Undulating Perspective II: Blurry?

Odd how my last post was about climbing ladders out of dark places… and then this week I’ve felt barely able to climb a very short ladder.

I’ve just gone back and re-read a post from almost four years ago, in which I discussed how widely varied is my outlook on life, depending on several (mostly physical) factors. It was both comforting and kinda sad to read my own words and realize that my present self seems to be in the exact same mental place as my past self. Except I rather think that my fluctuations are a bit more intense these days… but maybe it’s just that I don’t remember clearly. I know I tend to look back on E’s babyhood with rose-coloured glasses, so maybe it was actually just as hard.

Here are some things contributing to my ladder-slipping:

  • Realizing that, for the past five years (plus a month or two), I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding (at night), except for a six-month window when I was intensely grieving. So basically, I don’t remember what it’s like to have proper energy levels.
  • We are passing around a cold – it’s been well over a month now – and I’m not sure how we’re ever supposed to kick it without KIBOSHING ALL BABY KISSES, which is simply not gonna happen.
  • It gets me down when my house is a mess… but I have this little person in my house who believes it’s her sworn duty to un-tidy everything I tidy up – usually simultaneously. She is a champion meddler/messer-upper. And her brother willingly collaborates, when he’s home.
  • Work has been tough this week. I came home one day and confessed to Sean that it was one of those days where I ask myself Why did I pick this job again? I said, “It was like pulling teeth the whole time,” to which he mischievously responded, “Imagine if you COULD pull their teeth?” That did provide a good chuckle. (“Come here, kid. You’ve just lost another molar.”)
  • Baby AB has sharp teeth that can put serious dents in your finger, if you let ’em. Now imagine that on your nipple. NOT. COOL. E had a short stint of nipple-biting, but always let go when I yelled. This one just hangs on.
  • As you may have surmised above, Baby AB and I are still not sleeping through the night. This is undoubtedly the main cause of my lack of optimism. We are working on it, and I’m sure eventually all will be well. But in the meantime… sigh.
  • E is still in his dramatic phase (or what we desperately pray is a phase). It seems he’s pretty sweet at school most of the time, but at home he has a tendency to use his nasty voice and/or whiny voice and/or horrible screeches often enough that Sean and I are both losing patience way more often than we’d like. With two kids at the screamy stage together, it’s a bit much.
  • It seems I don’t get anything done. (Case in point: how long since my last blog post?) I have no idea how other people have consistently clean kitchens or vacuumed floors or calm inboxes or pre-planned meals or reliable workout schedules. (If I owe you a phone call or email or letter or playdate or a visit… I’m sorry!)

When I get to feeling clobbered by life, my knee-jerk reaction is to think of people who have it worse, by all kinds of degrees. My colleagues who have much tougher student situations than mine. My friends with really upsetting family crises. Parents of very sick children, and children of very sick parents. Moms who live in war zones and have to protect their children from bombs. It does put things in perspective – I mean seriously, what do I have to cry about? – but also makes me feel like a wuss. Shouldn’t I be better at my own (simple, easy) life by now?

What does help is to remind myself that I’ll probably feel better very soon, because all kinds of things can turn the day (or at least the hour) around. For example:

  • My Hubbibi has a new job that, although it’s not his dream job yet, is far less stressful than his last one.
  • Two new babies among my friends in the last two weeks! Yay!
  • Last Sunday I participated in my first-ever blogger brunch, and got to hang out (sans children!) with five smart, creative, inspiring ladies-who-blog, only one of whom I already knew, but all of whom it was a true pleasure to meet. (They have the kind of gorgeous blogs that I will forever pin, knowing I shall never achieve that level of pinnability in my own blog. I’ve already mentioned bear & lion; please also meet Heart, Heather, Heather in Heels, Lovely & Chic, and Rustic Retrievals.)
  • Yesterday I gave my Grade 5/6 class a (Hunger-Games-themed) activity booklet I’d made, and they were actually MORE excited than I’d expected. It felt like a coup, seeing them rush to finish their French questions so that they could do… more French!
  • That nipple-biting, mess-making baby is also darn cute and funny. She makes us laugh a LOT.
  • I’d still rather E be sweet at school and a turkey at home, rather than the opposite.
  • I know that if I say I’m having a rough time, there are many people in my life who immediately offer moral support. (For example, both my sisters detected the sub-text of stress in my texts this week and expressed their concern. I appreciate it even when I don’t feel I have time to talk about it.)
  • Even with the exhaustion, sometimes it’s stunningly clear in my heart that everything is okay, and that I’m incredibly fortunate. For example, when my kids play together. Too cute for pessimism.

