Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not The Life I Want

Posted by Anonymous.

Dear Everyone,

Please stop asking me how I am. I know this is a nice thing to do, and I appreciate that you are just being polite, but my supply of "Fine, thanks. How are you?"'s is expired, and I don't want to have to tell you the truth. I don't think you are really interested in how overwhelmed I am and the vile ways my body is revolting against me. You don't want to hear about the clumps of hair that I watch go down the drain every morning and the bald spots that I'm left with, or the heavy pressure in my chest that makes it hard to breathe. You can't handle the fact that my eyes well up with tears 25 times per day for no apparent reason and even I don't understand my shocking mood swings. I can't bear to tell you how my joints ache or that I've been getting unexplainable nosebleeds. You don't even want to know the disgusting, frightening dreams I have at night, or how I wake up sweating and panting and screaming. How it takes me thirty minutes to get out bed every morning and I often find myself crawling back under my twisted sheets just moments after I've finally found the energy to leave them. How I can sleep for eight hours in a night, then take a three hour nap in the afternoon, and slumber for ten hours the next night and still wake up utterly exhausted. I don't want you to know that I fall asleep mid-sentence while reading to my daughter every single night, or that my short fuse has caused me to yell at her for no reason more than once in recent weeks. I don't have the words to explain how it feels to be failing at the one thing you are good at-mothering. I am ashamed to admit how lonesome I've become. How much I need a kindred spirit. And how sorry I am that I can hardly bring myself to be happy for the people I love and admire with out feeling sorry for myself.

If I told you the truth, you would not sympathize. You would chuckle, uncomfortably probably, and avert your eyes. But you have a good life! you would say. And you would be so right. My daughter is amazing, joyful. Perfect. My fiance loves us both boundlessly, even though she held my heart long before he came along to make our family complete.

Everyone hates their jobs! you would explain, It's the American way! And maybe you are right. But it is not my way. It is not the life I want. To send my daughter to spend her days with someone else, while I toil away at a desk, wasted, wasting....it is unbearable. To brush my lips against the cheek of the man I love in the morning and not see him again until the next because my eyes started drooping before he could even get home from work at night...it is miserable.

You're so young, you might reason, it'll get better. To that I say--too young. I am twenty three. I am too young. These are the feelings of a very old woman, wise and wrinkled, who has suffered her whole life. And--will it? When? How? At what cost?

I don't expect you to have the answers. I don't expect you to understand. I don't want to burden you with the truth. So if you see me, just smile and nod. Or give me a thumbs up, a high five. Or, if it's easier, cross to the other side of the street and bury your face in the newspaper.

Just, please, don't ask me how I am.


Monday, January 21, 2008

My Way Is The Right Way

Posted by Anonymous.

I am at a crossroads or so it seems to me. I am just so
irritated by my husband. Little things he does or doesn't do
drive me up the wall. It makes me insane and freaking crazy. It
has gotten worse since we had a child. Many things about him
would bug me before, but, it seems worse now. Things that were
endearing drive my crazy. When he is away, and then returns
(gone for a week recently), it is worse then ever as I feel my
routine has been completely disrupted. Sometimes I feel complete
rage and others I feel extreme disappointment. I know that my
rage and emotions are completely misdirected and
disproportionate. I know that logically but sometimes I just
feel out of control.

He works in an industry where he works very long hours for 2-4
months and then has 2-4 months off. He is off now, and so am I
as I am on mat leave which is probably why it irks me even more
lately. And I bug him incessantly, I ask him did you do this,
why didn't you do this, why do laundry and not put it away, why
look at the internet without checking email and the job lists,
why did not empty dishwasher when feeding the baby, why why
why?? He accuses me of being critical and controlling which has
some truth to it. But he rarely will pick a fight nor will he
take my bait for a fight, so we both stew, and stew, and stew,
and I think it is impacting our relationship, our life together
etc. And I don't know what to do.

