Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Things I need help with

I'm 36 and today I met with a local service that councils mothers during pregnancy and postpartum. I was super nervous because I am very bad at admitting when I need help and I also feel like I shouldn't need help! I am an adult for goodness sakes!

Anyway, the service usually assists low income mothers and we are not low income which made me feel even worse, but a friend of mine had been telling me I needed to contact them for literal months now and I knew she was right. I have a chronic illness, a husband who works a lot, very little support from family due to their circumstances, depression over my rapidly declining health due to this pregnancy and a lot of anxiety and stress surrounding birth. I am not handling it well and I have known for awhile now but didn't know much I could do about it. I figured if I met with these ladies for the first time they could tell me if I wasn't a good fit but they didn't! The service meets with you once a week through your pregnancy and for a few months afterwards to help support you mentally and they also offer a lot of classes and other things as options you can "add on" to what you need. Like referrals to counselors, cooking classes, help finding apartments, breastfeeding help...it's a great non profit and I am excited to see what they might be able to help me with. At the first meeting they asked me a lot of questions about what I might be needing and I tried to be honest with what I am struggling with but I couldn't put into words actual questions that I had. 

Well, after mulling over it (and other unrelated things) I thought of the actual issues I am dealing with in my mid-30s and how to turn them into questions. Which lead me down a rabbit hole of unrelated motherhood/postpartum questions and into the deep issues I am dealing with in all facets of my life. I clipped it down to the top 10 things I hope to work on (at least somehow) this year.

1) I need to figure out how to get what I need done around the house (and in the kitchen) without overwhelming myself and using up all the energy in my body. Is this possible? Do other mothers without chronic illnesses deal with this? I get halfway though tasks and run out of whatever energy my body is running on and it literally shuts down. And I shut down. Sometimes for the rest of the day. 

2) I need to find time to be myself. I need a break from the kids that isn't full of stress, screaming, meltdowns or interruptions...ideally this would happen once a week but I would be fine with every other week. If it happens less often usually I am so burnt out I can't take advantage of it.

3) I need to figure out what is wrong with my hormones or myself. I don't like to be touched, and I know my husband definitely isn't interested in an intimacy-free marriage. I know a lot of my trauma with my birth with Reuben plays into this (it's a long story that I did blog about but am having a hard time finding the actual posts...to make a long story short, for 18 months after I gave birth sex was horrifically painful. Then for 1 year after I had Becky the same thing happened! I don't know why. Sex doesn't hurt anymore but all those times that it did left a deep impression on me and I just am not interested. There are more reasons too, but that's the biggest one I can think of)

4) Actually start doing some things around our house to, you know, STOP LIVING IN A FIXER UPPER. It has been 10 years. I am ready for my house to not be falling apart, thank you very much. Which means I am about to learn a bunch of new skills. If my chronic illness lets me. But I am so over it. This is not the house I thought I would be living in at 36. I want walls that are only one color, thank you, and siding that is not falling off in places. Literal dreams!

5) How to have better and more understandable boundaries with my extended family. 

6) How to not be on my phone/internet for goodness knows how many number of hours when I am burnt out. It's not a good coping mechanism.

7) How to get enough sleep in the first year after having a baby. Is this a thing that is achievable? I don't know.  

8) How to ask for help when I need it without feeling inadequate and like I'm a horrible mother. 

9) Make space for regular time with friends? Also unachievable since my friends are all exhausted moms but...it can be a goal right?

10) Once a month date night with husband. We need time together. Our communication and intimacy is surviving on threads.

Did I miss anything? 

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