Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Watch Out... I'm Having Deep Thoughts Again

I'm still working my way through that happiness book. I actually think the fact that I can only manage to find time enough to squeeze out a few pages a day has been a positive. It's allowed me to really sink into it and savor it's messages bit by thought provoking bit.

I have had lots of "Ah ha" moments and "Amen to that"s.

But mostly it has helped to THINK about what the hell I'm doing to myself.

Last week the mother of a baby (THE baby I was supposed to watch initially) informed me that she's dropping him off the Tuesday we get back from vacation.

Informed me.

Just flat out assumed that I am, now, watching her baby full time.

And because I'm me, and mortally flawed, I didn't say anything.

I didn't say "I'm full", "Let me think about it", "How much are you going to pay me?"

No. I said "alright".

And then I went home and contemplated the panic attack I wanted to have. Three infants?! I cannot do it. I don't want to do it. I DON'T NEED TO DO IT.

What the fuck is my fucking problem?!

Why am I so concerned about disappointing/inconveniencing other people? Why am I so willing to throw myself under the bus?!

This is what I said to Mr F "I guess I can do anything if I just take it one day at a time."

Yes, I guess I can. But the point is I DON'T NEED TO DO IT. It is going to make me stressed and tired and incapable of spending any quality time with Baby. For a few more dollars a day.

I'd rather go back to skimping on groceries and making my own bread.

I'd rather go back to one gallon of milk a week.

Why can't I ever protect my own interests?

Why do I find the fear that I may disappoint someone (strong emphasis on may) so overwhelming that I will hurt myself rather than risk it?

Because let me make it clear... I do not have the energy or time resources to care for 3 infants and a couple of toddlers by myself. I just don't. I could do it... I could live through the eight hours. But I will suffer for it.

And my family will suffer.

I'm not living my best life.

I'm not living the best life I can live under the present circumstances even. I'm actively (or inactively) choosing to live my worst life under the present circumstances.

What is up with that?

I keep telling myself that it will be over soon. I'll set a limit and stop watching these kids in June. But, really, will I? If I can't say no to a single one of their request now... will I actually set a limit in June? And what of these next six months? Am I willing to just "live through" it? For what purpose? I'm staying home with my girls because I believe that is important... and, now, I'm home but not able to meet their needs. For what? A hundred or so dollars a week? It doesn't even make a financial impact... and certainly not one worth the time and energy drain.

I do this stuff, to different levels, to myself all the time.

I have very simple goals for my life. Very simple, readily attainable, things bring me happiness.

Spending time with my girls. Having time and energy for creative pursuits. For reading.

I can have all those things. I can't live a life without hardships, but I can live a life that is filled with nuggets of joy DAILY.

And I don't.

Not because I can't.

But because it is easier for me to say "Yes" than it is to say "No".

15 comments:

Marie said...

It is winter break. You have a week or so off. Figure out which kid/s you WANT to watch/need to watch to meet your financial needs without forsaking your personal family. Is it just the 1 full-time? Or 2 of the part-timers? Inform the rest that, unfortunately, due to personal reasons you will no longer be able to watch their children as of ___... Perhaps Feb 1st-this would give them 4 weeks notice to find other arrangements.

Just bite the bullet...take a deep breath, throw back a strong shot of liquor, and call. And once its done its done. Kid, baby, and Mr. F will thank you.

And if nothing else, you'll then have the free time to thoroughly make yourself feel guilty. Still better than burning out daily!

JT said...

Your post has brought me out from my lurking state;-) Does this mother know you are currently watching two other infants? Isn't she concerned about quality of care? Is it even legal to watch more than two infants in a home care situation? Even if it is legal it doesn't seem to be sane and you obviously know that.

When I used an in home care provider she had rules she had to follow for everything including limits on how many infants she could watch (2). Maybe you could create your own set of rules and write them down. Maybe having them written down will help you say no when need be.

I hope it works out for you. Thinking of you:)

AT22 said...

Good points already made. I'll just add that once you say "no" once or twice, it becomes muuuuuch easier! ;)

Mrs Furious said...

JT,
yeah they all know. I was hoping it would be illegal so I could use that as a reasonable out. It's not. They have limits set by the youngest child in care. But the way they are aged I can have a total of 5. Which is how many kids I could (potentially) have at once. 4 are part time and 1 will be full time. So most of the time I should only have 2 infants (like now) but there will be 3.5 hour stretches on two days when I will probably have 3. Which I don't want. It is likely that during that time (they all have a nap at some point during that stretch... different times) that I will only be actively caring for 2. But it takes a lot of work to juggle all of that and requires that I not meet Baby's needs to do it. She really has to just entertain herself until the early baby goes home and my load lightens. I just need to man up and get out of this situation!


