Temporary Insanity

Right now, all I can think about is that my interim supervisor position at work is coming to an end soon. It will either become full-time or it will be over. I have my interview on Friday. I’m a damn nervous wreck. At the end of the day, I know whatever happens, I will do the very best that I can do. Just as I have been doing the last 2 and a half months in the position. 

In other news, K and I decided to visit my family this last weekend. Which means we put the trip to Iowa on hold. But, we hadn’t seen my parents or my family in nearly 6 months and it was time for a visit. I have been telling my parents we would come visit in May and then … maybe June …. for sure in July. By August, I just wasn’t making any promises.

Due to a financial snafu, of my own making, scatter-brained as I am, we were behind in a lot of bills, adding up K’s doctor’s visits, medication, and Punky’s extra-curriculars, not to mention my frequent trips to Walmart for retail therapy, it just wasn’t in the cards for a while.

Well, we finally got ourselves caught up, still slowly digging out of the hole, but better nonetheless.

So, instead of dwell on the upcoming nerves and anxiety inducing interview for a possible promotion that could help change my whole financial life, we will recap a visit with the family.

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On Thursday, before our trip, we had Punky’s 18 month doctor’s appointment. She’s 27 pounds and 12 ounces. 88 percentile in weight. She’s 34 and 3/4 inches tall. That puts her in the 99th percentile in height. Jeebs. The kid is taller and she’s off the chart.

She’s talking more and she’s mimicking more words. She just learned “apple” and “hey” She said “Hi Mom” the other day. Her very first two word sentence.

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We made it to my Grandma’s house for dinner on Friday. My sister’s kids were all there and they all had a fantastic time hanging out. If I haven’t announced on here, my brother and his wife finally conceived their first baby and so that will add a fifth to the mix soon. You can follow their little journey too, I do!  

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Punky and Robin are about 4 months apart. He’s a little older than her and will be two in November. They had a blast chasing balls, fighting over toys, and jumping on the furniture together. 

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Punky is pretty quiet and tends to like to play by herself, so while her cousins were making a squealing tornado out of great-grandma’s house, Punky was playing in a corner. Pigtails and all.

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Everyone kept insisting on giving her sticky things to eat. She had many sticky moments this weekend. The ringpop was Mama’s fault and the sucker was grandma’s fault.

 

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She ate some cheese pizza with my mom, chewed on a car I got at a garage sale for a quarter and played with a few pitbull puppies at my dad’s.

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Overall, besides not having but ONE nap the entire time we were gone (three days), she did pretty great. She’s finally asleep, I don’t hear her in her room protesting with her new favorite word “HEY!” anymore. 

The fall tv season has started this month, totally slipped my mind. Set up my DVR and wrote out my list of shows this Fall. So, if you are like me and you watch a lot of TV, hope you didn’t forget like I did!

Anyway, that was our weekend, we had a good time with my family and hope to get to Iowa for the marriage license soon. For now, one step at a time. Friday is my interview, wish me luck!!

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Why I’m No Longer In A Mom’s Group

In previous posts I mentioned that I had joined a mom’s group and it was good for me, with my anxiety disorder and my fear of new people and places. It was good for Peyton’s social skills and getting her out and about. I really had high hopes for this working out. I slowly began to really come to the conclusion that in the end, I’m not cut out to be “that mom”.

What do I mean by “that mom”?

The mom who judges every little parenting choice of someone else. The mom who knows exactly the right way to parent YOUR child. Somehow, the manual to your kid popped out of her vagina with her kid. Apparently, you missed the memo, you are doing it all wrong. It’s right here in Chapter Six of “Raising Punky 101”. It’s the mom who thinks that if you aren’t parenting your kid the way they do, you are wrong, your kid will be a sociopath. The mom who is so very nice to your face, despite the obvious differences in opinion, but in a public internet forum, bashes your choices in a passive-aggressive way.

I’m not good at being that mom. And, apparently, I’m even worse at dealing with that mom.

You know, it’s not even that these comments are being personally directed at me. A lot of times, it’s just a general statement about one parenting choice or another. The problem is, it’s hurtful and I want so badly to say something, but instead, I hold my tongue. I’m really not the type to bite my tongue for very long. I’m really not very good at it.

It’s not even that these comments were directly solely at me and in some cases at me at all.

When you go out with a group of moms to relax and have a good time, I notice that all the ladies have a glass or two of wine or something related (unless breastfeeding of course). When one mom thinks it’s ok to call another one a “lush”, joking or not, it hurts people’s feelings and embarrasses people. Why say things like that? Because women are the best as making a ‘joke’ out of something they truly feel to soften the blow and not make themselves look bad.

