Struggling

These past few weeks have been hard on me. They’ve found me short of sleep, short of temper, and very much short of humor. So, yes, overall, I’ve been struggling.

I can’t point to any one thing – no major disasters have occurred. Instead, it’s been a summation of tiny exasperations that have added up to me being completely out of sorts. And that, in turn, has pissed me off even more, making this a vicious cycle.

It’s been the combination of lack of sleep (Meeka has yet to sleep through the night. She was approaching that point until a few weeks ago, when we had a backslide of gigantic proportions), Meeka being sick (first a cold, then a fever following her shots, now pinkeye), work feeling out of control (which is what happens when you have to take an unexpected day off due to your daughter not being allowed in daycare, and so your planned day/week is utterly thrown out of whack), the holidays approaching with little or no time for me to prepare (again, sick baby and work being off kilter)…

All of this has added up to me having a very short fuse. One that has been lit and exploded a few times in the past few days – which does nothing to make me feel better, but instead adds on the guilt. Oh, the guilt. Which is not to say that my explosions have not been justified – sorry, husband, but you totally deserve my wrath when you get called in the middle of the day to pick up our sick daughter on a day when you already have the time off and you call me when I am at work (doing one of those things that had been put off from the week before when I’d had to stay home with the Meeks) doing a project that is verrrrry time and labor intensive, and you call me to 1) ask if I can come home (ANSWER: you’re already there, dumbass, so NO, 2) call again to ask if I can call and make an appointment at the pediatrician (ANSWER: you’re an adult with a phone, the number is on the fridge, I think you can handle it), and then yet again to see if I can run out and pick up the prescription (ANSWER: what part of time and labor intensive project that was already delayed a week do you not understand? I can barely answer the phone, let alone run out to the pharmacy!)

But no matter how justified, I hate this mental fugue I have entered. It needs to stop. I need to change.

I spent a good portion of yesterday thinking about what I could do, and the answer I came up with is both simple and spectacularly hard. I need to make more time for myself. Time for me to do things I want to do. Alone. (Sometimes with friends, perhaps. But I am a person who needs – who craves – time alone to just decompress, and that? I have not been getting lately)

Lately, my days have been all about everyone else from the moment I wake up til the moment my head touches down on the pillow again. Even the time I find to do things for myself – such as read a novel – is time I am multitasking, as I usually have Meeks in my arms (or on my boobs) at the same time. It is not truly ME time.

Of course, carving out some time for myself is not going to be easy – Meeks is usually up by 6am, and for the next few hours we are occupied by getting ourselves ready for the day. Once I drop her off, it’s up to work for me… Only to come home and pick her up, slightly tired and crabby and needy from the day. The next few hours usually find me with her attached to some part of my body while I try to accomplish the evening tasks – cooking, eating, bathing, cleaning and prepping for the following day. Once she’s asleep, I’m exhausted. Too tired to really do anything much for myself, and still with plenty left I need to do for others – from laundry to more cleaning, work left over from the day, etc.

But I need to find the time somewhere in here. Not just for me, but for my daughter. She deserves a happy mother. I deserve to be happy.

And so this morning I got up an hour earlier (made easier by the fact that Meeka’s sleep schedule is finally – finally! – getting slightly better) and drank my coffee to the sparkles of our Christmas lights. I finally got out my sewing machine and embarked on a project I’ve been wanting to do for way too long now. And while those few minutes were not enough to totally clear out this mental fog, they were certainly a wonderful beginning.

And so, here is my promise to myself: I will find time for myself every day, whether it be 5 minutes or an hour. Time where all that matters is ME, and I can do exactly what I want – sip some wine, sew a blanket, read a book, it doesn’t matter. It will be my time, time to reclaim my body and myself from the tentacles of being a mother and a wife and a scientist. Time to reconnect with me.

I deserve it.

And so does my daughter.

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  1. 2011/12/21 at 12:27 pm

    Hoping you get some good, Z time every day, I can only imagine it will do good, amazing, mythical things for you.

    Also? I’m sorry the last few weeks have been so rough.
    xox

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