Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feeling Low

A lot of things are going on that I haven't really been writing about. I've been wrapped up in pregnancy updates... because I have been sort of using this blog as a 'pregnancy log' of sorts--for fear that I would not have a record otherwise and would forget everything... but the less than rosey side of my life I have not been writing about.

I feel like a monumental failure today. In so many ways. The pregnancy hormones may be making these feeling worse, and I am really hoping I can shake these blues away but it seems like all I can do is cry this morning.

What's wrong? Ugh, where do I start?

Due to the fact that we live in the World's Smallest House, we needed to come up with a 'creative' solution to our space problem when we found out we would soon be a family of four. Of course, nothing happened right away. Walking a tightrope through that first trimester meant that we didn't really take action on anything, for fear of getting into the middle of something we couldn't undo if I was suddenly not pregnant anymore. (Which happened with our kitchen remodel of 2006 when I had the miscarriage.) But as it appeared that we would indeed be adding another member to this family, we started thinking of adding on to this house. For a while we seriously considered a true addition--perhaps even doubling the size of our home (which, at twice the current size, would still be considered a modest size home by most standards). We even paid to have some plans drawn up. But, it just seemed like a lot to accomplish by April. And somewhere in my gut I knew it was not realistic. Financially we wouldn't be able to do it all at once anyway, which would mean we'd be in a state of construction limbo over the next couple of years. So what was my bright-ass idea? To turn our one-car attached garage into a proper living space. I thought it would be cheaper and easier. Well, my Dear Husband went for the idea. We'd turn the modest amount of space into a new master bedroom for us (which would include a small laundry room off the side since our existing garage held the washer/dryer and we NEED that). And then our old bedroom (which is near HM's room) would be the new baby's room. Well, long story short, my husband has been working on this project tirelessly since after Christmas. Every single weekend, and many many nights after work. And mind you, he doesn't get home until after 7pm...then to have to work for hours on a construction project is totally exhausting. And, to make matters worse, the whole project ended up costing about twice what we budgeted, so we are now officially out of money. No more money to pay for help to finish the project, and no money left in our savings account. No emergency fund. With a baby on the way. And, unfortunately, since the economy sucks right now, my business is not doing well. There is a chance that I may even go out of business at some point in the near future. And, with no money in the bank, we still really need my income.

Needless to say, my husband is tired, stressed and unhappy.

And I feel like it's all my fault.

We've had a couple of discussions lately that have made me aware of how unhappy my husband is, and, just how disappointed he is with Yours Truly. I have been zero help on this construction project. Between being pregnant and being very very sick for about a month (I had a cold that turned into flu into sinus infection into bronchitis and ear infection, with a stomach bug thrown in for good measure in the midst of it). I could not shake my illness(es) and it eventually took 2 different types of antibiotics to get rid of it. During the week when my husband was at work, I was supposed to get a lot of prep and painting done (once the new room got to that point). I was useless. Then I finally started feeling better and I did start working in there. First I did some prepping and sanding. The problem is I get very winded and tired these days very quickly. I also was trying to keep up/catch up with my work stuff that had been somewhat neglected during my illness. I am desperately trying to get more clients so that I can get some more money from deposits coming in, so that I can keep contributing to our income. Also, I am the person responsible for childcare (obviously, since my husband works an hour away and has is gone from 7 am-7pm M-F). Handsome Man is home with me Mondays and Tuesdays and goes to school Wed-Fri. So on Mondays and Tuesdays I find it very difficult to get anything done. Then by Wednesday I have so much catch up to do with work I find it hard to get everything done. I try to also keep on top of the house work (big fail if you saw my house right now) so, in my mind at least, there is a lot going on. Add to that pregnancy and illness, and, well, what have you got. To make a long story short, my husband and I had a very emotional discussion the other day, where he admitted to me he was very disappointed with me, and the minor contribution I have made to the New Room Project. The painting and prep work, for example, he informed me was so poorly done he had to re-do it all. Meaning it put us yet more behind on the project. But you know what? The other day when I was down on my hands and knees painting skirting boards, I really thought I was doing a good job. I thought he'd be happy and proud of me. See, bending over to get down to that level does not feel good. I have a big belly and my stomach is up somewhere in my chest and I have lots of ligament pain. I can't really bend over at the waist too much. It hurts. Squatting is hard for long periods of time. So I had to do it on my hands and knees. And, then, I guess because my lungs are being compressed from baby, or because I'm just carrying around 30 pounds of extra weight, I get really out of breath. I even get dizzy sometimes. But I did it. I painted those damn skirting boards and the windows and trim. But badly. I wasn't trying to do a bad job. I was paying attention. But according to my husband, it was a bad job. And, as he pointed out this is not the only time it has been that way.

