A few weeks ago, I went to visit my relatives down in Florida. I got to see a whole slew of people that I love beyond measure, and I am eternally grateful to my husband for taking on our 3 children so that I could travel alone.
It had been a few years since my last trek south, but as soon as my plane hit the tarmac in Tallahassee I felt like I was returning home from some long and exhausting vacation. It even smelled like home. The humidity and the ridiculous amount of green leafy things they have down there. The spanish moss hanging from the trees. The chameleons. Their weird little neighborhoods that look like something off of a movie set. Boiled peanuts. Back country roads. Family.
See, I have never actually lived in Florida for any extended period of time. It is just such a constant in my memories over so much of my lifetime.
Happy. That is another word that comes to mind. No matter what phase of life I was going through (depressed and surly teenager, falling-apart young adult, falling-apart not-so-young adult, etc...) this was always a place where I could go and find peace. My family is there. The heart of my family is there. The people who matter the most to me are rooted to that spot so firmly that they are a part of its very lifeblood. My memories are of huge family gatherings where someone would drive home with a truck full of dead birds (doves, I came to find out on this last trip down). My Granddaddy shooting an armadillo in his backyard. Being chased by a gator when out on the Wakulla river in a tiny boat. Trying my first oyster when I was probably about 8 years old, and promptly spitting it directly back into the hand that fed it to me. Sand and trees and sun. Grown ups that smelled of sunscreen and beer. Giant grasshoppers and even more giant spiders (banana spiders, I was informed.)
I have so many vivid memories of this place that it feels as though a piece of me is also permanently rooted there. Like it never left, and is still wandering my grandparents' old river property on a hot summer day, just waiting for one of the adults to walk us to the pool down the road.
When I go down there now, I still see Florida through the eyes of the small child I once was. In 30 some-odd years, my grandparents have never grown any older when I've seen them. Time stands still in the south. I want it to always be that way.
For so many of my 3 decades, my brain has worked hard to reject any memories. There is very little that I am able to quickly recall (or recall at all) for a lot of my life. It wasn't that it was a terrible childhood - that was just my body's go-to defense mechanism. Without so much as asking me, many of the experiences I had were tossed straight out of my brain shortly after they occurred like an old piece of gum out the car window. Since moving up to New Hampshire, I have been able to let my defenses down for the first time in forever and have been able to pull up a bunch of old files that were packed away in some deep, dark corner of my perpetually-overloaded brain. I am wasting less of my energy worrying about holding myself together, so I guess that means I am now able to handle looking back on things I had long forgotten. I find my mind wandering a lot these days. Seeing my 12 year-old daughter experience 7th grade is surreal. When she comes home and talks about her day, its as though I am back wandering the halls of my old school (WMS). Smelling chalk (CHALK, people!!), hearing the locker doors slam, remembering how it felt to spend so much of my time hiding at one of those cubby-like desks in the tiny library. Smells seem to be a thing. I can recall smells better than I can recall how I felt or how something sounded, and certainly better than how it looked. (Apparently I don't take much stock in visuals when it comes to my long-term filing system.)
My point behind all of this rambling is this: If I can still feel like I am there, and hear and smell and see the things I once saw years and years ago, isn't that the same as being there? Because for that moment of remembrance, I am certainly not taking in my current surroundings. I am 100% 10 years old again, just in a 33 year-old body.
Age doesn't make a difference. You are who you have always been and will always be. Time and circumstances may tweak your outward appearances a bit, but your essence is exactly the same it was when you were 4 and searching for tadpoles in the pond at the playground. It is still the same as when you were 12 and packed into the middle school cafeteria for a Friday night dance, trying to see through the dozens of classmates to that one boy you had been obsessing about for the past 6 months. It is the same as the super-excited and sad and nervous person you were on your high school graduation day when you weren't sure if you would ever lay eyes on all of those familiar faces again. The same as the day you met your future spouse. The day you had your first child. The day your first CHILD entered middle school. Your first grandchild, great-grandchild, etc.
Everything is a part of the same piece of thread that is your life.
Don't waste time worrying about getting older or wishing for that wrinkle-free skin or work-free lifestyle. You still have all of it. Just sit still, relax and breathe.
You'll be back there in the blink of an eye.
