I feel like a lot of my recent blog posts have been negative or somber, and that is totally not the intention of the blog, nor does it accurately reflect how I feel about life 98% of the time.
But that’s the tough part about writing- a writer typically only feels compelled to write something when they are upset, enraged, terrified, saddened, or otherwise all lit up about something.
Another thing about writers is that none of us want to produce anything that could be called a ‘fluff piece’- but this, my friends, is my equivalent of a blog post ‘beach read.’
I just wanted to pop onto my blog page to talk about how Freaking much I LOVE my baby!!!!!
Every morning that I wake up and get to look at her sweet little face, I think ‘Oh My God- you are the cutest little person and I love you SO Much!!!’
And then she looks at me and wrinkles her little nose and sticks out her little pink tongue and squints at me for a bit until she recognizes that I’m her Mum, and then she just lights up from within with a Giant, gummy smile and her little eyes start to dance and my heart explodes all over again.
I thought mothering would be hard.
Everyone says ‘oh, you won’t sleep a wink’ and ‘oh, you’ll have no time for your partner anymore’ and ‘say goodbye to your friends, you’ll never leave the house again’ and all these other terrible adages about parenting- and I just wanna hop on this public forum and say My Lord, is parenting FUN!!!!
I know my days of sleep recessions and teething and toddlerhood are coming- of course there are hard parts. But while I am here, in this place, with a baby not yet three months old, who smiles at me every morning like I am the sun that blazes into her sky and allows her to begin her day-
While I am here, in this place, with a baby not yet three months old, who sleeps in a bassinet beside my bed and gives me a solid 5-7 hours of sleep in between night feeds-
While I am here, in this place, with a baby not yet three months old, who has just learned how to lift her torso up and move her giant bobble head around and blink her bright blues at everything in fresh wonder-
While I am here, in this place, with a baby not yet three months old, who crawls up on my chest, gazes up at me and then falls asleep safely in the comfort of my arms-
While I am here, in this place, just completely devoted to loving on my sweet, sweet baby girl, I want to remember these days. I want to be thankful for them. I want to stay in the same place of wonder that she is.
I cannot believe I have created a human, and that is she mine, and that I am hers, and that we get to love each other as we do. It is the most incredible feeling in the world. I just wanted to say that.
I wanted to
have a baby and still leave the house and still see my friends and still do
everything I did before the baby.
So I did.
I had the
baby. She stayed in NICU for 4 days, then she came home, and the whirlwind began.
to the house to stay and help us out.
Extra people in the house means extra cleaning, extra bed-making, extra sheet-washing, extra food-buying, extra food-making, extra communication and doesn’t allow for a routine to be built as a family; because each new family member that arrived to help arrived with different methods of communication, different areas of helping out (some walked the dog; some did dishes; some loved baby snuggles on the couch), and each week was different.
And that was so great and so wonderful and so nice and we are eternally grateful for the army of family that arrived week after week to help out- but all those extra things are one more extra thing on top of the original thing- which is navigating how to all of a sudden snap your fingers and become someone’s Mom.
So I was
managing all those house guests.
to be nice. And friendly. And polite.
that came through my door.
nerve pain resounding through my clitoris, a newborn baby squawlering on my
hip, and running on three hours of sleep.
I wanted to
please everyone. Be a nice mom. A mom that had it all together, never lost her
temper, was never demanding or bitchy, pleased everyone and had a perfect home.
Also in those
first six weeks were a plethora of necessary appointments.
Sadie and I, we had weekly appointments at: the midwife’s, the obstetrician’s,
the chiropractor’s, Calgary Lab Services for lithium testing, the psychiatrist
for mental health check-in’s, and the family doctor’s. They weren’t all in one
week, but it usually worked out to be about 4 out of home appointments per week-
with a revolving door of guests in my home, throbbing nerve pain resounding through
my clitoris, a newborn baby screaming on my hip, and running on three hours of
bundled the baby and I up and went to all those appointments.
I wanted to
do it all.
I had made
the decision to stay for the first 6 weeks with the family doctor’s clinic that
had supported me throughout my pregnancy. The catch was- they were located in
Canmore, where I had moved from at 34 weeks pregnant, and now the drive to see
the doctor was an hour and 15 minutes away.
for this were twofold- Canmore had been my home, and as such, my core group of
girlfriends that had been with me through all the stages of my pregnancy was
still located out there and if I drove out there, I could pop in and visit them-
and also, I wanted the doctors and nurses who had been so kind to me during
those first 34 weeks to see the fruits of my labor.
