread the weekdays. My husband works 45 minutes from home. thus his 9 hour work day often turns into an 11 or 12 hour work day. All day I just wait for him to get home. I can’t wait until he walks in the door. I throw the baby at him and hide in the closet. I’m joking, but that’s what I feel like doing. I so look forward to the weekends as well because it is “daddy duty” time. My husband gets up if our daughter cries, he gets up in the morning to get her and then he lets me sleep in after I’ve fed her. I can totally see where you are coming from becasue ALL day i think about all of the things I should be doing, cleaning or organizing. But instead, I tiptoe around quietly while baby sleeps, or I spend hours entertaining her.

  • nobody

    Whether it’s dumb or not, you’re going through it. If you could turn the anxiety off you would do so, right? So you can’t, and it’s a problem.

    Maybe organization is a contributor. Either you aren’t sufficiently organized at work to be satisfied that everything is under control and can be safely let be, or your family life isn’t as organized as your work and you don’t know what you’re doing there. If you aren’t sure of what you want to do with your kids, how you want to help and how you’ll interact with them, well, those uncertainties will cause anxiety.

    Or maybe it isn’t. Whatever the cause, it’s an important problem, and you’re right to focus on it.

  • tanyaself

    I had to take off friday because my daughter was sick. I am not a big fan of my job situation right now but I have never been so glad to come back to work. Three days with those two heathens and I was ready to run for the hills!!

    My husband and I have decided I have adult onset ADD. I can’t get anything done because I am busy thinking about the other million things I have to do! I’m all scrambled egg brains! lol

  • sonjabean

    Wow, that sounds really tough. I’m a stay at home mom, and for a while when both my girls were babies (they are 11 months apart), I dreaded the work week because I just didn’t know how I would make it through on my own. It was so hard for a long time. Things got better for me when my youngest turned one. I hope the same is true for you. [hug]

  • JBird

    Yup. That’s Me to a TEE. I NEVER sit still, I love the week because I know exactly what needs to get done and I do it with such verocity that I’m flying. Get kids up and ready, drop off, go to work, make dinner, play, bedtime, etc…. the weekend hits and I can’t take the not knowing – sure, I do chores, go to the park, etc… but man I need STUFF to do and places to be! It has always caused lots of anxiety for me, my husband thinks I’m nuts – but the hours of open time seem daunting – I need and want to get everything done – NOW. No time for sitting! My kids know this about me, so they’re game to go go go and do do do. Mommy doesn’t ever sit still. Funny thing is, as much as I do it’s never enough. 🙂

  • Katie Kat

    I USED to have this problem when B was a wee little one. The first year home with her was a NIGHTMARE. When I went off to work, it was a relief like none I’ve known, and while it felt good, it felt BAAAAAAAAAD. But then I settled into a routine, and so did B, and she did MUCH better at her pre-school/daycare than at home with me (sheesh!) and I was a MUCH better mom when I had work to go to.

    Anyway, NOW, four years later, I have the opposite problem. I have a panic attack every Monday morning. Don’t know why. Starts late Sunday afternoon and just keeps chugging along until I’m in full blown anxiety hell. Maybe you can help me out with that one?

    I think for you, the deal is that having 2 kids takes up a lot more of your time, and time is precious. Plus, IT’S F’ING HARD TO BE A PARENT!!! Didn’t anyone tell you that? Oh yeah. Much harder than anyone says. And it makes you CRAZY. Like so CRAZY your brain starts finding little excuses to be busy so you don’t have to get overwhelmed. So, really, it’s just your brain trying to save you from being a parent. It wants you to stay a kid!

    I’m sure that’s not the answer you were looking for, but hey – it works! 🙂

  • juliesfinereally

    Heather, I do/feel the exact same thing. So if it makes you a freak, then you know at least you’re not the only freak.
    Julie

  • dejavu2

    I totally understand. I am a full-time work outside the home, guilt-ridden drop the kids off at daycare, have to be doing something FUN so we are the fun people (versus teachers at daycare) every minute of the day type of mom. On the weekends we usually aren’t home. We’re either at the zoo, the children’s museum, the park, hiking on trails, playing miniature golf, riding bikes, etc…partly because it’s the weekends and I want the kids to love the weekends with us and partly because if we stayed at home I would be cleaning all weekend long too!

  • kjk72178

    This does not sound insane and you’re not alone. I don’t have children though, so I can’t comment on the possibility that it’s related to postpartum depression. I don’t dread weekends, but I do have a hard time sitting down and enjoying them. Seems like I can’t watch TV w/o simultaneously folding laundry or organizing something nearby. Most of the time I can’t even sit through a whole show. I don’t know what it’s about, except that there are always so many things I want to do, that when I’m sitting not doing any of them, I feel a bit anxious. There are exceptions: I can sit and watch a movie or a particular show with my husband, if that’s what we’ve planned to do. Maybe it has to do with planning. Maybe we have to PLAN to do nothing, and then it will feel ok. Having never been spontaneous in my entire life (my parents say I was more organized than them at age 7), I wonder if that isn’t just it: plan your downtime…if you really want it. And if you don’t? Maybe find something more fun than cleaning to keep you busy.

