First things first: you people will never know (no matter how hard I try to tell you) what you have done for me this week. I want to respond to all your comments individually, but being emotionally overwhelmed. . .well, we’ll see.

In any case, many, many thanks. This being-separated-from-Jacob-and-Abbie is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced and your love and support is one of the things that keeps me from climbing under the bed and waiting there for death via dust bunny asphyxiation.

If I was a different kind of person, I would have come home from dropping Carter off at school this morning and said to myself, Self, there is a lot to day today and this house is very messy. I’m going to sort the laundry and, after I get a load started in the washer, I’ll clean the kitchen. When the kitchen is clean, I’m going to return some phone calls and after that, I’ll take a break and decide what to do next.

But I’m not a different kind of person; I’m a me kind of person and when I came home from dropping Carter off at school this morning I said to myself, Self, this house is a fucking disaster and I’m behind of everything so I better damn well get busy with something and I should start with those phone calls because my God, how can I expect people not to hate me when I don’t ever call them back but wait I should get some laundry started first or no, that’s not right, I should deal with the kitchen because how the hell can a person stand to live in a house with such a dirty kitchen but if I do the kitchen I should try to figure out what that stink in the refrigerator is but before I do that I really should start the laundry because, wait, does Carter have any clean underwear oh, my God did he go commando this morning and what kind of mother am I and I haven’t written a blog post in, I dunno, maybe three days so I should probably go upstairs and do that now but how can I even think about writing when there are so many other things to do and I think one of the dogs peed in the dining room so I should go get the tools and fix the gate to keep them out of there but if I was a halfway decent person who even deserved to own dogs I would have trained them not to pee in there a long time ago and I wonder how many emails I need to answer oh shit do you remember that blogger who recently said she answers every email she gets from her readers and how I thought, oh, I want to be that kind of blogger and who am I kidding I suck way too much to ever manage something like that and oh, no, I forgot I need to make those appointments for the kids and that one for myself and I should start thinking about what to write for the First Things First series and I haven’t seen Grammy since last week which figures since I’m the world’s shittiest granddaughter and I wonder what’s on TV?

At which point one of two things happens. Either I crawl into the couch with the remote control (or screw around on Twitter, or do something equally non-productive) or I buzz around trying to do everything. In either case, I accomplish nothing, which means I get further behind, which means that the following day, when I come home from dropping Carter off at school, I’m right back where I started.

When my sister and I were little girls, we fought all the time – that kind of constant, pick pick pick sibling arguing that kids seem, almost, to enjoy, but that drives parents to distraction. When we really got going my mom would sigh and say, “You girls make me tired.”

I feel that way about my brain. It makes me tired.

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25 thoughts on “Bombarded”

  1. Yeah, I know that feeling. I get so overwhelmed by *how much* I need to do, it just breaks me down. Sometimes I can write lists & that will help…but it’s really difficult to overcome that initial sense of being overwhelmed.

    Plus? If I’m going to do something? I tend to get a little too OCD about it & then still don’t really accomplish anything because I’m trying to be too nit-picky.

  2. I know exactly how you feel. Well almost! My son was gone for two and a half weeks and I was a mess. My poor husband and kids. I should add that when it comes to cleaning my house after awhile I get just like you. My husband often times asks me how I am going to clean. Because it will be messier when I am done than when I started…Anyway you are not alone with these feelings. My heart goes out to you. Hugs and many blessings

  3. I explain that to Scott as just being frozen. I can use my eyes and see what needs to be done but something happens between my eyeballs and my brain. It’s like I can’t even process HOW something is going to get done. So yeah, I get it. The tv and computer become my coping mechanism.

  4. There are some days when I lie on the couch and watch tv, knowing that I have all sorts of jobs to do but not knowing where to start. Life can just be overwhelming sometimes.

  5. This writing you did answered a small, still prayer in my heart that I whispered today: Lord? Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way. Thank you.

  6. When u clean u need to blast music that fills u with joy. Then start flitting about. The cleaning experts say that IS effective so you are on the right track with that. Always start laundry first. Every time. Make sure music is loud so it is louder than you cleaning the kitchen. Writing feels good with a little cleaning done or while cleaning if u can manage it. I never call people it only encourages them to call you. And email can be answered while vegging with tv and twitter. Don’t forget rewards of chocolate when u accomplish anything u hate doing! 🙂

  7. So, I woke up this morning and said to myself, “Darling (I call me that, but I drop the g so it sounds all southern belle and twnagy), darling you are behind on everything this week! You need to get the house clean, the laundry done, your homework done, write your Red Dress Club post…But first let’s check the email.
    I saw that someone had left a comment on a post that I commented on a couple weeks ago so I went to read it and then I followed the link to her blog and as I was going to leave a coment there I noticed Adrienne was there so I tweeted her, but then though I should really pop in and see her so here I am!

