Oh, To Be A Mother…

When I was growing up, I knew I didn’t want to have kids.  I knew I wasn’t cut out for it.  I didn’t enjoy having to take care of someone else, as I learned when I would have to watch my sister.  I didn’t like playing make believe for ten hours, as I learned when my cousin was growing up.  I didn’t like the responsibility of taking care of a living being.  I didn’t even like having a pet dog, which my parents always decided was a good idea, but left me to take care of.

I dated in high school and college, a little. Nothing more than a couple weeks.  Nothing serious.  No thoughts of babies.  I knew I wanted to be married someday though.  That I knew for sure, but no kids.  I met my husband, and fell instantly in love.  I am not exaggerating.  I knew the instant I saw him.  Within a few weeks, or months, we talked to each other about our hopes for the future.  Not involving each other, per say, but just our general hopes.  Did I want kids? No.  Did he?  Yes.  How many?  Two.  Crap, well, now I want to have this mans babies.  Crap.

So, along we went. Dating for three years, marriage, infertility.  Suddenly, after IVF, a baby!  A beautiful baby girl.  I was happy, for a while. Until I wasn’t.  She required so much from me.  I felt drained, I felt like I would never have any part of myself back.  I was just a mom now, with a little wife on the side.  But me?  I was gone.

The depression started when my daughter was about 14 months old.  This is when I knew for sure that there would not be anymore babies.  My husband agreed.  Our daughter was perfect, but more babies wasn’t the right move for us.  Although there was one month when I was in, what I suppose would be referred to as a “manic episode” when we decided to go talk to the RE about doing an FET.  I was ready.  Until a few days later, when i realized I absolutely was not ready.  Never would be.  What was I thinking?  Had I completely lost my mind?

That was April.  July 16th I learned I was pregnant.  I was devastated.  I wanted to be happy, I really did, but I wasn’t.  I was scared.  I was so unhappy all the time. The depression had been so critical that I had to have my in-laws take care of my daughter on multiple occasions because I just couldn’t do it.  I’d sit in my bed and cry about how much I hated my life, how horrible of a mother I was, how I was letting my husband down.  Now we were going to have another one?  How?  Why?

A long time has passed since then.  My son is now 11 months old.  I love him, more than I can possibly say, but to say that I’m happy would be wrong.  I am constantly battling these inner demons that seem to be whispering “you’ll never do anything ever again except take care of kids and clean.” That’s it.  That’s my life.  I spend my days waiting for nap time.  Then i hold my breath until my son is asleep.  My daughter will read books for two hours if she doesn’t sleep, so she’s no problem at all.  If he doesn’t nap, I lose it.  All the sudden the walls close in on me, and I feel like I’m going to drown. I just need that time to decompress.  To sit in quiet.  To stare at the wall.  Not to hear someone yelling or crying.  I don’t want to have to pick up more toys, fetch more snack, change more diapers, watch more cartoons.

I know it will get easier.  This baby stage is so hard, so constant.  He needs me, and I understand that.  I’m glad to be there for him, most of the time, but there comes a point in every day where I just can’t muster up the desire to be a mom anymore.  When I wish I was anywhere else at that moment.  When I wish with all my heart that my husband was home with me, that we could parent together, so that I wouldn’t feel trapped and outnumbered.

It will get easier.  It will get easier.  It will get easier.

Maybe tomorrow I will do better.  Maybe tomorrow I will love harder.  Maybe tomorrow I won’t cry.  Maybe tomorrow it will get easier.

32 Weeks Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be 32 weeks pregnant with my little guy.  I’m in that stage of being confused by whether I want time to speed up or slow down.  My body wants to be done, but my mind is all like “you want to have two kids to take care of right now? Huh? HUH?!”  The majority of the time, my mind is still winning and my body is staying silent… ish.