We have a good life, relative to many people in the world. We
own a house (well the bank does), we have some investments,
although we are cash poor at the moment. We go on vacation on
occasion, we have a beautiful and healthy child. We own STUFF
like books, TV, computer, camera, furniture etc. We have lots of
food in the freezer and cupboards. We have friends. We have
supports of family members. We own a car. I have a regular very
secure job. His work is more unpredictable but when it is good,
we go on vacation, buy more STUFF etc. I like my life. I like
structure, routine, calendars, lists, that things have a place
to live (like scissors, and tylenol, and the heating pad). I
like that my house is tidy and clean, that I can be anal but not
completely crazy. My house can have toys scattered around, and
there can be crumbs on the couch, table or floor, and I will
still let you come it and visit! I am a weird dichotomy between
order and chaos. I like that I can be flexible and spontaneous
and spur of the moment, but I also will schedule social events
and visits or else I know there are some people I would never
see if I left it to spontaneity I am a complex organism but I
like things to be organized. I worry and get anxious when things
are in chaos. For example: If the mail doesn't get opened the
same day it arrives, to me, it is the end of the world (I know
it is not but that is the way I feel).

The problem probably is that I am "perfect", "right", "my way or
the highway", "I know best", "I can do it better / faster /
cheaper". I like my life to be structured and organized
therefore I am the one that does all of the following in our
household as that way I know it is done "right" and that it will
get done:
menu planning
grocery shopping
personal hygiene shopping
household item shopping
all comparison shopping to ensure the best buys
gift buying and giving
writing thank you notes
sending christmas cards
organizing parties, dinners, events
sending out invites
maintaining photo albums (baby book etc)
pays the bills
manages the money
researches and manages all RSP, RESP, mutual funds
sorting and organizing child clothing and hang me downs
buying clothing as needed
opening and sorting mail
filing important papers and making sure that they are organized
maintaining car insurance / house / life insurance
maintaining regular oil changes
organizing all our income tax including stuff for him being
"self employed"
managing the health and welfare of pets (nails being clipped,
rabies shots, etc)
remembering when it is garbage day / recycling day
knowing when there are appts and ensuring we get there when
knowing when we have social commitments and ensuring we get
etc etc
you get the drift.

My husband and I share the housework - like vacuuming,
bathrooms, shoveling snow, yard-work, he does all DIY stuff. I
do more tidying and every day things and he does more bigger
things like vacuuming etc. And he is good about that when he is
not working. He does things in weird order sometimes, and starts
something and doesn't finish it, and then starts something else
before finishing the 1st thing (which is not the "right way" to
do it!). But overall I can't complain in this regard even though
I do find reasons too.

The thing that bugs me most about him is he can't do multiple
things at a time. I used to find that cute and endearing but now
it makes me blind with anger. For instance in the morning, I get
up give baby a bit of a bottle, let her play while I empty
dishwasher, make tea / coffee, make breakfast and feed the dogs.
When I sleep in (as I go to bed later), the hubbie feeds the
baby, and then she is watching tv while he is on internet, or
sometimes he is playing with her. He can't manage to do all the
other morning things that need to be done. He doesn't comply
with my schedule of how things are done, and what is the right
way. And it drives me crazy. I see it as a personal attack and
as his way of trying to upset me or piss me off when in reality
it is just his way of doing things.

When I work so hard to make sure we are financially ok, that we
have cupboards full of food, and money for the future when we
retire, and life insurance for our daughter, and when I ask him
not to spend more then $100 from his account b/c there are
things coming out of it, then he goes and spend $150 and there
are overdraft fees, or bounced cheques. I see this as a complete
lack of respect for what I try very hard to do. I see this as a
personal attack on me and the way I run our household. And I
have talked to him about it a million times. When we don't have
lots of money, I make sure I eat before I go out so I don't have
to spend money, he never thinks of that til he is in the car or
getting headaches from starvation. I even will pack myself a
sandwich when I go out sometimes. Even though lately I haven't
gone out at all.

When he is out of work for 2-3 months and knows he needs a job
sooner then later (especially now since I am on mat leave and we
are living on one EI cheque and our line of credit) he does not
look on Tuesdays at his emails for the job lists he gets sent as
the first thing he looks at on the internet, it bugs me. He
doesn't put it as a priority when in my mind it is like one of
the #1 things on the "to do" list of the day. And I can't wait
for him to take his time and look, I want him to do it right
away and now. I bug him instead of letting him wait and check
on his own accord like on Thursday. Part of that is my anxiety
about money and being ok. But I take personal offense from his
lacksidasical attitude about it. Particularly when I feel like I
work HARD to plan our future together as a family and feels like
I am not asking much in return.

