Friday, July 12, 2013

The need for parents to "parent" other parents.

Now that my temper has calmed a bit and I'm just left questioning myself, I feel I am able to write this better than I would have last night.

In the afternoon hours yesterday I received a text from a family friend we will call "A". This particular person is being gracious enough to let my mom, sister, and infant niece all stay with her for the time being, as well as my broken down car sit in her yard up until yesterday. However, that said, I don't feel that what transpired over the day was within her rights at all, regardless of them living with her. Anyway, back to the story. The text from A stated that she was concerned my sister was "making" her baby, my niece, sleep too much. My first thought, "a baby, sleep too much? I want that baby!". I as  politely as I could tried to tell her I really didn't want to be involve but asked why she felt that way. After only a couple texts back and forth from her, I heard from my mother.

At that point, A had decided to literally take things into her own hands, and physically took this baby from my mother's arms (My mom was babysitting at this time, as my sister was working). An argument followed for a while, and ultimately A went outside with the baby. When I heard this I was FURIOUS. I was furious for my niece, who had to be in the middle of this, I was furious for my mother and the lack of respect this "friend" had given her, and I was furious for my sister because I know as a mother of my own bundle of monkeyness just a few months older, I would be absolutely livid to hear about this going on with my baby. Normally when my mom texts me to complain about things going on in this house (which happens fairly often, or my sister, lets face it 4 adults and an infant living together with only 1 shower is not pretty) I just kind of listen and be there but drop it. I couldn't just drop it this time. I mean, what gives this woman the right to do such a thing! I felt it was wrong on many levels.

First, this is not her baby. This isn't even a grandchild, or niece, or cousin. Sure, she can disagree with how my sister decides to parent, and she can voice her opinion, but there is nothing anywhere that gives her the right to physically take this baby out of a family member's arms without consent to parent her the way she chooses. PERIOD.

Second, what makes her think that her parenting methods are top notch? Now, I'm not normally one to judge other's on how they parent, but when I feel judged, I can't help but retaliate. (I'll get back to why I feel judge in a bit). This woman, felt it was appropriate to allow her just barely 18 year old daughter who was still in high school to fly several states away to meet a boy she had found through facebook. Granted, the daughter was 18 and really could decide what to do on her own, but if I had a daughter, or my son for that matter, I would strongly discourage this! You just don't know what you are flying into when you meet someone online, lets face it things just aren't safe anymore. How many news articles do we read nowadays that involve a teen girl going to meet up with a boy who wasn't really a boy but a full grown man who then rapes and kills her? Too many. Did I say anything when that happened? No, I bit my tongue, but I wanted to. I felt that was a safety issue. Too much sleep? Really now, how many babies do you know get too much sleep? That's a joke all in itself!

Third, and the reason why I also feel judged, is I found out how much this baby is being "forced" to sleep. Even though they occur differently, they are the same amount of hours my son sleeps. So, clearly, I am failing as a parent also. She also said that my sister gets mad/frustrated when she doesn't want to sleep because clearly the baby just isn't tired. I also get mad and frustrated when mine won't sleep, but you know what? The reason he won't sleep isn't because he's not tired, in fact it's complete opposite, it is because he is so overtired he is fighting it! So, maybe instead to be a good parent I should just let him grump about and be overtired. Clearly that is what is wanted here. I may have overreacted a bit about this, from their eyes anyway because it is not my baby, but I too felt attacked because if she is attacking my sister for the very same things I do, then she is also attacking me.

Now, before people freak out about how I responded, I feel I was very polite. After my mother sent me the text saying what happened, I sent her one final text. It stated "Look I am sorry you don't like how my sister is parenting but taking B from my mother's arms is not okay. I will be moving my car as soon as I can. Please don't text me again." So yes, I did volunteer to move my car, mostly because I knew that speaking my mind no matter how polite would result in retaliation, simply because she is a my way or highway kind of person. Her final text, which got no response from me included "now get your damn car out". Just to show my point.

These are the type of parents I can't stand. The kind that feel they know the only and best way to raise a child, and no one else is ever right. They aren't open to the fact that all babies are different as are parents. They are the kind that should maybe just take a step back and look at their own parenting choices and realize they too aren't perfect, but that's okay because nothing in life is. Am I saying that I am perfect? Hell no. But that doesn't give her the right to act that way either. NO ONE IS PERFECT. And just a few short days earlier I had written a brief facebook status about parents like this, that she read, and commented on agreeing with me....So much for agreeing with me on that.