Marie,
Yeah I think Feb 1st sounds good. I'm trying now to decide what arrangement is better for me. 1 full time or 2 part time. I kind of like the 2 part time since it means I have 2 days in mid week free. But they are also way more unreliable. Gah!

Mrs Furious said...

JT,
Oh and YES if I made set rules it would be easier since I wouldn't be caught off guard all the time.


AT22,
I hope so ;)

julie said...

I'd go with the one full time so you have a set schedule. Plus, you'd have all of the school holidays off.

You've got to do something. I can see how it just sort of happened though that you now have a bunch of kids to watch. It's too much for you, Mrs F. It's too much for anyone. You never really have any break with 2 or 3 babies, plus your Baby. It doesn't matter if any of them are napping...it's no break. Plus, it doesn't seem like you are paid enough for any of this.

You are worth more than all of this. I like everything Marie said. Ditto to that.

Shirls said...

ok, so you said "yes" and then thought it all through and now you know you only said yes cause its just your nature to say yes... the bigger question now is what are you going to do about it?

I would call this mom and tell her exactly what you just told us, that the decision to stay home with your girls was to provide them with quality mom time in these important development years and that having one more infant in the house will take away from that, so tell her you will look after her child for a set time, to allow her to find someone else, but be firm, set the time and move on. Her child will be better for it and more importantly so will yours.

Mrs Furious said...

Okay I think I've come up with what might be a brilliant solution. Baby boy #1, that I've been watching the whole time, ... his mother is a single mom who wanted to stay home with him and watch other people's kids too. Instead she's making barely any money working as a cleaning woman at a hotel. She only needs me 2x a week, as she uses her sister to help on other days.
New baby boy needs full time care. These moms know each other indirectly so it wouldn't be totally weird... and the babies are the exact same age so she has all the right equipment & toys on hand.
I'm thinking of asking mom#1 if she would want to stay home and watch baby #2. If everyone agrees it fills both moms needs and removes 2 babies from my care.
It just might work!

Shirls said...

can I point out, that instead of just saying "no" your now taking it upon yourself to still "fix it"? which in the end means your very thoughtful and caring and its super nice and all, BUT its also ok to just say "no" and let them figure it out... really, it is

Mrs Furious said...

Shirls,
LOL
you're on to me ;)

Dinah Soar said...

o.K. Mrs. F...here's my advice. First thing is, you've got to get some balls. Yep.

Sounds to me like you don't say 'no' because you want to be well thought of...deep down you don't really want or need the approval of others, but where the rubber meets the road, you cave and acquiesce rather than rock the boat.

Let me tell, you--I know this from experience--it is better to put the brakes on up front, immediately than to have to do it later.

For now, just call the woman up, tell her you won't be keeping her child. You are not obligated to explain or justify. If she questions just say I don't want to go into it, I won't be doing it. Period.

In the future when you are taken off guard learn to get in the power seat so that you can manipulate the situation. When/if you get this type of call, make your stat reply "I'll have to check my calendar"..and leave them hanging instead of yourself.

Hope that helps. I spent years doing things I really didn't want to do, just because I didn't have the balls to rock the boat in some areas. Oh, for sure I rocked the boat in other areas...but we all have our weak spots, and I had mine and let stuff get by.

The world won't end if you don't keep that child for that mother..she'll have to deal with it..you have your own plate full and as the Bible says "charity begins at home'..your duty is to take care of you and yours first, the rest of the world will have to cotton up and work out their own situation.

There is a time to go out of your way to help others, but be wise in discerning that, or else you'll allow yourself to be taken advantage of.

Deb said...

Hugs, hon.

Tina said...

Call her back...tell her you finally had a chance to check your schedule and you are sorry...but you'll be unable to watch the baby that day....this gives you the opportunity to discuss what you ARE willing to do or she can find other care. We (child care providers) are treated respectfully when we act professionally. Stand up for yourself. I have learned over the years....it is not worth the money to be all stressed...my family suffers...just not worth it.

Good Luck!

Tina said...

I have a detailed contract I would be willing to share...if you want it. Just email me!

Mrs Furious said...

dinah soar,
You are 100% right.

Tina,
you are too
and yes I would like to see your contract if you're still willing. mrsfurious at hotmail.com
Thanks!!

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