family, parenthood

Expectations VS Reality

I’m following someone from my past who just recently had a baby. She had a difficult birth and since her first wasn’t the ideal birth she envisioned, the second was a bit harder to handle it seems since she had all these expectations of what and how she wanted it to be the second time around. She’s very much immersed into the whole motherhood and body thing where she’s all about being in tune with her body during her whole pregnancy and is very into the whole natural birthing wonder of the human body. Her baby had some difficulty after birth and had to spend a few weeks in the NICU. I know she’s probably just venting on Facebook, a space where she’s surrounded by friends and family and a wonderful support group, but as an acquaintance who also went through some difficulty after birth, it’s a tad frustrating to read through these comments of what she thought things would be like and how they are supposed to be and how disappointed and frustrated she is with reality. Like, we get it. You can’t spend the time you want with your older son in this beautiful weather because your little one is taking up so much of your time. I get what it’s like to be cooped up at home and not get some fresh air because you’re just busy with a baby whose sole mission in its little life so far is to make you miserable and hate yourself with inconsolable crying. I get that life was difficult and disappointing and nothing like you imagined it when your baby was in the NICU and whisked away from you after birth. BUT YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE. I think I’m more sensitive to her postings because I went through it too, but never venting about it on Facebook and only a few close people know about Shane and his struggles. I think I’m just annoyed because I feel as though she has all these expectations about how motherhood should be – the adorable hours of intoxicating baby smells and cuddles, the dreamy closeness you get when you’re breastfeeding, and the magical feeling you get when you’re baby wearing and able to function in public with the use of both your hands. BUT THESE ARE NOT EVEN REAL EXPECTATIONS. THESE ARE EXPECTATIONS CULTIVATED BY THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY. YOU AREN’T DOING ANYTHING WRONG IF YOU’RE SPENDING DAYS AT HOME WITHOUT SHOWERING BECAUSE YOUR BABY WON’T STOP CRYING FOR LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES IN STRETCHES OF HOURS. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO MISS OUT ON BONDING MOMENTS IF YOU DON’T BREASTFEED. YOU DON’T NEED TO FEEL LIKE SHIT IF YOU PUT YOUR OLDER CHILD UP IN FRONT OF A TV WHEN YOU’RE CARING FOR A BABY OR IF YOUR CHILD FALLS IN THE PLAYGROUND AND YOU’RE NOT THERE IN TWO SECONDS TO PICK HIM UP BECAUSE YOUR HANDS ARE FULL WITH ANOTHER BABY. YOU’RE NOT A FAILURE BECAUSE OF ANY OF THIS. WE’RE ALL JUST SURVIVING. WE’RE ALL JUST TRYING TO GET AS MUCH SLEEP AS WE CAN WHILE WE TRY TO FIND OURSELVES IN THIS NEW ROLE AS A MOTHER (OF MULTIPLES). WE’RE ALL TRYING TO FIND A SWEET SPOT WHERE WE TEETER ON THE BRINK OF HAPPINESS/SANITY AND COMPLETE, UTTER MADNESS.

I’m just tired. And annoyed.
All I really have to do is UNFOLLOW.

I am actually really happy for her. She has a wonderful social media following and feels comfortable enough to share all her worries on her page. Some days I wish I had that. Others, I am just grateful for the support system I have now.

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parenthood

Mommy Groups

Today, a SAHM group on FB threatened to delete its members who were not actively participating in going to events on a regular basis. Regular being at least once a week, it seemed like. Apparently in the few months this group had been established, I had not been to enough meetings. In all fairness, I had not gone to any. I attempted to go out to one play date hosted at a member’s house, but due to the inclement weather and car switches with the hubby, I wasn’t able to make it. The creator of the group is a great person, I’m sure, and she’s only making sure the group is working as its intent was set out to be. I would have loved to go to many events, but it’s a bit difficult to keep an eye on two extremely accident-prone toddler boys who don’t understand the meaning of danger. “We help each other look out for each others’ kids” is always a comment that is thrown around, but honestly.. let’s be real. When you’re busy looking after your own, how can you have time to look after another? Are you secretly a land octopus hiding your other 6 arms? Do you have extra eyes I’m unaware of? People throw that phrase around, but I don’t think anyone really understands how ridiculous that phrase is. The boys get hurt at home under the watchful eye of three adults. If you are not resolved to the idea of hunkering down and literally watching the kids every single second, don’t even offer. It’s insulting and plain silly. You can’t “help watch” my first kid who is probably trying to go down the stupidly high slide when I’m wrestling the second kid down from the stairs he’s climbing on the jungle gym on the outdoor playground you decided to hold this event at and when your own child is sitting in your lap. I even made the comment that I would try to be more proactive in responding to posts and in trying to come out to more events and actually post some ideas of meeting more of the group members, but she then rebutted with “[unless I actually see a change, I have to start deleting people for the greater good of the group]”. (And I’m completely paraphrasing because I’m annoyed and petty and I left the group so I can’t retrieve the actual quote she used.) Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize this was an obligation. I thought the purpose of this group was to make friends. I don’t need friends who get their panties in a ball if I can’t see them for a few months. I don’t need anyone making me feel like shit for not being as active as them. I don’t need “friends” who judge me based on how many times I see them and about the “effort” it seems like I put in in being social. And they wonder why mommy friends are so fucking hard to make. Because we’re all so fucking emotional. And because some people just don’t mesh together and the fact that you’re both mommies don’t make things all magically better and compatible. I’m beginning to truly disengage from even trying to make mommy friends. Maybe I’ll begin when the kids are in school and then it’ll be the obligatory mommy friends because our kids are friends. I realize this rant has gotten increasingly mean and rude. I know the creator of the group was only trying to make sure the group was being used as it was supposed to be in her mind. But it doesn’t make me feel any better at the moment. Please excuse my rage venting about this.

