Friday, 30 March 2012

Things I Said I Would NEVER Do with MY Kids

Okay, so that title might be a wee bit misleading because I am not certain I ever saw me being in this sort of a position but hey, it is a catchy title.

I have mentioned it before but we are dealing with this little issue with Buddy in which he has suddenly decided that pooping is just not something he is comfortable with.  Needless to say, this has become a total pain in the butt and there are days when our lives revolve around whether or not the little guy has pooped.

So, like the totally awesome parents that we are, we have resorted to bribing him.  In the spirit of some potty training parents we now offer him a Cadbury mini egg every time he poops and we don't care if it is in his diaper, on the toilet or in the tub . . . just get that shit out little man!

It is totally working for us  . . . perhaps a little too well.  He now asks for a "poo egg" every time he does something in his diaper, which is not the point of the bribe but it does show how into it he is.

Today I am grateful that we have found something to help push the little guy past whatever it is that is making him think that "holding it" is a good idea and while it may go against all the parenting bibles, I don't care because it is working!  Okay, I admit that I feel a wee bit of guilt in the fact that in the future he may associate the oh so yummy Cadbury mini egg with shit but that is for him to work through with his future therapist! Yes, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sorry For the Delay

I have been rather emo lately and haven't had the energy to write it out . . . or perhaps I am just afraid that by being all dark and moody that those of you who stop by to see me might get tired of it all and just forget about this little space.

So much talk lately about feeling invisible and my god but do I feel that way at work.  I am sinking there again, the newly found/regained confidence is eroding and has left me exhausted and vulnerable. 

Vulnerable?  Strange choice of word I suppose but it is the reality.  My feelings are like exposed nerves, raw and easily pained. 

I spend my days lately feeling oh so lonely but knowing that truly I am not alone.  I have amazing friends close by who, in a second, would drag me out for coffee and just sit and chat.  Yet, the logic seems to be losing to the depression which apparently has decided to stop by and say "hi" again.

The logic tells me that I am feeling this way because I have switched my meds.  The logic tells me that I should just pick up the phone and call someone and say "Hey wanna go for a coffee".  The logic tells me that I am not worthless, that I am someone whom many people feel lucky to have in their lives.

The depression tells me that that is all bullshit.  The depression tells me that I am an ugly person, both inside and out, a person who is not worth seeing.  The depression tells me that I am easily ignored, that I am forgotten about.

I know that the depression is lying to me.  I know it.  But on days like today, it puts up a pretty good argument.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Kids Are Amazing Because They Just Know

Have you ever had one of those day . . . or perhaps weeks  . . . maybe even months . . . where life just pisses you off?  You know those days where the predominate emotion running through you shifts from close to tears to wanting to tear a strip off of anyone and everyone. 

That is me . . . right now as I write this I am a hot motherload of mess and all because I thought that switching meds to stop the expansion of my ass was a good idea.  Turns out I was wrong!  Well okay, that might be a wee bit rash but it feels right at the moment and I am all about feeling dramatic at this time.

Wow, the anxiety is totally kicking my ass and dragging me down to a place I haven't been in a while.  Focus and concentration . . . what were those again?!  Calmness and patience . . .  vaguely familiar ideals. 

After some stomping, barking and totally not being a very nice version of me I cracked after snapping at the little guy and I sank to the floor with tears streaming from my eyes.  Holding open my arms I held both of my kidlets, saying over and over again how sorry I was and explaining that mommy wasn't feeling good and  was not reacting the way I should or the way I wanted to. 

I was being crushed by guilt when something amazing happened.  Little Miss just looked at me in the eye and said "It's okay Mommy.  Please don't cry.  We love you.  We know how much you love us."

Forgiveness and understanding from my 4 year old.  No matter how many times I feel like I mess up, she loves me.  More than anything, she wants her mommy to be happy, like she is.

This post was inspired by Kimberly, one of the bravest most amazing bloggers I have been honoured to read.  Go and visit her.

Something Something Button


Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Big Step for Little Miss

Birthday parties are nothing new to Little Miss.  She has been lucky enough to have had little friends to attend even her first birthday party and she attended theirs.

This year there has been a pretty significant shift though.  Since starting kindergarten we have been waiting for this day and today is the day.  Today my baby girl is attending a birthday party without either Brad or myself.

My kidlets are both painfully shy.  Given that Brad and I were the same way at their age and neither of us are particularly all that outgoing they didn't really have a shot. 

Once they are comfortable my kids can be insanely outgoing . . . this occasionally results in a listening problem at things like kung fu or swimming lessons . . . but there is no time table for how it will take them to warm up. Until that time, they both tend to fight for position behind me with their heads basically up my butt.  Awesome!

We talked about the whole mommy leaving thing before heading out and it was decided that I would stay for at least a few minutes until she felt comfortable. I have no idea what came over her but as we were getting in the car she said that I didn't need to stay at all.

