Monday, October 5, 2009

Work Work Work

It's been a challenging stretch for us here at Busy-Dad-E.

Our house has been on the market for a month now. There's always something to do for the house: mow, weed, plant, stain the deck, touch up the paint, vacuum every 90 minutes (Lord, where does all the dirt come from?).

The biggest challenge is trying to leave the house each day as pristine as possible in case there is a request to show it. It would be hard enough if only 2 adults lived there, but throw in 2 tornadoes young boys and you'd have better luck getting a bull out of a china shop without breaking anything.

Throw in a dash of Mom-E entering her 3rd trimester, and the frustrations of, "I have all these things I need/want to do, but I'm just too tired."

(No, Mom-E, you can't make hand-carved wooden boxes as gifts for all the baby shower guests.)

Couple all of the above with the fact that today is work day 13 of 19 in a row for me. (That's pretty uncommon, it's due to an amalgam of factors, and fortunately last weekend was just mornings both days). However, at least days 18 and 19 aren't technically work days, but rather a big 2-day job interview.

(Note to self, don't screw this one up.)

You can understand how Mom-E and I decided yesterday that when Bab-E is born, we're just going to hand him a rag and some Windex, and ask him to start cleaning his room. (Thankfully, to there credit, on many occasions lately, Big and Little Brothers have been VERY helpful about picking up and putting away toys. Thank you, Grampap-E, for your genetic contribution to cleanliness.)

Did I also mention that I'm training for a half-marathon right now because I have nothing else to do?

Oh yeah, and I have to go overseas for 6 days (including 2 travel days) later this month for work. I know that Mom-E is really looking forward to keeping the house spic & span while I'm gone, in addition to chasing after the boys non-stop with her pregnant belly. Not.

(It's not like it takes a full-time effort from both of us just to keep up.)

Neat. Neat. Neat. Good times.

Someone please help me to:
1. Learn to say "No."
2. Stop my head from exploding.

Needless to say, I've been frustrated lately that even though I'm still home for dinner regularly, playing with the boys, giving baths, wading in poop, reading stories, and sometimes even sitting down for breakfast with them, that I've felt somehow emotionally distant as a dad.

I try my best to focus my energy on the boys when I'm home, but it's been so hard lately given the multitude of distractions.

And maybe I think it's bothering the boys more than it's really bothering them.

However, Little Brother suddenly wants Mom-E to rock him to sleep every night. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. We just went through a stretch where he wanted me to rock him, and he certainly alternates between being Mom-E's boy and Dad-E's boy at times. It's just that at the moment where I really want to just sit quiety and rock him for a few minutes at the end of a hectic day, he suddenly screams at me until I hand him off to Mom-E.

And Big Brother has his own frustrations, too. He has been doing much better with his "nocturnal continence", including waking up on his own, although the enuresis alarm still goes off from time to time.

That happened Saturday morning at 2AM, and I went and helped/changed him in his stuporous state. When he woke up, he was absolutely FURIOUS about why he was wearing a different genre of jammie top and shorts.

I, of course, was in a rush to head out to work. Instead of hugs and tickles, I was greeted with door slams and yells to, "Go to jail, Dad-E." (NO IDEA where that phrase came from.) It makes the phone calls of old for "Dad-E, come home." seem very benign.

I know that if I step back, I'll realize that all of this will be short-lived, and that no one at home will suffer any "permanent damage."

Still, it's hard to explain to the instant gratification-based minds of a 4.5 and 2 year-old why Mom-E and Dad-E have had to work so hard lately.

Hopefully one day here they'll realize that we did it all for them.

Have a good week. Don't work too hard,


  1. This too shall pass. It will pass like a kidney stone, but eventually it will pass.

  2. That is hard....lots of work and so little time. Hopefully the house will sell soon and these crazy work times will be behind you guys. Love, Aunt-E

  3. You both have a lot on your plate now. I would go crazy. Have a tantrum on me! LOL! I am sure the boys miss you and they don't really know how to show it at times. My girls do the same when Michael works for days that they don't see him for a few days due to his schedule. Good luck with your interview. Rosi

  4. It has definitely been crazy lately! I vote for simplifying wherever possible.
    1. I think this IS harder on you than it is for the boys.
    2. Sometimes we go through phases in life that require our absence or at least lack of total hands on involvement for a time, but it is temporary and the boys will be fine.
    3. Given that I also have a hard time saying no..I understand your position, but am learning that it is ok to say "NO" Sometimes it is necessary for self-preservation as well as for your family unit.
    4. It's ok to take the easy way out or even cut out some activities some of the time...especially when life gets crazy.
    5. You and Busy Mom-E need a little "downtime" in the evenings....early bedtime for the boys and sit down and relax.
    6. You are a very caring Dad-E and that is why all these thoughts are careening around in your head...relax...quieter times are ahead. EVENTUALLY!!

  5. and a very loving Dad-E too :)

  6. Just wanted to agree with Gramm-E. I know sometimes Uncl-E and I don't do things and people may perceive us as lazy. Honestly, sometimes we don't do things just because we know that we'll be more relaxed, happier, better spouses to each other and better parents b/c we have said "no" to something or someone else. It is tough to do that, but I always keep my eye on the prize....which is being the best mom and wife I can be. You can't make everyone happy and while sometimes you do have to put in extra time at work or something like should still take time out to say "no" sometimes! You guys will work through this busy time! Love Aunt-E