Articles about car seats really bother the shit out of me. But, I don’t really say anything anymore. Not since I was basically told I was a bad mother (in not so many words) because we followed our pediatrician’s recommendations for Punky and turned her front facing when she turned 12 months old. She’s bigger for her age and frankly, she screamed in the car the entire time we were in there while she was rear-facing. I was happy to turn her ’round.

When I explained this as my experience and my opinion (not once mentioning anything about anyone who didn’t do this) I was slapped with a comment about how I should get a different pediatrician. And another mother, an expert in car seat safety, posted a video about what will happen to my daughter in an accident. I’m sure it’s all well meaning, but at the end of the day, hurtful and just another way to make a new mother feel crappy about herself.

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Let’s not take into consideration that I have an anxiety disorder. My eagerness to turn Punky around had more to do with my anxiety than anything else. When she was rear-facing, I couldn’t see her. I’m forgetful. Seriously. I couldn’t stop imagining that I would be one of those moms who left her in the car on a hot day. Even now, front-facing, I imagine my reaction to finding her dead in the back seat because I forgot about her back there for one reason or another. It’s part of my anxiety disorder, I picture these things the entire time we are in the car with Punky in the back seat.

During posts of seemingly support seeking mothers, especially those with small children who won’t sleep, the claws came out all the time. So, a mother posts about how she’s really having a hard time with the lack of sleep and looking for suggestions. The first time I posted that we used the cry it out method and how we did it and why and how it worked for us. The response I got from the mother was this: “With all due respect, crying it out is NOT an option in our home.” Well, excuse me for giving you a suggestion.

The comments continued with things like, “It’s unnatural for a mother to feel fine allowing her child to cry and not do anything.” “I can’t imagine leaving my child in her room alone and scared.”

These comments weren’t specifically directed at me, but I felt the sting. Wow. I’m a shitty mom because I let Punky cry herself to sleep one night. Let’s not take into consideration that both K and I were exhausted and really ready to shake this baby at the time. But excuse me, ladies, you don’t get to worry about your own well-being. Again, we took recommendations from our pediatrician to put her in her own room and let her cry it out. Not only for her health and need to get more sleep, but our sanity.

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Guess what, no one thought to take into consideration that I was sitting outside her door the entire time she was crying, tears streaming down my own face. K had to practically sit on me, because we knew it was best for Punky and best for our relationship and wellbeing. It was the hardest night of my life. Yet, Punky is the best sleeper I have ever met, mothers are astonished that she goes to sleep at 8:30PM and doesn’t wake up until at least 9:30 or 10AM. I get surprised faces when I tell people that she loves taking naps and we rarely have a fight when it is time as she will clearly say “Nap” and head to her room, when she is tired and usually right around the same predictable time.

But, screw me. I shouldn’t have allowed her to cry it out for one time and apparently, I’m unnatural and not a great mother for allowing her to be independant.

Don’t get me started on vaccinations. I will be real honest here. Do I think it’s weird that there are people who don’t vaccinate their kids? Honestly. I do. But, I have never said anything to these mothers. They are making their own choices and they are doing what they feel is right for their religious beliefs or their family or whatever.

So, why is it that I hear one of my good friends was told she was uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid? Seriously? Someone said that. See that’s the case of the comments not being directed at me, but I have a few choice words I could say in response to that hurtful and highly offensive comment. But, I bite my tongue, instead of defend my friend’s choice, defend my choice. Because if she’s uneducated and ignorant for vaccinating her kid, then shit, so am I. Awesome, at this point, I’m really doing a great parenting job according to these moms.

Other things I have felt while in this group:

  • If you are on the computer and not constantly talking to your kid, you are bad mother and doing your kid a disservice. (Let’s forget that my second job is online, that I am actually making money for my family, while on this computer.)

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  • If you aren’t still breastfeeding your child after a year old, you are not supermom. (Let’s not mention that Punky couldn’t latch and I hated pumping because it caused me mastitis and my breasts were constantly on fire or in pain)
  • If you let your child watch TV, you will rot their brain and toddlers just don’t benefit at all by watching anything that is currently on TV. (Never mind the fact that Punky has learned how to speak from conversations with Dora and learned to jump, clap, and wave from the GiggleBellies).2013-06-29 05.09.28
  • You don’t feed your kid organic food? Bad Mom! (Except, jesus, organic food is expensive and we are living paycheck to paycheck. But, then, you use cloth diapers so you don’t have to worry about not having diapers for your kid. Another strike against me, whoops.) Of course, I suppose I could just get on the cloth diaper bandwagon, except we live in an apartment and don’t have a washer and dryer and can’t afford to wash our clothes as often as I would like, let alone shitty diapers. But, then again, I’m sure these moms just think we shouldn’t have a kid until we are financially stable enough to do this very important things that cost more money.

