Thursday, 28 June 2012

Wrecking Everything

I am wrecking everything.  I am on the edge.  I can feel myself struggling not to fall and I am wrecking everything as I fight myself.

The past little while, but worse the past couple of days, I haven't been in a good place.  I haven't found joy in much of anything, least of all my kids.  I haven't wanted to be around them at all.  I love them so much and yet the moment we are together my anxiety soars and I cannot cope with regular kid stuff.

Tonight my mood rubbed off in the worst way on Brad.  He reacted horribly.  I reacted horribly.  Our kids caught in the middle of the struggle.

What am I suppose to do?  I am a mother who, at this very moment, does not want to be around my children.  What do I do?  More meds?  More therapy?  I am tired of it all.  I want to be me again.  I want to find joy in my kids not just annoyance.  Why the fuck can't I just be normal? Why?

Jenn

The Joys of Motherhood

Okay, before I go to far this post is about female stuff aka. periods and all things related.  If you are uncomfortable with a complete over-share concerning my period and a conversation related to said period now is the time to just move on!  

So this morning started like basically every morning does with the little guy informing me that it is time to get up, me trying to put off that notion and finally me giving in and getting out of bed.  Now the majority of the time I wake up in need of the loo and this morning was not an exception.  As per usual, I had company in the bathroom because apparently once one gives birth it means that they will NEVER EVER go to the bathroom by themselves again. Sigh.

Back to the bathroom.  So the little guy stands right in front of me, looking down with a rather concerned / perplexed look on his face before he finally asked me where my yucky diaper was.  

Although the kid cannot seem to remember what he has done at daycare all day, he can apparently remember a time several weeks ago when he was shockingly in the bathroom with me.  That day just happened to be my very heavy day of my period and needless to say things were messy.  Of course his eyes are drawn right to the rather used pad and he informs me that my diaper is yucky and promptly heads upstairs to get me a new one.  

I finish up dealing with myself by the time the kidlet returns with the information sheet from my box of tampons.  I thanked him for his concern and effort and left it at that.  Turns out I will be having the whole how the female reproduction system works with my son a wee bit earlier than I had planned as he just kept pressing me on the topic.  

So as of right now my Little Miss thinks that having your period makes you pee red and my little guy assumes that I wake up every morning with a "yucky diaper".  If only I could actually have some alone time in the bathroom . . . 

Jenn

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I am Sparta - The Spartan Race

Spartan Race - AROO
I did it . . . I did it . . . I ran my first Spartan Race.  Notice how I wrote first Spartan Race . . . . that is what us writers call foreshadowing . . .!

I thought for certain that I would be nervous leading up to my race but I wasn't  . . . at least not in the way that I expected.  Brad was nervous but I was pretty much nonchalant.  Perhaps it was the fact that my lungs were functioning way below their normal capacity due to the whole bronchitis thing, so I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to push myself as hard as I had hoped.  The pressure was off and my goal truly was to simply finish the race with as few burpees as possible.

Sunday was grey and the sky was threatened rain.  It was warm, a bit humid, but not like it has been earlier in the week.  I dressed, had an extra large protein shake for breakfast, hugged my kidlets and off Brad and I went.

The place was packed!  So many people of different shapes and sizes all ready to push themselves, to see just how strong they were.  Crowds of people excitedly taking pictures, talking strategy or just trying to figure out what to do with mud covered clothing.

Just as soon as the 1:00 group took off we headed over to the start line.  Excitement, energy and nerves.  Chatting, laughing and trying to avoid getting sprayed in the face with a freezing cold water from a fire hose. Waiting for the race to start.

As our time approached, the crowed grew to between 250 and 300 people . . . all anxious to just go . . . to just release the energy and run.

10, 9, 8 . . . now the nerves show up . . . 7, 6, 5, 4 man I hate the I have a nervous bladder . . . 3, 2 , 1 no time to pee now . . . off we go!

The start was hard with a lot of running up hill.  My lunges were screaming at me as we both struggled to breath.  Brad and I stuck together, a team.  It wasn't long before we realised that another member of our team was really struggling.

I was so proud of T, she was right along with us even though all she had heard from her fiance, her family and his family was how there was no way she could do anything like this.  She was too heavy, too out of shape, she would never finish.  

Soon she slowed to a walk with Brad and I right beside her.  Together we were a team and we were not going to leave her behind.  The crowds thinned out around us and soon we were just hiking through the forest waiting for our first obstacle.  

There is was . . . tunnels that we had to climb through to get to a rope wall that we had to scale to continue along with the race.  Three tunnels . . . three people . . . we pushed through together.  We met up with another member of our group at the rope wall and as a team we all made it over.  

The four of us stuck together the rest of the race.  Together we climbed ropes or rope ladders, we carried sandbags, we climbed up and over walls, we crawled  through mud under barbed wire only to end up in mud up to our waists.  