He is great in many other ways. Like he can make my daughter
laugh like it is nobody's business. He will feed, bathe, change
diapers, look after baby on his own so I can do stuff or go out.
He can make me cry when otherwise I would not (don't you know
crying is for sissy's?). He will support me in any project or
task that I want to do. He doesn't fight. He is a family man and
puts the needs of child and us ahead of his own (most of the
time). He gets up at night. He is sensitive and kind. Everyone
in my family and circle of friends love him.

And I am worried. Anxious. Scared. What is going to happen when
I go back to work?? How am I going to manage the entire
household and then some and work full time as well as be able to
spend time with my beautiful daughter?? How can I let go of some
of the control without feeling completely out of control? How do
I get him to change ha ha? How do I get myself to accept him the
way he is? How do get my extreme and disproportionate emotions
under control? How do I stop nagging and bugging and bite my

Of course though, I know I am "right" though. How do I stop
having to be right all the time and being so childlike when I
don't get my way?? How do I repair the hurts that are felt on
both sides at moment and let our relationship be more light
hearted and fun rather then like a list of things to do?

And how do I admit that maybe there are some things that I am
wrong about.........because I don't want to appear weak and have
this be about me, as it is about us. Us, me, him, and a baby.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fair Weather Friends and Broken Hearts

Posted by Slackermama.

I've hinted at this topic before on my blog, but I've always known that I would have to give the topic a good "airing" out. Mostly because whenever I think of it, a nasty taste fills my mouth and I start to feel my "Grinch-ometer" start to skyrocket. And ya'll, that's not good. I don't want to have such negative thoughts. And now with the New Year upon us (or after us since I've put this off so long), I'd really like to put this behind me once and for all. Of course, the best way for me to exorcise these demons is to blog about it. I've always been the sort that achieves the best therapy through writing and this is no different. The only reason I haven't blogged about this before now is because I didn't want to hurt feelings. The reason I have my blog in the first place is to talk about things in my life that are important to me and this is important to me. I can't really worry all the time about if feelings will be hurt, because it only results in my own feelings being hurt. Which would be tolerable, except that after my feelings are hurt then my family members' feelings are hurt. And that, well, let's just say that it's a deal-breaker for me.

I tried to speak about some of these issues before, back in August. But feelings were hurt and in the interest of keeping peace, I removed the posts from public viewing. Apologies were made profusely, by me, and I hoped that the bygones would soon be bygones. But, you know, I don't think they are. I don't think the bygones have EVER been bygones. People SAID the bygones were bygones, but I happen to think that actions speak louder than words in most cases and the actions have told me that I am VERY much still in the doghouse.

Let me backup. Some of you are probably scratching your heads going, "Wha?" This involves my friends. These are friends I've made recently and my son goes to school with one of the women's kids and is friends with him as well. It's a "group friend" sort of thing and as of last spring, was one of the best things in my life. See, Kile and I have lived in Reno for a long time but we've never had really close friends. No one we've ever felt we could really count on. No BFF's forever or anything like that. We've had plenty of friendly acquaintances, but no one who will stick through us in thick and thin. We've always wanted friends, but it's harder to meet people when you're an adult. When I met these women, I felt like this was a great opportunity to finally have some close friends that I could hang out with, laugh with and rely on. And for quite a while, that's exactly how it was. It was GREAT. Our husbands even enjoyed hanging out together, which thrilled me to no end. The kids liked each other, the husbands liked each other and we liked each other. Couldn't get much better. I was really happy to finally have friends and they seemed to genuinely care about me and my family.

I'm not sure exactly what changed. Or when it changed. It may have started around June. Not for me, as I was still in "Blissful Ignorance Land, a place I often find myself in situations like this. But things did change that month and I definitely can't hold that against my one friend. She had just had a baby and that was a huge shift in her life. The boys were out of school for the month so I didn't see a whole lot of either of my friends that month. But then, there was VBS. I'm sure you remember me talking about VBS. I didn't really want to help out with it, because working with kids makes me nervous. It's definitely NOT my calling. But I fouled up and I didn't tell my other friend that I didn't want to do this. Which is definitely what I should have done. I fully admit that was my bad. I handled it all really badly and flaked out terribly on my friends, leaving them to deal with a lot more than they would normally have had to. I worried that my one friend was really upset with me. She assured me afterward that she wasn't, and I apologized anyhow. I thought the issue was over but I wonder now, here on the other side of things, I don't think it was. I think my friend was upset and was trying to let it go but never did let it go. I hope that makes sense to you all.

