It Shouldn’t Be Like This

I’m exhausted. My nine month old has been up so much in the night, our renos are still going on, baby girl can’t nap because of the noise, and I can’t relax because, well, renos.

I’m also pushing down some saddness and anger and am going to talk about that here. Because well, that’s the whole point of this little blog of mine.  I’d love to share more of the happy feels and thoughts – and there are so many and I honestly am a positive and grateful person in ‘real life’ – but I need to get out the not so great stuff.

Let me begin by saying, I hate weekends.  Our 2.5 year old doesn’t nap and he gets a bit manic around 2pm every Saturday and Sunday.  We’ve tried laying down with him, setting up a ‘quiet time’ area in the house, tuckering him out in the morning – he just is not having it.  Naps great at daycare.  Super annoying.

Anyways..

All that to say he’s a handful.

And his dad seems to trigger his tantrums.  We were having a great time – we as in me and the kids – and then my husband comes into the living room and my son wants to play with him.  My husband is tired and irritable and doesn’t want to play.  Son reacts badly to this.  Tantrums ensue.

Repeat every fucking weekend.

So really, the problem in my  mind isn’t our son, it’s my husband.  He’s burnt out and needs a break, I know.  I get it.  So I tell him, take a break.  Do what you need to do.  We’ll be fine – maybe even better off – if you just go away for the weekend.

Last weekend was especially upsetting.

After my daughter woke up from her morning nap we all headed out to a pumpkin patch.  I got the kids dressed, I made a picnic lunch, I got everything we needed together all while my husband sat downstairs on his computer.  I by the way am running off about 3 hours sleep because I was up all night with the baby.  My husband stayed up till midnight then went to sleep in the basement with the fan on to block out any noise and woke up at 8 am.

We drive the 20 minutes to the pumpkin patch and as soon as we get there his mood shifts.  He’s snapping at me.  Putting his head in his hands.  Not interacting with the kids.  So I say, ‘what’s going on, are you ok?’ and he says ‘I’m fine’.  And I say ‘you’re obviously not fine, this is supposed to be fun, the kids are happy, it’s a beautiful day’.  And he says ‘this isn’t fun for me’.

I almost started crying.

I want to cry right now.

So we left.  I spent the rest of the weekend with the kids while my husband moped around the house.

I want to be a more compassionate wife.  I want to be there for him and give him what he needs.  I do.  But there’s a lot that I need too.  I need him to be part of this family.  I need him to be grateful for our life that we built together because it’s pretty great.  I need him to stop getting up at 4am on weekdays to go to the gym so that he has energy at the end of the day to be with his kids.  I want a partner who is happy.  Who can see that this season of our lives is more than just work.  They are so little right now and so amazing and he’s missing it.  He’s fucking missing it.

And I miss him.  These days I only see glimpses of the man I married – the sexy, crazy smart, loyal, funny man.

I’m left with a warn out, cranky husband who complains all the time.

It just makes me so sad.

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Our Renos are Triggering my Post Partum Anxiety

So we’re having all three bathrooms in our house renovated.  It started yesterday and let me say, babies and renos do not mix.

I feel so stressed out.

It’s the mess, the disruption, the crew in the house, and the noise.  Oh my god the noise.  I know I should just go out, but I can’t walk for three hours a day in order to get the baby to nap.  I am way to tired for that shit.  Plus, I’m getting sick.

So right now my 9 month old is napping in a pack and play that I set up in the basement.  I have a fan and white noise going on down there but every clunk, bang, and drilling noise makes my heart leap into my throat.

I feel so much anxiety right now.

She’s napping.  She’s fine.  And you know, even if she wakes up, it’s ok.  She’s such a chill baby that she’ll be ok.

I think my anxiety is coming back in general.  I feel anxious so much these days.

My midwife warned me that post partum anxiety and depression can hit in the later months.  I thought I had avoided it this time around because I felt so amazing and different after my daughter was born (from how I felt after my son I mean).  But I’m not feeling ok lately.  And these renos are not helping.

I’m super excited for the end product and I know that we did this to ourselves and we’ll just have to get through it because it will all be worth it in the end.  I just need to survive the next few weeks.

To My Son and Daughter

I have a son and a daughter and my relationship with each of them is already different.  Not that I treat them differently, I mean I do because of their ages obviously, but I don’t treat my son one way because he’s a boy and my daughter another because she’s a girl.

But there is something different about the son/mother and daughter/mother relationships.

I want strong relationships with both of my children and I feel that as they get older the relationships will develop naturally.  These are some things that come to mind when I think of the people I want my children to be and the person that I will be to them.  This is not to say that I only want my son to have respect – I want my daughter to as well obviously – but these are just things that come to mind.