  • anya

    It’s not weird at all, to me. I actually remember being the same way a few months ago! I don’t remember if I was still on mat leave, or back at work, but the point is that I had a certain routine for 5 days a week, and then there would be those 2 other days, with a promise of a better life (it’s the weekend! Yay! right?) and I guess I was expecting the two days to be easier, or my husband to take charge and me not having to come up with activities for all of us to do… bla bla bla. And in the end I just felt like the weekends were more work than the rest of the week. So I did actually dread them.
    But the good news is that it’s changed. Not sure how and why, maybe I forced myself to relax (yep, an oxymoron) or maybe the weather got better and going to the park became an option. And my son became even more of a pleasure, albeit a very active one, requiring me to run after him and make sure he’s not eating gum he finds in the sand, but a pleasure never the less. I’m sure it’s a bit different for stay at home parents, but I’m also sure it will change and you’ll enjoy the weekends again!

    Good luck, and it’s not crazy!

  • melissa in mpls

    i definitely dread the weekend. i’m in law school so all week i am hyper focused. during the weekend i have no way to distract myself from feelings of sadness or anger or whatever else associated with some stupid stuff that happened in my personal life. it totally sucks. i’m told that after i graduate i’ll be chained to my desk and forced to work 80+ hours a week, so that should take care of that.

  • Never a Plain Jane

    I have much the same problem. Many of my daughter’s games are akin to Calvinball – constantly changing rules, a lot of improv and so much BOSSING ME AROUND. I cannot focus on the type of play she likes best despite her begging me to play with her. There are dishes and laundry and photos to sort an…and…and… I literally have to set a timer for 20 minutes and make myself focus only on her. I tell her beforehand that we have 20 minutes. When the timer goes off Mommy has to -insert task here- and then we will play again for another 20 minutes. Sometimes I set a timer for my tasks as well. Knowing I have dedicated time for her and for all that other stuff really helps. It sounds silly, but it does. I also take deep breaths. Lots of them. Good luck and feel better.

  • girlplease

    NO it doesn’t sound crazy. It sounds like stress mounting and you need “me” time. Go to the library or somewhere quiet to get a break. I would say if possible a 4 hour break. Shit, there are days I honstly dream of booking a hotel for the weekend so I can get some quiet and sleep. That’s it.

  • hockeybrad

    Much of what you’re saying sounds just like my wife. She doesn’t dread the weekend, but she does see it like a task that must be accomplished. I don’t want to shoot her, but I’d be glad to don an invisibility cloak so that she couldn’t see me sitting down and make me feel guilty for all of that sitting.

  • denice

    looks like most of us have trouble slowing down or deviating from a scheduled day. it’s best if we can figure out how to do so but if not, maybe a different schedule and planned breaks from the kids will help?

    the first 2 days of any vacation we go on i cannot relax. i’m all business. let’s hurry up and go here, let’s hurry up and go there! not fun. and then by the time i finally do chill out it’s almost time to go home. lame.

  • oddFrogg

    I don’t dread weekends, quite the opposite, I LOVE weekends but not for the reasons most people do. I’m the twisted type that loves weekends because I can get MY work done. Weekends I get to spend hours (and hours) on my creative efforts and use a different part of my brain. It’s highly addictive and absolutely exhilarating!

  • sarahsox

    I have not read all of the comments – but what about scheduling something you look forward to on the weekend? Or every Sat morning go and do something away from the house with just Leta?

    Weekends are a little easier now because the kids play together a good chunk of the time. I am really dreading the summer when there is no school. I feel guilty for it…

  • lizroverbailey

    Pre-kids, it was “TGIF,” post-kids, “thank god it’s Monday.” I love my kids, I love my life, but it’s so nice to escape to the office, where I am unerringly competent and capable. Working full-time, the weekends become either (a) an unending to-do list, or (b) lots of family fun-time that ends with a house out of control and difficult weeknights because the to-do list didn’t get to-done.

    One solution? Get away. Go check into a hotel with a swimming pool and play for the weekend. The house won’t fall apart because nobody will be there pulling it apart, and you’ll have forced down-time because you’ll be away from the to-do list.

  • lesliepaige78

    heather, i think this is called being a modern mom. we are so used to multitasking that we cant quiet ourselves. i think it takes practice. we practice everything else we MUST practice resting our minds, bodies, and enjoying the moment. Do you read the happiness project blog?
    http://www.happiness-project.com i enjoy her writing and discussions on things we can do to let go and be happy.

    and the old addage “this to shall pass” comes to mind.

  • shalak0

    Dear God – you too?!?!?! We have three at ages 6, 3, and 8 months and the weekends are HELL. I know, I know – we feel we must clarify that there are some beautiful, bright, sunny moments of joy and we truly love our children BUT it is very tough at these ages. Add in that the parents work full time and well – somehow we will survive and eventually (because I just have to cling to this) we will get back to where weekends are something to look forward to and not dread. Hopefully.