July was pretty good, as I do believe my friends were trying to let the whole VBS thing go. The boys started school that month, we went to many awesome drive-in movies and we had Liam's birthday party at my friends house and had a great time too. As far as I was concerned, VBS was ancient history. After all, there wasn't anything for me to be upset with anyone about as it had been pretty much all my fault. And no one else seemed too mad at me so I let it go. I went to BlogHer and while I was gone, my one friend watched Liam during the day for Kile so he could go to work. That was such a lifesaver.

I came back from BlogHer and it was nearly August by then. Harry's friend had had a birthday party a day or so before and reportedly there was a lot of leftover pizza. A casual invitation was made for us all to come back that next day and have pizza. After Kile picked me up, he called them to check on what time we'd be getting together only to find out they had made other plans instead. Fine, whatever, I was beat anyhow and just took a nap instead. But I could tell Kile was disappointed. Again, it was something I didn't really focus on until future situations caused me to reflect on it. Not a big deal by itself, but when combined with everything else, it forms a pattern. At school that Monday, I was probably a bit quieter than normal. I was still tired from my trip, reeling from the events in Chicago (so much fun!) and just feeling vaguely off. I remember wondering if I was coming down with a cold or something. My friends asked if I was okay and I told them I was because as far as I knew, I was. This general mood continued for the next week or two and I stopped wondering about a cold and started wondering about depression or something. My moods were definitely down and lot more unpredictable than they normally are. I wondered if it was a really bad case of PMS, because it was reminiscent of something like that. But I'd never had really bad PMS before and couldn't think of why I'd have it now.

My one friend's son had a birthday party one weekend in mid-August and I was really looking forward to the opportunity to hang out with my friends and have a good time. But when we got there, I could tell I was still feeling rather moody. And I did try to keep my mood to myself as best I could. After all, this was a child's birthday part and a moody grump like me had no place in an event like that. I was also feeling rather tired, another recent occurrence and by the end of the evening, I just wanted to go home and put my feet up. I also wanted to leave before my moods got the better of me and I did something really awful and hurt someone's feelings. Kile took me home and then returned to the party to play Wii and hang out and I felt myself calming down as I relaxed. I wondered if I should have gone to the party at all, the state I was in. My one friend called to check on me, worried about my exit and wanting to make sure everything was okay. I assured her that I was okay, just didn't feel in the mood for socializing at the moment. No worries. And I figured that was that, but apparently, it wasn't. The next day was another birthday party, my other friend's littlest son and we went to that as well. I was feeling a lot better and actually had a great time at that party. I thought my one friend might have been a little quiet with us, not as friendly as she might have been otherwise. But I had no way of knowing if that was because of something I had done at the party the night before (Kile seemed to think not) or if because of something else that had nothing to do with us. I chose to believe the latter.

That evening, Harry talked to us about his friends sometimes calling him names or being mean to him. We had a frank discussion about what he should do in those situations, trying to bolster his confidence in himself and assuring him that he should come to us if he found himself feeling uncomfortable. We wanted to be sure to deal with any possible situations right away, before they blew up into giant problems that would cause a lot more damage if gone unchecked. I thought would be the best thing to do in order to preserve friendships. I just didn't know that my new resolve would be called into service quite so soon.

