Tag Archives: motherhood

The Saddest Thing

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a hard time expressing myself confidently. The best way that I know how to do it coherently is to write. Sometimes I do it well, other times, it’s mediocre at best. I’m my own worst critic, the voice in my head consistently screaming “DO BETTER!” Compound that with grief and my guess is you get a spiral of anxiety and depression that leaves me consistently exhausted and angry. Not conducive with a three year old and partner who depend on my ability to stay patient in the face of adversity…er, everyday life.

My Christmas present last year from Josh was a Fitbit Charge (which I love!) and that has proven to be a curse. This week, I have slept more than played with Izzi. This week, I have spent more time on the phone than teaching her how to read or working on her ability to add or subtract. The rare moments that I have found the capacity to be the mother that I think she deserves, I’m irritable and mentally spent after the exchange.

In no way is she neglected or malnourished but I can’t help but feel like I’m failing her when I can’t get out of my own head. I find myself flashing back to previous holidays, and vacations and am spaced out and short of breath when I return to the present. Usually snapping out of it because Izzi has asked the same question 18 times and I’m just now figuring out how to answer.

The other day, perhaps the beginning of my spiral, I was on the phone with my mother and Izzi asked to speak to Opa. My guess is she longed to hear him say “IKE!” and ask her how she’s doing. I was unable to prevent my mom from hearing it and after my own anguish, the guilt of Izzi’s inability to understand and the probable pain caused by her question flowed freely. I should be able to explain Opa in a way that she understands but then, how can I explain what I don’t even understand. It’s like explaining why the sky is blue or the stars shine so brightly outside the lights of the city.

Guilt and grief go hand in hand these days. I’m sad because I miss my Dad, then guilty because I couldn’t save him. I’m sad because I can’t make myself move past this and guilty because it’s taken a toll on my family that I can’t fix right now. I’m sad because I can’t heal the pain that my mom, daughter and partner endure from the loss of a man that’s left a black hole sized chasm in our family. Guilty because there should be something that I could do to ease their pain.

Grief specialists will tell you that this is part of the process and you have to let yourself feel every emotion to get through it. Grief stops for nobody. Not even a three year old that needs her mother. That’s probably the saddest thing of all.

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Sticks and Stones (& Ottomans) Will Break Your Bones and Shoot Your Nerves to Hell

At the tender age of almost 3, my little one has broken her first bone. Luckily for us, it’s one of the most common bones broken during childhood. While playing on the ottoman, Izzi fell and broke her collarbone. An x-ray at Urgent Care and a discussion with her pediatrician revealed that it wasn’t a severe break (so no surgery) and would heal itself within a few weeks. A broken collarbone requires no casting and no real follow up so that a bonus and I’m so glad that it’s not worse.

However, trying to convince a toddler that a sling has to stay on ALL the time is exhausting. Lifting her into the car seat, buckling her in and watching her clumsily walk everywhere is nerve-wracking. To make matters worse, she’s no longer allowing her dad to comfort her. Only I will do. Combine this with good ole fashioned sleep deprivation and you can see why my nerves might be shot.

I thought motherhood was challenging enough, having dropped Izzi off for her first day of school (which she loves) and purchased her potty to begin potty training but now I fear her tantrums because I’m afraid she might re-injure herself. I’ve always been fairly comfortable in my parenting, knowing that I’m going to suck at something along the way but my confidence is shaken. Yeah, she’s a kid, she’s going to break bones but that doesn’t make it any less scary. I always thought my kid would break something when they’re 8 and it would be something that we could cast, throw some Tylenol and markers their way and let them have it. (Meaning a dose of Tylenol and decorate their cast. Jeez people.)

As I type this out, my mind is racing. Now I see it. It’s not according to plan. THE PLAN. That phrase is killing me. I’m not sure why I continue to cling to THE PLAN when nothing seems to go that way. Not a bad thing. Just an observation. I guess it’s time to let go. If I’m not flexible, then how can I expect Izzi to be. I want her to heal and be able to bounce back, like her collarbone but if I’m not setting the example, I can guarantee that she’ll never have that opportunity.

Today, though my patience is thin, and my body is tired, I’ll try to be more flexible.

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Hopes and Goals

Hello all, 

  I recognize that it’s been a while since my last post (exactly 8 months) and some of my friends have been encouraging me to re-enter the blogging realm (looking at you Shanelle!) so I decided to give it a try. 2013 was not my best year. I’m not saying 2014 will be perfect but I have hope for this year. That said, I set some specific goals for myself and they are as follows:

1. Find a church, meet new people and learn from them. {So far, I’ve visited one church and was impressed with the service. I’m hoping for a return visit to make sure that it’s a fit before I take the munchkin.}

2. Volunteer in places that you know will change your life. The people who may not share the same experiences that you have will certainly provide you with perspective. {Wise words from a man that I miss terribly.}

3. Get healthy. Start a workout routine. {So this has more to do with the fact that my best friend is getting married this fall. She deserves the best me that I can provide for those wedding pictures. Also, I was tired of feeling so tired all of the time.}

4. Forgive yourself daily and ask for help. { Anyone that you ask will tell you that I am a perfectionist when it comes to Motherhood. I have always wanted to be the kind of mom that bakes cookies while their kid is napping so that they awaken to something special for absolutely no reason at all. I never want to make the wrong choice for my daughter. Ever. This is the goal I’m struggling with the most. }

