somemother

part forum. part confession. part celebration.

9. I’m Afraid We’ve Ruined Her Already June 25, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 10:11 pm
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

I am 32 years old.

I am married.

I have 1 child.  She is 3 months old.

I usually work part-time, when I’m not on maternity leave.

I am lower-middle.

I live rural, but grew up urban.

I own.

I completed an undergrad degree.

I am straight.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background:  I’m about as Canadian as you can get.

NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU

  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing.It would have to be the impact my grandma had on my life.  There were plenty of ups and downs, but she was constant.  She was a strong woman who set an example of strong faith and strong love.  And she gave the best hugs of anyone I’ve ever known.
  2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. Take the time you need to heal after labour and delivery.  Everyone can meet the baby later, she’s not going anywhere!  Take as much help as you can get, spend as much time as you can in bed with your baby, and rest rest rest!
  3. Something that concerns me about my child. She sleeps a lot during the day… I know, I’m sure there are plenty of moms who WISH their baby would sleep a lot during the day, but every time she takes a nap I envision another hour in the middle of the night that I’ll be dealing with a fussy baby (which actually seldom happens).  Though I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with her if she was awake all day and I’d probably just start worrying about that.
  4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far).  The days I’m too tired and don’t feel like mothering.  I really don’t want to be that kind of mom.
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers.  The apparent lack of empathy.  For some reason “empathy” in mommyland seems to be expressed as “let me tell you how much worse my life is and why you have no reason to complain.  Baby isn’t sleeping well?  Well you’re lucky he sleeps at all, MY baby didn’t sleep a wink for the first 13 years of his life”.  It’s like it’s a mommy version of our parents’ “when I was your age, I had to walk to school barefoot, uphill, both ways, in the snow, with my seven brothers and sisters on my back…”.  Since we’ve all been through hard mommy days, let’s just say “ooh, that’s hard.  Don’t worry, it’ll pass” instead of trying to out-do each other’s war stories, ok?
  6. I am happiest when.  We’ve all had enough sleep.  Oh how happiness reigns in this house after a good night’s sleep!
  7. I am saddest when.  I think of the people she won’t meet and won’t get to have the impact on her that they had on me.
  8. My biggest fear.  I’m afraid we’ve ruined her already.  We had a rocky start and I’m afraid she’ll grow up insecure and timid because of the instability of her first few months.
  9. I am ashamed of.  My selfishness.  Aren’t mothers supposed to be naturally selfless and sacrificial?  Sometimes I’d still rather watch TV than interact with my beautiful daughter.  It’s awful.
  10. Something I need to forgive.  Myself and my husband, in advance, for not being the perfect parents I wish we could be.
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone.  I need help.  Lots of it.  Every day.  But I don’t know how to ask for it.
  12. Something I have never told anyone.  I always wanted to have kids.  I just said I didn’t because I didn’t want to get my hopes up or have people feel sorry for me if it didn’t happen.
  13. Something I am trying to change about myself.  I’m trying to learn to ask for help.  I’m trying to let go of my fears about ruining her and just focus on loving her instead.  I’m trying to go easier on my husband since I know he just seems more irritating because I’m so tired.
  14. My biggest accomplishment.  As cheesy and new-mothery as it sounds, my biggest accomplishment is having my daughter.  Three months ago, I would have said graduating college or my career or something like that, but seriously, pushing that kid out is by far the biggest, baddest thing I’ve ever done!
  15. I wish.  Our families were closer.  Or even just one family member.  Or just a nice group of mommy friends nearby… I wish for company.
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting.  Hugs heal.
  17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting.  It’s never too late to start getting it right.
  18. How I would describe my faith life.  It’s an anchor, it grounds me to something solid when life is trying to throw me overboard.
  19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year.  I hope I’ll have figured out SOMETHING about how to be a mom!  I hope we’ll have all settled into our new family, I hope my daughter will be happy and healthy, I hope my husband and I will have time for each other, and I hope my brain will come back to me!
  20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above.  You know how everyone always says “I can’t even remember what life was like before my child came along…”?  I can.  I remember it well – I slept more then.  My husband and I snuggled up on the couch and watched movies together.  We went on dates.  We travelled on the spur of the moment.  I called my friends (and didn’t talk about poop!).  I read books.  I used my brain for nobler purposes than keeping track of feeding and bathing and poop.  But, despite missing all that, I still like life better now that she’s in it.
  21. BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments. What are your dreams for your children?  What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were a new parent?  How has your child(ren) changed you?
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7. Unicorns, Rainbows, and Yelling, Oh My! June 21, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 12:06 am
Tags: , , , , , ,
     ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

I am 34 years old.