The moral of my story is, like religions, there are many takes on parenting. Some people breastfeed, others formula feed. Some bed share, some use cribs. Some cry it out, some wait it out. Some vaccinate, some don't. At the end of the day, we all want what we feel is best for our child. Being a mom is hard enough some days. You have days you are running off 2 hours of sleep with a screaming infant that has an ear infection. Why do we constantly have to judge each other also? If parents don't like how another parent is raising their children, that is fine, they aren't forcing you do to it to yours (at least they shouldn't be). Instead of constantly attacking each other, how about supporting each other. Show a little tolerance. People want world peace lets start on a smaller level within our communities, and respect the fact that not everyone is the same, and that is ok. As long as there isn't abuse or neglect going on, then leave the parenting to the parents and worry about your own damn kids.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day, Come and Gone.

Father's Day. A day when most people were wishing their father's a good day, having bbq's, golfing, whatever. Many people on my friends list had changed their photos to one which included their father. What did I do? I sent my dad a card, 2 actually. One from myself, and one from Ethan. I didn't bother calling because I knew his voicemail was still full on account of my sister having been trying to get ahold of him. Plus, what would I have to say.

Here it goes, I have Daddy issues. My sister's ex called me out on that one. He was right. But you know what? I am ok with that. Well, not "ok" with it, but I accept it. Sunday was actually rather depressing to me, because I finally realized, I have no one for a father figure. No one that I could look up to in that sense. While everyone was switching out their  profile pictures, reminiscing on times past, or even those who have a father that is in heaven or wherever you believe. My father is still here, but he's not. In reality, he really never has been.

One of the biggest things in my life that made me really realize this, is him bailing on helping out with my wedding. One of the most important days in a girls life. I have been planning this day in my mind for as long as I can remember, and at this exact location that I happened to have a contract with, Wentworth by the Sea hotel. Back when John and I first became engaged, just over a year ago now, I discussed with my father my intentions of what I wanted. At the time, the situation was different. I was still working and had a car, John had just started a great  job, life was going well. My father said he would be happy to help, even joked about robbing a bank (I told him he was being dramatic). John and I paid the initial deposit, and things began. Some time went by and the first payment was due. After some phone calls to my dad letting him know and also inviting him along for some dress try outs, he met me and my bridesmaids (which, she showed up extremely late for, missing the entire fitting for the bridesmaids and having to go kill time at a restaurant, which he paid the entire bill for everyone, all 7 of us, before we could go back for me to try on some dresses because we didn't actually have an appointment for myself, that was just for fun). He slept through me trying on the dresses. WHAT DAD DOES THAT!? Two of the bridesmaids that stuck around were in disbelief, my myself and my sister just kind of shrugged it of. That's our dad for you. I tried not to let them see I was upset, but inside I was hurt, and embarrassed. Of all things to sleep through. After he gave me a check for the next payment on the venue, and we went on our merry way. That was the last time he helped. However, it was not the last time I made an effort to include him in things. I had also invited him up to the Wentworth for the tasting. What a surprise, he showed up late to that also, to the point I couldn't really show the place off to him like I had wanted because John had left work for a few hours so we could go and had to get back. By Christmas, just weeks before our next major payment was due at a whopping $6540, it became clear that he was no longer going to help. My original wedding date was April 6, 2013. It is currently set for April 12, 2014, however at this point it may be cancelled all together. If it had come out originally that he really wasn't into helping, we would have been able to better figure things out. Maybe not, but we would have known not to sign the contract. Now as it stands, the hotel has been paid $3770 and if we cancel they keep that. If we wait much longer, we will owe them more to cancel. Granted, most of that money is my father's, but still. That is $500 of our money. $500 that could buy something awesome for Ethan, or go toward a new apartment. Basically, I am heartbroken.

