Monday, February 4, 2008

Stress, Popcorn, whatever ...

As part of my ongoing pregnancy I meet with a social worker fairly regularly to discuss all the aspects of being a working mom of one with one on the way having suffered from post-partum depression.
I don't mind it.
Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes I cry.
Today we had a very serious discussion about my mental health. In particular about the fact that perhaps I was a little over stressed.
It had been a very long weekend. My child has discovered the art of manipulation. The basics: if you're bad tell Mommy you love her to get out of punishment and if you want to get your way tell Mommy she is hurting your feelings and SOB till the problem is solved.
Combine this with the fact that Friday was a snowday, I came in feeling rather overwhelmed by a couple of work projects. Throw in the fact that NONE OF MY CLOTHES FIT, I'm having a bad hair day, and I have a rather large zit on my chin.
Yep. By the time I met with her I was more than a little frazzled.
If you're going to meet with a mental health professional, being in that state is actually not a bad thing. And, man did I talk. About everything.
She initially suggested that perhaps I consider taking a short stress leave or maybe cutting back to part-time hours. I don't really think that is realistic. I would just go insane trying to get everything in order at our house. And, I can find projects. In fact, I think it's quite likely that I'd make myself more stressed. Then I'd resort to eating chocolate and watching tv - bad in that I would gain more weight than I want to and I would have no repeats to watch when I am on mat leave.
Since we ruled that out I had to tell her what would make the situation better. I literally had no ideas. I was at a loss for words. That never happens. There were some ideas I had. Like hire someone to clean (Phat Daddy doesn't like that idea). Okay. That was basically it. I promised to take lunch every day and actually leave my desk. (Lettuce Eatery anyone?). And, I promised to not feel so guilty when my child manipulates me.
Oh, and I think I agreed to taking some time for manicures/pedicures and other self-focused (hee hee - not selfish) activities so I'm less stressed.
And how does this relate to popcorn?
well when we picked Doodle up from daycare he was grumpy. Beyond grumpy. And, I asked him what on earth we could do to make his life a little better tonight.
His answer? Popcorn with sprinkle cheese.
So, instead of worrying about making a nutritionally balanced dinner we spent lots of time making air popped popcorn (with butter and sprinkle cheese), got ourselves some rootbeer and then we sat and watched tv and ate our "dinner".
I'll never be a perfect mother, but these are the moments we'll remember.


Haley-O said...

Awww! That's so sweet.

And, Miss Perfect? GET THEE A CLEANING PERSON. NOW!!!!!!!

SciFi Dad said...

Bottom line your health (physical, mental, emotional) is paramount. If you can't clean, and having the house clean makes you feel better then:
a) your husband can clean
b) your husband can get over the cost of a cleaning service

Sorry to sound harsh, but it's a pretty simple solution.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

I say if housekeeping is your main issue of stress that you figure out a way to solve that too, either by hiring out or getting "internal" help! I agree with SciFi Dad, does that surprise you? ;)
I wish I could help you!!!!
And, yummy! Popcorn with butter and cheese sprinkles for dinner!!!!!

Steph said...

I agree with all above- get a cleaning lady! Stop cleaning anything in the house this minute, give your hubby a list of every single thing that needs to be cleaned and the frequency and if he's all for cleaning awesome. But if he's not, get help. Your sister providing you with dinner once a week is help, getting a babysitter once in awhile is help- it's ok to ask for help and receive it. Is he worried that it won't be a time limited thing? Maybe there's room to come to an agreement on that. Having someone come in and make your house clean and your mind and spirit consequently happy and at ease is worth the fee (and not all housekeepers are expensive and you can bring the cost down by specifying only certain rooms like the kitchen or wherever). Let me know if you want me to suggest someone for you- my inlaws live in your neck of the woods.

Oh, and definitely try a spa day! With a massage if possible. With a trip to Chapters and Starbucks! Now if only we had a Cheesecake Factory here...

Take care!

Don Mills Diva said...

Sounds like the popcorn WAS a perfect solution to the situation.