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Challenge? That doesn’t always describe it

I am having one of those weeks where I am just utterly overwhelmed. I’m exhausted. My heart just hurts. Logically I remind myself what we face is so easy when compared to what others go through each and every day. But this week, I am owning my own fact that the hand we have been dealt sucks. It’s hard. And the word “challenge” doesn’t begin to describe it right now.

E-man is not in a great place. We are struggling each day. He was awake until almost 10:30 last night, knocking on the wall our room shares with his, knocking on our door, calling out, wanting to sleep in our bed. Sleep issues have been part of his path for years. I’m headed to the store today to pick up the melatonin we haven’t needed to use in months.  He is fussy, whiny, deliberately defiant. His fingernails are chewed down to the nub. I worry his fingers will get infected it’s so bad. Getting him to do normal, get-out-the-door-to-school tasks is an hour-long battle. Everything is an argument and a fight. I’m losing patience and lacking energy.

I have two other children to manage. Ry has been sick, his asthma kicked up by terrible allergies. We’ve added Zyrtec to his regimen to hopefully keep things in check. He spent two days home from school last week, me hovering over him watching for fever, increased heart-rate, and retractions.  E-man would only complain (and fake cough) that he wanted to stay home too. Now the Princess is home sick, complaining of a feeling of knots on either side of her lower abdomen. We are supposed to be back to a full dance schedule after six weeks recovering from a badly-sprained ankle.

Trying to  maintain a successful marriage in the midst of all this….sigh….challenging. I get caught up in the children’s needs, the household needs. He gets caught up in work. We become disconnected, focused on what the current emergency is, unable to cling even to each other. Most of our conversations seem logistical rather than anything vital to our survival as a couple. When we have those moments of connection and laughter, it feels like a vacation to a tropical island.

There are days, and even weeks, when this all doesn’t feel so bad, when it isn’t overwhelming. In those days or weeks, I wonder what I’m complaining about the rest of the time. I met some new people at a scrapbooking night a couple of weeks ago. There were the typical questions of marital status, children, work, etc. As the night wore on, conversations flowed and more came out. I even said, after describing my children and their needs, “Wow, that sounds like a lot when I vomit it all out like that.”  It does sound like a lot. I often find myself apologizing, because it doesn’t always *feel* like a lot. But there are days it is just too much.

I may feel better about it later today. I might feel less challenged later this week. Or it may be a month of feeling continually overwhelmed. I’m not always up to the challenge. And people wonder why I run.

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