Sunday, April 22, 2012


It has been one of those... two months. The kind where everything seems to go wrong and you exist solely in Survival Mode for way longer than you want to, and it seems like time has passed sooooo slowly, except you don't really remember any individual days. I hate it. Hate it hate it hate it.

I've been trying to think whether I have ever been as stressed out as I have been for the past two months. I think the time around my grad school qualifying exam comes closest, but that time I was stressed out about exactly one thing (my qualifying exam). The past two months, I have felt like I'm being assaulted on a bazillion different fronts. I've felt like everything "normal" has been on hold while I try to deal with the various assaults, and as a result, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water and yet nothing real is happening and nothing is being accomplished.

Did I mention that I hate this feeling?

On the childcare front: Our awesome amazing wonderful nanny Rosie is on medical leave for an undetermined length of time. We frantically started searching for a nanny, a daycare, a friend, anyone who could fill in on either a temporary or a permanent basis, with no notice. We finally found a daycare that we like (recommended from a friend, convenient location, tons of references, been in business for a long time, got lots of happy vibes when we visited) and Kermit will start there on June 1. Which means ... it might still suck, because we haven't tried it out yet to verify anything for ourselves. Paranoid? Maybe. We've been burned before. Still, I'm hopeful. Other than the uncertainty, there's also the small issue of that June 1 date, which means nearly 3 months without childcare for Kermit. My mom flew in for several weeks, but she left on Friday to go back home. S's mom is coming soon to stay with us for three weeks, but that is the most she can do. We still have three more weeks to figure out. And honestly, we have no idea how we're covering those weeks.

On the job front: I spent a month completely convinced that I was going to be laid off. Everybody on my team was convinced that we were all going to be laid off. For that entire month, the only news we got from management was "Yeah, you'll probably be laid off, but we haven't decided yet." For a month. Any idea what that kind of thing does to morale? No work got done. People randomly left the office during the day to go on interviews elsewhere. People stood around the hallways at work openly discussing where they were applying for jobs and how their interviews were going. Several people quit. Several more people were obviously just waiting around to see if they'd get layoff packages. It was insane. When the layoffs were finally announced, they were bad, but not quite as bad as I expected. I still have my job, but most of my collaborators were laid off. The few that weren't laid off have made it clear that they're planning to quit within the next few weeks, as soon as they decide where they want to go next. And they're all standing around moping and complaining, and I can hardly blame them. Personally, I don't want a new job, because I just started this one and before the current mess, I really liked it. But I can't make progress on any of my projects because, um, I can't do them completely by myself. And so I can't decide what I should be doing with myself -- I've put out a few feelers for jobs elsewhere, but I only want to leave if my current job is going to suck long-term (I can wait it out if it is only going to suck for a few more weeks), so I'm not being all that proactive about looking for a new job yet. But part of me thinks that I'm being kind of stupid for waiting around, since most people around me are clearly jumping ship. It is incredibly stressful to show up to work every day without knowing whether you'll actually have anything to work on, and without knowing which coworkers will still be around, and without knowing whether you're doing permanent harm to your career by staying. It sucks. And I don't know if it's going to be any better.

On the sleep front: Kermit erupted seven teeth in the last month. Seven. Which pretty much means that he just wants to be held a lot, particularly between 2am and 5am. (We dose him with ibuprofen at bedtime, but it tends to run out around 2am.) Also, while my mom stayed with us, she slept in LL's bed, which means that LL theoretically slept on the floor, which means that LL woke up every single night and either (a) asked to join us in our bed; or (b) asked me or S to join him on the floor. Either way, it sucks. And it hasn't stopped. And once S's mother is sleeping in LL's bed, it's not going to stop then either. I spend almost every night either holding a teething toddler in a rocking chair, or getting kicked by a restless preschooler.

On the home front: Did I mention that my mother stayed in our teeny tiny house for more than a month? That the only time I have spent alone for the past month has been while I was in the car to/from work, which only takes 10 minutes each way? That I am going completely stir-crazy and I want my house back? That I am enormously grateful to my mother for putting her life on hold to take care of my children, but holy cow, I need space? And ... the grand finale ... in another week, my mother (who is gentle and accommodating and respectful of my house and my habits) is going to be replaced with my mother-in-law? My mother-in-law who judges me for absolutely everything I do and thinks I should give up my career to be a good mother like women are supposed to do and who is the most passive-aggressive person I've ever spent time with and who imposes her own everything on us whenever she visits, which is why we have never before let her actually stay at our house during her (short) visits? No doubt sharing my house with my mother-in-law will decrease my stress quite a bit......

And finally, on the merely annoying front: Our furnace broke, requiring an emergency visit from a repair guy. The faucet in our kitchen broke, requiring a week of using a wrench to turn the water on or off, or (heaven forbid!) to change the temperature of the water coming out of the spout, until the replacement part finally arrived. The doorknob on our front door broke, leaving it perpetually locked, requiring a visit from a locksmith (which hasn't happened yet; the door is currently unusable). And some sort of mammal (mouse? squirrel?) got itself stuck inside the outer wall of Kermit's room one night, and I spent the night sleeping on the floor of his room, armed with a large flashlight, listening to it chewing on the inside of the wall, terrified that it was going to somehow make its way into his room and, I don't know, eat him in his sleep or something.