Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bargainer's Remorse

Maybe I was due. I've been surfing a tsunami of a birth high ever since Little A came into the world ten months ago. There were some turbulent, sad eddies here and there, but for the most part I have just felt so happy and thrilled to be alive and have a healthy baby. Life came at me in super-saturated colors. Fresh! Shiny! Smelled like skittles! At least until September, when the wave finally broke.

And what are the things that are making me glum? I am sheepish to admit them, they are so pedestrian. My kids have both been sick for most of the last four weeks. Nothing life threatening, but when the baby wheezes you end up going to the doctor a whole lot -- 3 times last week just for Little A, whom, it turns out, doesn't really sleep much when she's jacked up on albuterol. Then I caught the cold from the girls and also got my eyes contaminated with the germs (oh so gross to contemplate how that occurred) and came down with a raging case of viral conjunctivitis. Imagine picking up your child from preschool carrying a baby that has green stalactites hanging from her nose while you look like a hell demon yourself, what with those crimson, weepy peepers. Oh, won't you play date us, fellow preschool mommies? Care for a home-baked treat? Well no, I guess not.

Living in the house of plague has put a kink in my regular work schedule, which has already been dented because a relationship with a longtime babysitter has become a vexing, disappointing thing that I need to get out of. The problem is that I am far too behind on everything to properly research a replacement yet. So I'm stressed about work. I am upset about the babysitter. And I miss my DH. He's been on deadline for a new playable level on a video game ,which means that I've not seen him very much for the past few weeks.

The thing that bothers me nearly as much as the things that are bothering me is that I had promised myself I wouldn't get so caught up in this circle of stress and frustration over daily life again. If only I could get through such a difficult pregnancy with Little A alive and healthy, I just knew it would all be different.

What does it mean, to go back on a promise like that? I have major bargainer's remorse these days. It's so strange to discover that life suddenly feels ... normal. Recognizeable. And that despite my wishes and vows, my bar for stressing has readjusted from where it was last year to something a trifle closer to that of the "regular" human population.

I honestly don't know if this is a failing on my part, or a sign that I'm healing.

Maybe both?


Beruriah said...

I think it means you're a person. And healing. In any case, I don't think anyone expects you to live up to that kind of bargain. My BIL has had recurrent conjunctivitis since his kids were born. Nasty. But something to look forward to, because you know, I think I've made the same bargain.

Your DH is a video game programmer?? So cool. I wanted to be one in college, but somehow I'm now in grad school - I do still have visions of a new and much improved Oregon Trail series.

Lori said...

I do know what it is like to make those bargains, and then discover you have set the bar impossibly high. Pumpkin was a very fussy infant, and so she challenged mightily all of my vows to be the most perfect mother ever to a baby, if I could just have one more. I will say, that my perspective helped me to be a much better mother than I might have been without it, but I was still far from perfect.

I am so sorry you have so much illness circling and invading your house right now. The only thing worse than your kids being sick, is being sick right along with them! Hang in there, and go easy on yourself. Life is tough sometimes, and it's darn near impossible to always go with the flow.

Wabi said...

Beruriah, DH is an animator. And aside from the long hours (especially when on deadline) I do think it's a very cool job!

En how, Lori, it IS twelve times worse when you are sick and still have to take care of the wee ones. Thankfully nobody has anything serious, just annoying and draining.