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Hi there

I just wondered if any of you struggle in the same way as me with getting the balance right. I find recently that there is so much that I want/need to do that when I recover from a flare I am so excited to be able to do things (and my children are excited too) that I start doing too much and going overboard, and it all escalates until eventually I get ill again. It sounds so stupid, so obvious that I should be moderate all the time, and yet it's so hard to do. My husband can't understand why I insist on trying to do so much, and yet I feel when I am ill my children miss out and I can't carry out any of my plans... and so when I feel well (and I appreciate feeling well as only we who often don't can) I try to cram it all in. I just have so many things I want to achieve (little stuff, I'm not an impressive career woman, I'm a freelance artist/translator/social worker and mum of 2) and I want to achieve them now! My husband is always trying to make me do less, but I feel like every day I feel well is precious and I must make the most of it...

Does anyone know this feeling? How can I tackle it? How can I explain this to my poor long-suffering husband? How can I manage to stay on an even keel and not lurch from frenzy to flare? Anyone have any advice or suggestions or just a reassurance that it's not just me being this silly....:rolleyes:

xHatty
 

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I can only be myself
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I know exactly what you mean, I do exactly the same thing, as soon as I start feeling a little better, i go overboard, do too much and make myself ill again.
I was thinking about this just last night, and I decided that i'm going to make myself a list of rules for feeling better, a list of do's and don'ts, might not sound great, but hopefully it'll make me feeling better last longer. I'm going to write them down and put them up on the wall, then hopefully wont go overboard each time. I'm also going to include why i'm going to stick to these rules as an incentive to hopefully abide by.
As for the explaining to other people, I have no idea. I cant explain to anyone apart from the fact i ask them to imagine what it would be like to be unable to do anything you wanted, feeling so ill all day every day. No energy, completely achy, and so tired. Then you feel slightly better suddenly with a little bit of energy, wouldnt they do everything they previously couldnt?
 

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Hatty:

I agree with Hattycat...what I do is make a list - do it with the kids..and then for yourself. Things we want to do when Mom (yourself) feel well.

Then prioritize them..again as a group...then set what can be done without being too much. As you accomplish or do the things you want to do you can add or change the list about.

This will set everyones expectations, and allow you to manage your "good" days so that there are more of them instead of less.

Hope this is a help - stephanie
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you! I like the idea of lists, I like lists, they make me feel less panicky when things are going wrong. Hmm... I'm going to try and work out my dos and don'ts!
I think my children are a bit little (just 3 and just 4) to get too involved in the process (they are good at 'are you feeling poorly today mummy' though, which is sweet if slightly guilt-inducing) but I'll definitely be using that idea soon.

What sort of things do you guys have on your lists?

xHatty
 

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Hatty:

Since my kids are grown and the grandbabies no longer live here...my list is a lot less fun!

I have clean out Junk Drawer, Bake bread, go bulk shopping..etc

I did slip in Manicure...but don't actually have to feel good to do that...

When the babies were here, I had things like...go to playground, get family photos, play hide & seek things like that as they were 1 and 2...the 2 year old like to be included...he who boo at the work ideas (put away toys) which I added so that they had a mix of fun and chores.

Stephanie
 

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Hi Hatty

I think yours is a very difficult question to answer. I think its very natural to want to 'cram' things in when we are feeling good because there are so many times when we cant do the things we want to do. I know I do it all the time so Im certainly not one to give great advice ;) I work as a Director of a Drug Rehab project, I have a nine year old at home, I do voluntary work in my local community (Chair of two local development organisations) and until the other day I was also moderating the site which usually took up several hours per day - at least one hour in the morning before work and a few hours in the evening after work :rolleyes: Last year I was also looking after my Dad before he passed away and this year I am trying to cram in as much 'hug' time with my brand new grandson. So Im not the best person to listen to with regard to managing my life....

However, with regard to making time for the kids and also getting yourself a little guilt-free rest time - here is a little tip that I found useful. When you are feeling low and tired and the children are needing and looking for your attention, make up some games that can be played from your bedroom. Things like 'indoor camping' can be great fun and it's easy enough to bring their lunch into the bedroom and let them sit on a rug eating it.

Other ideas are games that can be played while you are virtually horizontal on the bed - card games like 'snap' and Happy Families might be age appropriate for your little ones. Also getting a favourite DVD, a few little treats and a snuggly blanket are all things that can be turned into a 'treat' while at the same time gives you a much needed rest.

