Friday, June 24, 2016

Yesterday.

Yesterday we all woke up in a good mood. I decided we would just have a “special” easy morning in my bed. I rarely put the TV on in our room for Everett’s morning cartoons but thought, hey, why not? It is a rainy day. Something fun! I was able to read some more while he vegged and watched Curious George. I went into his room to do a little pick up/quick clean while he was still distracted. Well, when I came back into my room no less than 1 minute later, I see him seeing in my bed, holding my iced coffee. He had one hand in the glass moving around the ice cubes. I then look immediately below him and see a massive puddle of iced coffee all over the duvet. I snapped. 

I had JUST washed the whole bed sheets, duvet, insert, all of it, the day before. I had JUST gotten stains out the day before. I had JUST finished making the bed last night with the new fresh sheets. And now, my son has decided it pick up my iced coffee, try to drink it, then play with it and in the process spill almost all of it on my bedding. I yelled. Loud. I reprimanded him and told him it was time out. He screamed at me but in his room he went. Then I stripped the bed and rinsed out all of the duvet, insert and sheets to get the coffee off right away. Into the wash they went. 

Everett had calmed down and so had I so I went to get him out of time out. He came out, found his snack cup and threw more than a mouthful of peanut butter puffs cereal into his mouth. He always overfills his mouth. I swear, I am ALWAYS feeding him so I don’t know why he eats like he has been starved his whole life. Then he does something he shouldn’t. I honestly don’t remember what he did but I said “no, we don’t do that” and he instantly spits all of his puffs half chewed out of his mouth and on to the floor. He starts screaming and crying and in process he starts gagging on the puffs left in his mouth. And that makes him more mad and angry and cry harder. I picked him up, made sure he wasn’t choking and then put him in time out again. 

After this, I call my husband and I basically start hyperventilating on the phone. Words like “I can’t do this” “He is insane” “I need a fucking break” start flowing while mixed with tears. I don’t even know if he could understand what I was saying. But he was kind and understanding on the phone. Reassured me, we will find you a break soon. We will find a way to give you more balance in your life. He told me I was loved and a great mother. After I hung up, I took some deep breaths. I prayed and calmed down. 

I went in to get Everett out of time out. I open the door to him having pulled apart his humidifier and spilled water all of his floor and rug. At this point, I am like delirious with impatience, exhaustion of caring for a tornado toddler, and ready to just go dig myself a hole and live there. I pick him up, of course again yelling, and I don’t know where to put him. Where is this kid not going to destroy everything? I put him in his crib. I clean up the mess. I pick him up and take him out. And to be honest, I am not doing it gently or gracefully. I am angry. I am over it. I ignore my child for the next hour. I wouldn’t look at him, I would make sure he wasn’t going to kill himself, but I basically gave him the minimal response needed to keep him alive. 

The last 30 minutes before nap time, Everett is in a good mood and so am I. I put him down for a nap and text a friend venting about my morning. Sometimes, I just need to vent and be heard and not be given suggestions or reasons as to why my toddler is acting out. And she did just that. She said she was so sorry and what a terrible morning. Then, she offered to watch Everett for me after nap time so I could get much needed alone time. And not only that, she offered to keep him most of the evening so Luke and I could also go on a date. When I read her offer, I instantly felt relief and shame all at once. I cried. I cried because I was fortunate enough to have a friend who truly wanted to help me in a time of need and I cried because I felt ridiculous. 

I am choosing to be at stay at home mom. I am choosing this life and yet there are days and times where I want to scream. I feel inadequate a lot of days. And yet, now, I am choosing to WANT to be away from my child. Motherhood guilt is cruel and not a joke. Regardless of me putting it on myself or feeling the pressure socially, I felt so guilty that now someone else would have to deal with my tantrum throwing child because I couldn’t handle him. But then I realized, I really do need this break. It has been months since I have had any kind of break from mother, wife, house, chores, grocery shopping, cleaning duties. Yes, there are nap times and evening times where technically my child is asleep and I do get a “breather” but its not a break. It does not count. I still am responsible for the child since I cannot physically leave the house. It really starts to wear on my health. Don’t get my wrong, I love my child more than I love myself but that doesn’t mean I am always feeling full of love, kindness, energy and patience. I want to feel full of all those lovely traits but most days, I am tired, I am struggling to keep everything running, I am debating between showering during nap or doing yard work. I am thinking should I eat lunch first or throw in laundry first? Should I just watch TV shows all during nap to feel like I get a break but then feel unproductive? There are a million little decisions that are made daily and sometimes the weight of them is overbearing and overwhelming. 

