Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Treading Water and Coping Mechanisms

On Monday, I completely forgot to pump in the afternoon and left all of my milk and pumping paraphernalia at work. While it is not the first time I have forgotten to pump at work, it was the first time I forgot to take all of the stuff home.  I have been going through a majorly busy period at work. I have actually taken on more responsibilities (because that seemed like a good idea?). This has overlapped with a busy period at home, where I haven't had much free time to catch up on the regular stuff. I'm treading water.

There are a million things that need to be done, and I feel like I am only doing the ones that HAVE to be done that second. I don't mean to be whiny, and if you could hear me talking about this, I would not have a whiny tone, I swear. I just feel a bit overwhelmed, and it was the only thing I could really write about today.

Coping Mechanism 1: Making lists helps me a ton. Part of my panicky feeling is losing track of the things I need to do. Once I make a list of it all, it becomes more manageable. Plus, is there any better feeling than checking something off of a list? It's so satisfying. That is one of the reasons that I don't actually like the "To Do" app on the iPhone. Because when you "check" something off, it goes away. What is the fun in that? I want to see all of the checked off stuff in its glorious glory! Take that, Lowering the Crib! Watch your back, Buy Pants that Fit for Ben! Didn't see that coming, Pay Bills, did you???

Right now, I am in that panicky stage when I haven't made any lists yet, and I am just floundering around nervous about all the stuff I need to do. When I am in that stage, I tend to get more emotional (surprise?). On the way home from daycare yesterday, I reached back and was letting Ben grab my fingers. He thought this was hilarious, and for some reason, this made me sad. I had had an extremely busy day at work with back to back meetings all day, peppered with "emergency" situations in between. And as Ben was grabbing my fingers and laughing, I thought, man, I really would have rather just done this all day. Wouldn't any sane person? And he was just so delighted with the tiny bit of attention I was giving him in the car. It made me feel like I should be giving him much more.

I quickly just worked my way out of that dangerous rabbit hole and manged to get my shit together by the time I got home. Coping Mechanism 2: Then, as is my regular habit, I just played with Ben until he went to bed. This helps, just spending this time with him and not doing anything else. I save all of the washing (bottle* or laundry) or other nightly errands until after. It is 50/50 on whether I eat dinner before or after his bedtime. The only things that really have to be done are bathing him (if it is a bath night) and changing him. Spending this time with him helps be regain my equilibrium.

Coping Mechanism 3: Hot bath. Baths have always been my thing. I just love them. I know this is not the same for a lot of people. If I don't have a least one hot bath a week (don't worry folks, I shower on the days I don't have baths), then I turn into a mean person. Ask Dan.

Those are my main three daily coping mechanisms of dealing with feeling underwater. Others include, a glass of wine, talking with Dan, and of course, our fifth family member, TeeVee. Oh, and actually accomplishing the things I need to do.

*Lately, Dan has been doing all of the bottle washing while I am nursing Ben and putting him to bed (because he is not running in the evenings). It is the best thing since the DVR was invented.

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