Friday, October 23, 2009

The end of an era – and a good one, at that.

Today’s post was supposed to be about what I really do when my babysitter, Leticia, arrives every afternoon. I’ve mentioned a sampling of activities in previous posts: nap (first and foremost), check email, do blog posts, but I feel like I’m shortchanging myself. My previous lists seemed to insinuate afternoon’s filled with bonbons and bubble baths. But that's not quite the case. Here’s a short list of the things people like me (other lupites, stay-at-home caretakers, or people who are juggling part-time endeavors) sometimes want/need to accomplish during those precious four hours of time. Some specific, others not so much:

Nap – 90 -120 minutes
Check email, do blog posts, return book/blog/promotion inquiries and requests – Varies
Laundry, dishes, pickup the house, vacuum, grocery shop, etc. - Varies
Put together handout materials for my husband’s company – 30 minutes
Drop off/pick up/ship said handout materials – 40 minutes/40 minutes/30 minutes
Attend a doctor’s appointment – 2 hours (commute time included)
Fulfill orders of Despite Lupus – 15-45 minutes

And if I haven’t showered or worked out, add two more things to the list.

You can see how quickly 4 hours can go by, especially if there’s a doctor’s appointment in the mix. Now, I know how lucky I am to have a babysitter – thousands of people do exactly what I do WITHOUT a babysitter…but those reading along can imagine how challenging it is for a lupite to juggle any of the above, plus make time to be mindful of his/her own health. It’s a tall order…and yet, I’m about to embark upon that tall order.

That’s right – my precious Leticia has left me! She and her family have moved to Iowa, to pursue better job opportunities, reduced rents, and a lower cost-of-living. The Gorman household is very, very sad to lose our beloved babysitter - she was a part of the family, and there were plenty of tears during her final days.

Thankfully, though, my tears didn’t surface out of frustration, worry, resentment, or anger. While I’m going to miss her terribly, I’m not panicked about what I’m going to do now that she’s gone…because I know I can do this. I’m healthy enough, strong enough, and cognizant of my limitations to know that I can take care of little Miss Deirdre and keep lupus at bay. I’m going to have to be diligent about my nap (because before, I had a big margin of error (about four hours big), but I had most of the month of August to practice. Plus, I’ve become a lot better at asking for help when I’m, well, in need of help. Johnny’s home during the day, and while it’s important for him to work a full day – I know that if I get into a pickle (Deirdre skips her nap or something unexpected comes up that forces me to miss my rest), he can pitch in. So can my sister, my girlfriends, or my neighbors. I have a built-in support system…I just have to make sure I use it.

Of course – we’re still on the lookout for a new babysitter. Maybe only 2 or 3 hours instead of four, or perhaps four days instead of five – but there’s no reason to push the envelope. The system we had worked – there’s no reason to mess with living well! Know of any good babysitters in the Northern Virginia area? Don't hesitate to let me know!

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