So I decide yes, time to shower, let’s get pretty, you are going on a date! So I curl my hair, I get on a cute outfit, I give myself a pep talk about how this is exactly what I need. I am getting a much needed Meghan date. Some time to do what I want to do and then go meet my husband for dinner. Everett wakes up from nap in a great mood, as am I, knowing I get to drop him off with someone else for a few hours. I push away the little bit of guilt and shame rising up by being conscious of how much better my mood got when I knew I wouldn’t have to spend all afternoon and evening with my toddler. And we went off to our friends house and I dropped him off. 

I drive through traffic which I don’t even mind even though it means I don’t really get any alone time before dinner. And I get to the restaurant and realize their parking lot is full so I need to find street parking. As I am pulling out of the parking lot, I enter the two way street to turn left, lined with cars on each side and BAM! Suddenly there is a car driving straight right where I am trying to turn. I had looked both ways, I had entered slowly trying to see around the cars parked. And still, BAM! I slam on my breaks and the other driver does but not before my front bumper rams into the other cars right front fender. I just shout FUCK FUCK FUCK. Are you kidding me?! Keep calm. Shit. Shit. Shit. Okay, pull over, get out of the car. I am physically fine, the other driver is fine. I don’t even think about whose fault the accident was, I just immediately felt so bad because my car hit her car. Just as much as her car hit mine. We exchanged information, took photos, I get back in the car. I start to call Luke and I realize I am soaking wet. WET. Hair wet, pants a different color. It had been pouring on us the whole time. And I just started bawling on the phone. I feel like such an idiot. Is someone joking right now? All I wanted was a few hours one day to myself and to go on a date. And now, I got in a car accident. And all the work I put into getting ready, my hair, my makeup, my cute outfit. All gone to shit. Just. My. Luck.

I take some more deep breaths and find a parking spot and go into the restaurant to wait for Luke. The waitress comes up and asks if she can get me something while I wait. I basically shouted MARGARITA!!! before she finished talking. Dinner was good and encouraging. But I felt so distracted, on edge and numb. I know we laughed and we encouraged each other. We talked about everett and the car accident. It’s not that bad. That’s why they are called accidents. It’s not your fault. It’s just a bad day. And we finish up and no more than two hours later am I back at my friends house to hang out and pick up my son. Two hours. It could have been at least 4 but what’s the point now?

After we got home and got Everett to bed, I really started thinking about how I got to where I was yesterday. How were my emotions so out of control? Why is it so hard to find Meghan time? Why is it so easy to feel guilty when I desire just Meghan time? It is easy to find wife time. It is easy to find mother time. It is easy to find daughter and sister time. But the one thing I need? It is the God-given, woman, human, Meghan time. I was born a human, a woman, Meghan. And yet, all these other roles are easy to find time for. To become busy with. To make important and support. To encourage and devote energy to. So then why, why is it SO DAMN HARD to find time for just ME? Just me as a human? Just me as a woman? 


I don’t know. But I am determined to find out.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Motherhood.

This is one new mother's perspective on being a new mother and all that comes with it. This post may or may not offend people but that is not my goal. My goal is to be honest and real with how I feel and what I have experienced, good and bad.

Becoming a mother has been wild. It has felt so natural, destined, joyful but so jarring, harsh, humbling and exhausting. I have always thought of myself as a generous person, someone who puts others before my needs. With time, with love, with money. Never, ever, would I have predicted how much I would have to give of myself to be the mother I want to be. I have described this feeling as being a "slave" (sorry if that's not PC) to my baby. I have felt trapped and chained to my baby. It can be overwhelming to know that I, solely, am all my baby needs to survive. I am his lifeline on this Earth. He needs me for food, for comfort, for love, for sleep. I feel like after 5 months, I am starting to accept this as a fact and a reality to my life now. And I am definitely starting to find the beauty and the privilege that comes with being a mother (in any form, surrogate, adoption, ect). But there is not a day that goes by where don't think "if only I wasn't needed so much, maybe I would feel more free and more like Meghan". Is that bad to say? Maybe? Do I care about being judged at this point? Absolutely not.

