Monday, October 14, 2013

{ trying to figure it all out }

Journal entry from 10/14/2005
"Today was a good day. Nothing particularly exciting happened, but things just fell into place and it was easy. I met with a few vendors today and got a ton updated in the library. Who knew there were design librarians? I didn't, until I graduated from school and found this job! I love it - the job, the building, the people. HBDG is built in this incredibly cool old church that they've restored into a design center. I have my own little space up here and have full control of the library. It was in a bit of a mess when I got here, but I'm utilizing my mad organization skills to whip it into place. After work I drove straight to the gym. I had another appointment with my trainer and he kicked my butt! He's a funny, flirty guy which makes it difficult to get a good workout in. No worries though, I'm getting so buff - still, I'd love to lose another 20 pounds. Speaking of losing weight, I went up to Park City last week and went shopping. I love the outlets up there and spent about $200 on clothes. It was so fun because I bought a lot of things from Banana Republic and the larges were loose on me! Woo hoo! I think I'm going to Express after work tomorrow to get some new work pants. I love the Editor style. I have a date tomorrow - someone my trainer set me up with. We'll see how it goes. Blind dates - yikes! Good night for now..."

Journal entry from today
"The house in quiet so I thought I'd take a few minutes and jot down a few thoughts. Baker woke up this morning at 2:30am. He does that sometimes and usually goes back to sleep, but this morning, he cried. I got up, made a baba, changed him and fed him. He went right back to sleep, but I couldn't. I laid there thinking about things I needed to do. Vacuum, sweep/mop, empty dishwasher, organize things in attic, maybe bring down Halloween decorations. Do I want to decorate now that the month is half over? Take baby stuff up to attic, maybe wait till Andrew gets home from work to do it in case I trip on the ladder and fall. Speaking of fall, I need to find an outfit for Barry's wedding, but I want to loose 60 pounds. Is it possible to lose that much in a month? Maybe just shoot for 10. I need to buy a sports bra. And a jogging stroller. I need to make time to exercise. I feel so fat. Augh. Finally, an hour later, I dozed off again. Andrew woke up early for work & I couldn't fall back asleep. Baker woke up about 7 and we went through our morning routine. I get him out of bed, change him, get him dressed for the day, then we go downstairs. I get him a baba and then try to get him to eat some oatmeal and bananas. He's not been eating as well lately and I worry. Then we go back upstairs so I can shower and get ready. I sit him down with some toys and play with him for a little bit, saying "maaamaaa daadaa baabaa" hoping he'll mimic me and say it back. He just smiles, laughs a little, and squeals. I smile but I also worry - why isn't he babbling more? Why isn't he crawling? What am I doing wrong? I shower, quickly get ready and realize my roots have grown out. All I see are so many gray hairs. I need to stop at Sallys and buy hair dye to fix my roots. No money in the budget this month to get my hair done. Plus, I really don't know what I want to do with my hair. I feel like it's so blah and 95% of the time, I have it pulled up so Bake won't pull it (ouch). I go to get dressed and realize I have nothing to wear (seriously). I wear the same 5 outfits all the time and I need new clothes. But I want to lose weight first. And then there's the money issue. I throw something on, and then it's time for Bake's nap. He goes down and I decide to lay down too. Next thing I know, I hear him talking. I slept while he napped. Two hours wasted. I feel groggy from sleeping too long. We get up, eat lunch, and head out to run errands and head up to my moms for dinner since Andrew is working late. We visit while Baker plays and she asks if I'm doing okay. I tell her, yes, for the most part and tell her my frustrations with wanting to lose weight, clothes, feeling like I have no "me" time, etc. We talk and I feel good. Bake starts getting fussy so we head home. He's in bed now and I'm writing this, feeling an array of emotions. I was thinking about that journal entry from 8 years ago. I knew who I was then. Things were easy. All I had to worry about was me. And now, I am trying to figure out who I am as a mom. Trying to find time for myself (which is almost impossible with a husband who travels a lot for work). Time to work out. Time to get out by myself and do something fun. Time (and money) to get new clothes. It's hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be. I used to hear moms talk about "you need to make time for YOU!" and I always though, "Oh give me a break! It can't be THAT hard!" but now that I'm here, living the life that is motherhood, I'm like "Where the hell did MY time go?!" The transition from having a career and financial freedom and time to do whatever I wanted, to being on a tight budget and spending most of my days alone with an infant is so, so hard. 

