insert emoticon here, The Tiniest Capen, working mother

Summer Reset

We’re in the middle of the 18 month sleep regression, so seeing 3 am, 4 am, and 5 am is common right now. Gwyneth is teething, and popped a tooth yesterday, and she’s about to pop on talking, too — her brain is working overtime — and keeping up with her just got hard and different again. We welcomed two new people into our home this summer, and changed our adult family dynamics, and Justin and I are still sorting that out. My cat is slowly dying, and I don’t know what to do about it. I’m overbooked on summer travel, and had to postpone visiting my grandmother, and I feel awful about that. And I work a lot, and have recently started feeling like I’m trying to move a mountain with a teaspoon, or tow a boat with just my teeth… the odds don’t seem to be moving in my favor on several of these projects and initiatives, but I’m trying to remain positive for the good of the institution and my people, putting on the best face I can while I fight for us in private. There are 7 ongoing summer construction projects in my main library, and several of those caused a lot of emotional, political, and power-dynamic disruptions that had to be addressed.

In short, I’m stressed. Right now, on a Friday night at 10:42, I’m sitting in my darkened living room, listening to Gwyneth wail as Justin tries to soothe her to sleep. She wants, depending on the moment, to do her bedtime routine again (stories! milk! teeth! snuggle!) or watch Curious George on one of our phones, and she’s frustrated and angry and sad and so are we… but she will sleep. Eventually. And our car is 90% packed, and in the morning after we all sleep a little we’re going to the Pennsic War in Pennsylvania, to camp with Sam and Suzy and Liam and a bunch of other friends for a week in medieval summer camp.

And that’s a good thing. I’m at the end of my rope. Today I realized that my tattoo hurts. All my scars itch. My joints ache, and my muscles are knots. I’ve been clenching my teeth all day and night. I can’t turn my head to the right because of a muscle spasm. I’m not sleeping, and I’m subsisting on carbs and cheese and coffee. A lot of coffee.

So this week I’m going to read books. I’m going to play with my kid. I’m going to wear medieval-esque garb and eat communal meals with my friends and sleep in a tent and nap during the day and tickle my baby until she giggles insanely and wander through the merchants and take some classes on arts and crafts and generally live differently for a while.

Because I need to reset. This is unsustainable. This is insane. This is not who I want to be. This is not how I want to live.

So I won’t.

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