Well, my low-sugar experiment last week was a success until the weekend. I’ll admit that when I caved, I did so out of frustration with my kids, not because I particularly wanted the sugar. And I also indulged on Sunday with a slice of one of those big cookie-cakes (my sister brought it over for Father’s Day) – and that was directly tied to how tired I was that day (seriously, super tired).  I decided to give it another go this week and I did very well yesterday. I’m taking it one day at a time – that’s about all I can manage to think about.

The rest of the summer is going to be pretty busy – lots of kid activities, plus the Griswolds have decided to take a vacation. Oh yes – we are loading up the RV and traveling to Yellowstone for our family vacation. I’m looking forward to the time away, but I’m not so much looking forward to the bickering and the squabbles that are sure to take place in the back seat of the truck during the 3 days that it will take to get to our destination. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Speaking of kids, and I’m having a hard time admitting this to myself and to you, but I’ve come to the realization that my kids really wear me down. Last week, the oldest was away at camp and the other two spent part of the week at grandma’s house, and while they were all away I had a really nice time. It was peaceful and quiet; my kitchen and living room stayed clean for 3 days. I didn’t have to make my 3-times-a-week run for milk and I only ran the dishwasher once. There were no tattle-tales, there were no arguments to referee, no “that’s not fair!”s to hear. The hubs and I spent some quality time together just running errands and hanging out. It was really, really nice.

Then they came home…and the whirlwind started up again. All the demands for my attention, all the couch cushions in the floor, all the dishes on the kitchen counter – it all came crashing over me like a tidal wave.

And here’s the part where I feel it necessary to say that I love my kids. I do! I have really great kids, as far as kids go (I’ve seen other people’s kids – it isn’t pretty) and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Mama bear gets feisty when someone messes with her cubs! And it makes me nervous when my baby birds are out of the nest – I actually prefer it when they are safe and snuggled in their own beds at night.

But…

I realize how taxing they can be. I realize how much of myself I pour into them everyday. As soon as they got home, I felt my tension level rise just a little bit. And yes, I do take time for myself – I get up early and exercise 3 days a week, I go to Zumba at least once a week, I take time to sit down and read a magazine once in a while, I get together with friends when I can…I’m not covered up 24/7, but the tension is there 24/7.

All of this is to say, that my family definitely affects my health. I’m not saying that my family has made me fat, but realizing that they are a contributing factor to the anxiety bubbling under the surface has made me stop and say well no wonder it’s so hard sometimes.

So what’s a mom with another 15 years of kids-living-at-home to do? Well I figure I can bemoan my fate (and my fat) or I can embrace the chaos and start dealing with it. I’m not exactly sure what that’s going to look like, but I know I don’t want to wish away my kids’ childhood. I just want that same peace I felt last week to hang around.