Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My New Normal

This week is my sister's first full week back at work and my first full week of taking care of her daughter. I am also taking on my grandfather's blood sugar testing and medication distribution. So, in addition to the 4 hours I have at my first job in the mornings, now I am hauling ass over to Grandpa's retirement home to check his blood sugar and give him his morning pills and then racing over to Smug-Sister's place to take care of the baby. I stay at her place until 5 or 6 and then go back to Grandpa's to do evening blood sugar testing and evening medication.

Yesterday was the first day and I was way stressed out by it all. First thing is my own child. I nurse her before I leave for work and then she has decided that she would rather wait for me than take a bottle of pumped milk, so she is pretty hungry by the time I meet Smug-Hub in the parking lot and get her. However, she gets really distracted by new surroundings and will not nurse well in the car, so I have been racing home and just nursing her there. Now, I have to make the morning stop at Grandpa's and then get to my sister's place all before she can nurse. Yesterday, I got stopped by some construction so that made it close to 6 hours between nursings for her and she was really upset about it.

Grandpa wasn't feeling great and I could tell that he was a bit lonely as he kept asking if I wanted an apple or to sit down for a bit, but I knew that my sister was trying to work and care for her baby at the same time, treading water until I got there.

Once there, I was able to nurse and get settled in and it was a nice day. Mom came by and we each took a stroller and took the babies for a walk on the green way for about an hour. It was great and I felt wonderful after being in the sun and fresh air (although, now I'm not sure if it was a good idea or not - more on that later) and the babies loved it and both napped.

This is the other thing, my daughter is an only child and she is at that curious age where every new creak and bang, bump or noise of any kind distracts her. Normally, she takes 2-3 hour long naps a day. Yesterday, she only napped once for less than 1 hour. She dozed in the car on the way to Grandpa's both times, but nothing that could be counted as a nap. She also fell asleep for about 10 minutes before mom arrived in the middle of the day, but the door opening and floor creaking woke her. Last night, after I got home from all my jobs was horrible! It was too late for me to let her nap and still hope that she would sleep during the night and she was fussy and kept tripping over her feet and getting frustrated and didn't want to me to put her down at all. It was better once Smug-Hub arrived home as she had another playmate and I was able to feed myself, but all in all it was a really tough night for us.

Right before I was going to bed last night, I noticed that I felt like I needed to clear my throat and couldn't seem to manage it. I sucked on a halls and figured that all the singing I had done to keep Smug-Niece happy and later to soothe my over-tired baby girl had caught up with me. When I woke this morning, I discovered that I had no voice! After a shower and some throat clearing I am once again vocal, however my throat is feeling raw and I wonder if being outside in the cold weather and wind may have had something to do with it.

So, I was standing in the shower, feeling despair wash over me thinking about doing it all over again today and tomorrow and for the rest of the week, month, year and a thought occurred to me. The first few days of having my wonderful baby girl at home were hard. It was hard to get to know each other and establish routines. It was hard to learn what she liked and didn't like and what I needed to do to help her sleep or whatever. It stands to reason that this week is going to be really hard, but today should be better than yesterday and tomorrow will be easier than today. Next week will be even easier and so on. Routines will get established and my sweet girl will adapt. If she doesn't, I'll quit!

The other thing is that the stuff with Grandpa may be short term. He is seeing new doctors all this week and who knows what they will say or if his blood sugar will need to be tested twice daily or what meds will need to be taken when. It may be that I will only need to go there once a day, or it may be that his needs are so time specific that I will not be able to do it and mom will have to take over. So, no sense getting all worked up about it until I know more.

My family really NEEDS the money that this extra work will provide (especially if there is going to be a camera in my future) and as torn as I am between the need for financial help and smug-baby's needs, I do feel like this will get better if I give it a chance. Either it will get better, or I will cut all ties with everyone I've ever known, take my girl and move to a hut in the forest :)


  1. (((hugs)))
    I'm sorry its been so stressful, I do think that we'll get into a bit of a routine, I remember thinking last week that there was a noticeable difference between Monday and Friday and I hope for the same this week.
    I also think that Mary will adjust and find my home more normal and be able to relax, eat and sleep here.
    Hang in there.

  2. i'll join you in that hut and we'll live off the land. Name the time and place.