Needless to say, the bravado went completely out the window when we arrived and there were unknown adults standing in the garage.  So we went in and took our shoes off.  With one set of fingers in her mouth and the other grasping at my hand as tightly as possible we headed into the living room.

Curled into her safe place aka my lap Little Miss began to survey the situation and determined that she was so not ready for mommy to leave.  So I stayed.  As more kids from her kindergarten class began to arrive she held my hand a little less tightly.

Finally she mustered up the courage to ask to see the birthday girl's room and with that she was ready to let me go.

I am so proud of my baby girl who is not a baby anymore.  This was a huge step for her and I so hope that she has tonnes of fun and gains strength and confidence from this step.

It was also a huge step for mommy as I am looking forward to the next party with less worry . . . but know that as I am writing this I am hanging around the phone just in case she needs me.  Hopefully next time the big step will be taken by me and I will be able to use this time a wee bit more productively.

Just Jennifer

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Being a Mom with Depression Can Sometimes Suck

So I think we can all agree that parenting can be tough.  There are days when we all think to ourselves Holy Hell . . . there is no way I am not going to totally lose my shit on these kids and yet, on the whole, we all manage to not lose our shit and we call it a successful day in parenting.

Not that I really have anything to compare it to but I have found that parenting with / through my depression has upped the number of Holy Hell  days and added to the just plain tough days.  What sucks is that depression has totally coloured my entire experience with parenting my kids.

When Little Miss arrived it was more in the form of anxiety that took the form of being completely unable to get anything done because there was so much to do.  Add to that the whole failed breastfeeding so damn it all I will just go ahead and pump for 9 months and I also felt trapped inside the house. 

Things got darker when I got pregnant with the little man and got a whole hell of a lot darker after my sweet baby who was totally into attachment parenting even though it was not really in my plans arrived.

But this post is not about parenting with depression it is about parenting after getting help for it.  You see, there are still days that I can feel the affects of my depression on my parenting.

Take for example this past weekend.  It was beautiful and we packed the kids up and headed to the zoo.  Should have been a great day but I was struggling.

I have switched my meds and with that has come a whole bunch of awesome withdrawal symptoms from drug a and some amazing side affects from drug b and I am struggling to function let alone be the awesome mom that I have on occasion been known to be.  I feel queasy.  I am completely exhausted.  I am oh so easily frustrated.  Add to that a new intense dislike of being in crowded places and I was probably not the best mom to take to the zoo on the first really nice day of almost spring.

Our day at the zoo was not a epic failure but I was short with the kids and found that I just could not relax and enjoy the day.  The thing is, I really wanted to relax and I wanted to enjoy our time there but I was feeling crushed under the weight of dealing with this frustrating mental illness. 

I am getting help.  I am taking meds and working with a somewhat crappy therapist to develop my coping skills but there are still times that my kids suffer because I am suffering.  Days go by when all I want is to be alone and be still in the quiet.  Days go by and I continue to find myself unable to cope with the demands be being a parent.  The daily monotony of being an adult, the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning, feel like they are crushing me. The tyrant like requests from the toddler push me to anger quicker than they should.  I am too tired to play, even though the kidlets keep asking. 

Things will get better.  They have been better.  It is not all dark. 

In fact, just the other day my little guy totally make me giggle and proud all at the same time.  While out for a walk with the little man we came upon those horrible testicles hanging off the trailor hitch of a truck.  Of course they are right at eye level so he totally notices them and stops in his tracks. 

Looking up at me, he pinches his nose and says "pewh".  Hold on to that boy because I will be forced to remind you of that sentiment if you ever think those horrid things are a good idea!


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Did You Know . . . That I am All About Tough Love

I have been at this whole blogging thing for almost a year and through it I have "met" some amazing people . . . people that I genuinely care about and have bonded with.  Amazing women . . . some of whom have battled PPD along side of me . . . some of whom make me laugh . . . some of whom make me cry . . . all of whom, each and every one of them, has touched my life in a positive way.  Lest you think I am all about just hanging with blogging gals, I have also met some amazing men along the way as well but this post is about the gals.

Lately I have seen a disturbing trend on the Twitter . . . amazing women hating on themselves . . . talking about how they must be terrible friends . . .  worrying that if we were all every to met IRL that they would not be liked. 

Okay ladies . . . you know who you are . . . I would like you to very kindly come close to the screen . . . open your eyes nice and wide while you read the following . . .

What the Hell?!?!?!  Unless you are completely phony in your writing (which I honestly don't believe any of you are) it is pretty clear that you are all amazing people!  Get that AMAZING people. 

I find myself drawn to blogs where I find honesty behind the words.  If you are writing your own truth and it is coming from you heart . . . that is the writing that pulls me in, makes me care and leaves me commenting and wanting a connection. 

Life can be hard.  Depression, anxiety, the weight of dealing with events that are out of your control can test the resolve of even the strongest person out there but know this, you are so much more than all of that.  Each of you has shown that you are loving, kind, compassionate, funny, talented, smart and amazing in your own ways.  Don't let the negative lie to you and tell you that you are unlikeable.

