Monday, May 23, 2016

Self care nightmare

I am not doing so well today.  

Failing at it all.  

Stuck in a circle of hopelessness.

I went back to work so we can afford a bigger mortgage...and a life of chaos has ensued.

To buy a home where we have enough space, we need to sell our current one, but it's not happening.

Our current one is undesirable to potential buyers.

In my time outside of work, I try to make the house look desirable, but it's not enough.

Housework, painting, fixing takes the place of self care, husband and child attention giving, grocery shopping, and cooking healthy meals, but it's not enough.

Everyone is sick and burned out and in each other's face and space and angry and annoyed and tired of it all.

Everyone needs my attention.  The cars both need oil changes.  They can't take care of it themselves.  The kids need to go to the doctor for never-ending illnesses and to the dentist for toothaches and fillings.  They can't go alone.  The house is getting messier and messier because everyone is sick and burned out.  The husband is doing too much and needs to keep his focus on that.  He is not taking care of himself, his patience is as low as all the rest of us.  I don't have anymore care to give, so I've basically abandoned him, left alone to figure out how to do all the stuff I used to take care of, before there was too much.

I realize that that pain in my joints and muscles has been hanging out for over three months, that I can't move either arm without pain, and that whatever is going on in my back is probably not good news.  But I just don't have time or energy to address myself.

I'm taking the time to choose the gym over the doctor because it is open outside of working hours.  I hope it starts working soon.

I know that if something happens to me, this house dream will never become a reality, because not only will my family lose the mortgage payment of our dream house, should we ever make it there, but I also have no life insurance, no savings, no RRSP, nothing to make it possible for them to live comfortably in a bigger space without me.  

So I need to go to the gym and sing and colour and craft and take meds and drink slurpees and water and eat well and get massages and blog and vent on Facebook and hang out with my besties 

to keep myself healthy 

So I have energy
to care for a husband and children and cars and a house with patience because they won't care for themselves.  Or each other.  Definitely not in a patient manner.

So I have energy
to shop for good food 
to cook healthy meals,
to keep me and my family healthy
and away from the doctor appointments 
that take me away from work 
which will pay the mortgage
on the house
that has enough space for everyone
to take care of themselves 
physically
and mentally
which will lighten my load

Which will leave me some energy 
to take care
of
myself.

It has been VERY hard for all six of us to adjust to me working outside of the home, and as time goes on it gets harder rather than easier.  13 years of having the household run smoothly by one person for all six is a whole lotta habit to break.  I have got to say, I am pretty damn good at running a household.

But my $2000 per month is gonna pay for smoother bedtimes, privacy for teens and for parents, and for the first non-boy space the girl will call her own. 

It is going to allow our sweet vehicles that work so hard for us every day to have a warm and safe place to rest.  

Our belongings will be able to spread out, breathe, be appreciated and enjoyed.  

WE will be able to spread out, breathe, appreciate each other and enjoy each other's company.

There are so many...there is so much counting on my body to hold up, to hold on, to take care, to be strong, to be well.

Don't blow it, girl.  

But, no pressure.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Self care day

Today was like the calm before the storm.

I slept in until after 8:00, exercised mind and body at self-defence class,  and sang praises to  God with friends at worship team rehearsal. 

My third born had lunch ready for me when I arrived home, so I ate and then headed to bed for a two-hour nap.  I really love naps!

When I finally got up, I beautified the outside of our house while visiting with my friend and neighbour.  Hubby came home with our oldest and some meat for me to BBQ, so I did that and we ate.  I did some small home improvement tasks that I wanted to complete before our open house tomorrow, got the kids to bed and then initiated an impromptu date night with a text to hubby asking if he wanted to share a blizzard and watch a show.  Wild, right??

Now it's late and I'm heading to bed with ice cream cramps and high hopes for a miraculous tomorrow filled with smoothness, easy times and great news!

 

Friday, May 13, 2016

What to say about a day like today?

Today has been one of those days that goes on so so long that at the end of it, you can't believe it was only one day.

