When You Realize You’re In A Rut

I guess it takes getting outside of the rut to realize you were in one.  The problem is when you realize that you inevitably have to go back into the rut.  Once you’re back in… how do you cope?  How do you deal with the memories outside the rut and how much better you felt?  Here, let me explain…

This past weekend I went away with a couple of my lady friends.  We spent a great weekend in the city doing fun, geeky things.  We went a Comic Con type event, we ate great food, we relaxed, we had alcohol, and we danced, and we sang.  It felt great.  I even wore makeup every day and fixed my hair, and wore grown up clothes.

Now I’m back to being mommy.  I answer to the call of the wild humans who control my every moment of daylight.  I do not eat hot food, I do not change out of my pajamas, and I do not rest.  I am back in my rut.  It feels awful to say, but I am.  Even though I’m feeling better emotionally lately (less depression and anxiety), I still feel trapped.  Trapped by the mundane, trapped by the eating schedule, the sleep schedule, the constant neediness that is children.  It’s not their fault they are like this, it’s just how they are, but once you’ve tasted the freedom of the past…. it feels like you’re having to go back to wearing chains.

I’ve even begun to wonder if maybe my husband is bored with me.  Does he hate the mundane life that has been created here too?  Is that why he is always up for guys nights and golf weekends and basketball?  I have always understood, but I guess I really get it now.  The problem with this is that I’m never unsatisfied with my time with my husband. He is my source of calm, of normalcy, of peace.  I’d have the same night with him a million times, then a million more after that, and never get bored.  But my husband is a different person than I am.  He enjoys me (I hope), and he loves the time we spend together (I think), but I know he needs more.  That’s why he  plays around with developing apps, and plays video games after I crash for the night.

I have other things I like to do too, of course.  I crochet and I write, but by the time I’m done spending my quality time with my husband, I’m exhausted.  I guess I could blame life in general for this (kids are crazy exhausting), but I think it’s more my thyroid disorder than anything.  So my day is spent with the kids for 14 hours, then 1.5 hours with my husband, then I sleep.  There is no time to crochet or write… there is nothing left of me.  I’m a mommy and i’m a wife, and nothing else.  I guess this is why I find myself constantly on my phone during the day looking at Pinterest and Instagram.  My way of gazing out the window of my phone into other peoples lives.  People who have time to create, to write, to imagine.

I know one day things will be different.  The kids will be older and in school, then eventually they won’t want anything to do with me…. but that’s not what I want either.  It’s like I somehow want to live in this rut, but be able to fully enjoy it.  To make the rut comfy and happy and new, but I just can’t figure out how to do it.  Maybe venturing outside the rut a little more often can give me the necessary daylight and air to replenish my spirit and give me the strength to fill my rut with love… then, maybe, it just won’t be a rut anymore, but more of just a divot in the road.  A small little something that once tripped me up on my way through life.

Advertisements

Shoo Fly…

I have become a woman possessed. Possessed with keeping these frigging flies out of my house.

Last year, there were hundreds of them.  I kid you not.  There is no exaggeration.  Unfortunately, I had a three year old and a 3 month old and I had no ability, energy, or desire to battle the flies.  Now, however, my kids are older, and I am on a rampage. Swatting, spraying, and cutting off their food sources.  And you want to know which of these three things is working best?  Cutting off the food source.

Last week I decided that there would be no more food in the trash.  None.  I put everything in the disposal (this is a great time for people to rave about composting, but I’m almost unable to keep up with throwing things into my sink, so it’s just not the right time, or the right blog).  I have even been rinsing out food wrappers and food covered paper towels.  Not only are there no more flies racing towards my face every time I open the garbage can, but there is also no terrible garbage smell.  Seriously, it’s a win-win.

Are there still flies? Yes, of course.  It’s summer in North Carolina…. but compared to the hundreds from last year, this year has a max of 15 at a time, and those get swatted.  Then I spray their filthy black poop dots that cover my window sills with vinegar and go about my day.  It’s kind of exhausting, but earlier this summer I was having to put a paper towel with a hairband around it around my cups so that the flies wouldn’t dive in and drown in my drink.  Inside my house.  Yes, it was that bad.