I just realized it has been over 2 months since I last wrote...I totally blame the fact that I have 3 kids. I find myself using that excuse at LEAST twice a day, every day. We are never on time for appointments anymore....I have 3 kids! Okay, we totally forgot we even HAD an appointment today....It was because of the 3 kids! I said I'd call you back 7 months ago? .....I don't even have time to explain myself, I have 3 kids trying to burn the house down. See?
Speaking of my kids trying to kill me...
When we had our second child, we thought we were brilliant for the way that we spaced the first 2 so far apart. Having a 9 year old to help with a baby was fantastic! Not old enough to babysit, yet old enough to sit with the lump of tiny human on her lap and keep a bottle in his mouth while I changed out of my pajamas (occasionally). The 3rd child was a bit of an anomaly. She wasn't exactly planned, and I understood from the start that having her and my son in diapers at the same time was going to royally suck. Funny thing - I didn't even think to factor in the fact that we were going to have a child enduring the special hell that is middle school and teenager-hood at the exact same time that we would have a toddler who felt the need to be ornery all day everyday and a baby whose world collapsed any time she got a little snot in her nose.
The days have run together since the moment #3 was born. Every morning when I get up and take my AM meds, I literally hear that sound effect from Requiem For A Dream where the mom keeps popping her pills. It feels like the time is going warp speed ahead and I am just trying to hold on to this insane, out of control life lest I fall off and plummet to my death. (Not that I haven't thought about just letting go and jumping on purpose quite frequently...)
I am having trouble keeping a train of thought in my head for longer than 10 seconds - can you tell??
Last night, I was standing in my bathroom after brushing my teeth for the night. Everyone was asleep but me, and the house seemed unnaturally calm. I must have been staring at the wall near the floor by the door for a good 15 seconds before I even noticed I was doing it. When I caught myself, I then realized that this was the ONLY time in MANY days that I had had the luxury of doing something as mundane as staring at a wall....so I let myself do it for a little bit longer. AND I ENJOYED EVERY DAMN SECOND.
Dear lord, what is this life?? I never, EVER, could have pictured it turning into this. This being the most gut-wrenching, unpredictable, exhausting and boring and exciting roller coaster ride I have ever put myself on. Good thing the military taught me the whole "hurry up and wait" concept....
One day, I might spend HOURS sitting on the floor and reading terribly written children's books, scooping nasty baby food into #3's mouth, arguing with #1's teenage-attitude and having a standoff with #2 about not being able to wear his fleece footie pajamas that are 2 sizes too small to Walmart on the hottest day of summer so far.
The next day we might be calling 911 at 10pm because #3 decided to aspirate her own vomit and was turning purple, despite my attempts to suck all of the crap out of her airway.
Having kids sucks. But, it is also the best thing that I have ever done with my life - hands down. I wouldn't give it up for anything in the entire world. I might leave them on the side of the road one of these days if they don't stop screaming at each other while I am trying to drive, though.
Parenthood: Don't do it. (But actually do it right now.)
I need sleep. So bad.
Be nice to everyone you meet. You never know who has a bunch of lunatics waiting for them back at home.
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our 3rd child, we were surprised. We had not been planning on having anymore kids after the birth of our son a few years prior. Once we got over the initial shock, we settled in for the inevitable difficult first year that comes with having a newborn.
Here’s what we didn’t realize:
When our son was born, his sister was almost 9 years old. Only one kid was in diapers, only one kid was shoving small objects into their mouth, nose or ears at any given time, and only one kid would be screaming their head off for longer than 2 minutes.
Oh, to go back to those easy days.
Don’t get me wrong - it was definitely a big adjustment to go from one child to two. We had to learn to juggle the needs of both children at the same time. Definitely more complicated than just having one child.
When I was pregnant with #3, we really thought we had this whole “parenting” thing down. It was only 3 years before that we had done the newborn stage with our son, and everything was still fresh in our minds. We weren’t as worried about her getting sick, or getting enough sleep, or as obsessive about writing her bottle times down. We trusted our instincts with the 3rd. We assumed that after 2 kids already, we were pretty much pros.
Dear lord, were we ever wrong.
Okay, so here’s my take: being the parents of 2 kids KIND OF sets up the framework to be able to handle adding more to your brood. HOWEVER, it’s not in the way you think. Or at least not in the way I was thinking…
Bear with me here as I try to pull a coherent thought out of my head with only one cup of coffee in me and 6,000 other thoughts floating around my overloaded brain. Maybe if I make a list that will simplify things?
