Narrowing the focus.

I met a woman at the local grocery store whom I’ve never seen before. She was a tall woman with light brown hair and she had 4 young boys in tow – a four-month old, a 2 year old, a 4 year old and a 5.5 year old. The five and a half year old is in my daughter’s kindergarten class. When I saw her, I smiled inwardly, remembering the days when my 3 girls were really little. I don’t think I ever stepped out of the house for about a year with all three by myself, especially since my infants hated the stimulation of being in stores. I marveled at how calm and peaceful she appeared.

So unlike me. I tend to be a little bit high-strung when I take the kids out.

We kept running into them throughout the store (it was a small grocer, not those huge STUFF MARTS), and at one point we laughed and started chatting. I was pretty impressed by a few things with this woman. How gentle her demeanor was for having four boys, how good she looked for having an almost newborn, and the fact that she ground and made her own bread.

My ears perked up. I keep having these fantasies of wanting bake my own bread, which is strange since cooking is one of those things I tend to procrastinate. Still, I asked her where she got her grain (wheat berries) from. Turns out I do NOT have to go to TN to find some, like I thought (there is a food/grain coop called Breadbeckers that delivers only to certain places in the nation – the nearest place to me is in TN). There’s a source with the Amish a few hours away in Shipshewana, Indiana. I inquired why she made her own bread and she mentioned that they follow the Feingold diet for her oldest son since he had ADHD problems.

Sounds like something we could use over here. My middle child (the 6 year old) tends to be the hyperactive one…the chatterbox (yes, the same child who was mute in school). She just has never learned to keep her thoughts in her head. She frequently chatters, makes noises, trills, shrieks. I think she’s too bored and that’s why she does it. Or does it for attention because she knows it drives me absolutely bonkers. Or something.

I don’t exactly blame her. She gets easily bored. So do I.

Anyway, I forgot that her neuro-psychologist suggested we try the Feingold diet for her about 2 years ago. I guess I forgot since she was improving in other areas.

Maybe a diet overhaul would help me too. I recently told a friend of mine that I feel like I’ve been scatterbrained ever since I left the lab and have been struggling to find order again and can’t. I feel like a part of me has been amputated. I can still feel sensations, but I know something really important is missing.

Although, truth be told, I didn’t quit my job for the noble reasons of raising a family. If I had not quit, I probably would have gotten fired. I was already reprimanded for being chronically late to work. I would be gone 11 hours, come home to take care of a 1.5 year old and an infant while my husband worked evenings, had a wicked case of insomnia, and I would be wiped out by morning. I could barely drag myself out of bed. It wasn’t just a verbal warning either, she put it in my yearly review – and my lab director was a mother of two children herself. Being a supervisor, she told me it looked bad for my subordinates if I was late all the time. Yeah, I did have to agree that it wasn’t good.

So I quit.

I sometimes forget that I quit because I was fed up because juggling a family and a career was a losing battle.

Sometimes I’m a little envious of women that can juggle a scientific career and very young children. I couldn’t. Not with having no night-time support and insomnia.

And now, after spending some time talking with some scientifically-minded friends, I’m reminded of a person I used to be, skills and knowledge I used to have and loved using, and opportunities to do things and meet interesting people because of my background. It’s time to re-focus on the things I love doing and start excising some of the distractions. This is a difficult thing for me to do. Some of the distractions have been the most enjoyable things I’ve encountered in a very long time. They just aren’t good for me.

Now that my children are older, and I’ve at least re-gained some perspective and clarity, hopefully things will be different. I don’t know what’s to come. I really don’t.

I have a glimmer of hope that maybe I can re-claim some of the abilities I used to have.

I guess a glimmer is much better than no hope.

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This entry was posted in combining science and motherhood, highly sensitive child, highly sensitive mom, overexcitabilities, personal growth, personal issues. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Narrowing the focus.

  1. Ricardo says:

    A good friend did the Feingold thing for a while, and it really helped. I lack the discipline, to be frank.

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I might try it just to see. We don’t do a whole lot of processed foods (but some), so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch (I don’t think). But they give out lots of candy and treats at school – someone is always having a party, or a reward for something.

    But some things will be difficult. Like the mac and cheese. I know the day-glo orange stuff can be replaced by healthy options like Annie’s mac n cheese, but there’s something about the taste that is just not the same. Even I like the Kraft better than the Annie’s. And yes, I know one can use real cheese. I just hate cleaning the sticky cheesy mess it makes.

    I might try it for a month just to see if there is any difference for us. I’m totally at the end of my tolerance for darling daughter number 2. Darling daughter number 3 is also starting to imitate her too.

  3. Spacemom says:

    Heh-
    I quit my job within 3 months of having Soleil! I was lucky to technically transfer to a new position in the same company. I was able to stay at 30 hours a week, 3 days a week for those first 2 years. There really is a juggle for raising small kids and working. I haven’t decided if I am doing any better as the kids grow up…

    Bread- I wanna make bread again! Maybe in the summer, when I change my schedule, I can start a loaf in the bread machine and then I shape it and place it in a loaf pan for the final rise. I bake it in the real oven, as I find it cooks more even in there, but I LOVE my bread machine for getting the mixing,kneading and first rise done!

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Spacemom –

    I’ve decided that either way – working or not working – challenges abound.

    I don’t think there is a quantitative way to know if we are doing well as parents until we send them off. If they can fly on their own…we can probably say we did a pretty good job.

    If they keep coming back…well…might have to question the success of our efforts. LOL.

    Of course, I already know that my middle daughter (6) is quite insistent that she’s going to live with me forever. Yikes!

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