Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nesting, foiled

I thought I read somewhere that the nesting urge is usually accompanied by a burst of energy - in other words, you get real motivated to clean and organize and you find yourself with the energy to do so. My body apparently didn't get that memo.

Right now I would give just about anything for an organized pantry. We have this amazing pantry that is literally a small room. But we're not using the space well; only one wall has shelves on it and the rest tends to get piled with random crap. It's a mess right now and has been for months. Also for months I've been talking about putting in more shelves, but I guess I keep finding reasons to not spend the money. As of right now, I don't give a crap how much it costs, I just want more shelves in there so I can clean it up and organize things. Seriously, this urge is so strong it's killing me that I can't do anything about it.

The problem is, I get tired so quickly the very thought of going to Home Depot to get the shelves is exhausting - let alone putting them up and doing all the work to reorganize. I asked my husband this afternoon if he'd go get the shelves with me and install them. He wasn't particularly interested in indulging my nesting urge. If I had pressed the issue, he probably would have given in eventually, but he'd have been grumpy about it, so I left it alone.

Tonight I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to explain to him why this whole thing is so distressing to me. I don't think he understands at all. Not that I blame him, really - it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that the unorganized pantry would be the cause of my tearful breakdown after we'd put the boys to bed. The problem is, my anxiety right now isn't about the pantry, or the mess of toys in the family room, or the once again dirty kitchen that I just cleaned up, or even the fact that I could vacuum the damn floor eight times a day and it would always be dirty.

I feel out of control, unorganized and helpless to do much of anything about it. The pantry is my glaring example and the current focus of my distress. It's a mess, there's stuff in there that needs to be thrown out, other stuff that needs a place, and so much potential to be a great storage area. I was feeling super motivated to fix the problem, but I'm not physically able to do it. I can't lift heavy stuff, and probably more importantly, I don't have the stamina. I get winded walking up the stairs, I had to sit down for 10 minutes after I did the dishes this afternoon and if I'm not careful I'll either give myself a fit of braxton hicks contractions or a serious backache, or both.

And as willing as my husband is to help, he doesn't get it. He keeps asking me what he can do, what I need, how he can fix it. Um, put up shelves in the pantry? But besides that, I do need him to help me more. Part of my anxiety is the fact that I physically can't keep up with everything right now without overdoing it, yet I have a hard time delegating tasks to him. Part of it is definitely my issue, but I have to say, part of it is him. He tends to forget to do things I've asked him to do, which makes me feel like I have to ask and remind 20 times, and then I really feel like a nagging wife. I also hate the inevitable sob story about how he so didn't want to do the dishes last night, but he made himself get it done because he knew he needed to, blah, blah, blah. I end up feeling guilty for asking him to help around the house - again, partly my issue, I know.

The bottom line is, my house is a disorganized mess and I don't have the energy to do everything that needs to be done. And I hate that. My desire to fix the pantry is so strong, but I can't do it, and lacking a house boy who will do my bidding without complaint, I'm sort of stuck. I hate the idea of sitting around issuing orders along the lines of put this here, put that there, this needs to be done, now that needs to be done... But to get things the way I would have them right now, had I the energy, that's exactly what I would have to do, and it isn't going to happen. Once I start listing things I need my husband to do, I have until about item three before his eyes glaze over and I know I've lost him.

He keeps reminding me this is only temporary, and probably the last time I'll be pregnant, so on and so forth. Of course, he's right. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm a raging mess of hormones who can't breathe deeply and wants a clean and organized house more than he could possibly imagine.

I hate feeling helpless.

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