Working Mom's Blues

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Bring on the Memories September 21, 2010

Filed under: Motherhood,Uncategorized — lifeingreene @ 4:09 pm

my sister is currently in labor with her first child.  She went in for an induction yesterday afternoon and is still laboring it out as far as I know from the sporadic updates from my mom.

just knowing that she’s going through it right this minute is bringing back so many memories for me.  good memories and scary memories and … everything.  she’s in for such a wonderful time and such a crazy, helpless, desperate, heart wrenching, heart warming, beautiful, smelly, exasperating, amazing, life altering time.

I can’t wait to hear how it went for her. I can’t wait to meet my new nephew.  I can’t wait to sit and talk with her the way that only women can when they know. when they’ve been there.

I must run to pick up my little bundle of joy now and daydream about those heady days of new baby love.

 

and I continue to complain September 14, 2010

Filed under: Bitch Moan Complain,General Failings,Motherhood,Uncategorized — lifeingreene @ 3:31 pm

I have so many projects to start/work on/complete around my house and in my life, and I just can’t seem to figure out where to even start and how to find a five minute block to devote to anything. It’s craziness, I tell you. And you know how when you have a bunch on your mind at home and projects that you’re itching to get going on, it’s harder to concentrate at work because you just want to be home doing your thing? I am totally there. I wish I could take a day off to just get some things done but after all the vacations we’ve taken lately, that just isn’t an option. Of coruse I’m not saying I minded going to Hawaii for half of July or hanging out in Northern California all last week…

I’m just …

Well I’m kind of at my wit’s end right now. I afraid I may have lost it a bit last night when Gus woke up around 12:30. We went to bed late due to just lollygagging on our part.  Then Gus started crying at 12:30, and I really didn’t want to bring him in bed because I want to get him to stop nursing at night again (a bad habit we always pick up when we’re away). So we tried checking in on him and letting him cry it out a bit, but he got hysterical and I couldn’t take it and it’s always the same: I get this mix of guilt over letting him cry and hearing him being so distraught and knowing that I can put an end to it in five seconds flat. And frustration because if I give in then he’ll only get worse and cry harder the next time. And desperation because I JUST. NEED. TO. FUCKING. SLEEP.

After an hour of rocking him and trying to put him down calm but awake only to have him start up the banshee shrieks again, and – I’ll admit it – some screaming into the pillow in utter frustration on my part.  And, ok, yelling at Masa who just lies there and doesn’t comfort me or really say anything. Or, worse, says stuff like, “yeah… It’s really hard listening to him crying like that…” that make me want to slap him. What I NEED is for him to hold me and tell me that we’re doing the right thing even though it’s hard and that it’s for the best in the end and all that crap. It’s simple. But you know how it is when it just won’t work if you tell them what to do.

SO ANYWAY. Gus ended up in the bed nursing all damn night being restless, falling asleep literally on my neck etc. etc. and basically being totally disruptive to my sleep (meanwhile Masa doesn’t really have to deal with it, which perhaps explains his lack of true motivation to get the nights worked out) we finally all fell into an exhausted sleep maybe around 4? Not sure. Naturally we woke up close to 7am in a “holy shit it’s late” panic.

This situation is not good for anyone in our family but I’m just at a loss as to what to do to fix it. There are times when I hear his crying and I know that he’ll fall asleep eventually.  He really hasn’t ever put himself to sleep without at least a couple minutes of minor crying.

But then there are times when I can just hear a different edge in it (an edge that feels like being stabbed all over) and I know that it’s useless and cruel to let him keep crying. Times when I come in to check on him and he’s shaking and clinging to me and shrieking and I just can’t bear to leave him there. I can’t stop my arms from picking him up and holding him till he quiets down. Even as, inside, I rage in desperate frustration that I’m just sending us back to square one.   You know how heated the online debates are surrounding sleep training? They’re just as viscious in my own head, I assure you.

I never really understood desperation until I became a mother.  But in these moments I feel such utter hopelessness, and Gus and I cling to each other equally.  Him to make sure I won’t leave him again, and me desperate to make him know how much I love him despite putting us all through this misery. Despite my ineptitude.These are the moments when I start to think I wasn’t cut out to be a mother. That I’m not strong enough. That Gus deserves better. Logically I know that this too will pass and after a couple of nights’ sleep, whenever they may come, I’ll have a clearer perspective. I know that someday I’ll feel like I have it together again. But today is not that day.