It started off with a toasty little girl sadly snuggling into bed with me.  She was obviously not well, but cried when I told her she couldn't go to school today.  Her daddy stayed home with her - I think it was his first time ever staying home with a sick child - while I spent the morning at work.

On my way home from work, I stopped at Lowe's to buy some house fix-up supplies, and then stopped to put gas in my van, and then mailed some work stuff and got some popsicles for my little sickie.

I walked into the house to a miserable girl moaning on the couch and an impish boy driving his father crazy (hubby's turn for a tantrum).  Hubby headed out to work, I made lunch for the kiddies, and we ate.

When my oldest got home, I assigned him the caregiver role and went to return a baseball uniform that my third-born no longer needs.  After that was a stop at the bank and a mini grocery shop.  My oldest was amazing again today - helped me carry in the groceries, and put most of them away.

By this point, I was feeling sleepy, so I cuddled with furnace girl for a bit and took a wee nap.  I set my alarm, but was woken up too soon by my second-born phoning to ask if the friend he was visiting all afternoon could join us for dinner and attend the youth event with him tonight.  Of course, yes, and I made sure that our awesome friend who was driving the boys to the event had extra space.  I closed my eyes, and my alarm went off.

By this point, hubby was home and had gotten dinner started.  I ran out to pick up my boy and his friend (who was very vocal about the messy state of my van, which is currently carrying everything that does not have a place in our house) and we came back for dinner.  They and my oldest went out to youth group and I ate dinner and cuddled some more.

Watched some TV, got the girl up and around and fixed her crazy hair, and the boys were back from youth.  I drove the friend home, came back home for some facebooking and singing, enjoyed an Epsom salt bath (despite the grumbles from my teen that he was planning to have a shower and I ruined his schedule), and finally I have made it back to my lovely bed.  

It is time for my eight hours of rest, and then up and at 'em for another full day tomorrow!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Clean like you want your own room!

"Clean like you want your own room."  

That's how I greeted each of my children as they trickled into the house after school today.  We had our first showing scheduled and our home was not quite ready for visitors when I arrived at 3:00.

My girl sobbed, as she does when she wants to get out of something, but tromped up and down the stairs despite tears when I told her to take one armful of laundry up and put it away, then come back and tell me why she is crying.  Magically, she wasn't crying anymore when she came down for the next armful.

My third born did a whole lot of stomping like he does when he doesn't get his own way (at first, then he organized all the shoes neatly in the closet).  

As expected, my second born said he was making his bed every time I saw him standing around, and that ended up taking him a full 30 minutes at the very least.  But he made sure to put on catchy energizing music to help the process.

My oldest - my firstborn - he asked almost right away, "What can I do?"  That was after he had already come in the door, put away his laundry, made his bed and tidied his room.  It was after he had said he needed an after school snack and I said no because I didn't want the kitchen messed up.  He didn't complain.

This boy, who has amazingly grown taller than me in the last six months said, "I'll finish up all of this," as he motioned around the basement.  I had asked him to vacuum, but he offered to do it all.

Quickly the five of us worked on bits of the house.  Hubby came home and vacuumed over all of the carpets in the house that needed a little extra help.

While I washed the floor, the kids fought outside the door and sprayed each other with water until someone was angry and/or crying and they got in trouble for it.  Then we all went for dinner, and hubby and oldest headed off to band while I dragged the other three to the library to wait out the hour-long booking.

The people did not show up.

The PEOPLE did NOT show UP.

I knew it the second I put the key in the door.  It was confirmed minutes later when I texted our realtor to check.

It is frustrating when this happens because six people is a lot of people to move around.  Dinner for six people is not an inexpensive outing.  An hour away is both too long and too short.

But the most frustrating thing for me is to know that my kids worked hard today to help get the house ready.  Even though it is unnatural and difficult for them, and is absolutely not something they would like to be doing in that moment (in any moment), they did it anyway.

And it ended up being for no reason at all.  This will only teach them that they don't have to clean for showings anymore because no one will show up anyway. Heck, that's kind of what I feel.

I'm proud of my biggest boy, though.  It makes my heart leap with joy when he "steps up" in a situation, because it means he is growing up and it builds my confidence in his ability to take care of himself and be a contributing member of society.

