For about a week and a half now, things have been going much better.
I feel good (not ecstatic, but not depressed) about work.
Husband thinks that the reason things started to go downhill for me was the change in weather and season. I think the downswing from summer to fall is always rough on me emotionally. I have a few weeks where I can’t seem to find the joy in anything, and then I go back to normal. It’s sort of like when you get menstrual cramps — at the time, you can’t focus on anything but the pain, and it seems unbearable, but once it’s over, you pretty much forget it ever happened — until the next time.
At the time I was like, ‘Ok, whatever,’ but now that it’s ‘over’, I think he might be right.
I think this means I have some form of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I don’t really want to label myself. About half of my bloggers labeled themselves as having SAD, and they act like they are martyrs. I just, I can’t. Really? Really. When your doctor gives you the real diagnosis, and you don’t think you have it simply because you miss the sun, we’ll talk.
All that wasn’t affecting my work, though. I was really struggling, as I mentioned, and I didn’t know what was going on. I spent half of each day fantasizing about quitting and ranting at everyone.
Honestly, I didn’t think anyone could tell. I don’t why I thought I was such a gifted actress, but I thought my coworkers just assumed I had nothing to talk about anymore and that’s why I was so silent all the time. I thought I had my poker face on. I was wrong. One day, my super sweet coworker admitted to me that she wasn’t trying to bother me with anything because she could see that I was really upset and she didn’t want me to blow up at her.
I sat myself down right then and there and really thought about what was happening. I was isolating myself from my coworkers, I was doing shitty work, and I wasn’t giving my best to the babies, who hadn’t done anything wrong. I had to figure out what was triggering this, and I had to turn it all around.
Then I heard one of my kids getting up from a nap. We’ll call her Young. Now, Young was on a really tight schedule, even though she was eleven months old. Her parents wanted her meals and two naps at certain times and got irritated if A) she didn’t get these things on time or B) her naps weren’t long enough (each one was expected to be a hour long).
We had been struggling with her for two months now. She had stopped drinking most of her bottles, she was crabby about eating, and she HATED to nap now. We were spending about 45 minutes to a hour, twice a day, trying to get her to nap for what ended up being a hour total, a hour and a half on a good day. Instead of focusing on all the babies, we were putting our energy into her. It was driving all of us nuts.
Let me rephrase that last sentence.
IT WAS MAKING ME INSANE.
I looked at her, sitting up in her crib with an eat shit grin after a 20 minute nap, which was after a hour (and I’m not exaggerating here) of me rocking her crib and patting her back. A hour where I could have been feeding, playing with, and changing the seven other kids in the room. I realized that she was weeks away from turning one. It was time for a transition. Young was ready for one mid-day nap, and had been trying to tell us that for days now. We were all just too chicken shit to get the message and convey it to her parents.
I practically shouted, “IT’S OVER!!!”
We told her parents what was what, told them it was a command and not a suggestion, and put her on a one nap schedule.
They say things don’t change overnight.
This changed everything overnight.
ONE DAY. One day of this new plan — she took a two hour nap. She ate like a champ, drank all her bottles, and the ‘fussiness’ her parents warned us she would give? Non existent.
I almost cried.
We marveled over the calm that settled in the room. Instead of spending all this time rocking her, we take ten minutes or less once a day to put her down. That’s it. We felt less rushed, we felt less panicked and angered over her lack of sleep. The babies took their cue from us and settled down. The coworker that was scared to talk to me now said, ‘You feel better from this already; I can tell.’
I still am not crazy about work, but I like going now. I feel confident about my ability. This story is a great reminder that I need to trust my instincts and stop letting my fear of the parents keep me from helping the babies. It’s really, really hard to tell someone what to do for their kid. But giving a baby what they need is more important than pride.
I’m still writing a lot. I wrote 2,000 words on Sunday, so I took a break for the rest of the week. I got NANOWRIMO coming up next month, so I’m trying to finish my current WIP so I can start a new one. Writing is really therapeutic for me and I’m discovering my own way of writing — brain dump first, edit later. It’s working for me and stopping my doubts from halting my writing. I don’t know if I’m what I’m writing is any good, probably not, but it’s good for me, so I do it.