I am common-law.

I have 1 son who is 12 weeks and 4 days old as I write this.

I currently stay home on maternity leave, but will return to my full-time job in March 2012.

I am middle.

I live rural.

I rent-to-own. 

I completed high school, and have gone to university (but didn’t graduate).

I am straight.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: My maternal grandfather was born in Germany, moved to Canada as a young boy and fought as a Canadian soldier in WWII. My maternal grandmother’s family is Irish. Everything about the paternal side is English/Scottish as far as I know.

 

NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU

  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing. My parents raised me to make my own decisions from an early age and to not tolerate lying, cheating or stealing.
  2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. It’s not as easy as other people make it look. Follow your instincts and don’t let other people dictate what you do in regards to your child. You’re the mother, you what’s best for you and your child.
  3. Something that concerns me about my child is nothing. My son is awesome. He’s been sleeping through the night since about seven or eight weeks, he’s happy and growing like a weed. In fact if I’m concerned about anything it’s that he’s outgrowing everything, including his cradle. I don’t really want him to sleep in his own room yet…
  4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). When my son was about four or five weeks old, I yelled and swore at him because he woke me up at 3 am and flatly refused to go back to sleep for the rest of the night. I was so tired and frustrated that I lost it on him and woke up my partner with my yelling/cursing. I felt so bad afterwards that I promised my son I would never do that again no matter how tired and frustrated I got because he had really done nothing to deserve that kind of treatment from his mommy. 
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers. When they let their kids walk all over them. I’m sorry, but when I was a kid, if I treated or talked to my mother the way I’ve seen kids (especially teenagers) treat/talk to their mothers these days, I would have been in the biggest trouble ever. What happened to respect? The mother is the parent and should not be letting her kids get away with disrespecting her.
  6. I am happiest when my son smiles at me. He has the most awesome smile. My partner says it’s made of unicorns and rainbows, and I think he’s right.
  7. I am saddest when my son cries and pouts. It completely breaks my heart when he gets upset like that and pouts at me like he’s just the saddest person on the planet and I can’t figure out why. I know he’s not that sad, he’s got a really happy disposition, but the pouts just get me.
  8. My biggest fear is that I will do something that will screw my son up for life in some way. I don’t think I will, but I’m not perfect, so you never know.
  9. I am ashamed of the fact that I yelled and cursed at my son.
  10. Something I need to forgive is the fact that I yelled and cursed at my son. Yes, I’m hung up on that, but it was a big moment for me. It helped me realize that I need to chill out. I haven’t forgiven myself for it even though I have chilled out significantly since then.
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone is “I hope that when you visit this summer that you actually make time for us and we don’t have to go to you for that to happen.”
  12. Something I have never told anyone. I’m afraid of somehow failing as a mother and not doing everything I can for my son to prepare him for life in this world.
  13. Something I am trying to change about myself. I’ve been trying to stop being so hard on myself.
  14. My biggest accomplishment. Bringing my son into this world. I had a rough labor that ended in a c-section because I instinctively knew if we kept going, my son would die. The next day, a nurse told me not to feel bad that it ended in a c-section instead of a vaginal birth. My response was “It never crossed my mind…why would I feel bad? I made the decision for my son and myself…it was the right one, and I would never feel bad for that.”
  15. I wish that my son’s grandparents will all be around for a long time and that he will ask them anything he wants to know before they’re gone and it’s too late. 
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. Listen and don’t judge what my child says. My mother has always listened to what I had to say, and because of that I consider her to be one of my best friends…even when I was a teenager (a time when most kids hate their mother).
  17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. Don’t fall into gender role traps. My father nurtured my love of cars, hunting and fishing when I was a kid, even though those are things more likely to be enjoyed by a boy.
  18. How I would describe my faith life. Complex.
  19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. I hope we have less debt.
  20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above is that I overcame a past abusive relationship. In spite of the trauma that was for me, I am strong, healthy and happy now. It helped shape who I am today, and while I would never wish a situation like that on anyone, it was an experience I would not want to change because of what it taught me.
 

