Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stressed already??!!??


I just got home from parenting classes. They are every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 PM to 9 PM. Since I work 40 hours a week of emotionally heavy work, this additional 6 hours is very tiresome. I also have to make an extra trip home sometime during the day in order to let the dogs out. Sometimes I can manage that at lunchtime (crazy to try and make it there and back in 30 minutes when I live 15 minutes away!) but today was too busy at work. I could not leave for 30 minutes at any point. Thankfully, I have wonderful neighbors who can let the dogs out in a pinch. But I am gone from 8:30 AM until 9:30 PM, which makes for a very long day.

Today, at 4 PM (which is always the time of crisis... right AFTER everyone else has gone home) I was called to assist with a potentially suicidal patient. I spent an hour assessing whether to have him involuntarily committed or not. (Ended up not, but had to put several safety plans in place.) By 5:30 PM I was driving to class, emotionally exhausted, worried about being late and when I was going to have dinner. Caveat: I usually do not get emotionally invested in patients, and I didn't with this one, he was just a trying personality in different ways.

Class today was on handling the behaviorally challenging child. We had to do role plays (more active learning than just sitting back listening to a lecture) so there was no escape. In the middle of this I check my email (Blackberries are so cool, but sometimes I can be "too" connected!) and find an email from my parents reminding me that sometime between now (middle of class) and my flight (Saturday morning) I need to find the perfect gift for my nephew's christening on Sunday! Of which I am the Godmother! Oops! So when is that going to get done??? After work tomorrow when I'm dropping the dogs at the kennel or maybe Saturday before dawn when I'm packing?

Plus the flight there and back is not direct, so not only will I be going up and down 4 times (I'm a terribly fearful flyer especially on take off and landing), I will also be hanging out in airports for a fair part of the day. My return flight lands me at home around 1 AM and I have to wake up at 5AM and drive 2 hours to Charlotte and get my (third!) set of fingerprints taken, because for some reason government agencies cannot share fingerprints.

We can put a man on the moon, we can create cyber space, we can make cars drive on french fry fuel, yet we cannot share fingerprints between governmental agencies.

So, I am stressed OUT.

I wonder how a child will affect my stress levels?

Of course, I won't be taking these long classes and trips most of the time. I won't have fingerprints to give hours right after a trip either.

How do kids affect YOUR stress levels?

How do you handle it? Please list some sure fire ways that help you de-stress.

PS I still don't know what I'm wearing to the Christening on half my body.

Thanks for letting me vent... it is one way I deal with stress and it helps!

Edited 20 minutes later to add:
Ok, I just had the most wonderful experience and I wanted to share. My state of mind is completely changed and it all came from laughing uproariously for a good 5 minutes non-stop. Sigh. Wonderful. Belly hurting, ribs aching, out of control, full out, no holds barred, laughter.

I had decided this day needed to end and so I went to bed right after posting, at about 9:40 PM. the dogs joined me, as usual, but with a look on their faces like: "What the hell? it's way too early for bed...."

Somehow they always know what I need.

Hannah jumped on the bed and decided it was really important, nay IMPERATIVE, that she sniff out what I finally did have for dinner. She put her snout up to my mouth and starting HUFFING. Which got me giggling. Which got her sniffing harder. Which got me laughing, mouth open. Then she decided to sneeze, and I could taste a salty little droplet of her sneeze on my tongue, which although that was GROSS, was also hysterically funny. Then Boo decided this was too much commotion to miss out on and joined us. Boo thought it would be good to walk on me while I was laughing, which tickled and made me laugh "Ooo-Hoo-Hooo!" Beulah thought that was a strange sound and was determined to investigate and lick my inner ear (??) and soon I had three dogs walking on me, sniffing me, wagging tails, jumping around, the fitted sheet popped off, the eiderdown got twisted around us....Ahahahahahahaha A hoohoohoohoohoo... it was such a good 5 minutes. I feel so much better. What did I ever do without my girls....



Hey Michelle,

Sounds like your having a rough day...hopefully it will get better.

Toddlers affect your stress levels with the temper tantrums and whining.

I normally make my daughter take a nap when she's stressing me out. She gets her needed rest and I get some time alone. I'm able to regroup after that and I feel refreshed.

Yes, children do stress you out at times but I'm sure you will develop a system that will work for you. After a while, it's a piece of cake!


Adopting1Soon said...

Thanks for the ray of hope, Andrea! I figure parenting is a worldwide epidemic, so if all those other parents can figure a way to manage, so can I.

J-momma said...

well, you totally stole my answer! i was going to say laughter is the way i deal with stress. seriously, it is medically proven that laughter emits some kind of chemical that counteracts cortisol and relaxes your body. or something like that. i don't know, i'm not a chemist. but it works! at least for me. i can go all day being stressed out at my kid then get one moment of laughter about something funny he did and it makes it all worth it. (that and a day at the spa a few times a year). your kid will be making you laugh before you know it.

but, i'm interested, how many parenting classes do you have to take with your agency?

Adopting1Soon said...

My agency doesn't make me go to any classes, these are foster parenting classes I started before I started the adoption process. I figure I should finish what I started, it's good to get the tips from the class and maybe I can do respite while waiting for the adoption to go through.

J-momma said...

oh cool! well, you're in my territory then. i help teach those classes! and the information they give you (hopefully) will help you in raising whatever kids you have. respite providers and mentors are always needed.

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if you already have a coping mechanism: your other babies. Also the fact that you can SEE the funny side of things. Sometimes a walk is a great way to get rid of the stress, so with your doggies, you have a built in way to destress. Finally, I think it's so cool that you're taking parenting classes. We all should have to. What are some of the other topics and what are some interesting things you've learned? I'd love to hear! Dani

Michelle J said...

You answered your own question Mika-- laughter and dogs and soon to add to the mix-- your daughter. She'll help you destress in so many ways. Just never ever take yourself too seriously and you'll be fine.