The 4th of July weekend was full of fireworks, but unfortunately a lot of the red was from the roseola that E developed. I have never seen her so miserable. To top it off, poor M threw out his back in a big way and spent most of the weekend in bed with a heating pad and lots of aleve. Luckily, we were with family and so I had lots of help from my mother. E stayed inside with her fever and spots while L played with my brother.
As we planned, my mom came back with us when we returned home and stayed the whole week. I was nervous for a couple of reasons: 1) My mom and I have always had a somewhat strained relationship and 2) I suck at letting people help me. However, with two kids under 3 I have finally given up on the idea of being the working mom who can do everything. The truth is, I suck at that, too. Besides, with E so sick I had no other choice. She was able to help me take care of E and we kept L home from daycare for a few days so he could spend some on-on-one time with Nana. Since I had help, M was able to rest and we were able to go out THREE nights last week. I even got a girls night out with Maura on Friday! It was amazing and much needed.
For one week, I stepped into a different world of parenting. I always knew that having family close by made a big difference, but I never realized how much of a difference until I actually experienced it. Towels were clean, children were happy, M and I were.......happy? That's right! The stress level dropped dramatically as did the frequency of sarcastic remarks. Having that help really made me see what a strain all of this has had on our marriage. I actually had time to enjoy my kids instead of worrying about feeding them, bathing them, and making sure everything was just so.
It all makes sense to me. Our friends with small children that have family in town just seem to be happier. They don't have to worry about babysitters, lack of babysitters, scheduling nights out months ahead of time or getting into a bind with no family to rely on. We do have friends that we could call, of course, but you always feel so badly when you have to do that. I know that having family close by doesn't get rid of stress, but it certainly cuts down on a lot of it.
Much of our stress is temporary. We have not sold our old house, which means we are paying two mortgages and M is taking care (mowing, fixing, etc..) of two houses. The space program is cutting many, many jobs and while I think we're ok, there is always that fear. Despite all of that, I feel strangely positive. I want to try to continue this feeling that the week with help gave to me. Ok, so our house looks like we moved in yesterday instead of 5 months ago. We'll just have to tackle that as we can. We'll just have to tackle everything as we can. In the mean time, I'll just hope that everyone is right when they say, "it gets easier".
Ex Libris Has Moved
4 years ago