The past few months have been trying. Exhausting. Frustrating. And I swear, I don't want to complain, but seriously people, I'm ready to throw in the towel.
I knew going into parenthood that times would be challenging. I don't think anyone who intends to become a parent goes into it thinking life with a new baby is going to be like the inside of the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue. Because if it was, I would have signed up years ago. No, I went into this knowing there would be sleep deprivation and illnesses and even the trying toddler phase. Anyone who knows me knows how ill Griffin has been since October (not even counting everything he's had since birth). I'm not even going to list the illnesses because 1) there are too many and 2) I don't want to relive any of those moments.
OK, so kids get sick. I know that. They are constantly sticking their hands in their mouths and they have yet to master the whole cough-into-your-elbow thing. It's going to happen. But so often? And so severely at times? Griffin got tubes put into his ears in July. He did well for a few months, but then BAM. He's had four infections since mid-November. Four. One of which lasted three weeks.
Exactly how bad is it? Our pharmacist knows me by sight. And when Patrick picks up Griffin's medication, she tells him, "Tell Tracy I said hi." No joke. This has happened more than once.
A number of months ago, I spoke with my doctor about the stress in my life - some of it out of my control and other stress that I allow to take over. It turns out that I wasn't taking care of myself very well. Not so much physically, but emotionally. I was doing for everyone else, but not for myself. I wasn't reading or writing. I was eating junky foods and not exercising. I wasn't laughing. When I left her office I came up with a game plan. I joined Weight Watchers and began eating better and losing weight. I started going back to the library once a week by myself and slowly browsed the shelves. I started writing again and completed another NaNoWriMo. I even managed to get back into crocheting - this time I started making something for myself.
And then Griffin got sick. And got sick again. And again. I was forced to miss work. My anxiety level skyrocketed. I missed two Weight Watcher meetings in a row (one because I was in the hospital with Griffin and the next because he passed his illness onto me). I've been reading the same chapter of a book for the last month. That sweater I was making for myself? Still not done. I don't even want to bring up the novel I'm trying to finish.
Is some of this out of my hands? Yes. I wasn't going to leave my son in the hospital with a fever of 106 so I could go to Weight Watchers. I slept when I could (and believe me, I tried to sleep), but Griffin's coughing fits kept me awake. So yes, there were things I could not control. However, I am very aware that I could have done something to counteract the stress and anxiety. Sleep deprivation and a bad case of bronchitis didn't have to keep me from making poor dietary choices (OK, maybe that one Friday when I couldn't get out of bed, but all the other days I could have done better).
The bottom line is that I've been derailed...and maybe I derailed myself a bit. I'm going to go back to Weight Watchers tonight knowing full well that I've probably gained something fierce. It's a starting over point. A getting back on track point. Not just with Weight Watchers, but with being good to myself again. Reading. Writing. Planning our garden for the coming Spring. And laughing. I've really missed laughing. I can't wait to do that again.