Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nap time

Last night I dreamt that a semi-truck rolled on top of me and while I was happy that I was not crushed, I remember thinking, "It's going to take them a long time to get me out of here...I might actually be able to get a nap in." My life is horribly out of balance. I have known this in some capacity for awhile but I am becoming acutely aware of it as my body is unable to keep up. Aches and pains, exhaustion, stress, sleepless nights (even when Ellis is sleeping which is the ultimate rub), snapping at Aaron, snapping at my coworkers, markedly diminished capacity to deal with E's new found toddler antics. Whenever I get to this place, the place of knowing that something needs to change I arrive at two conclusions: 1. I need more time for myself (particularly to exercise as that is my mental health plan and always has been) and 2. I need to train E to sleep on her own. Enter the reason nothing has changed thus far. If I have the choice of hanging out with me and hanging out with E, I will choose E. And if I work full time and I feel as though I never get to see E then I will let her sleep with us for as long as she wants to so we at least have that time together. The sad truth though is this is not working anymore.

As you know I have diagnosed myself with post-traumatic stress disorder after the accident. One of the symptoms of PTSD is a sense of foreshortened future or a sense that you won't be around for very much longer. While I don't feel that way about myself, I do, and I am horrified to admit this, feel a sense of foreshortened future with E. it's my greatest fear, as it is any parent's, that you will have the gut wrenching task of outliving your child. E is a happy, vibrant and healthy child. My neuroses are not based in reality, this I know, but it is something that I still contend with daily. So the idea of taking time for myself or having her sleep on her own is nauseating to me. I want every second I can get with her. I can only remind myself over and over again that she will be by my side when I am 90 and I will watch her walk and run, make friends and have sleep overs, have a broken heart and do poorly on a history quiz (god forbid!), and we will visit colleges together and we will travel to other worlds together and I will watch her marry and have babies and get promotions at work. I will be the person she calls for the next 60 + years when she needs a reminder of how special she is. Remind her how more than any other child at her daycare she would show astounding empathy towards others at a very young age. We have time. We have time. We have time.

The god honest truth though is that E learns what she sees. She has to learn to care for herself above anyone else and that starts with me doing the same and so I will make a public proclamation:
1. I will work out three times a week, without Ellis and without the dogs. Just me and the road/treadmill/yoga mat.
2. I will begin to look at how good parenting is quality time not quantity of time. When I am with Ellis, I will be with Ellis. If that means I need to budget for someone else to clean my house, so be it.
3. I will explore sleep training options that feel good to me. I will take my time with this though so E does not sense my ambiguity.
4. I will rest more. When I can, I will. The dishes are no longer my priority.

Happy Sunday. I'm going to take a nap now.

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