My husband hates it when I cry. I don't cry too often. In fact, its sometimes feels cathartic and therapeutic. When it feels like the world is on my shoulders, it feels better just to let it all out sometimes. I had been wanting a good cry ever since Arthur got sick with this plague that's been circulating, with all of its anxiety, worry, and sleep-deprivation fueled exhaustion and I finally got my cry on Saturday.
I cried over feeling so tired and run down. I cried over feeling lonely. I cried over not having anything to look forward to. I cried because Arthur was refusing to go down for a nap and I yearned for some serious quiet time. I cried because I couldn't get Arthur to eat or sleep, so what in the hell was I doing here...? Chris came home and tried to be Mr. Fix-It, but I didn't want him to fix anything. I just wanted some time and space to let it go. I needed the steam valve on my pressure cooker.
I came to realize a couple of things over the weekend that I need to bear in mind for the future.
First, just a general reminder that, gods love him, but my husband can be a stubborn bulldog. I totally get that he just wants to help and doesn't want to see me so upset. He still doesn't quite get that sometimes I need to be sad so that I can work things out of my system to bounce right back again. It's how I get back to balance. I can't ignore it and I feel even more under pressure, like I have to be happy all of the time for my husband's sake. And I'm pregnant... I'm supposed to be emotionally hormonal from time to time.
Second, my challenge while living in England is that I don't know what all the cool family things to do around here are. While my husband is more happy with me planning the weekends, I come across this barrier of simply not knowing what's out there. I need to be more proactive about making lists of things to do.
Third, I need to make some friends here. Chris's friends are good folks, but they're still in the 'my husband's friends' zone without differentiating themselves as my friends. I thought hanging out with my mother in law from time to time, augmented by keeping tabs on friends back in the US online would be enough. It's not the same, however. I'm going to try out the pre-natal swimming classes on Thursday and see if I can get out to meet other moms locally.
Fourth, doing things for others brings me up-- especially if I get to cook for them. Its what got me through Friday, which was when I made some chicken soup from scratch for my mother in law. She's caught Arthur's illness and I took the opportunity on Friday to let her know how much we cared for her-- made her the soup, got her a card, got her some flowers and went for a visit to cheer her up. Then on Sunday, I made some banana nut bread... since Arthur hadn't eaten his bananas all week and they were going off. I'm not a fantastic cook and the kitchen we're in now isn't all that great for cooking, but I do okay with what I've got.
Fifth, things do get better after a good cry, almost immediately. It was still a rough day, but I found the steam to get out to Ikea with my husband and an over-tired toddler. We braved the crowds and two melt downs in public. After that, I felt pretty invincible. I felt like things could just roll off my back so much easier.
While Saturday was a trying day, Sunday was domestic bliss. Arthur gave us about six hours straight to sleep. My husband let me lay in until I got up at 7. I made egg sandwiches for breakfast. Arthur's appetite started bouncing back. My husband and I were lock step as a team. I got the banana nut bread made and it was scrumptious. We visited the grandparents and delivered some of the banana nut bread to them. We got home and I took Arthur to the park while Chris added another shelf in the living room. Arthur took a good afternoon nap. I made dinner and we had a good family dinner together.
In all, both my husband and I got to do some things that made us each feel fulfilled. Arthur's recovering from his sickness and we're starting to get our little boy back. Even though I cried, the weekend ended on an up note.