2. Your kid has a crisis.
3. Throwing a birthday party.
There are SO MANY other things to add to that list, but the infant just started crying, the toddler is waking up for the day, and the older child is calling saying they need you to do something for them immediately. Your lucky partner is off at work, conversing with adults and driving around in their car with the radio on and no screaming in the background. They get a lunch break. You get the half of a granola bar that your child thankfully did not finish eating the day before and you didn’t have enough hands to bring it inside and throw it in the trash.
Don’t get me wrong - I LOVE my 3 kids. They are my world. Literally. My entire world. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but it seriously is crazy. Like bat-sh*t, I couldn’t even make this sh*t up, crazy.
Don’t forget to take your pill!
Scratching and scrambling and trying desperately to get a good grip and pull myself out of this dark and lonely place, but can't find seem to gain any ground.
I am....not great. I have been "not great" for a few months now. Every day seems to be a struggle to get through. Every morning I have to force myself to sit up and climb out of bed. Getting off the couch is as daunting as going for a 10 mile run. I spend literally every single ounce of energy I manage to dredge up on our three kids. They are all at completely different stages in their lives, and they all have significant demands that must be met all day, every day. I feel like I disappear a little more each day. I'm becoming transparent. I'm not even a real person anymore - I am merely here to ensure these three children grow to be happy, healthy, strong human beings. I cook, and there's always someone who is unhappy with the food and mealtime turns into a battle we've fought so many times before. I clean, and then someone walks into the room and dumps their bag or shoes or toys all over the floor so that it looks like a frat house the morning after a party. I ask for 5 minutes of alone time, and I get 30 seconds before the kids are fighting with each other and one of them is screaming while the other one is crying. I try to read a book, but my brain isn't able to focus enough to absorb any of the words. I try to watch TV, but I zone out and end up having to rewind multiple times just to keep up with the plot line. I think of a million crafting projects I want to do, but just can't muster the strength needed to get all of the supplies together. I keep opening apps on my phone only to forget why I wanted to use them in the first place. I think of posts I want to write all day long, but never seem to find a minute to type them up. I think about making a list of all of the things I want to write about so that I can look back on it later for inspiration, but taking a second to jot things down seems like an insurmountable task.
This is depression.
I just CAN'T. I can't think, I can't do, I can't feel.
No, I don't want to talk about it. Yes, my therapist is aware of all of the issues going on. No, my antidepressants don't seem to be working even though we have me on the maximum dosage. No, I don't need any suggestions as to how I can feel better.
I know that I should take some time to myself and get out of the house without any kids. I can never seem to find a good time to do it, and if I ever get any time without children I usually opt to take a nap because getting dressed and driving somewhere seems like a monumental task.
I know that I need to get better with my eating and stop the ED behaviors that have come back so viciously over this past winter. Please stop suggesting I eat snacks every few hours throughout the day. Please stop telling me that I need to get it together because the kids need me. Please stop telling me that I already went to treatment and now is not a good time for me to be sick. Please stop saying that "there is always something going on" with me.
I cannot "try harder" to feel better. It doesn't work like that. Not even close. Don't you think I would be doing that if I could?? Who on earth would choose to feel like this? Like a zombie. I'm just shuffling around trying to come off as put together and strong and fine. I'm not a very good actor, but I try anyway.
Being home with the kids all the time is harder than I ever thought it would be. I definitely knew it would be hard. It is just way more difficult than it looks when you are watching someone else do it. Sometimes it feels like there are 100 hours in a day. I often have 2 kids screaming at the same time, and have to figure out how to monitor the 3 year-old in his timeout while he is melting down but at the same time not be in the room because his shrieks are scaring his baby sister. I literally can't hear anything over the insane amount of noise.
I know this won't last forever.
I understand how life works. I am good at reminding myself that the bad times always come to an end eventually. This will stop. I will feel better. I will make it through.
For now, I am just tired.
Please be kind to strangers. You have no idea what kind of struggles they may be facing.
Hang in there.
So, my understanding of what it sometimes means to be a full-time mom has changed drastically over the past few months...
