Wednesday, September 11, 2013
When I feel like a Bad Mom
When I was early in my pregnancy with Blanche I had a next door neighbor who was also pregnant. She however had what looked like a one year and a three year old as well. I remember before I had met her I heard her through the walls one day scream, "Oooouuucchh" and then I could see them walking out her front door. Trying to manage both little ones and her pregnant body. My guess was that one of them stepped on her toes. Her scream was pretty intense though. More of a "I really hate this day, actually this month" type of scream. But then the next day I saw her helping the smallest on to the sidewalk and sweetly saying, "Come on baby." I figured she was being sweet because I was around and later told Andrew she seemed sort of crazy.
I am now that woman. Except I am pregnant with an almost two year old. I try to be honest with my writing. Most of the time my sentiment comes out probably louder than anything. Tonight though, even though I had everything ready to do a post on how I gathered enough energy to do a DIY the other day, I knew I needed to write honestly about how hard it can be to be a mom. I think it is extra hard when my body is full of hormones, and I feel literally crazy at certain points. This is at least how I feel while pregnant. I have always loved the miracle of pregnancy and how amazing it really is, but besides the baby all the other parts of pregnancy make me not want to do it again. But the baby part is a big pull. Either way, I feel a lot more for my neighbor I had once judged.
Yesterday was just a crummy day. I had been up late the night before waiting for Andrew to get off work, then we talked until almost one. Blanche cried a few times in the night (more rare for her these days) and was awake at six am crying that she was hungry. I tried to be a big girl and get up with her even though I was tired. I made us oatmeal with almond milk and brown sugar and we both inhaled it. By seven thirty she passed out again and slept for another two hours. But for some reason I woke up in a funk and couldn't pass the bad night of sleep. I just felt short and frustrated. Weepy and fat. I didn't even want to look in the mirror. I just felt gross. I think this is actually called extremely hormonal.
Andrew tried his best to start his day off fun. He asked if I wanted to hike. I told him I was too exhausted. I told him I didn't like hiking when I was tired. He asked if I had ever tried. I asked if he had ever been pregnant.
The morning became more stressful as I worried about things out of my control, like the square footage of our apartment and how we were all going to fit as a family of four. We went to Target to buy a few things, and I refused to eat lunch beforehand. So then I was hormonal and hungry. Blanche and I ended up both napping while Andrew was making us lunch. We slept through lunch. It was just one of those days where eventually I was saying sorry and hugging Andrew, but we were still going up and down on this hormonal ride of pregnancy.
What makes bad days worth it is when you come out on the other side. When you can work through things with people instead of just yelling at them. I was sort of being a baby about our living situation, and Andrew was trying to make it better. We ended up rearranging our beds and our bedroom, and I actually like how it functions way more than worrying about how it might look. I loved Blanche's antique bed frame in her room. But the truth was Blanche wasn't sleeping in it. I by no means cared that she was sleeping in our bed, but the space was getting tighter as my belly grew and everyone was waking up sweating now that I am pumping so much blood. We moved her twin bed on the floor beside our bed, and we all slept great. Blanche slept all night in her special bed which she loved, and crawled over to cuddle Andrew in the early hours. Even though we are going to have to store my beloved bed frame for awhile, there is now room for a baby swing in the playroom. Andrew and I had gotten through the rough day and came out feeling like we had solved at least some problems.
In the midst of the bed moving, I was washing all the sheets, and Andrew was vacuuming. Any issue while pregnant always seems to involve cleaning to make me feel better. I also have to make things seem a little pretty too. So I was putting fabric in embroidery hoops to hang above our "sleep space." When I was about to hang them for whatever reason I was being crazy about the fabric staying put and getting them on the wall. Blanche kept reaching her fingers out to touch the fabric. I kept telling her no, my voice getting louder as she kept trying. Eventually she started touching them, and I smacked her hand away. She immediately cried from hurt feelings and cried to Andrew to hold her. Andrew said he didn't think that was necessary. I knew it wasn't. And I felt like a horrible person. Its like there is something inside of me causing me to feel flustered and hot and anxious about the smallest things. I hate the feeling, but it seems at times almost unavoidable while pregnant. I eventually told Blanche I was sorry and that I was just frustrated. But I still couldn't shake the feeling of being a bad mom. I talked with Andrew last night and he told me that I can't judge myself on one or two incidents and especially not while pregnant.
Today Blanche and I were in the room just playing and being sweet. She looked up at the fabric hoops on the wall and said, "No No No." My heart hurt. I told her I was so sorry. That I shouldn't have hit her hand. I told her I had been very tired and frustrated but I shouldn't have hit her hand. I hugged her. Then I asked her if she wanted to touch the fabrics. I lifted her up and let her graze her hands on each little hoop. She was so happy. She started running around the house looking for daddy to tell him what she got to do, forgetting he was at work.
While I hate the moments where I mess up I am also thankful that Blanche can see from the start that her parents aren't perfect. That we are just as human as she is. I never want to be the mom that yells or hits. But I do want to be the mom that admits when she is wrong. Blanche will learn love and grace and forgiveness when she can see it first hand. I pray so much of the time that God would help me love. I remember his simple reminder to me that love is patient and kind.
Today was so much better. We went on that hike and loved each other. Blanche threw rocks in the water and played in the park. Andrew made us lunch before going to work. I was patient with Blanche. When she started being naughty or loosing control of her emotions, I tried to respond as the adult. I know that I will never be able to say I did I did it all right, and this pregnancy is only half over. But I am asking God to make me a better person in the midst of being exhausted and hormonal and dealing with an over emotional two year old. I write this mostly for myself. To be able to let go of yesterday. But I also write this for any other mom who feels like she messed up or isn't good enough. Know that you are not alone and through love and grace we can do so much good.