Becoming a mother has also made me insanely sure of myself and confident but at the same time confused and defensive. I mean, I grew a HUMAN in me and pushed a HUMAN out of me. And I don't want that statement to diminish any other mothers who were not able to carry a child or had to deliver a child in a different manner than I did. This is just my perspective and how it has changed me. Okay, back to it. I have never been one to shy away from conflict or be afraid to share my opinions or thoughts. I am strong willed and stubborn. I am also impatient and quick tempered. I don't show grace where I could. I choose anger over compassion. I pity myself at times instead of realizing that I have it pretty good in all forms.

The part that I am struggling with the most is everyone else in my life (close and far). My new focus is purely on my baby, my husband and me. How my new family functions. How my new family finds happiness. How my new family thrives. How my new family struggles. It is so incredibly hard for me to find the patience, grace and compassion for all of the questions, comments on parenting, and unwanted advice I receive constantly. Even if all of them come from a place of love and good intentions. And I know that maybe my new focus is my new form of selfish. But I am a firm believer in self love, self achievement and self growth in order to give the best that I can to others. If I can't find my own happiness, how can I spread happiness to others. And maybe the answer is just that. Give others happiness and you will find your happiness.

Every child, every mother, every father, every family is different. No one is like the other. No one has had the EXACT same experience as me. We could have incredibly similar experiences but nothing identical. And that is why I can't stand when others give unwanted advice, comments and opinions on a certain topic or situation pertaining to my child, motherhood, or parenthood. I do not discredit that everyone holds value and valuable advice but I wish there was a universal understanding that your perspective and your experience is just that. YOURS. Not mine.

Now before I make myself sick with ranting if I haven't already made you sick of it I want to give an example. "Does your baby sleep through the night?" Why does this even matter to other people? If I say yes, my baby does, then it likes "GOLD STAR FOR YOU!! Good job!! You have an angel baby." If I say no, it is like "Oh, I am so sorry, that sucks. Maybe you are putting your baby to bed too early or too late. Maybe something is wrong with your baby. Maybe you shouldn't feed them at night. Maybe you are over thinking it." Nothing is wrong with my baby. My baby is being a BABY. All babies have different needs and different struggles and achievements.

I think at the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that I don't want to be questioned. I don't want to be doubted. I don't care if all the questions and comments come from wanting to understand my parenting technique or style so there can be support. You don't need to understand. It is none of your business. You just need to respect me and my right as a mother to do what I believe is best for my child. How can someone else feel like they know what is best for my child when they don't spend all of their time with said child? I spend 24 hours a day with my baby; pretty sure I am the expert in my baby. Not saying I know all the answers or don't mess up and realize maybe there is a better or different way. But, at the end of the day, I am going to do what is best for my child.

Part of respecting other mothers, fathers, parents and families is holding value in the right to express feelings. Good or bad feelings. Sometimes I just need to vent or complain; it is a way of processing for me. It doesn't mean I want advice. It means, I just want to be heard. I want to feel like someone is listening. And, listening doesn't always involve in responding with advice. Listening can be just that. Just listen. Maybe sympathize. Say, "I am sorry. That is not fun but your feelings are valid. And thank you for sharing how you feel with me." I try to view people coming to me with complaints or rants as a positive. That person trusts me with their feelings. They trust that I won't judge them for feeling negative or down about something. In the same light, when I complain or vent to people it is because I feel secure with them. I trust they won't judge me for probably being irrational and dramatic about my day. I know at the end of the day, they love me and know my heart.