The next morning, when I went to my one friend's house to walk the kids to school, I found she was again being a little stand-offish. So I did start to wonder if indeed it WAS me. All this was running through my head on the walk down when Harry came to me, crying. One of the boys had called him what Harry considered a bad word. Now, you have to understand that Harry is pretty puritanical yet about such things and what he thought was a bad word was actually pretty mild. (It was "butthead", by the way) The way he was acting, you would have thought one of them had just shot his dog. But what I thought was important was how he felt. He felt very hurt and being my boy (and my baby, besides being almost 8 years old), I wanted to help him anyway I could. He told me he would like it if I would pick him up in the van after school and then drive him down to school the next day. I never had the impression he wanted this to be a permanent change, but that he felt he needed the time away from the "walking down to school" routine. Since I was already thinking that perhaps my one friend was upset with me, I thought it was probably a good idea. It would help things calm down, perhaps. Then, in a couple days, it could all go back to normal. Problem solved, right? I told my one friend when we got to school my plan to pick up Harry and drive him to school the next day. She seemed maybe a little surprised, but otherwise showed no concern. She didn't ask why or seem upset by it so I figured she took it at face value. See my problem here? I don't play "politics" very well, I don't read between the lines well and I don't have good people-reading skills. It's just an empirical fact. I tend to wear myself on my sleeve and I wrongly assume others do too.

When I got home, I was still feeling moody (yes, STILL... you think I would have caught on by now) and starting to take it out on the month itself (nope, NEVER done that before). And, as I've said before, I like to use this blog in order to air my feelings so that they don't fester and to work through my feelings. So I wrote a post about what happened on the walk to school, among other things and expressed my interest in August being over as soon as possible. That was pretty much it. After I wrote it, I felt a lot better (which was the point in the first place) and put the matter out of my mind. That is, until a couple hours later when I found a comment from my other friend. And she was MAD. She said that I had called her son a bully (Hu-wha??), that I had been rude at the birthday parties over the weekend (Okay, maybe the first one but the second one??) and how I had abused their friendship so horribly. I honestly felt like a knife had been shoved into my heart. Was this a joke? The level of venom in that comment was mind-blowing. I cried. I read it again a while later and cried again. I didn't know what to think or what to do. What had I done?? Had I done anything? I couldn't think of anything and I couldn't understand why she was SO mad at me. That night I got an email from my one friend's husband where he basically read me the riot act. I felt like a kid in school, getting her hand slapped by the principle. I felt shamed and I still wasn't sure what exactly I had done wrong.

I talked this all over with my husband at great length. I told him how I wished that my other friend had emailed me her concerns rather than commenting. If she had emailed me, I could have addressed her concerns and if necessary, removed the post on the spot. As it was, other people had seen the post and her comment and had replied in my defense. God bless them for it too because while these commenters may not have gotten it all straight, I was just SO happy to have someone on my side for a change. I did take the post down that night, as I promised my one friend's husband I would. What else could I do to make things right? I wasn't just concerned for my own friendships, but for my son's friendships as well. My other friend wouldn't reply to me, and my one friend's husband (just him, she didn't email me at all) kept insisting that I had hurt her feelings so badly that she was just devastated. And indeed, I felt very bad for hurting her but what about MY feelings? I felt absolutely CRUSHED through this. I was crying all the time, on top of this nagging moodiness and just felt wretched. No one, save my own husband, seemed to care about that. Seeing as how as I was being viewed as the "perpetrator", I guess I can understand why.

Kile was sympathetic to my plight, but aggravated by my constant moodiness and interested in finding out once and for all WHY I was this way. He got a pregnancy test on the way home from work and promised me when he delivered it into my hands that if I wasn't pregnant, he was taking me into the doctor for a hormone test. Because something was the matter. This wasn't normal for me. Still, I was STUNNED when the pregnancy test came up positive. And I felt like it answered EVERYTHING. Kile did too, and interested in finally clearing the air with my friends, he emailed them the news that I was pregnant. Surely this would give them a reason for any fishy behavior they may feel I'd been exhibiting, right? And good friends cut each other slack on such things, right? Especially if they just found out they are pregnant.

Only? Not so much. No, they were still pissed at me. And again (for what, the 10th time that week?), I was crushed. This was a miraculous event for me. Anyone who knew me at all knew that getting pregnant this way was nothing short of an act of God and something I would have loved to share with my dear friends. I wanted to be excited and I wanted others to be excited with me. What I got was more angry emails and more cold shoulders. I felt abandoned. I felt that maybe this friendship had been all in my head. That I had imagined the closeness. My heart was, quite literally, broken.

