Friday, December 11, 2009

It's (Not) ALL Good!

About a week ago, I started drafting a post about how much I was enjoying our domestic tranquility. Feeling self-congratulatory, I was somewhat astonished by how much I was enjoying my temporary status as a stay at home mom. I was truly finding satisfaction in keeping the house (relatively) tidy, the laundry clean, the bills paid, and the groceries stocked, all while tending to the little human.

With the onset of the holidays, there was even more for me tackle successfully. I relished having time to identify special gifts for loved ones and shop for them (thank goodness of the internet!). And I couldn't wait to put on the holiday music, to start baking, and especially to decking the halls - things I do every year, but rarely feel I can enjoy fully because of the competing demands of my job.

Then fatigue set in. Dylan still needs to be fed a couple of times during the night. And even though my fabulous partner - who isn't on parental leave - shares this responsibility with me, it means I'm awakened to various degrees every few hours. Not much REM sleep in this house (at least for the adults).

And to make things worse, I really hurt my back. (Man, there is nothing like injuring your back to make you feel OLD!) Not quite sure how I did it, but it must have involved moving heavy boxes of decoration because the next morning, I had a sharp pain in my lower back, a horrible ache in my hip, and oddest of all, my right thigh was numb. Needless to say, the pain didn't help getting enough sleep or staying productive.

Poor M.! For a couple of days, he had to be on double-daddy duty, which he did with no complaint and much compassion.

I'm relieved to report that my back has slowly healed and as of today, it feels normal. But my thigh? It feels like it has a horrible sunburn. Odd, huh? Fortunately, its not slowing me down much anymore. I no longer have to hesitate before picking our little guy up.

Meanwhile, M.'s had a couple of rough days at work, AND he was attacked by a feral cat he was trying to capture so we could take her in to get fixed before she procreates AGAIN.

Christmas is almost here. There is more shopping to do, and much more wrapping to be accomplished between various "events." There are family relationships to negotiate, now including with Dylan's birth mother, V.

So, I'm not going to write that boastful post about how well I'm managing everything, about how much easier it is to be a mom at home than I anticipated, and about how I am brimming with holiday cheer. Instead, I'll admit it: this is hard.

My fuse is short, and I am a bigger nag to M. than he deserves. I am feeling guilty that I don't have more energy to give to interacting with Dylan. We're not sending holiday cards this year (and we finally have a cute kid to feature in it!).

Have no fear: this Bah Humbug mood is fleeting. I know that we're muddling through a huge change in our lives, and that I should be patient, and flexible, and gentle with myself and others. All I need to do is spend a few calm moment with my swaddled baby and adorable husband, snuggling quietly together on the couch in front of our beautiful, fragrant Christmas tree to know that we really are doing okay. In fact, we're doing great.

Thanks for "listening."


Leigh said...

There are definitely days when you DO feel boastful about having it all together, and then all it takes is one bad day to knock that thought right out of your head!! I'm sure you'll muddle through it just fine, AND when you get those good moments, all the bad ones disappear as well.

I hope that your back feels better soon and that you and your family have a wonderful first Christmas together with your WONDERFUL new baby boy.

Lisa said...

It's all cool Kristin. I thinking having these moments is a part of it all. That's why when he looks at you and finally says Mama! it is so great! He doesn't care how "together" or not you have it. I'm certain he is fed, changed and cuddled with a consistent place to sleep and parents who aren't yelling at everything... as well as having no fear of this ending any time soon. You're right, be gentle with yourself and try to enjoy the moment instead of thinking of the big picture (your house havin' a few things laying around, laundry in the hamper and so on...)
Happy holidays,
Lisa T.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. It gets easier, then harder, then easier again and then I fear we'll all look back and want to do it all over again!

Anonymous said...


Do be easy on yourself and know that it's totally okay to feel like this once in a while!

And when the fatigue starts to go away, and you're ready? Well, there's a whole street full of restaurants we can attack :)