I had my first child when I was 21 years old, and at 33 now I really thought I was kind of a seasoned pro at this whole "parenting" thing. I've spent countless days following someone else's routine, countless nights rocking babies in an attempt to get them to sleep, countless hours worrying about how I'm messing each one of them up with whatever decision I am making at the time.
3 kids. 12 years. Nothing should surprise me at this point, right?
JesusMaryandJoseph was I ever wrong. These past 2 months have been the most TRYING, EXHAUSTING, UNRELENTING, DEPLETING, ISOLATING, ULCER-CAUSING times I have ever found myself tripping and stumbling through.
Kids are guaranteed to cause their parents stress - that's definitely a given. Literally EVERYONE knows this before they procreate. Everyone. But, what happens when the amount of stress is actually too much for a them to handle?? And I'm not talking about normal teenager hormones and toddler tantrums and baby colic. I'm referring to the EXTRA stuff. The things that you never factored in when you decided that you could handle not just ONE offspring, but THREE.
Now, I am definitely not going to go into detail about any trials and tribulations my blessed cherubs may or may not be dealing with as I firmly believe it is not fair for me to make a decision to share their private lives with the entire world without their informed consent. I'm just going to throw my personal struggle out there in hopes that it can act as a life ring for another drowning soul.
I snapped yesterday. SNAPPED. Like, trying to text my husband using the voice command button instead of typing with my fingers because I was in a rush and multitasking, and the only things my phone could pick up correctly were the numerous swears that were showing up in every single sentence. Other than that, it looked like I was using some sort of translation app that in no way, shape or form is getting the message across the way you want it to. Except the crazy angry part. That part was definitely clear.
**Also, WHY DOES MY PHONE BLEEP THE SWEARS?? It is not cool when I am losing my mind that my phone chooses this time to send "f*******" instead of the actual word that I am screaming at it. It kind of takes away some of the venom in my voice.
So, yeah. I was shrieking into my phone in an effort to get my husband to understand exactly how DONE I was. I was on the verge of tears. (I never cry.) The anxiety felt like a ball of fire right in the center of my chest. I couldn't breathe. I wanted to just TAKE A DAY OFF AND BREATHE, DAMNIT!! ...But I couldn't. My kid needed something from me at that point that could only come from ME. So, yeah. Melting down wasn't a choice because no matter how little I had left to give (see: 0) because I am a mom and that means that I literally cannot have a day off ever from that job until the end of time.
Yes, the kids' needs are constantly changing. Right now I have a pre-teen, a toddler, and an infant. FUN TIMES, GUYS!! It is enough to drive any parent insane. I can see why people (therapists) are always pushing parents to get together in the form of "play groups" (gatherings with wine) to offer each other support. Of course, how in the world do you have time to go to a "play group" (day drinking party) when you don't even have enough time to take a 5 minute shower in the morning??
Literally every single one of my "social" activities lately has been having a 2 minute conversation with the checkout people at the grocery store and Goodwill. I'm not joking. I speak with those people more often than I can find time to text my own sisters. Thank god for them - if I didn't have those 2 minutes, the only times I would open my mouth would be to continuously answer "yes" or "no" questions for my toddler and to yell at my pre-teen to pick up *insert item of clothing here* from *insert any random room in house here* every 5 minutes. The closest thing I have to a real conversation when I am with my kids is me, passive-aggressively speaking in baby talk to my infant about how her older siblings are making me nuts. (She just smiles at me when I do this, so I don't really think she gets what I'm saying...)
My brain has been demolished this year. I can barely form a coherent sentence because there is such a backlog of "things to remember" and "to-do" lists piled up in my head. I hear some of the things that come out of my mouth and mentally shake my head because I sound like an idiot. I've tried to take more time to think thoughts through before I translate them into words to be shared, but then I just look like it takes me a long time to sound like an idiot. I can't win.
My husband has been my saving grace. The poor guy wants to help out so bad. He literally asks me to tell him what to do to help me AND I. CAN'T. EVEN.
After I had finished doing what only *I* could do for one of the children, I went home and basically fell apart at my husband's feet. He swooped in and offered to give me a few blessed hours off from being Mom. I wasn't even "on-call Mom". I was "stretched beyond capacity, numb to the world, I'm taking a 3 hour nap with the sound machine on full-blast next to my head so that I cannot hear anything you people are saying" Mom.
I have never slept so hard.
