Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It’s the end of February and time to take a look at how I’m doing with my three goals for the year. So for better or worse, here goes:

Resolution # 1 - Loose the guilt and rediscover a hobby or two, and maybe even go on a date with my husband (i.e., The Good) 

Believe it or not, my husband and I left our daughter with an actual babysitter and hit the town for a night out earlier this month. It really happened! It wasn’t just an elaborate plan in my mind. Having time alone to remember why you like each other and why you decided to get married in the first place should never be underestimated.

I was concerned that Ellie would be sad we were leaving her. (It’s that crazy daycare guilt haunting me again.) But my husband and I agreed the timing was right and stayed the course. I’d talked with Ellie about Ms. L (a teacher from her school) coming over, and she was excited. I still hadn’t fully explained that when Ms. L arrived, we'd be leaving. When it was time to have that conversation I was nervous. As eager as I was to spend some quality time with my husband I doubly dreaded the thought of her being upset.

Here’s how it played out:

Me: “Ellie, Mommy and Daddy are going to go bye-bye for a while, and you’ll stay here with Ms. L.”

Ellie: “Good idea, Mommy.”

When we were walking out the door she endured our hugs and kisses and gave us a quick and nonchalant, “See ya later.”

It was as simple as that. She was as thrilled to get us out of the house as we were to go on a date. That evening we enjoyed a funny show and had a nice dinner, which we of course filled with conversation about Ellie. I’m thrilled to report my guilt about date night has greatly diminished, and I’ve already scheduled Ms. L for another night in March. Yay us!

Resolution # 2 – Shed some pounds and become a healthier momma (i.e., The Bad) 

This continues to be more difficult than it should. I accept that making healthy choices is a lifestyle change, and incorporating exercise into my daily routine is an ongoing battle. But the workout gods don’t seem to be on my side. It’s frustrating because in a 24 hour day, I’m only aiming for 30 minutes. I occasionally get a workout in, but I’m inconsistent. UGH! I get so disappointed in myself.

I’ve realized if I don’t exercise in the morning it’s not going to happen. So, earlier this month I revisited the nicest gym closest to my home. I accepted a free membership for a week to ensure I’ll be spending my money wisely if I commit to an actual membership. What’s embarrassing is the fact I haven’t made it there to give the one-week test run a try. Thank goodness there's no expiration date. Things happen; either my daughter’s up half the night coughing or my dog’s puking. The adage really is true: if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Last Tuesday morning, I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m.; the class at the gym I planned to try began at 5:15 a.m. (Crazy, right? My thoughts exactly, but if they hold the class I suppose people show up. I guess it’s doable.) Early to bed, early to rise; I was in bed by 10:00 p.m. My workout clothes and shoes were waiting for me in the bathroom, and I’d already ironed my clothes for work. Surprisingly, even Ellie was cooperating and had gone to her bed—amazing! I was on top of it, or so I thought. At about 3:30 a.m. we were startled awake from extremely loud shrieks and pounding sounds. At first we were unsure if the sounds were coming from inside or out. It sounded like our home was being attacked. Screech! Thump! Thump! Thump! It was truly frightening. Our dog, Shelby, a 90 pound lab-mix, went berserk; she couldn’t decide whether to growl or cry so she did a combination of both.  I ran to get Ellie. She was terrified and screaming, and Shelby continued to bark and whine. My husband was impressively on the job to handle the situation. In his underwear, he threw on a sweatshirt, slipped into his dress shoes, and grabbed a flashlight and a baseball bat. It was certainly a sight to behold, and if I’d been thinking clearly I would have taken pictures or grabbed the video camera. At the time I was too afraid. When my husband came back inside he explained the strong wind had blown our crawl space door open, and neighborhood cats had found their way underneath our house. He’d chased/coaxed the cats out and locked the door to our crawl space. (We later discovered that only one of the cats had actually escaped, and one was still trapped. But that’s another story.) We’re not sure whether these cats were fighting or involved in some kind of freakish mating ritual. Regardless, by the time things had settled down our queen-sized bed held our toddler, our dog, my husband and me. I only had about 25 minutes until my alarm would have gone off. Needless to say I bailed and reset it.

I don’t intend to just make excuses. The reality is I must dig deeper and find the willpower to overcome these types of obstacles in order to make taking care of me a priority.

Resolution # 3 – Develop and nurture some friendships (i.e., The Ugly)

I’m ashamed to admit I have done nothing to build or rekindle friendships. Lucky for me there’s 10 more months in the year, so there’s still time.


  1. Hi Amy! I'm hopefully helping with your third resolution! And can give you some support and perspective with your first two. I just returned to full time work on March 1st after being home with my kids for almost 3 years. It was wonderful being home, and I wish I could have done it longer, but it was the right time for me to go back.
    While I was at home, we made a lot of sacrifices in order to make ends meet. One of those was me working several weekends a month. That meant no babysitters or date nights unless our wonderful parents were visiting. We have finally (now that the kids are 4 and 2) started getting baby sitters and getting out as a couple. And I LOVE It!! It's so important to reconnect with your hubby, even just to chat about current events!
    As for exercise - it took me a good 3 years to find some time for myself between parenting, sleep deprivation and just sheer exhaustion. Don't beat yourself up about it - but definitely keep carving some time out for yourself - it makes such a difference in my attitude when I have some time to exercise, get a pedicure, or just go shopping without a baby with me.
    Hope you are doing well and would LOVE to see you guys - maybe we can both visit Grundy at the same time!
    Love the blog too :)

  2. Hi, Maggie! Thanks so much for your comment and for reading! I appreciate it so very much and would love to visit with you guys!
    How are you doing with being back at work full time? Hang in there! I'll be sending you good vibes!
    Thanks again for your words! It means so much to know I'm not alone. And please do let me know when you guys are heading to Grundy next!