So, shoo fly, don’t bother me, or i’mma gonna have to swat ya.

Who’s Life Is This?

A few days ago I was standing in my kitchen.  S was propped up on my hip (as is his usual position, even though he’s 13 months old and weighs 22.5lbs), and E was screaming at me to fetch her some milk (as is her usual go-to thing to scream at me about), and suddenly I had this odd sensation that I was in someone else’s life.  It was almost like someone had transported my 20 year old conscious into my now 33 year old body, and I had no clue what was happening.  I felt like I was a stranger, that I had no idea who these kids were.  I didn’t recognize the kitchen, or the way my body felt.  I was thrown into a panic.

It was quick, maybe half a second, but I felt all of those thoughts and sensations.  Then I was back to normal.  It’s been an incredibly stressful week.  My hormones are flaring because my period is on the way, my son is teething and has become some sort of horrible beast monster, and my daughter is needy beyond reason because she sees how much attention I’m having to give my son.  I am stretched thin.  I’m tired, and angry, and sad.  I guess I’m also hallucinating, or experiencing some kind of out of body experience? Is this what four straight years of stress can do to a person?  Yikes.  I need a break.

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.

I Have Two Kids Now

Well, here I am, with two kids!  Is anyone else on the planet more shocked by this than me?

My son (S) is now 4.5 months old, and he is as big as E was when she was ONE YEAR OLD.  I’m having trouble with him not sleeping well, because in my head I’m all like “you are big, so you must be old.”  That’s not how things work though, I’m afraid.  Too bad though, I could really use some sleep.  Maybe soon…. *fingers crossed*

I know I haven’t been around much, but having two kids is ten times harder than having one.  (SURPRISE!) and most days I’m struggling to just eat food.  Not cold food, but any food at all.  When I do get to eat, I eat an entire plate of food in four minutes.  I’ve also been struggling with stomach aches… not sure why though.

My husband just got a vasectomy on Friday.  I’ll admit that on Thursday I was kind of freaking out.  I sort of wanted to stop the whole thing, have 12 more babies, and be one of those moms no one understands.  Luckily, it was just a mild freak out, my husband reminded me that I’m losing my mind, and he got it done.  When he got back home from the procedure, I was suddenly so calm and elated with the decision.  I could not be more happy that our family is complete, and now we can focus on things like preschool for E, and getting S to sleep (maybe?), and MAYBE… just MAYBE…. one day I’ll get to shower in the daylight again.  You see, S still sleeps in my room, and I have to shower after he’s asleep, and the light would maybe wake him up, and it’s not worth even trying to see if he’d sleep through it.  So, I shower in the dark.  I don’t shave now… I’m not that reckless.  Yes, I am as hairy as a bear now, thanks for asking.

Well, that’s about all the time I have now.  E isn’t napping and S just woke up from his and is staring at me.  I know he’s trying to tell me something…. but what??  Babies…

 

The TV Has Been Dead Nine Days Now….

Well, I’d like to say we made it 100% in nine days, but alas, we had a really bad day with a sick mommy, and an E who fell down a step and hurt her foot.  Add the fact that she refused a nap (for the first time in… I can’t even remember), we decided it might be nice to curl up on the couch and watch The Lorax.  It was nice.  She was exhausted, and mommy felt awful.  We snuggled, danced, laughed, and sang (why does this word always sound awkward? Singed..?).  When it was over?  She walked over to the TV and asked me to turn it off.  Unheard of!

Other than that?  Nothing. Not once has the TV been turned on, and after day four, she completely stopped asking for it.  This is actually huge.  We used to have the TV on all day and night.  More for background noise than anything, but always at the request of E, who chose what we were allowed to watch.  Although we did sneak in Modern Family and Big Bang in the evening before bedtime.  That’s a mommy and daddy type of need, especially when mommy had been watching Muppets and cartoons all day.

So, here are the results.

