Friday, January 9, 2009

Off-Topic: Oprah, Our Guru

Newborn Jonathan & I

I’ve been watching Oprah this week. Every year she does this Best Life Week thing… you know, reach-for-the-brass-ring-you-too-can-be-fulfilled shows with advice on how to make your life good. I like Oprah, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it is so apparent that she does not live in our world. Anyway, this year she started out her Best Life Week thing with a confession. She had let herself go. Gained weight. Stopped exercising. Fell off the wagon.

Join the club.

After Jonathan was born, I lost a vast majority of the baby weight rather quickly. I think breastfeeding helped. But once that stopped, my eating-and-no-exercise lifestyle came back to bite me in the butt. My big butt. And now I struggle with a weight issue. Like, a 30 lbs weight issue.

So as I listen to Oprah (and Dr Oz and her other teams of experts) I recognize that I should really take charge. Love myself. Make myself the priority.

Except WAIT…..oh yeah, I forgot. I am a MOMMY! Darn it… that is right! I have a two year old! With therapy four times a week and ECFE once a week, minimal communication skills and who doesn’t go to daycare. Oh, and I work evenings, 3pm-11pm. And I get up between 6 -7am with my darling boy. Oh yeah, and my house generally looks like a daycare vomited all over it.

Maybe I could work out when he was napping. Oh wait…. He naps at 2 pm and I go to work. Hmmm. Maybe I could get up at 5:30am and work out. Oh wait… that interferes with my sleep since I don’t go to bed until midnight. Dr Oz would NOT approve. I could take him on long vigorous walks…in 10 degree winter weather.

Maybe I could just stop eating. No chocolate, no naughty food.

Oh joy

One of the issues I have seriously struggled with since Jonathan entered the picture is finding any “Me” time. I know that this is a perpetual complaint by many mommies. I am not alone. But I still can’t quite figure out how to balance all of the things Jonathan needs from me… and he needs them NOW… and my husband, my house, my job, and me. I have read all these articles and heard all these news stories about how overworked mommies can be… especially if they have a child with special needs… but until you live it you just don’t know.

It feels like Jonathan has such a narrow window of time to progress. Of course, I know this isn’t true. But that is how it feels. I feel like “Me” time is selfish. Plus, and this is the truth… I am just plain tired. When I do get time… and I do, let’s be honest… I just want to sleep and eat and watch TV and clean my house. Blog on the computer (HA!). Not JOG!

When you have a child who has special needs, I think priorities shift so radically it is hard to put life into any real perspective. Suddenly, nothing else seems as important. However, that is just not true. My weight, my marriage, my home, my job, ME... they all still matter. Alas, I have no advice here. In fact, I am open to some. So if anyone has some tips on how to maintain a balanced life with a toddler who has a speech delay, I would love to hear!


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