Now, many people have been saying things like "if I could go back I wouldn't have had such a big wedding". It doesn't help. This is my decision to make. Maybe you wouldn't have such a big wedding, but why shouldn't I get to? What makes me less deserving to show off to my friends and have a good time? I know they mean well when they say it, but it doesn't help. In fact, it just makes me feel worse. Almost condescending. Like rubbing it in "haha we had a big wedding of our dreams". Great. Now my only option is a quick run to the town hall. What people don't understand, is I had almost everything picked out and planned. I had a vision. He took that from me. Most venues in this area cost about the same, so I can't just pick another spot. Plus most of what I have planned works around the Wentworth. I can't just take everything and move it to a country club. It wouldn't work. Like it wouldn't work in a church, or legion hall. Everything would have to be rethought. It took enough time and energy with a newborn, now you want me to do it all over again with a toddler?? What are you smoking! I liked, no I LOVED my ideas. I loved the vintage feel of it all, the antiques, the lace, feathers, and pearls. It all fit, it all worked, it all matched. Without the Wentworth, it means nothing. Maybe some people just don't understand how deeply I've wanted this, how long it has been my dream. Here's a clue. John and I have been together since December 7, 2001. When the Wentworth reopened in June of 2003 I called and "pretended" to be engaged to John, just to get a tour. That was 10 years ago. The place has fascinated me since childhood in its decay. I have just always loved it. If I could, I would live there. A wedding would just be settling.

Many people may read this and think that I'm upset about only a wedding. It's not just the wedding. Did I mention he was so late to my high school graduation that he showed up as everyone was leaving? Or how about the fact that he didn't show up to see Ethan when he was born, only came over a month later and only because I finally called him and said he should come see him. I've realized that everytime he has ever come up to see me, it is because I call him. He never makes the first move. He doesn't just call me out of the blue to chat. He doesn't call to see if I want to meet up somewhere. It makes me wonder, how many times as a child when he did come, who twisted his arm? I know my mom made him sometimes, but was it all the time? Often even when he would come take me and my sister, he would drop us off with my grandparents, or with his long time girlfriend at the time. Not that I didn't love them , but I wanted to be with my dad. I'm sick of being the only one making the effort. And I've decided I'm not going to anymore. If I'm not worth his time, he's not worth mine.

I want to close this saying that I know some of my family will see this. Maybe you'll disagree with me on this. Maybe you'll thing he's such a saint. I would like to add, that car of mine that I bought brand new that he apparently had told some people he helped me get? Yeah, that was all me. He had nothing to do with it. No co-signer, no down payment. All my 100% hard work. He likes to say he's there for us. He's not. He's a fake, a fraud, a phony. Believe what you want though, because deep down he knows the truth. These are my feelings. If you don't like them that's fine, but this is something I need to deal with and bringing it out in the open is the first step.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Time for a crazy post.

So I am writing this as Ethan is crying in his crib. I have reached a breaking point. I'm sure I will have some people thinking "what a horrible mom" but you know what, it beats the alternative that some people turn to. As they say in the hospital, a baby can't hurt themselves by crying in the crib for a while when you try to collect yourself.

I'm not totally sure what started this but I spiraled down pretty quickly. I even yelled at Ethan when he head butt me in the nose, as if he meant to. That made me feel worse. I feel bad because he shouldn't have to see me like this. It's not fair to him. I feel like I am failing him as a mother, and I am failing myself. I feel so stretched thin right now though. Ethan needs me. The pets need me. My mom needs me. All these people and things need me, but what about me? Who  do I go to? I seriously feel like I have no one. I ask people for help and while I am grateful for the people who have offered what they can and I understand others have other priorities, I just feel like I have no one who is just there for me at the drop of a hat. While I feel like I am that to so many people. I also don't feel like I can just talk to anyone about this, even when people say "if you ever need to talk I'm only a phone call away". I feel like I'm asking too much sometimes. I also feel like people just don't get it. So, here I am, writing my worries away. I reached 100% on my "mental" scale. I'm probably back down to about 75% right now since putting him in his crib, closing his bedroom door, then going into my room and closing my door so I couldn't hear him. And just crying. Sobbing uncontrollably. What do I have to be depressed about? I don't know. If I knew, that might make it easier to fix. Sometimes you just lose it. I have now given up so much to try and make it easier to "stretch" for everyone else. I have given up my position at the yoga studio because I could never make the classes anyway. I am giving up school. I officially have nothing for myself now. Everything I do is for everyone else. What little money I did get back from going to school I would spend on Ethan. I don't even have clothes that fit right, or many clothes for that matter. The one thing I did for myself was get my hair done, and that technically isn't even paid for at this point. She has a check from me, but it didn't get cashed before the school closed my account. Now I don't even get that money. I don't even have a job, and I can't get a job because I don't have a car. I can't get a car, until I have a job. But I have to help find my sister and mom a car first. It's my own fault I don't have a car, so maybe I don't even deserve a car. Maybe this is all my own fault. Maybe I deserve to be this low. I just wish that for once I had someone to be strong for me. I can't be strong all the time, and it's getting harder and harder with each passing day. I can't even ask someone over because this place is such a mess. It's not because I don't have time to do it, well that is part of it, but it's more because I just can't do it. My depression is that bad that I can't even clean my own house. Ever been that low? Well I guess that's enough crazy for now. I'm almost better. Time for a few deep breaths. Motherhood awaits. He's been crying long enough. Time to be strong again.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another day

