Saturday, January 01, 2011

Keeping my cup full

I read this post over at PhD in Parenting and I feel like maybe it can help me figure out how I'm feeling. Now, honestly, after six days of holiday celebrations and having my parents around to help with the kids I am feeling pretty good. Tired, yes. But the excitement, anticipation and extra work of Christmas is past (minus one trip to the mail center this afternoon) and there is no 'next thing' hovering over me.

But there are still two things I'm dealing with. And they kind of go hand in hand when it comes to my emotions. To use the metaphor in the above-referenced blog post, I feel like I'm struggling to keep my own cup full so I can keep pouring for the kids.

1 - Being unemployed and how I define myself. It is not that I only define myself as an architect...but I don't define myself solely as a mother either. Working as an architect helped to 'fill my cup'. It gave me pride, great adult interaction, interesting stories, purpose, challenges and something tangible to accomplish for others. Obviously, there are other things that can fill one's cup in the same categories, but I haven't found substitutes for them yet. And I would prefer to substitute them with a new job over anything else.

2 - Todd's needs are pretty substantial at the moment. Actually, his daytime mommy neediness seems to be abating a little or it is just a manifestation of having daddy, nana and bapa around so much over the holidays. We will see for sure on Tuesday. But the real draining issue is bedtime and overnight. He needs a lot of mommy/nursing time at bedtime as well as overnight. The lack of regularity makes me think that his brain is waking him up and once he's up he wants to nurse back to sleep. It is still clear that he *can* sleep well in his crib, he just isn't. And he really has to be passed out at bedtime, which sometimes takes a couple of hours. Which is hard especially because it takes away most or all of our couple time as well as my 'me' time and chore time.

I'm doing my best to remind myself that both of these issues are just phases. They might be longer phases than I would like...but in the grand scheme of my career and Todd's life, they are really pretty short. So I will remind myself the importance of filling up my own cup, even when that means ordering pizza instead of making it or letting the kids watch one more episode of Bob the Builder.

In my head I know all this, but I think the metaphor is giving me a good framework for dealing with it on a daily basis.

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