We were a team.  With my lungs feeling better I would run from one obstacle to the next, waiting for the rest of the team to meet me.  Brad stayed with T the entire time and for that I am not only proud of him but my love for him has grown even more.  

The finish was tough with three really challenging obstacles one after the other.  A steep slippery ramp to climb up and over.  Large bails of hay, stacked one on top of another to climb up and over.  A very steep,  very slippery, very tall rope wall to climb up and over.  

That last wall got me.  I used all of my strength.  I got up to the top but I could not get my leg up and over.  I hung there at the top, trying with all of my might to pull myself up so that I could get my leg over.  My arms exhausted, my fingers no longer able to hold me there, I slide back down the wall.  Defeated.

I admit, for a brief moment I was bitterly disappointed in myself for failing to conquer that wall but then I stopped . . . I looked down at myself and realised just how much I had accomplished.  I made it to the finish line.  I didn't give up.  I gave each obstacle my all and I was proud.

I finished the race!  As a team, the four of us finished our races.  As a team we are already planning to do this once again next year.  Why?  Because it was truly amazing and besides, where else would we get the chance to play in mud up to our waists!!

Jenn

  


SR Targeted Team Banner5 300x250

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Playing Favourites

So two kids = trying to balance the needs of two very different and demanding little tyrants.  

Lately I have been getting the impression that Little Miss seems to think that I favour her brother by saying things like "You always let him (insert whatever the current issue is) . . . ".  While nothing could be further from the truth, I honestly do love them both in ways that I cannot even describe, I can see where she is coming from.

Little Miss has been the more logical of the two, the one that I could reason with more easily, even from an early age.  Her brother is a complete hot mess, dissolving in tears of broken-hearted frustration when things don't go his own way.  In other words, he is completely exhausting.

Standing back, I can see how there are times when I placate him more than I would have her in a similar situation because I am just too damn tired to deal with his drama.  Is this the right approach?  Probably not.  

Perhaps my expectations for her are high, perhaps too high, because she has always been so much easier to reason with.  Perhaps I hold her to these expectations, believing that she should just understand why I try and avoid the dramatic meltdowns of her brother when I am just too tired to cope with it.  I admit that there have been times when how I have coped with it have been less than stellar.

I strongly suspect that this is not fair.  Hell, I am the oldest child and I have a nagging feeling that this is one of those issues that I had as well. I do realise that life is not fair but I certainly don't want Little Miss feeling like I love her brother more.

Now, lest you sit in judgement thinking that I give in to my sons every tantrum that is not the case.  I just know that when he looses control he needs to be comforted rather than scolded. Basically he seems to need help regaining control of his emotions and I think it is my job, at this at this age and stage, to help him with that.  

My kids are amazing, funny, caring, loving,  frustrating individuals.  At times they are so alike it amazes me and other times they could not be more different.  They are individuals and I try to remember that, particularly when I am parenting through the more challenging times.  I guess at this point I need to remember to take a moment and parent them better during the easy times so that they both know how much I love them. For she is my most favourite little girl in the whole wide world and he is my most favourite little boy in the whole wide world.

Jenn

Friday, 15 June 2012

In Real Life

Over the past couple of days I found out that people I know, in real life, have been reading my blog.  Certainly there have been those select few that I have told about this space, a select few who were informed by as of yet unknown sources, and now this new group of work peers know about my little chunk of the net.

I have to admit I wasn't certain how to react to the news that they read my words here, and that they have shared with with others.  Should I be worried that new professional peers are reading these intensely personal stories about myself?  Should I be embarrassed?  Will words here somehow hurt my professionally as they have in the past?

All of these thoughts, worries and doubts flooded my mind.  Perhaps it was a mistake taking the tiny steps towards being more open.  I certainly haven't blogged anonymously but I also have tried to keep this life separate from my IRL life.

There is no mention of this space on my personal facebook page.  I use my husbands name on here whereas I use my maiden name in my professional life.

The colliding of the two worlds happened innocently enough . . . at least this time around.  I made the decision to support a group on twitter, a group that I had helped found and was incredibly proud of, with my personal twitter account  . . . the one linked to this space . . . the one that lead my peers here.

In the matter of seconds that it took me to process the fact that this space was known, it also took my to decide to own it.  This site, these words, the people I have met through here have helped me out of one of the darkest times in my life.  I am not certain that I would have been where I am today without it and so I am owning it. 

I thanked the girls and took pride in the fact that they enjoyed my writing.  It started a conversation and, dare I say it, but I suspect that it won't be too long before these work peers could become friends . . . friends who know me and my story as I have shared it.

Now lest you think I am a totally brave blogger, I am still not linking to my facebook account . . . not ready for that sort of IRL scrutiny yet! 

Jenn
Just Jennifer

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Sound of Noise

Back in the day, before the arrival of my little man, noise didn't seem to phase me.  Certainly Little Miss' tiny cries would break my fragile new mom heart but just general noise didn't affect me.