There is a history here. A history of me not being able to get things done. A history of procrastination, or doing what appears to be half-assed work. I really try. I think my husband thinks I sit around eating bon-bons all day while he is at work. I don't. I swear. But I have to admit something. I find it extremely difficult to organize and manage my life. I get extremely overwhelmed. I find being a mom, a business owner, a wife, etc., all a lot to manage. And, it appears that I have been failing miserably.

This is not a new thing. My entire life has been a series of FAILS and overwhelming mediocrity. I know this. I dropped out of high school. I did manage to go to college--first a community college and then State College. It took me forever but I did graduate. With an English degree. (Big whoop. How am I using that degree now?) Ok, I will say I graduated Cum Laude. But how hard is that to do at a State school. It's not like I went to Harvard or anything. My first marriage? Fail. Career? At this point, Fail. I never got a Masters degree, and I am not qualified to do anything. I feel like a failure at parenting (hey my kid is about to turn three and is still not potty trained. Something I am almost too embarrassed to admit to friends and family).

But, as usual, I am getting off on a tangent. The point is that I have been thinking a lot about these things lately and have been wondering if there is any chance I may have Adult ADD/ADHD. I have denied this for a long time because, well, when I really focus on something I can do great things. I can take the monumental task of producing floral designs for a huge event and make it happen. Flawlessly even. But then I seem to fail at everything else, don't I? Then I realized as I started doing some research that being able to hyper-focus on certain tasks is actually a symptom of the disorder.

I am not trying to make excuses. I am trying to get answers to what seems like a lifetime of failure. I am pushing 40 and I would like to really not live this way forever. In my mind's eye I envision living an organized, simplified, happy and productive life. But I never seem to be able to get there.

And now I am more overwhelmed than ever. So the new room is done. We have moved in and I have started clearing out our old room which will be the baby's room. Only there is work that needs to be done in there before I can paint and move furniture in. It seems as if we have a mold problem in one of the walls. My poor, exhausted husband informed me the other day that there is just no way we can repair the problem any time soon. We can't afford to pay someone to do it, and my husband is exhausted. And, we are running out of time. My dream of decorating the nursery is on hold. My husband still has to finish patching, sanding and painting the new siding on the outside of the house where we removed the old garage door (and put up a proper wall) and on the side of the house where the new windows were installed. So this entails several more weekends of work, and by then, the baby could be here any time. I have an empty 'nursery' that will have to stay empty--for a while. I can't ask my husband to work any harder or do any more than he has done/is doing. He is about ready to crack. And, as a result, he has not been able to enjoy this pregnancy with me. He has been working non-stop. We haven't even picked a name. He has made no connection with this baby of his that is about to enter the world.

And on top of all of this, he is taking on side work to try and make some extra money to replenish our empty savings account.

This is all too much to take in and I feel horrible and I am so depressed right now I don't know what to do.


Expectant Duck said...

oh Frenchie, hunny, I am so sorry to read that you are having such a hard time (and I sorta must say that your DH is being a bit of an ass). You are pregnant and infertile and he wants you to do construction WHILE pregnant? Seriously. He is totally loosing sight of reality (sorry to be harsh but its true). This pregnancy is a miracle and he should be treating you and the baby in that way, making sure you have less stress (not more stress).

Who cares if the savings are gone? Get a line of credit so you know that you have a back up plan. Maybe it is just from where I am sitting, but, working with a surrogate means I go into parenthood with zero savings and about 50K in line of credit debt (and well we will just eventually pay it off, right?).