The lyrics to "Am I the only one who's ever felt this way" by the Dixie Chicks came to mind tonight, 
"Now My Sense Of Humor Needs A Break
I See A Shadow In The Mirror
And She's Laughin' Through Her Tears
One More Smile's All I Can Fake
There Is A Wound Inside Me
And It's Bleeding Like A Flood
There's Times When I See A Light Ahead
Hope Is Not Enough
As Another Night Surrounds Me
And It Pounds Me Like A Wave
God Help Me
Am I The Only One Who's Ever Felt This Way?"

You guys, tell me I'm not the only one struggling with this. When/how did you figure out who you were as a mom? How do you make time for yourself?

***I feel like I need to offer some clarification regarding this post in conjunction with a few comments I've received (which were not published on here, by the way) . I'm not depressed. I just express myself best through writing. I don't regret motherhood at all. Lord knows how long I wanted to be a mother and the pain infertility brought, however I don't think that expressing my feelings of frustration or asking how other moms do it makes me a bad mom or less worthy of the title. I suppose I could just sit in silence and put on a brave face, but if you know me, then you know I'm a loud mouth woman who speaks my mind and goes on the occasional rant. ;)
My friend Tenae nailed it on the head when she said "I don't regret for one minute putting my career on hold but it sure was nice to feel accomplished & secure within myself."
That is the point I was trying to get across. Hence the two journal entries. One from when I had found myself in my twenties, single, rollin in the dough, and selfish with my time. The other was from now, showing how much things have changed (not necessarily for the worse) and how I'm trying to adjust to this big change that is motherhood.
Thank you to everyone to left encouraging comments. Don't worry, there is no ledge to talk me down from ;) ***


Jennifer said...

The good news is that it DOES get better. I don't know that I can pinpoint exactly when, but sooner than later you will look back and realize that phase has passed and you're in another that's easier, one that's harder, one where you worry more, one where you feel like you are rocking the whole mom thing (which I know you are.) I don't know that you ever reach a point where you feel like you have it all figured out, but it DOES become easier. And then you have baby #2 and life is completely upended again. :-) For me, I get together with a few girlfriends once a month for a supper club of sorts and try to get a pedi once a month as well. Hand B off to A when he is home or to tour mom when he isn't and just take a break. It is important for you to be refreshed in order to be the best mom you can be. It is an investment in B!

Brittany said...

i am in the midst of writing a similar post on my blog. i wish i could give some i know any more than you...i'm just a few months ahead of you. i think all we can do is just listen and be there for each other. sorry you feel like that. i do too! :(

Brittney said...

I think you never stop figuring out who you are as a mom. I seems to be a constant progression for me. Each part of being "mom" is just a stage. As baby grows and his needs change, you have to change to accommodate them, then you have more kids, now you have to change to accommodate lots of needs. Then, as you realize the needs of your child(ren) you didn't anticipate,your goals as a couple change, and you change again to accommodate those, too.

The point I'm slowly learning, is that you don't ever reach a point where you say "This is it!! This is who I am" and quit progressing/learning/changing. You're constantly adapting, compromising, negotiating. What has worked best for me, is to periodically sit down and figure out what my goals are with whatever stage of life I'm in, and then start doing them. Sometimes it seems so hard to add some new goal to the chaos, but honestly, the extra work has made me feel more in control of my life and where it is headed, and ultimately given me more satisfaction and sense of peace. The most important part for me, was realizing goals change, and decided something wasn't worth my effort anymore didn't mean I had failed or given up, it meant life had changed, and I was willing to change with it.