Kids are so responsive to things - they will absolutely 100% feel that they have had the best treat in the world so long as you 'big' it up. So instead of thinking you should be running round here and there with them, make those 'tired' days extra special for them and I can guarantee you it wont be long before they are asking for them!

Another idea is to set aside a 'special' toy/craft box only to be used for the days when you want to chill out or lie down. These should be toys that they really like or things that they can create without too much supervision. This special box and these days can be given a positive name (like Happy Day or Happy Box or something like that) so that you can, for example, cheerfully announce every so often that they are going to have a Happy Day as a special treat. They will love it ;) In fact I bet they will ask you for it at times when thats the last thing you want to do!!

Sorry I cant help on the work balance stuff. Im still struggling ;)

Much love to you
Joan:rose:
 

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Hi Hatty,

My husband is like yours, always trying to get me to do less. It irks me to no end, but guess what he is right. When I do a little each day I am able to achieve more in the long run than when I go overboard one day and am down the next 2 or 3.

It is a fine line of what is too much. You will just have to listen to your body and follow its lead.

Take care,
Lazylegs
 

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I am guilty of doing way too much at one time and then paying the price. I think it is normal when we feel good to think we can do it all, especially women.

I also write a list of things to do but I have learned that our body tells a story and it is up to us to listen when it speaks.

Prioritizing is a great idea and I love the idea of games for the kids in the bedroom.

I hope you make out ok moving forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Joan I LOVE the idea of turning it round and making days when I'm tired into special snuggly days with special games. I think my children would love that - probably more than rushing around sometimes! I'm definitely going to make a happy box and put things like happy families into it. It makes more sense than feeling I ought to drag myself out to the playground and kill my wrists pushing them on the swings :rolleyes:

I'm also trying to learn to say no to people more: my natural instinct is always to say yes but my husband has now put a ban on me looking after other people's kids! I like feeling like I'm helping people, but then it's my own family that misses out because I'm too tired...

I do reckon though that the reason why so many of us manage to do so much despite our illness is that we value our time perhaps more than people who feel well all the time. In that sense it makes us treasure every day and achieve more, in whatever way. Perhaps we have more of a sense of perspective than other people, I don't know.

I'm off to make a happy box and put it in my bedside cabinet!

Thank you all so much

xHatty
 

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Hatty, you have had some brilliant suggestions made to you... I just wanted to say you sound so like me!! and your husband like mine. It is true about saying 'no' a lot more and having more time for your family, energy wise, after all they are the ones that have to put up with us..:rotfl: I still find it very frustrating and am still wrestling with a few emotions, I used to do so much etc etc, but am getting there.. hope your happy box goes well.
Pace yourself !!!
 

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Hatty,
It is a simple answer do what you can when you can. You also need to learn when to limit yourself so you can control the flares. I do know what you mean when you feel ok (as we all know that means when you can hold your eyes open and your body up) that you want to do all you have missed out on. I try and remember that I can have one day of great fun or I can do a little today and a little the next day and if I am really lucky maybe another day. That means I can have 3 days of a little or one day of a lot and suffer for it for weeks or months. I know that you understand what I mean and most would say they don't outside this site. You just have to keep in mind that everyday is a gift that we get to be as normal as we can so if we want more of them we have to set limits on ourselves and ahear to those limits or pay the price of days in bed and sick. As so many advise here learn to say no. It is a new thing for me too so don't worry if it takes a while to learn how to do it. I hope that this has helped in some small way to learn how to limit yourself. Be well and do well.
 

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Hey Hatty

I so could have written your post, in respect of things needing to be done and trying to cram it in to times when you are feeling "well". My husband like yours is constantly saying "right you have done enough" your going to be tired and make yourself poorly. I am so trying to learn to pace myself but when I know there are things to be done (Housework etc) I get frustrated because it needs to be done.

My Gran (we never called her gran or grandma it was always Nonny), God rest her had a very good saying and I am trying now to live by her philosophy..... "It will be there when you are not"!:wink2: She was quite ill towards the end of her life but still made us grand children feel like we were something special just by the little things she did, a hug, jam sandwich a smile.....

Learning to pace yourself is not easy and if you are anything like me you will find it hard to leave things that "need to be done". Just try to make time to rest in between and try not to make yourself feel guilty. Take care of yourself, that is the most important thing!

Claire
xx
 
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