Settling In

I’ve been fairly busy over the past couple of months as is the case when one as an infant. We’ve done a lot of things like travel to VA for a wedding, visit the library and pool, get a couple of colds (first time she’s been sick), and finally start walking. My plan, as I always state in the beginning of every blog post, was to write at least 2 posts a week, but it just hasn’t happened. I re-start my plan and we’ll see where it takes me.

 

She's bigger than this now, but I'm too lazy to upload the photos from my camera

She’s bigger than this now, but I’m too lazy to upload the photos from my camera

 

We’re officially past the 3 month mark of me quitting my job, but in reality, I was so afraid of completing letting go, I tried, unsuccessfully, to do a couple of things on the side. Once I realized I was going to have to make a choice, I was forced to completely trust in the Universe and my own intuition. I’ve felt called to stay at home with Ellie most of her existence on this earth, but following one’s heart versus listening to one’s head is a scary thing. I’ve always had a side that is very logical, very black and white, very mathematical. I think that’s something that’s helped me be successful in life so I’m very grateful for it. But as every character asset can become a defect when out of balance, my logical side can hold me back from breaking out of my comfort zone. The interesting thing is that when I was drinking heavily, I put myself in scary situations all of the time. I was out there, living on a prayer, so to speak. I had no security, didn’t know what was going to happen from day to day, and didn’t even really have any fear about it. I created so much chaos for myself that it seems as though once getting sober, I made it a point to never live that way again. The last fourteen years have been about creating a safe, secure place for myself, clear of anything that could cause me instability. The fear of not knowing what was going to happen next has been squelched. In a way, that is good, but this year is about finding balance.

 

DSC_0153

 

Now, I am here, finally settling in to this whole motherhood thing and the interesting thought I’ve had so far is that even though it’s what I feel like I should be doing, it’s hard. It’s really hard. I know that I’ve written about it before, but I will continue to say that it’s hard. And for a while, I kind of felt like I was failing at it, that maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be a mom, because it feels super uncomfortable a lot of the time. What I mean by uncomfortable is that she’s fussy a lot, she wants me to hold her a lot, she doesn’t understand that mommy needs to go to the bathroom, she doesn’t understand that I need to make a phone call. I have to be “on” all of the time, and I think that I’m just, kind of a selfish person that can’t be selfish anymore. When she’s happy, it’s the best thing ever, but most of the time, she’s teething, going through a wonder week, going through a growth spurt, has a cold, etc. I think the real problem lies in the fact that I am afraid to ask for help. I HATE asking for help. I was brought up to be self sufficient, and that I am, but while I understand that are women out there in the world that are single mothers and have to do it, I don’t. So ask for help. I’ve realized that I REALLY need some self care and even though I’ve started attending meetings regularly again, I need more. So I talked to my husband about this and said, I need at least 20-30 minutes of yoga a day. Can we make a deal that I can have that? He, of course, said yes. There will be times though, that only one of us can work out, and I need to say, my turn. I need to stand up for what I need because if not, I won’t be able to give Ellie the love, understanding, empathy that she needs from me.

 

Fun at the Matt house

Fun at the Matt house

 

The last thing I’ll say in this rambling post is that I’ve realized the other issue I have right now is that I’m scared of big emotions. And Ellie has some BIG emotions. Actually, I have some BIG emotions. When Ellie has her BIG emotions, my BIG emotions come up. I guess I’ve been really good at managing my life in a way that I don’t have to feel tired, angry, depressed, whatever. After having a baby, I have to deal with tired (a lot), worried, fearful, angry, hungry, depleted, etc. When Ellie sleeps really well, I sometimes check to make sure she’s breathing. I mean, having that underlying fear can take a toll on one’s psyche.

 

The neat thing about all of this is that I know I’m growing as a person, and that God has big plans for me (as He does for everyone). He gave me a baby that challenges my weaknesses and forces me to depend on Him for strength. Every character flaw I have is being challenged with this little baby, and as much as I am supposed to teach her about life, she is teaching me as well. I hope that my message doesn’t sound like I dislike what I’m doing because I definitely do not. I love being a mother and I think when I grow the most is when I’m challenged without the possibility of escape. And so I’m grateful to have this opportunity to look inside of myself, and continue to heal old wounds so that I can a shining light in someone else’s life.

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6 thoughts on “Settling In

  1. Wendy, ALL mothers have these feelings, frustrations, and fears. The fact that you examine these BIG EMOTIONS is part of what makes you such a good mother. The fact that you are now willing to permit yourself some self-care and commit to it also makes and will make you a good mother. Honestly, you (and Ansley, by the way) seem to me to be a very wise old person who happens to be young! If I were your mother, I would be very, very proud of you!!!

  2. Hi Wendi, I don’t think you are a selfish person who cannot be selfish anymore, I think you are a perfectly normal human being who would like to go to the bathroom by herself once in a while, lol! My kids are 9 and 11 now, thank God!!! I had a horrible time as a young mother of 2 babies, my daughter was fine but my son was extremely fussy and whiney and as a toddler he was even worse! I am still traumatized by those years, no kidding. I had the same problem with asking for help and I can tell you why: my parents lived too far away, my mother in law was chronically ill and I could not I imagine that anyone in their right mind would like to look after 2 toddlers!! Especially not my son. It is so hard to talk about this to anyone because as a mother, everyone expects you to be soooooo happy and joyous but truthfully, most of the time it is HARD WORK. Just like you, I experienced the time when they were small as extremely uncomfortable….you are constantly being pushed and shoved, it’s like you don’t exist anymore, I lost 40 pounds the first year of my sons life because I was so exhausted and over worked and I hardly had time to eat. So did I grow and learn? You bet. Did it make me a better person? Yup. Did I let my children feel my anguish? Nope! The thing that saves them is that they are just so darn cute!! Now, 10 years later, being a mom of two big kids is so cool, I love it now. You can actually TALK to them now, reason with them. So, I guess for me it was more of a phase thing, I did not do well with the baby/toddler thing, but I love the time after say age 7. I used to think I was a horrible mother but now I know that’s just not true. I went through it, I survived, I stayed positive, I cried, I was angry…..so Wendi, I so know what you feel like…and it will get better. But just for the record: for me, being the mother of a toddler sucked big time. There, I said it. God, that feels good.

    • Diana, thanks for your honesty! It is super hard and Ellie is a vocal baby. I am starting to understand her a bit more, which helps so maybe as she can vocalize her wants better, and I can actually understand them, it’ll get easier? I don’t know, haha. But I’m grateful to have the support of other mothers like you who aren’t afraid to say, hey, this shit is hard and I don’t always love it!

  3. A lot for you to admit in a blog post. Kudos. As a teenager, I babysat a lot and always thought I would have my own babies but it wasn’t in the cards for me…and that is okay. As I have gotten older, I am awkward around mothers with young kids. I never know what to say…it is such a different life you are leading and I can’t truly understand. I can’t even start to imagine the exhaustion and stress you feel. Thanks for sharing and giving a little glimpse into your life.

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