Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trying to lower the pedestel

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I hold my self to some crazy-high standards - standards that can only be achieved by an amount of effort that few people are even remotely capable of achieving. My most recent foray into the land of, "It's my fault because I'm not doing enough," has led me to the fact that once again I have to take a good look at the difference between what I can and am doing to what I think I *should* be doing.

No matter how many times people might say it, I have a huge blind spot when it comes to realizing that I do I hell of a lot for my kids. I put together a post about Alex's most recent issues and put it on a private board where I'm a member. My main reason for posting it there and not on Mothering is because I couldn't deal with the likely barrage of well meaning tips for increasing my supply. I dread pumping and trying to find the time to do it. If I wasn't suffering from chronic sleep deprivation and didn't have Michael, yeah, maybe I could make it work - but the couple of days I did manage to do it were awful, I felt way too stretched and considering Alex nurses at least ten times a day there just isn't the time. My emotional state is already raw due to the fact that I am not getting the down time that I need to be functional - evidenced by the fact that I've had a cold for 6 weeks. Hell, a few weeks ago I was ready to wean Alex cold turkey - something that would most likely result in several days worth of screaming, because I was JUST THAT DONE and there wasn't anything more that I could give. Obviously, I worked past that - but the dream of not breastfeeding any more is still there at times.

So here I am. I'm trying to do the best I can with too little sleep and an emotional bank that is so overdrawn it's ridiculous and I have the gall to feel guilty for not doing more. Alex is getting half of his calories from Gerber Puffs, arrowroot cookies (the evil ones with HFCS), cheerios, and jarred baby food and I am learning to be OK with this - it's not optimal, but it's what he'll do and he's at least gaining weight. Michael is finally agreeing to eat more than just fruit and goldfish crackers so his meals have been pepperoni and monterey jack cheese, fish sticks and french fries or *gulp* chicken nuggets - and to be honest I'm thrilled that he's willingly eating protein. Michael goes to preschool three mornings a week and I try to take the two of them out to at least the park once a week. I've managed to cook enough the past few weeks that we haven't had to order takeout because I was so wiped, there have actually been leftovers to fall back on. I've helped Michael make birthday cards for my mom and his uncle, helped him make a leaf garland out of construction paper and yarn, and taught him how to play tic-tac-toe. I finished three knitting projects and have started making frogs to sell in my Etsy shop. Most days, I've been able to do at least a quick straighten in the living room and kitchen.

So no, I'm not doing all that I want to do and I'm nowhere near doing all that I think I should be doing, but seeing it written down and considering the sheer size and force of my situational depression, it's not all that shabby.