  •  E is more attentive to whatever she is playing with.  Blocks, letters, books, puzzles.  She takes time to look at what she’s doing, and although she still gets easily frustrated, I’m starting to believe that’s just part of her personality, or part of being two…. hopefully the two part.
  • E enjoys everything more.  She now randomly breaks into dances, she drums on tables and her tunnel.  She pretends more.
  • She no longer breaks down into hysterics when she needs something.  I mean, good god guys, it was the most traumatic experience in the world for her to run out of milk and need more.  Before asking “mommy, more milk, please” she would just immediately start whining and throwing her cup at me. “E NEED MILK!!”  I cannot tell you how much I’m enjoying this.  Not to say all the hysterics are completely gone (I’m not sure that is a possibility with a two year old?), but we are down to maybe 2 episodes a day instead of 20.  Awesome sauce.
  • Now I can tell if she’s been watching TV.  Her grandparents are, well, grandparents.  They think that what mom and dad says is poo-poo and they can do whatever they want (they won’t even anchor dressers to the wall, which is a completely separate fight).  I get it, my grandma was notorious for not doing what my mom wanted, and my mom hated it.  I guess you forget that when you become a grandparent though.  My in-laws have the TV on all the time.  The tantrums she has thrown at their house the three times we’ve been there in the past nine days…. wow.  That’s all I’ve got.  They are either 10 times worse than before, or she’s just become so calm in the past nine days I had forgotten how bad it truly was.  I feel like this is a battle I can’t win though.  So I put up with it, and put up with the 24 hour grandparents house detox it takes for her to calm down and get back to normal.  It’s a long 24 hours….

So, this is the evidence I have that “breaking” your TV is the best decision for your toddler.  It might not be the easiest at first, because it will require a lot more of your time to keep them amused, but I am now finding that she will go into her playroom, or out onto the porch all by herself and play, and pretend, and come back in to tell me what she’s been doing.  Then, when she understands that I’m done doing whatever I was doing (cleaning, peeing, eating), she will ask that I come play with her, and I do, as I am no longer distracted by the TV either.  I’ve even been able to crochet in the same room as her while she plays.  It’s really been life altering, and I’m so glad I tried it.

…although I do occasionally miss The Lorax and The Muppets, I’m so glad I traded them for my little E.

The Day The TV Broke ——- *Wink*

Today the TV was broken all day.  Well, as far as my daughter knew it was.  I told her as soon as we got up that the TV was broken and would not turn on today.  I was expecting a total breakdown, but I was surprised because she said “okay. E want milk.”  Phew, crisis averted.  (Also, my daughter still speaks in third person… we are working on it).

What did we do instead?  We played with her stacking cups, we painted, we colored with chalk, we tried not to pass out from heat exhaustion (why are there so many hots outside right now?  I can’t handle all the hots!), and we went to the doctor because she has a little infection around her belly button.  Then we came home, had lunch, and took a nap (both of us — score).  After nap the TV was still broken *wink wink wink*, and she was still fine. She actually played upstairs with her daddy for an hour while I went to pick up her prescriptions and some dinner.  After dinner we played outside on the porch, then we played with puzzles before bedtime.

What was the point, you say?  Well, I’m tired of the TV.  I’m sick of all the background noise.  I want silence, or at least just my daughter saying the word “mommy” 45,000 times in a day.  That’s enough noise for me for the day.  So, what was the outcome?  Was today any different than any other day?  Yes, it was actually.  Do we always play? Yes.  Do we always play with cups and puzzles and paint?  Yes.  The difference was her attention span and her attitude.  She was so much more interested in what she was doing.  She was focused.  And she had almost no breakdowns the entire day.  She usually has a couple an hour.  Not tantrums, per-say, but just little fits about things like… wanting to have a pickle for breakfast, or wanting to go into the bathroom just so she can close the door, or needing to sit on the side of the couch that I am sitting on.  Today we had none of that.  It was marvelous.

I suggest you all try breaking your TV for just a day.  See how your little one(s) handle it. You never know, it may be the best day you’ve had in a while.  I know mine was.

Perhaps the TV will stay broken just a bit longer…