Thursday, November 13, 2008

Staying Alive

Thick grey has settled over Ohio now, and we'll exist in a mushy dark world for oh, about the next six months.  It's sorta like how moving into an underground bomb shelter must feel, knowing that you won't see outside life for a long long time, unsure of your own survival.  Fog has settled in my mind and I feel like I can't think, I've fumbled around all week and spent a lot of time feeling lost and confused and irritated and like I'm doing nothing well.  I'm sure this state of mind is triggered by environmental factors, but it's made worse by hormones as well. Which is just one more reason why I LOVED lactating and wish I could do it for the rest of my life.

So I'm in a funk and struggling to find my way out.  These are some ways I'm coping:

Get out of the house.  Somedays, just being in the car with both kids strapped into carseats is the easiest part of my day.  I like to plan trips around NPR so I can actually listen to something without interruption for a few minutes.

Go outside!  Even if it's cold, it's not too cold for little bodies to run.  We went to the park yesterday around 4:00, came home, ate supper and I gave them LONG, extra warm baths, and they were both asleep by 7:15.  This is a miracle.  (I have had to give-up expecting naps from my three-year old, but this usually pays off with easy bedtimes).

Create!  I have growing lists of projects I want to dig-into, and on days when I just can't get it together, we break-out art supplies, don't think about the mess, and let COLOR heal us.

Turn-off the computer.  Somedays it is a black hole, and I find myself drawn to it too much through the day, checking email, doing quick searches or reading in short bursts, that ends up wasting a lot of time and keeps me distracted from my kids . . . it creates anxiety and I am trying have more times when it is shut.

I do much better when I have weekly goals for myself.  They keep me motivated, and I don't waste as much time when I know what I want to accomplish.  I try to plan these at the beginning of the week.  My week fell apart this week because I didn't have a clear plan for what I wanted to get done.

Get more sleep.

Light candles, make a cup of tea, wear sweats.  

Chocolate helps.

Read fiction.  I have gotten really bad about just reading things I think I "should" read, like parenting books, etc., and then find myself not making time to read because I'm not as absorbed in them.

Write about it.  When I am ticked, sometimes writing a letter to the person, but not sending it, can help.

Pray.  Pray for peace.  Pray for self-control.  Pray for a guard over your mouth.  Pray for a pure heart.  Repeat. Be thankful God's grace is greater.

Find your favorite people to be with.  And a babysitter if you have to.  (I had TWO- count them, TWO girls' nights out this week.  I am not normally so blessed, but this week, They Saved Me).  This is also where Nana and Papa come in; they're all of our favorites.

Learn something new.

Even when you don't feel like it, (being patient with my kids, being a fun mom), act like you do. 

My husband has been working out of town the past two months (I haven't wanted to publish that but he's finally done now and will be home again during the week!  So stay away psycho-paths . . . ).  To cope, I tried to do fun things we wouldn't normally do, like go shopping and out to eat, or anything to make the evenings go faster.

. . . oh no,  I just looked at the calendar and realized that we're only half way through November!  What are some ways you cope with winter?  Or find your way out of the funk?

"My worst fear is that there is no PMS and this is my personality"
-a mug my mother got me. . . was she trying to tell me something?


Heather of the EO said...

It does get so long, especially while your husband is out of town!

These are some great ideas! I love them. A lot of these same things work for me too.

Especially sleep. It's amazing what a difference a good night's sleep can make.

Joe said...

Sister. I don't ever want to read about you lactating. Please keep in mind your readership includes skittish brothers. More pictures of Sami kneading dough please.