The olive branch was finally extended later that week. And even then, even when I tried to explain my situation as best I could and how I never meant to hurt any feelings, I was told that there were still hurt feelings and that it would take some time before trust would be regained. I figured it was better than nothing and against my better instincts, decided to just turn the other cheek and let it go. It was more important to me to try to preserve the friendship at that point. I've never been one to be interested in holding grudges anyhow.

We never did have it quite as good as we did back in the spring, but it was better. I felt I could relax again at last. My one friend didn't have me over very much anymore, but she had her hands full with the day care she was starting up so that didn't bother me too much. Things were going okay, which was more than I could have asked for back in August. October was another month off for the boys. We had talked before they went on break about having a Halloween party for the kids at my one friend's house at the end of the month. We had done one the year before and the kids had enjoyed it so much. We also made tentative plans to have a couple play dates during the month to keep the boys sane. Well, the play dates didn't happen, but that wasn't too surprising. After all, life goes on. Harry went out of town for a time, and then my one friend's family went out of town for a while and that's how it goes. My other friend called towards the end of the month to touch base and she mentioned the Halloween party. She said that she figured the party would be happening on the Tuesday before Halloween but wasn't sure of any other details. Before we hung up, she assured me that one of them would call me either that weekend or Monday and let me know the final details. Great! It was a plan. Harry had been pestering me about it and I could finally tell him that YES, the party was going on on Tuesday.

I saw my one friend with her family at a local restaurant on Saturday night. I didn't think to ask about the Halloween party or I would have. We just made a little small talk before heading to our own table. I realized later that they were probably eating out for my friend's birthday which was in a day or so and I probably should have wished her a happy birthday. But... I kinda suck that way. I don't think on my feet too well and I missed an opportunity. I figured I would give her my birthday wishes at the Halloween party in a couple days. The weekend ended, however, with no phone call with party details. And then there was no call on Monday. Strange, I thought. But maybe they got busy and forgot. Surely I would hear something come Tuesday morning, right? Especially once they saw I didn't show up and realized that no one had told me when to show up. Right?

Yeah, not so much. I had to tell Harry that I didn't think the party was happening. The only thing I could think was that someone's kid was sick and the party had to be canceled. I thought it was strange that no one called me to tell me, but then I didn't get a call with details either. And I do realize that I could have called and asked what was up. But a) I am not good with making phone calls, avoid it like the plague and my friends know that and b) I didn't text either because I didn't want to "pester". It wasn't my party to hold and if there was something to tell me, I figured the hostess would let me know one way or another. Harry was DEVASTATED, of course, as only an 8 year old can be. I felt pretty bad but didn't know what else I could do. I think he held out hope that maybe the party was just postponed and would be held later on in the week. I told Kile later in the day about the lack of party and he too thought it was odd. Only, he doesn't have my hangups so he texted my one friend and asked her about it. And she texted him back that there HAD been a party that day. But that since I didn't show up, they assumed I wasn't feeling well. End of story.

When I heard this I felt a wide variety of emotions. I felt anger (no, make that FURY), disappointment, sadness, guilt, and hurt. Oh, the hurt. See, I had to tell Harry that there HAD been a party and we had missed it. And I had to watch him cry because he missed out on something he had been looking so forward to. And yes, I did wonder if I should have checked sooner. But that led to the anger and hurt. Why hadn't they called me?? My other friend had said that one of them would. And when they saw I didn't show up, why didn't they call me then? If they thought I wasn't feeling well, well, wasn't that worth a call to see what was up? Wasn't I worth at least that much from them?

The answer came to me plain as day and twice as ugly: Apparently, I wasn't. After all, friends who cared about me would have certainly called me at one point or another. They would have noticed and cared that I wasn't there. And they didn't. They didn't care about me and this apathy had led to my child's feelings being hurt. I didn't know what else to think. And I honestly think that's when I gave up. Kile pleaded with me to keep relations nice. Harry's birthday was coming up in a week and he was worried that any friction might interfere with the birthday plans. Kile also wanted to spend Thanksgiving with our friends who had earlier invited us to their house that day. We got an invitation from some of our family members who live down in Sacramento for Thanksgiving and we normally would have gone. They had a new house that we were interested in seeing and my parents would be there and it would be fun to see everyone. BUT, we had made these plans and Kile really wanted to follow through with them. I was a bit nervous about relations, considering the Halloween Snub, but ultimately agreed. I "let it go" yet again (though felt considerably more wary), and relations seemed to be okay. No one even mentioned the Halloween party, which I didn't even know what to think of that. But, whatever. Like I said, I think I was through caring.

