Survival Mode


About a week and a half ago, I thought things seemed to be settling down a bit.  The kids weren't fighting as much and seemed to be a wee bit less demanding.  Steve and I were getting along well. I was busy at work but getting lots done. I even found a little bit of time for myself.  I briefly remember thinking, "This is not so bad."

What that brief time period was however, was a calm before yet another storm.

Steve’s mom had open heart surgery a week ago. Both my kids got sick. I got bombed with projects at work.

Balancing life is difficult. Balancing life when a family member has had major surgery, both kids are sick, working full time and wanting to actually keep from getting fired and not getting a divorce is really difficult.

I have found myself in survival mode. Reassessing what’s really important and doing things that HAVE to be done, while letting other things go.

The kids miss the odd bath. We eat meals on the fly or have take out. My exercise routine is out the window and I have to find a way to be ok with that – I tell myself I will get it back. We all sleep together in one bed. I miss some work. We miss a lot of sleep. We spend money we hadn’t planned on spending on hospital parking and expensive medication. We use vacation days we thought we’d use at Christmas. Food stays crushed on the floor for days. Dishes pile up. Laundry makes a mountain. I don’t have time to read or write. There is zero time to be social. Phone calls are short and to the point. I give in and don't argue with things I would normally stand up for. 

I’m exhausted, stressed and frustrated, on a level higher than I’m used to so if I don’t make some concessions, I will fall apart.

I have made an effort to seek comfort in small things. Like the organic mandarin that I was given this morning, which may well have been the most delicious tasting orange I have ever tasted. Or the cup of steaming hot Tim Horton’s coffee I grabbed this morning when I was already late for work. The deep sleep I fell into at 8pm last night once I got my kids settled into bed (even if it was disrupted a short hour later). The giggle I get when my son does something purposely to make me smile. The little hug I get from my pitifully sick daughter when she’s limply lying in my arms.

We will see a light at the end of the tunnel. This is not forever. Things will improve – they always do.

In the meantime, telling myself that I am in a temporary survival mode and I am PURPOSELY doing all these things helps me keep my control issues in check and makes me think I am still somewhat in control of the things that are happening in my life.