Ok, so I was going to write this post yesterday but Blogger has been down. Booo. Today is an aberration where I feel just awful! But, given that I almost blacked out walking 1.5 miles last night, I think I'm getting sick. I've felt hit-by-a-truck awful all day (cranky, shaky, queasy) BUT as I said, this isn't actually typical of how I've been feeling lately at all. Here's what I was going to say yesterday:
For the last 4 years, and especially the first 4 months postpartum this last time, I've been on a nasty blue streak. It got so bad toward the end of month 3 p.p. that I actually considered seeking out counseling. But just as I was making up my mind to make the call, I snapped out of it. Just like that. I partly blame all that depression on the crazy roller-coaster I put my hormones on having 3 babies in 3 years. I never gave myself time to re-balance and fully heal before I was pregnant again. Not to mention the fact that I can count on one hand the number of times I've slept through the night in the last 4 years. Add that all up and you get one doozy of a bad mood.
I'm sure, though, that a large contributing factor to my awful moods was my health - particularly my diet. I was one of those silly pregnant women who used my growing bump as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. "Oh, no one will notice the extra pounds," I'd tell myself. "Besides, I'm eating for two." When I should have been eating even cleaner to give my babies the best nutrients possible and fuel my body for one heckuva long journey, I was stuffing it full of chocolate and ice cream and other comfort foods to combat the hideous fatigue I felt while growing one baby and simultaneously chasing another. By the end of pregnancy #3 I was 60 lbs heavier than pre-kids (and only about 12 of that was baby and accompanying stuff) and just the thought of getting out of bed in the morning was exhausting enough to make me cry.
Well, right around the 4 month mark, I decided that it was time to lose the weight and start eating better. And for the most part, I did. And *surprise* that's about the time I started to feel happier, too. I don't think it really hit home for me, though, till we started our big diet 2 weeks ago. Suddenly I was joyful in the morning. I felt energized despite the lack of sleep (and didn't even crave the chocolate to get me through the day anymore). And I was soooo much calmer and more relaxed with the kids. Not to mention that despite the fact that I have 13 lbs till I hit my goal weight, I finally finally kinda feel pretty again. It's silly that I need to 'feel pretty' to be confident again (and, frankly, I don't know if it's feeling good about how I look that makes me feel happy, or if happiness and thinness are both just products of being healthier), but it helps.
Maybe I can just say that I feel more 'normal' lately - I feel like 'myself' again which I haven't in a long long time. I've even found myself getting back into music I used to like and watching old tv shows I used to like and occasionally get a glimpse of who I am as a single entity instead of being stuck in 'wife mother super busy housekeeper who am I again" mode constantly. We'll just say that I feel balanced. And blessed. Even when my kids are grinding watermelon into the carpet or getting into (joyful) screaming matches or pelting me with Hotwheels. I still want to pause time right here and savor the moment. Which, considering that very recently I was counting the days till the baby started pre-school, is a HUGE step for me.
I'll confess - today I did some yelling. Today I was cranky. Today I didn't eat quite as well as I should have. But, today I am sick. In general, I am feeling really, truly amazing and I am so grateful. I LOVE this feeling and I am thanking God every day for restoring it. And I'm praying that I use it productively - to motivate myself to continue this healthy lifestyle - to use my extra energy playing with my kids - to really take the time to savor the moment. Because before I know it, baby girl WILL be in pre-school and I know I will miss all the chaos. At least, I'll miss this kind of chaos :)
Sorry for all the rambling. I guess it's just my roundabout way of saying that I'm finally learning that if I take care of myself first, I'll be so much better able to take care of everyone else. Here's hoping I can keep it up! Because this is so great!