January 28, 2007

Surviving as a Single Mother

6 days down, 5 more until C comes home. Those 5 days can't go by fast enough!

Over the last 6 days I've come to develop a new understanding, and appreciation, of single moms. I never realized how much I depend on C to help me around the house. We're obviously surviving okay on our own -- I don't have many options -- but it's been a struggle and it's very time consuming. When KT is sleeping my time is occupied by basic things just to keep us functioning around here. There's always something that needs to be done whether it be dishes, making a meal, tending to two needy dogs or getting a shower or just brushing my teeth and getting my contacts in. I'm lucky to get through emails for work and complete basic tasks that my boss asks me to do. I seriously do not know how single women juggle motherhood, jobs and housework while maintaining any sanity or finding any time for themselves.

I have a huge grant application that needs to be completed in the near future. The proposal itself is due to the USDA by February 15th. However, before it can be officially submitted it needs to be reviewed by a gal in my department (which requires 2-3 days) and then 4-5 days for review by the department that handles all of the grant submissions. Meaning we need to have everything submitted to the gal in our department 6-8 business days before the deadline, or about February 7th at the latest. It's been impossible to get any work done on this grant and I'm really beginning to sweat about it. I missed getting any grants submitted at the end of 2006 because the deadlines fell right after the baby was born and I didn't have the time to work on them. So I feel that in order to redeem myself, I need to get this proposal turned in.

The main problem with all of this lies in the fact that the dogs act like complete monsters when C is gone. They get very obnoxious and rambunctious, wrestling around with each other and making a TON of noise. (Anyone who's talked with me on the phone has "witnessed" this behavior and can understand what I'm talking about.) This inevitably happens just after KT gets to sleep and she gets startled by the noise and wakes up. At most, I've had an hour's worth of time to get things done before she wakes and needs attention. I've tried my hardest to give them as much attention as possible but it doesn't seem to satisfy them entirely and they continue to be obnoxious. Kicking them outside to run off energy doesn't help. The cold air seems to energize them and they're worse when they come back in the house. Putting them in their crates doesn't help either. Dakota is docile when in his crate but Logan refuses to cooperate and barks the entire time. He's always been like this, no matter what we try to break the habit. And we've tried everything, numerous times to break him of barking when in his crate. I'm running very short on patience with them and it has turned me into a very cranky, frustrated mom.

To be honest, working on the grant has been difficult too because I have very little motivation to do anything work-related. All of this stuff with my boss leaving has left a very sour taste in my mouth, metaphorically speaking, and I feel very complacent about my job at the moment. It's hard to have motivation when you feel like you're being deserted, especially after we made this move to Idaho, mainly for my job. Why should I want to bust my butt for someone who's leaving in less than two weeks anyways?? The loneliness I'm feeling just exacerbates the situation too. I'm usually okay when C travels for work, staying busy with housework, my job and various sewing/quilting/craft projects. This time has been really different and I'm sure it's because of the baby. After she was born I felt like my family was finally complete, that I was complete as a wife and mom and now it just feels empty without my husband. I just want to hold KT close and magically make it Friday already so our family is all together again.

C is dealing with his own struggles too. This trip has been a mess for them so far. He was detained by customs in Taiwan upon arrival due to visa "issues"; there has been problems with the other travelers' visas; the daily schedules are very demanding and exhausting; luggage has been misplaced as they switch company cars during their travels. He's tired of being away from home and just tired in general since they've been so busy. I don't even mention to him how hard it is around here without him, because I know it will only add to his stress.

As usual, the dogs have woke the baby, so this must draw to a close. Hopefully I find the motivation and strength to make it through the next few days and get this grant submitted.


Jessica said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so frustrated. I agree with you totally about feeling like there's not enough time in the day to get things done(As we talked about on Friday...). I'm here to lend my ear if you need someone to talk to. :)

Hopefully this week goes fast, and C will be home before you know it. It sucks he's had such a rough trip. Makes it so much harder being away from the family. I'm sure he'll be glad to be home!

Give my niece a big hug and kiss for me. Try to keep your sanity these next few days. :)

Nickie said...

This too shall pass...

I have a miniature dachshund who barks sooo loudly and at any little noise and will NOT stop. It makes me nuts. I hate to say it, but he's getting worse as he gets older (8yrs old now) and he may have to find a new home if he doesn't knock it off soon. Mommy can't deal with 3+ crazy things at once (dog barking, baby crying, preschooler running around screaming, doorbell ringing which makes the dog bark, baby cry...).

Hope C has a better end of this trip than the beginning has been.