I woke up and was able to rescue my husband from the toddler who is going through the stage where he has turned whining into an art form and manages to find a reason to do it in response to any and everything that is said to him.
And the beat goes on, da da dum da dum dum......
Hang in there, moms and dads. I know the demands will keep up until the last day of your life, but at least we're all in this together #amIright??
Sending so much love (and sanity),
Oh man. January sucked.
This didn't surprise me, as January always sucks for me. My depression always kicks in in the middle of winter and I start sinking down that hole. I'm used to it. That doesn't mean it sucks any less.
Instead of dwelling on the maddening (travel ban), irritating (Trump's tweets/Trump's administration/anything else related to Trump), and horrifying (the very fact that Trump is currently our president) things that happened, I am choosing to look at the other side of the coin. The silver lining. The part of the glass that is half full. However you want to put it, I'm focusing on the good vibes.
When Trump was campaigning, it seemed like a joke. Most people I spoke with didn't seriously think he had a chance in hell. They thought he was a laughing stock. They were embarrassed by his antics and the way that other countries were looking down on us. They just wanted the election to be over so he could GO AWAY.
Then he won.
Now came the feelings of disbelief, anger, outrage, and complete astonishment. HOW did this happen? WHO voted for this man? WHY did they vote for him? WHY is there so much hate running through our country? WHY WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYY????
For a short time there, it seemed as if our country had been broken - possibly beyond repair.
HOWEVER....I think that Trump being appointed turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Let me finish!!
When I look at my Facebook newsfeed now, I see more unity and hope and empathy than I have about anything in over a decade.
The New Yorker put a picture of the Statue Of Liberty's torch being extinguished on it's cover. I don't agree with that. While I very much so believe that Trump is the epitome of everything our country has fought to fix in itself throughout our history, he has lit that flame for many people who didn't have a cause to fight for before. I see people standing up for each other all over the place. Protests and marches and petitions...pictures of people coming TOGETHER instead of being torn apart by the disgusting things our new administration is trying to do.
We are fighting a common enemy. We are fighting for the same cause. We all want freedom, we all want peace, and we want our neighbors to be happy and safe. Trump is threatening the very core of our country's soul. He is supposed to be the voice of the people. Instead, he is trying to silence us.
He is underestimating the power of the American spirit.
We will band together. We will fight back. We will win.
God Bless The USA.
Hang in there, folks. We've got this.
#UnitedWeStand #USA #Resist
My husband went back to work this week, and on my first day alone with the 3 kids I totally rocked it. Seriously. By the time Earl came home that night, the house was clean, the kids were bathed, and dinner was in the oven. I was all, "LOOK AT ME! MOMMING ISN'T SO HARD! WOO HOO!!"
And then the next day happened.
Why I decided to try to start potty training my 3 year-old when I have a brand new infant in the house is beyond me. I knew that it was going to be hard, but I also thought that eventually it would get better.
IT DID NOT GET BETTER.
Not only was I cleaning up random puddles of urine all around our house (after stepping in them and soaking a sock each time, of course), I was also trying to calm a fussy baby AND monitor the toddler while he spent 90% of the morning in the bathroom.
I should have known this would all backfire.
After lunch, my son was sitting on his little throne for the millionth time and I thought it was safe for me to run downstairs and throw the laundry from the washer into the dryer so that his baby sister may have some clothes that were not covered in spit up. I was down there for less than 20 seconds when I heard the telltale sound of a toilet flushing.
No. Nonononononoooooooooooo WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!!!
See, I had left him sitting on his tiny potty that does not involve him having any control over our septic system. But, he can walk, so of course he hopped right off of that mini seat and ran for the real deal when I left the room.
I high-tailed it back upstairs as fast as my neuropathy riddled legs would carry me and crossed my fingers as I entered the bathroom. There was my little cherub, standing next to the toilet with his hand poised over to the handle, ready to try to flush Buzz Lightyear "DOWN THE HOLE! THE HOLE MOWWWMMMM!!"
I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I realized Buzz was still sitting in the bottom of the bowl and I donned my gloves and scooped him out, vowing to never leave my son in the bathroom by himself ever ever EVER again. Crisis averted! I turned around to take "Mr. Buzz Lightyear" to the sink to get a proper wash-down when my son said, "MOW-OM! R-D-D-D-OH" went down the hollllle!!"