Last night I didn't sleep all that well. I kept having weird dreams and nightmares. One nightmare has stuck with me all day and I know is going to affect me sleeping tonight. More on that in a bit.

So my day started off kind of frustratingly. Is that even a word? Well it is now. I was supposed to help my mother move today only to find out the truck she was supposed to have wasn't going to be there after all. I still went and got almost the last of my belongings out of the house so at least that's not having to be worried about. Now I have to help out Saturday, and hopefully we actually have a truck and maybe some strong healthy bodies to help. It just irritated me because lately I've had an overflow of people saying "oh yeah, I'll help" only to back out at the most inconvenient time. My father a big example of this.  She's supposed to be out by the 10th, and so far NONE of the furniture has been moved. Anyway.

After that I came home and for the most part it's just been kind of a lazy day. Ethan and I took a nap, had some dinner, played. Nothing really out of the ordinary. 

So, now here we are. The day is coming to an end. I know I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight. I just know it. The nightmare I had last night tapped way into my anxiety and I just can't get the image out of my head. Basically, I was cleaning the yoga studio that I have a work/study position at, and I was there at night (which isn't out of the ordinary, I think I've only gone once during the day). For whatever reason I apparently didn't lock the doors behind me, and was cleaning in the dark? I was approached in the building by a shadowy figure (because no lights were on, which I'm not sure what that means) who basically robbed me and the studio. I really don't remember much more than that but I know there was more to the story line. Just the whole shadowy figure and unlocked doors is what has me on edge. It's been almost 7 months now since my apartment was "walked into" by some guy that shouldn't have been there. The apartment complex just says "it's in your lease to keep your door locked at all times", well, it was 5:30 in the evening, plus if the guy who did it was who the police thought it was, he has actually kicked in a few doors and some windows, so if he wants in, he can get in. I'm now sketched out because I have heard stories (I have yet to see this) of a guy that has been lurking in the woods behind our building and has confronted another woman in our building. So since having that dream, which revolves around one of my biggest anxieties, I am on high alert tonight. All locked in. Lights on. The works. 

People always wonder why I stay up at night (and I always have) and this is why. What started it when I was little I don't know, but I remember things like laying awake at night in our apartment on Pommogussett Road (for people who know me know how long ago that was, for those who don't that was when I was 7-10 years old) and I would just think about destruction. The biggest thing I remember is when I first heard about nuclear power plants, and I would just have this image in my head of a fire ball rolling down the road coming to destroy everything. What child thinks like that?? Why would a child feel the need to worry about those things? 

My thoughts of destruction have only gotten worse over the years, and the more bad I see in the world, the more it seems to be encouraged. Now since having Ethan my thoughts include "how will I protect him from these things". I wish I could just be a normal person sometimes and worry about normal stuff, like using the antibacterial wipes on shopping carts. It can also be about anything. From more man made disasters (nuclear power plants blowing up) to natural disasters (earthquakes, tornadoes) to even the extreme probably will never happen (zombies). I've been told not to worry so much. If only it were that simple. To a normal person, it's easy for you to think that I can just stop my thoughts. I even tell myself to shut up sometimes, I'll even go as far as saying it out loud. Doesn't help. Part of this blogging is to see if getting it out helps. So, here is the beginning of an experiment. 

