How do you know when you've been at a job for too long? I haven't had an office job for six years now, so I'm not sure I remember. There was something about irritability, short temper, chronic exhaustion, anxiety and the recurring daydream of being in some nice little rest home somewhere in a medically induced sleep being fed through a tube. As the song says, "Does that make me crazy?"
I've been a full-time mom for almost four years--that's the longest I've ever stayed at any one job. (I was at one company for 5.5 years, but dutifully climbed four rungs of the ladder there.) And the Mom-thing just seems to be getting harder lately. Part of it is because Hannah is in a very "I want, I want, I want" place right now and if she doesn't get her way, she loses it. Shopping mall, grocery store, restaurant, car . . . makes no difference. I'm always worried that someone is going to call the police because it must look like I'm forcing some random, screaming child into my car. Ah, good times!
Whether it's due to the stress of the move or just growing pains, Hannah has become a little--ok, a lot--clingier. Some days I literally cannot get her to let go of me. (There is a benefit to this since I don't have to sweep the floors on those days :) And the more she grabs, the more I see me slipping away. I can't have a thought that is my own or find a space that's mine--not even 10 minutes alone in the bathroom! I trip over the toys she won't put away and find a pile of stuffed animals sleeping in my bed every night. My shins are bruised from the kicking; my psyche from being told "I don't like you."
It's not that I want to quit my job. I don't--I love my job. Some days I just feel completely burned out. Crispy, fried and toast.
Thomas thinks we should get an ugly French au pair to help out. But Hannah starts school on September 6, so I'm going to stick it out. I just need to find a way to schedule the day so that we all get what we need. Which right now, means that "Me Time" falls between 11pm and 7am.