Maybe it's the weather but today I feel downright miserable. Does postpartum depression have a statute of limitations? Can it hit six months later? Or maybe I'm just suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Strange how the acronym for that is S.A.D. Yes, I feel sad. I'm hoping that by pinpointing the things that I feel most sad about I'll maybe feel better. Maybe a light bulb will go off and I'll have some epiphany that things aren't so terrible. Or maybe I'll just end up telling myself "Buck up buttercup. Put your big girl panties on and deal with it."
Sad item #1 - there's never enough money. Well, there's enough to keep the bill collectors from calling but that's about it. With the addition of daycare expenses, things are especially tight. I don't know how people who are less fortunate than us manage to have two or more kids. I'd love another kid, but I can't afford it. My husband and I make good money, but where the hell it goes I'll never know. We are the living example of that phrase "every time we make ends meet, someone moves the ends." And with Christmas coming it's a whole other ball of wax. This year we've decided we are not going overboard on presents. We're mainly worrying about items for Jayson. My in-laws would rather not do gifts at all but they want to plan a trip together. A weekend getaway. Sounds like heaven, however this trip is sure to cost us more than we'd spend on gifts so really it's not helping our cause.
Sad item #2 - being compared to others. I put enough pressure on myself to stay on top of things, even after having a baby, that I don't need to constantly be compared to every other susie homemaker with a kid that's doing it better than me. This one had family photos done, that one traveled someplace extravagant for their baby's first birthday. What have I done? Well, I'm lucky if I got the house picked up from last week. I have tons of photos that have yet to be printed and the photos I do have displayed are from his first week of life pretty much. I haven't done "official" family photos yet and when my little one's first birthday rolls around the most he has to look forward to is a family dinner and a messy cupcake. He won't remember an extravagant trip and frankly I don't have the money. I think what really hurt me recently was being asked the rhetorical question "you don't want to do something special for your son's first birthday?" Um, yeah I do, but refer back to sad item #1.
Sad item #3 - child care and breast feeding. Since making a switch in daycare facilities I'll be the first to say things haven't gone smoothly. Jayson boycotted bottles, his sleep patterns changed, and my ability to get to work on time has pretty much been thrown out the window. If I pick up or drop off any earlier/later than our current schedule it'll cost more money (something we don't have). And of course, just as things seemed to have settled into a comfortable pattern Jayson is now demanding more food-wise while at daycare. I only produce so much milk throughout the day so I'm left feeling like a failure. What's worse is when the daycare provider asks me if I feel like he's getting enough to eat before dropping him off. I'm sure she didn't mean anything by it, but it's hard not to take something like that personal. He's probably going through another growth spurt and his doctor is happy with his weight but now I'm a neurotic mess about feeding him enough. I've been trying to pump extra at night in order to send another bottle with him during the day but sometimes there's not that much left over to pump after he's nursed before bed. I've tried increasing my liquids and calorie intake but I believe I'm maxed out. I do send back-up bags that I've frozen but he's not a fan, so today I sent a container of squash with him (don't laugh, he loves squash) and I'm hoping that will help.
Sad item #4 - I look like a ragamuffin. I weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant, which is not something to complain about, but my clothes are hanging off me. I hesitate to buy new clothes because who knows how long my new shape will hang around once Jayson is no longer nursing. I also am in dire need of a hair cut. I missed my last appointment when Jayson was in the ER and haven't found time to reschedule. I also feel guilty spending money on myself especially when money is tight, so I've essentially let myself go. To all the disheveled moms out there: I get it now.
Sad item #5 - In light of working full-time and caring for an infant, it's no secret that there is little time or energy left for much else, especially in the romance department, and for that I feel bad. So on top of worrying about money, being the best mom I can be, feeding my child enough and keeping up at work and with house chores, I also worry that my relationship with my husband is suffering. I think I need a therapist, but who has time for that???
In reviewing the above items that have been bothering me it's become quite clear that it's not postpartum, it's not S.A.D, it's just unnecessary STRESS. I have to be up front with my in-laws that we may not be able to afford the weekend getaway. I need to say to those who are comparing me to other mothers that I'm doing the best that I can and I don't appreciate the added pressure and comments. I need to have a conversation with my daycare provider about Jayson's feeding needs so that I ensure he's getting enough by their standards and that I'm not a failure. I need to go out and get that hair cut and maybe afterwards Justin and I can plan a much-needed date night.