self-care (or lack thereof)

May 2, 2018

I am a physical mess right now.

It isn’t all that apparent to the outside world, which is good.  But it dawned on me yesterday as I fought off waves of vertigo-induced nausea that I haven’t felt GOOD in a long, long time.  Maybe there was a short stretch of relative well-being during my 2nd trimester, but other than that I have been slogging through life in a body that is not particularly happy with how it has been cared for.
Here is a laundry list of my current neglect:
– I have barely worked out at all, running or otherwise, since going back to work.  This is so unlike me — I cannot recall a stretch like this in the past decade, with the exception of the immediate pre- and postpartum weeks.  On some days, I simply have not made this a priority; on others, I truly did not have time (unless I were to further sacrifice sleep, which . . . NO.)  This hasn’t impacted my physical size much (breastfeeding = cardio) but I feel tremendously out of shape.  I miss the feeling of well-being that comes from being in a physically active and fit body.  I miss it A LOT.
– I have not slept more than 4 hours straight (and even 4 hours is a rare unicorn) for the past 2 months.  There was a time when G had some lovely nights of going 9p-3a, but those days are looooong gone.  Because she eats a lot at night, I am typically up 2-3x.  Last night was 11:30p and 2:30a, then 6:00a.  That was a good night.
– I have not been to the dentist or eye doctor, and am months overdue for both.
– I do not floss.
– I have been eating a ton of convenience foods/takeout especially for lunch and at work — this is not because I even like these foods but is a direct result of poor planning.
– I eat most of my meals (healthy or not) in about 3 minutes, unless I’m pumping.  Now that’s a luxurious mealtime ritual.
– My mental health kind of sucks too, in that I am still beating myself up when I cannot pump enough and have a lot of anxiety (all centered around that dumb issue!) taking up mental energy that I do not have.
– Meditation and journaling have gone by the wayside — and I miss them both.
This is not to say I am an anomaly; I’m sure many mothers of infants — or older children — could generate a similar list.  But I’m just putting it out there that I’m a little tired of feeling like utter garbage.  The vestibular neuronitis (English for dizziness / imbalance) after my recent cold* kind of tipped me over the edge and for the first time on a work day, I skipped my 5 am pump session.  I actually didn’t really mean to, but just slept though the alarm and G’s sleep schedule didn’t really allow for it anyway (since she was up at 2:30 and 6, I couldn’t have pumped at 5 b/c she easily could have been up at 5:30 and even 6 doesn’t give me enough time to ‘refill’.  PS dear breastfeeding zealots that don’t think you should need any time to refill post — you clearly have not met my breasts or my babies who clearly show their displeasure if I’ve pumped too recently).  
I’m not sure I’m ready to give up this early morning pump session for good, but I do know that I need to figure out how to take better care of myself.  As much as I’m trying to be patient, the balance has tipped too far in the martyr direction and honestly I am not really enjoying life right now in its current form.  
* cold # 287423 this year, it seems.  The infection rate in this house seems to be related to the square of the number of children . . .

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