Monday(ne)

Since we’ve moved leafs had a hard time of adjusting to the whole not being carried everywhere thing. Yeah, it’s cute that she’s tiny and all but she’s kind of not that tiny. I can’t really walk around the supermarket with her on my hip anymore, but thanks to that week at my parents she thinks that’s where she belongs – and not just when we’re out.

When we’re at home she wants to sit on me, lay on me, climb over me jump on my head lay across my chest have a quick impromptu milkshake use my stomach as a drum (that ol’ mama jelly belly can do more than just provide a soft pillowy pouch for little bottoms); more or less maintain physical contact in 90%+ humidity.
So she’s whinging because nothing and wants a banana but really just so she can share with the dog, she’s ripped pages out of my book and rubbed her strawberry fingers into my white shorts (that ones on me, I know. White? Yeah, whyte) and she’s skirting that fine line that is my last nerve but then clambers up for a sticky cuddle and a big ‘awwwwwww,’… What’s a girl to do but melt and request that the cuggle be deepened to a level where a parents arms aren’t required for the child’s suspension?

Thus, I’m forced to reflect upon this seesawing of emotions which serve wonderfully as reminders that I am so not ready for another child.
But if I had one, there’d be someone else to buffer the ridiculousness that is baby leafy.

And that, my friends, is cause for consideration.

-b

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battles of the predispositionary kind

Something that I’ve had difficulty with the majority of my adult life is accepting and not focussing on my inadequacies; functioning as a regular human being despite feeling like Heracles halfway to penance.

I’ve always been a strong advocate for mental health, despite never having seen any professionals myself (and being coaxed toward the idea several times) (I don’t like to talk about emotions. Vomit… But not really because obviously it’s a grossly unhealthy attitude).
But a few weeks ago things were getting hard. I wasn’t dressing the Leafy, or myself for that matter, zero housework was done. I was pulling her high chair into my bedroom and spending the day in bed, and I could not for the life of me pull myself out of this funk.
I started blaming it on leafs papa, or my not being able to get a job, not being able to study, dropping gym, dropping netball, getting a dog, being stuck in this good-for-nothing-God-forsaken-hole-of-a-town-where-dreams-come-to-die-or-be-crushed-by-the-weight-of-cumulative-ignorant-incompetence.
But the psychologist assigned to me through the magic and wonder of fate (read: the only one available) suggests I’m post natally depressed.
Yes folks, that’s right.
One year down the track. I think it’s bullshit, parenting is hard, relationships are hard, I feel about this place the way Joey does about Janice.
There’s a far more telling reason for it all but some things you don’t tell anyone. And I dont really like the Doc, he doesn’t exactly invite confidence when he watches me with cold skepticism and dismissive calculation. So what did I do? I be’d a grown up, and I got a new one. And, guys, she is COOL. Like, she may just be my (only) 72 year old best pal. She, too, disagrees with post natal, and got on board (sans prompting – I do actually want this shit to work out) with my ideas of long term anxiety. But I digress..

Despite its initial shortcomings – aka Dr Not-So-Clever – therapy has been good for introspection, and I’ve realised the work leafys papa and I need to put into our relationship. And just how great my daddy issues are. And how I pretty much let my mother convince me of anything and everything. And how much the endometriosis has affected me. And how much I actually planned to do with my life considering I never ever ever wanted children or marriage and now that’s what I’ve got and sometimes you just have to suck it up and put on your big girl pants (or any pants at all) and make do. And how I really, really don’t want to live here. But what choice do I have?
Well… Plenty. Obviously. But if I thought I had self awareness aplenty before, I’ve intensified it tenfold by getting all therapised, and now, with my baby now having spent over a year on this earth, the most consuming thought I’ve had is; What. Have. I. Done.

This poor innocent human is doomed.

It’s kind of impossible not to consider the negative facets of your own character that you’re likely to pass onto your firecracker offspring.

