where wildly different is perfectly normal
Good, better, best
Good, better, best

Good, better, best

Note: the following is a selfish rant, covering all means of topics including but not limited to: intestines, finances, and my husband. I am fairly sure I have never ranted about these before, nor will I again.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a little difficulty managing stress. (This is where people who know me in real life choke on their coffee and spray the computer monitor. That’s like hearing the Pope dabbles in Catholicism, that Martha Stewart’s hobby is crafts, or that Reagan had a hard time remembering things. Yes, Alzheimer’s jokes. I laugh to keep from screaming.) The stress was tolerable in high school and early college, I met Tom and my stress went up, I married Tom and my stress went up, I had A and my stress went way up, I had J and my stress went up, and 2007 popped me out of the red zone of stress and into “Holy Crap! She’s gonna blow!!!” When I was in grad school and the university was auditioning a new flute professor, one of the applicants (who did get the gig and I studied with her for a year and she was awesome), who I had just met, listened to me play, and flat-out told me I was too stressed out, should go get smashed, and practice like that for awhile. Yeah, apparently I am that uptight.

And it’s not as though I haven’t tried. I have tried to manage my stress. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing wrong. How do you manage something that is beyond your control? (story.of.my.life.) I was doing yoga for awhile and loved it; but being gone from the house right at bedtime was causing more stress. I try to get away, but then something comes up and I have to stay home. I’m getting a wee bit resentful.

It is starting to take a toll on my health. I’ve been having stomach problems since September. Nothing debilitating, just chronically painful. In the last couple of weeks, in an attempt to not rip out my fricking stomach lining and stomp on it, I’ve given up caffeine, dairy, and artificial sweeteners. That’s helped a little, but hasn’t done much for my mood. I haven’t had coffee or a coke in almost 2 weeks. I had an appointment with a GI specialist yesterday. Holy Heck, it was like conversing with a man who’d been sucking on a lemon with a red hot poker up his butt. So Dr. PokerButt (well. that’s gonna bring out the interesting google searches!) ordered some more tests, but said it sounded like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Yeah, the one that is brought on by extreme stress. Great, just great.

In the meantime, I have a husband who has been traveling considerably more than usual, kids who are acting out because dad has been traveling considerably more than usual, stomach problems, goals I’m trying to reach but it’s almost impossible because I’m flying solo so much, dealing with the suckage that is February (thank GOD it’s almost over), a three year old who is literally attached to my hip if I’m not entertaining him or if he’s not plugged into the computer, juggling finances (oh, I’m so pissed off about gas going yet higher and my utility bills-what else can I turn off?-going higher, andandand…), and just crabbiness because I feel more like a business partner than a wife lately. Not doing much for my mood. That little post earlier in the week about Left Brain sticking Right Brain in the closet…yeah…somehow I’ve become a Human Doing, rather than a Human Being, and I don’t like it. My stomach lining isn’t too fond of it, either.

No, we don’t have family nearby. No, I’m not hiring a housekeeper, it would just be another expense. No, I can’t get a sitter, $7/hour is high and we use it for truly special occasions. No, I can’t ask a friend to take my kids for an evening or day or weekend. They have their own lives and I’ve tried; our schedules don’t match up. Yes, I have tried turning on a movie for the boys; it works until they start arguing over who is sitting on whose side of the couch. Yes, I do throw them outside when the weather is pleasant; it works until they start throwing rocks down the gutters, causing a dam when it rains. No, I can’t go to the bathroom by myself, thanks for asking. It’s no wonder I can’t get out of bed in the morning. It’s the only time of day when I am completely alone, no one is hanging on me, no one is fighting around me, I’m warm, nothing has happened to piss me off…too bad it’s only 20 minutes long.

So I am going to place better limits on what is in my life. It may mean giving up this blog, which I truly do not want to do. I am going to set up a Good, Better, Best list (I got this idea from Oh My Stinkin’ Heck a few days ago) and follow through with it. There’s a lot going on that I can’t control, but I can better control my reactions to it all.

And now I must go play “Play with me Mommy! {I am playing with you, quit asking!}” with a three year old before he explodes.

end rant


  1. I swear it will get better – sometime – somehow – it will get better. At least it did for me. Instead of a constant stream of stress I have hills & valleys – in a hill mode right now which totally sucks butt and no, gas $ is not helping.

