Monday, January 30, 2012


When I feel my control over life slipping out of my lately with L's sleep shenanigans...I yearn desperately to exert control over the areas in which I can still retain power. The problem is, exhaustion? Not so good for the frontal cortex and higher executive functioning. I make poor choices and then regret them.

Friday evening I went out to celebrate a work-friend's last day. Despite not really feeling up to it, I decided to go, in the name of friendship & connection (themes! I haven't forgotten them!) Well the aforementioned exhaustion, coupled by frustration at the day's events (minor, but irritating, including a pitiful pumping yield), led to my "accidentally" imbibing 2 glasses of wine and a beer in quick succession. That's kind of a lot for me these days. Maybe it was the lack of a solid food base, or dehydration, or the not-sleeping, but I really really felt it. I left  early & headed home; both boys were already in bed (I wasn't totally irresponsible, I had planned for this and left an extra bottle of pumped milk for L tonight). I did my chores---washed bottles, pumped, helped clean up the kitchen, and even hung out with G (instead of heading straight to bed like I wanted to!) all while downing water to clear my head.

The problem? I slept poorly, due not only, but definitely in part to the alcohol, though L slept well. What a waste! When L woke up at 5:30, I realized that I had a very mild hangover and really just wanted to go back to sleep and let G handle him. But G wanted to go running, and I couldn't deny his noble goal, so up I got. I soothed & entertained L and then B, trying and failing to be present & fun for them. All the while I berated myself for the stupid decision to drink that extra drink just because it was put down in front of me.

The outing was fun, there were a lot of jokes & laughs...but not really "connection" of the kind you might get one-on-one with a friend, or even in a small group. It was more of a party atmosphere, where everyone is talking over each other and the conversations get sillier as the evening wears on. I wouldn't have "missed out" on anything leaving a half an hour earlier,  but I was kind of enjoying the freedom of being out, alone, just like all the other single/child-free friends that were there (though I kept compulsively looking at my phone to check the time and to make sure G hadn't called/texted about the boys).

I guess the pain of Saturday morning brought home to me the necessity of making good choices for myself and my family. While I certainly don't begrudge myself a night out or a couple of drinks here and there, I need to remember that I don't have any reserves of time, energy, or patience these days to draw from, and I need to consider the consequences of even seemingly little actions.

The rest of the weekend, when confronted with a choice, I made a deliberate attempt to do the thing that was restorative for myself or my family. Free time Saturday afternoon while boys napped? I immediately took a nap myself instead of surfing the internet. Up early Sunday morning?  Did laundry instead of lying around. Hanging out with L Sunday afternoon? Read him books & sang him songs instead of absentmindedly bouncing him while I played on my phone. Finished my beer Sunday night and considered splitting another with G? Had a glass of water instead.

More restful, productive, and enjoyable...and without the bitter taste of regret.


  1. This sounds like a wise approach, because it involves taking care of yourself, and not just having a self-flagellating backlash against ever having fun again, which I'd probably do!

  2. Haha. As I'm reading this D is lying in the pack n play wide awake and I'm thinking I really should be doing tummy time or talking to her or something more stimulating. Ok, I'm going to go do that now.

    1. Oh, OMDG, when I was on maternity leave, I had L in my lap or next to me while I watched 4 seasons of ally mcbeal and all of HIMYM on netflix. plus blogging/reading blogs and catching up on EVERY show on Hulu that I even liked a little bit. Its different now that I'm back at work & get so little time with the boys; also L is more alert & ASKS for entertainment (with shrieking). Don't feel like you need to stimulate D constantly at this age, you'll burn out pretty quickly.

    2. We finished what's available on Netflix of HIMYM last night. I am going through withdrawal.

  3. Even if you did encounter a few speed bumps, I think you did the right thing by going in the first place. I have been TERRIBLE about doing those kinds of things - to my detriment. I suppose the lesson is to find that sweet spot so that you don't pay too high a price later.


  4. I had one of those moments of regret the other day when I stayed up until 2 surfing and commenting on blogs. And then got four hours of sleep, because N is up by 6 and doesn't go back down.

    Yes, better choices ... in the name of long-term contentment.