And Thanksgiving went really well. We had a great time over at their house and they were the perfect hosts. The kids had fun, the adults had fun and I really felt like it was a little taste of what things used to be like. We had tentative plans to do dinner for Christmas too, since both of us don't have any family in town and were planning to stay in town for the holidays. And Kile had been talking for MONTHS about having them over for New Years Eve. See, Kile's idea of the perfect New Years Eve is to have friends over for a very fancy dinner, followed by games or movies until "the ball drops". He's wanted to do this for years, but we've never had really good friends we could do that with. This, he figured, was his chance to fix our friends a fantastic dinner, use the nice china and really do it up. He was already planning out the menu, even. Not my cup of tea, as I mentioned in my "Anti-social" post, but I was excited for him. And it would be nice to have New Years plans.

Shortly after Thanksgiving, Harry told us he wanted to take the bus to school instead of walking down. This is something we'd been talking about for a long time. Probably since he started school back in kindergarten. But with the new baby on the way, we'd been talking about it a lot more. It had pretty much been decided that he would start taking the bus when the baby came, because it would be way too much for me to lug the two kids down in the van twice a day when the bus basically drops him off and picks him up at the bottom of the street. Then, my mom would get after me on the phone whenever we would talk about it. She would urge me to get him on the bus this winter, so that I wouldn't have to worry about the snow and ice on the way down to school. Given my past history with ice, she was worried I would fall on the ice, wreck the van or SOMETHING. Even though I've done this in previous winters and previous pregnancies. But, whatever. Still, the deciding factor was Harry telling us that he wanted to take the bus. It was ultimately his decision. I want that to be clear as crystal. Neither Kile nor I in any way influenced this. Neither of us influenced either him wanting to walk down by himself just a week later (sob!). I let my friend know that he was taking the bus. This bus thing started up amid some pretty nasty weather and with her day care business, my friend wasn't able to walk down as much anyway and was having her son get rides to school fairly often. There was a time or two that she forgot to tell me that her son had a ride and it caused some confusion. This way, it would be one less thing for her to worry about. I wouldn't have to drive down in the mornings either, so it was a win-win situation.

At least I hope so. There has been a play date since then where us friends got together on a half day and the kids played and we had lunch and had a great time. No one seemed upset with me about the whole bus thing so I counted that as a bonus. However, there haven't been any play dates since, but it is the holidays and people do get busy. So I don't read too much into it.

Now, my one friend did let me know at this play date that her husband had decided they would go down to his mom's house on Christmas day and stay there for about a week. She told me this after I asked she would like us to bring over for Christmas dinner. Okay. So I guess that meant we were on our own. No biggie though, we've been on our own before. We would just buy our own dinner fixings and do it up ourselves (which we did and it was marvelous, btw). But later on, after I'd gone home, I thought about New Years Eve. It sounded as though they planned on being gone through New Years, though I hadn't gotten any confirmation on that. Still, I knew that New Years Eve was not going to happen. Kile was upset upon hearing this, but I think he held out hope. At least, he did until recently when he finally emailed my one friend's husband to ask about New Years Eve and was told that, yes, they would be out of town.

I figured as much, but Kile was pretty disappointed. And I felt disappointed for him, because I know he was looking forward to it. And I think he felt abandoned. Like his New Years plans were good enough until something better came along. So I suggested that instead of staying at home and doing our own New Years thing like we always end up doing, that we go to Elko that weekend and visit his family. So that's what we're doing. We're going on Sunday (that's the plan right now at least, we'll see what the weather does) and will come back on the 2nd. No use in sitting around here feeling sorry for ourselves. We're going to go out and have plans, darnit. One way or another.

