Category Archives: Confessions
It’s finally quiet. The inconsolable crying that has kept our entire household up for the last two hours has (mostly) died down. Brian is with her, trying to get her to sleep in her crib again.
I just can’t deal with it. What’s worse is how much I hate myself for not being able to deal with it.
I should be trying to sleep. That’s why Brian went in there. He’s trying to give me a break and help out. He knows I’m exhausted and burnt out. But I can’t. I’m wound up.
In the middle of the night like this, I feel the worst. During daylight hours, I mostly have my depression under control or, at least, I don’t let it control me. In the darkness, however, I feel it trying to get out. The thoughts that I can ignore (mostly) when the sun is shining and my daughter is happy and smiling, choose the late nights to come out an play around in my head, upsetting a very fragile balance.
I’m not good enough, they tell me. I’m a bad mother. I’ve done everything wrong so far. I’m a bad wife, for making my husband get up in the middle of the night and sleep on the nursery floor. I’m a bad wife because our house isn’t spotlessly clean. I’m a bad wife, I’m a bad mother, I’m a bad friend, I’m a bad person. It’s what I hear over an over in my head.
My depression tells me to not even bother writing this down. No one cares. No one reads this. I’m not important. My depression points to all the other people who have all these friends rushing to their aid whenever even the slightest thing is bothering them when no one notices me. No one cares, it says.
It’s supposed to get better, right? People say it gets better.
I’m not better.
I’ve said a thousand times, that my perfect job would be a hermit. Turns out, this is an extremely inaccurate statement. For someone who loves being alone as much as I do, I’m really bad at it. Brian had the day off from work today – one of the few national holidays that the university also observes – and, as such, I was given a rare opportunity to do things by myself.
For the most part, I do get to be “alone” even in the presence of the small child. Day-to-day, Lorelei is very independent. She is content to play by herself for big chunks of time while I get things done around the apartment. As long as I’m within five feet of her – or, hell, even within her line of sight – she will happily flip through her favorite books or take blocks in and out (and in and out and in and out) of her storage box. When she doesn’t want to be left alone, she’s good at communicating that to me either with pathetic whimpering or leg grabbing. Even so, I am still a slave to her schedule.
I spent the better part of this morning making my weekly grocery run. On a normal day, I would have to do some intense preparation to avoid potential Lorelei meltdown situations. Grocery lists are mapped out by store, diapers are checked multiple times before departure – in desperate hope for defecation before we leave – and snacks are packed. Today, I spent an hour and hit up three stores. Three. That is almost unheard of when I’m with the baby.
I felt weird. Over the last fourteen months, I have gotten into the habit of narrating everything I’m doing, partly because it’s supposed to help with language development and partly because I could go an entire day without ever opening my mouth otherwise. As I wandered the aisles, I found myself talking (quietly) to myself as I would if Lorelei had been with me. I imagine I looked like a crazy person. What must that group of college students think of me? Was I a frightening picture of what was to come for them? Spoiler Alert: Probably. Despite my usual love of browsing and wandering, I found myself rushing through the process because I really wanted to be back home with my husband and daughter.
Right now*, I’m in the only place where I feel comfortable going solo these days: the local bookstore. I’m ensconced on a comfortable old sofa with an (empty unfortunately – so sad) peppermint hot chocolate. It’s mostly quiet. The owner is chatting with one customer about ghosts and another is browsing the philosophy section near me. There is nothing and no one demanding my attention and I’m enjoying a rare moment of stillness.
I’m looking forward to going home because apparently I’m no longer an alone kind of person.
*This was written around 4 at the bookstore mentioned above when I had no internet access.
“You’re ruining my Christmas!” I declared, stamping my foot a little.
I was standing off to the side of one of Target’s aisles, trying not to get in the way as other shoppers bustled past, carts overflowing with presents and wrapping paper and decorations. My own cart, by comparison, held one roll of the cheap wrapping paper and a couple of small toys. Brian was on the phone and we were deciding what presents to buy Lorelei. I had called him to help me decide which of two possibilities to get her; but, as we were talking, I realized that I wanted to get her both.
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the smell of fresh cut pine trees and baking cookies. I love picking out funky ornaments and putting out the Christmas towels. My favorite part, however, is buying presents. I don’t care about getting presents myself, give me one or not, I’m not going to think anything less of you.
I love making a list of all the people who are important to me that I want to get something special and jot down ideas. I’ll wander into stores I normally never go into. I’ll buy fancy coffee and soup mixes from Harry & David. I’ll spend hours (small exaggeration) sniffing everything in Lush.
This year, however, we decided to only buy presents for the baby and our parents and Brian’s grandmother. If we didn’t limit ourselves, we would end up going overboard and spending more money than we have in our budget. It sucks to be a responsible adult, but it was the sensible thing to do. I think I’m taking it harder than Brian is.
If I can’t get presents for everyone, I at least want to get lots of gifts for Lorelei. It’s almost a given that she’s going to like the boxes and paper more than the gifts themselves, but I need to have my fun.
I don’t take very good care of myself.
It’s not that I don’t care. I do. But, there is always something more important for me to be doing. Or, at least, that’s what I think.
Today, I plucked my eyebrows. For the first time in probably two years and I last got them waxed about a year ago. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. I’m fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to possess eyebrows so pale that they are almost invisible, so my lack of plucking is not very noticeable unless you are right on top of me. But, I had some time this morning and figured I would tackle the forest that was growing on my forehead. OH. EM. GEE. I now remember why it is that I never do them myself. Ow ow ow. Waxing may hurt, but at least it only lasts for a second. This was ten minutes of me wincing in pain.