Stop. Slowly turn back around to look at child.
(Forced calm voice): "What did you say, Buddy?"
(Mournful toddler voice): "R-D-D-D-OH went down the hooooooole....get R-D-D-D-OH!"
Crisis NOT averted.
R-D-D-D-OH is our son's way of saying R2-D2. It is his favorite toy that he stole from his Auntie's house on Thanksgiving and he hasn't gone a day without playing with him since. Apparently R-D-D-D-OH had been specially chosen for the maiden voyage through our pipes.
I would like to give myself kudos here, as I did NOT scream. (Except for in my own head.) In the beginning of this ordeal, I remained perfectly calm, cool and collected. I did what any sane parent does these days. I Googled things like, "what to do when toddler flushes toy down toilet" and "will toilet be okay when kid flushes toy?" and "how to take apart toilet."
4 hours later....
I had most definitely LOST my cool at this point. The bathroom had tools and kitchen utensils (because I thought a butter knife might work when a flathead screwdriver did not???) and books strewn all about the floor. My 3 year-old was still perched on his little potty, only now he was decked out in my loafers and a plastic headband with a watermelon card stuck to it ("Headbands" for those of you who are not up on the most recent games for children.) His crazy mother was sprawled across the closed toilet lid, frantically trying to get behind it to unscrew the entire contraption from the floor because THIS IS WHAT ONE OF THE WEBSITES SAID I NEED TO DO AND IT TOTALLY SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING I CAN HANDLE TAKING APART AND THEN RE-INSTALLING, RIGHT?!!?!?!
When the toilet ultimately refused to budge from it's spot on the floor (I would be very thankful for this later), I loaded all 3 kids into the minivan for a last-minute trip to Lowe's to get a new toilet snake. Earl was due home from work in an hour and I could NOT tell him that our son had f*ed up our septic system.
Long story cut short, the snake did nothing to help us retrieve the toy.
R-D-D-D-OH was gone for good. (Unless my prayers are eventually answered and he will just show up back in the toilet bowl on his own one day.)
Earl came home to a very different house on day 2 of us being on our own. There was NO dinner cooking in the oven. The children were NOT bathed. The house was most decidely NOT CLEAN.
I am pretty sure when the toddler was the first and only one of us to go to the door to greet him, and he did this without pants on but with the headband and the boat shoes, my husband decided right then and there that he was the chosen parent not to lose their sh*t that night.
Good job, Earl.
Basically my expectations for my parenting dropped from "being Susie Homemaker" to "keeping all three children mostly alive until Dad gets home" over the course of 24 hours.
Self compassion, people. It is necessary for survival!
Keep hanging in there. Each day is a new day!
And then there were 3.
....And Mom and Dad were thrown into a new life where it became a challenge to:
I have no idea when the last time was that I got more than 2 hours of sleep at once. (Also, this has only been achieved because my husband is home on paternity leave for the moment and can juggle all of the children so that I can recharge just enough that I don't lose one of them or fall asleep in the preschool pick-up line.)
We are both exhausted. And happy.
I have spent months and months worrying about having another child. A second daughter. Someone else who will need so many things from me when I am already stretched so thin trying to provide for her siblings. How would it be possible to take care of 3 small people at once??
It is, and I am.
The moment she was born, and they were trying to get her to "pink up" at the little baby station in the c-section room, I realized that it was possible to love 3 human beings exactly the same. It wasn't a matter of slicing the pieces of myself even thinner so that everyone got an even bit of me - when she came into the world, she made everything bigger. There was suddenly more of me to go around. Go figure.
I was in a very, very bad mood up until I was laid out on the table being prepped for the surgery.
I kept thinking to myself, "if anyone else asks me if I am so excited to have another daughter, I am going to punch them in the face." Then I would instantly feel guilty for thinking it. What kind of a mother thinks that about their upcoming child? How could I not already feel completely bonded and attached to her when she was going to be here ANY MINUTE?? When I was pregnant with my first 2 kids, I was over-the-moon excited and was counting down the seconds to their birth. With Emmy, I felt like I would be happy to just keep her in there and cook her for an extra year. Or 10. I didn't feel any of that enthusiasm I had with my previous pregnancies.
I just felt weary.