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LOVE.

I’m fine, y’all. Thanks for letting me vent. <3 <3 <3

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12 thoughts on “Undulating Perspective II: Blurry?

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling out of sorts Diana – and I’m so glad our brunch was a bright spot in your week. Whenever I feel really low, I always try to remember that life is peaks and valleys. When things feel like they couldn’t be more difficult, it’s usually because we’re almost finished with an uphill climb – with a clear view, and an easier path down the other side waiting for us. Try to take it easy on yourself!
    Heather recently posted..why your butternut squash soup is blandMy Profile

  2. venting is so important! even pressure cookers do it, and they have way more psi than you do… 😉
    “it’s her sworn duty to un-tidy everything I tidy up – usually simultaneously. She is a champion meddler/messer-upper.” – it’s all physics, you know – my second bebe was dedicated to the same principle, and i realized that gravity and other physical forces were not on my side. (just be glad you don’t live in the era of ashtrays on coffee tables!)
    that same precious second of mine also bit me (that stopped the nursing session right then and there! “if you want more, think about how the last session ended!”) – and didn’t sleep through the night until after age 5. not encouraging at the moment, i know, but “this too will pass” — ’tis NOT the end of the story!
    plus, even your “complaints” are full of gratitude and good things. but i totally get it about the long-term lack of energy. that is serious and you must do all you can to care for yourself to regain that – it will take long, and you must be determined. but if you aren’t rested (i know, that’s the tip of the iceberg- it’s deeper than that) it is hard to be a good parent, and at least you have a supportive husband. you will all be fine, as you so well know, but just thought i’d reinforce that knowledge. looking forward to seeing you guys tomorrow!
    love you all!!

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Haha! I like the pressure cooker metaphor. They even screech a little sometimes as they vent.

      After age five!! Oh no. You poor mama.

      You’re absolutely right, it is HARD to be a good parent – or a good teacher or a good anything – when you’re not rested enough. And I do have a pretty great husband.

      It was WONDERFUL to see you! LOVE.

  3. emerge says:

    OH EM GEE THAT PICTURE! Is the best. And will go in one of those wall-montage photo hanging things one day. AB’s outfit is unbeatable.

    Also: not that this helps, and you know it already, but once this part is over it will seem like it went in a flash. (Like, is E REALLY 4 and a half?) And when it’s over, it’ll be over, and no going back to the midnight feedings and nipple-biting and trying-to-eat-the-cat-food and all that stuff. And when you get back the ability to sleep through the night it’ll be all the more amazing for having been a non-possibility for so very long, and you’ll get to rediscover who you are with a good night’s sleep under your belt. By which time E will have used up all of his screeching and intractability (hahaha, it COULD happen!).

    (Speaking of which, did you hear him this evening? It’s like Big Brother was watching him. He was about to get all screechy but when I suggested how about instead he decide to have some carrots and crackers, he said “Oh. Yes, that sounds like a good idea.” I think he was channeling Kid Snippets or something. It was eerie.)

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      I know, it really does go in a flash. AB’s life is even flashier than E’s… sometimes I can’t even believe how far we are along in her life already.

      Wouldn’t it be great if AB and E mellow out at the same time? Life would seem like a dream. 🙂

  4. Jen says:

    I’m pretty positive that consistently clean kitchens and vacuumed floors are a myth. Just sayin’

    Besides, happy kids > clean houses. Period.

    xo

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      🙂 I’d like to think you’re right! Some people talk about how often they vacuum (like, multiple times a week) and I’m like WHOA. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

  5. Jen says:

    Well, if it makes you feel any better, this house has no kids and we’re still lucky if there is vacuuming several times in a MONTH!

    And we have two dogs.

    Whoops.

  6. Mama says:

    When I click on Reply, does it actually put my post in the place I wanted it, to reply to a particular post? I’m tryin’ it right now…

  7. Mama says:

    I have no little kids at home and no cats or dogs, and once a month is about the most I vacuum. Of course, there’s less mess with no kids or pets, but still…

    Everybody has 24 hours a day, and we choose what to do with it. If it’s interacting with people instead of dust bunnies and dishes there’s something to be said for that! At some point things will settle down enough to do both, but meanwhile, you put your attention where it really matters. When they’re all grown up they’ll remember the hugs and stories, not the clutter.

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