My family is lucky in SO many ways. We have a place to live and food to eat, and enough money left over for a few luxuries and to give to people who are less fortunate. We are happy, and mostly healthy, and have loads of friends and family nearby. SO many people have offered us help and support over the past few days, and we feel completely loved and blessed to live within the community we do and have such amazing people surrounding us.
- Uncle David dropped everything to bring Mommy a phone charger in the hospital when she was feeling alone and isolated.
- Daddy, who has unfortunately had to miss a bunch of classes this semester, is working with an amazingly understanding professor.
- Grandma has taken in Henry, who has temporarily been abandoned for the lack of ability to give him proper care at home.
- Coach and Aunt Angela and Aunt Angela 2.0 have all rearranged their schedules multiple times in order to be available to watch me while Mommy has to head to yet another doctor’s appointment – or just give her a chance to nap, and continue to do so while our situation is up in the air.
We are so, so, so fortunate to have people around us that are ready and willing to inconvenience themselves for our sake.
And yet? Mommy and I are still struggling. It feels *incredibly* ungrateful to be stressed out and unhappy and downright cranky & mean in the face of so much kindness, but that is where we are.
I am 2, and therefore have a pretty good excuse to be thrown off by all of these changes to my routine; I have been a whiny, clingy, demanding mess since Mommy came home. Unfortunately, Mommy has kind of been the same way, without having being a toddler as an excuse.
If one more person tells her to relax and enjoy bed rest, for example, she may throw that person out the window.
*Maybe* there are some circumstances that enforced bed rest would be relaxing, but this right here? Not one of them.
- Mommy is NOT relaxed watching everyone else pick up her slack. She is keenly aware that she is unable to fulfill her responsibilities – and while it is not due to laziness and no one is blaming her, she is overwhelmingly frustrated that she cannot follow through on promises and obligations. Also? People are being forced to change their schedules in order to accommodate us – and Coach may end up canceling the vacation he looks forward to all year.
- Mommy is NOT relaxed watching people do things differently. Mommy and I? We’re kind of OCD. We have routines and patterns and Ways We Do Things. While putting the wrong pair of sneakers on me, or allowing me to watch Mickey Mouse in the morning rather than after nap is not likely to cause lasting damage, it is NOT What We Do. More stress and frustration.
- Mommy is NOT relaxed looking ahead to the coming weeks/months. Not only would bed rest be difficult under the best circumstances, this is our *busiest* time of year; we have obligations both major (the SHOW) and minor (Mommy promised me we would make cookies and take them to the fire house) that are rapidly being discarded. We are missing out on both things we HAVE to do, but also on the small parts of the holiday season that we have looked forward to. Plus, Daddy is super busy at work – it’s finals time both for the students he teaches and for himself, and he is bearing the brunt of our crankiness at home. He came home yesterday after working a full day AND teaching a lesson in the evening only to make dinner, clean it up, and take on bedtime. He is doing *everything* and his thanks? Mommy yelled at him because I spilled apple juice and she dropped a spaghetti sauce jar lid, neither of which was his fault. There was a point where she and I were both dissolved in tears and poor Daddy was probably contemplating moving to Brazil. The *reward* at the end of all of this “rest and relaxation” will be Baby Squishy – and we will all love her and be grateful for a happy and healthy baby, but adding a newborn to any situation is not really known to relieve stress.
- Mommy is NOT relaxed watching me struggle to communicate. Mommy and I are used to being on our own. She speaks Cole-bonics fairly well and can usually spot tantrums coming in time to head them off. Daddy doesn’t always have this same ESP, and it’s driving her crazy that he can’t read my mind. Again, unfair to Daddy. She *knows* what to do and gets irrationally angry that he’s not doing it before she has asked. Also, *I* really don’t want anyone but Mommy sometimes, and it bothers her to be too tired and run down to pick me up or attend to some simple thing that I want.
- Mommy is NOT relaxed not having a concrete plan. Mommy is a goal-oriented person; we evaluate what needs to be done and do it. She is decidedly impatient with last minute changes in general, and does not really understand people who don’t do at least SOME advance planning – this is in regards to everything: home life, job responsibilities, entertainment, etc. This whole situation has been very touch and go, and “well we’ll see,” and nebulous, and Mommy? NEEDS some structure.
We are, all of us, being stretched to our limits. We are cranky and tired and short-tempered, despite being helped as much as anyone possibly could be. So there’s another thing making us feel terrible – ingratitude.