If you read my previous blog, you know that last fall brought about a sort of personal crisis for me. I went back to work full time, sent the boys to school full time, and watched the threads start to unravel. Full time.
I started an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication for the first time in my life and made plans to take a leave of absence from my teaching job for second semester.
Announcing that decision was humbling. Approximately 263 I've answered the question, "Are the boys going to be staying home with you?" I just feel this unwanted perception that I'm sitting around drinking coffee and eating chocolates all day. That taking care of myself was selfish. That walking away from my job for awhile made me a failure.
(Perhaps I've been fighting those same doubts myself.)
But this is what I do know.
In the last three weeks I've baked cookies for friends, taken dinner to another friend who recently had a baby, cleaned areas of my house that had been neglected since April, actually made healthy dinners for my family, written blog posts for myself, read books for myself, renewed my love for Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls, started exercising again, invited friends over for dinner without panicking, kept up with the laundry, gone shopping with my mom, talked with friends on the phone without being interrupted 32 times, ate lunch with the boys at school, volunteered in their classrooms, advocated for them more at school, had lunch dates with my husband, cleaned out closets, repurposed the spare bedroom, and painted my fingernails. Twice.
In a nutshell, I've felt more like myself. I breathe more deeply. Love more intentionally. Live more fully.
So this time is good. It's fulfilling. (Financially it will be a bit stressful, but we'll work out those kinks.) Things here at home aren't miraculously better now that I'm working. LD still has trouble sleeping and struggles with some big, big emotions. BD still triangulates and manipulates and deals with incredibly low self-esteem.
But because I feel stronger, I can deal with it better.
If I could talk to any new adoptive moms out there, I would say this: Don't ignore the necessity of taking care of yourself. Don't give so much of yourself that you eventually have nothing left to give. That looks differently for everyone. For me it meant medication and a break from work. For you it might be a weekly long bath with a glass of wine or hiring someone to clean your house or a dinner date with your best friend. Whatever it is, do it. Please. Most of all, don't be afraid to admit that you can't save the world all by yourself.
It will prevent you from feeling like this.