Friday, March 12, 2010

Coping with stress

Its been awhile.  I'm actually hoping once I go back to work it will easier for me to find 15 minutes to write.  While I'm at home, there is always a child needing attention something going on that keeps me from writing anything.  I think at work it will be a bit easier to mentally escape to write.  We'll see.

Speaking of work, I will be going back on Monday.  I have been off work since October 2nd, or 23 weeks.    Almost half a year.  That's a really long time.

I went back last week to meet with my boss.  That meeting actually went well in of itself, the difficult part for me was walking into the building itself; the last time I was there I was pregnant and on my way to my doctor's appointment.  Then everything went to hell.  I've mentioned these 'anxiety attacks' in previous posts.  I liken them to pseudo-PTSD flashes.  They are rather unnerving but come very rarely.  I don't anticipate many more until next holiday season...hopefully I'll be able to cope ok with that.

People ask if I'm looking forward to going back to work.  Yes and no.  I am looking forward to working again.  I am looking forward to more adult conversations.  I am looking forward to getting out of the house more regularly and having things to talk about other than diapers/reflux/pumping/pooping.  I am not looking forward to increased stress and exhaustion.  I am not looking forward to feeling more frazzled than I already am.  And I am not looking forward to feeling pulled in even more directions.

Especially since I have never been good at coping with stress.  I turn into a bionic woman...go go go with blinders on, never stopping to actually rest and think.  Eating and sleeping are no longer priorities and 'resting' is considered laziness (nap??  but I have laundry and cleaning and I have to organize my closet!!).  As a consequence my health deteriorates and I end up burning out.  Plus, I end up cranky and bitchy to Jason people, and that isn't something I want at all.

I already got a talking-to from the two people who probably know me best.  Jason sat me down and gave me a stern lecture on taking on too much and not letting him do anything anymore.  And not taking care of myself (yet again).  I tried to defend myself, saying that HE wasn't resting either, I didn't want to be lazy, and I felt bad when I saw him doing everything.  He didn't buy it:  I'm lactating, he did it for months when I was on bed rest, and I needed to make our family a priority.  And he said something that did hit home:  I need to be able to enjoy this.  And if I'm running around too much trying to be super woman while surviving on fumes and exhaustion, I can't enjoy anything.


So then I saw my therapist, who I have seen on/off for about three years now.  She's a psychiatric nurse and I started seeing her before I became pregnant with Zev and wanted to talk about the infertility issues I was having.  I like her because she is not a psychologist (with my psych degree, I find talking to psychologists too annoying) and she can be very insightful and confronting.  I hadn't seen her since I was first put on bed rest (she came to my nice) and got a similar talking-to about taking care of myself.  Only her theme was why I felt the need to go-go-go and not take care of myself properly.  Why I don't think eating/sleeping/resting is important enough and how to counter my attitude about 'being lazy'.  She too says:  I'm going to crash and burn.  Especially if I don't work on this and make it a priority now that I'm going back to work.

Because three young children + working full time is enough to make anyone coo-coo.

So this is what I need to start figuring out:  how to allow myself to rest and 'smell the roses' and actually take care of my body by giving it what it needs:  proper rest when it needs it, good food when it needs it, a mental health break when it needs it, etc.


On the kiddie front, we are in the midst of interviewing back-up babysitters/nannies to help out in the evening/weekends and to cover for Nicole when she goes on maternity.  We've seen three girls so far:  I'm specifically interviewing college students who are getting education degrees and want the experience of being a nanny.  The timing is perfect for them:  Nicole is due the end of June, just when classes will be ending.  We live between Boston College and Boston University, plus there are about five other colleges without a stone's throw from here.  Tons of students.  I just hate interviewing.  I'm giving myself until the end of next week and then will just pick whoever is best.  I won't get someone like Nicole, but that's ok..its just for 8 weeks or so, and as long as no one loses a finger I'll be happy.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how you manage to stay sane. I have the utmost respect for what you are doing. I hope you can find a way to make yourself a priority. Best of luck to you in the coming days. =)