Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Giddy Up, Rawhide!

I'm getting back into exercise. Due to my proclivity to shin splints, I always take it slow after babies. A few days ago, I decided to step it up and sprint every other block. Laura falls asleep; Grace loves it.

She leans forward, into the wind, and her left arm goes up and down, up and down, keeping to the tempo of the run. She leans back then, into her seat, and looks up at me, laughing.

I am panting, and smiling, and out of breath. I know I am going to hurt later, and I also know how happy this makes her. I run on.

I'm on summer break right now, and I'm still dealing with frustrations that come with being an adult. But as important as all of this work is, I have not included Will in it. I have not let him help me, and while this is fairly typical (I have to make a lot of day-to-day decisions), this particular situation launched frustrations on both sides.

So is the tale of poor communication when dear husband is working with no sleep... and still, I am the one dropping the ball.

Visiting Dad! Our favorite thing!

Will is working night shift, and when he gets off (almost finished now!), he'll have spent 80++ hours at the hospital in the past five days. These past five days, of course, have included a lot of busy work at home, and I find it easier to handle situations independently.

This is not necessarily a bad thing - a lot of the work I did is beneficial, and helped Will when the time came for him to step in. But I am guilty of hoarding responsibility, channeling Atlas as I carry our world on my shoulders. Do you hoard too?

Unfortunately, as noble as my ideals and intentions are, that is not partnership. That is survival mode, and I have war paint on my face.

Or rather, had. I wiped off my stripes. I am letting myself walk again. I am letting down my guards.

I constantly find myself in a mama bear position. A week ago, Grace had another check-up with her eye doctor. It was decided that her intermittent exotropia in her right eye is getting worse, and she needs to start wearing a patch every day for 1-3 hours.

"It'll be like wrestling a little bear cub," said Dr. K. How prophetic: that afternoon, the first hour of patching was a lot of screaming, yelling, restraining her left arm/hand, and cuddling. Grace would not be bought by vanilla ice cream or Blue's Clues. By the end of the hour, she fell asleep in her swing to Sesame Street tunes on Pandora. Day 1 complete.

I felt very overwhelmed. Will was gone too (night shift, brouhaha) and that seemed to make everything feel worse. When your child has certain needs, crying takes on a less affecting role. Sure, no one wants their child to cry: but sometimes, they have to, as a means to an end. She needs to wear the patch - we're already seeing a stronger right eye as a result! Still, the crying can take an emotional toll on the mama as well. You just want peace on earth, if that is not too much to ask.

It's been much less fighting since then, thank God. Yesterday was an easy two hours, complete with our new ritual of a walk/run. When I am struggling, her grin holds me up. When she is struggling, I'm there to coo and kiss. Add the adorable Laura to the mix, and we're all peaches and cream over here.

I guess I thought summer would be different. Less stress than the school year. But maybe it's not the summer winds that have to change, it's me.

Giddy up, rawhide! Time to keep riding these trails.

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  1. While you are carrying your cross, concerns about mother/wife-hood, and time away from Will remember that there are those who have fought a similar fight and thus can pray effectively for you. Chin up girl you are a good wife and mother. God has you in his hands and the Communion of Saints have your back.

    1. Thanks! Yes, I am always asking for prayers on Twitter. :) I appreciate the comment - trying to gather up my spirits! Will has the next three days off, which is going to help!

  2. When I first opened this up and saw the patch my first thought was 'O no, now what?' and glad to see you gave the explanation for it. when I read of your struggle to get the patch on I thought of trying to put booties on a puppy - they just do not like it. I know you will welcome the day when Will has 'normal' working hours and not so long hours in a row - I do hope he is able to catch naps at the hospital. hope you and your family have a great summer and the weather stays nice and not too hot or stormy