Pleasing no one

Before I launch into a woe-is-me tale, let me tell you how bad I feel about complaining, knowing how many good things I have in my life and how much worse off others are. But I feel the need to get this off my chest.

Unfortunately as much as I like my job, I find myself staying late pretty often. I had one blissful, leave-on-time week two weeks ago, which I thought was how it was going to be for the next month or so, but, well, um, no. We have deadlines. And, more than that for me/the bigger reason is I want my materials to be perfect or nearly so; I am unwilling to let pretty much anything slip past me. As a result, I find myself doing a lot of extra work/going the extra mile.

So after putting my time in (and often eating at my desk), I walk the 10 minutes to my car, sit at every light imaginable (seriously, can we just computerize those babies after 5:30 or 6?!), suffer through tunnel traffic, even after 6 p.m., and I am home late (duh). Some days I eat with my family; more often than not, I don't. But even when they wait for me, there are still dishes to do, counters to clean, floors to sweep, water bottles to fill, coffee and a lunch to prepare, and papers and bills to go through most nights. Some nights there is laundry to do. And when I am lucky enough, I get to spend 30 minutes with the kid before she takes a bath/gets ready for bed. Today was one of those nights, but the kid was cranky, and did not get her way, so she proceeded to cry that we never get to spend any time together anymore. She is not completely wrong. :-(

Unfortunately, my weekends have been pretty busy lately too. I have spent the past two at my mom's, which means I am behind on my laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping. Two weekends ago, after spending a day, a night, and another day at my mom's, I took J to her other grandmother's, 50 minutes away from my mom's and another 50 minutes away from our house. On my way back, I stopped at the Seventh Circle of Hell (aka Walmart), and I did not get home until 8:30 p.m., which meant I missed a surprise dinner the hubby had planned. But there was still plenty of time to heatedly discuss my not being home/taking too long.

This past weekend was good, full of family as I like it, but unfortunately even busier. After spending part of the morning and early afternoon at a park and a pizza place with the older brother's three kids and his wife (which was great), buying $$$$ shoes for J (she is flat-footed, so we have to go to a specialty store), I headed to my mom's to see two of my little brother's kids while that bro and one of the kids were at a Pirates game. We had a busy evening and I was tired from a long work week, so I was really hoping I would be able to talk lil bro out of going to Idlewild the next day. But no luck. Even though we had a great time, and I am glad I went (particularly since they live so far away and get back so infrequently), doing so meant spending $$$ on tickets, gas, and food. And, more significantly, getting home around 8, after a quick stop at the grocery store. After helping to get the kid ready for bed and organizing her stuff for day care for the week, I washed a load of clothes. I had hoped to dry them while I was doing some work I had brought home, but the hubby and I ended up talking for an hour (since I had not talked to him for more than five minutes since Friday evening), so neither of those things got done.

This work week has brought two late(r) nights (nothing past 6, but still), and an invitation from my older brother to watch a Pirates game with them Wednesday night since he is now in town. I had to say no for several reasons: 1. A few coworkers planned a happy hour gathering that evening; I had already told them I would have to see how much work I got through that day, but that I also might just want to go home to my family. 2. I just blew a lot of money this weekend on shoes for J and Idlewild; I don't really want to drop close to $100 for my family to go to the game. 3. I am tired! As much as I want to spend time with my bro and his family, whom I see about three times per year, I already saw the kids and the wife this past Saturday, and I will see everyone this coming Saturday (when I head to my mom's for a third weekend, which will end with another trip to my MIL's to drop the kid off again). It just becomes too much sometimes.

So there you have it. I even left out the part where my mom is mad that I did not let my kid stay at her house for a couple of nights because not only did the kid have a field trip today, but also either I would have to drive the 2-plus hours round trip to get her or I would have to be comfortable with my kid in the car with my mom for that distance, which I am not, and I am sorry. Oh, I guess I did not leave that out after all. But I will not get into my MIL issues, so there is that! :-)

In conclusion, I pretty much have pleased no one lately, I am tired, my house is a mess, and I cannot seem to remember to get everything at the grocery store when I find the time to get there.

But I do feel about 5 percent better having gotten this off my chest. Hopefully no one in my family will read this (they rarely read the blog), or you can bet there will be even less pleasing going on.

At least the Pirates are doing well.


Anonymous said…
I feel your pain. It is challenging to work, take care of a family and a house, and try to do things socially which may or may not include spending time with relatives. Recognize that you cannot please everyone all the time or even most of the time. You have to think of yourself and give yourself permission to just say no to things. A pristine house is overrated anyway.
Jessica R. said…
"I pretty much have pleased no one lately, I am tired, my house is a mess, and I cannot seem to remember to get everything at the grocery store when I find the time to get there."

I feel the same way, and then guilty when I turn down more freelance work.

It's tough to try so hard and feel like you get nothing but grief in return.

Hang in there. I hope it gets better soon.
Facie said…
Anon: Glad I am not alone. I know I cannot please everyone most of the time, but lately I feel as if I am pleasing pretty much no one, including myself. Oh, the Catholic guilt...

Jessica: Again, glad I have a sister in arms (or whatever that phrase is). I don't always get grief; I just happened to get a bit more in a shorter period (and I did not even write about all of it).

I am sure things will turn around. In fact, the boss let us leave at 3 p.m. today, and even though I still had things to do, I decided to just go and spend 1.5 hours with some coworkers for HH and then get home at a decent time.
At least it sounds like you're busy with all of the right things. Work that you wanted to do, shopping that needed to be done, family time. It's not like you're out being selfish and ignoring your family. Although of course I think you deserve that happy hour every now and then, too.
Facie said…
Thanks, Katie. And I did go to a much-deserved happy hour! :-)

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