Of Mice and Men

I’d kinda hoped for a brief respite today. Oh sure, I needed to edit my reports, stick something in the crock pot, and do a cursory housecleaning, but I’d have loved to punctuate my day with a little mindless TV, perhaps some popcorn, even a nap. Each day fills with obligations and chores and I realize it’s 9PM and I haven’t recharged all day. As soon as the bedtime battle is fought, I’ve even taken to collapsing on the couch and hoping my husband’s found something on the television in the other room. I just don’t have conversation in me. Even the blog’s begun to feel like another to-do.


I think I’m one of those people who needs a lot of mental downtime. I’ve got to refresh or I’m a bear. But when you’re mom to two small kids, work from home and run a household, you need to make peace with the lack of relaxation and just-doing-nothingness or you’ll become resentful and crabby. Like I am now.


It’s just the details, you know? The knowledge that your work is truly never done. There’s always another dish to wash, diapers to buy, food to be cooked. The never endingness of it all is so daunting. And when I’m not doing that kind of stuff, I’m sitting at the computer cranking out another report, knowing that if I don’t spend my time constructively, we might not pay all our bills this month.


I know: shut up. Everyone’s got their something. And I know my husband feels the same: always running, thinking, “what’s next on the list?.” It’s not as if our situation is any different from millions of others out there. Plus, the single mom or dad? I can’t even imagine.


Then there IS the fact that right now, I’m sitting on the couch, writing this. So I give thanks for that. Toots came down with the stomach flu last night (“Mom? It feels like there’s a knife and… {{dramatic pause}} …scissors in my stomach.”) She’d crept into bed with us, as she does most nights, and brought a barf bowl with her. Juggling the bowl on her chest for a fitful hour, she finally gave up the fight and spewed everywhere.


I made The Rock clean most of it. The sight of the barf sloshing around the bowl very nearly did me in, but I managed to mop most of it off the sheets, while I instructed The Rock to dispose of the puke in the toilet and not the sink because the chunks don’t drain. THAT didn’t sit well and The Rock grumbled, “I know!” and slunked around the bathroom finishing up. Then, when he discovered I’d missed a large puke spot, a spot which he’d sat down on, he became downright insulting. So I left to sleep on the couch, realized my back wouldn’t suffer it gladly, and made him sleep there instead.


This morning, I discovered Toots had peed all over the bed. And that’s pretty much when I lost my marbles. I just didn’t want to strip the bed. AGAIN. Didn’t want to do laundry, make breakfast, take a shower, nothing. Instead, I imagined a caregiver entering the bedroom just then, someone to soothe me, make me soup, and babysit my kids while I watched re-runs of the Deadliest Catch. I just felt all, you know: No more, no more, NO MORE!


But up I got. And here I am.


On the bright side, the sound of the dryer winding down is wafting up the stairs and both kids are napping, so, I’m going to sit here for awhile, count my blessings and shut the hell up.


And in case you’re a fan of happy endings, here’s the note I got from The Rock this morning:


“Sorry about last night. A couple minor frustrations broke the camel’s back
You do not deserve to be the recipient. Tell Toots I am proud of her for
trying so hard to not get sick in the bed. Tell Booger I am going to send her
to live on the booger farm with all the rest of the boogers if she doesn’t
make bedtime easier. I think she is sneakily making us pay for the
bottlectomy. I love you.


Grumpy Old Man”


At least we’re in it together.


15 Responses to “Of Mice and Men”

  1. Kristen says:

    That is a pretty sweet note. I so feel for you, been there, done that a dozen times. As we all have, I am sure. I so love waking up in a pee puddle. nice.
    Hope you find some quiet today and everyone sleeps tonight.

  2. Oh, Deb! You got one of the good guys!

  3. Momma Mary says:

    Oh, when It rains, it pours. Good thing the Rock is such a good guy! What a nice note. Hopefully you’ll all get feeling better!

  4. robyn says:

    I like your blog. Just thought I’d tell ya. I hope you get your mental downtime. I need that too, and I don’t even have any kids yet. Be well!

  5. FerdC says:

    As a father of four, I can way relate. But my baby boy is 22 and just graduated from college, so all the pee and vomit has long since faded in memory. Well, except for the college parties.

    I love hearing stories where the husband is a good guy. There is so much man bashing out there. I loved his note. The Rock rocks!

