Today I thought of my very first happy memory between baby’s Daddy and I. Not like the earliest ever, the first and only happy memory I’ve been able to drum up.
Changing baby’s diaper and doing it just in the nick of time that we managed to contain him suddenly pooping as we did it. We laughed endlessly.
I know we have had happy moments, but I can’t remember any that are happy beginning to end. It’s so much easier to remember the dreary stuff.
Part of this is my doing in a way. As Welby put it, I had a poor person’s mindset when it came to money: I never ever wanted to spend it. If we had done more THINGS – events, meals, special hikes, whatever – we’d have more distinct experiences to pull memories from. It wouldn’t have fixed our relationship, but it would have made our relationship a bit better if we did enjoy ourselves more.
Then it gets tough to tease out. All the money we did save was needed in the end to get us through a rough patch income wise. But had we had a healthier relationship, perhaps it would have been easier to keep jobs and then the savings wouldn’t have been relied upon. We’ll never know!
Ah! I’ve thought of a second while editing this. When we went to Niagara College for his birthday. A pipe in the ceiling burst during dinner! It was quite amusing. I ALWAYS regret not taking my plate of food with me – consider that if the roof ever collapses while you’re dining out. ;P
Today baby is sick, as am I. When I get sick I lose ALL my energy, my skin burns, and my head feels weird. There were many settles I didn’t have the energy for. O feared for the night because if he needed me to hold him all night it isn’t happening. My shoulders now hurt in new ways, striking with pain even when I’m not doing anything – uhoh.
I got him to sleep, grabbed a watermelon popsicle and climbed in the shower. Nothing better than loving yourself (as in self-care) when you are ill!
Nothing worse than baby waking up right after you get in the shower, and you run soaking wet to him only to find he is FULLY awake!
Baby is in bed almost 3 hours late. Possibly from the illness, possibly because I ignored that voice in my head and let him try some tea an Indian mom made and he loooooved it. But now he sleeps, so I write even though I am exhausted. I had so many things to write about today too!
Anyway, title of the post. At times tonight I wanted to cry so badly. I thought of how much it sucks to be doing this all on my own and having no one extra to take over.
Then I thought….
Would I have anyone to take over if I had my old life anyway? I’d jump out of the shower and Welby might be just holding the baby, waiting to give him to me. I’d have the stress of knowing Welby has to wake up every time the baby (and I) wake up. If baby and I moved to a different room so Welby wouldn’t be woken, I would then have Welby’s frustration because he can’t sleep without me there. I’d be tending to baby at night on my own anyway.
So maybe baby and I are sick and he wakes up 50 times, but least the only ones I have to worry about ARE me and baby!
Once the initial threat this week of having to leave the shelter passed, I couldn’t keep down the bubble of fears over moving into this new place.
I think secretly a lot of it is fears over officially having no one else in the house. The baby and dog have always ppreeeetttyyyyy much been my responsibility, but in the event that I needed help, sometimes I could find it.
Yeah I’m grumbly about all the doors and stairs, but only in relation to the baby, the dog, and occasionally to side business ideas (aka income). I don’t want to fail the dog by not giving her enough time outdoors and enough bathroom breaks (which would be an issue if I’m struggling to parent). I don’t want to fail the baby by not taking HIM outside enough!
And those are real possibilities. Your brain doesn’t like to do what isn’t easily accessible to it. That is a thing. Unfortunately.
But if I’m this self aware about the issues, then I probably got this.
PS. When do I have to stop calling him my baby? Sad.
I have started speaking a little bit more with the women at the shelter these past few days. This evening, over dinner, one of the woman told me a nickname she had for one of the staff members. She said she’d known her for a year.
“Oh, you’ve been here before?” I asked politely.
“Yes,” She told me. “I came last year, left for a little bit, and came back again. I have been here for a year and a day.”
She said that as a working girl she had no access to the Special Priority list, which is to help you settle away from your partner. The regular wait list was ten years. She’d seen many working girls come and go, she said they gave up so quickly.
I let her know during that conversation that her story was the first thing to finally shut down my unease about moving into an apartment with a lot of steps and doors.
The other blog I had wanted to start, if it hadn’t been so completely taken, was literally the title The Mom Creative! I haven’t read through the blog itself yet, but funny enough I heard said mom on one of my business podcasts recently.
