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Discovering motherhood…one poopy diaper at a time.

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Posts Tagged ‘mental state’

I thought I would share my day with the internuts.

I think I will backtrack a bit to add that Friday night was spent in a battle of wits.  Vince and I vs. Christmas tree lights.  They nearly kicked our ass.  We ended up tossing the majority of our cumulative collection in the garbage.  And that was the most enjoyable part of the whole experience.  Well, not really, I suppose I really did enjoy making up mean songs about Christmas lights to the tune of several Christmas songs.  But I would enjoy that sort of thing.

Now, moving on to the Saturday festivities…

I awoke to the invite for breakfast and to laundry. This starts out pretty exciting, eh?  Then on to breakfast at IHOP, which was yummy delicious, where my child proceeded to act spastic near the end of our excursion.  She took a power nap of 20 minutes on the way home and then proceeded to be all bouncy, so we decided to pack her lunch and torture ourselves at the mall.  We managed to kill two birds with one stone:  1) we got Kira’s picture taken with Santa for the first time ever and 2) we did her first ever Build-a-Bear because I had a coupon (I lurves me some coupon savings!!).

The mall traffic sucked ASS!  The insane traffic, the crowded stores and just the simple fact that it is a mall is why I try to avoid ever going there.  I know, I know…I am not a girl, well at least not in the sterotypical “liking to shop” sort of way.  Trust me, my husband can and HAS out-shopped me by a long shot.

We lost Vince at a cool pub decor store and went to BAB.  Kira immediately grabbed FOUR unstuffed animals, a polar bear, a kitteh, and 2 different teddy bears and latched onto them like a leech.  We waited for Vince and waited and waited until I realized I didn’t have my cell phone.  So, I pried the unstuffed animals from Kira’s firm grip and went looking for him…no such luck, so we headed back and called his mobile from the BAB store phone.  No answer, gah!

He finally strolls in and we get Kira a polar bear.  She did quite well for such a tiny girl, she even pressed the pedal all by herself to blow the stuffing in.  She kept her death-grip on her polar bear until I fed her in line for Santa.

Ah, the first Santa experience…I walk her up to him and she starts screaming and crying.  Most likely to the horror of most of the other parents waiting in line, I hand her over to this Santa stranger, step back and tell the lady to take the picture tears, smiles or whatever we get…I WANT THIS PICTURE!  So, we got pictures with Santa and the lady did manage to distract her enough to get the “what, are you nuts?!?” glare from my kid.  I love it!  Then they stuck it to us for $20 for 2 5 x 7′s.  That is crazy shit.  I assure you next year we will try another approach, like the Breakfast with Santa event or something.  It couldn’t possibly be worse than the effing mall.

At this point Kira was wiped out, as were we.  We came home and she napped for all of an hour, maybe.  We ate dinner and then I got peed on a little.  And then I knelt in the pee.  Hmm…I think that will be all for today!

Tomorrow we shall have our first family portrait done, dinner with family and then I shall hopefully get a good night sleep before I proceed with intentionally making my child ill by giving her milk to drink.  Doctors are so sadistic…

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that on the way to breakfast I threw Kira’s sippy cup of apple-banana juice into my purse and upon arrival discovered that the lid wasn’t secure and about half the sippy cup emptied into my purse!  This was quite funny until I realized this evening that my MP3 player was in there…YIKES!  I am just hoping that it isn’t f.u.b.a.r.

All in all, it was a crazy day and I had a great time!!!

Uh…that would be the cartoon characters, not the half-naked, dancing men.

Yeah, so I have been sleeping MUCH better lately.  Yay for the melatonin supplement I’ve been taking!  It really works, apparently, as I am actually able to fall and mostly stay asleep and even have REM cycles.  I really like REM cycles.  I am a SERIOUSLY ANGRY BEAR when I am sleep deprived.

Oh…a little side note for those of you who think like my husband…I am taking melaTONIN, not melaNOMA.  Seriously, he is so weird.

But anyway, back to my dreams.  I am dreaming and remembering them, which is like being reunited with an old friend of mine.  I love remembering my dreams, they add extra color to my life.

