January 3, 2008

Confessions of Mom Zombie

So I've been meaning to post a welcome 2008 style blog for over a week now and I've been chipping away at this post for a couple of days now. What? You think I write all my posts in one sitting? Ha ha ha. That's a good one. So, anyway, let's see if I can get this rolling. If you don't like reading verbose posts, you might want to skip this one. This is a get this off my chest kind of post.

Well, folks, there ya have it. Another year, 2007 is in the bag as they say. Surprisingly it didn't suck all that bad. I have a thing about odd-numbered years for some reason. I have an irrational dread for them. Despite leaving my full-time job and making the difficult decision to become a SAHM and having to continue on with life-altering changes and constant tough decisions, I think 2007 was an ok year for me. After what I've personally been through in the past 5 years or so, I'm now accustomed to having to adjust to completely life changing events by now. (It's when nothing major happens that I begin to wonder if that's normal.) Maybe it's because 7 is a lucky number. Or maybe it's just because I consider myself to be pretty good at seeing the silver lining in most situations.

I've had all these great things I've been wanting to blog about for so many days now, but do you think I can remember them all now that I've finally taken the opportunity to sit down and write? Hell no. I've been very distracted lately. Plus I've really been wrestling lately about what and when I should blog. It's become this guilty pleasure lately. I try to do it during nap time or late at night when I can't sleep - which is all the time lately. Now that more people may read it from time to time, I feel like I have to self-censor more and more. This started out as being a personal diary type of thing that I could use later to reflect back on certain parts of my life or remember things about Lucian as he grows. I also wanted to use it as an extension of my website so I could post technical reviews that might help other parents.

It would be really nice if my blog and website became really popular and I could make money from ads or something like that. I'm just not sure yet how I feel about it. On one hand, I'm attracted to writing for a public audience but on the other hand, sometimes I just would like to think that everyone who reads my blog are all complete strangers and that no one would get offended by what I write. There are times when I'm tempted to write comments about friends or family members. I want to gripe about things that piss me off and the people who create the chaos. But, I try my best — and sometimes it's harder than others — to operate on the principle that if you don't have something nice to say about someone then don't say anything at all. And, in the end, it's really me who is creating the chaos by letting myself get pissed off in the first place.

Hello, My name is Mother Theresa. Nice to meet you.

I'm sure it's the insomnia playing tricks with my mind. Or maybe it's the fact that my FIL has been living with us for the past couple of months and I'm anxious about Lucian not having his own room. Or maybe it's because the stress of this whole living situation has been causing a lot of strife between Nate and I and it's driving me crazy. Luckily, I think things will improve in the next few weeks when Opa D. moves to the new house and when Lucian can have his own room. I hope. It was cute and all in the beginning when we set up HIS part of OUR bedroom with his crib, changing table and book/nursing nook, but now, well, it's getting old.

The fact that it's Nate's father who happens to be living with us is immaterial. We could have a monk living with us and the same stress would be there. The same problems would be there. Like not being able to set up the baby room I've secretly been wanting to have for so long complete with the rocking chair and teddy bears and blue boy stuff all over. I was so excited to get to decorating it and making it a special place but then Nate's Dad had to move in with us almost in an emergency like situation because he couldn't live on the mountain any longer. In my family, like Nate's family, we just take care of our own. There was no questioning taking him in for a temporary amount of time. I just had no idea how much it would impact us.

I didn't think it would be such a big deal for Lucian to sleep in our room and I've wrestled with the idea of not having him close by to nurse in the middle of the night. But I have to admit, it is really really wearing on me. 18 months of no solid sleep probably isn't very good for a person. There are not many people I can talk to about it because all I get when I do is the accusing comments to the effect of 'well, if I would not still be breastfeeding him, he would probably be sleeping straight through the night.' or 'well, with breastfeeding, it just comes with the territory' so I suppose I have no right to complain. He is slowly weaning but I know the night nursings are the last to go. I am thinking though that if he had his own room, he would eventually learn to go without and learn to get himself back to sleep. The fact that he knows I'm in the room and I will nurse him back to sleep does not help the situation. I have tried to let him cry it out and there have been times when he will go back to sleep, but it's not fair to Nate who needs to get solid sleep so he can go to work in the morning and deal with bratty teenagers all day long. So, I just get him right away and nurse him and it minimizes the amount of time we're all interrupted, but none the less, there is still the interruption and then it's a major struggle for me to go back to sleep if I even managed to fall asleep in the first place.

