Momservation: As a working mom you might as well make friends with stress because it’s your constant companion.
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If I’ve got to blame something then I blame the month of July.
I’ve always joked that our jam-packed summers were so hectic that it actually made us ill (So Much Fun it’s Sick) or threated to run us into the ground (Fun Tired). But when the doctor who recently diagnosed my Graves Disease asked me if I’d experienced any stressful events lately, once I was done openly laughing in his face, I said, “Define stress.”
“Purchase or sale of a house, death in the family, unplanned events?”
“Motherhood?” I offered up, surprised it wasn’t on the top of the list.
“Well, I suppose it can be. Are you working as well?”
“What mother isn’t working?” I countered a bit testy.
“Um, right. But has there been a recent experience that may have been particularly stressful? Most auto-immune diseases can be traced back to a precipitating event.”
Where did this guy want to start? “Well, first there was trying to push a baby the size of a watermelon out of a place a fraction of the size…lots of crying, pooping, peeing, feeding, changing over and over and over again with very little sleep…trying to potty train two kids under two…keeping your toddler from destroying everything in its wake…”
The doctor interupts, “You said your children were 10 and 11 now?”
“I was actually thinking within the last six months,” he says as if the stress of the first 11 years doesn’t count.
Thinking for a moment I offer up July. “Well, there was my son’s All-Star baseball season…and my daughter going to sleep-away camp for the first time and it was unusually cold and she didn’t pack any warm clothes and she wasn’t feeling well…my husband’s annual birthday party for over 100 people I organized during 4th of July weekend… a daily blog, a weekly blog, a monthly blog and column plus three freelance assignments with short deadlines all due while my kids were off for the summer giving me no time to write during daylight hours…trying to remember to feed my friend’s cat while they were gone in Europe for three weeks and who suddenly decided to go AWOL…soccer summer camp, basketball summer camp and soccer practices and tournaments to get my kids to…packing, shopping, organizing for a trip to Shaver Lake and then Donner Lake…trying to keep secret a surprise visit to the Bay Area for my sister-in-law’s birthday…my extended family from Monterey staying with us for a weekend rafting trip…the dog got kennel cough…”
The doctor interupts again, “So you’d say it was a stressful month for you?”
Thinking again I say, “No, not really. Just the usual.”
The doctor decides to move on when I yell, “I got it!”
He stops what he saying and waits expectantly.
“Trying to figure out what the heck to make for dinner every night and making sure you’ve got the groceries for it, it hits all the major food groups and that everyone will eat it. Now that’s stressful as all get out!” I say pleased that I figured it out.
For some reason the doctor didn’t look so sure, so obviously he’s not the meal planner in his house…