I also am happy to have a show-ready house again.  

As I rounded the littles up for bed, I reminded them, "From now on, every time you leave a room, turn around and look at it.  If it looks like somebody was in there, fix it."

We shall see how long we can keep this up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Refreshed

As I head off to bed tonight, I feel refreshed.  It was a good day.  No, a great day.  

I ate three meals.  

I put in over 7 hours of work today, completing two big projects and even fitting in a rush payroll job.  

I got my laundry and dishes caught up.  

I did errands, spray painting, made dinner. 

I sang out loud.  All. Day. Long. 

I convinced the kids to take out garbage and recycling, fold laundry, unload the dishwasher and wash walls.

One played with a friend after chores, three went to hap Ki do this evening.  One did overdue homework after a band rehearsal, chores and dinner.  For realz!  With minimal frustration or fight.

I worked on cleaning the couch today (it will take a few times to get it looking good again), washed the bathroom and wiped down all kitchen surfaces.

And for the first time in longer than I can remember, I did not need to nap this afternoon.

It feels great to have a clean house, kids in bed by 8:30, and to still be awake at 11:11pm and not feel so exhausted that I'm nauseous.  The tooth fairy must make a quick drop now while she can.

Today was great, and I hope to live more days like this.  And soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The showing that wasn't

So, since our house has been on the market before, I figured we wouldn't get any showings right away.  You can imagine my surprise when we received a text message around noon asking for a 6:30-7:30 appointment.  Hubby and I quickly made plans that I would leave work early to go home and clean.

Unfortunately, another text came about 10 minutes later saying that the people did not want to see the house after all.  Bummer.

So I stayed at work late instead, then stopped to pick up a few groceries.  

Came home and hubby was already gone to his rehearsal, but he had BBQed burgers for dinner.  Somehow I ate two.  They were really good.

After dinner, I got to work on some cleaning, had a bit of a yell at my kids who seem to want to move so badly, yet refuse to help me with tidying, packing, and keeping their spaces empty.  I ended up saying that if they are going to say no to me by not helping with things I've specifically asked them to do, my answer to them will always be no as well.

Sometimes as I am trying so desperately to get the house in order for showings, I think about why it hasn't sold yet.  Of course there are the obvious answers that have been commented on - only one bathroom and condo fees - but I feel there has to be something more.  The thing that I don't want to hear God saying is that it isn't time for us to move because we can't afford it.  When we began this journey, I was pumped at the idea that I have an income now and as long as we keep the mortgage payments equal to or less than my paycheque, we'll be just fine, because our entire marriage has been about scrimping and saving and living only on hubby's pay, so we are used to that.  Well, the longer this goes on, and the longer I work in the payroll industry, the more I have doubts creeping in.  Our income - combined - is still less than many of my friends' single incomes and many of the incomes of the people I do payroll for.  And they don't have big fancy houses.  I mean, I've always known that we lived on way less than family and friends because we had no other choice, but now that dollar amounts are in my face on a daily basis, well, that makes me worry a little about what we are getting ourselves into.  Because the mortgage payment we will take on if this house ever sells will be more than double our current payment.  These are the thoughts that tear me up inside because I don't know what the answer is - stay or go.

I also feel sad sometimes thinking about leaving this community and the beautiful culture that we've been immersed in through our nine plus years here.  Kids run and play all day into the evening.  Families walk together, hang out at the school playground and play baseball and soccer in the field.  Are other neighbourhoods like this, or are the kids all being shuttled to sports and dance and activities that their parents are well-off enough to afford?  Do kids in higher income neighbourhoods play outside in groups with whoever is able to come out to play? I want my kids to keep having that.

Well, it is now 1.5 hours past my bedtime and I need to find some water that doesn't taste gross (seriously something is up with my tastebuds now), and get myself to bed.  Hopefully I can get some laundry happening before work in the morning.  That stuff just never quits.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Talk me down

Today was a stressful work day.  I'm lucky to have a hubby that not only sits quietly and listens to me vent, but who also is almost always of the same opinion of me.  We are a great team, and we have each other's backs.