For my son…I want to always play with you.  I want us to have a fun relationship.  You have so much energy and life in you I want to always nurture that.  I want you to grow up to have respect – for yourself, for women, for your elders.  I want you to be compassionate person.  How to teach you this, I’m not sure, but I am going to just try to lead by example. I want you to always be able to talk about what is going on with you.  Whether it be with your dad or with me or a teacher or whoever.  Don’t hold your feelings inside. Whatever you go through in life we will be there for you.

For my daughter…this is a bit harder right now because you’re only 8.5 months old and your personality is only just starting to shine.  But shine you do. Don’t lose that light.  I wish for you to be brave, to take chances in life and trust your intuition. A woman’s intuition is strong but you have to be in tune.  Experiment and have fun, but stay true to who you are.  Take the time to find out who you are.  Spend time alone. Surround yourself with people who inspire and believe in you.  I love the way you look at me, we have had a strong connection since the day you were born and I hope that you will always look at me with so much love.

And I wish for these two to be friends.  It’s been a rocky start, but to be expected with a toddler and baby.  I can’t wait for the day that they play and laugh together.  It’s close.. 🙂

I’m Now 36

It was my birthday earlier this week.  I’m now 36 years old and I don’t really have emotional reaction to that number.  I’ve always embraced getting older, however I do still feel young.  Perhaps I am still young – it’s all relative.

I would say 35 was an interesting year, as I had expected. I wrote this on my birthday last year.  I started the year pregnant with my daughter, my son was 20 months old, and I was super busy at work.  I then went on a very emotionally exhausting trip to visit my uncle who was on his deathbed.  My husband got a job and went back to work earlier than planned (he was home with our son) and we put our son in daycare for the first time – which didn’t exactly work out.  In January I gave birth to my daughter at home and I have been on maternity leave since then.  I had both kids home with me for several months and was getting extremely burnt out.  Six weeks ago my son started at an amazing daycare and he is so happy.

So it’s been a busy year.

I had some things that I had hoped to accomplish during my 35th year and I’m sad to say that I didn’t get much done.  Granted, I’ve been a little busy, but my list only contained 4 items.  I wanted to get my license, buy a new car, get back into yoga and go on vacation.  We did buy a car (out of necessity, our other car died and we didn’t get a new one as I had wanted to), and I am doing more yoga – meditation really but I am living in a yoga mindset more these days.

So I didn’t get my license or go on a vacation.

This year I want to get my license and go on a vacation haha.

Not sure I see the vacation happening again.  But hey, you never know.

But besides the things I want to do, there are some things I want to be, to become.

I think more than anything else, this year I want to come back to myself.  Right now I am all mom all the time.  I have barely even left the house.  So this includes doing yoga.  Going to yoga classes.  I want to teach yoga again.  I want to get massages on a monthly basis.  I want to think more about my career – I’m considering a career move and I want to put more energy into this idea.  I want to dream more and have goals. I want to do more of the things I love. Surround myself with things and people who inspire me. I want to improve my diet – I’m losing a ton of weight again and I don’t want to get super skinny again.

I want to continue to work towards becoming the woman that my daughter will look up to.  My son as well, but there’s a different dynamic there.

I want to continue to work towards living in ease.  Remaining calm in challenging situations. Staying positive.  Staying in tune with my emotions and be less reactive.  More responsive.  I want to continue to live in the moment – especially with my kids.  I want to laugh more.  I want to have more fun with my husband.

I want to continue to nurture my friendships.  I have three best girl friends right now and I value these ladies so much.

I guess that’s a lot, but it’s all things I”m working towards at the moment anyways.  When I think about the year ahead I can’t really picture how it will go.  I am taking an additional 4 months maternity leave, so I still get to be home with my baby girl for another 8 months, which is crazy!  I really want to enjoy this time because it’s really a once in a lifetime opportunity.

OK, I’m rambling now.  Baby is napping but I know she’ll wake up soon and I want to take a shower. So I’ll leave it at that.

 

How I Started My Day

I woke up this morning at 7:10 to the sound of my 2.5 year old knocking on his door.  We have one of those door handles on there that keeps him from opening the door, so he knows to knock when he’s ready for me to get him.  I then hear my 8 month old wake.  Luckily my son was quiet for a bit longer so I was able to bring my baby girl into bed with me and nurse her before the day truly began.

I didn’t suspect that my son was up to anything when he went quiet.  I assumed he was reading his books or playing with is toys as he does most mornings.

Boy was I wrong.

He knocks again and I go to his door and ask him if I can open it.  He says, ‘no I need a kleeeeeenex’.  I tell him, ‘ok, I’ll go get you a kleenex’.

I go downstairs to get the kleenex box, come back up, open his door only to see that we’re going to need more than one kleenex.

I find my son sitting on the floor, pj pants off, diaper off, and poop all over his legs.  All over the carpet.  All over the wall and even under the door.

There was shit everywhere.

I hadn’t even had my coffee yet.

