Crash Test Mommy

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I don’t know how it happens.  It’s like I go from 0 to 60 in a matter of moments.  Everything is going fine, I’m handling the day with O.  I should say, enjoying the day with O.  Ok, I didn’t sleep great the past couple of nights, but I’m tough.  Then I navigate family stuff  i.e. dysfunction,  over the phone while I’m trying to get some exercise by taking a walk.  Then, I make baby food while I figure out what we will have for dinner.  Then I field emails and calls to make our crazy (at the moment) life actually function. Add laundry, keeping our house show ready for prospective buyers,  throw in a trip to the post office,  a stop at the grocery store and a diaper run for fun.  Then O decides not to take a nap, but rather stand in his crib crying until Mommy comes in to save him.  And every whine and whimper sends my head spinning further and further into a place I don’t know how to return from sometimes.

By the time my husband gets home,  I’m feeding the overtired wonder boy in his high chair, while he wears some of his meal, as he has now taken to swatting the spoon away and then crying because there is no food in his mouth.  Of course, I have a large glass of wine beside me.    I swear, O will be a toddler able to open a bottle of wine like a professional sommelier and make a killer dirty martini to rival Dean Martin.  He’s seen it done enough.  I look like I’ve been through a prison camp.  A camp where they dress you in yoga pants and make you wear your hair in a ponytail everyday.  My husband asks me if I’m ok? He is truly concerned.  He takes over feeding our child.  And all I feel is guilt.  Like I have somehow lost the battle of the day.

I then don’t know how to come back? Has that ever happened to any of you? It’s like I don’t know how to wipe the day away  and start over.  The guilt of getting frustrated or of wasting the gift of the day stays with me.  I can’t imagine how my husband could love me.  I’m so so far away from what he signed  up for.  And it seems I can’t handle even the simplest task.  I can’t even keep it together as I write this.  Thankfully, I know this too shall pass and I will recover and become “me” again.    But in the midst of the whirlwind I seem unrecognizable, even to myself.

When I was dealing with postpartum  baby blues, I’d often have the “drive away”  fantasy.  I didn’t  know how many women had this fantasy until I started reading other women’s blogs.  I’d see myself getting into my Kia and just driving away.  To nowhere.  Just to breathe.  Just to feel the wind on my face.  I didn’t know how far I’d go… I always planned on coming back, but in my mind it was the perfect escape.  Now my escape fantasy involves a bath and a nice hotel room.  I fantasize about sleep like it is some elusive unattainable thing.  When I start fantasizing more frequently, I know I am approaching my breaking point.  I am getting close to crashing into the wall.

I am not a super woman.  I am just a woman.  I’m trying.  Everyday I try.  That counts, right? My number one concern is that I do right by O.  That I give him everything I can, everyday.  That I teach him what I know and more, to make him a decent kind loving person.  But inevitably, there are days when you are at the end of your rope, and you wind up teaching him something negative.  A curse word you said out of frustration (it only has to happen once) …or how to make a killer dirty martini.  How can you be the perfect mom at every moment?? If you have the answer, let me know.  Until then, I’ll be putting one foot in front of the other.  Occasionally, I’ll take a step backwards…because I’m only human.

4 comments

  1. naturallymom says:

    Hello!
    The first tip that I have to give you is not to drink during the day .. you don’t know how much alcohol, too little, can depress and decrease your ability to see things clearly and your mood. It is also a bad example. Better a beer or glass of wine at dinner and socially, that will help you relax.
    Then, an important thing is to realize that you’re not an octopus, you can not do everything, is not severe and it is not your fault. So it is. Life with children is the strength test harder to pass, and your husband loves you equally because he sees and knows.
    I remember that you wrote an article on “have everything in life” but you have to analyze well the “do everything” that is much more difficult, but not make you a bad person or a bad mother if you don’t succeed.
    Then it would be the time to bring the baby for a few hours in kindergarten. Not holding it with you that show more love, but living with him above all sober and serene moments.

    Also because often we don’t take into account that children are bored with adults, and if you start to peel away in small age for 2 to 3 hours from you, he will get used soon and will not suffer and he will be happy to see you again, because you’ll be more rested . As I started to take my little boy to kindergarten at the age of 7 months, and I know when I take him to like playing is happy and when I go to take him back he is happy to see me again.
    It is a matter of mental health. You don’t have to deplete your physical and psychological strength, You don’t have to cancel yourself to him, you have to be there for him … happy, fit and rested, to be able to devote quality time.

    You’ll see that if at first it will seem difficult, gradually you will find that will do well at all.
    If you have the opportunity you read something of Maria Montessori. Then let me know.
    A big hug.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your comments and advice. Truly. I am familiar with Maria Montessori, but have not read anything of hers. I have several nieces and nephews who go to Montessori schools so I am a bit familiar with the practice. I will definitely read something of hers for sure. 🙂 thank you.

  2. Mar says:

    Remember the commercial, “Calgon take me away?” Well, I’ve had plenty of days where I’ve said Calgon can’t possibly take me far enough away – I need to head to the airport! Even though my 4 kids are all teenagers, I still have those days occasionally Hang in there, my friend! Love you!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Mar! It’s funny to be starting this journey so much later than most of my friends. 🙂 I guess I have a wealth of good advice and support from those who have gone before me! lol. Thanks!

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