Despite my knowledge of my own shortcomings, leafys burgeoning personality only serves to further illuminate flaws I had previously determined irrelevent.
Things like terrible self esteem, social anxiety, depression, fear of commitment, inability to open up, emotional  indecision, narcissism, poor temperament, laziness, terrible habit of starting things with excessive fervour but never finishing them, lack of drive or determination..

All these things combine and split like the proverbial custard of life and I’m left thinking,
‘… How in the ever loving name of fuck am I supposed to raise a self sufficient, well adjusted, independent human being when I’m such a hot mess of eggs and cream and emotional distress?’
(I may have mixed my metaphors.)
(I’ve never made custard.)
(But I don’t care because humor.).

Plus apart from not wanting her to be unwittingly afflicted with the crap soup that is her genetically predetermined destiny, sometimes I’m just a shitty human. Sometimes I’m crocheting real hard, and I’ve just found a technique that gives one of my blisters/callous’ a break and for no reason at all she’s standing at the couch tugging on the ball of wool or chewing on my feet or just squealing and I’m all
‘Ohmygodpleaseshutupandleavemealoneforfivejollyminutes.’ Except I do not say jolly, and I hate myself as soon as her bottom lip drops and I inhale, trying to reabsorb the awfulness.

So you can understand how it can feel like fighting a losing battle when both my conscious and unconscious traits aren’t exactly chips for the cashing at the mother of the year casino.

I’m not sure how to resolve that. Except maybe try to do things that make me forget I’m shit, and involve E with people who aren’t.

Easier said than done.

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Regrealousy

That’s regret/jealousy (yes, I know that squishing two words together does not a literary genius make) (no, I don’t care).

I’m caught somewhere between the two words though, which makes me think the squish-age is applicable.
I spent the majority of my pregnancy trying to hide it, predominantly because I didn’t want anyone to know. I wasn’t ashamed as such.. I was young yeah but there’s been younger. And it wasn’t a one night stand. But I suppose I’ve always been concerned about other people, and I’ve always been aware how pointless and irrational that is. Doesn’t change facts, fellas.
So there I was, all bundled up in a scarf, long sleeve shirt, jumper and coat in a lecture at uni with two hundred other people – none of whom knew me from Adam – while the heating had the room at a balmy t-shirt level and I sweated my ass off just so nobody would see my five month bump.
Not long after I just stopped physically attending classes. All my shirts got too tight, y’know?

So I of see all these gorgeous thangs in their lovely bump accentuating garb, loving what is truly a beautiful (though oft times uncomfortable) period, proudly placing a hand under their belly and looking lovingly at their partners.. and I kind of feel like a tool.
I don’t have any pictures of my belly.

Nobody is going to want to see that.

But I do.

And the worst thing is I don’t know if I want to do it again. After we first had leafy I was hard core clucky. I couldn’t wait to have more babies. Three! Four! Maybe seven!

But as time has gone on and E has become her own little person, developed a killer personality and crafted enough sass to wrangle a young bronco, I can’t imagine sharing my time with anyone else.
I know,  I know, we’d all cope, she’ll love it, it’ll be fine.

But she has the dog, they’re best pals. Maybe she would benefit from a sibling. Maybe, though, she would lose out on crucial character building she’d gain from just being with me. And I’d gain from her.

Because lately, every time I see her watching someone else, learning from them or observing them or trying to get someone’s attention or some tosser let’s their kid try beat mine up because she’s little, I have a physical reaction I never anticipated.
I’m not a great mum. I’m a good mum, I get the essentials done and whilst I wish I could do better, I’m of the opinion that a large proportion of parenting is instinctual.
So when I feel this heart up in my throat pounding in my ears stomach turned toes tingle I think maybe I’m not so useless. I’ve got the instincts there, I can’t bare the thought of losing or sharing or having someone else experience the insurmountable ecstasy that is imparting wisdom or happiness or sadness upon my child.
And I’m not sure I could ever get sick of that feeling, or be ready to share it.

So I’m regrealous. Of others and their new bumps, that I let mine be a secret, and that I might not do it again. And every other feeling, ever. Yep, I think that about covers it.

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