Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Something's Gotta Give...

Sorry, this is a long one...

The past couple of weeks are ones that I do not wish to re-live. Believe me. The good news is that things are starting to return to "normal" (whatever that means).

A brief review:
June 16th: Mister went to the ER in the evening with pain in the right side.
June 17th: Mister brought into surgery. I brought HM up to daycare early in the morning, rushed on over to the hospital to see Mister before they brought him in for surgery. I waited until surgery was finished--the surgeon came out to the waiting room to let me know everything was fine. I rushed around for the next 2 hours while he was still in recovery to get some things accomplished. I had to cancel all my appointments for the week--and had to go rent a GIGANTIC SUV so that I would be able to go to the flower market with HM the next morning. See, I can't bring HM to daycare at 4:00 in the morning (which is when I need to leave for the flower market) . I can bring him with me, but not in my cargo van (no back seat for a child safety seat). I could go to the flower market in my regular car (a Je.tta) but no possible way I could fit all my flowers and vases and stuff in there. So, gigantic SUV.

Went back to hospital to see Mister once he came out of recovery (looking very washed out and sort of green). I sat there working on my lists for the market for the next day until it was time to go pick up HM from daycare. Brought HM by the hospital for a quick visit, then home for dinner, bath and bedtime.

HM woke up SCREAMING at about midnight--probably confused and upset about Daddy being somewhere else. (Was it a bad idea to bring him to the hospital. It was probably confusing seeing him with tubes and wires everywhere). I brought HM into bed with me, which meant that I did not get any sleep that night. My alarm went off at 4:00 and off we went to the market.

Wed., 6/18: Going to the flower market and trying to get all my shopping done with a toddler in a stroller is not a very easy feat.

Made it back home around 9:00--had to change and feed the boy. All I wanted to do was to drop him off at daycare (after I dropped the flowers off at the work studio to be processed) so that I could go home and get a couple of precious hours of sleep!

Guess what! No one was there at daycare when I got there!! They were off on some sort of outing and no one bothered to call me or leave me a note. Even thought they knew what was going on with Mister being in the hospital and that I had had to take HM to the market. I almost lost it. I called and left them a message. They called 2 hours later, and I schlepped him back to daycare...thankfully.

Thursday, 6/19: Mister was released from the hospital...and since they had to cut him open to remove his appendix (they can often do it with a laparoscopy--but in his case could not) he had 4 staples in his abdomen, and was on strict bedrest and a special liquids-only diet. So, I then had 2 babies to take care of. Poor Mister was still in a lot of pain. He had to sleep on the fold out couch because it would be too hard for him to sleep next to me on the bed (I move around a lot). Under no circumstances was he allowed to pick up anything over 2 pounds. Which included our son.

So. That week was hard. Go, go go go. Luckily, my sister came up from San Jose that Saturday (6/21) to watch HM so that I could go set up the wedding that day. I also had to work on Sunday and Monday, (I had an event on Monday 6/23) but luckily was able to delegate a lot of stuff on Sunday so that I could just go into the office for a couple of hours. Monday, I was able to take HM into daycare even though it was not a day he usually goes. The rest of that week was hard because Mister was still on limited activity. Still not allowed to drive, etc. With no day off in between, I had to gear up for 3 weddings and worked my butt off all this past week. Happily Mister was cleared as of last Thursday to drive and resume light activity/lifting so he took HM out to Lodi to spend the weekend with his parents so that I could work and come and go as I pleased through the weekend. I worked my butt off through the weekend. Phew! I got it all done, the weddings all looked great. But, oh my--you should see my hands. Gross. And I was T-I-R-E-D. Nothing like 2 weeks of sleep deprivation to make me coo-coo. Mister was keeping his distance. Luckily, I got some decent sleep the past couple of nights, and I am feeling normal again.

Mister is now back to work.

I am looking around the house and surveying the damage. It looks like a bomb went off in here. I don't even know where to start.

Oy vey.

This whole experience has made me realize a couple of things.

1. I don't know how other people do this (this whole raising children and working thing) with out lots of family near by to help. I felt so isolated and alone and desperate through this whole ordeal. Mister's Mom was in Italy with friends the first week that Mister was in the hospital. My mom lives an hour away, but is too frail to really be much help. She does not want to drive on her own. My sister also lives an hour away, and thankfully she came up that one Saturday to help, but she works very full time and during the week I was really on my own.