Anyway, you own your own business (and remmber when you went to that resort to do all the flowers?) you've had achievements, you raised little man, and now are gestating another little person. I too feel like I have failed (despite my 3 degrees) because i never did anything with the education - I am a secretary for gods sake - but i couldn;t do it all - have a career and take all the time needed for infertility treatments.
Please, cut yourself some slack, you deserve it.

Tiff said...

I am so sorry things are like this, J. Wow. That IS a lot to have going on. Being a mom, in it's own is tiring enough without adding all of that.
Please, try not to beat yourself up. That is so much for anyone to deal with.
I wish there was something more I could sat. Please just let me know if you want to talk, I am here.

Lavender Luz said...

Awwww, Frenchie. I wish I could come over and hug you and maybe shake you a little.

You're not seeing all that you have done and that you are. You STARTED a BUSINESS -- how much courage and talent does that take?

You're taking care of a 3yo. You're gestating a new life. You haven't felt well during some of that.

I don't have any answers but I do want to let you know that I think you are awesome, and that I know you will emerge from this all right.


Just me said...

Ummm... why do we live so far apart? We were totally meant to be IRL friends.

I, too, am a procrastinator. While it did not affect my schooling in the large sense, it certainly affects my home life with my very type-A husband.

However... I don't totally see it as MY PROBLEM. Yes, I'm a procrastinator. But I also like to take time to enjoy what I enjoy, even if that means the dishes sit in the sink for an extra day. Just because he doesn't, doesn't mean I should always have to be the one to change my ways.

Now, clearly the new room thing is a big deal and putting a lot of stress on him. But seriously? When he brought up how you did the sanding wrong, did you mention to him that you are BUSY GROWING A PERSON????? Wonder how he would feel with 30 new pounds sitting on his hips...

I sensed that, as you wrote your explanation, that you felt like you were making a lot of excuses. But unless you are one of those people who is totally unaware of anything outside of your own interests and comforts (which I don't think you are), I found those "excuses" to be very reasonable *reasons*.

I find that III gets mad at me for not doing things the way or in the amount of time he thinks I should. But I've learned that a lot of that is because of the pressure he puts on himself. I often try to think of ways to help him deal with that pressure, without compromising what I need.

Does your husband have to do this all on his own? For example, does he have buddies that he could, for example, invite over on a Sunday to help him, and then you could fill them with beer and pizza afterwards?

I hope things ease up and you both feel better. I find that when things just really SUCK and there's nothing you can do, a little Hallmark with a heartfelt note can go a long way... :)

Lots of big hugs!!!

amazingk8 said...

I am giving you a very caring and much needed internet smack right now. Your list of fails sounded awfully impressive to me. I don't know why you dropped out of high school but that you did and then went on to graduate college has got to be one of the biggest successes ever. And that you own your own business doing something incredibly creative? I have been a little jealous of that over the years as I have read your blog. Sure, its hard times right now but I know at least one very successful business owner who is having a tough time, too. There's a lot going on in the economy that has nothing to do with you or your ability to run a business. And I also don't know what goes on between you and your husband. I'm sure there's history I am not aware of but I don't think its reasonable to expect someone in late pregnancy to play much of a role in a big renovation project. He can be disappointed but if he expected you would be able to do much, he was being unrealistic. And maybe you promised more than you could deliver because you didn't want to disappoint him but I think the lesson there is to be gentler to yourself, not at all that you're a failure. I know that getting all this out is therapeutic and as a reader who follows your blog I just couldn't say nothing. Deep breath. Its going to be okay. (I hope this didn't come off mean - I mean it as supportive!)

luna said...

oh frenchie, that is a lot to manage. first off though, you are so NOT a failure at anything. I've seen photos of your arrangements and they are gorgeous. you are a mom and business owner and you are pregnant and about to complete your family!

I hope the stress eases up a little. you both will need your energy for when the baby comes. maybe you can find a way to make it livable and not worry about what's not done. it will get there, eventually.

sending you a hug from across the bay.

singletracey said...

aww Frenchie.... There is a lot going on and I can only imagine being PG makes you tired more quickly, and all that stuff. BUT.. you are not a failure my dear. Not in the slightest. I think being a mom and running a business is A LOT. A LOT! It is going to be a-ok.. one way or another :-)