kind of blue

I’ve been feeling blue.

I’ve been feeling blue since the rush of September and back-to-school, when I thought I’d finally have time to myself, time to be productive. But I haven’t been able to get my shit together.

This dark, heavy beast of anxiety, depression, and feral laziness is singing a siren’s song to stay at home, don’t do things, it’s too hard. I’ve been nervous about going places, scared to talk to people, and feel sad and guilty about being scared and nervous. It’s a horrid cycle and I can’t get out of it.

I read this (from the amazing Glennon Melton) and I loved this, and I thought it was enough to get me motivated again. Then things happened that were sad, not to me directly, but to another family, and it was just so very sad.

I’m really good at talking other people off the ledge, but I never listen to myself.

I happened upon this late last night and it resonated with me. It’s a t-shirt, but it stands for something.

“TWLOHA is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.”

The latest blog post Beautiful. Loved. Enough. were exactly the words I needed to read.

When I woke up this morning, a familiar sensation of dread took over me. Thoughts of, “I have to do this,” “I can’t do this,” “What if I don’t do this?” filled my mind. I wanted to go back to sleep and hide from the world.

If you feel like this sometimes, you’re not alone. I’m with you, and there is hope.

TWLOHA has some resources to get you started. If this is an emergency or if you are worried that you or someone you know may be at risk for suicide, please call your local authorities (911). The hotlines below are 24 hours and are confidential.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK (273-8255)

National Child Abuse Hotline 1.800.4.A.CHILD (422-4453)

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (799-7233)

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)  1.800.656.HOPE (656-4673)

The Trevor Project  1.866.4.U.TREVOR (488-7386)

Veterans Crisis Line  1.800.273.TALK (273-8255) PRESS 1

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i love fall… NOT

My day yesterday:

Woke up in my preschooler’s bed. It was still dark. Tried to get more sleep in my own bed, but my 3rd-grader woke up and started talking. He doesn’t stop talking.

Somehow, I got both kids dressed, fed, brushed, lunch packed, in the car, and to school. I don’t remember any of it.

I booked over to a client’s to receive a delivery, style a room, and put up 3 cork boards in a perfectly straight line. Stepped out to pick up some accessories for said client, ate a teeny bag of peanuts, then went back to client’s house for finishing touches. 5 hours of work… phew!

I had planned to go for a run at this point, but went to Target instead. Training for my upcoming 5k is important, but the possibility of no toilet paper in the house is terrifying.

Made it home with toilet paper — 12-pack of Mega Plus rolls. Ate a bowl of cereal and some cheese and crackers. Fantasized briefly about not picking up the kids from school.

Got the kids. Came back home.

Made snack. Made dinner. Hubby comes home — yay!

I went for my run. 2.4 miles, 13 min/mile. I’m working on it.

Jumped in the shower and… day’s not done yet… got dressed for Back To School Night. Yippee.

Drove back to the kids’ school. Schmoozed and made friends with parents and teachers. Commiserated with like-minded mom about wishing we were wearing PJs and drinking beers instead.

Made it home by 9:30pm. Put on PJs. Ate dinner while watching my TV boyfriend Jax Teller kill a lot of dudes, until 11:20pm.

Finally, asleep in my own bed.

This morning, when it was still dark, I woke up in my preschooler’s bed.

the prohibitive cost of working

Just read this post via a fellow mama on Facebook. It sure brought back memories…

When Being A Stay-At-Home Mom Isnt A Choice.

My situation was not quite so dire, but I remember doing the math. Full-time daycare in Greater Boston costs around $1500 per month. Childcare for an infant or toddler will run close to $15,000 a year, and that’s if you go with a home-based, family daycare provider.

Preschool jumps up to close to $2000 per month, because you have to drop them off before 9am, and pick them up at 6pm. You can’t work “mother’s hours” and still get benefits, right? Preschool costs roughly average $20,000 a year, for full-time, outside-the-home, quality preschool with a curriculum and all that early-learning stuff.

And when your kids are finally school-age, you’re not out of the woods completely, because you’re still paying for before- and after-sch0ol, and you have to factor in summer camp. This is assuming you live in a city with good public schools, but, then again, even if the schools are not good, can you afford to shell out $20,000 a year for private school?

But don’t forget to save another $5000 for summer camp or a sitter or something, because when school ends, those kids can’t sit at home alone for 3 months.

Start with your annual salary. Take out 30% for taxes, and another 8% for health insurance. Then subtract the basics: food, clothing, and shelter. If you have even $10,000 per child left over, consider yourself lucky.

When I stopped working, I looked for babysitting work. I had 2 families whose kids I picked up from school a few days a week. Yes, they paid me, just enough to cover my gas and car payment, but it felt good to be helping out a few fellow moms.

NB: All numbers are based on my own experience, so don’t go fact-checking me. 🙂

goat rodeo days

Any blog post that compares a day with kids to “a huge goat rodeo” is gem. My house has felt like a goat rodeo all summer.

Goat Rodeo days. These involve multiple kids, all mobile and past the napping years, seemingly bent on devising complex plots to undermine your attempts to even start any item on the day’s to-do list.

baby goats are cute

On days like this, I can’t wait to hit the Sweet Spot. When the kids are old enough to entertain themselves. When no one needs me to give them a snack or a juice, or a band-aid, or even a hug.

We’re not there yet. I yell a lot. I have butts to wipe. I hear mamamamamamamamama ALL. DAY. LONG. And sleeping through the night means I fell asleep putting the boys to bed and decided not to bother getting into my own bed.

But all these things that drive me bananas mean that they need me. And someday they won’t.

RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND: The Sweet Spot.

martha’s calendar

Today is January 29, 2013. Martha Stewart suggests we “Organize tools and supplies in greenhouse workroom.”

Martha's Month, January Issue of Living

Thanks, Martha. I’ll get right on that.

back to school tips

Need some help strategizing your morning routine with the kids? I’ve got 5 tips for you, posted on my business blog — 5 tips for getting out the door on time.

ROI Design  |  interior design & organization for busy, growing families

having a man around

I think it’s sexy when my man fixes things around the house.

I consider myself a feminist — I believe women should have the choice to do the same things men do. At the same time, there really are some things I can’t do, and things I’d rather not do. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Things like lifting the dryer off the top of the washer to do a repair. And moving 100 sq ft of bricks and laying a new patio. And, sometimes, opening that new jar of salsa. All true stories.

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(I don’t have a picture of him opening a jar. You’ll just have to trust me.)

When a task requires strength, endurance, and stinky dirty things, I’m happy to have someone else to turn to. Thanks, babe, for being a man for me.

Is this sexist? Maybe I’ll get flak for this post, maybe not, and I invite all perspectives.