Thursday, January 14, 2016
Living in survival mode
This morning, I awoke to a pile of laundry at the foot of our bed. At least it was clean. It's been there for three days, because I haven't had a free moment to put it away.
This morning, I realized that I had never responded to the principal of Max's school when she emailed me to say she was available to talk with me about one of his therapists, per my request. She was available yesterday.
Today is our 15th wedding anniversary. I knew full well it was Thursday of this week, except this morning, I forgot it was Thursday. Luckily I had a card, but then I had to write it as I was nursing Ben and so it is not totally legible, but it is the thought that counts even if the thought got some spit-up on it.
Three months into having Ben, I remain in survival mode. I seem to have forgotten how consuming babies can be, and I keep right on forgetting because every day I continue to be surprised by how little I get done. My days are a continuous loop of feeding, burping, cleaning the spit up, changing diapers, changing Ben's outfit, repeat, repeat, repeat. He is still not into napping (see: Mr. Spit Up von Fussypants). Once Max and Sabrina get home from school, even bathroom breaks are a luxury. When Dave comes home from work, I shove Ben at him and raid the fridge. Aside from eating and showering, writing this blog is the only thing I basically do for me.
The other day, Sabrina got upset because when she walked in the door I didn't immediately say, "Hi, honey, how was your day?" since Ben was wailing. I understood, of course—she wants and needs attention, too—but still, her tirade was over the top. As she sputtered "Don't you CARE about me?" I said, "Sabrina, sweetie, you know how much I love you. Do you know what 'empathy' is?" And she calmed down and grudgingly said, "Yes! It means you feel badly for someone." And I said, "Well, not just that. It means that you get that another person is handling a lot and you are understanding and kind toward them. I am handling a lot right now, so I'd appreciate a little empathy, OK?" She considered that. Then she said, "Mommy, I love you and I have empathy for you."
And that was just what I needed to get me through the rest of the day.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 1:44 PM