Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The F Factor

Days since hubby deployed: 55

Days until his return: ? 150 (return date still unknown- maybe December?)

Status of completed manuscript: querying

Works in Progress: 4 (longest work at about 5000 wds)

Reading: 'Temeraire' by Naomi Novik on Kindle
'On Writing' by Stephen King on Kindle

Hours worked in physiotherapy (ie paying job) today: 7.5

Hours spent taxiing kids and waiting at activities: 2.5

Extra kids at our house tonight: 1

Today's 'F' Factor: Low

So you're probably wondering what an 'F' factor is.


Several years and about 3 moves ago, the Dunne family were in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. At the time we had three pre-schoolers and I was in the process of trying to get re-licensed as a physiotherapist in that fine province after a two year stint in North Carolina.

To go even further back than that, I should tell you that when we moved to North Carolina, we had an 18 month old toddler and a four week old baby. I decided against attempting to get my American license (duh...) which was a good thing as my youngest was born a year and a half later. If you think about all of those pregnancies, all of those kids, all of those moves, and the amount of time I had to myself, you get an idea of the amount of stress I was under.

So. Back to Nova Scotia. Trying to get my license. My application was refused. I was told I didn't have enough hours worked in the profession over the past 5 years (again...duh...), and if I would like to get my license approved I would have to write my National Physiotherapy Board Exams. THIRTEEN YEARS AFTER GRADUATING FROM UNIVERSITY and they wanted me to waltz in and do an exam (to the tune of about $3000)on stuff I hadn't even looked at since I graduated! I was not impressed. Oh-- and I was to write this bell curved exam with kids graduating that year, and with the least detailed topic outline I'd ever seen.

And while I was doing all of this we were building a house, my husband was incredibly busy at his job, and I was volunteering 10+ hours a week as the Board Chair of the Military Family Resource Centre in town.

I like to do all of the major life stressors all at once.

During this time I swore alot. Under my breath, mind you, so that none of the little ears in our house could hear and so that none of local socialites could titter about Mrs Dunne's potty mouth.

There were days when the 'F word' was frequently in my mind and on my lips. A non-stop inner monologue of verbal filth. "'F-ing' alarm clock why the 'F' can't anybody pick up their own socks well 'F' the milk is gone and the 'F-ing' van is being serviced so I don't have an 'F-ing' car what kind of 'F-ing' lunatic tries to canoe across the 'F-ing' ocean in 'F-ing January causing my husband to be 'F-ing' called out at 'F-ing' 2 a.m. while my son was 'F-ing' barfing all over the 'F-ing' last set of sheets and somehow I've got to 'F-ing' study for this 'F-ing' exam..."

Yah, you get the idea. Not pretty. Not lady-like in the least.

Every once in a while, when it got REALLY bad, one would slip out in front of the kids and I'd have to change it last minute: "Well, FUUUUU...riggin-jiggin CRAP!" The kids soon learned to steer clear of momma when she was talking like that.

Thankfully those days weren't particularly frequent. I passed my exams (really!), started working again, our beautiful house got built, we moved in, and SURPRISE!...fourteen months later we got posted to Ottawa.

There's no life like it.

In response to those vulgar, bleary eyed days of the military motherhood trenches, I coined 'The F Factor'. A phrase used to describe how rock-bottom those days really were.

Low F Factor days are the usual kid snot and book-club kind of days. Good friends, lots of coffee and happy family dinners. High F Factor days involve barf, diarrhea, snot, hubby unexpectedly leaving for a two-week trip, freezing rain, kid fights, forgotten dentist appointments, being late for the bus, being late for work, and empty refrigerators. Temper tantrums abound on these days, and it's not necessarily the kids having them.

And now you know. Today was a low F Factor day.

I hope it was for you too.



Lisa Potts said...

I found the F factor days have changed now that the kids are older.

I find myself mumbling "F-ing kids" under my breath after just being told to stop nagging them all the time.

Apparently they still don't realize who earns the money to F-ing feed them.
; )

Overdunne said...

(laughing) Very true! Lately my higher F factor days involve lots of SASS, and not a whole lot of pitching in. Surprisingly enough, my inner monologue of swear words helps me push through (and saves me from using my outside voice--saying things I later regret...). Thanks for reading, Lisa! :)