Earlier, when the big boys were little and we weren’t making enough to survive and everything was stress, I turned to food for help. If a cookie helped me get through the afternoon without losing it on the cranky kids who wouldn’t nap, then it was worth it. If making cookies “just because” brought some fun into our family and helped us forget, even for a minute, our dire straights, then it was worth it. And if I was gaining weight in the process, but we were able to hold the family together, then it was worth it. And it worked. We lived in survival mode for a long time but it worked — we survived.
Now I have a new little one, and sometimes he doesn’t sleep, and then he’s cranky, and my body is still trying to sort itself out and regulate back to normal, and when I feel stressed I look for cookies, chocolate, anything. I had lost some weight when I was sick immediately after the birth, but I have eaten my way back to those missing pounds. (They were delicious.) I had even justified them.
Paul travels a lot with his new job. The weeks when he is gone are very long. School, homework, piano, extra-curriculars, scouting, food, bedtime, they all take a toll. (Bedtime most especially. I have a very severe love/hate relationship with bedtime.)
But it is different this time. We are okay. I can handle being a single mother during the week; I refuse to white-knuckle my way through life. This is not a temporary moment to be endured. This, this is my life. And I will not survive, I will thrive.
I can be patient with myself that if we’ve had a bad night I can take the day come what may.
I can fill the good days with variety so we make good memories.
I can make healthy food choices for myself by planning ahead.
I can create quiet moments for myself, even if it’s reading a blog post in the bathroom, to rejuvenate myself.
I can greet my husband at the end of the week with a smile instead of a tired and frustrated, “you’re back.”
I can still make cookies sometimes. Not because I need them.
I can thrive.