May 26, 2015


The blissful ease of our new life seems to have come to a screeching halt this weekend. The honeymoon period is over, and we are settling into the realities of our situation.

For Noah, this meant finally realizing that Daddy isn't coming home, and it translated into a weekend full of tantrums, wanting to be held constantly, and last night - we were snuggling before bed, I had him in my arms, and he started crying and said "I miss Daddy." For all the things I don't like about my ex-husband, this has to be his worst offense: walking away from this sweet, loving little person and thinking that he is too young to be affected and too young to remember ... it's maddening.

For me, the difficulty of this weekend was sheer exhaustion. I keep trying to do too many things at once - clean the house, fix things we'd been postponing, go here, do this, make sure healthy dinners are on the table - and by the end of the day, I'm just wiped out. I know it's going to get worse before it gets better, and I'm trying to figure out how to balance my days so I'm not feeling completely depleted by bedtime.

On Saturday morning, we got up early to go to the park, only to find that last week's flat tire hadn't been fixed properly, so it was flat again. Our morning was spent instead at an auto shop getting tires replaced. The park was our plan for that day because it's free. The tires were now the second time I had to dip into my emergency fund in one week. (It's okay. That's why I have it. I just worry about what happens when it runs out, or if something really big happens.)

Then, Saturday night, my family sent me pictures of their various dinners - my sister out with her husband for his birthday, and my mother cooking up a feast of lobsters for her brother who was visiting from out of town. And I was exhausted, and I didn't want to cook at all, and I just cried. This sucks. But - even if Matthew was still here, I'd still have to cook. This is not an excuse, I told myself. And I made scrambled eggs and was in bed by 8:30.

But then the Monday holiday came around, and it was the apex of the weekend's stress. The most tantrums. The most frustration. And when dinner rolled around, I didn't want to cook again. I just wanted a sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly, no frills, and another early bedtime.

I pulled the ingredients out from the pantry, put them on the counter, and started to cry.

It's not Whole 30. If I eat this, I'm a failure. If I eat this, it's gonna snowball. I'll regain everything - again. I'm gonna be fat forever. I have no self-control. I'm so stupid, wanting a sandwich more than I want to wear my skinny clothes again. I'm such a failure.

The negative self-talk flooded my mind, and the tears turned into full-on sobbing at the kitchen counter.

Suddenly, I felt a little tug at my shirt and a hug around my leg.

Mama, I sorry.

And the tears didn't stop. Because my son thought he had done something wrong. He thought I was upset or mad at him. And I was crying about a stupid sandwich.

What kind of mother am I? What kind of relationship to food am I modeling for my son? Crying about what you can and cannot eat?

Obsession is a dangerous game.

I dried my tears, scooped him up, and gave him a big kiss and told him he didn't need to be sorry, Mama was not mad. And I handed him a plate with a few slices of bread, and he helped spread the peanut butter on our sandwiches. I gave him another big kiss and thanked him for being my wonderful helper, and we ate our sandwiches at the table with smiles.

This morning, I was right back to a paleo breakfast. I am writing now, then getting back into the gym. This afternoon, I'll cook up a few meals to keep on hand for when I'm tired and not wanting to cook.

It's been a week since our family dynamic changed drastically, I need to allow myself to have days when a sandwich is a good enough dinner. I'm trying to curb the negative voice in my head, reminding me that people in even more difficult situations can stick to eating plans regardless of their circumstances.

Their circumstances are not mine.

This is me, doing the best I can.

And some nights, that means peanut butter and jelly.


Amanda said...

You are doing great, Mary, I hope you know that! Crying over a sandwich is more than just crying over a sandwich, and you are doing good to let your body release those emotions and just picking back up right where you left off afterward. You're in my thoughts!

I know it's cheesy, but one thing that's stuck with me is actually something my now-fiance told me shortly after we met. It's helped me a lot, especially when overwhelming feelings about my ex walking out on our daughter come about. It's a short 4 phrases where you can focus on yourself, loved ones, or even difficult people in your life:

May you be free from suffering
May you be at ease
May you be held in compassion
I love you, keep going.

Keep going, Mary, you're in my thoughts!

Jill Walker said...

Oh, Mary....there are always gonna be hard days! But they don't define us, rather it's how we handle them and get back on the horse that does. And you're doing an awesome job of that, and being a good, good mommy. Be proud of yourself for recognizing that it's ok to give yourself some slack here and there! You're not running a race, this is your life we're talking about...and all forward motion counts! :)

Scooter Hussy said...

Hugs, Mary. What a rough weekend.

1st priorities are you and little man. Take care of yourselves, shower him with love and hugs, cry. Sometimes a PB&J is the best you can do, and that's OK. It's OK to leave some household projects and cleaning while you figure out your new reality. Just do what you can when you can.

But look - you got back to a paleo breakfast and have plans to exercise and do some precooking. That's a win! Very few people who successfully lose weight and/or get healthier do it without a few stumbles and off plan meals along the way. Life happens, right?

Keep up the good fight!

Losing The Rolls said...

I agree with Amanda and Jill. You are doing a great job Mary. The fact that you got up and had your paleo breakfast tells me that the PBJ sandwich didn't wreck you. You won't spiral down. You've got this. Yes, it will be tough and there will be many tears. You've got this. Sometimes, dinner will not be ideal but the next meal can be better. Mary, you've got this!

LovelyDreams said...

That's what I don't like about Whole 30, or other similar things. There's no room to be human. There's nothing evil about a peanut butter sandwich.

I figure I'm doing better by my kids than my parents did for me, so it's a win. And you have the right to ask your family to not send you pictures of food.

You've got this.

Laura said...

I have followed your blog for some time. Thank you for being so transparent! I just started reading this blog and thought it would be an encouragement to you during this difficult transition. Blessings!