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kiwi kids
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Joined: 11/07/2011

Umm, I think you are being super hard on yourself my dear. It is really easy to picture other mothers with their super calm, perfect sleeping and eating babies lounging in their perfectly clean and tidy houses doing learning activities while a three course meal cooks in the oven but err I don't know a single one of those people so pretty sure that they are figments of our imaginations whose only purpose is to make us feel useless.

I have been a parent for nearly 3 years now and I still don't meet most of the expectations you have for yourself! My kids are both good sleepers. Mainly because Lucy is nearly 3 and so tired that she is out cold when her head hits the pillow and Blake seems to have found learning to self settle easy. BUT, I don't always get dinner cooked every night. I am about a week behind in laundry (we are currently at the stage where I just pile the clean stuff in the spare room and we forage in there each day for clean things!) My house looks like a tornado has passed through and I can't remember the last time I put out. I have made my husbands lunch for him exactly zero times since having a child. He is a grown up and knows where the kitchen is, he can do it himself! He actually comes home from work for lunch now so we have sandwiches together.

Pretty sure it is normal to feel like you should be doing more but don't spend all your time holding yourself to ransom. What do you remember from when you were little, was it how amazing and tidy the house was or was it the random cool things you did with your parents? Today my house is AWFUL, I haven't eaten dinner and the kids ate leftovers. but, we had a great day, fed the ducks, played at the playground and did some baking together. Just know that little Q is well fed and loved and is doing great. You are rocking this mummy thing even though you have doubts.

Re the eating thing, they all need to chill the heck out! Lucy couldn't manage anything lumpy until nearly 12 months. Now she eats EVERYTHING. Like every single thing she has tasted she has eaten. Blake could handle lumps right from when he started at 7 months but it is a totally individual thing. There is nothing wrong with him not liking it yet! If you want to you can try mixing breast milk in with something kind of bland like sweet potato. For lucy I had to start with like 90% milk and a tiny bit of fruit or veg in, so it was pretty much just milk with a bit of flavour and worked up from there.

It is really hard when you have children at a different time than your friends. I have made more mummy friends now but at the start it was rough because they either just don't get it at all or they are well past that stage. Getting out to things like wriggle time, or music or playgroup etc is soooo good. I am a bit shy (who would have guessed!) at times so felt a bit awkward at the start but it is so refreshing to be around people who get how hard it really is and who can give more perspective really helps. It makes you feel awesome when people tell you how great it is that you managed to shave your legs for the first time in weeks haha.

I am now going to FB friend you so I can message you some photos of what my house looks like today just so you know that you are doing better than someone today!

Chin up my darling.

butterfly99
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Joined: 02/24/2010

Tlee and Kiwi, thank you so much for taking time to write me.

Tlee, we do have a "newborn network" here which is a group that meets weekly of babies under 1 and moms. It's a great group. My problem was that every time I went, everyone seemed so put together. There are moms that go EVERY week (how do they do it?!!) and a few times I've broken down and cried in group and I just felt more alone. i've felt very alone a lot. that being said, I have made some good friends and it's nice to share and have support.
And you're so right, we have to let go of expectations. Realize that our journey is uniquely ours. it's a daily thing, letting go. Accepting our motherhood as ours, not what our vision was/is but how our reality is. I'm trying. And I do know I have the tools within me to get there, they just seem to be buried.

I know that I am hard on myself. Kiwi, what you said about thinking back on our own childhood really did help...some days I get stuck between feeling like I'm not doing housework nor am I paying good quality attention time to Q, and therefore I am not good at either! I do need to give him some undivided attention, and I feel like my focus is always other places. Most of this week I have run errands or gone for walks, I haven't done much with him at all!! Sad You're laundry guest room sounds like mine!! haha. That's exactly what I do. And I've taken to piling DH's crap in the bathtub when he doesn't pick up after himself. He asked me the other day "where's my belt" and I said I don't know have you checked the bathtub with the rest of your pile? lol.

Q definitely likes to feed himself. He prefers to hold the spoon or try to put things in his mouth. He doesn't like baby food, would rather be eating whatever we are. So I started giving him little bits of whatever here and there that he can chew with his 4 teeth. And now he's constipated. oy.

he's started laughing randomly, which is adorable.

Yesterday he fell straight back onto his head. Someone needs to invent a bumper for babies as they learn to stand and sit up, so when they fall over the headband bumper will cushion them. sheesh.

