Archives For Self Love

Maybe I’m a Bitch

June 18, 2019 — 1 Comment

My last post was about the ‘Fun Mom’ being dead. I felt ‘negative’ throwing that ‘bad energy’ into the world, but I also felt really great when I wrote all of those very true feelings down and released them.

I very wholeheartedly wrote something like ‘the Fun Mom is dead and that’s okay.’

Let me tell you- killing the Fun Mom and Being Okay with it are Entirely different subjects.

Relationships are Incredibly important to me. Always have been. I like to support my friends through any and all situations, and I like to be someone you can lean on, at all times, for any reason.

My social calendar is often jam packed and I am usually running around to three different areas of town in one day, with social events with two different people, while getting a full day of work in, and somehow still doing the groceries and making dinner for my hubby and I.

Now that I’ve had Sadie, things are Very different.

A drive to Canmore to see old friends in 24-degree weather, with her stuck in a hot, sweaty car seat for a 1.5 hour drive one-way, and logistically figuring out when/where to best time my visit to feed her every 4 hours becomes a lot of hassle. Not to mention time and gas.

Only one of my Canmore friends who I used to be close with comes to see me in Crossfield. My family and I appreciate her efforts very much. Another one of my Canmore friends comes to see me when she can catch a ride with her mom, as she has no vehicle of her own yet. I very much appreciate when she makes her way here as well.

The others- they were there for my gender reveal, my baby shower, my birthday party where they listened to my baby girl’s heartbeat with a stethoscope and we all cooed about what she might look like- they spent Hours at my house near Canmore, eating dinners that I had prepared for them, and then hours on my couch, spilling their guts about their latest relationship or life problem, and I was Incredibly excited for these people to become my child’s Aunty.

She is just over two months old now, and None of those women have come to see me.

I’ve driven to Canmore 4 times in the 8 weeks that Sadie has been alive, to see Sadie’s old family doctor, and to try and maintain those relationships.

I’ve sent out pleading text messages asking ‘what did I do wrong and how can I fix it?’ and received various responses that kind of broke my heart.

And I’ve had to let that go. And it’s hurt.

Being a friend that you could rely on has been really important to me. And I’ve had to bump that value waaaayyy down on my list of priorities. And it’s hurt.

Then there’s my phone.

I used to be on that thing All. The. Time.

Send me a text? Boom-response. Send me something funny on Messenger? Boom- response. Send me something interesting on Insta? Boom- response.

I went to the Rural Women in Business conference a few weeks ago and one of the presenters had us do an exercise where you really quickly wrote down 3-5 things you value the most, and then 3-5 things you like doing that make you happy, and then 3-5 things you find yourself doing the most during your day, and then told us to jot down a really quick Coles notes version of what our typical daily schedule looks like.

Then she got us to go back and look at the things we valued, and to compare that list with what we normally fill our days with.

I was Floored.

I love going on 5K runs. I love going on dog and stroller walks with Ryan. I love sitting in my greenhouse snuggling my baby. I love sitting on my lawn chair by myself, lapping up the sun. I love listening to music and singing while I drive. I love writing blog posts.

When I looked at my daily schedule- NONE of these things were there.

I was on the phone calling people every time I drove, not listening to music and/or enjoying the silence of a nice highway drive.

I was driving to other people’s houses and sitting in their backyards, but not enjoying my own.

When I was in the greenhouse, snuggling my baby, I was busy one-handed texting back to my friends who had written me earlier.

My dog was getting crappy 15-minute walks around the neighborhood so that I could zoom back and forth in my car and visit people and attend various appointments.

I ran a 5K once at 6 weeks, and felt Amazing about it for the next 4 days, and then didn’t build running into my daily schedule because there was already too much in there.

And then we bought a truck and a trailer to go camping and ‘relax’ on the weekends, and we go camping with lots of other people and other dogs, and our dog hates other dogs so I have to manage and contain her behavior, as well as the feeding requirements of my 4-hour feeding baby, as well as her not being able to be out in direct sunlight or get too cold or get too many mosquito bites- and so I find myself retreating inside the trailer to snuggle the baby and be with the dog, while Ryan and our friends drink by the fire.

And then I feel like a ‘loser’.

And I look at my dwindling friendships and I feel like a ‘failure’.

And I want to ask or tell people things like ‘can you come to my house- I can no longer come to yours’, or ‘I don’t want to phone you on my drive to the South today- I want to sing to my music on the highway instead’, or ‘please stop texting me 11 times a day- I do not have the time to respond to you and seeing 19 text notifications on my phone gives me anxiety’- but then I fear sounding like a ‘bitch’.

My mom is at my house right now.

She arrived a week ago and is staying until July 20th and I am SO glad to have her here.

Since getting here, she’s done approximately 1100 loads of laundry, and 1300 loads of dishes because our dishwasher shit the bed last week while Ryan was away on business. She’s made me meals and bottle-fed my baby and mowed my lawn and baked Ryan a Father’s Day angel food cake from scratch.

She stayed at home this weekend to be with the dog while we went camping, and she stayed with Sadie this morning at home so that I could do my first of what I hope to be daily 5K runs, and I am INCREDIBLY grateful for all those things.

But today we had to zip out to Superstore to get birthday prezzies for my niece and nephew- a to-do list item from last week that I had failed at. I had a dinner date scheduled at 5 pm tonight with my very bestest friend so that I could take her to dinner and celebrate her accomplishment of finishing her first year of her Master’s in Social Work, while she was working full-time, running a household and raising two children under 10 (Hero!).

So Mom, Sadie and I went to Superstore today at 2:30, and did what I had to do, and left. As we were walking back to the car, Mom said, ‘where are we going next?’ and I said ‘Home.’ And she said ‘but it’s only 3:40, we have lots of time.’ And I said ‘Mom, I told you, I’m picking Tina up from her work at 5, and I live in Crossfield. We just have enough time to get these things home and Sadie out of the car seat before I have to get right back in the car and drive to Calgary.’ And she pouted and said, ‘well that’s not very fun.’

So I laughed it off and consoled her that we’ll have more ‘fun’ tomorrow.

Tonight, at 9:40, after a very long day that started with a 5 am bottle feed, then a 5K run, then a trip to Airdrie to fetch family things, then a drive to Calgary and dinner with a great friend, I drove home to Crossfield, walked in and told Mom before bed that Sadie’s vaccinations were tomorrow in Airdrie at 1:20 pm.

And she looked at me and said ‘well that’s not very fun. You promised me fun tomorrow and vaccinations aren’t very fun.’

And I effin lost it. I grabbed my baby off my husband’s chest and stormed off to our bedroom, where I raged about everything for about half an hour before I felt any better.

At the end of my rant, he said ‘sounds like a blog post’, so here I am.

I used to be a great friend. Now I’m not.

I used to be on my phone all the time. Now I’m not.

I used to be hyper social. Now I’m not.

I used to be fun. Now I’m not.

Let the chips fall where they may. I am DONE with pleasing others first, and that HAS to be okay.

If I lose even more friendships because of it, so be it.

If saying all this makes me a ‘bitch’, maybe I’m a bitch.

XO, Em

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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.

Family came 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.

And trying to be nice. And friendly. And polite.

To everyone that came through my door.

With throbbing 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.

Between 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 sleep.

So I 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.

My reasons 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.

That day 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.

It sucks, 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.

So my 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.

And I failed.

Four days 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.

A fight 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.

The fight 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.’

And within 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.

And 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 born?

Why am I trying to hard to be the Cool Mom and to please Everyone Else??

So I’m done.

The Cool 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.

I’m going 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.

XO, Em