5. Don’t hold others to the impossible expectations that you set for yourself. {Life happens and gets in the way, so its important to remember that it’s imperative to be comfortable with yourself and your partner. Ultimately, y’all are going to be stuck when everyone else is too busy to think about you.}

6. Be more positive! {(Yes, I’m serious.) I recently went through and removed people from my life that were causing stress. Between this and exercising, I have become MUCH happier.}

7. Realize that it’s ok to be yourself as long as you NEVER GIVE UP. {For as long as I can remember, I’ve been terrified of expressing any real emotion for fear that it could cause me to fail in some way. This year, I’m going to be happy, sad, and mad. I’m going to grieve for the loss of one of the most influential people in my life while at the same time honoring him the best way I know how; by taking his advice. }

 

Maybe it’s silly to write down ideas and call them goals in the hopes that if you call them something other than New Year’s Resolutions that you’ll be more successful at them but I’m doing my best. My hope is that if nothing else, I continue to have hope this year. At the end of the day, as long as you have hope, you have almost everything.

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Turning 1.

We’ve survived.

It’s almost an anthem for new parents. Bringing home that sweet baby from the hospital is single-handedly one of the most challenging things a person can do. All you can think about is sleep, the fact that it seems to slip through your fingers like sand at the beach. While you’re missing sleep, perhaps at times the life you had prior to parenthood, the days are passing quickly. Pretty soon baby is 1 week old, 1 month old… a year old.

I’m planning my daughter’s birthday and I’m struggling with how fast time has gone. Darius Rucker (formerly of Hootie and the Blowfish) sings a song* about how time flies during parenthood, a song I loved right up until this moment. Until I realized, he’s right. This doesn’t last forever. Hold your breath, savor every bit of babyhood. The midnight feedings, sleep deprivation, her falling asleep in your arms as you lightly pat her back and whisper comforting words. I feel guilty that I wished for the days when she would just get bigger! Just big enough so that she would sleep through the night – so I could sleep longer than 2 hours at a time, so I… (finish the sentence with whatever you please, you get the point.)

So, she’s turning 1. Maybe this will be enough to remember to savor every snuggle, every time her little hands reach for me, or she leans her head to rest it on mine because a stranger has said hello. Maybe this will be enough to remember to celebrate her, to celebrate our family daily. Maybe this will be enough to remember that the best rewards are the ones you work the hardest to accomplish. She’s turning one.

*It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker

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Motherhood and the Millennial

(I apologize in advance to my non-parental friends. This is about kids so if you are queasy or bored with the subject, stop now or forever hold your peace.)

I was thinking about my post last night, long after I should have been asleep and I felt ashamed and confused. The latter emotion isn’t abnormal but the former was a little concerning. I was struggling to figure out why being a stay at home Mom is so difficult for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching my little girl grow up but I’m drowning in bottles and nanas. I always thought that staying at home with my baby would be so great, I would be the June Cleaver of the millenials and it would all be perfect.

Wrong. So wrong. There are days when I’m lucky if I shower, and am able to sit down and focus on things that make me feel like myself again. By the time the end of the day rolls around and it’s time to make dinner, all I want to do is curl up in bed. I felt BAD about this. I felt guilty about my inability to do the one thing for which I thought I would truly have a gift. Then I stopped and thought about it. My whole life everything has been measurable and tangible. If you did your homework, you received good grades. If you went to work and did your job, (normally) you received a paycheck. If you communicated with others, you had successful relationships. (Still following me? Good.)

Motherhood, specifically stay-at-home motherhood is probably one of the least tangible, measurable jobs that exists. This may be a selfish statement but it’s true. I can tell you that my daughter is happy and healthy and that’s hugely important and satisfying but somedays, it’s hard to get the big picture where you feel like there’s no end time. My job as a mom is 24/7. After she’s in bed, there’s still laundry to be done, bottles to be washed and filled, usually dinner to be cleaned up and that’s under the assumption that she napped and I was able to get cleaning done then. I’m not saying my life is horrible. Contrary to what this entry sounds like, I’m merely wondering if I’m the only one who feels this way. I suspect that as more of my friends find their way down the same path, I won’t be the only one.

So what do I as a millennial mother do? I wait patiently (or maybe not so patiently) for others to come my way. I know that this phase is temporary and I just have to keep reminding myself that my daughter needs someone who’s well rounded. How do I translate the big picture into something smaller so that I can remind myself daily? That is the big question. Child rearing is a marathon, certainly not a sprint and anyone that considers it to be the latter should have their parenting privileges revoked. Oh and on a side note, the technology that has created us as a generation and our expectation that everything be delivered right this very second hasn’t helped my notion of feeling lost in all this.

I guess that’s what my point is – as millennials we need to understand that the best things take time to grow. The best things aren’t delivered instantly. There’s a quote that floats around on Facebook (yes, another reference, Mark Zuckerburg should hire me to do PR) that says “God only has 3 answers; not yet, yes, or I have something better in mind.” In other words… BE PATIENT.

Ok, well if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and I appreciate any feedback you have on the subject. If you’re a mother and you’re a millennial, how have you coped with this or have you not felt this way at all and think I’m just crazy? Let me know!

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