Tag Archives: books

Motherhood Vs. Perspective.

Some days are good. Some days are bad. Lately there have been more of one than the other. 

I’ve been seriously considering finding a doctor in the area that can get me a prescription. I stopped taking what my ob/gyn had given me, they were expensive and I felt like they weren’t working at all. There’s been hardly any change since I stopped them several months ago. My husband wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t told him. I need to have a real sit down with a real professional. Not that the ob/gyn wasn’t a pro, but her expertise ends with postpartum, and that’s not what I have. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been doing some reading. I’d like to better myself, my understanding of my little slice of the world. Being a stay at home mom, the struggles of day to day life. I just finished All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior. There were many wonderful things brought to light in the book, but in the current state I’ve been in, the last bit of the book struck me the most. 

I wonder why I’m unhappy, why I find life with one little three year old so challenging. Even normal parents, without personality disorders, face these kinds of dilemmas. All day long, I’m in proximity with my son, and rarely have any actual FUN. Why is that, he’s the light of my life, the reason I live and breathe. But I don’t find being in his company fun? 

Apparently we have two selves. A remembering self, and an experiencing self. The remembering self looks back in fondness on things that the experiencing self found not so entertaining. “Our remembering selves are in fact who we are, even though our experiencing selves do our actual living for us.” Sure, I don’t have a lot of fun being cooped up in the house with a three year old, day in and day out, but that’s not WHO I am. WHO I am, is a mother who looks back on the most mundane tasks, and remembers with fondness how excited he got when he found a toy he’d thought went missing. When he does a task he didn’t think he could do, and jumps up with a big smile and flings himself into my arms for a celebratory embrace. When he sings the alphabet song for the tenth time in a row, I find it grating on my nerves, but look back at it and think “Wow, he’s such a smart little guy, I’m so proud of him.” Our memories make us who we are, and my memories are brimming with proud moments, hugs and kisses, and his big smiles and silly sayings. 

This revelation also concerns me. He’s getting old enough, that I think he’ll maintain some of the memories he has now. If memories are who we are, who will I be in his memories? Will I be the mommy who encouraged him, helped him learn, got into tickle fights and spent lazy afternoons with him on the couch watching Blue’s Clues? Or will I be tyrant mommy, yelling at him for the hundredth time not to do head stands on the couch, telling him in a stronger tone than necessary that chips are’t a dinner, and he has to eat real food. At an age where he’s learning how to push boundaries, the day is full of ‘no,’ ‘get down from there,’ ‘If you don’t do what I say I’ll take your game away.’ Doing a little math, I figured that if the average parent modifies a child’s behavior every three minutes that they’re together, and I spend every minute with him from wake up to bed time, I will correct, yell at or otherwise discipline him two hundred and sixty times a day. 

Are those the memories he’ll hold onto, the ones who decide who I am in his memories that carry over to his adulthood? 

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Live like you were dying. 

That’s what  I’d like to do. Communicating unconditional and eternal love every day. Make the snowy static of the outside world fade away. In my son’s memories, I want to be the mother who loved unconditionally. Who had patience for days and a gentle hand with everything. Behind closed doors, I might be falling to pieces, collecting myself so I don’t punch a wall or worse. But when he’s looking, when he’s creating memories, I want to be the WHO I’m supposed to be, the best mother I can be in his eyes. I want to make memories worth keeping. I want the experiencing self and the remembering self to find a happy place in the middle, where they can both be happy in the respective nows. 

It’s a lovely thought. And a really great goal. But I know, as soon as my kid comes in my room at seven in the morning and the day starts like all other days, and drags on like all other days, I’ll lose some of this willpower. I do believe, that medication would help. The right medication, from the right doctor. Maybe, it will help me keep some of this new found perspective. 

 

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Motherhood Vs. Understanding

I doubt anyone noticed, but it’s been a long, LONG time since I wrote anything. I go through phases, where things are going good, I don’t feel the need to vent. Sometimes things get busy, I don’t have a lot of time to sit at the computer. Sometimes I go through highs, where all I want to do is work, work, work. I make things, I clean, I decorate, I don’t sit at the computer. Then there are times where the anxiety builds, I want to vent. I’m in a low, where my productivity is down, I sit at the computer. A lot. 

This is one of those times. 