....And then she was here. And I was in love all over again. I wanted to hold her immediately, but I couldn't. She was having some trouble coming around, so they were huddled around her in the little warmer, rubbing her like the tiny puppy in 101 Dalmations that almost didn't make it. I was terrified. I wanted to do whatever I could to protect her and make her okay. I was feeling all of those "mom feelings" and I had been feeling so bad about not having only 5 minutes earlier.
I had been trying so hard to love this baby, when suddenly it wasn't a challenge at all.
Now we are home, we are healthy, and we are adjusting as quickly as possible. I think of it a lot like juggling. Having one kid is like just tossing a single ball from hand to hand. Having two makes it harder, but still doable. Adding a third suddenly takes a technique and rhythm that has to be learned through practicing.
So, we are practicing. Only it's not practicing, because the 3 balls we are juggling are already depending on us to keep them alive, and fed, and not to forget them at the supermarket.
Still a good metaphor...
I just wanted to put this out there in case there is anybody else who isn't feeling that bond with the child currently growing in their belly.
Don't worry. Don't feel guilty. You are not a horrible mom.
It'll happen and your world will envelop this new human being and it will be like they have always been there.
Until then, rest up.
Chaos is about to reign.
Calm down - this is not a political post. (I have yet to be able to put my thoughts on this election into coherent words and am instead just finding solace in all of the #Jobama memes that have been going around. I'm really going to miss those guys...)
No, I am referring to the fact that we are about to go from 2 children to 3 very shortly. VERY shortly. Less than a month away. This is terrifying to me. I am pretty sure my husband is still in denial about all of this because he is a lot calmer than I am and THAT IS NOT THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS IN OUR HOME!!
It just hit me a few days ago.
I have also been in denial. My stomach has been growing larger and larger, but there is still that moment where I still wonder why I am having so much trouble standing up from the couch. (I have to do the whole roly-poly bug thing a few times in order to launch myself up from a sitting position.) I have painted the nursery and emptied it of everything that did not have to do with a newborn. I have slowwwwwwly been accumulating baby things that we will definitely need within the first few weeks of her birth.
Gahhhhhh I just remembered we need tiny socks. SOCKS!!!!! Her feet are going to get frostbite and fall off WHATKINDOFPARENTSAREWETOFORGETSOCKS?!?!!?!?!?!
I was sitting in said nursery the other day, folding all of the tiny little outfits that look like they were made for dolls and it hit me.
THERE IS GOING TO BE A BABY IN THIS ROOM VERY SOON.
So, panic ensued. We have this whole parents-of-two-kids thing down to a science these days. We are so familiar with the routine and who gets assigned which gross jobs that my husband and I could go without speaking to each other for days and nothing would be thrown off track.
Come to think of it, sometimes we do forget to speak, unless it is in the voices we are using to convey what we think is running through his little mind at that very moment.
I am exhausted already. With the preteen and the toddler who is going through a very rebellious phase, I am sure we are stretched as far as we can go sanity-wise.
WHY DID WE THINK THIS 3RD CHILD WAS A GOOD IDEA!?!!
In my defense, I blame my husband. (This is only because he tells everyone he blames me.)
I know that we will adapt, and I know that a year down the road it will be as though she has always been there and we won't be able to imagine life without her. I'm just worried about that first month. Or two, or three. The great unknown where we could be dealing with anything from weird reflux issues or colic or her being a total nightowl who refuses to so much as blink after the sun goes down.
Terrified, people. I am terrified.
I am still doing the stay at home mom thing and dealing with the neuropathy in my feet. So, YAY! Figuring out this new schedule will very much be lying on my shoulders. My lovely husband gets to flee the house for hours and hours at a time and speak to other ADULTS and DO THINGS and get a LUNCH BREAK!
(I know you work very hard when you are not at home, dear. I'm just very jealous of those small perks you get...)
So, here we are. Add to all of that the apprehension of the post-baby body and how my ED is going to deal with it. It's sucked enough being pregnant and having the compulsions to use behaviors, but at least I've had another child being affected by all of my choices. This body will be mine and mine alone again in less than a month. .....yay??.....
I'm sure it will all settle down very soon.
Fingers crossed for no colic, reflux, or insomniac tendencies!
Stay well. Hang in there. I know it's been a rough week all around. Everything will right itself soon enough.
Mother and wife by day, psych RN by night. So many different ways to view life. I try to take everything in and be very slow to judge.