So for the last 2 nights he's only woken up 1 time! Praying that holds true tonight.
I will try to check in more often here. I know I've said that before. You all are so amazing. thank you...really thank you for taking time to support me. I truly appreciate it.

butterfly99
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Joined: 02/24/2010

Wow...it's been over a year since I've blogged... and so long since I've checked this site that I almost forgot my password. My oh my how things change and shift. This site and all the women here were my rock and focus for so long.

My little man will be 2 next month. Two. Holy cow. And as I reflect about the last year I have so much emotion. From feeling like an ultimate failure, to experiencing anxiety and depression and joy in such intensity that I cannot seem to contain, it has been a crazy wild ride. I wouldn't change my son for anything- well, maybe for a little more sleep! But no, not really. He is who he is and that is beautiful.
I've been reading the book The Conscious Parent, I'd recommend it to every.single.parent. I'm learning more about myself through this journey than I ever imagined. My marriage has been tested, my definition of self is changing, I'm becoming more of an advocate for myself, for my son, and have so much more passion and compassion for people and health. At the same time, I've become more inward, and more able to let people and things go that don't support me.
One of the biggest challenges in this journey so far is the ability to roll with it. You'd think after 4 years of infertility and 4 miscarriages, my bigger picture peace would have been strong enough. I knew, just knew I could get through anything. And then the PPD/PPA and rage started, and I lost this vision. I wanted to run away. Last summer I actually planned it. But I didn't. I started counseling instead.

I still seriously don't know how women do it. How we are expected to take care of a baby, cook, clean, and maybe squeeze a little time in for ourselves here and there. And now people are asking the inevitable question- "When's #2 coming?" NUMBER 2? I'm 39 years old.... while we would love for our son to have a sibling, I'm pretty sure you'd need to commit me...or just be prepared not to see me for 5 years. Yeah, 5. Not 1, not 2, 5.
It is what it is. So now my focus is trying to be present for my son. Be with him every day and just pause. To try and not react but approach him without my own shadow. To let him be who he is without judgement. And just take a day at a time.

I will likely be going back to work this summer, so things will be changing again. Slowly slowly slowly I am evolving as a mother.

butterfly99
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Joined: 02/24/2010

I was at a baby shower for a friend last weekend. And I cannot tell you how many times I heard the advice "enjoy every moment." I hate, despise, detest, loathe (get the picture) this advice. Because here's the thing... YOU WON'T Enjoy every moment. You CAN'T! When in life have you ever been able to enjoy every moment? Seriously?! You're human, your baby is human, you will butt heads, experience hormones and emotion and be so sleep deprived you can't see straight. How is anyone supposed to "enjoy" that?

I think what people really mean to say is "keep perspective"...."things happen fast and before you know it you'll blink and baby will be 2"... "the only thing consistent in parenting is change." But to give an expecting mother the advice "enjoy every moment" makes her then feel like a complete failure when she doesn't. So stop it. Just stop it. lol.

What we should be telling new moms is that it is HARD. The lack of sleep does really make you coo-coo. My husband once equated being a new parent to being waterboarded. "You know in your head being waterboarded would be hard, but you don't KNOW until you actually have it done to you how hard it actually is." Ok, maybe that's not the greatest analogy. But it is kinda funny...and true.
At the same time, we need to let ourselves experience our emotions without judging ourselves for them. "I'm sleep deprived and emotional right now (fact)." Not "gosh I'm emotional why can't I keep it together (judgment)?!"
We need to realize that every single thing in life is there for a purpose. If we project and hold the attitude "poor me" or "I don't deserve this" or "life sucks" then we fail to be able to be present and fully embrace life. When we take on the mentality that life happens TO us, instead of us being an active part in the universe, then that will cause worry and anxiety and stress that is unnecessary. However, when we approach life with the understanding that we are a part of this, evolving and bigger plan, then maybe we can deal with the hardships. Because we know we will be OK. No matter what happens we will be OK. (I can't take credit for this entire epiphany, refer to the book I mentioned above).

I would never want an easier child. I want my child just the way he is. Perspective.