  • seekingelevation

    I’m totally the same way and I’m a stay-at-home mom! I think the weekends just remind me that I’m supposed to be enjoying this, you know? Like, during the week I have to do it and I have to do the laundry and everything else. But during the weekends, I’m supposed to just suddenly be doing the exact same thing but now with more joy in my heart. And a husband stomping around making more of a mess that I’m not supposed to want to clean up. Another parental-paradox.

  • thegirlmama

    When I was little I developed this dread of Sundays in particular. There was something about the combination of church, bacon frying in the kitchen and the blazing sun beating in through the windows and cooking the house that just made my stomach turn.

    So that’s what Sundays still conjure up for me. I still dread them. And my stomach still turns. I’m not sure that my two-and-a-half year old makes it any worse, but there’s still this pressure to GET OUT, to get away from the baking sun and the non-existent bacon smell. Blech!

  • LeahW.

    This reminds me of a story that my Dad tells about being early in his marriage and career. He woke up on a beautiful Sunday morning. The sun was shining, birds were singing, and he had a panic attack and was literally sitting up in bed shaking like a leaf. And he finally realized that it was because he didn’t have any work to do! Part of what’s so great about work (whether your actual job, housework, hobbies, etc.) is that it gives us a sense of control. The world might be a big, huge, tornado of chaos (as it feels to people like us who have anxiety disorders), but when you’re cleaning or actually producing something work-related you can control it and sit back afterwards and say, “I did that, it’s better than it was before because I worked on it!” The problem is, work doesn’t make the feeling of chaos go away, just keeps it at bay for a while. Personally, I tend to shift wildly between the two poles of perfectionism and complete laziness, either I get things done perfectly, work unceasingly, or more often I don’t do anything at all. So, yeah. I tend to revel in the weekend and dread going back to work, but the underlying reasons are pretty similar. It’s the struggle to figure out how to control the chaos, when the chaos really only exists in your own head anyway. You’re definitely not alone on this one!

  • An Unencumbered Life

    And I thought I was the only one. For me it’s not the need to stay busy, just the natural change of pace that comes with a weekend. There’s no schedule. We can sleep in (if almost 2-year old cooperates; 13-year old ALWAYS cooperates with sleeping in). We eat breakfast later. We fly by the seat of our pants. What should be fun and relaxing sets me into a panic and I’m not sure why. Maybe there’s too much down time for me to think and worry (two things I’m really, really good at).

    So no advice from me – just another person saying she often feels the same way.

    -Tracy

  • ChristinaK

    I can relate to your whole entry but especially that last sentence. Slowing down makes me sick too. I’ve been battling manic depression for more than 10 years now. It is always worse on the weekends and for me holidays of more than 3 days invariably trigger horrible crises.
    So it’s not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard – far from it. And it doesn’t mean you don’t like spending time with your family, it’s just how depression works. Stopping makes it so much harder to cope.

  • lisdom

    I used to feel this way on Sunday afternoons. The only reason I don’t feel it on Saturday is because I’ve generally worked every Saturday since I was 16. On Sunday morning I’d go to church, and then when I got home, I’d be like, “now what?” I was bored to tears. I think I blame much of that boredom b/c those were the days where everyone had internet at home.

    Now when I know I’m going to have a couple days off in a row that involve staying home and not traveling, I confess I don’t know what to do with myself. I wish I had your gusto and would clean, but unfortunately I only clean when I am trying to avoid something even worse, like homework or working out.

  • confusedkaty

    You need a schedule. We schedule the shit out of our weekends and turn it into a routine.

    Saturday Morning

    7:00 AM: MAke coffee, kids watch cartoons. Parents read papers

    8:00 AM: Make Breakfast eat

    9:00 AM: Chores

    10:00 AM: Get dressed go to planned activity

    12:00 PM Lunch, then QUIET TIME you don’t have to sleep, but you must be quiet.

    and so on….. I have every hour planned. It keeps me focused and not on the internet.

  • Kataroo Kangaroo

    When I was in college I could not relax. It stressed me out too much thinking of everything I wasn’t doing. My advisor did the best thing she possibly could have done for me, however. I was planning a research semester in Hawaii for my thesis, with a course load of 20 additional class hours. She had the authority to knock me down to 12 hours and limit the discipline I was allowed to take them in, since it was my senior year. I was so angry at first, and didn’t know what to do with all the extra time on my hands (in Hawaii). At the end of the semester, however, I had finally learned to do exactly what my adviser wanted me to do – relax. And yes, I had to learn how to do it.

    It’s not easy, and it was rather stressful at first. I had so much anxiety. It got easier, however, as I learned to fill my time with other projects – hiking, surfing, just walking around Hilo.

    I don’t know the point of this, except in a way I understand the stress of having to let things go. The good news is you’re not letting any balls drop by putting them down on the weekends. They will always be there again Monday morning.

  • mightymarce

    My whole step-family is very similar. I don’t think they mind the weekends so much, but they always have to be *doing* something and working on 100 different projects at once. I look at them and think they must be insane, b/c I’m the exact opposite.

    I also have a friend who works outside the home and has a baby the same age as Marlo. She confessed to me the other day that sometimes on the weekends she looks forward to going back to work on Monday, and that she doesn’t think she could deal with staying home with him the rest of the week.

    So I don’t think you’re THAT odd. ; )