Why is it so hard to find balance?
Its taken me a while, but I think I've finally found it. Its not a perfect balance, by any means, and sometimes I wonder if its an illusion. I just think that I'm doing it alright and tomorrow I'm going to discover that my life has fallen apart.
When I first met Brian, I only had two labels. Bartender and Girlfriend. (Of course I was a daughter and a sister, still, but since none of my family lived in SC at the time, those were easy rolls to play.) During the day I had lots of ME time. I watched my soap, I scrapbooked, I shopped. At night I worked at Buffalo's surrounded by a ton of friends and made money. On my days off, I was totally devoted to Brian and his activities. Easy peasy.
Not so much when you find out you are expecting a baby. Now, I've always wanted to be a mom. Nor do I regret the situation that our first born was conceived in, either. But it definitely would have been nice to have more time as Girlfriend or even as Wife before adding Mommy to the mix.
When Jaina was born, she became my life. I had no intentions of returning to work, happily, I might add. My stepmom cautioned me that I would forget about Brian's needs and I needed to make an effort there, but I didn't listen. I had Jaina. What did I need Brian for? He was the guy that went to work every day and was only around nights and weekends. And those nights and weekends always included our precious daughter, so there really was no time for "us" to happen. We got sitters once or twice (nice co-workers of my husband's who sat for free!) to go out, but by the time I got Jaina ready and breastmilk pumped, and the sitter informed, I was too tired to really enjoy our time out.
The best thing we EVER did for ourselves as a couple was to go away to St. Lucia for 6 days when we got married. Yeah, I missed Jaina like crazy! But only for the first day or two. It was there I realized how important it was to keep your relationship nurtured with your husband. For us, it wasn't just about nurturing it, it was about building it.
9 months later came Jayce and I found myself torn again. How do you give 100% to your daughter when your son takes up so much time and energy? And forget about finding time to go out. Jayce wouldn't take a bottle nor sleep well, so finding people that would even offer to babysit was few and far between. I didn't have time to do anything for myself anymore, either. No lunches with Monica, no Moms Night Out with MOMS Club. No scrapbooking or even much computer time.
Then came the diagnosis of developmental delays for Jayce. We couldn't get him into therapy right away, so I became his therapist. 100% of myself went into my son and Brian and Jaina were left blowing in the wind. With Jayce, you can't assume he's just going to pick up stuff as he goes along life. You actually have to stop, break it down, and teach it to him one-on-one. Its exhausting and I felt extremely under qualified. I also obsessed over it a bit, I think. Whenever I was with my friends from MOMS Club, all I did was talk about Jayce's autism and the therapies that encompassed our life.
I'm not sure when all this changed for me. Maybe last summer? It wasn't an ah-ha moment by any means. Definitely more gradual. I started to let Jayce on his own a bit more and gave more control over to the therapist team. I started to do more crafts and special outings with Jaina. I started to attend Book Club and MNO again. I stopped feeling guilty about asking my mom to babysit so Brian and I could go out on dates once or twice a month.
And I finally feel like there is a balance. For now :)