 

File Under: Strange Coincidences August 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeingreene @ 4:37 pm

So today is hot here in the Southland.  Some might say finally (and, yeah, I’d be among them).  But even though we’re near 90 degrees, I decided to eat my lunch out at the park nearby my work to get some fresh air and a break from the air conditioning.

I’d just claimed a bench and was opening up my sandwich and my book when a man approached me.  A middle aged guy who, unexpectedly, didn’t seem crazy.  He walked up to my bench and said, hesitantly, “I don’t want to intrude, but I just got news that someone very close to me has died, and I don’t have anyone to talk to… and I was wondering … if… maybe…” so of course, being me, I shoved my book back into my bag and said, “Please. Sit down.”

And he did.  And he told me about his friend who’d passed away after suffering a major stroke a few days ago.  He didn’t break down and cry.  He didn’t seem to have absorbed it all. And I could relate.  I briefly mentioned that I’d also had an unexpected loss recently. That I knew the impossibility of wrapping one’s mind around the finality of it. Of wanting nothing more than to share your reactions with the very person who has left the gaping hole.

I hope that our conversation was cathartic to the man.  In the end he didn’t try to sell me anything and he didn’t try to hit on me.  He seemed like an interesting guy, a normal person who was swept away by the incomprehensible and just… needed someone to talk to.  I’m glad I was there.  My heart hurts to think of him wandering alone with his jumble of thoughts and memories, while not a single person around him recognized that time had stopped ticking the way it once had.

It’s strange to me that we all walk around in these bubbles of our own lives and our own experiences.  Today my bubble brushed up against someone else’s and I doubt either of us will ever forget it.  He called my being there angelic (not in a weird way) and while I wouldn’t go that far, I just… I’m glad I was there.

 

PR? psh. I smoked it. August 21, 2010

Filed under: Running,Uncategorized — lifeingreene @ 10:48 am

For me, the secret to not freaking out before doing something hard is to set my expectations relatively low.  Example, when I ran a half marathon a couple of years ago I kept saying I’d probably finish in about two and a half hours.  The result? My friends and Husband missed me crossing the finish line at 2:04.  Example, when I told myself I’d try med-free labor and if it was too much I’d get an epidural and that was ok… just knowing that it’s possible for plans to change and things to happen, it helps me find the strength to push through a little bit at a time.

So this morning, when I posted that I was sort of kind of possibly  maybe thinking that it would be *nice* if I set a new PR? that’s what I was doing.  So that if I came in at 28 minutes, I would just be glad I crossed the finish line and walked away with a new goal.

But that’s not what happened.  What happened was that I SMASHED my old PR of 26:30-ish by MORE THAN TWO MINUTES! holy crap. I came in at 24:14, which, if you don’t want to do the math (’cause I already did!!) is a sub-8 minute mile pace. 7:48 to be exact. again. holy crap.  Second in my age group and EIGHTH overall!  (ok the placing results deserve the caveat that it was a pretty small race…) but the TIME! THE TIME!!!!  I can brag here since no one ever sees it.  and I can say the following without qualification or reservation:

I. Am. Proud.

Being a mother is hard.  Working outside the home is hard. Being nice to my husband? sometimes that’s hard too.  But somehow, I have managed to do it and also, simultaneously, clock the fastest time of my life in a road race.  And that, my friends, is something to be proud of. And I am.

also? endorphins are a beautiful thing. :)

 

5(crac)k

Filed under: I'm Married to an Angel,Running,Uncategorized — lifeingreene @ 6:49 am

I’m supposed to run a 5k in about an hour and a half. it’s my first real race since having gus and I’m pretty excited about it. I know it’s wrong to try to PR (set a personal record) on a first race back type situation, but I can’t help wanting to try… My current PR is about 26:30 and while rationally I really don’t think I can break that today, deep down I kind of want to.

But I know, from reading a lot about this, from personal experience, that I should really just go out there and run for the feeling of it with no expectations, no hopes.  And truly, there is a big part of me that NEEDS this run.