So, this particular dream, myself, my husband, my friends, and (yes) Chip and Dale the cartoon characters from the days of yore are on a fishing boat in the ocean and we are fishing for sharks of all things.   We aren’t having much luck, so Chip (or perhaps Dale, as if it matters, lol) offer to be the bait.  This works, we catch a shark.  Then, when we are certain that Chip (or is it Dale?) has met his fate inside the belly of this ginormous shark, his voice startles all of us as he is looking on wondering what we are all doing standing around looking at a shark.

Then I woke up to a screaming baby.

Don’t you wish you knew what happens next?  I doubt it!

In case the friends are reading this, I intend to name you so that you  know I have weird dreams about sharks and cartoon chipmunks (wearing next to nothing!) and YOU ARE INCLUDED!  Heather, Dan and Athena…you were all there!!  Mwahahahahaha!!!

Most of the time, if Kira is fussy or crabby, I find it rather easy to get a smile and a laugh from her…

Simply put a diaper on my head.  It cracks her up.

I believe this may be the early stages of toilet humor, lol.

If there were an award as such, it would go to the dickhead featured in this news story.

I have been annoyed by the incessant, shrill cries of a child in a public place.  I also have the free-will and wherewithal to LEAVE if I can’t deal with it, certainly that would make more sense the repeated striking of a 2 year old in the face by a complete stranger.

In this story, it explains how the man threatened the mother that “if she couldn’t shut the kid up, then he would”…then, when the child continued to cry in another aisle, he proceeded with hitting her in the face four or five times.

You see…maybe I am a little crazy, maybe just perfectly normal, or maybe I simply tend to respond quickly in most situations…either way, just those words alone would have sent me off into a blazing hot, angry like a bear that has been poked with a hot stick rage of protecting my child.

Now, I am not trying to scold the mother for not reacting faster or with violent retaliation…but I certainly do not understand her quick forgiveness.  I am a forgiving person, but I am thinking that a little bit of anger is in order for now and then forgiveness a little later.  She is either full of crap and putting on for the media or I guess she is more forgiving than most people I have encountered.

No matter, I can assure you that if I were in the mother’s shoes, I would have potentially been arrested along with the crazy bastard that hit my kid repeatedly.  I would have tackled his sorry ass and wailed on him with a vengeance.  I am not saying that behaving violently and being arrested in  front of my kid in response to a violent attack is THE BEST or THE RIGHT thing to do…but perhaps it is.  Even though some of you may see it as setting the example of violence being acceptable, I am personally of the opinion that (a mother) defending her child IS acceptable be it violent or not, circumstantially speaking.  I feel that doing nothing is worse for the child than doing something.

I try to share my personal parental miseries, failures, triumphs and other human moments with all of you with the utmost honesty…however, lately I have been barely capable of keeping my nose above the waterline, thus the temporary lack of anything worth writing.  There has been a lot going on here on our home-front and a lot going on around me with loved-ones.

I have had to pass on several (much needed!) opportunities to hang out with friends, have a drink, and regroup because there is just a lot of demand on my priorities lately.  While necessary, this has left me drained, stressed, and insomnious…which is taking its toll on me physically.

This is obviously just one of those times that are a dreadful, necessary part of life and it, too, will pass.

If only I could get some reassurance that I am going to come out on the other side sometime in the near future, that would really help.  But since that isn’t likely, I suppose I will just keep chugging along.

I have recently gained a bit of insight, if only it sticks with me.  I imagine that this will.  I have been greatly in need of a better attitude toward my situation as a SAHM and the set-backs that creates with all other aspects of me and my former self.  I have been needing to find a more serene place to exist where, although there are many things I’d like to be accomplishing right this very moment, I am happy just spending time with my child and making the most out of these days that we will never get back.  I have been needing to let go of all the things I’d like to be pursuing and just be in the moment.  This is hard for me because I am the type of person that decides, “oh, hey, I think I will (fill in the blank)” and I do it.  Not tomorrow, but as soon as it crosses my mind.  I can’t do that right now, I have to wait for the opportunity and I have to manage my time accordingly.  This isn’t working for me and I have had a terrible attitude about it for a while now…

Well, here is where I gain some insight.

