Saturday, May 22, 2010

Releasing the guilt

I’m a strong type A person, both blessed and cursed with a constant need to produce and/or contribute. So when I lose my energy and don’t feel capable of doing much other than the basics of doing my job, caring for my child and myself, and then lying on the couch and watching TV, normally this would be a rough thing for me to handle. But I’ve learned my lesson from my first pregnancy and I’ve decided to not feel guilty about this.

Instead, I’m thankful that my toddler’s reliable sleep schedule, my 80% work schedule and the division of labor with Mark allows me to nap 2-3 days a week. I’m also grateful that I’m able to enjoy a good half of the day before crashing.

This morning I took River to a fantastic event at the local art museum – with dancing, music, free pizza and samosas, free entrance to the museum and all kinds of arts and crafts projects for the kids. We saw friends there and had a blast. By the time we got home, we were both exhausted. So as I soon as I put him down, I put myself down. I slept 2.5 hours, he slept 3.5. I’m still a bit tired in the evening and I don’t have enough energy to be very productive, but so be it. At some point, this will pass. Until then, it’s what my body needs.

Another thing I might typically feel guilty about is what I’ve been eating. I haven’t given up caffeine (though I don’t think that one cup of tea and one soda per day is too excessive). I have had definite cravings and they tend toward the unhealthy and high-fat refined carbohydrates. Last pregnancy, it was French fries and Snickers. This time, I’m over the Snickers, but the French fry craving is still there. Also, I have particular cravings on different days. Sometimes I’ll scan through all the food options I can think of to try to identify the single thing I want to eat. Once it was fruited jello with Cool-Whip and I made a trip to the store just for that. Another time it was berries with cool whip. This week I had a strong craving for fried chicken and mashed potatoes, which resulted in us eating chicken every night this week and my husband driving 20 minutes to get some Kentucky Fried Chicken, which was simultaneously gross (overprocessed, unhealthy) and satisfying. During a lunchtime visit to Whole Foods, I chose potato, corn and bacon soup – a fattening, carbohydrate-laden choice I would never usually make.

Because my appetite is limited, especially in the second half of the day, I’ve maintained my pre-pregnancy weight so far. So, despite the carbs and the junk, and the lack of exercise, I’m not feeling guilty. Again, this is what my body is telling me to do.

Pregnancy is a weird thing. I really feel for those who don’t have the options to eat what their body craves or to rest when their body says they need to. I’m grateful that circumstances help make this a little easier.

1 comment:

Cassie said...

Yes, I think pregnancy is the one time in your life NOT to feel guilty about how horribly you eat, or for taking a nap in the middle of the day. After all, growing a human being saps a lot of energy.

And it's so strange that you craved KFC...I craved the same thing with Will, and I really try not to eat that stuff normally, because like you said: It's so gross, yet so satisfying and sinful at the same time.