So, as much as I think I am ready for Lucian to have his own room and feel a little bitter that he can't right now, I still have a hard time comprehending what it will be like to have him sleeping in another room. I guess it's some type of separation anxiety I'm experiencing and I wonder if I'll feel differently with the next child.

Something tells me though that I won't miss sneaking and hiding so we can have sex! It's not as much of a turn on as it used to be when we were young. Ahem. Something about trying not to wake a finally-got-to-sleep toddler is just not much of a turn on. Why am I blogging about my sex life or lack there of? This is the kind of thing I struggle with and feel defensive about.

Well, I blog about it because I can and because I feel like it, so there. My journal, my rules

Lucian got pretty spoiled with all of the family being here catering to his every whim so his schedule is really off kilter and he's displaying behavioral changes that I'm not too crazy about lately. He's been fighting the afternoon nap more and more and it feels like he doesn't want to be my friend any more. I know it's all normal, but no one says I have to like it. I loved having Oma D. here but when she is here, I am chopped liver. It breaks my heart when he runs to everyone else but me to be picked up. I know he loves me and I know it's normal behavior, but I miss the cuddly little baby and when he does show any kind of affection, I'm usually the last one to get it. Like I said, I know it's normal, but I don't have to be happy about it. I can't see how anyone would choose to be happy about no affection from their toddler either but I do my best not to take it personally and just cherish the moments I do get here and there.

I also realize that it's a trick to get you to have another baby and now I understand how the human species perpetuates!

I haven't been sleeping solid. I think I may have already said that. I get a couple of hours here and there in chunks it seems and my timing has been so out of sync with Nate. I feel like he's sleeping when I'm awake and I'm sleeping when he's awake. I feel disconnected from a lot of other things too besides just my new life and identity as a mother.

The house is slowly coming back together to its normal sense of quiet, settling and order. I am slowly becoming more optimistic about actually getting the house a little more organized since the tornado, oops, I mean, the baby came into our house. Paperwork might soon actually get put into the filing cabinet where it belongs instead of a cardboard box — which is an improvement to the loose pile it used to be in on the floor.

It was so great to celebrate our first Christmas in our home since we've been here. And what better way than to fill it up with family. Normally, Nate, Lucian and I are the ones who do all the traveling and it's not a matter of loading up the car and driving 20 minutes to Grandma's house over the hills and through the woods. No, it's been loading up the car and driving for 5 hours up to Flagstaff at 7,000 feet. Or it's been packing up suitcases and fighting the holiday travel crowd to fly all the way out to Pennsylvania. We've traveled with a sick 6-month old now, we can do just about anything right? I don't mind the traveling. I actually like it in a way but it really wipes you out when you add a kid into the mix. Lucian is such a great kid but even the best of kids hate being strapped into a car seat for many hours at a time. I don't blame him one bit for being grumpy but it doesn't make things any easier when we can do nothing to console him while driving.

This year it was a real treat to have everyone come to us. It was also stressful though and I'm sure I don't need to go into details about when you have a large number of people sharing a small space together how it can work on everyone's nerves after a while.

I learned some things about myself though that I kind of knew but wish I had more control over. I guess you could say perhaps it's my way of making note of some things I need to work on for the coming year. I personally think New Year's Resolutions are a load of crap. If you can't get your act together during the rest of the year, what makes you think the beginning of a new year is going to change anything for you? But, because there is so much hype, we sometimes can't help ourselves for buying into at least the notion of a clean slate come January 1st — present company included.

