Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pieces of the Puzzle

For the last 2 months or so, I've been working pretty steadily. Before that, it was patchy, here-and-there stuff that I couldn't really count on to bring in more cash than I had to use to pay the babysitter. But since October rolled around, I've gotten in some pretty good hours. I've made enough money to cover our groceries for the month!

And it makes me feel so good, so competent, so confident in my post-baby self. I think we all really need something like that, because I don't think I'm the only one who wondered what the heck happened to my ability to accomplish anything outside of The Baby Realm since my child was born. For the last 17 months or so, it has been an uphill struggle just to get the dishes and laundry done. Many days, we fall far short of our goals. And, I have to admit, I get pretty frustrated when I don't see this happening at anyone else's house.

But then I start thinking. First I remember that I don't necessarily see the inner workings of other people's houses. Then I remember that my house isn't what's important anyway, although it's hard to think that dishes don't matter when you're eating oatmeal out of a tea cup with a measuring spoon.

And then I remember that those other moms? They don't have diabetes. And I really think that my diabetes is key to how tired I am so often. I am learning not to underestimate the impact of a crazy blood sugar day on the entire rest of my life. So I wonder...how do other diabetics manage this juggling act, with kids and/or with jobs and/or with all the thousands of things that can take up our time and sap our energy? When you have a severe low and just need to sleep it off but you have a feisty toddler who wants to play on the playground all day long (or a different obligation you must fulfill)...and when this kind of thing* happens several times a week...what do you do?

I'm learning my options. I'm coping better every day. I really think it helps me a lot personally to face the fact that my diabetes affects how I feel to such a large extent. I know new moms are tired. And I know diabetics can experience some pretty strong fatigue. I just never put two and two together before and realized that maybe what I was feeling was actually a different brand of tired than other people experienced.

That being said, I don't mean to sound like I think this will be every diabetic's experience...or like non-diabetics have it easy. I know that's not how it works. I guess, for me, it's just a piece of the puzzle that's recently fallen into place. It's a way to remind myself to go easy on myself.

And since, in response to my occasional depressive posts, I've gotten several comments and emails saying I should do just that--thank you for the advice. You're awfully smart.

*Please note that I didn't say this exact thing happens so frequently...there are many variations of diabetic conundrums I run into, regularly.


Elin said...

Hey Susan,
You are sounding better now than you were a few posts ago, so thats good!
I'm lucky, I don't have diabetes or any other chronic condition. I do however have two jobs and and a very active two year old, and I'm tired most of the time. My house is not very tidy and the laundry doesn't get done all the time. - We have enough clothes to get us through the difficult weeks and during the weekends we do all the house work together. That's the key for us - doing the chores together. Even when one of us is home with the toddler all day- that's hard work and no less hard than any other job!

Susana la Banana said...

My house isn't just "not very tidy," it is not REMOTELY tidy! ;)
We really feel like we SHOULD do all the work on the weekends, but we often feel like that's the only time we're not working 24/7...and it's really hard to be motivated when I'm so tired! I'm glad you have a system that works for you...it would probably work for us if we could just keep it up! =)

Ana and Emery's Mama said...

Susan, I think most moms/people think others have it together a lot better than anyone really actually does. That being said, you (and us as your mommy friends) need to acknowledge that you are living with a (mostly) invisible disability that makes your everyday life much more difficult.
I wish I were there with you to lend a hand and some support. Miss you guys!

Andrea said...

You want to know how I handle it? I don't. Frances gets sick or just needy and the house needs to be cleaned and I need to make supper and do laundry and sweep and take out the garbage, and the first thing to go is testing blood sugars. The first thing. It's been that way since Frances was born, moreso now that I'm single.

It is a tough gig. I let things go knowing that I don't really have much choice, but I'm still worried about what this will mean down the road.