2. I am so not ready for another baby right now. Not with things the way they are. What on earth would I have done if I had TWO kids to take care of while all of this was going on? That doesn't mean I don't want to have another baby. I definitely do. But, I cannot do it while working the hours and intensity I do now. Something has got to give. Big time. All it takes is one little thing (HM gets sick and has to stay home from daycare, I get sick, or Mister gets sick) and POW! our lives are thrown into such a maelstrom that it almost takes me to the breaking point. I was totally overwhelmed and stressed these past two weeks, and I'm honestly not sure how we all made it through. But, illness, accidents and all sorts of things happen. That's life, and if there's no room in our lives (because both parents work like we both do) then life is always going to be a series of one chaotic event after another. I want some stability and some room to breath. I want there to be a stable anchor when our family ship is getting tossed about in a storm. Someone has to be that anchor. Someone has to be here. And I feel like it should be me.

So, what does that mean?

Well, Mister and I have been talking about it a lot.

Next year I am going to run my business differently. Thanks to Mister's new job (and please God it continues to go well) my income is not AS important as it used to be. Yes, we still need it at the moment, but once we get out from under some more of this debt (we're getting there!) then we could probably live on one income just fine.

That doesn't mean I don't want to keep working. I just want to work less. A lot less.

So, I am going to take a HUUUUUGE leap of faith. I am going to raise my minimum for events next year. Really raise it. And only do a maximum of one event per week. And, since I am raising my minimum to a pretty large amount, it will most likely mean that I won't be booked every single weekend. Which is fine. Which means that I get to spend some time with my family during the summer. It means we can spend some time doing things during the summer like camping, road trips, visiting family, going on picnics. Play dates. Normal family stuff.

And, if we go forward with IVF--there's no way I could do it as stressed and tired as I am now. There has to be more room--a lot more room--in our lives to be able to go forward with such a huge step. I need to be rested, whole, healthy. I need to have time to cook healthy meals and take care of my body. (And it will feel really good to do so for HM and Mister and feel like I am taking good care of my family, too.)

It makes me feel almost weepy just thinking about it. I have been so stressed out and overworked the past couple of years. I am almost at the point of being totally burnt-out and not caring any more. Which is not where I want to be. If I am going to do my job, I want to do it well. And giving a shit really helps.

It's not that I'm not thankful for how freakishly busy my business was in 2006 and 2007. It afforded us a lot of things. There's no way we would have been able to do our adoption if I hadn't been working so much and made the money that I made. I wonder if it wasn't all part of a Higher Plan that I was totally ignorant of at the time.

But now, things need to shift. I am ready for the next phase of my life to start. For the past very many years, I have been in the work phase. My focus (aside from trying to conceive) has been on building my career. Now, I have a son---and hopefully (please God) we will add to our family--and I am ready for the next phase to begin. The next phase of my life is the family phase. The mommy phase. My work will be there to help support and enrich our lives. Not diminish it or suck the joy out of it.

Do you think it is possible?


Kami said...

I am exhausted just reading about your post. It sounds like you have a great new direction for you. I am happy for you.

Meghan said...

That's a pretty rough stretch. Glad the mister is doing better and you all survived. And good luck with your plans for next year, sometimes it's good to sit back and take stock of all that

Amber said...

Wow, your life sounds so similar to mine. I have a career, Dh works (and travels) and we have a 2 year-old. And yes, it's impossible without family near-by which I don't have either. My family and Dh's family all live about 1 hour away and my MIL can't drive (plus she had been in Italy all summer). Plus I'm in your region so there you go. We are like, life-twins or something. If that is the case then I really hope you get baby #2 because I'm working on that right now as well.

Hope the hard stuff is over for you. And best of luck with your new life focus. I, too, hope that family becomes my focus instead of work.

Lori said...

Absolutely possible!

This recent crisis has prompted you to clarify your values and focus on what's important to you. I find that when I do that, the rest falls into place.

As for BlogHer -- absolutely you should come! I'm sure we'll be getting together outside the actual conference. Drop me an email so we can keep in touch. bestlightlori at the gmail place.

I am excited to meet you!

And continued healing to your husband.