I've never made the state of my mental health a secret. If you've been here before then you understand why.
So now, in the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that we are struggling. Stresses at home and work, kids that don't sleep and have their own one and three-ness to deal with, worries with my husband's family (please pray for strength and wisdom for caregivers and peace and patience for us). The never ending CRUD that keeps hitting our family in the form of some super-virus, causing missed work and wages and school and stress to everyone else that must deal with our family not being on our game.
My depression and anxiety are running amok around here and I need to figure out how to shoot them in the butt with a tranquilizer dart so I can stuff them in a crate bound for Tanzania.
One consistent problem I have is asking for help when I need it. I just can't do it. I try but it makes me feel needy and annoying. I mean seriously? You all have your own lives so why should you have to take time to take on some of my load too? Sheesh.
I don't have family that I can go to to ask for support. There's never been grandmas or grandpas on my side to pick up the slack or have sleepovers on weekends and such. Brad does have parents that he shares with two other siblings and it's not practical or convenient for us to ask them to babysit. Two of our kids are the two youngest and very active and most prone to neediness. Dave also has health issues so we don't want to bring the kids over if they are sniffly or sneezy or coughing (which is often) because a minor illness to us can cause major issues for Dave and his health.
Brad and I have had one "date night" in the past year when a very special person agreed to drive for an hour to come sit with the kids so that we could go into town for a dinner and a movie. Prior to that, we had a night when I was hugely pregnant with Harper and I had my class reunion. We had one other attempt but Harper ended up screaming the whole time so we came home early.
If you are doing the math, that's a total of 1 failed attempt at date night, 1 dinner/movie, and 1 class reunion with the huge pregnant woman in at least 3 years - and only one of those actually lasted overnight.
So, here's what we need: Someone we know, who is relatively local and someone we trust, to say, "Hey guys! We'd love to take the kids some Saturday night so you and Brad could go out. Heck, let's make it a sleepover! You can come get them around lunchtime on Sunday. We'd love to have all four of them. Heck, having the older two (who are 12 and 16) would make it easy as pie to have the two little ones! How's the next couple of weekends looking for you? I want to get a date on the calendar! We can't wait to spoil your little darlings!!"
...ok, so it would not have to be verbatim but you get the idea. We need a night to ourselves, with the option of having a night to ourselves on a somewhat regular basis (meaning more than once every three years) if everyone is happy with the arrangement. I'd even be willing to reciprocate in some manner. Food, babysitting, yard work...I'D EVEN LEARN TO KNIT YOU A SWEATER IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES!!!
*ahem* Sorry about that. Little stressed.
You guys know we love our kids. We adore them. But now and again, everyone deserves time to themselves. If I am lucky enough to get that time, a bathtub full of hot water and bubbles and a book are in my future. I need to be able to just look at my husband for a little bit of time and know that we are only responsible for each other for a set period of time. Food, sleep and sex might be involved. Right now I'd be thrilled for sleep and so would Brad. Ask him, he'd sure tell you. ;)
My shrink has also pretty much put her foot down and told me that this is SOMETHING I NEED TO DO.
I really need these things to maintain healthy sanity. We all do. Just so happens that my needs are screaming at me at 2am in harmony with the teething baby lying right next to me. Doesn't allow for much sleeping, and no sleeping tends to, you guessed it, make me more depressed and anxious.
So, let me know of any ideas that you have to help us with our dilemma. We'd at the end of our fraying rope.