Since returning to work just over a month ago, I’ve found myself constantly tweaking and adjusting and changing things in an effort to try to get things to run more smoothly and to try to make everyone happy. Or happier I should say – since making everyone happy all the time is pretty much unattainable.
I’m trying to be the woman who rolls with the punches, adjusts easily, yet who isn’t afraid of a little hard work or tough sledding in hopes of a happy outcome.
I feel fairly confident in saying that my kids are now fully adjusted to daycare and actually look forward to going there. It’s a huge relief and I feel accomplished that we’ve managed to get to where we are from where we started (which was a lot of crying and anxiety and mommy guilt).
Another HUGE accomplishment on my part is having ended Ruby’s lifelong affair with her soother. Jesus, I’m humiliated to admit that she’s had it to this point. I’d like to give a good reason that I’ve allowed her obsession with it to go on this long but the bottom line is that I didn’t want to deal with the fallout of getting rid of it. That was until every day I was dealing with fallout and tantrums anyways and figured things couldn’t get much worse. So the soother is gone and remarkably, we are all ok.
As I just alluded to, we have however been dealing with Ruby being extremely moody, difficult and ever so unruly. Also Lincoln is currently cutting every single one of his molars all at once. Evenings and particularly bedtimes have been an absolute fucking nightmare.
Other issues include: What the kids will and won’t eat, and when. What they will or will not wear. Assaulting one another. Screaming contests. Throwing things. And Ruby’s favorite word… “NO!!!!”
To make matters worse, Steve and I have two very different styles of parenting. I’m more of the school that we do what is best for our children even if it’s by not giving them everything they demand (chocolate, pop, chips, soother, late bedtime, etc, etc...). Steve is more of the school of giving in to their every single whim (chocolate, pop, chips, soother, late bedtime, etc, etc...) because he “loves them so much” and he “just wants them to be happy”. This gives Ruby free rein to play him like a fiddle and to refuse to listen/talk/behave with me. Which in turn causes Steve and I to do battle, sometimes fiercely.
The frustration that I’ve felt has added to my already fragile nerves and I’m not all that proud to admit that I’ve lost my temper more times than a rational, responsible parent should. I have yelled and slammed and kicked things (thankfully not my children). I’ve thrown things and stomped my feet. After working all day I’m tired and haggard and worn and having someone screeeeeam for the full 20 minute car ride to go pick Steve up from work, in ridiculous traffic because she wanted to strap her “SELLLLLF!!!” into her carseat is sometimes more than my frazzled set of nerves can handle.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s right or that it feels good or that it’s productive for me to lose my cool. It’s not. And on those particularly bad days, I go to bed feeling depressed and defeated and absolutely shitty. Sleep is not restful – even though I’m bloody well exhausted.
So last week my effort continued in my quest to make us happier by adjusting things that weren’t working. I started bringing juice boxes on our ride to pick up Steve from work so they had something to shove in their little mouths to shut them up. Steve and I discussed trying to mesh our parenting styles (For the love of god, stop giving them everything they want!!!) And as mentioned we got rid of Ruby’s soother.
I also thought (however foolishly) that if I loosened up my exercise regime and didn’t worry so obsessively over Weight Watchers my nerves might be a little less frayed at the end of the day. And that worked. With a little more food in my belly and not obsessing about when I can fit in my next 5km run, I was able to be a little bit calmer and more chill.
That is until it was Friday and I hadn’t exercised since Monday and the kids went to Grandma’s overnight and I had too much to drink and then woke up Saturday morning with a hangover but absolutely needed to catch up on my running. So I went out in the warm sun and ran 5km with a hangover.
I don’t recommend it.
While I was all full of myself and admired my own determination at the time, it actually eventually exaggerated my dehydration, causing a terrible headache and later in the day my exhaustion was nearly unbearable except I then had to parent my maniac kids after they had a free-for-all overnighter at Grandma’s house, rendering me a nerve shattered freak, and feeling like shit for the rest of the weekend.
Here we are now, on Monday morning and I’m still smarting a little from the weekend. So once again I am in full on adjustment mode. Because last week just didn’t work for me – even if everyone else got what they needed, I’m going back on some of the adjustments I made and I’m taking back my exercise routine and healthy eating habits. I’ve cut out and given up a lot of things but as it turns out, certain things just can not be negotiable.
I bought myself a pretty agenda this weekend in which I hope to keep track of our lives so I'm not trying to remember when Steve is going golfing for the day or when he's on early shift or when Lincoln has his shots or when Ruby has a birthday party or even, EVEN when I go on local mini wine tour.
Please let the agenda be the answer. Or part of the answer.
Even a teensy bit of the answer???
Balancing life has never been so hard for me - nor have I ever wanted balance so badly.