Today was such a day of contrasts.  It was a beautiful day.  My lunch was spent out in the sun, enjoying the beauty of the park that surrounds me daily.  I was happy.  I was calm. I was grateful for my life.

My mood changed, seemingly on a dime, when I arrived home.  Suddenly the noise of whining, the constant demands for my attention, for me to fulfil an apparently desperate need, overwhelmed me.  It was just too much.  My mood sunk.

Much like that book "Go The F*ck to Sleep" . . . the mantra running through my head is "Please, Just Shut The F*ck Up."

Noise triggers terrible anxiety and anger, particularly when the noise seems to be focused on me.  My ability to cope with the everyday life evaporates and I struggle to maintain my composure  . . . struggle to not beg those around me to just shut up.

Growing up, shut up was considered a swear word and was not permitted . . . . with my desperate need to shout it from the hills on some days just makes me feel horrible . . . a terrible guilt that I am wanting / needing to swear at my kids.

I need to find some way of coping, of not allowing noise to be a trigger because, let's face it, kids are noisy . . . . incredibly noisy!

***

I finally got to a Little Miss soccer game tonight . . . I fear that I am a soccer mom.  I also fear the my daughter is completely harassing the poor coach with her tugging at his shorts, chasing him down to hug him and basically following him around the field.  The poor guy is being unintentionally sexually harassed by a completely innocent 4 year old.

Needless to say, both Brad and I have apologised to the coach and discussed with Little Miss about how coaches do love hugs but they love high-fives even more! 


***

It is now less than two weeks to my race and I am so not ready.  Life, a pulled calf muscle and the kids activities have meant that I have not been training nearly as much as I had hoped to.  Basically now my goal is to avoid as many burpees as possible and just have fun!  I am nervous though . . . very, very nervous.

Jenn

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Friday, 8 June 2012

Life is Beautiful

I gotta say, I am feeling a wee bit feisty . . . a touch snarky . . . . perhaps even slightly cranky with a side of entertainingly sarcastic.  All in all that is fantastic news!

Why is that fantastic?  Well it is simply because this is how I used to be in the before . . . you know before my adorable bladder destroying offspring arrived!  

Slightly off-colour jokes keep popping into my head!  I have a strong desire to lovingly tease the crap out of those closest too me.  All in all I am feeling pretty good and that is an amazing feeling.

Okay, the fact that the capris  I ordered on-line because I hate, HATE, shopping were a bit too tight did make a play at destroying this good mood but I said to myself . . . damn it self , you still have time to fit into them and here's hoping they stretch just a bit and let's face it,  I have been privy to fashion crimes of a much more graphic nature so who the hell cares !

It is beautiful!  The boy has finally pooped!  The girl actually wearing shorts by her own choice!  Life is good!

Jenn

Just Jennifer

Friday, 1 June 2012

Struggling to Play Nice

One of the amazing things that has come out of my battle with PPD is an understanding that judging people is not only a waste of time, it creates a feeling of negativity in me that I neither want nor need.

The parenting choices made by others are not my business.  I am not a better mother because I am currently co-sleeping with my on his way to three year old.  I do not feel like a failure because I allowed my son to wean at 10 months . . . when he indicated that he was done with it.  I do what I right for my family and I hold true to the belief that whatever choices you make are the right ones for your family.

It goes beyond parenting as well.  Ultimately, I am working towards living my life in a positive manner and giving those around me the benefit of the doubt, believing that they are making the right decisions for their life.

What has me currently struggling to hold my tongue is the on-going political nonsense going on . . . particularly down in the United States.  

I do not understand the on-going battle surrounding marriage, defining marriage and defending marriage.  Marriage is, and has been since accounts concerning it have been written, a contract between two people.  Actually, really early accounts generally have it as a contract between a man and as many women as possible but that is not the point I am focusing on.  In the "good ol'days" that contract was generally between a father and a man as the father sold his daughter into a marriage.  It was a business transaction.  That is a traditional marriage.  

Things have soften somewhat, which given that I am a female, I am grateful for.  It became more of a partnership based on mutual feelings of love and respect, a desire to work towards a bright and happy future together.  But that partnership is still a contract and combining of assets.

Yet a portion of the population is being denied the right to enter into this transaction because others don't agree with, understand or are simply disgusted by how they live their lives and who they love.  I don't understand this . . . it honestly baffles me.

How does the marriage between two men or two women who love each other, and are willing to enter into this contract together, affect the lives of those who oppose it?!  It doesn't! However, it does have a profound affect on the couples whose rights are being denied.  

Even if you believe that being gay is a choice . . .  which by the way I don't . . . the issue of gay marriage is one in which a minority group is being denied their rights by the majority.  It is exactly the same issue as interracial marriage, segregated schools, denying women the right to vote and it is one whose time has come to an end.  

Jenn

read to be read at yeahwrite.me