I recently discovered that I'm a much better Momma when I take a lower dosage of meds.
As with many TBI survivors, (Traumatic Brain Injury) I take meds regularly to help me focus and maintain attention span. And if you've ever been to one of my comedy shows you'll know that I refer to these meds as helping me to wake up with a "severe case of the wonderfuls"...since they have been sooo damn helpful in keeping me active and productive in my daily routine.
This year is the first where I haven't had the relief of summer camp or day care for my kids. Yes...I am THAT mom. The one who couldn't live without the teamed parenting approach of daycare, camp, playgroup and school relief time. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided to have a summer at home with the kids ...maybe I was daydrunk or maybe I was feeling the pangs of sadness over my youngest baby heading to kindergarten this year. Most likely, I was daydrunk.
At any rate, I found myself suddenly drowning with constant mental flooding (a TBI term referring to brain and sensory overload). These kids NEVER stop talking or needing or wanting or fighting or asking or wondering or pushing or testing ....NEVER ...until they sleep. It's like waking up and willingly negotiating with mini terrorists who switch alliances every 20 minutes.
The bottom line is, I stopped enjoying my kids. I always felt on edge and was getting snappy in every interaction with them. Something had to change. Luckily I was too disorganized and exhausted to call my re-fill into the pharmacy and on the very first day I had this epiphany. The best way to respond to the kids is to STOP and LISTEN to them. I tend to take their voices as this annoying background jargon...kind of like white noise slowly grinding away at my nerves. When I slowed down long enough to stop and listen, observe their humanity and find ways to relate to them I was rewarded with instant and enjoyable harmony. Albeit temporary harmony, it's a small success I will celebrate in human connection. One day my littles will be big and busy and I'm glad to have these days together.
So now I take my meds at at later point in the day when it won't rob me of my rewarding times with my legends and also won't leave me spaced out on the couch for hours on end. It's all about balance. And bacon.
Redefining "Family" Part I - The Shift from "Husband and Wife" to "Platonic Co-Parents"