Last week I logged nearly 70 hours for my paid employment and it will be close to 50 hours by the time this week ends (does the week have an end??) All of that is in addition to the stuff that I do as a mother and a “learning coach” to my homeschooling daughter.
People keep telling me to delegate duties and I’ve tried with mixed results. The children are old enough to do their own laundry and pick up after themselves – which they do, sometimes. However, they don’t yet grocery shop or cook or do yard work (neither have I recently) School has to be done and I seem to be the only one who has retained any knowledge from my middle school / high school years. The only area that has any give in it at all is the hours that I would normally be asleep so now I’m sleep deprived and have a messy house.
But sleep deprivation and my tight schedule has had another unintended effect. I’d like to think that I’m just a woman on a mission but it might not be untrue to say I’m a touch on edge. Perhaps a titch crabby. Things that I might have let slide at other times set me off now. Like idiots in traffic. Or the following scenario:
I left work an hour early so that I could go get an oil change and get some groceries. Oil changed accomplished, I marched around the grocery store getting all the things on my list. It was late afternoon and getting crowded but I found a no-limit, self-checkout lane right away. As I was preparing to start scanning my items, I see that there are two children standing in the next aisle over with their mother (who is at an express checkout). The children are about 5 and 7 and they are running their hands over the rollers at the end of the collection area on my lane.
I didn’t say anything because I assumed they would stop once I started to send my items down the lane – and because their mother was watching them. Nope – instead, the children start to push my items down to the end of the collection area. Hmmm… it was only cereal boxes, but still. I really don’t want them touching everything anyway, but particularly not my produce which I try to not to let go over the rollers at all. The mother is still watching them at this point, with a smile of pride on her face, but she is also looking at me to see how I’m reacting to this. I let it go for about a dozen things, and then I walked down to the end of my lane to organize my things and make some space and said to the children, “Can you please stop doing that? Thanks.”
The mother says, “They were just helping,” to which I didn’t reply. (though I did notice they weren’t helping her) Then she says to the children, “Don’t worry about it – she’s just in a bad mood.”
At this point I had the option to let it go, but that option only flitted briefly across my mind before I dismissed it and said, “Why are you telling them I am in a bad mood just because I don’t want them touching my things?”
The mother looks at me and says, “Aren’t you in a bad mood?”
I am standing back at the scanner at this point, about 12 feet from her, so I raise my voice and reply, “I AM NOW!”
I still don’t think I was wrong in that situation, but I admit that I might not have been so touchy if I’d been better rested and feeling less pressured.
This weekend I am in Maryland for a tennis tournament for my daughter and I may or may not have pounded on my steering wheel and threatened bodily harm to a driver in front of me for driving so cluelessly…
Win or lose this evening her match this evening, I get to sleep in for a change tomorrow morning…