Of course, after all this, I got to thinking about what I used to do. I used to go to the “spa” at least once a month and splurge on a mani/pedi and a wax. I would go over there after a long shift of death at [redacted] and relax. There is nothing more wonderful than sitting in a massage chair while someone else deals with your nasty, smelly, work in a restaurant, totally fucked up feet. And the sugar scrub. I miss being able to have the time and money for that indulgence.
Today my “pedicure” is noticing that my toe nails have gotten to be more like talons than nails and then clipping them super short so I can go as long as possible before I have to do it again. Gross, I know. And a manicure? Forget about it. If a nail breaks, I pull that one off and go on with my life. Until, that is, three or more nails have broken off and then I trim them. Back in the day, when I played piano and violin, I had to cut my nails every other day (or so it seemed), now I enjoy knowing that is no longer a necessity.
All of this is on the outside. There are certainly other things that I can add to the list of reasons why I don’t take care of myself. 1) I enjoy fast food on a semi-regular basis (although, recently I’ve been better). 2) I get no sleep (not entirely my fault) and 3) I allow myself to get stressed out far too easily.
I’m not really vain. I swear. I enjoy the rare occasion when I look nice, but I’m just as happy to leave the house in sweats and a t-shirt with my hair in a pony tail.
How about you all? Anything that you wish you took better care of?
P.S. Anyone in St Louis want to babysit so I can get a pedicure? It’s sandal season and no one needs to see my gross ass feet.
Last week was long and exhausting. I’m really really really (can you tell I’m REALLY) glad that I got to spend so much time with my friend Rory. She lives all the way in Oregon now which means I never see her. It was fun to hang out with her at Einstein Bros and then have Chinese food and play Guitar Hero with her and Ryan while the baby took a nap. We got to go to the Botanical Gardens (my favorite Wednesday morning activity) and walk among all the blooms. By the way, I was there only a month ago and the difference is astounding, there is so much blooming right now it is incredible.
By the end of the week, however, I was exhausted. I don’t usually make a lot of plans during the days because I get to nap when Lorelei naps when I’m tired. If I got next to no sleep the night before, I don’t have to think about putting on real clothes or taking a real shower. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great week, but I’m glad to be back to normal. Especially after the marathon crying session of Thursday night and Friday morning. I swear, she has been teething for a month now and there hasn’t been a whole lot of progress. Unless you count more screaming as progress. There’s excessive amounts of drool and a big ol’ bump that shows which tooth it is, but still not much improvement. I am ready for these teeth to finally arrive. For the love of G-O-D.
And all this leads me to what I was going to say which is, I don’t have anything particularly exciting to write about. So, today you get my opinion on those touchy subjects of parenthood. For kicks. (Brian calls us granola, in case you were wondering.) I’m not an expert and I am not trying to convince anyone that their way is wrong or that my way is the only way to do things, I just want to get it out there.
- Breastfeeding: Here’s the deal: I get why many mothers chose not to breastfeed. It is a pain in the ass. I spent the first month (or more) with Lorelei attached to my boob twenty-four hours a day (or so it seemed). Don’t get me started on night number two in the hospital which ended with both of us in tears. And breastfeeding in public? Hoo boy. I’m totally not a fan of whipping my boob out in the Target food court (although I have done it) or enduring the weird looks of random strangers as I sit there trying to feed my daughter. I’m glad, however, that I don’t have to deal with bottles all the time and carting around formula whenever I go out somewhere. Do I judge women who bottle feed? No. Sometimes it is the only way to go. If bottle feeding is the only way your child is going to get enough to eat (for whatever reason), far be it for me to tell you that you didn’t try hard enough with the breastfeeding and that somehow formula is going to make your child stupid.
- Diapers: I use cloth diapers. Or more specifically, I use a diaper service. I know that makes me sound all fancy-schmancy uppity, but the longer it’s been the happier I am with this decision. For starters, Lorelei is a pee and poop factory. Everyone says that an infant uses ten diapers a day on average. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! How about 15 or more. Lorelei would need her own landfill for all the diapers she uses. And disposables are freakin’ expensive. We pay $18 bucks a week for diaper service, how much are disposables? For as many as we use? And other than the fact that we occasionally run out and have to do a load of diapers ourselves (the horror! pee diapers!), it has worked out really well so far.
- Co-Sleeping: For the first two months, Lorelei slept in bed with us. I know. We are horrible parents because we slept in the same bed as our daughter. And by slept, I mean she slept while we – or at least I – lay there in fear that I would roll over and crush her. It was that or she could just not sleep at all and spend all night crying. Hmm…I wonder which one most people would choose? One night, I tried putting her in the crib for a nap and she slept just fine, so afterwards it was all crib all the time for her. Except for the rare occasion when she is really cranky and won’t nap unless it’s curled up next to me.
So, there you have it. A few of the many hot topics of parenthood and what I think. I would love to hear your opinions, just keep it civilized.
I like young adult novels. There, I said it. I’m a 27 year old woman who reads young adult. In my defense, however, there is a lot of really good stuff out there right now. (Of course there is also some really really bad stuff out there. *cough*Twilight*cough*. Which I do admit to reading because it’s like crack. You know its bad for you but you just can’t stop yourself).