Sunday, November 11, 2007

Suspended Animation

That's what the weekends seem like when I am off call. I feel like I rush, rush, rush through the weekdays...labeling bottles, rounding on patients, surgery, office, child pick-up, sundry essential (and I am talking only essential) household chores from dawn until dusk. Then Friday hits, and I experience a euphoria (on the weekends that I am off call) that compares to no drug once the pager gets turned off. And then? I sit....and laze...and eat...and laze some more. Don't I have just as much (if not more) to do on the weekends as I do on the weekdays? You bet I do. For some reason, however, I have no spark or motivation to do *anything* but sit and eat and laze.

Undoubtedly college football plays a role in my sloth on Saturdays. Between Mr. Whoo and myself we have no less than 4 football teams for which we root on a regular basis, so someone we follow is nearly always playing in any given time slot. The football viewing extravaganza starts at 10 am for Gameday and lasts well into the evening should we be interested in a late night game. Of course the child care duties do take precedence over the football viewage. CindyLou gets to go outside with Mr. Whoo and run around, the Bean gets fed and entertained and changed regularly by yours truly, and we get through the day making half-hearted efforts at the laundry, dishes, and cleaning up after ourselves. The bare minimum effort, no more, no less. The result is by Sunday I am feeling so freakishly slovenly and lazy that I begin to hate myself just a teensy bit, but not enough to actually get a lot more accomplished. Add that to the fact that the ladies that clean our house every other week were out last week on vacation so our house hasn't been cleaned in 3 weeks and you can imagine the appalling disarray at the Whoo household.

The bad thing in all of this is that the clutter seeps its way into my psyche, making my head feel cluttered and disheveled as well. So I am faced with the overwhelming desire to power clean the house, and simultaneously crippled with the perfectionist's curse of wanting to do it all at once and to do it flawlessly, at that. It isn't hard to figure out that this is impossible in the best of circumstances, much less in a household with a 3.5 year old and a 4 month old mucking the routine about, so here I sit in suspended animation...knowing what I need to do, but unable to do it the way that I want to do it. Yes, I've heard of Fly.Lad.y and the clean sink rule and the 15 minute rule, which seem great in theory, but my pathological brain can't just stop at 15 minutes. If I can't get it all done, then I don't want to do it at all. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Oh, and the *eating!* OMG, I am a bottomless pit. I know I am breastfeeding, but this is ridiculous. I bet I could have lost so much weight if I took advantage of my milk-making revved-up metabolism. Instead I am plateaued, and still eating bad foods by the boatload. Someone stop me! I am powerless over food. There, I said it...what is the next step?

I am ever so grateful for the 4 days a month that I do get the option to do nothing at all, but I know I need to stop doing nothing and start tackling the to-do list on my days off. It is just such an unappealing prospect. With the holiday season looming ever closer on the horizon (seriously people, Christmas music? the day after Halloween? It is madness, I tell you) I guess I need to just suck it up and get it together. Right after I write this blog, I mean....oh, and after I read everyone Else's blog too....yeah, that's the ticket. ;)


Anonymous said...

Sweetie, go easier on yourself! You are at a time of life that passes in the blink of an eye! Just embrace the mess, play with your babies, and eat what you want! Trust me, I've been in your shoes. A dust-bunny-free living room won't seem important when you look back ten years from now.
From an Ob/gyn mom of a 14 and 12 year old.......

Anonymous said...

QUIT FEELING GUILTY ABOUT TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF! It's NOT lazy, it's taking some time off to refresh yourself. I bet you're a better mom, wife, and doctor after a weekend "off." I try to take Sundays "off" and by the end of the day (like now) feel a teeny tiny bit guilty about napping and reading and taking it easy today . . . but I spent time with my daughter and am actually ready to start on my "to-do" list tomorrow.

Guilt is a for the most part useless emotion . . . don't waste time and energy feeling it for taking time to take care of yourself!

Now if you'll excuse me . . . I'm going to go spend at least an hour taking a hot bath and reading a good book. :-)

Anonymous said...

The house won't remember if you vacuumed it. The little ones only get to be little once. It's okay to kick back and enjoy them and ignore the mess--sounds to me like you've got it exactly right there.

(Written by a mom of four, ages 19-25--there was no keeping things spotless with four kids under six back then.)

Dragonfly said...

I have the same perfectionist cleaning issues. Which is a slight issue as I am moving house in 6 days and don't really have time to pack until the weekend unless I get some serious work done tonight. Small goals......
And as a food addict, I sympathise. I am powerless over food except to cook it and have no such excuse as breast feeding.

Anonymous said...

We are firm believers in setting aside one whole day a week for rest. I really don't know how I would get through the week without it. Paradoxically, taking time to rest means I can work more effectively and actually get more done.

Flylady has another saying worth noting: Housework done imperfectly still blesses your family.

dr. whoo? said...

Aw, you all are making me teary! Thank you for reminding me how fleeting it all is! Don't imagine me favoring dust bunnies over the is more like clearing a path from the living room to the kitchen thru all of the mess!

I think that the guilt from being non-productive is a leftover from being in med school and is just beaten into you!