Thursday, July 11, 2013

Have I become "that" Mom?

It's been a whirlwind couple of days.  I've been incredibly angry at, well, everything and everyone. 

Back up about 4 years ago.

The birth of my daughter brought about my first experience with post-partum depression or PPD.  It was mild, as if you can call any depression mild. But it wasn't something that I could definitely say was PPD until a year and a half later when I had my son.  Full on PPD.  And not the, I can't eat anything and don't want to get out of bed kind.  No, this was anger.  Lots and lots of anger.  Perhaps it's my Italian-Irish roots but when I get angry, heaven help whatever inanimate object is around me.  So, I was diagnosed, went to therapy, went on medication and, ultimately, came out of my funk.  I survived.  I pushed away the guilt of having not bonded as well as I could with my son.  I moved on.

But this was a bad week.  I haven't had this bad of a week in a very long time.  And it makes me wonder if I need help again.  Should I have not gotten off the anti-depressant? Am I really depressed or am I just angry?  Maybe I'm just an angry person and that's part of my personality.  I'm not sure. 

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

I often think I'm going through the stages of grieving and I got stuck in the anger phase.  Grieving what exactly?  My loss of life after I had children.  Sounds incredibly selfish when you write it out, doesn't it?  But I was a successful working woman who was able to spend her time the way I wanted and could take vacations when I wanted or sleep in when I wanted.  And I, I, I, I...  Now, it's never about me.  It's about  my children.  But you made that choice.  Yes, I did.  I guess I just didn't realize how hard it would be to give up the career and any and all time for myself.  Shouldn't you have thought of that before you had children? I'm sure I did.  And I had this Polyanna existence mapped out in my head which never came to be.  I'm not living the euphoric life as a Mom I thought I should be and I gave up what I was happy with so where does that leave me?

Angry.  Very, very angry.

So much so that I received an email from a "friend" calling me on my raw emotions and how I'm interacting with my children.  I know I haven't been the best Mom and she called me on it--telling me that I should get help.  I appreciate it, I do.  It was a good wake up call.  But I guess I just got annoyed that after she told me all this, she said she's going to back off for a bit because that's her way to deal.  Really?  So you tell someone that you can see they're hurting, that they need help and then say I'll see you later?  Just disappointing.  I've been so open with my PPD in the hopes that if someone saw me going down that path again, they'd call me on it. Which she did.  But I guess I just assumed that with that, there'd be some sort of life raft to go with it.  Not just, well, I see you're having a hard time and I'm going to tell you about it but now I expect you to keep doing what you're doing with no additional help just extra shame and embarrassment.  I guess I shouldn't expect more.  This is how she can deal with my problem.  I shouldn't blame her for it.  I guess I'm just disappointed that I don't have as good a friend in her as I thought. 

So, where does that leave me?  Getting through the next couple of days without yelling, spanking, or breaking anything. 

Yesterday was abysmal.
Today was successful.
Tomorrow is hopeful.

Monday, June 17, 2013

What happened?

My goal was to write a post a day.  Really?  What happened?  I'd like to say life but it really is just me needing to make me a priority.  I need to write.  I'm not saying I'm good at it but I need to be able to release some of the feelings on "paper" so that they don't erupt in other areas. 

So, where was I?

A little fierce.  Right.

As I sit here listening to my 2.5 year old cry, "Mommy" because my 4 year old did something insignificant as take away the dump truck, that fierceness for life drains out of me.  I just negotiated the settlement though so peace envelopes us all, for at least the next 5 minutes.

So, I need to start writing more so that I don't wind up taking certain emotions out on my children.  Resentment comes to mind a lot.  Oh don't get me wrong, I love and adore my children and would do anything for them.  I feel fortunate that I can stay at home with them as my Mom did with me.  But,  I do resent them on some level though.  I think all Mom's do on some level.  It's not a bad thing, I think it's just a human thing. 

I resent them that I don't have my freedom that I once had. 
I resent them because I gave up working for them. 
I resent them because I haven't been on a vacation with just my husband in over 5 years. 

So with them, I become a little fierce.  And not in a good way fierce.  So, I need to channel that more.  And so I write.

I had been told for years that I would be this amazing mother.  That I have this natural ability with kids.  I've come to realize that I do seem to be great...with other people's children.  With mine, I'm not that great.  Sure, we're our own worst critic and to everyone else, I'm still doing a bang up job.  But there is definitely room for major improvement. 

I yell too much.

Because no one listens until I yell.  It's a vicious circle.  They don't listen. I yell. They listen.  But had I not started yelling and had some patience would they respond to something other than yelling?  I get tired of repeating, repeating, repeating, repeating, repeating myself.

Annoying, isn't it? 

Doing that a gazillion times a day over the same things day in and day out can wear on a person.  And so I yell.  Because then things get done.  But I need to stop.  It's not healthy for anyone.  But will they listen?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shakespeare said that.

My daughter received a shirt that says, "And thou she be but little, she is fierce."  From Shakespeare.  A Midsummer Night's Dream to be exact.  I remember reading that back in high school and thinking it applied to me.  I've been 5'1" since I was 13 so I think I qualify.  But where has that fierceness gone?  Two small children and turning 40 in a couple of months and I'm not sure I'm fierce anymore.  But I'm trying.  I guess that's the best I can do.  Most days I've overwhelmed and angry or annoyed or frustrated or sleep deprived or...  On my best days, I am the mother that I want to be every day.  I am kind, loving, I do not scream at my children so that they will actually listen to me, I am the Mom that people say, "Wow, look at her, she's got her shit together."  But, like the big moon that's coming in August, it's a rarity.  Most days I'm screaming at my kids so much that I wonder how my neighbors still talk to me.  Sure, they're 18 months apart and are 2.5 and 4 but shouldn't I, as an almost 40 year old, have more patience?  I have been told over the years that I am a very patient person.  Where did that patient person go?  Is she hiding with the fierce woman that I used to be or is she cowering in the corner because she just got yelled at by her mother?  So, I'm trying to channel my energy into other things.  Things that are good for my soul.  Things that make me happy, and patient, and hopefully, fierce.