Monday, January 4, 2010

Previous Post

It seems my previous post came across as negative which I didn't intend. I was very tired when I wrote it, but not feeling down. I am hoping to redirect a bit.

I am very happy to be a mom and so thankful I get to experience it. It is a role I am very happy in. I also need to figure out how to not lose track of the other things I like to do.

I thought before we had LB that nothing else would compare. I thought that a dead end job would no longer matter. I also thought that I would maintain my hobbies - just add a kid or two to the mix.

What I have learned is that I still want to have that contributing role. I don't think it needs to be a formal, paying job; but I think there needs to be something like it in my life. It also needs to be something I feel is worthwhile not just something I am doing. My job isn't all bad, but it isn't going anywhere and it doesn't have as much flexibility as I like. I am on the fence about what to do about it and am happy to maintain status quo for a bit until I decide.

I have also found that maintaining my hobbies and my relationship with DH isn't as easy as I thought it would be. We co-sleep with LB which is important to me but that means I don't sleep next to Brad - she sleeps between us. I am thinking it is time to move LB to a toddler bed. We will either do that - starting with her bed next to ours - or move to a king size bed and figure both kids (assuming this pregnancy works out) will move out into a shared room in about a year. I am also hoping that LBII will be a better sleeper than LB. This may not be related, but neither Brad nor LB's donor need much sleep. I do. Perhaps she is just programmed to only need 10 -11 hours a day. The girl only sleeps 9.5 hours per night (and naps between 1 and 2 during the day while I am normally working). I need about 8.5 but more if I am waking up to check on her or not sleeping well due to pregnancy hormones and aches.

The other thing is not all my hobbies are as baby / kid friendly as I thought. I used to bike a lot. I thought I would just get a trailer and continue as usual. Then I discovered how much I like to let my mind wander while biking a local bike trail. It is a trail isolated from traffic and very safe to not really pay attention to my surroundings. Unless I have a kid behind me then I am always thinking about her contentment and safety. No more mindless riding. On top of that, she would get bored about 1/2 to where ever I thought I was going and wasn't too keen on getting back in the trailer with only a 30 minute or hour break. I am crossing my fingers LB and LBII might keep each other entertained a bit. I will keep trying.

Another thing I used to enjoy a lot was baking bread. I stopped in the last few years because wheat wasn't supposed to be good for TTC if you followed Traditional Chinese Medicine. Since LB I haven't been in a position to easily have sticky fingers for 30 minutes at time. The vast majority of the time she naps while I am working and if she isn't napping, she doesn't normally entertain herself for that long - although this is changing. Well, thanks to my wonderful DH I now have a shiny red Kitchen Aid. I have wanted one for over 12 years but thought I would get one when we got a bigger house. We have made accommodations and made some space for Lady Red (or whatever I end up calling her) and I am baking again. I miss the kneading part, but if time or LB allows, I finish up the kneading by hand and there is always the shaping and baking.

So it is an adjustment and I am still learning to set boundaries that protect my own happiness while maximizing my commitment to being a good mom. And by 'good mom' I don't mean someone who has to respond to every little whim of her toddler. It is just something I need practice. I believe when she seems heartbroken because I won't nurse her she is heartbroken not just manipulative. But heartbreak happens and I refuse to be a giving tree.

I am confident I will figure it out and continue to enjoy the time as it is. I am actually pretty proud of how much I am appreciating and enjoy toddlerhood even though I am quite tired many days and somewhat tired the rest. I would be very surprised if I looked back on this time with any regrets. Although I don't know I would have made the decision to parent had I known what it would take to get there (and been able to turn off that innate desire to parent), I wouldn't give it up for anything now that I am here.


Lisa DG said...

I appreciate your honesty, even when it isn't pretty. Isn't that the purpose of a blog- to be your online journal where you can share feelings that need to be expressed? Please don't ever feel as though you have to explain yourself to us. We're here for the ride.

I have to say, I am a wee bit more nervous now to see what's in store for me in the coming months- I'm excited and scared.

Tracy said...