And that, my friends, was how I started my day.

Daycare Guilt

I follow a woman on Facebook called Janet Landsbury. She’s an advocate of the RIE (Resources for Infant Educators) philosophy and a lot of what this encompasses aligns with my own parenting beliefs.  RIE is all about treating infants and children as “unique, separate people” who deserve our respect.  I like that it encourages independent play, natural progression, and child led learning.  (You can read more about it here).

What I don’t like is the way the philosophy is presented.  I don’t like the closed view that there is only one ‘right’ way to raise our children.  And I particularity don’t like the guilt and shame that underlies some of her posts.

I want parenting advice to bring me up, not make me feel shitty even though I’m a great mom.

I read this post last night called “Is Two Too Young for Preschool“. On the surface the article appears to be understanding of a parents situation.  I like that she says ‘For many families, group care is a necessity. Needing (or wanting) child care and having access to an excellent facility .. are good reasons to begin daycare or preschool.’  However, this is prefaced by ‘Group care adds stress to the life of a preverbal child… If we can’t yet communicate all our needs verbally, combined with the fact that we are being cared for in a group, it can create stress, even in the most ideal setting. Playing with one friend from time to time, going to the park, meeting the plumber and saying “hi” to the mailman is plenty of social interaction for a child 2 and younger.’

Hello bold text.

And hello guilt.

So she says this thing about adding stress to our kids lives, and then follows it up with, but if you have to then oh well kind of thing.

So my son is 2 years and 7 months now and started a preschool/daycare program a month ago.  Since starting “school” as we call it, he’s talking a lot more, but I would hardly say he’s able to ‘communicate all his needs verbally’.  I know he’s having a hard time transitioning into the group setting as he’s been acting out by pushing, hitting, and even attempting to bite other kids.

Sometimes I think daycare good for him (and me!), and other times I question whether we’re doing the right thing.

Luckily it’s a really great place and we have very open communication with the teachers, so I feel good about that.

But then I read articles like this and I can’t help but think about all that extra stress he’s now experiencing.  All because I was getting burnt out having him home.

I should want him home with me.

It’s a luxury for us to be able to have him home, isn’t it?

I think at the end of the day I need to just do what is right for our family – always!!  I know this is the right thing.  And he is actually really happy there, I can tell.  They spend so much time outside, he gets to play with all kinds of new toys and run around with other kids. He’s also napping there which he doesn’t do at home.

And my baby girl naps and eats so much better when her big brother isn’t around distracting her.  And she gets some much needed one on one mamma attention.

And me, well, I get my sanity.  Which is kind of important.

I’m thinking I might unfollow her on Facebook.  Trust myself more.  I want advice and I know in some situations I can be better, but I also need to stop reading stuff that makes me feel like a shitty mom.

 

 

Nervous Energy

I’m sitting in nervous energy right now. Have been for a few days now.  Usually I trust myself, I trust these feelings and I listen to what my body is telling me and I act accordingly.

Since becoming a mother I find it harder to trust these feelings.  And the actions that are  needed aren’t always clear.

I question what I feel because it’s not so black and white anymore. I wonder..Is it lack of sleep?  Is it hormones? Is it just standard worry that comes along with being a mom?

Or is it something else?

There are some things going on which could explain this nervous energy.

First off, my boss is calling me today (in half an hour) to discuss the possibility of extending my maternity leave.  I think this is actually a big part of the nervous energy because I question whether or not it’s the right thing to do.  I know it’s the right thing to do for my baby girl, full stop.  I want to take an additional four months so that she can go to the daycare my son is in (they don’t take kids before 16 months).  But four months of no pay is kind of a big deal.  That’s $20,000.  Well, it is and it isn’t. We’ll also not be paying for her daycare, which would be about $5000, plus commuting costs and all the money I spend at work on coffee and food – so really it will “cost” more like $14,000.  Which is still a lot of money.  But we can afford it and at the end of the day I don’t want to put her in daycare at 12 months.  If my boss isn’t too keen on the idea (though I think he’ll be very supportive – he’s a pretty awesome guy), another option is for me to go back on a part time basis.  So yeah, there’s that.

The second thing that could be contributing to this nervous energy is my son.  He’s been displaying some not so great behavioural traits at daycare.  Namely biting, hitting, and pushing.  Ugh. His teachers are great and are very open with us about what’s been going on and we’ve been talking to him about it, encouraging him to use his words and express his frustrations in more positive ways.  I hate not being with him.  I hate not really knowing what’s going on.  What’s going on with him.  I know, he’s a toddler and it’s super common and he’s not used to having 16 other kids around him.  It’s still so new to him and he’s adjusting.  I just want him to be happy.

I thought writing this would help but I actually feel more nervous now sitting here with it.  Or maybe it’s just that I’ll be talking to my boss in 15 minutes.  I guess I’ll see how I feel after that conversation.