Oh, Astrid!

thirty and finding myself again

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Let’s just all agree to ignore how bad I am at posting, mmkay?

So, it’s New Year’s Eve. Two hours to go until midnight. I’m sitting by the (very fake, gas) fire with the cats. Kyle, as usual, is working until forever o’clock. The kids are both sleeping. No exciting plans here. I’m not typically big into this particular holiday, and I don’t do resolutions, but introspection is always good, so here we go with a review of the last year.

The beginning of 2015 brought me to the end of my legally protected maternity leave, and so also the end of my paid employment. I had known it was coming for a while, I suppose, but I waited until the last minute to officially quit my job in case something changed somewhere that would allow me to go back. But it didn’t. So 2015 has been the year of stay at home parenting for me. It’s a big one. It’s both better and worse than I anticipated. I’ve found ways to get us all out of the house on a regular basis, and places to hang my hat, identity-wise, that are not just “mom” things. And that was what I was dreading most, and I did a good job heading it off before it became a problem. Hat’s off to me! Kid-free time for me is still a challenge, but the older Atlas gets, the easier it will be.

Harder for me has been my own performance at this new “job”. Honestly, when I’m home with my kids all day, everyday, I’m not bringing my mom A-game. I find it so much easier to be a good mother when I’m not doing it 24/7. The quantity of time I’m spending with my boys is vast, but the quality may not always be so high. Rarely being away from them means I’m not often excited to be or do things with them, and that, frankly, sucks. And it’s been exacerbated by some medical and behavioral things with Tycho. And Kyle’s heavy load at work.  I’m simultaneously dying for time alone and desperate for conversation with someone of legal drinking age. My lack of self-care in this area makes it feel, sometimes, like I’m barely treading water, and it’s hard to spend all day doing FUN! ACTIVITIES! with your kids when you’re mostly trying not to drown.

This past year has also seen tons of ups and downs with Tycho. We’re over two years into Early Intervention now, and while we’ve made tons of progress, we keep uncovering new issues. It’s never ending. But this, I let T put on underpants and he wore one pair all day without accidents. No timers, no prompting. It was good. I’m not ready to call it a done deal, not by a long shot, since this is potty training, round 65 or so, but that’s probably the best he’s ever done. So we’ll go again tomorrow. It would be nice if 2016 could be the year of underpants. And also hopefully the year we figure out what’s going on with T behavior-wise. It would be nice if it was just a phase he’s going to grow out of, but I’m beginning to suspect it’s not. So 2016 might also be the year of a brand new scary diagnosis. We shall see.

Everything else in 2015 has been pretty steady, even keel. The house is the house. It’s fine. Marriage is stable and happy and strong. It’s been in the background, a little, because kids and Kyle’s work stuff being in the forefront of our lives, but no so much that it’s been neglected. The money situation is better than it was the year before, but still tight here and there. We’ve made it work, and a big raise is coming (well, came yesterday!), so we can see the light at the end of this starving artist tunnel.

Today I made a lot of little changes. I signed up for Stitch Fix. I have no good reason for this, other than it will make me happy. I spent a decade working in fashion and I miss it, and even though I don’t go much of anywhere most of the time this is something fun for me and I’m going to look fly as hell at the grocery store. I’ve been wanting to for ages, and I’ve kept putting it off because I don’t have any real need for it, but I do have a need for self-care, so here it is. Maybe I’ll blog it.

I also subscribed to Blue Apron. I’ll admit it, meal planning is my least favorite part of my stay at home gig. I don’t mind shopping, and cooking isn’t so bad, but being responsible for deciding what to eat three times a day every day and then making sure I have all the appropriate gear and ingredients on hand at the right time is really… not my strong suit. I could maybe be better at making the effort if I ever felt appreciated for it, but the fact of the matter is Kyle is rarely around to eat meals with us anyway, and Tycho doesn’t like anything I cook, so I’m less than motivated to get my shit together. Enter Blue Apron. I’ll get to cook fun delicious foods and then eat fun delicious foods without the terrible decision fatigue and resenting my family for not appreciating me. And Tycho can continue not liking anything and that’s okay.

I’m looking at a gym membership too. Not quite right now, since the last thing I want to do is join January 1 like everyone else. But I like exercise. I’ve been running, but I don’t love running, and I’d rather do strength building work over pure cardio. I suppose I could do it on my own, but I need someone else to tell me what to do. And there’s a very highly regarded crossfit gym jusssssttt down the street. So February? Maybe?

I guess the trend I’m seeing here is that 2016 is going to be the year of better self care. Maybe I’ll even get a haircut, too. Maybe that can be my resolution.