Monday, February 6, 2012

The Day I Quit

I’ve got a couple of blogworthy stories to tell you.  Today, we’ll start with my nervous breakdown.

It was a pretty normal day (last Thursday), though I had been feeling A LOT of pressure over the last few days at the amount of stuff I had (always have) to do.  I didn’t wake up super grouchy or stressed or anything.

And then, Gabe was caught for the 3rd time in 24 hours sneaking TV and lying about it and so I had to come up with a consequence that would fit the crime but I knew it would SO bum him out and who wants to be that mean of a mom?  I don’t.  Yuck.

And then Jane flipped out (doing her awesome yell-cry) when I told her that she was going to miss the bus because she was playing with Faith and she still had tons to do and I had to listen to my 9.5 year old yell and cry and yell and cry.  Grrr.

And then Seth ran out the door, late-ish also for the bus and left me with a half-unloaded dishwasher to do.  Awesome.

And then Faith began throwing ANOTHER huge tantrum (she was barfing and scratching her face with her nails) and was refusing to get in the car and all of a sudden I realized that if she didn’t get in the car that instant that it would throw off my WHOLE plan for the day because I had to get to Costco and the library and back by 11:00 in order to get nachos for Ryan’s Valentines Day #2 lunch and I couldn’t be back later than 11:15, because Ryan had a meeting at noon.  And Faith was screaming and destroying her room (and her face) and the kitchen was a disaster area and I couldn’t find all of the library books and it was impossible for me to do my life and I LOST IT.

I LOST IT. I thought through my day quickly and realized that whatever had to happen that day would have to wait.  I wasn’t sending emails or doing Valentines or making dinner or taking people to swimming or putting away the milk.  I was quitting for the day.

I sent Ryan this text:  (jabbing the screen as hard as I could)

I’m done.  Done.  I hate this crappy crappy job and I am done and you are going to have to find someone else to do it, because I’m done.

And then I turned off my phone, unplugged the landline, locked my door, shut my blinds and turned on the second season of Downton Abbey. 

Ryan came home early for lunch and did who knows what.  I assume Faith was fed and put to bed because I wasn’t present.  I read and watched TV and took walks and went to the mall and the library and read and watched TV some more. 

After Faith woke up, she came in to see me and asked me to do something for her and I said “No.  I’m not the Mom today.”  And she said “Well, ‘den’ who are you?” and I said “Just Jessica"."

About 20 minutes later, she was milling around and said “Hey Mo---no, I mean, Jessica.  I love you, Jessica.  I almost said Mom, but you are not Mom, ‘wight’, Jessica?”  And I said “Right”.

Emma and Gabe thought it was the best day ever.  They made cookies and did no practicing or jobs.  When it got time for dinner, Emma organized it and Gabe called around and found a ride to swimming and they took care of Faith.  Jane was a little disturbed and Mr La-La Land (Seth) didn’t know anything was different.

Jane left me a note under my door at about 8:00:  “I’m sorry you had a bad day.  I hope you will be my Mom tomorrow.  I like when you’re my mom.”

And so I was.  And it was good.  That “Day Off” was kind of what I needed to remind me that everything isn’t Immediately Necessary.  I needed a day where I just got to think about me.  I was rejuvenated and ready to love them and take care of them again.

So what do you think of that?

24 comments:

Ilene said...

I too love to escape with my friends from Downton Abbey. Sorry for the crappy day but on the bright side, you don't' have to worry about the never ending saga of a Turkish Ambassador dying in your bed. Now that would suck. Season 3 is underway and I hear Shirley MacLean is going to play the American MIL to battle it out with Old Lady Grantham. Can't wait.

We all need to take a personal day but I am lame and tend to take my escapes at night and pay for it in the morning. However, staying up until 3am to finish The Night Circus was totally worth it.

Annemarie said...

I think it's freakin' awesome.

Nurse Graham said...

I'm right there with you sister. I go on strike about every 4 months when I'm tired of being the only one who sweeps the kitchen floor, pays the bills, does the shopping, fixes dinner, washes & folds the laundry. The strike is usually only a day, but that seems to be long enough to do exactly what you found out it can do---rejuvenate me & forces the other family members to step up.

