Lent is for fasting from gluten, writing, doing the laundry, and parenting at the top of my game, which—let’s face it—was never really tops to begin with.

It’s been A MONTH since I last posted. What?! How can this be?

I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been killing it at this parenting thing. You know—forgoing all else but the kids and putting their needs first.

But no. Sadly, this has not been the case. Take for example, the following scene from the living room last week, and you will have some sense of where my head has been lately:

The girls and I were sitting on the couch happily enjoying some screen time. Rowan was crawling about on the floor, playing with some toys. I was utterly absorbed by the content I was consuming on my iPhone, when Nora—disturbed by some movement in her peripheral vision—interrupted the melodious chorus of one of Daniel Tiger’s well meaning life lessons, and announced rather suddenly, “Mama! Look at Rowan! He moved the fireplace screen and he’s playing in the ashes!”

And here’s how I’m POSITIVE I haven’t been killing it as a mom. My first reaction was to say, “Nora! Go get him!” Followed soon after by the thought: Nora, how could you let this happen? (She’s been doing some minor minding of the baby occasionally).

As if my very mature and responsible almost five-year-old was to blame for my lack of watchful patenting. Ashamed at my reactions, I quickly got up, cleaned up my son, and shelved the phone for a long, long time thereafter. Like, at least thirty minutes.

Besides my parenting skills, writing has also taken a back seat, apparently. As well as laundry, cleaning, organizing, and laundry. Wait, did I already mention laundry? It’s piling up in mounds—both clean and unclean—around the house. The kids haven’t worn laundered or matching socks in days and days.

So if I am failing at all of this, to what have I been giving attention?

Me!

About time, right?

Part of the reason I’ve been away for so long has to do with some minor health issues I started having soon after we moved to Connecticut. In early December, after we’d been living in our new place for a little over a month, I started feeling nauseous off and on every few days. Of course, like you, I suspected I might have become ill with child. Thankfully, that was not the case.

Dizziness followed as well as frequent migraines. Then came some minor indigestion. What was going on? All of a sudden, relatively healthy me seemed to be in some kind of distress.

I went to the doctor and had some blood work done. The results came back normal. A return visit to the same doctor ended with him concluding I had IBS caused by the stress of the move and being home with three kids. He gave me two medicines he claimed were safe for breastfeeding. He seemed to discount my symptoms of nausea and migraines, while completely inventing others (One of the meds was for reflux, which I told him really wasn’t bothering me, after which he asked, “Is it worse at night?” Hello?? Did you not just hear me say that it really isn’t an issue?).

And so, I left feeling very discouraged. I figured I might try at least one of the meds because I was tired of not feeling well. I had already planned on NOT taking the med for reflux, you know, since I really didn’t have it. I googled the other drug just to make sure it was safe for breastfeeding, and of course, it wasn’t. I can’t say that I was really that surprised given that lame excuse for a doctor’s visit.

In near despair, I started scouring the Internet for resources to help myself while also trying to find alternative doctors.

I ended up putting myself on an elimination diet because I really felt like I had suddenly developed some food intolerances as a result of whatever was happening inside my body, and I wanted to see if I could pinpoint what was causing my distress.

I also found a superdoctor. She is an M.D. with a Ph.D. in Natural Medicine and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. What?! She’s perfect for me. And, I love her. I can’t believe it’s taken me almost thirty-eight years to fine her, but now I have. I will never leave her.

We’ve only met twice, for an hour each time. But she listened to me. With really good ears. She told me to continue my elimination diet and be aware of symptoms when reintroducing foods. Also, she put me on a pretty beefy vitamin and supplement regimen. 

Her conclusion, which I happen to value so much more than the guy with just the one M.D., was that stress, combined with an uptake in caffeine consumption along with lots of processed, sugary foods (hey, it was the holidays!), combined with lack of sleep (tandem nursing two at night), combined with malnutrition (not only was I eating crap food, I wasn’t taking any vitamins), led to adrenal fatigue and overall havoc on my systems.

Sadly, I’ve had to cut coffee out of the daily routine. It’s the thing I miss most. I’m also gluten-free, sugar-free, and mostly dairy-free at the moment. 

And…I feel great. I have tons of energy and almost all of my bothersome symptoms are gone. No more headaches, nausea, dizziness. Nada. And I’ve lost about ten pounds. Not that I needed to or was trying to. But still. With summer almost around the corner…

Want to know the side effect I didn’t expect? My stress and anxiety levels are SO. MUCH. LOWER. Crazy how food can be both culprit and cure.

So when evening rolls around these days and I wonder about whether I should write on the blog, I’m like, “Eh. I’d so much rather read a book. Or take a bath. Or just go to bed.” 

So, I’ve been taking care of me. And reading lots of recipe sites for nutritious and yummy food I can eat (which is why I missed the whole seeing the kid in the fireplace thing). 

My bottom line here: if you are someone who is struggling with any kind of chronic anything, get thee to a naturopath! Immediately. You won’t regret it.

Coming soon: How to get your kids to stop tattling. (I’m not going to tell you. Rather, I’ll be solicitating advice. So thanks in advance.)

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2 thoughts on “Lent is for fasting from gluten, writing, doing the laundry, and parenting at the top of my game, which—let’s face it—was never really tops to begin with.

  1. Anne

    You’re doing a great job parenting. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! You have wonderful children & im pretty sure a little ash is good for you! 🙂 You need to look after yourself too! Moms tend to forget themselves in the mix…especially after 3 it seems!

    I feel your dietary pain! Baby had some gas issues & I started eliminating foods from my diet. Before I knew what happened, I found myself avoiding my vitamins, all gassy veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, onion, etc.) eggs, dairy, chocolate, anything spicy, red sauce…and the list goes on. And then my skin was having issues, I felt yucky (which may also be b/c I’m in that ~lucky to get a shower or any sleep~ phase:) and overall wellness was slipping away. I decided that maybe I needed to deal with a little fussiness b/c I need to eat well & get my health back. Much to my surprise, things have been pretty good. Still not on dairy but thinking of reintroducing that soon. Props to you, though. Among all of this, I never could give up that morning cup of coffee.

    So glad you’re feeling better! Mama needs to be healthy for the family to be healthy. Don’t forget that mental health, too! Take a little time to tinker in lotion or soap making, read that magazine that you haven’t gotten to or allow yourself time to just be without doing. Easier said than done!

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    1. powerskirstin Post author

      Thanks for your kind words. It’s so easy to get busy taking care of everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself. So important! Sorry to hear about your health too, but glad you’re feeling better. Hopefully more sleep comes soon-I never realized how much lack of rest affects everything else. Hugs!

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