I'm four kids and seven years into motherhood, Shan. I'm still figuring out who I am as a person, a wife, a mother. As long as your progressing, then you are doing great. You are a great mom, an amazing person, and a great friend. You JUST started your journey into motherhood, you've got gobs of time. Nobody figures it out in the first few months. Keep up the good work.

BECKY said...

For me, nap time is me time. I make sure I do something different and important. Like a project or a certain cleaning thing so that I can say, "look what I did today!" It was a blogger who wrote a post called "tada" that helped with that.

I would really suggest starting to exercise. Like tomorrow. Get an aerobics DVD and do it in your house. Or find them on YouTube. I was never able to figure out an exercise routine until I got the DVDs and starting doing it when I woke up. Something always came up. It was too hot or cold outside or too close to the next feeding or some excuse. I have been so much less down since I work out like this.

Making sure I make time for essential things like reading my scrips and praying. Because those are easy to push off.

Is there your mom or m.i.l. Or sis in law who you can work a schedule with? That they take him for an hour and a half while you go browse a consignment? Spending a little time away does wonders for me. And it's a special connection with the other person for the baby.

And a big thing is to tell myself "this is a stage that will change within a month" because it does! You figure something out and then have to re figure it out! Just trying to come up with good things to help me through a rough stage helps the stage not be so frustrating.

As for his growth, only worry if the doc says to worry. Otherwise feed him lots of options and let him develop at his pace.

And in the worst moments, remember how many tears you cried willing to die for this moment. It IS what you wanted and prayed for. It's a miracle and blessing. It's just that sometimes, wait.... Almost never!... it's not as blissful as everyone makes it look like it should be.

Hugs! You got this!

Megan Rogers said...

You're SO not the only one who feels this way!! I'm at home with my 4 year old and 2 month old and I am going thru the same thing. It happened when my first little guy was a baby. As he got older, I was able to make more time for me. But now that I've got an infant again, I've got no "me" time. No sleep. No cute clothes. No money. Just extra fat. Then I realize that I can do this. Heavenly Father somehow gets me through everyday. I somehow survive. Have you ever heard the song by Darius rucker, "it won't be like this for long"? Look it up. It's so true. Our days go by so slowly and can be so difficult, but months and years fly by. In not usually one who reads church books, and who has time to read with a baby around.... But was given a book called 'Mothering with spiritual power' And it gives great insight into our struggles and the little things we can do to lighten the load.
Hope some of my words can help. Just know that no one really has it all together. If it seems like they do- getting it all done, they don't. They're definitely struggling in other areas of their life.
You're doing awesome!
Oh, and sorry my comment was one big grammatical nightmare. My thoughts just kept coming.

McCall said...

Come walk with me!!! I haven't been in a long time but, I like to go to the PG Rec Center. It's only $1 to walk on the indoor track or you can get a month pass for $15. If we go when Libby's at school we can put Baker and Logan in my double stroller and take turns running laps. It helps me to have a partner. Wanna???

Jason and Kate said...

I hear ya! I went from working full time as a teacher to being a SAHM. It was hard at first because I felt like it was a thankless job. I had infertility issues as well and I was so thankful to finally be a mom but it was just different. I found my groove and friends to do things with during the day. IMO motherhood is an ever evolving time. Sometimes we will seem to have it kinda figured out and then other times we will wonder what we are doing. My husband travels a lot too and it sucks but I have to make time for myself. My thing is exercise. I have to do it matter what!!! I wake up at 5 am (sometimes 4:45) to workout. Even when my hubby is gone I do videos at home. I gotta get it in to keep sane. That has really helped me. Good luck! It's a tough job.

Sara said...

Thank you for writing this. Too often it feels like everyone else has it all figured out, and I'm the only one struggling.
If I could go back a few years and give myself advice I would tell myself to accept help, even ask for it, then be grateful for it. I still struggle but I am learning.
You are an amazing mom, and your little boy is so lucky to have you. Hang in there.

Chelsea said...

Babies somehow just make you feel this way. You're exhausted and it's so hard to balance all the things you need to do/want to do. All I have to say is that it gets easier! So much easier.