I still felt pretty bad today and as the kids were waking up from naps I started to panic about the evening routine. Sometimes I am the captain of the ship, totally in control of every situation and other times I am a complete wreck. It usually has something to do with how I'm feeling and how much sleep I've had. And today, as the thought of making dinner, cleaning up messes, entertaining children, giving baths, reading books and tucking in to bed crept closer I started to freak out. Who did I call?
And she came running, casserole in hand. She pushed kids in swings while I cleaned up, she packed up laundry to take home b/c I am so far behind Grayson is wearing girl jammies to bed, she helped feed kids, bathe kids, she read books to them since my voice hurts and the tucked them in. She tucked them in b/c both girls refused to let me tuck them in and begged for Grandma!
And once the kids were in bed she came downstairs with me and helped straighten up the house, picking up toys while I vacuumed, packing up laundry while I did dishes. But it was what she said to me at the car that was the most helpful.
As she was leaving she told me that when we were growing up she would make dinner for our neighbor 2-3 nights a week. Pat was her best friend and had two girls me and Abbie's age, but Pat worked full time and my mom was home full time. She said she would make an extra dinner b/c it meant that Pat would come over for a little while and either eat with us or just chat and then take it home to feed her girls. She told me that it was normal to need help at that time of day when you've been with kids all day. She would cook an extra meal just to get a few minutes with another woman. An adult. Someone to talk to that could wipe their own bottom.
Of course at first all I could think about was the fact that she somehow managed to cook two meals and I can't even cook one, but as her words sunk in another thought dawned on me.
This is why I blog. And Twitter. And hop on Facebook.
I need a few minutes of adult time too. And I need to feel connected to someone, to feel like there are people that understand what I go through every day, to have relationships.
So I blog and make blog friends. I read blogs and comment on them. I Twitter and connect via tweets. I update my status on FB and comment on other people's FB updates.
And as I am thinking about this and realizing that it all makes sense I get this huge and suffocating feeling of WTF?
WHY do I spend SO much of my PRECIOUS time on the internet when I have REAL honest to goodness friends and neighbors here? I mean, I love all my blogging friends and some have become REAL friends, but seriously? I have neighbors who have kids. I have friends that have kids. I have friends who have coaching husbands who have kids who are alone as much as me. But I would never think to cook an extra meal so that she could bring her brood over and have an adult conversation with me. Instead, I have the laptop in the kitchen while I break open another box of mac n' cheese and read blogs on Google Reader.
Have all of these social networking sites become a substitute for our real lives? How many hours do I spend reading blogs and tweets when I could be chatting with a friend? Or out making new friends? Do I admit to the number of times I have NOT answered the phone b/c I was engrossed in a blog? Is it just me???
I am currently having a brain meltdown as I contemplate all of these rather deep thoughts. Maybe it is all the cold meds going to my brain or maybe it is the fact that this laptop sits on my lap more hours a day sometimes than my own kids. Yes, I have to work. And yes, WRITING this blog is sort of a part of my job. But is reading a million blogs? Or Twittering? Not so much.
I am going to finish editing my sweet niece's birthday photos and then go to bed. Early. And tomorrow I am going to re-evaluate how much time I spend on this thing vs how much time I spend with my kids. Because seriously, what is more important?
Is there a place for blog detox?