I have been presented with a potential challenge to my child’s health, which I do not care to elaborate on at this time, and I have decided that just the potential for her to have a serious health concern is enough to open my eyes WIDE to how good I’ve got it.  On the bright side to this potential bad thing, there is this insight that nothing I aspire to do or be is more important than even 10 minutes of my day spent with my little girl even doing the most mundane activity, even doing nothing at all.

Mostly, I am adjusted to my new life as a mom.

There is one hang-up I still have:  Wishing my life now more closely resembled my life pre-baby.

I know.  It is a selfish hang-up.  But it is how I feel. 

I have been back home for 5 days from a girls-trip to Florida and I can honestly say that no matter the fact I missed Kira terribly while I was away…I still didn’t want to come home.  I wanted more time to myself, with my friends, on the beach.  I thought about how many times in my pre-baby life I’d thought about moving to the beach and being a beach-bum for a living.  I’d be good at it.  I could spend 8-10 hours a day on the beach renting out chairs and umbrellas…hell, I think I was made for that job.  I dreaded coming home.  And, yes, I certainly do realize EXACTLY how bad that sounds.

At one point, my wishful thinking included Kira as I considered the thought of her and I heading off to the sand and shores.  I tried to include Vince, although that was more dificult since he isn’t exactly a beach loving person, but I did try

After much debate and reverie during my final moments in the sand and surf, I realized that all these thoughts are a direct result of one thing and one thing only:

I still long for the freedom to come and go as I please.  The freedom to walk out the door and not come back, even though I am by nature a more responsible person than that.  The freedom to take a loooong vacation and to move to the beach for good, if I so choose.  The freedom to vacation with Vince where ever we want to go.  The freedom to grab my wallet and go shopping on a whim.  To lay out in the sun and read a book for hours on end.  To go have a drink with my friends, to do whatever, whenever, wherever…

I still long for that freedom…

It makes me feel incredibly selfish and guilty, even just thinking it. 

I love Kira in a way that I have never loved anyone, anything…and that is saying so much, because I love hard everytime I love.  But this is so different, loving this child that grew inside my body.  This child that looks like me, this child who has my blood pumping through her veins, her heart.

I would never even consider leaving her, I can’t even get a clear image of what my life from this point on would be like without her, and God forbid if anything ever takes her from me…I can’t even try to think how I would/could go on, it makes me tremble and shudder at even the thought.  Even with all that love…even still, I wish for the freedom I know I can never have.

I am curious if it ever goes away.  If this is something all parents feel or if my being thirty-something as a first time parent makes this feeling even stronger.

I’d love to hear what you have to say on the subject.

I have recently been considering how important it is to me that my little girl grows up knowing the value of self.  Specifically, I have been thinking what we, her parents, need to be certain to make happen during her impressionable years so that she grows into an adult that knows her self-worth.

There have been a few things recently that I have been experiencing that have put this thought in my head:

  1. doing research to determine a price for my photography based on others locally who I consider to be comparable to my own quality.
  2. being networked to so many friends, both from past and present, who are presently (or are considering) going back to school to embark on a completely new career path
  3. based on items 1 and 2, contemplating how I see myself and how that will ultimately effect Kira as she grows up and develops her own self-worth

This has been a HUGE eye-opener for me.  HUGE, with a capital G.

I find my value being considerably less than it should be when I breakdown my internal dialogue.  This is not good.  This is not acceptable.

I am so proud of all my friends that are chasing down dreams and making them real, especially after having settled into a routine for so long.  It makes me want to do the same, to really go after what I have always wanted.  To make a reality of the things I put to the back corner of my mind so many years ago.

When I think of making this a reality, it is then my excuses become innumerable.

That is when I realized exactly how important having a family support system is.  To have people who openly, verbally believe in you and encourage you.

