I'm looking at Liz right now. She's gotten her baby set up so she can 'read' a book to her. She's babbling away, and just grabbed her baby's hand to point at a picture. What a change from 6 months ago, when she had no idea what to do with books or babies.
I definitely made some mistakes that contributed to my malaise. In hindsight, I want to go back and shake myself. :)
1. We cleared our whole schedule in preparation for Liz coming, and that was the first mistake. We didn't want to take Liz a lot of places at the beginning, so I was home most days. We also didn't want to put her in childcare for at least a few months, so no Bible study for me, and every other week I had her in the cry room for the sermon. I think most people wanted to give us space, which is good and what the books say to do, but that meant I was home alone in a challenging situation with three kids most of the time. Don't do that! You'll go crazy!
David had plenty of vacation. He easily could have stayed home on Wednesday mornings so I could go to Bible study. I also should have asked more people to come over and hang out with me. And, you know, I wasn't blogging as an outlet either. :)
2. I wanted to be open and flexible to how Liz would react and behave when we go home, but I should have made a schedule for our days. This is classic new baby, I'm out of ideas and going crazy 101, but when you're sleep deprived and actually feel crazy, you forget these things. So I'd just hang out with the kids and by 10, I'd be thinking, "it's only 10?!" A basic schedule would have been helpful for all of us.
3. I was between knitting projects, and I stopped working out because I didn't know how to run with three kids, and I was tired. I tried to run, once, but it didn't work very well. Here are two things that make me happier and less stressed, and I wasn't doing them. I should have had a big, mindless knitting project ready for when I get home. If I'd had a schedule that included "Go for a walk," that would have taken care of the exercising.
So I basically removed from my life all the things that would help me stay sane. Why would you do that?! We'd have good days and bad days. When I was at a loss for what to do, or feeling crazy, I ended up drifting over to the iPad and binge reading books or finding something to play. Not that reading is bad (obviously), and candy crush in moderation is fine, but escapism wasn't addressing the problems at all.
I remember getting in the car one night to drive to choir, and "My Lighthouse" was playing. It really struck a chord--I was out to sea, but I was NOT alone.