    *bangs head there*

  2. Well, I know you said no to the housekeeper or sitter because of expense. But I’m wondering what price you put on your health and well-being? As mommies, it’s so easy for us to shove that to the side. I’m guilty at times myself. How much are those doctor bills and meds going to cost for the IBS tests? Do you see where I’m going?

    My personal philosophy is that a well stocked liquor cabinet is a heck of a lot cheaper than medical bills.

    Try listening to Mozart. I swear by it and so does Payton. There are certain melodies of his that really soothe me.

    Also (I sound like Dr. Phil. Oprah should put me on her show. snort) I find when I get stressed is when I’m worrying too much about tomorrow. If I focus more on the now and ask myself if everything is ok right now, it usually is. That really cuts down on the stress for me.

  3. RC


    I understand. I really do! I can’t tell you what to cut out or what to do, as it varies from person to person. And, I have IBS. I avoid a lot of milk, unless it is in the form of yogurt or a slice of cheese. I have cut out caffeine (except for today), and I try to get enough sleep (except for last night).

    Being a working mom, I feel so guilty at times when I just want to go home and crash, knowing I won’t be able to and that I do what to see him, but I am just so tired and need a little me time.

    Is there any chance your husband can take one vacation day? Just one, so you can get a little down time?

  4. Jen. Don’t be so selfish…have you even thought about us at all? Your readers? You can’t give up your blog! ha ha

    Okay, deep breath. I know saying “I’ve been there” doesn’t help much. But it is so honestly true that I have to say it. The good news is that I am not there right now.

    I bet you are in a place where you feel like ranting and venting about it all but at the same time, you are sick of talking about it. Been there too.

    So if it helps at all, you know I’m close, and I’d do anything to help. (I’ll waive the $7/hour charge)

    – I can find a babysitter and we can go get pedicures.
    – I can babysit for you and you can take a nap.
    – My husband can babysit and we can go for a walk or eat. (how counterproductive huh?)
    – I can bring my daughter over and you and her can play your flute/clarinet together while the rest of us ooh and ahh.
    – We could rent stupid movies and eat chocolate.

    Hang in there kiddo!

  5. :::::::::::::::::::::::::HUG:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Hang in there!!!!

    I do have to say that I have that “Bang Head Here” sign in my classroom above my desk! 🙂 I LOVE IT!!!!!

    I wish I lived closer and could help ya out! 🙂 MAybe ya want to fly to MSP and I’ll take ya out for a CHicago Dog and then we’ll splurge on some merlot! 🙂 (Yeah—-not together those sound gross!) Hubby can watch your kids……they can play with Punky! 😀

    HANG IN THERE! SPRING IS COMING! (So is March for that matter!)

  6. Wish I lived closer so I could help. I’m in a funk now too and helping you would at least make me feel appreciated. Instead I’m busting over backwards to take care of every other frickin’ person and most of the time it goes totally unnoticed. At least you’d give me a hug and say “thanks” if I came and did something for you.
    As for the blog. Do what you need to do. I’ll miss hearing from you, but I totally understand why you’d have to do it. 🙂

  7. Poetikat

    Jen, I can’t help you with the children issue, but I know something about stomach problems. I had an ulcer from the time I was in high school, through university, into my adulthood and only got it resolved (for that read, cure) after I found a doctor who stopped putting me on pills for “stress” (that killed my fertility, btw) and treated the real cause – h-pylori bacteria. Look it up. Talk to a doc about it–it’s easy to get rid of. If you can clear up debilitating pain that undermines your abilities, perhaps you’ll be on your way to dealing better with the stress. I love communicating with you and your blog is fab, but the real world is more important.

    Take care and best of luck!

  8. My 4 year old has stolen my bathroom mantra which is, “Can I get some PRIVACY please!!!!!” even if it’s for one minute to wipe. Oh, the life.

    I am sorry to hear about the stress reeking havoc on your body! I would suggest, walking with some music you love or yoga for stress -a dvd that can get you miles away mentally in 20 minutes.

    But I can tell you, I could have easily written a close variation of this post. I believe it’s the time of year and when husband’s travel on top of it, it’s easy to feel as if we live in a cabin somewhere in a far off land.

    btw..I just kicked my loving family out of here, stating, CAN I JUST HAVE 2 MINUTES ALONE!! aye aye aye

    Hang in there..if you want to meet up at a park when the sun is shining…drop me an email.

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