Rochelleht said...

That made me very happy, actually. Your pain makes me happy! J/K I love reality checks on blogs. I just blogged my own today, actually. I wish I could take a day off like that. Unfortunately, my husband is usually out of town and Derick would run away or break another piece of furniture.

Bravo, Jessica (not Mom)!

PS: You won't believe my word verification. CRYINGLY. I'd say that's fitting.

Christie said...

I think my whole family would be like Seth and not clue into it at all. I'm jealous.

jessica said...

I used to be able to do that...(now that A is in school, not so much and I need it now more than ever!) It never lasted long but those few hours locked in my room was exactly what I needed to handle my job again. Good for you for letting all that stuff go.

Kristen said...

I'm so glad you told us about this. I called Ammon the other day and told him I quit and he asked "your diet or your job?"

Carie said...

I LOVE this. Everything about it.

(On another note: Is season 2 of Downton Abbey stressing you out? I am on episode 2 and am already not liking what's happening!)

Shirley said...

I think (really KNOW) you are BRILLIANT!

PS. Do I need to look into Downtown Abbey???

kara jayne said...

is there a way where we can all remote in and watch downton abbey together?! i'm dying to talk to people about it while i'm watching! glad you had a day off. i'm due for one of those soon!!

Lindsey said...

I want to watch Downton Abbey with ALL the ladies! Love that show! I like it. I feel like you need to A: be happy you caught a day off, and B: don't commit to so much. On occasion, I feel like a lame mom who doesn't let her kids get involved in too many things. On the other hand I feel like a fantastic mom who does not overwork herself or her family. :)

Cami said...

Just think of it as one of your 14 days of valentines presents to your self...much deserved.

Elizabeth said...

I think that was a fantastic way to spend the day. Life IS hard sometimes and we are not robots, so I am glad you listened to the part of you that said you needed to be Jessica and not Mum for the day.

D-dawg said...

I think I will have to try this someday soon. Also, I need to email you about the valentines thing- I"m having issues. (o:

Michele Alger said...

I think that I've been on the verge of this for a looooong time. Even good moms need a break, for exactly the same reasons you mentioned. GOOD FOR YOU!! ;)

Paige said...

Fantastic. I quit at least once a week and my kids don't even notice. And I justify my existence by convincing myself that I'm such an awesome mom I have succeeded- its our job to teach our kids to function without us! I quit and they still function? Mission accomplished! If I consider "function"to be 4 million hours of tv-

Lauren in GA said...

I know. I am sick of having to be the mean mom. My kids misbehave and need to be given consequences and it just makes me miserable to have to figure out, said consequences.

Jessica I LOVE how honest you are. Seriously. You are the best.

Erin said...

Awesomely real and necessary. Ugh, being a mom/wife/manager of the whole freaking house is beyond hard and beyond impossible much of the time.

Thank goodness for good books, running, and Downton Abbey.

Alisa said...

It makes me feel better that other moms have those days too. Luke has received many texts from me saying the same thing. THanks for keeping it real.

Brooke said...

I feel your pain. Thanks for making me feel normal. I'm glad you feel better. love you

Adrianne said...

I am AMAZED that your kids just took care of the necessary things without you there. I am positive mine would pound on my door and scream and yell and freak out until I returned to orbit around them. I think Paige is right, that is a sign of your awesomeness. I had a total freak out the other day, and luckily my mom came and got my kids for a few hours while I napped. But it only lasted about 2 hours.

And am I the only person who has never heard of Downtown Abby?

Rebecca said...

I think I wish I had a 13 year old and wasn't nursing a baby so I could do the same! :) And I'm going to have to check out Downtown Abbey now... And you definitely deserve some time off! Good for you!

J'net said...

Congrats on the Aloha week coming up! Enjoy n relax! A. J'net

Tammy said...

Wow, I love that you shared that with us. You would have to be Christ-like/an anomaly of mankind to be perfect and do all the stuff you do and never just be "OVER IT". I am glad you took a day for you. I think you should get a day off every month....

Honestly we have the kids 50% of the time and the days I don't have them...while I still have to work and do house stuff, cook, etc....I relish the opportunity to self-indulge and look at websites, go for walks and relax, so good for you MAMA!