Meltdown!

I let myself get in a bit of a slump last week. Actually, it wasn’t just a little slump. It was a full-scale meltdown. But the time Jeremy got home from work, I was sobbing in the recliner in the kitchen, nursing Seth, while Jesse brought me tissues and Claire gave me silent kisses. When I painted the scene for my brother on the phone later, he was aghast.

“What happened?!!” he cried.

“Oh, nothing really!” I assured him, and it was pretty much the truth.

I’d had a productive day, kept 3 children alive until 5pm, and even worked out for the first time since I got pregnant with Seth! Maybe I had changed one too many poopy diapers. Maybe my postpartum hormones (hateful things) finally got the better of me. Maybe I was panicking ’cause I didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner the next day. Or maybe all of the above.

Actually, I do know what set me off. I had spent my free time in the afternoon (such a thing exists during naps IF I’ve got my chores done!) reading my favorite real food blogs, including Cheeseslave and The Nourishing Gourmet. To tell you the truth, I’m getting tired of my baby weight, and being at the mercy of raging hormones. I was looking for a quick fix. Fact is, I’m only 11 weeks postpartum and what my body simply needs is time. But spending all that time on foodie blogs had me feeling really inadequate and guilty and lazy. In the face of these Natural Real Food Giants, I was feeling like a failure. Overwhelmed by all the things I could or should be doing to eat healthier, and by the fact that I simply don’t have the time in this season.

So, what did I do? First, I got off the computer. One should never continue a pity party while sitting down. The best thing to do is to turn your angst into motivation. Unfortunately, I was so down, all I could do was call my friend, B—-, who is also on a journey to healthier living, and with whom I knew I could commiserate. The wonderful thing about B—- is that she is so sensitive, and when she knows you need prayer, she doesn’t say “I’ll pray for you”, but rather, “Let’s pray about this right now!” She lifted me and my cares to Jesus right there on the phone, despite her busy day, and I was blessed. Not better – not that fast, but blessed.

The better part came by the end of the day, when I had come up with a plan of action. I have to have a plan in order to have peace (anyone else out there like that?). I decide I would continue to focus on the nutrition basics I have come to believe are the backbone to the good health me and my family enjoy. Most of this was stuff I was already doing; putting it on paper helped me to see that I wasn’t doing so bad, after all.

1.Cooking from scratch with whole foods as much as possible.

2. Making and using homemade bone broth to flavor foods – instead of bullion or canned soup – saves money, keeps junk like MSG out of our diet, and gives us wonderful vitamins and minerals.

3. Trying to eat fresh veggies at least once a day, along with homemade dressings.

4. Making the most of the good, raw milk supply we have. While breastfeeding, it’s essential that I get several of servings of good dairy a day.  I need to keep drinking it by the glassful, making it into whey and yogurt, and this week I tried kefir for the first time. (It was sooo easy, I don’t know why I haven’t done it before!)

5. Making sure I get the right fats in my diet, as they are essential to healthy hormone levels.  (I’m gonna tell you about what fats I use and what fats I don’t in an upcoming post)

6. When I have time, making a few simple tonics to help balance my metabolism. I need to go back and read my own post on homemade tonics! Today I had a nice (gulp) glass of Beet Kvass with my lunch.

7. Getting as much sleep as I can, and not over-doing it during the day. Now that Seth is sleeping through the night and I am feeling human again, it’s easy to get too busy and wear myself out that way! Gotta slow down. Nothing on my to-do list should be as important and taking good care of my body so I can be the wife and mommy my family needs.

Well, there’s my list. How about you? What do you do when you have a meltdown? What sets you off? How do you recover? C’mon, peoples – I know I’m not alone here!

5 responses to “Meltdown!”

  1. Jessica Avatar

    Nope, you're not alone in the meltdown department. In the beginning all it took was a baby that was inconsolable. Now, if things are not going according to plan and everything is hitting the fan….I can sometimes have a meltdown….especially when deadlines are involved for getting things done. For us it's hard right now because I do everything at home…whether it's construction, cooking, or cleaning. Matt works about 16-18 hours a day between the store and the route, so he's home very little.

    It is nice to know that we're not the only ones who have meltdowns *hugs*

  2. Trina Avatar

    Belle – I really need to start planning meals again – thanks for the reminder.

    Wow, SarahElizabeth, it does sound like your in a busy season, too. Great to have the confirmation from another mom that it's right and proper to make rest a #1 priority.

    Kateri, I like that 'take a walk' is at the top of your list. No wonder you get so many lovely nature shots. I miss having a place to walk other than along the side of the road. At least it is a country road…but I miss the woods. What I wouldn't give for a nice amble down a logging trail to 'St. John's Crick' some days!

  3. Kateri Avatar

    You are already doing so much, in addition to being a great mom to three little children. 🙂

    Now that I have a job that is mostly tolerable, I don't quite have so many meltdowns. (At my last job, my husband was ready to write a resignation letter for me whether I liked it or not and personally hand deliver it to my supervisor. In adition to being completely exhausted all the the time, I came home in tears almost every day.)

    I don't have meltdowns so much any more, though the chronic fatigue is still there, but with the new MD I am seeing, I'm finally hopeful that I'm on the track to get that figured out and treated.

    When I changed jobs a year ago I made a list of things to do every day and put it on the fridge:

    *Take a walk outside.
    *cook vegetables (even if it is something very simple).
    *snuggle.
    *Take my vitamins.
    *Work out for half an hour.

    (Now I don't always do the four simple things on the list, but when life gets overwhelming, I do go back to it.)

    I should have added the one about getting enough sleep and not over doing it, especially on my days off. Some days I feel pretty good I will over do, and I almost always pay for it the next day, by being completely useless.

  4. SarahElisabeth Avatar

    I've been there-post partum and doing too much.
    In fact, for me number 7 on your list is the most important-sure the others are important but if you are over tired it is difficult to do the others.
    God's grace is sufficient-kept me going through the first term of home education with a baby, preschooler, elderly relative and husband starting his own business. That plus thinking that it was better that the children had a sane mother and my husband a sane wife than that everything got done.
    It will get better-those hormones will stabilise and you will get less tired. Even so, I still find that there are difficult days when I have to remember this all over again.

  5. Belle Avatar

    With two children and a newborn baby I can imagine being overwhelmed. Making nutritious meals is a big job, but it can be made easier.

    We were vegetarians during the years my two daughters were growing up. I used to plan our meals two weeks ahead so that on payday I could get all the ingredients. I'd have a list Monday through Sunday with each dinner noted and where the recipie was found.

    I also used to cook dinner in the mid-morning when my kids were in school. I would heat it up when my husband came home. The reason I did this was so I wouldn't feel rushed near the end of the day and so I could spend time with my girls when they came home from school. It is nice to know all day that dinner is done and you don't have to face cooking when you are tired.

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