Friday, June 26, 2009

Transitions, Tantrums and Temptations

Well friends, I am officially HEALTHY. Had my last follow-up appointment with the Infectious Disease doc yesterday (sounds so insidious, as if I could be living my own personal Outbreak, right?) and all is well in my body. Which I pretty much had figured, seeing as the pulmonologist was pleased with my progress the week before, AND (perhaps most significant to me) I was able to do a Billy Blanks DVD on Sunday. All the way through. And I'm alive to tell about it.

Switching gears.....

So, this SAHM thing is not so new anymore, as we've hit the 6 month mark this month; however, until 2 months ago, LMNOB and Punkinhead were still in school and Lil Guy was yet to be born. Now we don't have school and Lil Guy is here with his need to feed and interact and all that other time consuming stuff that newborns require. And truth is, I'm finding it all a bit overwhelming. Not PPD overwhelming, but more like it's-4 o'clock-in-the-afternoon-and-I'm-as-yet-unshowered-in-a-uniform-of-yoga-pants-and-a-nursing-cami-accessorized-with-spit-up-and-crumbs-from-today's-lunch-dinner-needs-cooked-the-house-is-a-pit-and-your-father-is-going-to-be-home-soon-kids-overwhelming, can you hear me gasping for air?

I'd like to think that this is normal, that due to my sickness we lost a month of the transitioning period and really we are dealing with the first month stuff. I'd like to think that a few more weeks and we'll get this gig down pat. But nagging somewhere in the back of my mind is a voice that plants the seeds of doubt: What if this is it? What if you changed your life so dramatically, gave up your self for this chaos?

Immediately upon feeling these things, is the guilt. The reminder that I chose this, planned for this, and that I knew going into it that there would be sacrifices and days like these. And, of course, I'm wondering this and writing this on the heels of a few bad days where the kids' listening abilities have been highly selective and bordering on downright oppositional.

Yesterday, after multiple tantrums from my spawn children and yelling for the umpteenth time which yielded still unsatisfactory results, I had a little mama meltdown fantasy, totally in my mind, whilst externally putting on a sympathetic and compassionate face as I had a heart to heart with LMNOB, the lead instigator in the week's events.

But what do you do when your child tells you she wishes things are the way they used to be before the newest sibling came along; including your physical appearance? Yes, apparently I am raising a shallow little mean girl as she so kindly pointed out that it "looked like I had two stomachs," and she wished that I looked like I did before Lil Guy. Yes, I watched yesterday's Oprah where we are told as parents not to defend, fix or deflect our children's feelings but to just hear them. I get the whole validation thing, but what are we to do when our children want change? And change that we are unwilling/unable to accommodate?

In dealing with all of this I've come to face my old temptations. Those of eating....remember my post about eating a whole pan of brownies? Wasn't just a one-time occurrence, and sadly I don't think I can justify a daily caloric intake rivaling that of Michael Phelps' due to me being a breastfeeding mother. Hyperbole, there in that comparison? Perhaps a smidge, but the fact remains that I need to get a grip on my eating of late. Moreover, I need to be more conscious about the reasons why I am eating, because I don't think it is all hunger.

The other temptation? To zone. To waste time and not be present with my kids or in tending to my household. To surf the web and to just escape.

My solution to these temptations is to return to structured days with the kids. Structured, scheduled bed and wake times, structured activities each day, and goals to achieve for myself, the kids, and the house chores. Should be interesting given that we have a newborn who can often throw a wrench into things, particularly sleep, but if the kids get more structure again some of the behavioral stuff will wane (hopefully) which will (again, hopefully) decrease some of the overwhelm I am feeling.

Wish me luck~

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. You are so not alone! Those days are all to familiar-and I don't even have a newborn! Structure sounds like what you all need. Great plan, Mama! Just don't get too down on yourself if you can't hit all the goals for the first few'll get there!

  2. I think your heading down the right track. Structure will do you good but you have to be persistant. But also remember it is summer and you have a new baby.
    Things will fall into place. The adjustment of being home after working outside the house is a huge one.

  3. Sending hugs and love and supportive thoughts.

    Are there any summer camp programs you can put your eldest two into for half-days or for two days a week to give you a smidge of a break?

    Holding you in my heart.

  4. Being a SAHM is so danged hard. And if I dared to vent about it, my ex would always say, "You're the one who wanted to do this, if you don't like it go get a job." @@ Clueless! I loved it but it IS stressful.
    I think as you get your energy back up it will get better...and just keep thinking of how nice it will be when school starts! =D

  5. I totally understand, but I think you are smart for giving yourself structure. I struggle with that working from home, and that's just a normal job which supposedly ends at 5 or so every day. It's just hard to keep yourself and your world on task, esp. when there are other things to do. (Like eat brownies.)