There is so much going on these days for our family, and I'm feeling a little like I'm losing my mind. With Private Ryan gone, I am completely on my own all the time. We talk when he can, but the feeling of being burdened beyond my abilities is really getting to me this morning.
Most days I do just fine, I wake up cheerful and I play with my daughters, I keep them fed and entertained. But lately Piglet has stopped sleeping again so I am just utterly exhausted and that opens me up to being more vulnerable in other aspects of this "single parent" life.
I have been having headaches due a nerve that gets pinched in my neck and causes shooting pains in the upper right part of my skull. The pain isn't constant, but when it comes sometimes it hurts bad enough that I will shout before I can stop myself. I need to have my neck and back adjusted. This means I really need to find a local doctor. Perhaps I can also ask him how I am supposed to be able to concentrate on losing weight while I am under constant stress and probably drowning in cortisol? I might also ask if it is possible to get a prescription for once a week babysitting and perhaps also a housekeeper ...
I think I just REALLY need a break. The daily routine here is simply not conducive to the healthy-eating, yoga-practicing, calm-voiced, happy-all-the-time mom that I strive to be. Why? Well, take a look at our day ... Piglet likes to wake up about four times between 12am and 6am before finally the day begins and I give up hope of being able to get any solid sleep. I make breakfast as fast as possible because Piglet SCREAMS until it is made, and then screams between bites because her belly did not instantly become full. We leave the kitchen dirty from breakfast because after breakfast there is no keeping Piglet at the table, she wants to play. And she lets me know, as loudly as possible. In the meantime, Teenybop's medication has not kicked in so she is bouncing all over the place and is literally unable to sit still. She is also usually argumentative and in the mood to create trouble ... I have lost count of the times I wished there was a treatment for ODD. ADHD I could live with, but ODD is just. So. Hard. After everyone screams through breakfast and we get into the living room, my head hurts and I am PISSED. The girls play together until about two seconds after I sit down and decide to check emails and facebook, and then Teenybop whines for tv and Piglet is suddenly tired and ready for her morning nap. Perhaps if she would actually sleep at night, she wouldn't be ready for a nap by nine o'clock? And there is hardly any point in the nap anyway, because it is less than an hour long ... but she is extremely unhappy without one. After the short and pointless morning nap, we either go out or have company, and the adult interaction goes a long way to lifting my spirits. I hang out with my cousin while Teenybop and my cousin's son alternate between arguing and playing nicely and Piglet alternates between playing contentedly alone and screaming because she is tired again but refusing to sleep. Again ... perhaps if she would sleep at night??? But that would be too easy. By evening I am cheerful again and recovered from the morning, so we get ready for dinner. I cook while Piglet cries to be held or fed or both, and Teenybop makes as much noise as possible because her medicine is worn off and by this point there is no hope that she will be the helpful big sister and play with Piglet ... even though it is only about four o'clock. We eat around four-thirty or five (and eating later doesn't help with the baby's sleeping issues, we tried), I give Piglet her allergy meds, and there is about half an hour of me trying to settle the kids for bed while Teenybop bounces all over the place. Bath time is usually sometime during the day because I am afraid that the abundance of evening energy would be problematic with two slippery kids in a tub full of water, especially since I have been instructed not to get water in Piglet's ears because of her tubes. Once we have settle-down time, it is around five thirty or six o'clock and Piglet is now so tired she can barely even sit up even though she has typically had two naps. She is cranky so even though it is barely six o'clock, I put her to bed and send Teenybop to read in her room. By the times Piglet settles into sleep, it is nearly seven, so I leave her room to tuck Teenybop in and inform her that it is bedtime. We both know that she will lay there processing the day and finally fall asleep between eight and nine. At this point, I am exhausted. It has been a long LONG tiring day and I still am not finished ... I still have to clean up from dinner, pick up the living room if it isn't clean already, and take a shower. I am usually texting one or even two people this entire time, and sometimes Private Ryan calls. By midnight I am finished with one day and finally able to head for bed. I have made it through the evening but am usually dreading the fact that making it through the evening only brings another day where we repeat the process. I fall asleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillows, sometimes before I even have a chance to get really comfortable ... And somewhere between midnight and 1 am, Piglet wakes up for the first time, and a new day has begun.
But don't be misled. I do get a break sometimes. Like right now, when I am sitting on my couch, blogging. Piglet is standing next to the couch trying to see around Teenybop's v-smile, and fussing just a little because she is ready for a nap. But other than breakfast, during which I had a total meltdown and ended up crying like an idiot, we have had a peaceful morning. I lose it so rarely that when I do, my children play quietly together for a while. It is their collective effort of apology. And during their apology, I can come here and I can unload. I will walk away from the computer relaxed again, having released the emotion and prayed over the anger I felt this morning, and the shame over the way spoke in anger to my daughters. I will take my little Piglet to her room and I will give her hugs and kisses, I will patiently tuck her in to bed for her nap. I will apologize for my irritation. And then as she sleeps this morning, I will also apologize to Teenybop. And then we will go about the day as always.
Thanks for listening.