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I Am At A Crossroad

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I am in a quandry, which is leading me to teary times in my day the last few days. Otherwise I don't feel depressed. It's just one issue (ok, maybe two) that are making me feel out of sorts.

A few months ago I basically stopped helping the 91 year old lady I'd been with for 6 years. I don't miss it. I don't miss her. I was really burned out on the care taking, and know that there is much of that in my future (I imagine) The things that have happened since I quit are the trip we made to Hawaii and I made one to my parents'…both of which were emotionally draining for me.
My MIL had her stroke, and there was Thanksgiving (which didn't go great) and Christmas (which was filled with joy…Leon's birth)

Ever since I heard my daughter was pregnant, I felt negative about the fact that she was having a third baby, because I anticipated she would be demanding my help a lot. I felt this anxiety mostly because after my third baby was born (her, in fact) I went through a postpartum depression and after a year ended up in a psych hospital for a month. She was a premie and tended to be a difficult baby. So I think this anxiety is projected bad feelings from my past.

She had needed me for a couple of weeks straight after her first two were born. It wasn't so hard, but this time I'd be mostly dealing with her easy 3 year old and her challenging 4 year old. He tends to get emotional and angry if you don't talk to him thoroughly about anything you ask him to do. He has strong feelings about what he wants to do. Actually I think he acts like a 2 year old. Doesn't respect authority. We never had trouble with that with our own kids so it is new to me. We handled our kids differently than she and her hubby do. I'm not saying my way was right, but I'm just not used to their approach, even after four years.

So I was trying for 6-7 months to work up the courage and find tactics with him that worked in dealing with him, for me to face this situation. And keeping my January free of obligations so I'd be available to her.

Then, this past week while her hubby started working again (he works in their study as a rep, via phone and computer) and mostly is unavailable to her, I am not helping her. He'll intervene if she needs him with the 4 year old, and he makes lunch. They have it under control and told my husband (she was afraid to tell me in person, worrying how I might take it) that it's just easier if I don't come over. They can control Ajax easier if they are the sole authority for him. I agree with that wholeheartedly. In fact I'd rather not be there having him give me trouble.

I am relieved on one level that I'm not needed, but I am missing holding the baby in his early days. I always love bonding with brand new babies, especially my grands. But I need to accept this. And be very happy for her that she is handling three so well. I am proud of her. Really I am.

So now I believe my tears are ones of missing the baby, feeling un-needed and at a loss for what to do with my time, that for so many months I anticipated would be the most stressful of my year.

I guess I am learning one thing about this…worrying about the future is silly because the thing you worry about may never come to pass.

The task before me now is to figure out what to do with my time. My MIL needs a chance to practice talking every day, but a half hour on the phone is all that is needed there. I can possibly get into a painting or pottery class, but these all begin either today or on February 19, leaving me time yet to deal with. The ones starting today are probably not going to happen for me. And I had also tried to get accepted at the last minute at the college I've recently attended. But no go.

I don't do volunteering well. But maybe if I think of a situation that the volunteering suits me I could apply myself to it.

There's only so many workouts I can do, and so much reading or writing I can do in a day. I only spend a few minutes a day on my art journal.

Ah Me, what to do? I know I'll figure it out. I am taking a breath and looking for the positive. I am saying yes to my emotions and letting them pass through me instead of running to food. I am exercising and keeping positive when I'm not feeling sorry for myself! Haha!

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These are symbols of the gamut of emotions I am going through!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a wonderful piece of insight. That is great. Now you know the root of it and can handle it accordingly. Good luck.
    1534 days ago
  • _JODI404

    I have to agree, absolutely NO good ever comes of worry! It is unproductive waste of time.

    I think it will all work out. It's best that you are not stressed by having to handle the difficult 4 year old. I am sure you will still get to see the baby... it will be a lot nicer when it is just a visit, and not caretaking.

    I know you will be able to find ways to fill your time. Your plans changed on you, like a rug pulled out from under you. Journal about all kinds of new things you could try. I especially like volunteering. It is very uplifting, really makes you feel good. It may just take some time to discover a great match for you. I think there are surveys you can take to help you find a good volunteer match. (I don't know.....) Do you like animals? Maybe something with pets would be good? Maybe try some new forms of crafting?

    I applaud you for feeling your emotions and working through them without turning to food for numbing. You are doing really great!

    Sending a big hug!

    1535 days ago
    You've summed up where many of us find ourselves!

    The beginning of the year is s great time to take stock of our lives. Good for you using healthy tools to manage your uncertainty and sadness! You've come so far!

    I hope you can come up with ways to get some new baby time, I like the idea of doing errands or chores on your time, and then spending sometime at the drop off pick up. Your daughter is so blessed to have you willing to be available! emoticon
    1535 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    You have hit on exactly my problem. Now that I don't overeat that much any more, what do I do? I am older, single, with no kids, and not a lot of friends. I have spent tons of time and effort trying to create a larger and more interactive friend network to no avail. I am sick of trying, so I"m unwilling to do much more. The good news is that in the attempts, I have found some interesting and rewarding things to do, but they don't lend themselves to filling all my free time.

    Even though I've already been successful with my eating, I continue to spend a lot of time online finding even more justification for how I've chose to handle the issue. I don't know whether it's a passion that fills my life or an obsession that holds me back! What do I move on to? The only things that seem as compelling are out of my budget to pursue at this time.

    I know you miss the new baby, but I'm actually glad for you that you don't have to contend with a difficult child for a lot of hours of the day. It can be exhausting to keep second guessing your own expectations. I've done it in my teaching career since 1996 and it's only now that I feel that the end is in sight that I've been able to handle my daily anxiety better.

    In any case, I'm very impressed with your honesty and insight! And I know that not only are you going to find your answer, but this is not actually tearing your apart. You're basically okay, just taking a look at your life. Nice stuff! emoticon

    1535 days ago
    Maybe there are things you could do to help your daughter that do not involve direct child care and could be done at your house according to your schedule....
    like mending, sewing, laundry, cooking, or baking. Then, you could visit her a couple times a week to drop off completed work and pick up work to do.
    That would give you a chance to hold the newborn.
    I am thinking this also might be a chance to start a hobby that you have always been wanting to do....something that is creative, mentally stimulating and enjoyable.
    You could even start some projects that would be gifts for family or friends.

    1535 days ago
    What an excellent analysis of your situation and feelings. I think I can understand your feelings very well. I hope, and trust, you will find useful and/or pleasant things to do with your time once you get used to how it all turned out.
    1535 days ago
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