Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hodge Podge

Yes, yes, I am here.  The fact that I have neglected my blog is indicative of how I have been feeling lately.  I can't quite meet everyone's needs on any given day.  I am always behind.  I am always failing. Ok, that sounds really depressing.  I have my moments of feeling this morose, but it's not always that bad!  The overall theme though is I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and perpetually feeling like I am behind in every area of life.

Part of what has made the last month so difficult is my job.  I don't talk about it much here, but I am a Clinical Supervisor of a mental health program serving children ages birth to five.  Most often, these are children in foster care...who have experienced abuse and neglect that most of us only read about or see in the movies.  The stakes are high in my line of work.  I oversee the entire program and I feel the pressure in that.  With changes in funding, staff, etc, things have not been going very well.  So I work more hours than I'd like, and I often feel like it isn't enough when I am there.  They always need more of me.  And I always feel like I just can't give enough to make it work.  I take on every mistake or failure (in billing, in services to families, in staff satisfaction) as a personal problem.  I feel responsible for it all.  I also provide clinical consultation to other professionals outside of my agency - I provide specialized supervision to them.  I try to do that during nap times, etc - but that means that the 2 hours a day I have when they are napping (hopefully) is taken up with...more work.

Then when I am with my family, I feel guilty.  The kids clearly missed me.  They struggle when I am gone a lot.  Addy has started asking to nurse upwards of six times a day!  She falls apart emotionally until I give in.  I often cannot distract her, she just won't budge.  Is this an indication that she is under stress?  If it is, then you know that is my fault.   I want to be there for my kids ALL the time, but I also know that my professional life is important, for many reasons - my identity, it helps us live a comfortable life, future financial security, and I also think that what I do adds to the greater good for the small, fragile, broken and traumatized children and families we serve.  I am always balancing the many needs of others.  I won't even talk about my poor husband.  We rarely see each other - our shifts don't match up, so he leaves for work when I am still at work on the days I work.  When we are home together, the time is spent taking care of kids and the house.  I will say, though, that we have gone out on two small dates recently.  We are trying hard to not lose sight of who we are as a couple, but it's tough.

So, anyway, that is why getting on my blog and writing some thoughtful monologue has not been a priority.  I always try to wait to write until I have an organized, coherent and moving subject.  Well, I can't even think clearly lately so that hasn't happened, lol!  The kids have officially moved to one nap a day, and they don't go to bed until 8pm.  During naps, I frantically clean, run errands (if Jason or a sitter is here), make appointments, etc.   Or I have work meetings.  Once I get them in bed, I catch up on facebook (oh, now that is a love/hate relationship, lol!) and then just collapse.  I have come to the point where my entire body aches all day, but by bedtime, a heating pad is necessary.

Please don't hear me as complaining.   Life is actually mostly good.  Here is a hodge podge of the good (in no particular order:):

  • I am in the middle of re-decorating my bedroom in the beautiful colors of purple and grey.  So far, it is gorgeous.  It is like my dream room (minus some pieces like painting and fixtures that we aren't changing because we are renting).  Maybe I'll get around to posting pictures when it is complete:).
  • We leave for a trip to Michigan to see family for TWO weeks in just 8 days.  The change of pace and routine will be so therapeutic for all of us...I hope.
  • I have started narrowing in on what I like as far as fashion, to include cute necklaces.  This may not seem huge, but I know that many of you will understand that little things like this can help you make it through a day!
  • Jackson seriously is my light.  He thinks pretty much anything and everything is funny and he loves to laugh.  He has become very easy going, for the most part.  He loves people, he loves to play and, mostly, he loves his mommy:).   He is becoming a sweet 2 year old.  
  • Addison has become the most adorable toddler girl ever - she has a sweet, angelic face and makes the most adorable "shy" and "mischievous" expressions.  And she has such beautiful blonde hair - we now can do pigtails and I can't believe how grown up she looks!
  • I earned the highest level of Infant Mental Health Endorsement, which is a credential for specialists in my field - I am now an Infant Mental Health Mentor and I am 1 of only 6 in my state.  My hard work has paid off in so many ways.  
  • Jason and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on July 6.  Now THAT is an accomplishment, lol!  We are still going strong.  The comfort, security and support I find in my marriage is a true gift.
Heading out for a dinner date on our anniversary - we left after the kids went to bed and I ended up being too tired to make it to the movie we had planned for after dinner:).
Fourth of July - see the sweetness?