I will be the first person to tell you that I am incredibly blessed.
However, even first world problems are problems, and problems cause stress.
Kate has been sick since Sunday (well, it feels like she’s been sick since 2014 started…). Fever, more coughing, ear aches. Trip to pediatrician yesterday got her a prescription for antibiotics.
Her ears are full of crud. I spoke with her teacher yesterday, and she commented that Kate doesn’t seem to be hearing her well lately. And my MIL had said the same thing the day before.
Kate didn’t go to school yesterday, either, which was stressful because we actually managed to get her up, in her uniform, and to school — late. And the in the school office, she just crumpled. Her ear hurt, she didn’t feel good, so on and so forth.
I couldn’t take the day off work because I had two important meetings — one of which was my review. So, nope, not taking time and not taking my sick child to work (which I have done; she spent the day literally under my desk watching shows on Netflix). So instead I took her home, gave her medicine, and took her to Dan’s office.
My annual review was stellar. I completed 312 projects last year, including a 100-page catalog. That’s a lot.
And yes, I did get a raise. It is minimal, but it is a raise. My boss gave me credit for having the courage to ask. I don’t know if I get this credit because I’m the only one who asked, or if I’m a woman, or both.
Here are things I stressed about yesterday that only prove how lucky I am:
1. Getting to work late, because of sick child. (I have a job, child is not THAT sick, other two children are healthy; why stress?)
2. Caring about getting to work late — this is the societal pull of guilt nipping at me. My job is important to me for reasons above and beyond money. My children are my world, but I can’t be a SAHM. I did it; I was bad at it.
3. My annual review. I’ve been working my ass off, though. This was almost reflexive stress that comes from being in a position of being evaluated. Plus, I would learn the status of my raise. My boss called me brave for having asked.
Aside: My husband, when I told him my boss called me brave, said, “I watched you deliver a baby for four days. This is not your bravest action!” However, he also told me he was proud of me and congratulated me.
4. I also worried about the evening pickup: it varied from our norm because Kate was at Dan’s office and because Flora had soccer practice. I was out of the house for 12 hours yesterday, not counting the 10 minutes I stopped back there with Kate to give her medicine. That’s a long day. But: I have a healthy daughter who likes to play soccer, and a school that offers her the opportunity.
5. My children (Michael and Kate) were not well-behaved little angels at Panera, which is where we went to dinner while Flora was at soccer practice. They weren’t exactly demons, and I did my best to corral them — I can still pick M up! — but it was still a stressful 45 minutes. I worried that people would judge me for letting them watch videos on my phone to keep them quieter. But hey: I can take my children out to dinner, I have a mobile phone.
6. Money. Because I stress about that. That, too, is a reflex.
Do you catch yourself stressing then counting your blessings?