So I kind of, sort of set a non-goal for my New Year's Resolution. It's a good thing it was a non-goal, because if it had been real, I would have failed.
Yes, that's a really confusing and absurd way of saying that I let myself get really stressed out last week.
Overall, things are actually going pretty well. On paper, it doesn't seem to me that I should be stressed out. But stress never seems to care about how I want to feel. It just barges right in and takes over.
On the good side, daycare is still going well. On Thursday, Michael even ate his lunch. Michael ate! That's so impressive, I think I need to use caps. MICHALE ATE! And, even better, it was actually food that he ate. Astounding.
The new schedule seems to be working out well for my mom too. She's much less stressed out than she had been. So it seems that placing Michael in daycare two days a week was a good idea and is having a positive impact.
So, what's my problem? I think it's a few things.
The first problem is the endless colds. I knew this would happen when I signed Michael up for daycare. It's just the way it is. I'm not upset about it, or disappointed. My problem is how it effects Michael's sleep. Each cold comes with at least one night of frequent wake-ups because his throat is sore. We get a few half decent nights, then we get a night or two of gagging and all the fun that goes along with that. He then improves for a few days before we start the process over again.
What this means for me is frequent wake-ups and rushing to his room to make sure I get the bucket in place in time. Granted, that's only been 3 or 4 nights this month, but any coughing wakes me up and get's my adrenaline running. So, even if he just coughs twice and falls back to sleep, I end up wide awake for half an hour.
The second problem last week was my exercise bike breaking. I don't mind using the elliptical. The problem is that Andy and I often end up exercising at the same time, and that wasn't possible last week. It completely threw off my schedule.
Have I mentioned that I really like routine? If not, I'm guessing that's pretty obvious anyway.
The third problem last week was...hmm...how do I even describe this? Michael is a master staller, but last week he used my least favorite form of stalling. The raving lunatic approach. This involves making irrational and contradictory demands and then screaming and crying when I try to fulfill those demands. The tactics got crazier as the week went on.
By Thursday night I was so tired I took a nap after I put Michael to bed. He went down easily, but about 25 minutes into my nap he woke up and started with the demands. I did everything I could to calm him, but it finally came down to Michael just wanting me to fix his pillow. So, I went into his room about 15 times so that I could pick the pillow up off of his head and then put it back again. I tried to let him just cry it out, but he started gagging, which leads to buckets and sheet changes. It was pretty much lose/lose. When Andy finished up exercising, he took over for me. Michael was asleep in ten minutes.
Of course, I knew what I was in for Friday morning. Tired, cranky kid leads to horrible morning drop offs. That's just what I got. I pulled up in front of my mom's, and before I even had a chance to unhook my seat belt I got hit in the face by a Pez dispenser. (Orlando Bloom, woo hoo!) Let's just say that I didn't handle that as well as I would have liked. I hauled Michael up to my mom's apartment using the one arm under his arms the other between his legs approach, then I returned to my car for my drive into work.
That's when it hit me. All along I've been assuming that it's possible to handle everything in my life without getting overly stressed. I've been assuming that there is a way to do it, but that I just haven't figure it out. But, what if it's not possible?
This seems like a really bad realization. Almost like I'm giving up. But it was actually an epiphany. Maybe I'm not failing at managing my stress. Maybe I'm doing the best that I can do. Maybe it really is that stressful being a full time working mom with a high maintenance 3.5 year old. Maybe it's OK to feel this stressed out. Maybe this is just normal, not a failure.
When I got to work I took care of everything that I needed to get done. Then I called to see if I could schedule an eye exam for the afternoon. My plan was to use sick time to cover the appointment. I was going to leave early enough that I could head home and have a nice relaxing lunch before heading in. I realize this plan isn't exactly like scheduling a day at the spa, but it was meant to be a little break to help me chill out.
I think I need to do more small things to treat myself. I also need to stop beating myself up for not always being able to handle things. That simply adds more stress and makes things harder for me.
As for the afternoon off? Well, a dump truck managed to run off the road, knock it's bed off, and wedge the cab in the median of the highway I use to get home. I ended up sitting in traffic for 45 minutes, and then rushing to eat lunch so I could make my appointment on time.
I just laughed.