  6. SOOO good to hear there is another person out there who needs that mental (andy physical) downtime. I used to be so crabby and exhausted all the time b/c my Ex (then hubby) did not understand that part of me at all. So I felt guilty ever taking 5 minutes for me and therefore did not. I have to say a benefit of my divorce is that every other week I think of no one but ME (ok that’s a lie I think of the kids every 5 seconds and call them, but I don’t have to Schlepp them!). And yes you know the kiddies will be grown before too long, but I so hear you sister, I so do. Your life is HARD! I’m glad the Rock also has a soft spot….

  7. Melanie says:

    Even though I’m now an at home mommy, I still need a little down time. Too many days of being Mom or Wife and not Me can get me down.

    My 5 year old is still having accidents. For about 2 weeks at the end of last year it was happening almost every night. I was so tired and fed up of having to start laundry every morning before work and finish when I got home so his bed would be made.

    I went to Wal Mart and got 3 sets of bottom sheets and 2 mattress protectors (the short kind that went in the crib, not the ones that cover the entire mattress like a sheet would).

    My son now has a waterproof pad on the mattress and then three layers of sheets and pads. When he pees in the middle of the night, I strip off a layer while he changes into dry pj’s.

    It’s saved so much time and we all get right back into bed while we’re still groggy enough to fall back asleep.

    Sorry, that got kinda long, but I hope it helps.

  8. Myra says:

    I was getting that knot in my stomach for you. The kind you get after a fight. And then there was a happy ending. I’m so glad. That Rock is a keeper. Today will be a better day.

    We had one of Those Nights too. My son had an accident in his bed. But I’m convinced that someday we will fondly remember these days with our kiddos were little.

  9. this is my favorite sandiegomomma. even though you’re crabby and frustrated. it’s the little slice of life shit that i love reading. makes me feel sane along the insane journey of parenthood.

    as far as the puking/peeing the bed stuff. you see, i am usually just great in ‘crisis’ situations WHEN THEY’RE HAPPENING. i buck up and do whatever is necessary of me as mom (and the parent who isn’t repulsed by the puke) and i do it quickly and without anger.

    it’s the next day, or the following weeks that i start to get ready to blow… shit builds up and builds up. the constant changing of the sheets for the sick kids, the constant bottle-washing and laundry-doing. the f-ing vacuuming. the changing of the diapers… BOOM! it hits me and my husband suffers the wrath. usually, the BOOM! is followed by a long walk with my poodle. i grab poodle, the leash and say, “i’ll be back.”

  10. I feel like we might be sharing a brain today. I just stumbled on your blog and your post combines 2 of mine today (the first about my crabby morningness and the second about a little ‘me time’.) I needed the me time today…and I took it. I was so crabby this morning, but I’m finally shaking it off. The to-do list is never done, but at least for today, I felt as though I could let a little slide. (And, though I didn’t have a sick little one last night…I did change sheets in the middle of the night)

    Motherhood is just a funny little sisterhood.

  11. That being in it together thing is key. I hope tomorrow is barfless.

  12. mommypie says:

    It must be catching. I’ve been in the same place the whole week. MP’s peed the bed three straight nights; the bills haven’t been paid FOREVER, the house is a wreck … I’m exhausted. All week I’ve wanted to just hide under the covers. And I’ve neglected my favorite blogs because there JUST AREN’T ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY.

    Oh, I so wish we were in the same city. Commiserating over margs sounds SO good right now.

    PS — went to the dr. and turns out the heart attack is ACID REFLUX. (Which I see you’re advertising – ha!) Yay. More meds. Better than the alternative I suppose …

    WOW. Color me bummer tonight.

  13. Jen says:

    Puke cleanup is truly the worst part about being a mom–yuck! Hope she is feeling better and you get some MUCH NEEDED downtime!! :)

  14. Mommyrella says:

    We all can so relate to that overwhelmed feeling you have. I hope right now you’re having a great weekend and taking some time to just hang out and do nothing. Sounds like you and the Rock need a date and some time to regroup. (I glanced at your post yesterday, but couldn’t comment because I have another big hairy deadline Monday.)

  15. What a great note from The Rock. But even more totally awesome is San Diego Momma. It gets easier. It really does. They pee and barf less, then not at all, then in dorms, then not at all. And then we’re too old to care and we die. Wait! I was trying to cheer you up. See? I’m in need of mental downtime too. Let’s get some together. Let’s go see a cowboy sing. Wanna?

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