Now just in case it's not clear (because I wouldn't want people to get the wrong idea) the destruction I think of is not things that I cause, it is things I want to avoid, that I fear. Now it also includes more personal attacks (such as being broken into). 

Anyway I'm going to go watch a funny movie now, try to get my mind off things, and hopefully go to sleep. I'll let you all know how that went later. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday so far

Today has been a pretty typical Tuesday in the life of me. Ethan actually let me sleep in until the alarm went of this morning, so we had a slightly late start just because I figured he would have woken me up early. Never count on a baby to wake you up, or let you sleep in. We went to our baby groups. The first one is one that is more aimed toward mommy and how she is doing postpartum. The past 2 weeks now our usual "leader" wasn't there. Kind of bummed me out a bit. At one point Ethan was crawling around the room as was another little girl, and we were told by the "fill in leader" to come back over and join the group. Maybe I was just a little sensitive but I thought that was a little rude. We've never really been that structured before, and my kid was having fun exploring! Anyway, I got over it. Then we had the baby group, which is much larger and the focus is on more of what the kiddos are up to. It went well, I didn't feel so much in a fog as I did last week or in other weeks. Sometimes with my depression/anxiety if I'm with groups of people I sort of space out into my own world. I'm not entirely sure why I do this.

After group we took a quick trip to the store. Did what we had to there, went to leave, and I saw someone had dropped a pink doll in the parking lot. At first I walked by it, put my groceries in the trunk. Then got Ethan out of the cart and went and picked up the doll. A little old lady said "oh good I'm glad you saw that, is it yours" and I was told her it was not, I just felt bad thinking a little girl is missing her dolly. I brought it into customer service and told the lady I had found it outside and thought the people might still be in the store since it was laying outside a car with a car seat so she made a page over the loudspeaker. I also ended up leaving a small note on the car. I'm hoping doll and girl are reunited.

Now since we have been at home. We had lunch, Ethan took a very short nap. I've just been sitting here at this point. I have had thoughts on starting a little cloth diaper store/baby boutique type thing. Not sure how I would even go about it, and it's just a thought. I just know I'm sick of driving 30 minutes to get to one of two stores in my area. I would probably never be able to anyway, but it's a nice dream. It would be something I could create my own hours and not have to worry about having a baby sitter. I would also be able to help people out who are just learning how to cloth diaper, since I know myself in the beginning had no clue what I was doing. I would also have other baby attire and would aim to sell locally made things, maybe even some maternity things. Primarily, it would be diapers, with other fun stuff tried out to see what works.

For now there isn't much else to write about. I may or may not have more later tonight. We'll see.

First Blog!

Well here we are. Just about midnight June 3rd going on June 4th. I've decided to take up a blog, in part to give myself a spot to "let it all out" without clogging up the arteries of Facebook. Where it will take me, who knows. Please keep in mind, this is probably more for my own use than anyone else's, but if anyone really finds my writing that interesting by all means read away!

For people who don't know me, I'm Heather. I'm 30, I have a 10 month old son named Ethan, a fiance named John. We also have 1 dog, a crazy chocolate lab, named "Bandit"; 2 cats named "Cloud" and "Knuckles" or "Knuckle Head"; and 2 lizards, a Mali Uromastyx named "Ickis" and an African fat tailed gecko who still remains nameless. We are working on it... Right now we are all crammed into a 2 bedroom apartment. It's not bad, but before baby this apartment was "just right". Now, we lost our extra room.

I am an animal lover, as you probably got already. I always have been. It goes way back. As a kid I didn't have many friends. I also didn't have many pets as many of our apartments didn't allow animals. I had a dog most of my childhood, named Leda. While she didn't always live with us, she was still my dog. The thing with a dog, or any pet, is they love you unconditionally. They don't judge. I think that is why I have such a big love for animals. It really doesn't matter what kind of animal either. I'm not picky. Do I have a favorite? Well, I love horses, but I also love hamsters. It's really hard for me to choose a favorite. It's like asking a parent with many children if they have a favorite. They don't love any child more than the other, just differently from each other. They all have some type of benefit to me. Unless someone someday has a way to genetically alter a hamster so that they are large enough for me to go hamster-back riding. That's an interesting concept.

