On Stress and Management

by kelliannepace

I am one of those people who either clean obsessively or bake uncontrollably when stressed. When my husband is deployed, my house is so clean, that you could eat off of any surface and I would be confident that not a single germ would hit your food. If I bake while stressed, I end up with nearly 5 pounds of fudge, at least a dozen batches of brownies and enough cookies to sell during Girl Scout season. However, I never allow anyone to eat my baked goods in front of me because it feels like they don’t care about my troubles and are just eating away my feelings. So rude. In the end, most of my baked goods get thrown away. 

This past week, I have been so overwhelmed. If it’s not my daughter’s constant crying and need to be held, it’s my dog barking at every little thing that makes a sound. If it’s not myself being bombarded by insanely stupid questions, it’s insensitive remarks about my husband’s deployment. I am so far beyond being able to take a deep breath or count to ten. No. What I need now is a good long, loud scream and a few hours to be absolutely along so I can let out very long and heavy sobs. Furthermore, I am so sick and tired of hearing other people’s problems. I especially cannot sympathize if your problems are not so different than mine or I have been there and done that. 

I am usually not like this. Usually I am able to handle my own problems as well as others and remain pretty calm, but I am just done. I feel worn, and stretched so thin. I need a massage, I need therapy, and I need a large bottle of tequila, a shot glass, and some good music to dance to. 

When I was in college and I felt overwhelmed and stressed, I could just rely on getting drunk and dancing my problems away. Even when I woke up the next morning and nothing was solved, I felt better just having that release. Where is my release now? I can’t get drunk and go dancing. I have a baby at home. I can’t take a few minutes to myself and cry because again, I have a baby who is doing her own crying. I cannot even put the baby to bed and then finally have the night to myself because I am too fucking tired. I put the baby to bed, take shower, and sleep. That is all I can gather enough energy to do. 

I feel like the absolute worst mother in the world because my baby cries because she wants to be held. I cannot hold her all day. It will just be hard for us to break this habit in the long run, so I cannot do it. And to be clear, she is not crying because I never hold her. I spend at least 8 hours a day holding her. I pee while holding her, I dress while holding her, and eat while holding her. And let’s be clear here, sometimes I cannot dress or eat because she wants to be held a certain way. I shouldn’t feel resentment towards my baby but it is hard not to when all I want is 5 minutes of peace and quiet and she is screaming so loud that my ear drums are begging me for relief. I would also like to make a disclaimer here that she is not colicky, she is NOT gassy. She is simply crying because she wants to be held every waking moment. It is a habit I have been trying to break since she was 3 months old. 

I miss my husband. I miss having help around the house. I miss feeling like I had someone to vent to at the end of the day. I miss talking to another human without having to hear bitching and moaning about stupid fucking self-obsessed problems. I miss not being on the verge of tears at all hours of the day. 

So where does the management part come in? Well, it doesn’t. Because how can you manage things you cannot control. I cannot control my baby’s constant crying. I cannot control all the people walking by my house that make my dog bark like a maniac. I cannot control the arrogant people who think that their lives are so so hard and feel the need to vent to me when I am sitting here in a house all alone because my husband happens to be a VERY brave man want to serve his country for all the right reasons. 

I’d love to write more, but now the baby is crying. Again. Why? Because I am sitting 2 and a half inches from her and not holding her.