4. This New Mom’s Journey, Full of Grace June 12, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 10:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

I am soon to be 36 years old.

I am married.

I have 1 child. Here are their ages/genders: 3 month old daughter. And a dog.

I work full-time. Part of me wishes that I didn’t have to work, that I could stay home with my daughter.  The other part of me is very glad to escape to the grown-up world every day, where people drink coffee and complain about the weather. 

I am middle.

I live in a subdivision with lots of sidewalks, dogs and kids.

I have an associates degree that I don’t use for my role in corporate America.

I am mostly heterosexual, according to Dan Savage.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background:  I hope that if I always respond to the “what race are you” query by answering HUMAN, that stupid, immaterial question will go away one day.

NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU

  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing. I went to six different grade schools because my family moved every year. My parents weren’t military; they were just gypsies, trying to find the right spot, the right job and the right situation for our family.  It taught me how to adapt to almost any situation.
  2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. Be patient!  Cluster feedings and sleepless nights will pass.  You’ll wonder where the time went and start to understand what your parents meant when they said that you grew up too fast.  My three-month old doesn’t stay put on the floor where I put her anymore.  She doesn’t crawl, and she doesn’t roll…she just hitches her way across the carpet on her back. No one told me someone so young would be able to do that.
  3. Something that concerns me about my child. I worry that I’m not worrying enough.  She’s had a cough since Mother’s Day. I have too.  I figure that if mine hasn’t gone away, why should hers?  It’s terrible.  I should just call the pediatrician but every other parent I know has told me not to worry about this little cough. They tell me day care kids have coughs all the time.
  4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). The moment that I realized I would have to do the mothering all by myself. I didn’t do nearly enough reading or research. My mother was a nurse for 20 + years and I assumed that I would just call her with any questions or problems I had. Unfortunately, she had an AVM three days after the baby was born.  Mum lived, but she had to have brain surgery and is largely incapacitated at the moment.  She can’t help me and I really can’t help her.  I start to cry every time I think about it.
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers. Some mothers seem to pay more attention to their cell phones than their children. Put down the phone, pick up the kid.
  6. I am happiest when my daughter smiles at me.  My heart did flip-flops the first time she smiled – for real – because I was talking to her.
  7. I am saddest when I think about my mom missing all of this.
  8. My biggest fear is that I’ll do something wrong and emotionally or physically scar my daughter for life.
  9. I am ashamed of how hard I am on my husband.  The poor guy works six days a week and yet I want him to do more.  Tonight, he ran the dishwasher.  Half the dishes and none of the bottles were in it. I was irritated that it made more work for me rather than being grateful that he even tried at all. I really need to start appreciating him more.
  10.  Something I need to forgive. My husband for not getting it right the first time.  It’s just stupid stuff and I need to relax.
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone. Thank you for being patient with me.  I’ll try to be more patient with you.
  12. Something I have never told anyone. I had an abortion five years ago and I don’t regret it.
  13. Something I am trying to change about myselfI’m trying to stop being an anal-retentive witch.  Maybe some little thing isn’t being done to my standards, but it is being done.  I need to just let it go.
  14. My biggest accomplishment. I’ve made it this far. Everyone in my house is healthy, fed, and clean…at least for the moment.
  15. I wish my daughter a long, healthy, happy life full of joy and wonder.
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. You learn a great many things just by listening and sometimes, listening is all that someone needs from you.
  17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting.  Children are not fragile and can go anywhere you go (within reason).
  18. How I would describe my faith life. A journey, full of grace, that can’t be contained by one religion or relegated to one day each week.
  19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. I hope that my mum and my kid will both be walking.
  20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. My mom told me the day after the baby was born that my priorities should be God, myself, and my family, in that order.  God will see you through a great many things but if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be of any use to anyone.