We spent our weekend: 1) Cleaning our house from top to bottom to get it ready for a showing on Saturday afternoon and an Open House on Sunday afternoon; and 2) Grading papers (me) and lesson-planning (Mary).
We spend at least the equivalent of one full work day on both 1 and 2 almost every weekend now. Which makes it difficult to do the things we want and need to do – like going to church, for example. We didn't go at all yesterday. I know people probably think that makes us "bad Christians" or renders us irreligious, or something to that effect. I don't consider that to be the case at all. I call it surviving.
(Incidentally, I hate feeling guilty about the things I can't change, but I still feel it. Whether it's because of outside influences and/or opinions or it's my own conscience needling me, I don't know.)
We have to have jobs. We're growing a kid – he'll have to eat. Yes, it's hard for Mary to work these kinds of hours being six months pregnant. Yes, it's hard on her trying to clean the house (even doing the lighter-duty stuff) being six months pregnant. Yes, it's hard on me to have to do the "harder" stuff. Yes, it's annoying for me to have to spend long hours grading papers. But if I don't do it, she may not get to them.
Changing the core standards for what has to be taught and taking away the textbooks has virtually negated all of Mary's previous lesson plans, so she's starting from scratch, planning every lesson as though she's never taught it before. Because, in essence, she hasn't – at least not in this exact way. So I grade for her – and I don't mind it. Because it has to be done, and because I love her.
I wish Mary could just quit her job. But she can't – we can't afford to live on just one income right now. I'd like to have a better-paying job, but I'd have to start from scratch somewhere new, and I'd have no vacation, which means I'd not be able to stay out with Mary when the baby comes – and I will be staying out with her, at least at first.
Every day when we leave the house, we have to make sure that everything is perfect – in case there should be a showing that day. It's stressful, living in a space that you're trying to sell. It's hard when you bust your butt to get the place clean for an Open House and no one shows up (as was the case yesterday). It's no one's fault – that's just what happened.
Mary's back and hips hurt so bad every day. Her legs and feet swell every day. I do what I can to help the pain, but I can only do so much. I rub, I massage, it hurts, it helps, but it always comes back again. I hurt for her – figuratively, not literally. Carrying a baby is the hardest thing she's ever experienced, and I'm experiencing it with her, but it's not the same. Sometimes I can only sit and watch, because nothing else helps.
Then there's the naming of our child. We thought it would be easier than it is. When we found out we were having a boy, we thought, great – we have fewer boy names that we really liked than girl names. But then we thought about it, and realized we hadn't thoroughly analyzed all the possibilities.
So we decided to start from scratch and see what we come up with. We have been doing so, whenever there's a spare minute (which is to say, not very often). But so far, we've come to no consensus. Because it's so important – a name, an identity, something that you carry with you all your life – we want to get it right. We want to love it like we love him. We want him to love it. This is hard.
We have other decisions to make about our baby. There's his childcare to be determined – who, where, when, and etc. – once Mary goes back to work. There's his nursery to be set up – we haven't even started on that. We don't know if we'll be living in our current place or a new one by the time he gets here. (There are not-set-in-stone plans to pull the house off the market by a certain date if it hasn't sold so we can prepare a suitable room for him in our current house, but we'd rather sell it now and move.)
In less than two weeks, the drama production is happening, whether we're ready or not. I have a sizable part in one skit, which I'm also directing. I'm directing another skit as well as overseeing the entire production. There have been director changes, cast changes, and scheduling complications, and all this while everything else (that I've already mentioned) has been going on. Sometimes I dream that it all falls apart the night of the performance, and I hope that it's only a nightmare and won't come true. But I don't know that for sure.
The holidays are coming. I don't know how they're going to go. We usually host Thanksgiving at our place, but Mary will be eight months pregnant by then and who knows how she'll be feeling, or what she will and won't be able to do at that point. Christmas is so close to baby's arrival date (he's supposed to be here around January 5th) that he could already have arrived by then. So we don't know what to do about Christmas, either.
We've been trying to get a good night's sleep while it's still theoretically possible, but rampant thoughts and chronic pain and stupid cats often prevent that from happening. So we're both tired. Most of the time.
I suppose it's possible to have more stress than I have – correction: than we have – at this point, but I don't actually want to find out. It's exhausting. And overwhelming. And slightly depressing.
Maybe if I'd gotten more than four hours of sleep last night, I wouldn't be droning on like this, but that's what I got, and this is what it is.
I think it says something about my current state of mind that I am listening to (audiobook) and reading (actual book) two different Stephen King novels right now, and when I am reading them, I am most at peace. Stephen King. A horror writer. When I'm not reading those two, I'm probably reading a Stieg Larsson thriller – also not a very happy book. Yeah. It's like that.
I don't know how to end this. I want to just scream, but you wouldn't be able to hear it. I could cry, but it wouldn't help – and I don't really cry anyway. So I'll just click "Publish" and hope you read it. If only so I know – so that we know – that someone else outside our little world is aware that sometimes life is hard. But I probably don't have to tell you that anyway. Right?