Being a mother on a normal day takes a combination of tremendous patience, a skill set that includes serving a lunch that is nutritious but that won’t be immediately rejected and saying no to around 600 requests that include everything from having ice cream for lunch to watching TV non-stop all day, an ability to not lose your temper and scream the first curse word that comes into your head, and a pinch of grace. Mix liberally, and you have a decent mother.
On a good day, I have these things. Most days with my kids are good days. Or at least, they were.
Since a month ago (it’s been a month!) – I’ve been running very low on any kind of emotional reserves. I am tired. I am stressed. I am scared. I am anxious. I am grieving. I am also 8 months pregnant, which on a good day in late July, is still incredibly hard.
Today was a really, really bad day.
I had no patience with my kids. I couldn’t sleep last night. I was up until 130am, and I chewed off every single one of my fingernails. I read a book, but I couldn’t escape the jittery anxious feeling. My blood sugar also took a nosedive from slightly too much insulin yesterday, so I ended up binging on chocolate chip cookies to get it up to 90. I was shaky afterwards despite having a normal blood glucose.
Finally, I caved in and took a hydroxyzine – a safe antihistamine that makes me sleepy and also has the effect of being an anxiolytic (although I think the anxiolytic effect is likely because you’re so groggy). I fell asleep around 2am. Hydroxyzine gives me a hangover effect in that I feel groggy for the first few hours after I wake up. That didn’t start the day off well. Jim then worked from 930-3pm. I mostly laid on the couch, played some Uno with Evaline, and made the girls lunch. There was a lot of yelling and nagging of children liberally sprinkled in there, as well.
They can definitely sense my mood and emotional weakness. As a result, they were both very prone to histrionics today. There was a lot of weeping and sobbing over things like cutting a less than perfectly straight line with the scissors and because I refused to let Hazel “brush” my hair. I say “brush” because really she just yanks my hair and repeatedly bangs the brush into my tender scalp.
At bedtime, I apologized to them both. I know that they are feeding off of my mood. They can sense it, even if they don’t understand it.
The problem is, I don’t know how to make myself feel better, to have more patience. During bathtime, I actually YELLED at Hazel to STOP YELLING. After bath, I had to go lie in my bed and hide. I just couldn’t handle anything anymore. I can’t really make myself get off the couch much when I’m in charge of the girls. It used to be that we would go to the park, the pool, the Nature Center, Mountain Play Lodge. Now, we stay home all day. I don’t want to exercise. I don’t feel like it, and it’s uncomfortable. I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to sit and wait. I feel like that’s all I am doing right now – waiting.