Artist Or Drudge? Mommy’s Competing Roles

Another long night after a very long day yesterday. Sam cried and fussed for 24 hours straight while Cassie was a hyperactive chatter box yesterday. Yours truly could do little more than walk around bumping into furniture thanks to being so tired. Nobody would shut up and stay quiet, so I suffered from constant sensory overload. There’s only so much input – crying, whining, questions, etc. – I can handle when I’m operating on just two hours of sleep. Then my brain just shuts down.
Between Sam’s howling and Cassie’s constant need for attention, my own goals for the day were ignored. No writing got done, and very little artwork was accomplished. It hurts when I can’t do these things. I’m not saying I should put my needs before my kids’, but it all goes back to staying sane. There are certain things I have to do to keep me from tearing my hair out. I have to write, I have to draw, I have to work. Otherwise I lose my sense of self and turn into a mindless domestic zombie, good only for cleaning out litter boxes and fetching sippy cups for small children.

The days of domestic drudgery can’t be avoided, though. No matter how badly I feel the need to create, sometimes I just have to toss aside my artistic ambitions and do the mom thing. I signed up for the job, so I have to take the bad days with the good and yesterday certainly seemed bad. After suffering through the night with Sam, I came downstairs for breakfast and discovered one of the cats had pooped in the dining room behind my chair. I got that cleaned up only to have the master bathroom toilet back up on me. I fixed that and then had to spend an hour or so soothing Sam who would not stop crying. Cassie kept asking the same questions over and over again. For the life of me, I can’t remember what they were but they sure annoyed the hell out of me. I tried to go out and run some errands, but I couldn’t get out the door in time to do everything I needed to do. I finally managed to get out at 2PM, only to be caught in a thunderstorm in the parking lot of the grocery store. My nice new outfit got soaked, but that didn’t matter because I discovered my husband doesn’t notice what I look like anymore (“You’re wearing new clothes? Looks like the same old stuff to me… yeah, I guess you look okay…”). The thunderstorm raged all afternoon, scaring Cassie so badly she couldn’t nap. Without her nap, I got no time to write. Etc., etc., etc.

I suffered through until 5:30 PM. Then I took both kids into the living room, turned on Cartoon Network and grabbed a glass of wine. I sat on the couch for the next hour, sipping shiraz and watching “Ed, Edd, and Eddie.” Michael didn’t get home until 7:30PM, so I had to entertain Cassie and hold poor, screaming Sam all evening. Somehow, I got dinner on the table. It was all leftovers, which I hate having on a Friday night. Michael came home just in time for me to hand him both kids so I could get a shower. Then he put Cassie to bed while I tried to nurse down Sam. Guess who didn’t want to go to sleep again. That’s right. Sam fussed and cried no matter what I did. Michael couldn’t soothe her either. We were in for another sleepless night.

Sam eventually ended up in bed with us, where she did sleep. This morning, my shoulders and back are all out of whack, but I do feel a little rested. I feel burnt out though too. In spite of what I’ve said before, sleep can’t wait until I’m dead. I need to sleep at night so I can get through the day. I have feeling like I’ve got a mouthful of ashes and a belly full of cigarette stubs. I feel useless and cranky and there’s a pall of despair hanging over everything. I’ve got to turn that around somehow.

Sam is nursing now. Michael stayed home this morning rather than go to karate class because I asked him to. He’s making Cassie breakfast right now. Cassie had to climb into bed with us at 6:30AM, so we had four people plus Cassie’s baby doll all crammed into one bed. I don’t know how we fit. I do know I ordered Michael to kick the cats out because they kept walking all over all of us looking for a place to snooze. Now I’ll probably go downstairs and find more poop behind my chair.

There was some good news from yesterday. I broke through my creative block a bit to come up with ideas for some drawings. Good ideas too. I’ve written them down in a notebook and with a little luck I’ll be able to steal some time to sketch out a few thumbnails. Also, one of the errands I did manage to do yesterday was to pick up a piece of artwork I had framed. It’s a drawing I did of an apple and it looks gorgeous in its big white frame with a double matte. It’s going up in the kitchen today.

I suppose I should also admit that I did get some artwork done. I took about fifteen minutes to work on my current colored pencil drawing and I spent another fifteen minutes while sipping wine and juggling Sam doing a few sketching exercises. It was only fifteen minutes, but that was enough to keep me from going gonzo late in the afternoon.

I’ve got my plans for the day. I don’t know if they’re going to come off or not, but I’m going to do my damnedest to be both mom and artist today, and wife too even if my husband doesn’t care what I look like (which may not be a bad thing this morning). Wish me luck.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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