Friday, November 11, 2011

As good as a rest

Today I read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins—the whole thing, from cover to cover. It was the kind of book that I knew I had to read completely before I'd be able to go to sleep. Not that it ended on a terribly happy note. Now I need to read the third book before I'll be able to sleep well. I suffer from nightmares.

Unfortunately I don't have the third book on hand. Oh, well.

Today was rather nightmarish, even without the book. It shouldn't have been, really. Rachel was gone from 9 AM–3 PM today and Miriam and I had a peaceful day at home but Rachel started crying before we'd even left her friend's house, she cried the whole way home, and alternated between crying and screaming for the rest of the day until I put her to bed at eight. I even tried to be fun and make some crafts—hand turkeys and a Thanksgiving wreath—I fed her a snack because she had eaten her school snack and her after-school lunch both during snack time so didn't eat lunch (even though I know she had a snack at her friend's house), I read her stories, Grandma ordered pizza for dinner. Nothing we tried could really douse her anger. She fell asleep relatively quickly though, and that was a blessing because Andrew wasn't here for bedtime. Having her drift off to sleep without the usual fight meant leaving me time to just relax and read without having anyone jump on me.

Whenever I think of relaxing, I think of Egypt, specifically our branch Relief Society yoga group and Sister Levanen chanting to us, "Reeeelaaax...reeeelaaaax...reeeelaaax." I very well may start chanting that, myself.

I don't know what it is about this MPA program, but I am so stressed out. It seems to be a lot more time-consuming than Andrew's first master's degree was. For example, he's still up doing homework now. And this is the norm. Up at 6 AM, to bed at 1 AM...if we're lucky. Sometimes he gets up earlier than that and goes to bed later than that.

He's so busy that everything always feels painfully rushed.

We sit down to dinner and he wolfs down what's on his plate before rushing off to finish his homework, leaving me alone with the kids and clean up. But I wouldn't have it any other way because if he lingered at dinner then he'd have to linger longer into the night to get his homework finished.

We never hang out with friends like we used to in Cairo. We rarely even hang out as a family, and if we do it's never without a cloud looming above us, reminding us that he really should be doing homework. Sometimes he'll come along but bring homework with him so that he's there...but still working away. We're sitting in the same room right now but haven't said a word to each other since he last told me he was "almost finished" over a half hour ago. I fully expect him to not budge from his chair for another hour.

And then there are so many things to worry about on top of the chaos that makes up Andrew's schedule—our future, for one thing. Graduation is officially less than six months away and we haven't got the slightest clue about where we'll be living or what we'll be doing. My only guess is that we'll be living somewhere and doing something.

I shouldn't complain. So many others have it far worse than we do. Right now I just feel so frazzled that I can hardly function. I feel like my whole body is being twisted and squeezed. I can't sleep well and, frankly, I can't be awake well, either.

Thankfully, Thanksgiving "break" is just around the corner. I'm sure Andrew will have loads of things to do but at least it will offer a change in our schedule. And, as my mom always says, "A change is as good as a rest."

Sometimes I wonder, if we do end up going the PhD route, if I will be able to survive another four years of school—and I'm not even the one in school. But a change is as good as a rest and a PhD program promises a change in location, a change in housing, a change in people, a change in schools.

Lots of change—it should be refreshing. I'm looking forward to it.


  1. You're giving me flashbacks to my grad school wife/supporter days. Hang in there! Change will be good.

    I do remember hating that feeling of knowing that any time Jeremy was with us, it was at the expense of something else. There was ALWAYS something else he should have been doing. Sigh.

  2. Bridget is right, hang in there! And like your yoga/relief society president said try and relax. I think there is a certain amount of anxiety created by just trying to be the supportive spouse. You realize what you are doing is for the good of the family but taking on all the extra, monotonous, exhausting, dirty, gross, etc. jobs sometimes seems to take a superhuman effort. Hold on, and take a little time for yourself when it just gets to be to much. And know you are not alone!!!!

  3. At least you have Mom, Dad, Patrick, Josie, Kelli, Andrew's Parents, your kids, and Andrew. Try figuring out your life alone.

  4. I remember telling Nick when he got his Master's, that I didn't think I could allow a Ph.D., unless he got it from the University of Oslo. That seems to have done the trick! :)

  5. It is so good to know that so many grad school wives go on to lead happy, productive lives. :) Seriously. Thanks, guys!

    Sometimes you don't know how big your support net is until you cast it.