Since I've been a SAHM, I'm noticing that I've become really picky about the house, more than normal. I used to be really laid back and relaxed about it. Although, it wasn't really by choice since when you have a baby, your whole world gets turned upside down and inside out. You adopt a new sense of what you now consider "clean." Dishes in the dishwasher that are clean but not put away; that is now considered "clean." Same thing goes for laundry that never makes it out of the basket and into the appropriate drawers. Hell, if I can even remember to switch the wet laundry from the washing machine to the dryer, I'm having a good day. If the clothes make it out of the dryer and into a basket, even better. If the clothes then make their way into drawers, it doesn't even have to be the correct drawers, I feel a sense of achievement and am more motivated to relax a little. If the clothing somehow gets organized AND put into the correct drawers, I allow myself to take a long bubble bath!

Actually, before I moved out here and started this new life with my husband, I was a lot more uptight about how I kept my house. When it was just me in my own space, everything had a certain order and decor and things were fairly consistent. A place for everything and everything in its place. Pillow cases matched sheet sets and home decor had a certain theme. I even used to organize my drawers and closet so that clothing was sorted by plain colors versus patterns, stripes with stripes, solids with solids and everything by season. I think it was just the way I was raised. My parents are fairly tidy (nicer word for picky) as is the rest of my family. Some of them are way over the top, but no one complains about a house being too clean.

Now, the space I live in is no longer just my own, it's now ours. And I don't have one of those marriages where one spouse rules the other exclusively. (Hopefully Mr. Davis won't disagree and if he does, I'll make him see it my way. Ooops. Just kidding Sweetie.) So, when it comes to keeping house, there is a lot of collaboration than needs to happen. I'm not saying it happens all the time, but we do recognize it. There is nothing wrong with the way Nate keeps a space, it's just different than mine and that's ok. Together, we now have a more eclectic style and it is starting to grow on me. It's hard to believe that there used to be a time when I had to see flowers or a floral pattern in every damn corner of my house. The fact that we both come from almost opposite sides of the country also has a lot to do with what seems to feel like a clash in tastes. Had we both lived our prior lives in similar parts of the states, things might be different.

Same goes for the clash when it comes to extended family. It's one thing to grow and adjust your life and patterns with a spouse, but then add several other people and things can get, well, um — interesting. Now combine all of this with the fact that the house, since staying home full time, has become my own little universe and so much change and interruption now creates chaos and turmoil in my disoriented, sleep deprived, emotionally unstable mind.

Since the time I got pregnant with Lucian, I've felt like I've lost a lot of control over aspects of my life and it's been a seriously difficult adjustment for me. I'm practically a type A personality so losing control is just not something I take lightly. It's not like I didn't expect some of it, but there are a lot of things I didn't take into consideration either. Lucian was a very planned baby, that's for sure. (Type A, remember) The fact that we consciously made an effort to conceive him is a daunting concept. As much as I wanted to have a child, I was scared shitless about it all and I knew a lot of these issues I'm dealing with now were going to happen. I waited long enough to know I wasn't quite as naive about it as I would have been had I made these decisions earlier in my life. (Because I was so naive back then! Whoa!)

Overall, having a baby has changed my life for the better. I feel it has made me a better person. There is lots to gain, besides all of the weight. But there is a lot to lose as well, like your identity, your waistline, your mind, your .... um ... uh ... um ... what was it? oh - memory, that's it. I am amazed sometimes at some of the things I can accomplish while running on fumes when it comes to raising a child and working part time. Of course, I wouldn't be able to do half of it without my husband.

When it comes to losing control, I have noticed that I try to compensate by assuming control or regaining control of something else so that the things I have lost control over don't seem as problematic to me. Does that even make any sense? So I've begun to obsess a little at undetermined times about things in the house and lament the fact that I can't waive a magic wand and make it all purty the way I want it when I want it. Then what happens is I have a hard time justifying getting out of the house to have any fun. And you know what they say about all work and no play. It makes me bitchy is what it does.

So, I guess, if there is anything to be said for New Year Resolutions or goals or whatever works for ya, I would have to say that I would like to try to work on relaxing a little bit more and getting out more.

I thought I had so much more to say about all of this but I don't and I need to move on and look for something more positive. Hopefully I won't have too many more posts as down as this.

Happy happy joy joy Happy happy joy joy

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