I am not going to digress into my own childhood here and ramble on about it.  I will, however, say this much:  I had people that believed in and encouraged me during my childhood and adolescence.  I also had someone I greatly admired that verbally tore me to shreds and diminished every chance for me to feel good and worthy of good.  For every word of encouragement or support, there were hundreds of words berating, belittling and breaking me down.  These words have carried some weight throughout my life, as is always the case with negativity, but I believed that I had left much of the past behind me up til now.

Now, more than ever, I have to face this and repair it.  It is of dire importance for Kira’s sake that I not only be the best person I can be, but that I practice what I preach to her, as well.  I can’t just say, “Know your self-worth!” to her, not if it will make a hypocrite of me.

I have a huge obstacle ahead of me that I must hurdle.  I will be digging deep to clear out any remaining negative thoughts and the voice I hear that says, “You can’t do that, you aren’t smart enough, good enough, capable enough.  You missed your opportunity.  You threw it all away”.  I also have to find my way past a maze of excuses like “you don’t have enough time, you should really be more realistic, you are taking away from your family, and your husband shouldn’t have to endure the financial burden of your dream chasing”.

The truth is, myself as well as my family will pay a higher price if I never chase my dreams…

(P.S.  It is amazingly difficult to make such a bold statement of my shortcomings.  But I believe the truth and facing the truth head on will be what makes all the difference in setting me free from this toxic thinking.  I also believe there are probably a lot of you out there, perhaps reading this right now, that feel very similarly.  I hope you find a way to overcome your own negative self-image, no matter the nature or origin of it.)

It seem like the most obvious sentence you could ever hear.  That doesn’t, however, stop the nurses who teach the birthing classes from repeating it over and over like a broken record during the 6-8 weeks you take the class.

During our birthing class, my husband and I learned and saw a lot of things we didn’t already know about the birthing process and newborn care.  What neither of us expected was to continually hear the sentence, “NEVER, ever shake a baby” .  It was almost annoying to hear that sentence repeated so casually and so frequently, I mean isn’t that OBVIOUS?

It was such an annoyance that Cybr and I spoke of it one night on our way home, agreeing that it was ridiculous that it need be repeated so much.  Everyone knows that and surely it is few and far between that need be reminded.

This was our thinking before our baby was born.

After we had been home with Kira for a few weeks, that is when it became clear as to exactly why it is repeated so frequently.  Bringing home a newborn is stressful, exhausting and frightening.  It pushes you to limits mentally, physically and emotionally that you have never before been.  This happens while mothers are simultaneously having EXTREME hormone fluxuation, sleep deprivation and more than likely self-doubt.  I can also add burning a high fever and being in severe pain to that list, which I am certain others have experienced as well.

So, all this having been said, now you add a screaming, colicky newborn to the equation and THAT is why you NEED it drilled in your head to NEVER shake a baby.  That way, when you are out of your freaking mind with all the human limits you have surpassed and you begin to think a little crazy and act not so much like yourself, that repetitive phrase is embedded in your brain in hopes of keeping you from doing the unthinkable.

I thought it was ridiculous during the classes.  After I was standing in those shoes, the shoes of a new parent, only then did I begin to understand why it happens.  I thought you had to be a psycho or a borderline psycho to actually stoop to the level of ‘crazy mother fucker that would shake their defenseless, dependent child’.  Then I became a parent and understood that the truth behind shaken baby syndrome is that anyone can go there in a blink of an eye and you don’t have to be crazy, you just have to lose control of yourself for a split second.

By no means am I either condoning or defending this behavior from anyone or suggesting that I have done such a heinous act.

I am simply saying that I understand how it could happen, albeit deplorable, and now understand that all parents-to-be need to be told this considerably obvious statement so that it be embedded in the front and foremost area of you brain when your baby comes home.

It is very clear to me now that I am a parent that TALKING openly and honestly about this subject and our feelings about being a new parent are necessary to preventing any and all forms of child abuse and neglect as well as keeping new moms and dads from sinking to an emotional level not fit for caring for themselves or their child.  Not even entirely abuse, but of self deprecation, guilt, fear, and all other negative feelings associated with the early stages of parenting.