Anyway, so, creativity. I have been oozing it lately. When baby is asleep and I am fresh out of adult tasks, I write now – and that’s new. I dabble in a memoir of my past few years. I dabble in TWO books that I suppose would be chick lit, except they aren’t set in ‘the big city’ – which I hear is a requisite. I write my dreams at night (sometimes). I write terrible poems about motherhood and relationships. I write mock cold-call ads convincing Huggies to feature my son in an ad campaign. I write letters seeking donations. I write down little phrases I think would make good motivational posters. Now I write a blog. I just write, and write, and write, and write.
No, I am not very good at it! I have no idea how you write a book or a poem! But I told myself I was writing only for me, and so it’s easy and I can’t stop.
If you are bursting with creativity, just let it ooze. You don’t have to publish what you write, your drawings don’t need to be posted on Instagram, your blog doesn’t have to gain any followers. Just listen to the desperate pleas the creativity is making with you, and do what it asks. It will be easier to sleep if you do.
I don’t know if it’s because I don’t trust myself, or if I’m just worn out from playing happy pragmatic for two and a half months since I’ve gotten to this place – but God I am expecting the worst right now.
It is September 27th as I write, and I expect that this co-op will interview me and not want me, and they will not have their co-opy meeting about it until October 18th, and I’ll find out on the 20th or something that they don’t want me.
I’ll have missed out on many housing offers, and I’ll see women going to wonderful apartments and townhouses and I’ll be miserable and jealous. Then it will be so close to November that I’ll have to wait until December 1st to leave, if I’m lucky. I expect I’ll be here longer than any other woman ever has been in the history of ever!
Maybe it’s because the woman who’s been here longer than me is moving out tomorrow with her son, and it’s now my turn, and I have a whole month of sitting on pins and waiting for something to happen. I hate that.
I love jumping to action these days. I used to swell with anxiety and avoid things, and now I get through them as fast as I can – because then it’s done and the world is right and the questions and worries are gone!
Maybe the co-op does take me, but they shouldn’t have and I’m no good. Maybe I’m too broken to be able to fake being a functioning social human being. Oh yes, I can cook. Oh yes, I love to clean. Oh yes, I love to be creative. Oh yes, I put endless effort and patience into my son. But no, I can’t be friends with people, I can’t trust them, I don’t know how to have small talk, I can’t understand the nuances, I don’t trust that anyone enjoys my company.
So maybe I’ll go, and I’ll be too small a person to be able to conquer all the stairs and doors four times a day without being miserable about it. Maybe I’ll go and I’ll find it a huge pain to worry about garbage duty and cutting the grass and shoveling the snow when I just want to focus on my family and figuring out who I am.
Maybe I’ll be happy? Maybe I’ll get my dog spayed so she can come live with us. Maybe I’ll take my stroller shoulder strap (which I’ve already ordered), and my new stroller, and I’ll conquer those doorways, and I’ll build a flawless routine, and I’ll love having my own kitchen, and I’ll make kombucha for my son’s poor tummy, and I’ll sneak in an apartment washer so I can continue my cloth diapering.
Yeah I’m actually THAT kind of mom – imposter mom anyway. Now all I can do for my son is sing him to sleep, wake with him 10 times a night, take him to the park, and make him puree.
But before my life was completely turned upside down, when I still thought that if I just put everything I had into my husband, then it would all pay off – I cloth diapered, I cooked and baked from scratch – organic no less, I cleaned everything, I walked the dog, I took the baby out to the park every day, I never let him watch a screen.
But you wouldn’t have guessed that based on all my writings so far, would you have? No. You’d think me a miserable person who probably yells at their child and never changes their diaper.
Well, I’m not that, but based on these previous entries it would be hard to deny that coming out of my old life I am pretty miserable, severely messed up, and my head must be pretty distorted.
Well, of course I knew they were different in theory.
But today I got to see, first hand, what another baby could be like with regards to sleep. A new woman came to the shelter yesterday evening. We were sitting in the backyard on the grass, with some other moms and kids.
As she’s talking, her 9 month old (1 month older than my guy!) was sitting on her lap drinking milk from a bottle, and she fell right asleep – holy shit! The little girl roused fully a couple times, and then just conked right back out. Four adults were gabbing, and three older boys were switching between screaming and crying, and the entire time this little babe just keeps dreaming about sheep. I couldn’t believe it!
My little man would eat to sleep when he was quite young, but by two months that was not a thing – maybe it was him, maybe it was the unsettled life we had at the time.
Either way, it felt good in a way to see that another baby could fall asleep so easily. It made me feel as if I wasn’t failing miserably because I still rocked my 8 month old to sleep. He is far more alert and interactive than that little girl.
Her mom said that her older son was just the same as mine – always alert, an effort to get to sleep. She couldn’t believe her second was so chill and calm.