Friday, November 20, 2009

Super mom

You may recall I was interviewed by the Bulletin in October 2008 about being a new mother that had returned to work recently. In the article, I had told the reporter my mother was a single mom and I wondered as an adult – “how did she do it?” because I couldn’t ask her today since she died when I was 21 years old.

I’m the bread-winner – not by choice. My husband was laid off in Cascade Healthcare Community’s mass lay-off in February. As I have said before, he’s talented and has made his career as a multi-talented marketing professional – strategist, designer, writer. In these times, those jobs are hard to find and we’ve gotten by on freelance projects here and there plus unemployment benefits and my income.

This has taken a toll on my health as I’m trying to do it all – breadwinner, working mom, wife, clean the house, do the shopping, make the dinner – you get my point. In July, I had a panic attack at work. Not my finest professional moment that only two people saw. I haven’t had panic attacks in over 10 years. As I waited for the doctor to see me, I couldn’t figure out the source. My blood pressure was elevated and I had to monitor it for week until I saw my regular doctor who told me what I already knew – I needed to exercise, cut out salt. If I dropped 10-30 lbs, my pressure would go down. Three months later I came back 5 lbs lighter but everything was still high. She ordered me to keep running, watch my diet and come back in three months unless I started to have certain symptoms – tight chest feeling, headaches. And then those started happening.  As of yesterday, I’m blood pressure meds temporarily. I can not run for a few weeks since part of the problem was my heart rate was too high while running causing me to have even worse symptoms. I can walk and do light exertion but no running. Boo. Never thought I would be sad about that.

I feel like an idiot as my doctor figured out why my pressure was high before I did. I’m doing too much. I’m not taking time for myself (which is why I haven’t posted this much this week. The pressure was driving up my blood pressure as well).

My husband and son need me to be healthy. I need to be healthy myself. I need to ask for help. So my husband is now on board with doing things around the house. I need to realize that they may not be up to my standards but at least he’s helping.

I don’t know how my mom did it all plus go to school and then help my step dad launch a construction business. She was truly a super mom.



Alissa said...

Yes, yes, you do too much. I went to Mom's mornings the other day and we were talking about how important it is to let our spouses carry some of the childcare/chores load and to LET THEM DO IT THEIR WAY. If dinner gets on the table, who cares how it got there, right? Your health is too important to think otherwise.

Liana said...

My list of responsibilities reads much like yours, with the exception of "clean the house". My husband does about 90% of the cleaning. And even though I know he's not taking the couch apart to vacuum under the cushions, and he's not dusting, it is a big help and a load off my mind. An added benefit is that since he cleans the toilets, he realized the benefits of sitting to pee. He also makes our daughter's breakfast and sack-lunch every day. I've been asked why I don't let him cook dinner since he generally has more time on his hands. Frankly, cooking is my relaxation technique. Stirring pots on the stove calms me.

It takes a lot to stress me out or raise my blood pressure. My health risk is really my high cholesterol, which I am getting tested this week (it's been a few years because I refuse to get back on medication). Here's hoping your health issues are quickly and effectively remedied! Just the fact that you do get out and run is admirable - and you're right - our loved ones need us! Now let's get our husbands back into the full-time workforce so we can relax a bit.

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