I’m a part-time working mom and work 16-21 hours a week as a biostatistician for a company about 25 minutes from my house. I do Bible study on Monday nights, church on Sundays, volunteer at church two Sundays a month, and create surveys for the church staff as I have time. I’ve recently begun blogging again, as you may have noticed. I also lead a women’s quiet time accountability group on Facebook.
I do tons and tons of reading and research, trying to learn how to heal myself and also keep the rest of my family healthy, including our son who has a disease in his esophagus. Right now, our son cannot have gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, beef, chicken, peanuts, tree nuts, or green beans. We eat all of dinners at home, and I cook basically all of our breakfast and dinner food from scratch, except the few times when we throw allergen-free fishsticks and french fries in the oven. And when I mean scratch, I mean scratch. Very rarely does anything come out of a can or bag, usually due to allergen issues or additives in it. Nothing is preseasoned or flavored. I do a lot of chopping, dicing, baking, and sauteing. I spend hours and hours in the kitchen. Although I do believe this way of eating is healthier, it’s exhausting, and I don’t know if I’d keep it up if I didn’t have to. I mean, yes, I would still try to eat healthy. But I’d probably cheat a little more, use a few more premade items. Health issues and life circumstances have pushed us into this way of life, and so I feel like I have no choice. If we stop eating this way, my health suffers. And I also worry about Greyden’s health suffering if we stop, given that he’s already experiencing autoimmune issues. So continue I must.
I pack Krew’s lunch once a week, I pack mine twice a week, and I pack food for Greyden 4 out of 5 weekdays. This is no easy feat. My food has to be leftovers from dinners that I’ve prepared, so I need to always make sure I made enough at mealtimes. Greyden’s snacks and quick foods he can eat are incredibly limited, so I’ve had to learn which grocery stores carry which and often have to visit several of them to fill our pantry for him. Of course, I’d love to be able to replace these packaged foods with homemade because I think it’d be better for his healing, but I’m learning to accept that I’m only one person and I’m doing things one step at a time.
Meanwhile, I do normal wife and mom stuff. Laundry, bills, errands, grocery shopping, taking kids to appointments, driving to and from preschool, spending time with friends and traveling to see family, meal planning, going through the paperwork that stacks up the second I blink my eyes, thank you notes, changing sheets, organizing clothes, decluttering, working in the yard, feeding the birds, watering the plants, and oh yeah, trying to spend time with God. See, I hate that. I throw God in last. It’s HORRIBLE. He should be FIRST. And I feel like life is just sucking me dry, and since I know He’s always there and He’ll always love me, He gets the short end of the stick. At moments like this, when I write this paragraph, I realize how backwards my priorities can and have become.
Also, I’m trying to pick up extra work hours whenever I can, because our health bills are constantly coming in and our food is so incredibly expensive. So I have this constant self-imposed pressure that I should be working extra hours to help pay our bills. But when am I supposed to do that?
On top of this, I feel like I’m not spending enough time with my kids or husband. I feel like I spend all my time trying to keep up with life, especially in the kitchen, and then the day ends and I realize I’ve spent about 5 minutes of one-on-one time with each of them. Guilt, guilt, guilt. I feel so lost sometimes. It’s always time with them vs maintaining and healing our health. Because our health will inevitably spiral downward if I stop all my work in the kitchen. I’ve learned this over the past six months. So health vs one-on-one time. Which do I choose?
I write this because I’ve heard a lot of “I don’t know how you do it all” lately. And I want you all to know that honestly, I don’t know how I’m making it day to day right now. I keep pushing forward, but I’m tired. On top of doing everything listed above, I’m sick. Not like I have a cold. No, I’m sick, like autoimmune disease sick. My body is not my friend. I’m incredibly fatigued, I need enormous amounts of sleep, I’m weak, I can’t think clearly, and I feel like new health problems keep cropping up. A spot on my eye, my IT band suddenly becoming injured with no known cause. I keep smiling, telling myself it’s ok, that this is just a season of life, that God is getting me through, but sometimes I just lose my mind over it all. Last night, when my IT band was hurting so bad that I couldn’t get comfortable in bed, I just broke down. Started sobbing to Dave. I said I’m tired, I’m so angry sometimes, I just want to have a normal life for a little while. He just held me and said, “I know, I know.” Because really there’s nothing else to say. This is the life we’ve been given, and we’re seeking to live it the way we believe God wants us to, and that means that right now things are just hard. But honestly, it sucks.
So for those of you who think I’m some miracle woman holding it all together, I’m not. I’m sitting here in a coffee shop trying not to cry as I write this. There are times that I’m ok, but then there are times when I’m not ok. Keep me and my family in your prayers, would you?