Friday, March 11, 2011

Dear Bad Mood...

(So I wrote this for a place that is holding me accountable for my eating and exercising.  I'm having a crappy day so I thought I would post this here for anyone's viewing pleasure and also to remind me why I should shake this bad mood off before it consumes me...too late.  *insert picture of a well with hands trying to climb out*  that's me)

So I stand before you an emotional mess most times.  Some times I have the energy to hide it.  Sometimes I have the energy to change it.  Sometimes I don't have the care to do either, and I let you see my mess.  It's okay for those who truly know me, want to know me or are just as much of a mess as I am and don't care.

However, I do not like being a negative nut on MFP.  That's not why I joined this place.  I joined it because it's free to be honest.  I didn't realize how many awesome (and not so awesome) people this place held.  I've clicked with some, loved a few, rolled my eyes at many a-post, virtual-hugged fiercely those I felt needed it.

I let my negativity come out this morning, and I got mad at myself for I don't want people to see that part of me because I am so much more than that.  So with my negativity open to the public of my friends I went to the gym.  I dropped my little boy off and worked out, which to be quite honest didnt help a whole lot because, to me, working out is like cleaning the house; all I do is think about what I wish I had the balls to say out loud.  That doesn't change my mood.

I went and picked up my little boy from the gym daycare to see some little girl ripping a piece of paper out of his hand and pushing him.  I grabbed the piece of paper out of the little girl's hand and scolded her.  OOFF this was so not the right thing to do in my mind, but I couldn't stop myself.  Layla, my favorite staff person, asked me what happened.  I told her and I walked away.

While sitting on the floor putting my son's shoes on she asked me if I was okay in such a caring tone that I started crying.  She asked me what happened, and I told her I didnt know.  I had no idea and that I was sorry for being a mess and how stupid I felt.  She looked at me and said, "April, life is hard and it's okay.  Come here.  I want to show you something."  She handed me the newspaper which had the title, 'Man Found After Two Years for Killing Friend."  I asked her what was this and she informed me that this is the man that killed her husband, her children's father, two years ago.

I stared at her and started crying.  I told her how sorry I was and that I can't imagine how terrible of a loss this was for her and her three children as I've come to know this girl as an amazing mom and caregiver over the past few months.  I hugged her and told her how selfish I was for feeling so emotional today over something I had no idea what it was.  She promptly scolded me and told me not to think that way.  It's okay to have "those days" and that we aren't alone.

I cried all the way home.  I will hug her when I see her tomorrow and hope that at lease an ounce of her strength finds its way to me.  If it doesn't, that only means she needs it all, and I won't steal it from her.  I will, however, try hard to stand tall like her for she has many reasons to fall.  I'll thank her for her kindness, not only to my son, but to me as well, and I will treasure it always.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mommy Guilt - The Hidden Danger of Mommyhood

I read a mom's confession the other day where she said, "I shrugged my daughter off of me today.  I can't stand being touched today."  I read it and thought that I could have written that very easily.  Four days go by and I'm still thinking about that mom and what she said.  I have done the same exact thing, and I felt bad then and I still do now.  My mind then starts to immediately remind me about each bad mommy moment I've had over the past 9 1/2 years.  I can remember them like it just happened last week, which I'm pretty sure some of them did.  Why can't a mommy mind have a filter?  The kind of filter that allows us to remember only the wonderful things we do as I'm positive we all do wonderful things on a weekly basis. 

I love my kids more than I ever could I have imagined, but in all those books I read while pregnant there was never a section entitled, "Mommy Guilt - It Comes with the Territory."  Perhaps you can't teach mommies-to-be this trait that comes automatically, but "they" could have least prepared me for such guilt.  Other people tell me not to waste my time feeling guilty as I do the best I can.  Some days I feel like I haven't given my best, nor do I feel that I even tried, which inevitibly leads to the dreaded mommy guilt.

So I go over and over again all the bad mommy moments I've had and they add up.  In fact, I don't have enough fingers and toes to keep track of the bad mommy moments.  I certainly don't dare write them down where anyone could find them and judge me.  I then start to think about stories I've read or stories I've been told about other moms who have had bad moments.  I'm sorry to admit that it makes me feel better when I can say to myself, "Ooh, at least I've never done THAT."  That's mean I know, but I think that's human nature.  It also makes me feel better when I can say, "Oh, phew, someone else had done X, Y, Z too!!"  Somehow I'm validated in my bad moments.

No matter how much validation I get though I can't ever truly let go of the mommy guilt.  It's there to stay because as my own mother has told me on many occasions, "Get used to it, April, it's a life sentence."  Oh, it sure is, but I just try to think that for every five minutes worth of bad mommy moments, there's ten minutes of awesome, silly, loved moments which definitely outweigh the negatives on this whole mommy job.  I can learn to live with that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Middle of the Night Randoms

I wake up with a start, eyes open, holding my breath listening for what it was that woke me up, even though I already know.  It's that tell-tale cough accompanied by a wailing hurt cry.  I sigh, drag myself out of bed, eyes half open and go into my son's room.  He's sitting there crying so badly my mommy mode kicks in.  I pick him up, grab a blanket and sit in the rocking chair.  As he collapses on my chest I curse myself for picking a rocking chair that doesn't recline.  What the hell was I thinking?  Did I really think that 4:30 in the morning this chair would be comfortable? 