I just baked my first bread yesterday! :) Thankfully, Scott was home to cover the babies, because yes, it was a messy process. I'm looking forward to making more.

And I agree with Lisa...but always appreciate hearing about what you're experiencing. You aren't alone.

Jill said...

you definitely aren't alone in your struggle to figure out where "you" are.. It's tough and I have no answers at all.

Sara said...

I think this is a great post, and that it does a great job of capturing what it is like to be the mother of a toddler. I'm the same way in terms of believing that the face of heartbreak generally signals actual heartbreak, and struggle with many of the same issues.

We moved Eggbert out of our bed about six months ago, but she's still in our room (and will be until she's six, the way things are going). I can't say that having her out of the bed helped us to totally recapture the magic, but it was a good step in the right direction, anyway.

We also weaned at age two years (Eggbert's choice--one day she suddenly said "don't like it," and that was that). That really did help, although I do miss it.

I still struggle to find time and space to do yoga (Eggbert literally jumps on my belly when I am trying to focus on lying-down poses), and biking has gone out of the window for me too. Sigh.

Leah and Maya said...

rather she is in your room in or in another room the point is you put her to sleep at her bedtime or nap time and then you can go about your day with time to yourself, I love it! adnI must say now that there is no nap during the day she is asleep at 7pm but I don't get the same mid day me time. I would like to try baking some bread for some reason I havne't done it (other then in the bread machine and thats not the same).

msfitzita said...

Thank you - you have no idea how helpful your comment on my blog was, or how much I appreciate it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Me said...

I didn't find your last post depressing. I thought you sounded tired. But I'm not sure how else you could be as someone who is both pregnant and parenting a toddler. My sister's kids are a little farther apart than yours will be and I *remember* how tired she was every day. And (don't take this the wrong way) she was more than 20 years younger than you!

I just want to say that your posts make me feel like maybe I'll be able to figure things out if I am lucky enough to have kids. I've always wondered how I will manage to find time for work, time for myself, time for my husband, time to keep the house and yard and bills - all on top of taking care of (a) child(ren). No matter how I try to twist it this way and that in my head, I just can't figure out how I will make it work. But for some reason your posts make me feel better - like even if I can't find a perfect balance I'll figure out something that works reasonable well after a time. Which I guess makes sense because life is generally a "figuring out" process. But most people just whine and bitch about the hardship or ignore it all together. I like the candid way you talk about "figuring it out" - that makes it real that it's a process that, with practice, can eventually be figured out. :)

musicmakermomma said...

Wow, you have so much on your plate! I would be moving LB out NOW (before LBII shows up) or else I'd wait, I've heard that can be quite tramatic for sibs. I expect adding another child to the bed would also be tramatic, so you might as well move her on out! (of course I'm kidding, but now might be a good time - get her a princess bed) We never had D in the bed with us, so I'm a terrible person to be giving ANY advice on this subject! Good luck.

Can you get a rear view mirror for the bike? D used to fall asleep in the trailer, but I found the little seat on the back was way more stimulating for him and me, he could touch me and put his head on my back. We started using that at about 18 months.

I am so bummed about the Stuff you might have had for me. I just ordered the Stuff and it is non-returnable! AND, of course, our deductable is the highest of the universe, and it resets in January. WHY couldn't they have ordered everything in December (except that one thing that expires in two weeks...I don't think that is even expensive!!!) Don't get me started. But it's all ordered and I'm shooting up daily, so hopefully I will join you in your blissful state before you leave it!

Lorraine said...

Those toddler years almost did me in, really. THere were such great moments, especially in terms of language development, but so much repetition and drudgery, too.

It does get better, though. Although, I have to say that my daughter still likes to snuggle in our bed in the morning for about a half hour sometimes, mostly weekends. We put her in her own bed at about two, and she used to come stomping into our room in the middle of the night and demand to get in with us. We were too tired to say no, but at least she got in on my side and my husband and I could still cozy up together.

It sounds like you have such a sweet relationship with LB, I hope you get more highs and that the lows aren't too bad...