Our house is officially back on the market to sell.  We listed it $10,000 less than last time.  I hope that it goes quickly; I have my eye on the one I want to buy.  I spent the weekend trying to pretty up the outside, and today I started on the inside.  I like to start at the top of the house and work my way down, so I did a lot of cleaning up my sons' room.  The bathroom I have been trying to keep up with for the past week, and I hung up all my floor clothes tonight to get started on my bedroom.  Hubby did the laundry and dishes on study breaks.

I felt okay today.  My muscles still ache.  I am finding that I can't make it through the day without a nap.  I really need to find a doctor.

Heading to bed just after 11; that means a 7:00 alarm set.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

Today was Mother's Day.  It was a bit of a surprise; I didn't realize it was this weekend.  

My hubby had a workshop to attend all day.  Two of my children slept over at our friends' house, and the two here slept until about 9:15.  We managed to make it to church more or less on time, and my oldest boy and I spent the morning serving in the nursery.

After church, my seven year old bought Wendy's for the five of us for lunch, and my 10 year old bought slurpees for the five of us.

At home, I was showered with beautiful poetry, drawings, and love from my kiddies.  Then I took a nap to try to get rid of my headache.  My oldest dragged all the dirty laundry to the basement for me while I slept, and when I got up, I cleaned up our front patio and raked our backyard.  

We have gotten some nice gentle rain today, which is so needed and so appreciated right now.  I'm looking forward to my grass getting green.  

Hubby picked up pizza and pumpkin pie for dinner on his way home from his workshop.  We all ate and watched Big Brother Canada together, then the kids played their video games and showered and went to bed while I got some work work done and hubby did some homework.

It is 10:00 now, which is my target time for bed, so I am going to do some stretching and go to sleep.  My body has been so achy for the past few months; it comes and goes about weekly, and every time it comes, it is way more painful and uncomfortable than it was the time before.  I need to find a doctor that I trust soon.

Smoothie

I used to start each day with a smoothie filled with berries, a banana, protein powder, orange juice, spinach and water.  Somewhere along the line, I stopped doing this.  Today I began again, and threw in some probiotic powder for good measure.

I'm feeling terrible today - headachey, sore eyes, and my body aches.  I don't want to feel like this anymore, and I'm hoping that this nice shot of vitamin C in the morning will help.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

F words

Today was an okay day.  I've been suffering intense muscle and joint aches for a few months now, and have had a headache for about one month.  I need to go to the doctor, but first I need to find a new one.

This afternoon I bought and planted Flowers, got some Fresh air while hanging out with Family and Friends, and enjoyed delicious BBQed Food.  :)

Chatted with all three of my immediate neighbours, and two kids are at our friends' place for a sleepover.  

Ah, community.  I heart you.  I'm thankful for today.

Praying for rain for our parched country as I drift off to sleep.

Renewal

I have been struggling with a lot of stuff for a while now.  I've not wanted to blog because it takes too much energy, just like everything else.  I'm actually in a pretty bad place - almost right back where I was when this whole thing started.  Not eating, not sleeping, not exercising, bad attitude.  Since I am a healthy weight, the anxiety is missing, which is a blessing because it messes me up when I am constantly trying to decide if I am having a heart attack.  However, no anxiety is also not a blessing because it means I don't care about anything.  #nottheanswer.

I'm comitting now to writing everyday, even as I look around at the disaster in my province and my country, and know there are many much worse off than I am in so so many ways.  It is hard for me to grab back the idea that I'm valuable, but I want to be strong for my city, province, and country, and I know that starts with believing in me.

This morning at my self defence class, we did a lot of "flow"ing, consideration and reflection.  It opened my eyes to what I've been allowing into my personal space, and the old, strong, inner me painstakingly pulled herself to her knees, then her feet.  She grabbed my thoughts and asked me how I have let things get so bad.  And then we decided that starting today we are taking back control.  Physical strength, mental strength, emotional strength has to happen.  Not just gratitude, but contentment.  I've been there before, and the game has changed since then.  I used to preach, "make it happen" to people who complained about their situation and now I've fallen into the darkness myself.