role overload

Okay, here's the deal. (My classic conversation-opening line.) I've been a little blue-sy this week and I'm driving myself insane trying to figure out why. I can't blame it on my hormones, I've tried blaming it on my husband (that doesn't generally go so well). I've wondered if I'm battling a little Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I decided a few years ago that I don't really get that after all. I'm left with thinking I just don't really like what I'm doing in my life this week. Lots of good grown-up things that I ought to do, making money and getting paperwork in order and such. But then I panic that I won't get time to write or think anything interesting. That thought is just plain sad.

I was talking to Kim this morning, and Kim has this endless sort of patience for me rambling out loud about all the crazies going 'round in my head. I told Kim that it feels very demanding to me to be responsible for watching, teaching, disciplining and caring for another person for so many hours a day.
When I don't get to do the things that feel nourishing to me when Amelia is napping or sleeping, it's harder to enjoy the time when she's awake. It's a different kind of fatigue than I ever experienced before being a mom, even when I worked hard and kept a full schedule. I've never before felt such a need in myself to be nurtured in order to keep having all the patience and compassion and wisdom I need all day long. But I have to say, it feels really ridiculous and hard to wrap my mind around. Seriously, how exhausting should it be to sit around singing "London Bridge is Falling Down" and doing toddler yoga play? I remember years ago hearing other women from demanding corporate backgrounds tell me that staying home with their kids was the hardest work they had ever done. I didn't understand it then and I don't understand it now, even though I'm now in the midst of it. If only experiencing something meant understanding it, then I wouldn't feel quite so crazy.

I'm not used to loving my life and being simultaneously so confronted by it. If I didn't love it, I'd make changes. That would be simple. But in the midst of the monotony and boredom there are these moments that are so priceless, so amazing, that I am convinced there's some kind of magic hidden inside. On the way home from Kim's house I am pushing Amelia through the neighborhood in her stroller while she's belting out "Away in a Manger" at the top of her lungs. I love being the one who gets to have those moments.
Role overload is what I call days like this. Mom. Businesswoman. Chef. Ruler of the house and laundry. Writer. Friend. Lover. This is how it feels to be a woman. Many days we sail through in a zen-like harmony. Occassionally we feel the clash. Keeping our sanity in the clash--that's the deal, this week, for me.