Since this is my first post, it's probably going to be all over the place, as it has been already. Really, most of my posts may be like that. Like I said, this is mostly for me. I'm used to be concerned with what others thought about me. I've learned my lesson on that. So, that said, if you don't like me or what I have to say, that's fine you don't have to, just don't think that you can change my mind. And feel free to leave. Nobody is forcing you to read this. If they are, well then you may just have more problems than me. Seek help.

I would also like to apologize ahead of time to my friends and family. I may talk about  you, but I will keep you nameless. I do respect all of your privacy. This is after all a way for me to vent, and I'm only human, you all do drive me crazy sometimes. Doesn't take much, I'm already mostly crazy.

So, a little more about me. I like to think of myself as primarily someone who follows attachment parenting. I breastfeed, babywear, bedshare. I don't follow totally by the book, but I don't feel that I have to. This is one thing that I will probably have endless rants on. Be warned. I see many bloggers out there that are so one sided on everything. Its all or nothing. And if you aren't following their beliefs then you are wrong. Between this and religious people. In a world of how many, you really thing everyone has to have the same exact beliefs? And follow it all to a T? Wow, what a boring ass world it would be! I plan on breastfeeding as long as he will. It will be over a year. I doubt it'll last into preschool. I already feel some judgement from people around me on this. I've had some friends who have judged other friends for breastfeeding longer (of course, these are guys doing the judging). Here is my say on this. 1. They are my boobs. Not yours. Not anybody else's. I decide what I do with them, when, and for how long. 2. You find it normal that you drink milk that comes out of a cows boob as an adult, so why is it so unnatural to breastfeed a little longer? That's like saying, "here child, you're a year old now, time to drink out of a cow instead". Just seems silly in my opinion. 3. Stop worrying about what I'm doing with my kid, and worry about yourself and yours. Yes, he is starting to eat solids and will continue to do so, I'm not only breastfeeding, but I'm not going to force him to stop. They are only babies for so long and I want to enjoy it for as long as it lasts. I love being able to just snuggle up with him at night and look into his eyes. At some point I may do a post specific to this with some research, but right now I'm just too lazy.

Now for a big part of me. I have depression and anxiety. There, I said it. When did it start? I'm not sure really. I know I first started seeing someone when I was about 13 when my parents got divorced, but I don't think it's something that just started, in fact I know I've had anxiety before that. One of my biggest things is death and end of the world type stuff. Of course I start thinking about it and it all spirals out of control. It's all irrational, and silly, and I know it. I just can't stop it. Since having Ethan, it has gotten worse, because now not only am I worried about myself, but I worry about him. Also having my apartment broken into doesn't help the situation either. Nor does the weird guy that has been lurking in the woods behind my building at night. Maybe I'm just overly paranoid? Sometimes I feel like everyone is out to get me. I've even had problems making friends just because I'm afraid they aren't really my friends, but just people trying to use me for something. It's hard. I've had a hard time making friends in general because of this. Some people just don't get it, they think I like to be sad all the time. I remember once, I had this "friend" (who is no longer a friend). I figured friends are there for you to talk to right? Well, apparently not the case because after a while of talking to her about my problems and my thoughts, instead of being supportive and listening, she instead told me I complained too much. She also made out with my at the time boyfriend on his bed while I was in the room. Nice person she was. It's funny, because at the time of our "friendship" it was during this big phase of "don't judge us for our appearance" and all that bull. Yet, I feel she was one of the most judgmental people in my life at that time, only I was blind.

Tonight I actually feel ok, at this point. Nothing major running through my mind. I have been preoccupied with planning Ethan's first birthday so that might be part of it. Also with moving preparations. Hoofreakingray. Don't get me wrong, I am glad to be moving out of this apartment, much of my anxiety right now is because of this place. I just dread the actual process of moving. Finding a new place, getting the new place, and finally moving into the new place. That's a lot of work. In the hot summer no less. Yuck.

Well, I'm not sure what else to write about right now. Quite honestly my brain is fried tonight, and I really should get some sleep before our mommy/baby groups tomorrow morning. However, it's now almost 1am, and when I say "get some sleep" I mean I'm going to go lay in bed and maybe fall asleep before 3. Thanks for listening, I hope you enjoyed the show.