Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Fog has lifted

Man, do I feel good. I mean, seriously - I'm starting to feel human again. And like a person other than "just" their mom. I am getting back into my hobbies and am the healthiest I have ever been thanks to eating better and consistently working out.

Things are just going very well. The fog of drowning under 2 little kids demands all the time has lifted and I can breathe again. Some people never experience that fog - congratulations - I, however felt like I was walking in quicksand almost all the time.

Part of it was the addition of my immune system decided to almost shut down with an undiagnosed thyroid problem which took a FULL year of meds to start to regulate. Part of it was having 2 little munchkins who interrupt every thought, conversation  and minute of your day. Part of it was making the switch from full time stay at home mom, to full time working mom.

But, I can say this - I am back and better than ever.

I have found a way to balance the working mom thing. I don't think I'd be this happy if I worked in an office 5 days a week - working from home allows me the opportunity to capitalize on every single spare second I have to get stuff done around the house AND put in a full 8 hours of work. Laundry, groceries, cleaning, cooking -I have found a way to master getting it all done and not being too overwhelmed. I have learned to multi task in ways I never thought possible and have figured out ways to make meals ahead so all I'm doing is heating up, sticking it in the crock pot, or warming before everyone gets home.  There are still days the kids eat PB and J because I didn't get it all done and didn't plan better for dinner, but more often than not - they are at least given real, home cooked food and they eat SOME of it for lunch AND dinner. I have started putting portions aside and freezing immediately for lunches later in the week versus throwing out un-eaten leftovers later on in the week.  I have switched to glass containers for safer heating for the kids. I have mastered the art of re-filling our snack drawers with labeled foods for the kids for easy grabbing. I have figured out a decent schedule for popping laundry in and switching it at just the right time so it's ready for folding in the 20 minutes it takes my family to get home while I cook their dinner. I have also realized it is best to have ONE PRE-Cooked meal in the freezer at all times. (Baked Ziti, Lasagna, Pulled Pork, etc... ) to help with my super busy/no groceries left days. I am making it work and I know there are lots of ways I can make it all better still - but I have come a LONG WAY from where we started.

I love my house. I mean LOVE IT. We have amazing neighbors and the only thing that irks me about one of them is how they park on the street- and seriously, it could be so much worse - they could be angry drunks like our last neighbors - so if parking is our biggest issue - we're doing ok!

I feel whole again. I have things to talk about other than my kids. (although they are still the primary topic of my conversations cause they are so damn cute and everyone should know all about them of course) I feel challenged - I have allowed myself the time to read books - actual real long books and go to book club again. I have allowed myself the time to knit and crochet and get better at that craft. Laugh all you want - it's an amazing stress reliever and is insanely satisfying to know that my kids think they can request any sort of ridiculous custom made item and I will be able to make it for them. (I don't always come through - but part of the fun for me is the challenge of trying)

I am a runner. I always hated running. I mean - I walked the mile in high school because it was funny and also maybe a little because there was no way in hell I was ever going to make it any other way. My initial goal was to run a 5K with my husband who had started running and to be honest, I didn't give it too much hope. I won't lie - it sucked - A LOT at first. I cursed him out (cause obviously it's his fault) every time I tried to run for the first 3 or 4 weeks of the Couch to 5 K program I started - but then one day, it didn't suck. It was awesome and I liked it... (Yes, I questioned it too and thought for a second maybe I was having a stroke - but no, I LOVE IT NOW!!!) I can do a 5k run in the morning before logging on for work and although it might not always be pretty - it has been the main reason that I am suddenly 2 sizes smaller than I was before. It's the reason I can chase my kids for more than 2 minutes before suggesting we play something else. It's something my husband and I now have in common and although we don't get the opportunity to run together often, we do it when we can and it's a great little date.

I am eating better. I won't eliminate anything - because let's face it- I have the willpower of a 2 year old in a room full of marshmallows and cotton candy - but I have ADDED a bunch of healthier foods and options to my diet and I can feel a difference.  More veggies, chia seeds, quinoa and oatmeal, smoothies for snacks, more salads and sweet potatoes. Personally, I don't see a difference other than my clothes being smaller - but it is more often than not that someone who hasn't seen me for awhile sees me and says OMG what are you doing - you look GREAT! (which of course, initially makes me feel awesome, and then instantly makes me question how bad I looked to begin with:))

Now, unfortunately it's not all rainbows and sunshine. My thyroid might be mostly under control - but I have been plagued with a crappy immune system since Benny was born and feel like I am "sick" more often than not. Allergies, sinus infections and migraines have been common partners in my life over the last year - but I am experimenting with different remedies and approaches to keeping that all at bay.  Enter hippy chiropractor, vitamin D, Echinacea, Vitamin C and actually taking my allergy medicine EVERY DAY plus Garlic pills (no order garlic pills are a lie BTW - they totally leave a nasty garlic ODOR/taste in your mouth - but I suffer through)

I've noticed I've been drinking less coffee - which is an unintended positive side effect of all the things over the last year.

I also think a huge part of why I am feeling better is that I am social again. No more isolated new mom transplanted to New Jersey. Hello awesome new local friends and new/old facebook connections and library book club.

Seriously - the fog of having 2 little kids has lifted and while some people might take that moment of clarity and decide it's the perfect time to add a cute little baby to the mix - I am taking this Big, HUGE DEEP BREATH and filling my down time with stuff for me and my husband.. Remember him, the guy that made this whole family thing happen in the first place. Yeah - it's nice to see him again too:) I am using this new clarity to enjoy my 5 and 3 year old and all the bonuses that come with them growing older. Don't get me wrong - I get a bit teary when I think about kindergarten starting for Katie - but I also relish in her sleeping in until 7:30 and the awesome conversations we are having lately. I live for the grown up nature of some of the things that Benny comes up with and I know that right now - life is perfect. We are done. This family is complete. I am complete. I hope that you are all feeling complete too!

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