Now for how much it has seemed like I have bitched in the above paragraphs, I don't want it to seem like all I focus on is the negative. It is not. Not by far. Ever since becoming a mother, I have felt so much genuine love and support from those closest to me and those I haven't talked to in years. Motherhood is wild and I don't think any mother would say different. I love my child more than I can explain yet I know other mothers understand it. They understand the complete suffocation of a mother's love. It is all consuming. It is God-given. It is a miracle. It is satisfying. It is joyful.

If I thought I was emotional and a deep feeler or thinker before being a mom, man I was WRONG. I have never felt so many emotions or depth of emotions before in my life. So much happiness. So much joy. So much excitement. So much exhaustion. So much pure love. And I try to cherish every single day even if I fail at it in the moment. I try to embrace all the experiences, good and bad because I will never get that same moment again. Before I know it, my baby won't be a baby anymore and that makes me so sad yet so hopeful for the future.

Every mother, child and family is precious. Every human is precious. Every experience is unique. I just pray that going forward I can be joyful, hopeful, graceful, strong, honest, unafraid and pour love into all those I encounter. Live and let live.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Portland

I have had this quote as my screen saver screen for a few weeks now. It has been a gentle reminder throughout the day to not lose faith during chaotic times and that there is always a reason for whatever you are going through.

source

The past 10 months have been a whirlwind. We moved to California to seek out an employment opportunity and then decided it wasn't right for us and moved back to Oregon. But we moved back without secure jobs or a place to live and landed back at my parents place. There is a prideful nature to moving back in with parents after being married and learning how to survive and take care of your new family. It can be a hard pill to swallow but it is and always has been such a blessing. I know quite a few friends who are married and if they fell on hard times wouldn't have the luxury of "going home". And I need to remind myself that we are lucky and are oh so grateful for parents who are willing to let us back in and provide for us in a time of need.

This quote has done wonders for me mentally and emotionally. When I get discouraged or frustrated with finding jobs, seeing our bank account decrease substantially or looking for a new place to live I usually get in the "I-just-want-to-give-up" mode. So, I go to my phone to drown my sorrows in social media and BAM! There is the quote I see when I have to unlock my phone. A gentle reminder.

I am reminded constantly that happiness is important but that you have to want to find happiness in life. It is much easier to find the darkness and cynical nature of this world. And it is so easy to become negative in times of change. 

And I can say with such a thankful and excited heart that Luke and I have found jobs up in Portland and a place to live! This next chapter is new and a rebirth of our lives together. We go into this next chapter with renewed spirits, a foundation of what we value in life and the knowledge of what we have learned together in the past 3 years. 

I know there will be many trying times ahead with more changes coming but I know we can find our happiness and for that, I am so so so humbled. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How To Decide

I am so happy that we made the decision to move back to Oregon. We have the opportunity to really start over and figure out what we want to do. Job wise. Location wise. Life wise. It is such a blessing, and I am so grateful. 

BUT.

I am overwhelmed.

This freedom is a little daunting. It's as though I have too many options and opportunities. 

We really get to decide what we want our life to be focused on moving forward. We have an almost blank slate. My dilemma is...where do we start? Or better yet, where the heck do I start? How do I know that the next decision will be the best one or the right one for me? I seriously have no path right now. Some days it feels like I am standing in the middle of an intersection and this little voice in my head is saying "go this way" and then there is another little voice saying "no, go this way" and this continues on and on. I am probably starting to sound crazy and truthfully, I am going a little crazy.

One day, I want to become a runner.

Next day, I want to start an intense work out plan and eat super healthy.

Another day, I want to reinvent this blog.

The following day, I want to just enjoy life and drink wine.

Will these days ever roll into one day and provide one clear direction? 

Maybe, I can take inspiration from each possible direction and then balance out all the extremes?

And everything above is purely concerning my overall happiness and life. It doesn't even begin to concern my work life or career goals. I have yet to figure those out and they are even more stressful than just how I spend my time now.

Feel free to give me any ideas of how to find my way through this vastness right now! :)

xoxo

Monday, July 15, 2013

Motivational Monday!!

I am jumping on the Motivational Monday bandwagon! I have always loved quotes, sayings, lyrics, anything that can stick in my head throughout a day and keep me positive and joyful!

Here we go! Have a great Monday and a wonderful week!