March for Babies

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Unbalanced

My major issue right now is feeling unbalanced and a bit out of control (duh). I am being pulled in too many directions at once. I listened to my audiobook of the 7 habits this week (you know those highly effective people from the 90s) and I am trying to implement as much as I can.
 
The roles in my life that are the most important right now are: Mother, Wife, Employee and Self. The Friend/Relative one can come and go from day to day depending on the circumstances. Let's take a look.

Mother: Azure is crying more and asking for me. She needs me. She wants me when she doesn't feel well.  I want to spend as much quality time as I can with her. We are working on her ABCs and counting to 10 and she tries her hardest to sing "Row Row Row Your Boat". She can do these things with anyone. I can leave her in someone else's quite capable care and she would still be fine and she would still learn these things. However, she and I would both know that I was not there.  I told the social worker at the hospital this week that if she is just getting some lab work done I do not mind letting my mother take her and I can stay at the office, but when she is getting chemo it is different.  Even though the IV will drip whether I am there or not, it just feels like I should be there.

Wife: The house and my husband are both being neglected.  Of course it doesn't help that AF showed up this week.  I hear grumblings about this from T but actually, the reason AF is here this week is because I adjusted my pills the week we went to NASCAR so that she would not be an unwelcomed guest in our tent.  So, you see, I cannot win.  We are short with each other. We are doing our same cleaning, mowing, feeding the dog, getting by in the day to day of things but it is a struggle this time more than when Azure was in the NICU.  Thinking back, I was working part-time hours then hoping to keep my vacation days to use as maternity leave when she came home.  Now, since we have my insurance I need to keep my hours up around 40 and instead of a baby who only sleeps and eats I have a toddler who doesn't want to eat, who wants to watch Elmo 24/7 (which I cannot allow) and who throws tantrums (and throws her glasses and throws her food and throws her toys, etc.).  It is just a whole different strain than it was the last time.  I have tried a couple of times to arrange dinner out together so we could have some alone time.  We enjoyed the food and the conversation but it felt like the date was one more thing to squeeze into our schedule.  NASCAR was awesome and I am very glad we went but we came back and jumped right back into the work week and it has been full tilt since.  We stayed up late (10:30!) the other night talking.  I think we were starved for a quiet uninterrupted conversation. (This could probably said for the parents of any toddler. I am not saying that all of our issues are due to Azure's cancer, it is just a part of our lives right now.)
 
Employee: I want to name this one Valued Employee.  I know they value my work and appreciate what I do...when I am there.  They miss me when I am gone and are glad to see me when I get back to the office, even if I was only gone a couple of hours. *sigh*  I love my job, I love the people I work with.  I laugh out loud every single day.  It can be stressful, especially now that we do not have a receptionist and I have to pick up the slack there too.  I enjoy it.  It is the perfect opportunity for a workaholic like myself.  But, if I am going to be completely honest, the workaholic label does not fit quite as well as responibility-sponge.  T pointed this out to me during our quiet conversation.  I take on the load to do everything that needs to be done when in fact it does not HAVE to be me that does it.  There are others in the office who could pitch in.  If Azure were not sick I would not think twice about working the extra hours and taking it all on myself and showing everyone what I am truly capable of.  But...she is sick and as mentioned above, she needs me.  I keep thinking back to the saying, "When you're laying on your death bed you will not wish you had spent more time at the office, you will wish you spent more time with your family".  This is true!  I know this is true!  It is just SO HARD to step back and leave what looks like a pile of things I did not do.  I cannot be 100% everywhere.  It just is not physically possible.  This frustrates. me.
 
Self: I need to exercise, lose weight and sleep.  I need stress reduction in the form of quiet time alone and when I can afford it, a massage or facial.  I need these things.  I am not getting them.  I am sacrificing myself in order to focus on the three items above.  It is a losing battle.
 
Married Working Mother I can handle.  Married Working Mother of a child with cancer is proving to be a challenge. Time to get back into problem-solving mode.


6 comments:

Kier said...

Long time reader (lurker) from long long ago coming back and just wanting to give you (((hugs))). I don't know you but I'm proud nontheless of you. I know that there is nothing else you can do but what you are doing (coping? handling? living day to day?). Just wanted to say that I'm thinking of you and dear little Azure.

Boulder said...

I did that as an executive class back in the early 90's, and I have to say the best points that I've been left with are to focus on your emotional bank account and that of those around you (sharpening the saw!) and 2)putting first things first.

You are working damn hard here to seek first to understand what is happening in your world, and to try to establish win/win situations. Nascar with no AF? How much more win/win does that get for T? :)

Can you make yourself a tiny list cheat sheet with the 7 items on it and see how many you can cross off in a day? It may help you to recognize how much you really are achieving for everyone in your life, including making sure to depoist in to your collective emotional bank account.

I really admire you taking pause to consider this. It is just one way of strking balance in a hectic life, and if anyone is living a hectic life right now, it is the adults in your home. I'm in awe that you even thought to consider it.

Alex said...

I posted on your other blog but wanted also to come post here and now see that you have updated. I'm so sorry for all that you are dealing with and wish there were some way to help. This must seem weird, as I don't even know you, but I did follow your story closely when Azure was born and was so, so, so happy for you. I still wish you, T, and Azure much happiness, of course, but as you have said, it's crazy how much you are all having to to through to get there. I'm so sorry; I wish you strength, and patience, and the ability and opportunity to be kind and gentle with yourself in addition to Azure and T.

Milenka said...

*hugs* I have a feeling that Mt Pleasant isn't close to where you're located. If there's ever anything I can do to help out, though, please let me know?

Eggs Akimbo said...

I am waaay behind with what's been happening. I was shocked to read about Azure's cancer. You are a busy womn with a lot on your plate. Yiu are amazing and I have thought that all along reading your bloy, although I have been so out of touch for a long time.

averyjenn said...

I was going through my old blogs and came across yours - I am shocked and so very sorry about Azure's diagnosis. I don't believe it's karma or anything like that, I think it's just life and life sometimes sucks. As someone who had 5 miscarriages and know so many others who have had much worse things happen to them, I can't accept that somehow it was placed upon us because of something we did. Please don't do that to yourself, no one deserves to have their child be diagnosed with cancer and I've read your blog for a long time and you seem like such a kind person. Please know that you have someone in NC praying for your precious daughter. Gentle hugs to you...