So yeah. Feelings have been hurt. Theirs and ours. And I hope this (extremely long-winded) post gives you a look at something that has been bothering me lately. This is everything as I remember it, as I felt it and from my perspective. I don't know if any of these involved parties will even see this post. I don't really mind if they do or if they don't. I didn't write it for them, I wrote it for me. I needed to get this off my chest. Kile worries that if they do see this, that it will impact Harry's friendships. I'd like to think we're all adult enough for that not to happen. And I hope that they can understand my need to talk about my issues on my blog. They haven't understood it in the past, unfortunately, but I can't really say that that's my problem. No disrespect meant at all. I just need to be able to feel like I can speak my mind here, in this cozy forum of HBM. And maybe now some of you understand why I feel hesitant about friendships. Once bitten, twice shy and all of that.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No Pregnancy Glow

Posted by Anonymous

*Update below*

I really want to write about this on my own blog, but I can't. I normally post on my blog daily, but I have been so bummed I have not done anything with it since mid-December.

I found out on December 7th that I am pregnant with baby number three. THREE. A number I did not think was going to be in my vocabulary describing my family. I had sold the pack n' play on Ebay, gave away almost all baby clothing to friends and relatives, and was ready to donate or freecycle what I had left that people I know did not need. December was a month spent mostly in shock of my situation, (getting pregnant while not missing one single pill!) and when I wasn't thinking about it I was really, really nauseous. I never throw up, but just feel gross and have lots of heartburn. At the moment my salad and chicken I had for dinner is erupting into my esophagus. And I am so tired I fall asleep when I sit down to play with my kids on the sofa.

A small part of me is excited, but most of me is dreading being pregnant, and dealing with waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse this baby once he or she is here. I dread dealing with another episiotomy healing, having no sex life, bleeding for 6 weeks, and being fat. Maybe I will be more positive when I don't feel sick every day. I was not this sick with baby number one and two. I had major PPD after my second child, and I am already feeling depressed just thinking about how exhausting having 3 is going to be. I am one of those people that was never into babies. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids dearly, but I am not one to ask to hold someone else's baby. After I had my second child and he woke up EVERY HOUR at one point, to nurse because of his acid reflux, and would not sleep because he was in pain every time he was put on his back, I started to be repulsed by infants. I wouldn't even go near my infant nieces and nephews. I have really begun to enjoy not carrying a diaper bag with me everywhere, and like not needing a stroller if I go out with my kids. I love that my kids play together and I don't have to be on top of them, I love not needing diapers.

I am afraid mostly because I think back to when I had my newborn son and my 18 month old daughter way back when, and I ended up having suicidal thoughts. I was so exhausted I got mastitis twice in a month, with a fever over 104. I was at the lowest point in my life, beyond exhausted, dealing with a child that would not sleep because he was in pain, and having to take care of a toddler still in diapers. The only thing that helped was time and eventually going on Prozac. Sleep deprivation nearly killed me after I had my son.
I am just hoping this time is easier.

Thanks for listening.

UPDATE: Anonymous has just discovered that she is, in fact, carrying twins. So these will be babies THREE and FOUR. (Biggest hugs to you, Anonymous.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What To Expect When You Think You Maybe Want To Be Expecting

Posted by Assertagirl.

For someone who was determined to remain child-free, I sure do have a lot of baby on the brain. Someone offered up a copy of "What to Expect" on Freecycle, and I jumped at it. It's sitting here on my coffee table, beckoning, filled with facts and secrets I haven't been privy to because I'm not a mom. Yet.

I really didn't expect to feel like this but I have come through something in the last year, gone through some sort of metamorphosis. I'm not sure but I think my new-found longing to become a mom myself has something to do with having figured out some important aspects of my own relationship with my mother. Ever since I came to the realization that It's Okay to Put Me First, I've felt more like I want to have a baby. It's ironic, I know, because becoming a mother means that you basically never get to put yourself first again, so maybe it's more that it's okay to put My Family (those of us who live together under the same roof, day in and day out) first.

I've been reading mommyblogs for awhile, but they suddenly have new relevance, and hold a new fascination for me. I can learn from the mommyblogs. I can feel more prepared for the road ahead. I feel like these fantastic ladies and their endless stories, good and bad, are an amazing resource, and I know that no matter how tough it gets (and it will get tough), I will have company.

I wish that I could write more openly about these feelings on my personal site, but I'm not ready to expose these thoughts to my family members who might read it. I almost have enough to say about this that I could start a separate blog, but I don't want to go that route, because I am not two separate people. I'm still me. With options!