And with that, the year is almost to a close. I haven't done my monthly goal posts since Tate's arrival. I think my overarching goal has been to put my head down and get through it! It's been a year of big things: Baby Tate! The House! The School! I wish I had time to just sit back and let it sink in. But there's been so much to do since July. I was back at work meetings just two weeks after Tate's arrival (my mom was in town and able to watch Tate and Matt was still on paternity leave).
And even though I've been full-speed ahead with getting the school up and running, I've also been prioritizing time with Tate. I've been next to him for a feeding every two to four hours for the past four months of his life. I've snuggled up to him during his nighttime feedings and essentially held him in the Moby or Ergo for a nap nearly every three hours all day long (Matt takes over when he gets home).
I get exhausted when I see it written out like that.
On top of all the Tate-induced responsibilities in our lives, there's still a lot to do with Henry. Even more than when he was an only child because we're trying to give him extra attention and love to help him weather the arrival of his new brother. I pick him up every afternoon and we typically play on the front lawn of the schools. He asks, "Do you want to chase me, Mom?" and I try to say yes as often as I can.
The funny thing is, I haven't even had time to stop and realize how stressed and busy I've been. I've just noticed the symptoms: I see myself craving unhealthy foods (and indulging, even when I know it has the potential to induce a gall bladder attack that cripples me from midnight to 4am). I watch myself have zero motivation or inclination for exercise. I see our house getting messier and messier as I take things out in a rush and leave a disaster trail behind me.
When I get to this place, I first have to take control of something tangible and immediate. This time, I started with our laundry. I washed every piece of clothing, sheet, comforter, towel, napkin, burp cloth, and hand towel in our house. While the cycles were going, I put away everything that had been displaced during our frenetic Halloween preparations: paint, embroidery thread, spray foam, twine, the box cutter, etc. for Matt's costume; balloons, puffy paint, tape, etc. for Tate's costume. The massive glass drink dispenser for our block party (there were about 30 of us in all!).
And then I took it one step further and transferred our files from their temporary plastic home to our permanent filing cabinet/bedside table.
But these are all the surface symptoms. I'm merely plucking off leaves instead of getting to the trunk or the root of the issue.
One: it's just hard parenting an infant. They are completely dependent upon other people to meet nearly all of their needs. And the sleep deprivation! Seriously, my brain is working at about 36% capacity. I struggle and grasp for words to express my thoughts (when I can remember my thoughts). Sometimes I stop and remember, "Oh, yeah, you have an infant! No wonder you are tired/stressed/overwhelmed. Duh!"
Two: I realized that it's getting too hard to be Tate's primary caregiver all day long while trying to start a school. He naps very consistently and pretty much adheres to a schedule, which allows me plenty of work time, but he's getting older and his awake time is getting longer and longer. It also feels like my schedule is too fragmented. I need more sustained periods of work time to focus, concentrate, and accomplish things.
My solution to problem number two has created even more stress: I've been working to establish a nanny share. I should talk about it in a whole other post!
Writing all of this out helps me feel better already. There are very concrete things I can do to reduce my current stress levels. Thanks for listening!