Being as sedentary as I have been the last week or two, I’ve decided to pick up some books. When I’m in a low I like to read. I can move as little as possible and still feel like I’m accomplishing something. When I read fiction, I feel like I’m escaping my own life, and I love that. When I read non fiction, I’m educating and bettering myself. I like that too. The two books I purchased today are non fiction, I’m focusing on bettering myself during this low. Also both books were featured on The Colbert Report, he interviewed the authors and I knew immediately that I wanted to read them. 

I only started this one today, and honestly am only twenty pages in, but I can tell you already that I love it. Just within the first twenty pages I can tell this book is going to address a lot of the challenges I face as a modern day housewife.

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The book starts off spouting statistics of modern day parents compared to those from the seventies. Household dynamics have changed. Both parents work, people are waiting to have kids, waiting for careers or financial stability. It also compares households to those before the second world war. Where children used to have uses in the home as secondary caregivers and uses in the workforce like farming, they no longer serve those purposes. Now there’s more pressure on children to grow up to be valuable members of society, putting pressure on both them and their parents. 

But aside from that, the thing I’ve been thinking about most is this statistic. 
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Every three minutes? Where is this magical land and how can I get a ticket? 

Maybe my son is just chatty? Every three minutes sounds like a vacation, and I’ve only got one kid! I am a stay at home mom, so I do hear it ALL day and not just the hours that I’m not working or sleeping. But my son is always talking to me. Asking me questions he already knows the answers to, telling me he wants this or that. Saying “Watch this!” which is NEVER good. That means he’s about to do something dangerous and stupid. I’m fine with him talking, I love that he’s so smart, but if you don”t respond, if you take more than two seconds to respond, he repeats. And repeats. And repeats. And repeats. Louder and louder, then finally he’s in your face. Tugging on your arm. Every three minutes? I don’t think so, it’s constant. 

I’m torn. I feel blessed that my son seems to be very smart for his age. He just turned three about four months ago, he knows the whole alphabet in uppercase and lowercase, he can sing the song, and he’s starting to draw the letters. He knows most of the numbers from zero to thirty by sight, but doesn’t count them straight through yet. His hand eye coordination is good, his memory is amazing, he can sing in tune better than most adults I know, he talks at a much older level than he is. Overall I’m very proud. I have nothing to compare him to, but I think for a three year old he’s kind of amazing. 

But I would LOVE it, if he were quiet for three minutes at a time lol. 

My husband and I were talking just the other day about the family dynamic. Much as the book discussed, families used to serve a purpose. Have lots of kids, put them to work on the farm, have them help raise the younger kids. I imagine the family from 19 Kids and Counting has more parents than siblings. The older girls and boys raise the younger ones probably more than mom does. I came from a small family, it was just my parents, my brother and I. My mom worked, sometimes two jobs, and went back to school, twice. While my brother and I were both probably under thirteen years old. 

So the whole concept of stay at home mom turned out to be a little weird to me. I was kinda thrust into the situation. We made the decision to have a child, but the decision to leave my job was made for me. I was sick all through the pregnancy, with dehydration and all that jazz, think Kate Middleton’s pregnancy. I missed so many days of work that they let me go. Said ‘see ya’ and escorted me out of the store without even asking if I had a ride home. Four months pregnant, without a ride home. Luckily it was summer, and my husband only worked about a mile down the road. So I walked, and contemplated what life would be like without a job. 

I never even considered going back to work. I was always a home body, loved WORK but hated being away from home. We could only afford one car, so transport and finding a sitter would be a pain in the arse. So I was officially dubbed ‘Stay At Home Wife and Mom.’ But it was weird. I didn’t grow up seeing any of these things, I saw a mom who worked her ass off all day, did homework with baggy eyes at the kitchen table all night, and still got up to make us breakfast before school. My mom was an amazing role model. But she wasn’t a stay at home mom, so I never saw the completely different set of challenges that poses to a woman. 

Of course, my challenges are a little different than the average stay at home mom, because of my borderline personality. 

The two books I’ll be reading will help me understand some modern day challenges of modern stay at home moms. All Joy and No Fun will address why I feel so fulfilled, but also so lonely and not very happy. The next book, HomeWard Bound, will address the new revolution of stay at home businesses and independent living lifestyles, such as gardening, canning, making your own items instead of buying from large corporations. 

I just need to find time to read. Because, I have a hyperactive chatty three year old who wants my attention ALL the time.