Monday, November 12, 2012

Mommy Monday: Quitting Life and Getting Help

What does your day look like?
This is what my typical Tuesday looks like:

  • 6:00 am - Wake up
  • 7:00 am - Actually get out of the bed, use the bathroom, wash face
  • 7:15 am - Wake up MIB (battle her alligator death roll), take her to the bathroom, wash face
  • 7:20 am - Get MIB's breakfast ready
  • 7:25 am - Take a shower and get while she's eating
  • 7:50 am - Brush MIB's teeth, give her a wash up, get her dressed, brush her hair, and put her coat and book bag on
  • 8:05 am - Help Nani out of the bed so she can use the bathroom
  • 8:10 am - Put her on the bus
  • 8:15 am - Drive to work 
  • 9:00 am - Start work 
  • 11:30 am - Call Nani so that she can wake up to get MIB off the bus
  • 12:00 pm - Call Nani again to make sure she's awake
  • 12:30 pm - Call to talk to MIB and see how her day goes
  • 1:00 pm - Take call from Nani saying that MIB won't take a nap and to remind Nani that she has a dr.'s appointment that afternoon 
  • 2:00 pm - Leave work to pick up MIB and to take her to her PT
  • 2:30 pm - Get MIB and take her to PT
  • 4:00 pm - Go to the other side of town to pick up Nani from HER doctor's appointment
  • 4:40 pm - Nani is picked up, and en route to house 
  • 5:15 pm - Sit down for a few minutes before I get started on the night chores; go over future appointments with Nani so I can have them in my calendar
  • 6:00 pm - Clean up kitchen from afternoon lunch
  • 6:30 pm - Cook dinner 
  • 7:15 pm - Eat dinner
  • 8:00 pm - Clean up kitchen again 
  • 8:30 pm - Give MIB a bath
  • 9:00 pm - Read story to MIB, put her to bed 
  • 9:30 pm - Run to the store for Nani to pick up essentials or Rx
  • 10:00 pm - Get clothes together for MIB and myself (wash if necessary)
  • 10:30 pm - Do work from home 
  • 12:00 am - Get ready for bed
  • 12:30 am - Hopefully I'm asleep
Just imagine having to go by this schedule 3-4 times a week.  Without help.  Without breaks.  Without alcohol (kidding[?]). 

As a single mother and an only child with a sick parent, I am essentially taking care of two children by myself.  There is some help coming in (my cousin does home health care work but hasn't been coming regularly lately) but not enough at this point to give me a break. 

A few nights ago I was participating in an online Weight Watchers meeting with some friends and I was literally interrupted about 8 times before the hour was even up.  I already don't have very much time to myself and this is the one time I need at least two hours to not be interrupted and the interruptions come anyway.  Every week. Like clockwork.  If it's not MIB it's Nani...she can't find her cane, or she can't find her crayons, or she wants to say hi, or she wants to show me something in a catalog.  It's non-stop.  And since they don't want to stop, I feel like I NEED TO STOP.

And that is why I want to quit life sometimes.  Not slit my wrists or anything...I just want to crawl in the bed and sleep and not be bothered for a few months.  I don't want to be the go to person for any and everything that goes on in the house.  I want to just be by myself and not be fucking bothered.  Real talk. 

But I can't do that.  I can't even get a day to myself.  I'm lucky to get those couple of hours on Weight Watchers night...but guess what?  If I don't start giving myself some time, I won't be sane enough to give to them what they need (thank you VZ).

In order to do that, I am not only going to schedule (yes schedule) out time for myself and my well being, but I am also going to schedule out some time to go to a counselor or psychiatrist.  I actually went to one last week and even though I wasn't as honest as I should of been (it wasn't intentional; I just wasn't honest with myself yet) it was nice to be able to just bitch about what is going on in my life and to get it off of my chest.  And tomorrow I will be calling her back to get the name of a therapist that I can see regularly (outside of my EAP hours offered by my employer).

Single mothers (and especially black single mothers like myself) need to get with the program and start seeing professionals about the issues and stress that go on in our lives.  I don't want to be the mother that had a total meltdown and is unable to provide and care for her family because of mental illness brought on by stress.  And I shouldn't have to feel like I have to do everything.

After talking to my friend VZ and the counselor, I got some good tips for relieving myself of a lot of that stress and to give myself a little bit more calm:

  • Take all of the help offered - this includes professional agencies, family, friends, whatever.
  • Ask for help - if folks don't know that you need help, how are they supposed to offer it?
  • When you have time scheduled for yourself, dammit take it - cut and dry right there.  
  • Realize that "me time" is just as important as "their time"
If you are in a situation where you need to find a mental health care provider visit the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration via the US Department of Health and Human Services) website here.  You can enter your address and they will give you a list of organizations, their addresses, and phone numbers.  Or you can call 211 in your area and they can give you numbers and resources as well (more information on that here).  

2 comments:

  1. I am up a little late and just caught your post. I just wanted to say GOD BLESS YOU and do not feel that you are alone. When I read your schedule it made ME exausted LOL but seriously keep God first and yes, I agree about giving yourself me-time and talking to a counselor about issues in your life. We all have struggles and I wish you the best of luck!

    I also agree about mental illness and us Blacks in general don't believe in 'getting help' it is very refreshing to see you reach out and not get consumed in this maze we go through called Life.

    Very inspiring post, I will say a prayer to you and have a wonderful week.

    - Michelle

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  2. Hey MissMichelle...

    Thank you so much...I have to say that after I posted that blog I felt so much better! I mean I was going through some things the other day and just wasn't able to do life girl lol...but that really made me feel more calm. Just to get it all out. And I have no fear of mental health help...we as Black folk...we need to cut this mess out that. The belief that God will take care of it only...no God helps those that help themselves and gives those who can help us the knowledge and ability to help others. I'm not a Bible thumper or hater...just what I believe in.

    I think the church is a great place to start...but we need to go BEYOND that. Or network within it to find the person that looks like us to help us...

    I'm going off into something else now lol...but you are right we need to do more for us. And thank you for your prayers...I will extend mine to you and i hope that you have a great week as well :)

    KMN

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