As I rock my sick baby I realize that I really don't care for this job.  This whole mommy thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.  My toes are freezing, my head is pounding, this chair is uncomfortable, and I think about all those things that mommies say, "Oh, it's all worth it."  "Oh, this job is so fullfilling."  "Oh, shut the hell up," I think.  This sucks and you can't tell me any different.

Suddenly my son has such a severe coughing fit, sits up on my lap, looks at me, starts crying and drops his head onto my chest.  Now I feel bad because all I want to do is fix him.  It's 4:30 in the morning, and there is nothing that I can do but love him up and snuggle him hoping he falls asleep on me.  So that's what he finally does.  He falls asleep on me, and as I kiss his warm forehead I don't notice my cold toes, my throbbing head, my uncomfortable chair.  All I notice is my son's heavy breathing, his soft hair, his warm feet and the best baby smell ever.  In this moment I no longer dislike this job.  This is the moment where I vow to do this job as close to perfect as I can.  Someone very important is counting on me, and I will not let anyone, not even my bitchy self, get in the way of this thankless but perfect-for-me job.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Obsessions Put on the Back Burner (for at least a day)

So there has much obsessing and stressing from this mom as of late.  The past few months have been filled with many sleepless nights wondering how and where I'm going to find work to pay for Christmas presents, oh and pay that student loan, oh and pay for groceries.  You catch my drift.  So I've spent the past three months freaking out on a daily basis endlessly searching for work.  I thought I had it set about three different times all to come to a screeching halt with no heads up.

There came a point a couple of weeks ago where upon waking I actually started to cry realizing that I had to perform the same tricks, jump through the same damn hoops again this day.  I didn't want to get out of bed.  I've not felt this way in quite some time, and the mere thought of that in itself made me start crying all over again.  What kind of mother am I that I don't want to get out of bed because I feel I'm only going to disappoint myself, my husband, my kids again?!  So, yes, I got out of bed, trudged around the normal morning routine of breakfasts for the kids, lunch, backpack, bus, go...head to computer, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00 - not that anyone had any of that for me.  I ended that day the same way I ended the past three months' worth of days; discouraged, disheartened, sad. 

Fast forward to last week where I was still at the same old, same old but this time it finally worked, my efforts that is.  Three different companies contacted me and all three of them invited me onto their team.  So I went ahead full of steam and energy ready to prove myself and show them that they wouldn't be sorry they took me on. 

Now, that I'm settled in and finished my work for this afternoon I see my little man looking at me with a runny nose that he rubbed all over his cheeks.  Poor little guy I think, scoop him up and wipe his nose clean.  I sit on the couch with him and thus begins the best five minutes I've had in weeks.  He snuggled with me and we watched Dora for a whole five minutes!  Five minutes is a long time for an 18-month-old!

This then led me to look around my living room and see the shambles it was in and realize that none of that matters.  What matters is that I do, in fact, have a house (thanks to my husband), I have a bunch of toys that I step on and bash my feet countless times a day, I have a happy baby, and now a job or two to boot.

So with all of this going on around me I think about one of my favorite all-time movies, and in the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."  I've been missing a lot lately, and that's made me sad.  I also know now that it's okay.  My kids still love me and they had no idea why I was a little lost there for awhile.  What matters is that mom is back and ready to kick ass.  Let's just hope they can keep up!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sleepless Nights and Panic Mode

I finally trudge myself upstairs to go to bed, but first, my ritual.  Stand over the baby's crib and ooh and ahh at how cute and peaceful he looks, get jealous that that's not me and leave.  Next stop, stand over my daughter's bed and kiss her head, get jealous that that's not me and leave.  Flop into bed thankful that I have the most comfortable bed ever.

Fade out to me tossing and turning suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere thinking about when I was younger.  More specifically, about a time that I caused my parents some serious heart damage and most certainly gave them grey hair - well, gave my dad a grey beard that's for sure.

Oh, it starts out like every jaded teenager wanting their independence and not getting it in the way they want.  So what better way to stomp my feet then to run away from home and go to the boyfriend's house, you know, the boyfriend who I thought I would marry any minute now and live happily ever after - yeah, him.  All teenage girls have at least one of those.  Who did I think I was?  Running away to his house, my parents calling his mom, said boyfriend "stashing" me at his friend's house only for me to end up going home anyways because, really, what did I think was going to happen?

This memory causes me to jump out of bed, check on my oldest and see her sleeping peacefully with her comforter covering up her mouth and see her hugging her ladybug "pillow pet."  I give her a kiss and get back into bed and finally fall asleep thinking that if I'm lucky, I have another 5 years before MY grey hairs start sprouting.