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?
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.