Friday, March 14, 2014

Top ten - Signs I'm losing it

I have not handled this week's parenting and life challenges with much grace. They say a true test of one's character is how one handles adversity. I am doing very shit thank you. Here's how I know that:

1. I have blogged more than I've ever blogged averaging 1-2 posts per day. I even have a backlog of blog entry drafts waiting to be cleaned up so that my usual mind diarrhea looks as presentable as diarrhea can be.

2. I am super snappy at everyone. I've had more irrational snaps at people than there are actual snaps on those ridiculous late 90s Adidas snap pants (also irrational and just as hideous).

3. I have snarled a lot. Usually most at people closest to me. For example, dinner with my parents are usually peppered with the usual insidious digs at me that I have to ignore or laugh off but this time I just gave it back to them with full top spin. At one stage I even recall snarling, "If you think I'm doing such a shit job why don't you just call DOCS and have him taken away because clearly you think I'm failing as a parent." There may have been several full blown snarls in the same vein following this. Did I mention we were in a moderately packed restaurant?

4. My husband and I have fought a lot. More than we've ever fought. Whole sections of the day just disappear into gloomy steely silences as we both stand our ground about something that ultimately makes no difference.

5. My baby has started behaving like he actually hates me. I do all the unpleasant things he hates like feed him solids three times a day, make him sleep, stop playtime, discipline him about not climbing INTO the dishwasher, force squirt his daily vitamin into his mouth...Either that or I've become such a sourpuss and he knows it too. All the ring a ding ding games I play with him and laughs I get from him throughout the day must just vanish in his memory in light of all the unpleasantness I enforce upon him. He pushes me and turns away from me a lot and prefers his dad all the time.

6. I am quick to assume everyone is criticizing me as a parent. So much that I've actually imagined jabs at me by friends making passing innocent comments. Comments which meant nothing I obsessed about in midnight hours turning them this way and that to see just what did they really mean by that.

7. I look like a fuzzy chicken zombie.

8. I complain about lack of sleep but then proceed to squander the opportunities for sleep instead laying there all wired up over analyzing everything (and did I mention blogging?).

A true photo of my baby during an
early morning waking session
9. I have actually out loud called my baby a jerk to his face. I had just spent half an hour calming and soothing him to stop squirming, finding the optimum sleep inducing head position. I was doing well remaining mother zen calm while he kicked me in my full need to pee bladder, scratched my face and neck repeatedly, and momentarily biting me in random places. It was like calming a wild ferret. Finally he was drowsy and asleep in my arms. He even made his tongue clicking I want to sleep signal. But alas everytime I sat down and got into a comfortable position he would bolt his eyes wide open and I'd have to do it all again. Putting him down and letting him cry made him wide awake and crawling like I made my ferret son into a ball toy.

I did this for two hours. It's like he was tricking me into performing the most ridiculous uncomfortable poses luring me with sleepy eyes but he never had any intention of sleeping at all.  I looked at his bug open eyes and called him a jerk.

10. I've done that more than once.
So there it is. I am undone. My mother's love is overcooked.
I have become a crazy, whiny, argumentative, defensive, mean crazy mofo and I am so ashamed I am not coping better.
But perhaps I exaggerate. Last night I was lying in bed awaiting the next night call and I was busy hoping this week was the worst, the bottom, the point before everything gets better. Then I realized the depth of my dedication to my child can go a lot deeper.

I thought about all the scenarios that would be worse than ours. I tried as much as I could to see around the myopic obsessiveness exhausted parents are afflicted with and tried to gain perspective. He's not dying. He's not sick. He doesn't have  hole in his heart or diseases like some babies do.

Then I started going through a list of horrible things that could befall him in the future. What if he does get seriously sick? Well good job perspective... That didn't help at all.

In a way it helped in this respect: I realized whatever situation life throws at us I will be there. With all my personal failings and imperfections, I will always put everything I have on the table for this little guy and my family.

I guess like all things in life, all you can give is the best you got. I don't want to give my family my struggle finish best. I don't want to drag and sob my way to get through. I have failed. But not as a parent. I have only failed in not digging out my best qualities and using those to live this experience positively. The challenge is not my baby. The challenge is living life with my baby while being the best person I can be.

This life is hard, I will give myself that. However I will not let myself worry to the point that I ruin all the good stuff that can come of it.

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