So far we’ve got most of his room done.  I find myself wanting to mimic our daughters room in a way.  I don’t want him to have more things than her, or less things than her.  I want them to both feel that their spaces are happy and have had a lot of love put into them.  I made my daughter most of her decorations.  I painted three animal paintings, painted letters spelling out her first name for her wall, and painted a three picture frame to hang her ultrasound pictures on the wall.  So far, for our little guy, I’ve got one animal picture painting done and his name craft done, which we have to hide until he’s born because it’s a secret. Shhhhhh….  Anyway, I’m getting closer, but my body is revolting in my free time and making me sleep instead of craft.  Maybe I’ll have all his crafts done by the time he starts kindergarten!

I’m still freaking out a little.  Especially since my daughter is currently fighting naps.  *sob sob sob*  She’s 2.5, and not taking it well at all.  She still needs naps, but for some reason she just isn’t most days.  I feel like she knows something is about the change.  Something big….. (and not just my belly, which is huge).  I’m just hoping she goes back to napping more frequently so that I can nap more frequently too!  I’d pay her money, but she doesn’t understand bribes yet.  Too bad too… I’d definitely pay $50 for a nap.  She doesn’t know what she’s missing!

Why Do I Want To Quit?

I’ve been wrestling with the thought of quitting Facebook for quite sometime now.  I find myself on it during the day while I’m supposed to be playing with my daughter, and that bothers me.  It isn’t guilt that I’m being a bad mother, it’s that I do actually want to be spending that time with her, but I’m not.  I find myself on it when we are playing with Legos, or eating lunch, or playing princess.  Why?  Why am I on it?  I can’t even tell you.  Sometimes I’m not even sure how I got to my phone.  Didn’t I tell her I was going to get a drink of water?  Why is she finding me hunched over my phone, silently yelling at strangers under my breath for saying stupid things about stupid things?  How can I stop this behavior?

Well, it seems simple, right?  Quit Facebook!  It wouldn’t be hard.  I’d still have text for friends, or the actual phone.  I’d keep pinterest, because honestly I only play on that at night when I can really get in there and search for something to cook, or crochet, or paint.  Instagram is lovely, but takes little to no time to look through.  Facebook is the only thing that really has it’s claws in me, and I hate it for that, and I hate myself that I am somehow that interested in who is eating where, who is voting for who, and who hates x, y, and z.

So, what do I do?  I tell myself that I have Facebook to keep family up to date on our daughter.  I guess that’s true.  I do like sharing pictures and funny things she does on there, but then I wonder if that’s even fair to her?  Should I share these things?  Is this something she would ultimately want?  What will we learn about privacy and ownership of these pictures and videos we post in the next ten years?  Is it worth it to find out?

I’m struggling with thinking that I might be giving something up that keeps me going, that keeps me linked to the world while I’m inside my house with a two year old all day, but honestly, I find that I am happier and less anxious on days when I delete Facebook from my phone and pretend it doesn’t exist (I do this often, if that’s not a sign of my true desire, I don’t know what is).  Sometimes I sneak on through my phones web browser…. that’s when I really worry about myself.  I can’t wait just five hours to get on Facebook and find out who likes The Daily Shows latest clip?  Why?  I honestly can’t answer that.

So, here I am, wondering what to do.  I can deactivate for a week and see how it goes, apparently Facebook keeps everything right where it is, in case you decide to come back.  There is an option to delete, but I’m not there yet.  I’m not ready to give it up.  If I deactivate, I have to explain to family friends why I’m no longer available for tagging and messenger.  They’ll ask what’s wrong, and tell me I’m crazy.  “It’s good to have this outlet, this window into the world while you’re at home all day.  You’ll go crazy without it!  How will we get in touch with you?  How will we see little E?”  Well, they could call or visit, right?  Should I worry about what they think?  Should I worry I might be losing a connection, or should I rejoice in the deeper connection I will ultimately have with my daughter?  Can I become the person I truly want to be?  Can I be the mom who isn’t hunched over her phone all day?  I hate seeing my husband on his all day, I can only assume that’s how my daughter sees me.  That’s why she pulls on me, yells at me, whines for my attention while I’m reading a story about someone else’s child.  She needs me, and I need her.  This is for her.

I think I’ve made my decision.  I’ll let you know how it goes.