  8. My son gets this. He becomes so overwhelmed that he does not know where to start and it really upsets him.

    Sometimes he and I make a list and a plan.

    But one thing he taught himself to do was to set a timer for 20 minutes. Then he just does something, anything on the list for 20 minutes. Then he does something fun and enjoyable for 30 minutes. Then he sets the timer for an hour.

    I don’t know.

    That probably is not any help to you.

    I wish I could come over and then together we could chat and tackle all of it.

    Anyway, that is what my sister would do.

    for me

    I am rambling so I guess my work here is done

    that is all

  9. Sounds like my brain, plus some extra charming bits about how fat I am and what a crappy fat mother I am and why did I scream at my kids like that when I asked them for only the 45,000th time to brush their teeth so we could leave for school and not be late for the zillionth time, how I should have been calm and patient and what kind of horrible person am I to get SO angry at my sweet children, who yells at their own offspring like that? and please get this clingy baby off my leg and good grief, why are these pants so TIGHT, dear jesus, and when will I ever DO something about it? and now I’m so tired from all the chatter and a bowl of rice pudding seems like a wise idea.

  10. I wrote a comment to you from an airplane yesterday but now I don’t see it so forgive me if it repeats- but you need to hear this. Firstly, you are a talented writer. As a close second, you are a very devoted mother- and maybe that should be first but I wouldn’t even know what a great mother you are if you weren’t such an inspiring writer. Thirdly and in conclusion, you really need to stop being so hard on yourself. You are so helpful and entertaining to so many people through this blog, and you are “appreciated” for your candid honesty. Your lack of perfection is endearing, so long as it’s not toxic. As an admiring reader, let me offer you kudos on your mothering skills, your dedication to your family, and your craft. Just wanted to pat you on the back- I assure you my laundry mountain is bigger than yours 🙂

  11. Darling girl: u make me laugh and cry. Have been where you are every once in a while; sometimes I get things done and sometimes don’t, those annoying chores are always there in varying degrees; my attitude is all that changes. clean underwear seems important. 🙂 take care of you. rest. laugh. read your e-mails. thank you for your beautiful writing, which is an inspiration and a tremedous joy.

  12. yes. exactly. EXACTLY.
    so, i wrote a post today and this lovely lady left a comment directing me here, to your blog. i stared at the url for a moment and i thought wow, that looks familiar, could it be my friend from twitter? i clicked on it and here i am. and yes, you are my friend from twitter who came rerecommended to me because she felt i needed to become friends with you.

  13. An experiment: Reduce your kitchen to 3 plates, 3 cups, 3 glasses, 3 each knives, forks, spoons, a serving bowl, a platter, a salad bowl, 2 serving spoons and 2 serving fork, a small saucepan and a large saucepan, a soup pot, a ladel, a spatula, a rubber scraper, and hot mit, a small frying pan, a large frying pan, necessary coffee-making implements, a sponge or dish rag, box everything else in the kitchen except a couple of dish and hand towels and food and put them in the garage. Box 3 extra place settings to keep in the garage for J, A & S.

    Imagine — a stack of dirty dishes that can’t ever be higher than 3 of anything. Washing up? 5 minutes and the job never too big to be a major depressor. You have one less reason to pick on yourself for falling short of that inner bossy ideal you know all about.

    You love your books and keep them looking good. You don’t like kitchen stuff. Keep doing the fun stuff and make stuff that junks up the use of your time disappear.

    I’ve been having fun imagining what doing this would do. It would certainly dump one of your boat anchors in short order and keep it gone.

    I love you.

  14. I just started reading your blog today and I can’t stop. You should write a book. Forget the housework. Once you get rich from your book you can hire a maid.

  15. Oh you just put my problem into words, I get stuck and finish nothing and then it snowballs and I’m overwhelmed and if I actually liked sweeping it would all go under the rug. Sigh.

  16. Almost the identical here..word for word. Except for the tears.

    My conversations with myself, on days when I need 20 hours and only have 2…usually end in tears.

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