So three (or even four times- I can’t remember), I bundled up my very newborn baby and drove an hour and 15 minutes one way to go to Canmore.
One of the
times I was there, I popped into my old workplace and surprised one of my
closest friends with her first Sadie-hug as she had yet to come out to
Crossfield to see us and I thought she might like that.
was a hard day for us; Sadie, Ryan and I were all exhausted, in a rush, sick of
spending all our day stuck in the jeep and rushing around like chickens with
our heads cut off- but I demanded that we stop at my old workplace to give that
friend a nice surprise.
I wanted to
be the cool mom. I wanted to do it all.
The other three or four times I went out to Canmore, I would always visit my old friends at my old workplace, or send out a group message saying ‘Hey, Sadie and I will be in town this Friday- does anyone want to hang out?’. If the answer was no, I tried to invite them for fun events in my new neck of the woods. Boozy Stampede party? Group sleepover at my house after?
I wanted to
be a cool mom. I wanted to be a good friend. I wanted to do it all.
This week- it
all kind of hit me at once.
I had a
friend come over to help me at my house for the week because my husband was away
for work again. Because, oh yes, in the midst of all this- my husband took a
new job wherein which he is pretty much gone for the first 6 weeks of his new
job training, so that’s been fun…
I’m not a
diva- I’m not a princess- I need to make it clear here that I don’t have a
revolving door of people coming to stay with me because I’m demanding or
selfish or incapable of operating as a mother of a newborn-
I have a
revolving door of people coming to stay with me because I have bipolar type 1.
And as someone with bipolar type 1, I have a medically necessary requirement to
sleep at least 5 hours straight for at least every 1 in 3 nights, or for lack of
a better word, I will go psycho and need to be committed to a mental hospital
for 14-30 days.
and it’s embarrassing (even though that’s dumb to feel, because its not like I
asked for bipolar- its just a shitty life card I’ve been dealt)- but it sucks
and it’s embarrassing to need these people in my home as an otherwise capable grownass
woman of 33 years of age. It sucks to have to beg people to come stay with me
so I don’t go crazy.
friend came to stay with me this week and I was trying be nice, and polite, and
perfect, and happy, and not demanding, and not bitchy, and not short-tempered.
into her stay, I yelled at her to move her stuff away from my child’s closet
doors so I could put my child’s laundry away.
ensued; I ran away into my bedroom, shut the door and cried, and my friend left
my home shortly thereafter.
I spent the
whole rest of the day crying intermittently while trying to get shit done, like
clean the house and feed myself and my child.
with my friend made me so upset that I started thinking of some other friends
with whom I had recently fallen out of touch, so I reached out to them by text
and basically said ‘Hey, have I done something wrong? I don’t hear from you
anymore and it makes me sad.’
four hours, the two friends basically wrote back what I feared they might, which
was something along the lines of ‘this relationship is one-sided’ and ‘you’ve
changed, so you’re not worth my time anymore.’
And I bawled
my eyes out.
I had tried
so hard. I drove out to Canmore 3-4 times in the first 7 weeks of my baby’s
life. I had texted. I had tried to make plans. I had tried to maintain those
friendships. I had wanted to do it all, and to do it all well.
Be a Mom.
Be a Cool Mom. Not let it change me. Have a clean home. Have a Perfect home.
Have people over. Entertain them. Feed them delicious meals fresh out of my oven.
Be fun. Be gracious to those who came to stay in my home. Maintain all my old
relationships. Keep my head up.
yesterday was my final straw.
Who am I kidding??? I can barely f*cking meet my Own basic needs on the daily- why am I power cleaning the house and whipping homemade meals out of the oven for guests when all I ate yesterday was a chocolate bar and a bag of corn chips I found stuffed in my couch???
Why am I trying to be gracious to those who enter my home and know that they are here to help me sleep- why can’t I just tell them my life is a mess, I am exhausted and I need them to shut up so I can go the Eff to sleep?
Why am I
driving multiple times over hell’s half acre to try and maintain friendships
with people that haven’t come to see me or my daughter once since my baby was
Why am I trying to hard to be the Cool Mom and to please Everyone Else??
Mom is dead. I did away with her yesterday.
Whoever doesn’t like me now that I’m just a boring old Mom can continue not liking me- and I’m no longer going to shed tears for those losses.
to lean into my loving husband, tuck my child into my armpit and gaze at her
big blue eyes, and hunker down in my beautiful home.
As my Mom always says: “You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Only some people, some of the time.”
I’m going to start trying to live that way, and letting it be okay to not be okay.