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Marriage

This Is For Real

I’ve got emotion, dripping out my pores, and I thought I would let you know

This song always takes me back to when I was a freshman in college sitting in the laundry room with some dude who was also doing laundry at 2am. We would meet every week or so in the wee hours of the morning as we were both night owls at the time. We were exchanging emo/alternative music selections, discussing the endless possibilities we had for our futures. We would philosophize. We would laugh. We would banter. Ah, the simpler days.

Some days I wish the days were simpler like before. Some days I wish all I had to do was fend for myself, think for myself, and plan only for myself. But when I think about the person I was then and the person I am now, everything makes sense. I couldn’t have possible become this (though it may not seem it to you) strong, moderately confident and optimistic, sometimes hopeful person I am today if I didn’t go through the trials and experiences I had then. I could not have become this person if I didn’t struggle through my insecurities. If I never went through the self hatred and the depression, I could never had realized the depths of love I was capable of. Without the ridiculously overwhelming self awareness, almost crippling fear of being in public spaces, and conversing with others, I would never have found this new self awareness of not giving a crap.

But some days I do wish I could go and stay in a hole at home. Some days I just really do not care to converse with others whether those “others” be friends or randos. Other days, I crave human interaction so badly that I’m willing to make a day trip out to the mall or Target. This balancing act is stupid hard. I think life just really changes so drastically as a parent. It just gets harder and harder to keep up with life outside of kids. And I know there’s a whole “Make sure you’re taking a little me time” or “Make sure you’re having regular date nights with the hubby without kids so you keep your marriage okay” or whatnot. But.. honestly, I think we’ve been without the kids a total of five times since Dominic has been born. And that was to attend weddings and a few mini trips out for errands. I don’t mind having babies with us when we’re out. Definitely much harder, but I don’t mind it. I spend enough time with the hubby at night before bed. I force him to spend time with us on his precious weekends off. I think I have enough of him for now. I think we’re doing okay. For now. I feel like I’m finally filling into my role as a parent. I think we’ve gotten a little bit of a (very loosely stated) routine down in regards to our schedules. I’m finally in a bit of a better mental state. I think I’m at an age where I’m finally owning up to what I want to do versus what I need to be doing.

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Uncategorized

“How’s mom life?” 

There’s only one answer to that, right? 

“It’s great!” 

Even if you feel like you’re drowning. Even if you feel like you’re consumed with self-loathing thoughts. Even when you’ve realized it’s been a whole week without any adult conversation aside from “what do you want for dinner” and “how was your day”. Even when you are so sleep deprived you’re literally a walking zombie going through the motions of feeding babies, cleaning up babies, saying “no” to babies, chasing after babies, praying and rocking babies to nap, and repeat. Even if the only thing getting you through the day is the 10 minute shower you begin the day with. Even if you’re so exhausted you feel like you just want out of the life which then makes you feel like the worst mother. Even on the days you’re too tired and your child eats a bag of cookies for lunch and you feel like a failure. 

Even then. Any other answer aside from “it’s great” is not acceptable. An acquaintance asked me this very question at a mutual friend’s wedding we attended today (sans babies!). 

“How’s mom life?” He asked eagerly. 

“Eh,…” I hesitated, as I took a sip of much needed nectar from the gods in the form of fermented grapes. 

“Wonderful, I assume? I bet it’s the best being at home with the two babies!”

“Wonderful is definitely a word to describe it.” 

He kind of slinked away awkwardly after looking at me quizzically at my response. 

What else was I to say?

“Oh, you know. Breastfeeding is going well, but the baby doesn’t really seem to be interested in solids at 7 mo. Baby Shane is a handful, but considering his diagnosis, he’s excelling in every area of development! Baby Dom is now mobile and getting into everything his older brother is getting into. We’re moving the little one into his crib and I’m going through a roller coaster of emotions. Life is hard. I’m lonely at home. I wait for hubby to get home and when he does I fight a computer game for his attention. I’m sleep deprived and exhausted. My emotions and hormones are still trying to get balanced. I’m angry and frustrated most days. I’m elated and blessed others. We have no time or money to do much or go out much. We mainly keep to ourselves cause it’s just too kick of a hassle to go anywhere or do anything logistically with two babies under two. But aside from all that, I’m great. Life is great. Parenthood is great.” 

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