So my dear bloggy friends who think that no one would like them if we ever met face-to-face . . . please do me this solid and let go of that little bit of bullsh*t because nothing could be further from the truth.  Also, if you keep talking like this I am totally going to have to kick your asses the first time we meet in the real world and then you are bound not to like me . . . and that would totally suck!


Monday, 5 March 2012

How do You Define Womanhood

The topic of today's #ppdchat was something along the lines of "How becoming a mom has changed your definition of womanhood".  I have to be honest with you and say I don't even understand what this means . . . I am not certain that I have a definition of womanhood . . . I am not even certain that I completely know who I am let alone define an entire gender.

So I suppose that becoming a mom hasn't really changed how I feel about being a woman because it really isn't something that I think about.  What it has done is given my a daughter who I find myself so often not understanding.  She is, for the most part, the definition of a girlie girl and she has very set opinions on how she wants to be perceived.

Little Miss wants those in her world to see her as pretty or beautiful . . . she defines this by how she is dressed. According to her definition, the only times that she really feels this way is when she is wearing a "pretty dress", one with sparkles and and that swirls around her when she moves.  She will wear pants on the odd occasion but her preferred mode of dress is  . . . well dresses.

Along with her definition of what makes a person pretty or beautiful, she is also a big fan of those Disney Princesses and Barbie.  This is what my daughter sees as her ideal of beauty.  Needless to say, these are not my ideal of beauty.  I will not go off on a tangent on how I strongly dislike the terrible message sent out to little girls through basically all things Disney . . . but I will say this . . . why the hell are those Fairies dressed like hoochie mommas?!  Argh!

I have tried to teach my daughter that what makes a person beautiful is not how they look on the outside but whether or not they are a good person, who is kind and gentle and who treats people with love.  I remind her of this every time she mentions her need for a pretty dress so that she can be beautiful.  It frustrates me to know end that these princesses . . . who I did NOT expose her to . . . have become such an ideal to her.

There are days I feel like I am fighting a losing battle and, damn it all, I am losing to the likes of Cinderella and Arial which is infuriating. 

Each time my daughter informs me that there must be a prince to save the princess, I say No Way.  The princess can save herself and if she really needs help, the other princesses are strong enough to lend her a hand.  Each time my daughter struggles to find the perfect dress to make the world think she is pretty I will remind her of all the wonderful times she has shown love and compassion and tell her that that is what makes her beautiful.  I will continue to encourage her as she strengthens her body through kung fu.  I will continue to encourage her as she works to strengthen her mind at school.  I will wear the occasional dress or skirt so that she understands that they are not a bad thing but they are not everything.

A tomboy raising a girlie girl . . . the teen years could be a challenge. 

So what about you?  Has becoming a parent changed how your define your gender?

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Guilt of One Mom

Last night I was cuddling in bed with my little guy, watching as he giggled while teasing me with a flashlight and I realised something . . . my goodness but he has gotten big. 

Within a blink of an eye his words are finally making sense to some other other than a fellow toddler.  Suddenly he can jump . . . a real two feet off of the ground jump.  He can open the fridge and help himself to almost whatever he wants.  He is becoming a little boy . . . certainly no longer a baby and soon to no longer be a toddler.

With the obvious realisation . . . of course he is getting bigger that is nature . . . came a second not so obvious a realisation.  I have missed a great deal of this transformation because for the past year and a half of his life we have only spent the 5 mornings and evenings a week together.  Certainly we have at least two full days on the weekend but weekdays there is not a whole lot of time spent together.

Most of his growing, his learning, his daily fun happens at daycare.  That is the sad reality of a working parent . . . I am missing so much of his early years.

That being said, I do not have it in me to be a stay-at-home parent . . . it is a skill set that I just haven't been blessed with.  I am not particularly crafty and imagination play bores me to tears.  My kidlets get to spend their days doing all sorts of fun stuff like gluing with sparkles, painting and playing with large buckets of sand and water . . . I know in my heart of hearts I would not be offering up these activities if we were at home together.

Yet I still feel sad, and even guilty, that I have missed so much of these years with both of my kids.   

I would love to say that being away from them all day makes me a better, more focused parent, but that is not always the case.  There are nights when I am tired and long for their bedtime so that I can be relieved of duty . . . at least for a couple of hours. 

I know that there is no such thing as a perfect method for parenting and most days I think that Brad and I are doing a pretty bang up job . . . but then there are those times when I just cannot believe how much of their childhood I have spent away from them.  Am I enough there enough for them?  Do they know that even if I am not with them each day that I will always be there when they need me?  Can they just slow down with this whole getting bigger thing so that I don't feel like it is all going by so fast?

I strongly suspect that there is no real point of this post . . . so I guess we just continue on as we have and I will just have to crush them with love, cuddles and kisses whenever the mood strikes.