So, I left a few things out of my last post, but of course there were the daily battles going on in the midst of the Major Madness War. My sanity was sometimes often teetering on the edge. No one ever asked, but in case you're wondering how I stay sane (or if you're the only one struggling - YOU'RE NOT) let me first point you toward two articles I really resonated with. Both HuffPost, sorry.
It happens every night. Twelve hours of parenting have passed, the kids are finally in bed, and I feel the weight of it all on my chest.
Austin will suggest we go to bed. We need more rest! But I cannot go to bed. I am too tightly wound.
Anyone who has parented a human for more than five minutes has felt the coils of the day wrapping around their insides, making the chest tight and the stomach hungry for nachos. By 9 p.m., I have no words left. I just want to sit in the dark, watch Michael Scott, and not have to think any intelligent thoughts.
And, I Miss the Village - YES YES YES. I think about this all the time, how mothers were not meant to raise their children alone. I'm less "alone" than most (I mean, my mom, sister, and aunt all live within 1000 feet of me) and still I feel very "alone" sometimes. It's a solitary thing, being confined to a house or nursing baby or mother's lounge in the church building. I don't think it has to be that way, but I don't have any logical solutions except to move to my fantasy hand-picked community where Laurel is my next-door neighbor and the rest of you are down the street. I do, however, nurse without leaving the room whenever possible. That's a post for a different day.
AND NOW for the things I actually, actively do to keep myself from wallowing in the despair of sleep-deprivation (hint: not exercise. Although I've heard good things about it).
Play dates. We all know these are for moms, not kids. I prefer to surround myself with the low drama type of women who have similar parenting styles to my own. Then I don't have the pressure of feeling judged on a weekly basis. Weekly or even thrice-weekly playdates! Gets me dressed and out of the house for a couple hours. Also occasionally serves as a vent session.
Ladies Night. Like a playdate, but without kids. I play bunco once a month and have also attended many a "Ladies' Night" at our local ice cream place. We sit and laugh and eat ice cream and leave our children home for a few. But we don't husband-bash or talk about other women. (Low-drama friends. Key.)
Date Night. This is like the cream of the crop, and I SO WISH I could say we do this on a regular basis. Alas, my nursing baby and projects up to my eyes have kept the couple time to a bare minimum. But even a dinner together with a babysitter at home gives me a better perspective and renewed commitment.
Finally, chocolate. Lindt dark chocolate isn't going to make my problems go away (or do the dishes), but I'll be darned if it doesn't make me feel a little better.