I’m not going to lie. My patience is being tested right now.  My house is filthy and cluttered.  And I’m biting my tongue raw to keep from mentioning the dirty kitchen I woke up to after my husband, who really is NOT a layabout or anything, said he’d clean it.

blah.

But! I have a race in a little over an hour. My child is eating the french toast I made him.  I have my coffee and my clothes laid out.  And I have a feeling that in two hours I’ll be feeling a LOT better. PR or no.

….probably mostly because I will no longer be walking around barefoot on my gritty floor. yuech!

 

The bad, the bad, and the Ugly August 19, 2010

Filed under: Bitch Moan Complain,General Failings,Uncategorized — lifeingreene @ 4:48 pm

If ever you find yourself wondering if talking about how everything is good will cause all hell to break loose? Rest assured. It does.  Not long ago I was ready to tackle the world, or at least a potentially unemployed spouse… because the road was smooooooth.  Yeah.

So today is Thursday.  Since last week at this time, the potential layoff situation has become more dire (though still no official word), my car has begun overheating, I contracted a UTI, my husband did *not* like the birthday gift I was SO excited about for MONTHS… and absolutely worst of all, eclipsing all of the above, a friend of mine passed away unexpectedly last Friday morning. 

So yeah. This week has been shit.  I’m still in shock that my friend is gone.  He worked in my office and not seeing him every day is … it’s hard.  You know those people who really are larger than life? He was one of them.  And it’s all but impossible to comprehend that his enormous, exuberant, and vital presence is just *gone*.  Just like that.

As for the Hub’s job.  We know nothing at this point other than the fact that the management nixed one of the last attempts at coming close to balancing their budget without layoffs.  They’re running something like $11M in the red… so that’s not good. 

And we were contemplating a new car before this latest misstep by his employer, so it wouldn’t have been a big deal that my old, beat up Honda was overheating on my commute… but now… well I guess I’ll take it in to the shop tomorrow so they can tell us what’s wrong.

On to my being infected *down there*, the antibiotics are generally kicking microbe butt and I no longer have burny pee (hee, sometimes giving tmi is fun!).  But the type of antibiotic I got is the same one that may or may not have caused systemic hives five years ago… so I’m fully expecting to want to rip my skin off in a week or so.  If there’s a post that is even less coherent than usual and just seems to wander off into nothingness? It’s probably because I’m in a benadryl coma.  yay.

Well here’s to next week and the certainty of “this too” passing.  Despite all of the above I truly am so completely fortunate. Things could be far worse, and I know it.

 

Working Mother Guilt Moment #863 August 12, 2010

Filed under: General Failings,Good Times,Motherhood,Uncategorized — lifeingreene @ 10:16 am

 

All I can say is, thank goodness for day care. Without it, our child would be a cretin.  It’s true. Because, you know what?  My kid knows how to sign “please”.  And you know what else? He can also SAY it.  Wonderful right? Amazing even.  And it is! It’s great!  Only… I didn’t teach him.  Masa didn’t teach him.  Still, even that isn’t so bad. I mean, of COURSE he’s going to learn things at day care.  The real kicker is, he can do these things, and we didn’t even know.  Because I’ve never told him, or asked him, or prompted him to say please.  I don’t know, I guess I figured that first they learn how to make their needs known and we’d deal with politeness and manners later.  *sigh*

It IS cute though.  Devastatingly so.  And now that I know about it, I can’t get enough.  He rubs his little chest and smiles and croons: “pweeeeez”.  And I grow faint at the adorability of it all.

Right now, more than ever, is SUCH an amazing moment in his development.  Every. Single. Day. LITERALLY. Everyday. He’s coming home with new things, learning right before our eyes.  Yesterday it was “please”. The day before, he started shaking his head “no” and also wagging his finger at the trash cans, as if telling me they were off limits (which we are constantly reminding him).  The day before that, he started nodding “yes” when we asked him questions.  Last weekend it was signing “all done”. 

I cannot believe how much he’s picking up and how quickly.  It is the most amazing thing I’ve ever witnessed.  It blows me away.  He is SO fun right now.  I love it!

 

 
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