Loving summer living

Summer vacation, stay at home mom for 12 weeks. 

Kids thrive in structure. 

Our structure, which I have written about previously, has recently evolved to allow for Witchlette’s ideas and preferences. 

Monday continues to be Make it Monday and it’s everyone’s favorite day. A day of baking!

Tuesday is still Touring Tuesday, where we go to a local kids museum to which we have memberships. 

Wednesday is went from Wonder Wednesday where we planned, and failed, to go to library story time. We now, per Witchlette’s request, have Watch It Wednesday. The movie theatre has $1 tickets, with parents getting in for free. On weeks when the movie is not worth a dollar, we’ll pop corn at home and watch some Netflix. 

Thursday is Thinking Thursday. We read a book and make a craft related to the book. Thoughtful Thursday, where we give back to the community, is slowly becoming a regular thing. It feels disingenuous only doing it over the summer and is hard to arrange with toddler schedules. 

Friday is still Free Play Friday, which is going to involve park time, in-home playing, and just general unscheduled time. I couldn’t handle day after day of unstructured time, but once a week is good for their development, especially when Witchlette complains she is board. 

I’m greatly looking forward to the summer time with my loves!

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Tonight’s TV

I know a lot of folks don’t like Big Bang Theory for a number of reasons. 

But tonight they did something so right. 

Tonight’s episode was a recap of all the characters’ holiday. Bernadette recently had a baby and they went over how she adjusted to being a new mom. As a comedy, they tried to make light of a tough situation and I think they did a pretty good job. Unlike a lot of other shows that I’ve seen, it wasn’t an immediate walk in the park (though it can be and was with Witchlette) and it was shown to continue over a number of days with seemingly no end in sight until suddenly…it ended. She figured out how to soothe and calm her baby…in an unrealistic comedic way, but that’s to be expected from a silly sitcom. 

The point is, they showed that there is a learning curve and there can be a stumbling block. That many new moms struggle with this huge life change that, much as it is a blessing, could also be a trial. Sheldon even quoted the 80% statistic for baby blues. 

Thank you, BBT, for helping to break the stigma. 

Taking it all in

After going through it twice, I can look back and say yes- I did go through it twice. 

Perhaps it’s because we’re so hypersensitive to this problem that we recognize it more often. Perhaps because it is properly diagnosed, numbers are falsely inflated (like Autism)- the cases are the same, just being recognized. Perhaps they are generally increasing because of social media and the perfect persona that it shared and seems real to everyone on the outside looking in. Perhaps it’s a combination of all three. 

Looking back, I now believe I had postpartum depression with Witchlette just as I did with Witchling. Different, but very similar. 

  
With Witchlette, everything was rainbows and unicorns at my 6 week check up. It wasn’t until I went back to work over a month later that it started. I was going back to a work situation where I was very unhappy. I had a mantra: I’m doing the best I can. A voice in my head answered me in the 3rd person: No, you’re not. 

Sometimes it stopped there. Sometimes it elaborated. 

At the beginning, it was relegated to just work. It evolved slightly to home and mommyhood too. There was a tiff with Hubby on the way home from a NJ trip that first September. We were on the Deleware bridge. I could’ve just drove off the bridge because the whole world would be better without me. But Witchlette was in the backseat and Hubby was sitting next to me. 

And it’s really not that bad. And I’m doing the best I can. 

No, you’re not. 

With Witchling, it was much more immidiate. And it had everything to do with me as a Mama rather than as a worker. 

I was very overwhelmed the last few weeks of my pregnancy, crying in the doctors office that I was so done being pregnant and I hated feeling big but I also didn’t think I could handle it all. He smiled and said you have all your ducks in a row. And you sound like a mom who is ready to go. 

Witchling arrived and it was love and rainbows and unicorns. I’ve written here before about having dark days and bad moments. I’m not good enough, I’m not worth love and time. I’m a piece of shit. 

  
I went for my 6 week checkup and failed the PPD screening. My doctor said I am intune with myself enough that she was confident to release me without a perscription for meds. She also knew I wouldn’t take them because I’m overly devoted to breastfeeding. She said if I stay with the ups and downs, with more ups than downs, she was ok with me doing my own thing- meditation, journaling, hugging. But she said if things got darker and more down than up, I was to come back in and I would be given meds. 

There was a point when Witchling wouldn’t sleep. He was fed, changed, tired. I rocked him to sleep and put him in his bed and he woke up. So I rocked him til he fell asleep and held him a bit longer. He was snoring. I put him down and he started crying again. I picked him up and I thought about shaking. I rocked him to sleep then brought him over to my nursing chair and held him for a good while. He nuzzled into me and gave a sleep moan. I stood and he stirred. I held him standing by his bed. He settled and I laid him down. He slept. I left the room and sobbed. What a piece of shit I am that I thought about shaking my kid. 

Hubby reassured me thoughts are not actions. He is loved and cared for. Frustration happens. 

What was the worst was the thought I had while sitting with him. It was like watching a movie of someone else. Not thoughts, but pictures. 

Walking into our closet and never waking out. Leaving Hubby to clean up the mess and pick up the pieces. 

Wow, what a piece of shit am I that I would do that to my husband? That I would even contemplate leaving my kids?

Then I got greedy. I thought about all of the life that I would miss. 

Damn, what a piece of shit. 

That was the lowest I went. And I went right to Hubby. And we talked for over an hour. And that was it. 

I couldn’t even tell you what day it was that that happened. 

Then one day, the clouds lifted. We were in the car, on the way to dinner on December 24. It was a physical change. A weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was suddenly able to think clearly as my mind was no longer stuck in a fog. 

Things got better gradually with Witchlette and I’d say completely cleared around 6-8 months. Around that point, I started telling Hubby frequently, “I love my life. Thank you for helping me build this awesome life.” 

Things got better instantly with Witchling. At dinner I offered up a toast. “I love my life. Thank you for helping me build this awesome life. Here’s to the fog clearing and me feeling like me again instead of feeling lost.”

My low times, I couldn’t talk to anyone but Hubby about what was in my head. My high points, it felt too ridiculous to talk about. I have drafted this post four times now, taking it all in. Remembering the lows that I worked through and hanging onto the sunshine that I walk in now. I still feel ridiculous writing this, because it seems ridiculous that I would think that way, now that I’m not in that point anymore.

One year ago today, I took a pregnancy test in Target and bought a big sister shirt for Witchlette to tell Hubby Witchling was on his way.

I love my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

  
Here’s some information for anyone who may need it: 

   
 

Reclaiming myself

Over the last few days I made a deeper connection with someone who I just found out is Pagan.

We have had very comfortable conversations about spirituality, our practice, and how things have changed over the course of our experiences.

And I said something that, while very true, is not something I have allowed myself to articulate. It’s not a thought I have allowed myself to think or to feel. It is something that I kept hidden and buried and I have been trying to deny it to myself and the world…until it just flowed out of my mouth.

I am not the same person I was three years ago.

I am not the same person I was before my infertility diagnosis.

There were so many times that I felt worthless and broken.

Then I got pregnant and that worthlessness and broken feeling vanished. I became so focused on being pregnant and getting ready to be a mom…then my daughter was born and I was so focused on being a mom. And I LOVE my role as mom. But I became so focused on her and being a mom that I sort of lost myself.

I have to rebuild myself.

And I have been. Successfully.

But I haven’t been doing so with the recognition that it was needed. Now that I have acknowledged it, I think my rebuilding will be even greater.