Exhaustion

It has been over a week since my last post, my longest blogging hiatus since June 2005.  It has also been well over a month since I’ve read some of my favorite blogs.  My new life – new baby (born July 31), new job (as a hospital chaplain)- is exhausting.

My day begins at around 5:16AM, when I finally turn off the four alarms that have been beeping intermittenly since 5AM.  I shower and get dressed, and then hold our 6 week-old girl while my wife showers.  Just before 6AM, I wake up our three year-old (who is not a morning person and recently has been arguing with me that it is not wake-up time since the sun is not up – damn autumn!) and I attempt to get her dressed in something that matches (did I mention that I’m fairly color blind and occassionally dress her funny?).  If everything is going well, she’s downstairs eating breakfast as I run out the door to ride my bike to the train station, just under 2 miles away, where I catch a 6:41AM train to the city.  On the train I’ve been reading recently, but I hope to do some writing/blogging using a new-to-me hand-me-down laptop computer, as soon as its new battery arrives.  If the transit gods are in a good mood the train takes an hour and ten minutes.  By the time my workday officially begins at 8:30, I’m ready for a break.

I return home on a 4:49PM train that arrives at 5:55PM.  I’m home by about 6:10PM or so, and immediately start playing with one of my daughters, or I help out with dinner in the kitchen.  After dinner my wife or I tend to cleaning the kitchen, while the other keeps the kids occupied.  Of course, one of the kids is a 6 week-old, and needs nearly constant attention, unless she’s asleep in her swing or on the couch.  The three year old needs nearly constant attention, too, especially when the baby is receiving attention.  If our 3 year-old daughter cooperates, she’s in bed by 8-8:30, at which time our attention turns to the baby and to the various household chores that need to be done – laundry, dishes (if they weren’t done yet), packing tomorrow’s lunches, putting out the trash, vacuuming, etc..  Add to this any work that my wife or I bring home to do, the ocassional overnight duty I have at the hospital, and the twice weekly meetings my wife has at church . . .

I’m not sure what to say about this – such a routine is part of the lives of millions of people who find their way to live and even thrive despite such a schedule.  But it is new to me, is somewhat overwhelming, and is quite exhausting.  Blogging – something I’ve loved doing for the past 18 months – has waned dramatically (I’m writing this post while on call at the hospital – so far it has been a quiet night!).  So has reading the paper, watching TV, and even checking in on my fantasy baseball team.  I know that I’ll get the hang of this, but right now I cannot believe that I’ll be doing this through May 31 (when this Resident Chaplaincy ends) – nine months of this schedule?

O God, please grant patience, rest, love, and grace to me and my family.

About Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. National Guardsman. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Family, Vocation. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Exhaustion

  1. PS says:

    Your work schedule without the baby, or the baby without the work schedule would be hard enough. And together…it isn’t additive. I think it is multiplicative, if I remember the correct “term.”
    And you add in that long communte…at least you aren’t driving, so that should help with transitioning.
    Pray also that your tiredness doesn’t unbridal your tongue with your family. I know that mode oh so well.

  2. LP says:

    Hang in there…and ditto what PS said.

  3. Sounds awfully familar… God bless the R5 (somebody sure has to!).

  4. Andy says:

    My wife and I were shocked when our second daughter was born how much more work two kids are than one. And that commute steals so much valuable time.
    But I think your inclination to use the time on the train for reading or blogging is good. I ride light rail to work, and the time on the train has actually become something I would resist giving up.

  5. liz says:

    Ugh, I’m tired just reading this. (I’m exhausted by my commute too, and I don’t have an internship or any children! Makes me wonder how I’ll adapt when we do… but I’ll save that musing for another day.)
    You’re in our prayers for strength and peace.

  6. David says:

    Echo the comment on using the train time wisely. When I was taking Greek and Hebrew, I had a 100 mile commute each day, so I learned to use that time to study flash cards and also made cd’s to practice vocabulary.
    Keep it up…it is a good practice.

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