Do I have regrets? Yes. A lot of motherhood is unfortunately making mistakes at the expense of my child. And that is a hard thing to work through. So I'm trying my best to make peace with myself. Ask my son for forgiveness: for my anger outbursts, for circumcising him, for letting him cry sometimes when I just couldn't help him, for putting him on the bed which he proceeded to roll off, for feeding him solids too soon. But here's the thing, I WANT him to learn he doesn't have to be perfect. No one is perfect. it's OK to be angry, it's OK to have feelings. I never knew this as a kid. I never knew that I was good just because I existed. My self worth was always tied to my accomplishments or my actions. I do not want this for my son. but HOW do I accomplish this goal? HOW? I'm learning that because I was never allowed to be angry, the anger I experience now doesn't have a place to go. Because I was never allowed to be sad, my depression took over in the last 2 years. If you squash your emotions long enough, when they come out (oh and they will) they will be much more grand.

So where do I go from here? I don't know. But I keep going. Keep gaining perspective. The breakdowns are not daily anymore. I try to laugh daily with my son. I try to do what I can and let go of the rest. Realizing that there is no such thing as being "caught up" when you are a mom.

Every night when I put my son to bed, we work on grounding. We say our prayers and say our thanks, and that is as much for him as it is for me. I am so thankful for this little boy. Who has taught me so much and continues to be a joy and light in my life that no words can truly express.

He is a great kid, he is an amazing funny little boy who loves trains, and airplanes, birds and swinging. He loves his family, his cats, going fast in cars and over bumps in the stroller. He is proud of himself and says "ta-da" when he stacks things. He is a great helper, loves cleaning up (can I remind him of that when he's older?!), and loves to be outside. He always always always stops to smell the flowers, all of them, individually. He reminds me to slow down.

And on that note, nap time is over.
Until next time. God bless you all, wherever you are in your journey. And "enjoy every moment." Hm, maybe it's not such bad advice after all.

ELHERR-12
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Joined: 08/24/2013

I just had to tell how beautiful your last post was! I feel like I could have written it! Although my daughter is only 9 months old, she is my reason for working on feeling my feelings and not letting them build up. I'm even able to put a voice to my anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, and most importantly happiness! I love how becoming a mom has brought perspective to my life, where I no longer dwell on things that keep me from being in the moment.

Hope you are continuing to enjoy your mom life!

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butterfly99
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Joined: 02/24/2010

Thank you Elherr-12. Smile I am glad my post spoke to you! Smile And I'm glad you're able to work on yourself as well, it's such a wild ride!

Happy 2016.
Midnight with a migraine...
Here I am, midnight with a migraine. So instead of lying in my bed any longer with no ability to sleep, I thought I'd write. Although my son sleeps through the night for the most part now (WHAT?!) I do not. I still have severe adrenal fatigue and insomnia. However, I can now take herbs and drugs for that that I couldn't before, because we are, for the most part, weaned. 2.5 years...weaned. We did have a brief moment of nursing this week and once when I told my son there was no more milk and he said "let me check" but really, he's moved on. It's bittersweet really.

I still have so much raw emotion (started antidepressants too finally) and so much reaction. Everyone says "respond don't react," and I do catch little glimpses of progress, but it's hard for an emotional person. And then I see him reacting too, and I think "oh dear, I've screwed him up." Yeah, but he's 2. Toddlers don't know anything but reaction!

One of my bigger realizations so far is that I was never allowed to be angry as a kid. My dad told me anger was wrong, crying was wrong. Consequently, I don't know how to deal with that emotion. I don't know how to let it just sit, not judge myself, and move on. So it comes out sideways, or I get depressed, and it snowballs. I just pray that he learns all of these emotions are a part of life and they're not bad. But I still do sometimes wonder how my son loves me. Sometimes I am so distant, or just plain mean. I yelled at him for not going to sleep the other day... seriously, get a grip, he's 2.

He is so.much.fun these days!! He has the biggest personality and the biggest heart. He is such a good kid. I mean really. I can't even stand it. Smile I am so fortunate to still be a SAHM. Tried taking a job, part time, but I really couldn't manage it. I applaud women who can work and manage a household, I really just can't. And that's OK. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around.

DH and I have struggled a bit... and it's much too late and this migraine is much too big to get into that right now. But as life ebbs and flows, so do relationships. We are working on it. Or at least I'm working on myself. And he will either come along for the ride or he wont...all just information gathering.

I need to go back to bed. Or puke. Or both.

I guess this post is kind of pointless. But eh, it's 1am now, I'm feeling content and tired. I have so much more to say, but I just can't focus. So goodnight OC world. Goodnight.