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  • One meetup I proposed to take the kids to the city hall steps to play in the fountains. I posted a picture of Punky, MY DAUGHTER, playing in the fountains. One of the comments I got was “I don’t know if that’s safe for my child.” For real? So, I suggested an activity that I have done with my own child, but it’s not safe for other people’s children. Way to basically say that I’m putting my kid in a dangerous situation and how dare I put yours in the same boat.

The last straw was about the debate on stay at home moms and working moms. All the instances above, I have pretty much not gotten involved, not since the crying it out and car seat instance. Because if I get involved, I’m likely to get banned and I really did like getting to know some of these ladies and we are still friends on Facebook. So, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say anything.

Then a post about how being a stay at home mom was so much harder than a working mother. Working mothers had it easy because they didn’t have to change diapers and they didn’t have to deal with the constant tantrums and nap fighting and the exhaustion.

Excuse me?

I know how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, I live with one. I also know how hard it is to be a working mother, I am one! Each one of us has a different kind of challenge and hard work in different areas, but the challenges weigh the same. So, while I figured this mom was just trying to get some support for her own challenges, but she took the opportunity to shoot down working mothers in the process.

It brings me to tears every freaking day when I lay her down for her afternoon nap, knowing that I won’t see her again until morning when she wakes up. It is hard to come home for lunch, because she’s awake and when I leave, she thinks she’s coming too. When I shut the door and she can’t come, I can hear her disappointment plain as day in her cry through the door.

To give K a break, she gets to sleep in and I get up early with Punky and take her places before work. Am I exhausted? You bet your ass I am. But, I am helping my partner, the stay at home mom, and I am finding the only time I can get with my kid while I put food in her belly by working and making a life for her.

Whether she did it intentionally or not, I’m not sure. I don’t think she did. However, when someone pointed it out that her comments might be hurtful to working mothers, she got defensive and basically said she didn’t know why her comments could be construed as unfair.

That’s what broke my spirit. If you say things unintentionally that hurt someone’s feelings. How about we just acknowledge that perhaps you hadn’t thought about how things would be perceived.

I promptly left the group. Simply because if I said what I wanted to say on the forum, I’d make ladies cry. So, instead I post it here.

With my anxiety disorder, I take medication damnit, to regulate my mood and my anxiety, this kind of environment doesn’t sit well with me and it makes it very hard for me to function. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m certain I suffered from a small case of postpartum after having Punky and I already felt like a shitty mom, I don’t need anyone to help me think that about myself.

None of us need to have that in our lives. We are all mothers, doing the best we can for our kids.

And frankly, children learn from their parents, mothers in particular. Children teach their friends their habits. I’m not interested in bringing Punky into that kind of learning.

So, while I think that the mom’s group was beneficial for making a few great friends, I am not cut out to hold my tongue anymore about unfeeling comments made about other people’s choices and debates and Mommy Wars. I’m just not built to withstand the drama.

Letter to Christian Working Mothers

Yet, another article that is beautifully written has been marred by comments by the followers of God. The beginning of this article really spoke to me as a working mom and if you are one, you should read it. Here’s the perfect example of having agreements with those who are in the church about other things besides religion. 

However, there comes a side effect of the religious undertones of articles written like this. Marred in the comments are ‘well meaning’ Christian women who think they know what it’s like to be inside someone’s life. They use “God’s words” to make their veiled guilt-ridden comments and they use “God’s words” to throw a little judgement and a pinch of righteousness into an already guilt-ridden and emotional mother’s mind.

My heart goes out to those women who are shackled to the fear that their decision for their family is somehow inferior to those around them. This post is for you.

Dear Christian Working Mother,

I have known that guilt you feel. People tell you the guilt you feel is God’s way of telling you that you may be doing something wrong. Other Christian women are coming forward to tell you how your decision to work outside the home, may not be a good fit – and you shouldn’t ignore that guilty feeling in your gut.

Let me tell you something, ladies, working mothers feel guilt. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian or Atheist. It doesn’t matter if your child is newborn or young adult. A mother’s instinct is to care and nurture her child with her own two hands. To foster and delight in your child’s learning and teach your child the ways of your beliefs or non-beliefs.

We aren’t that different, you and I. The guilt a working mother feels, has nothing to do with religion. At the end of the day, the guilt you feel in your heart, those achy pangs of sadness come Monday morning has to do with being a mother. Carrying a child for 9 months gives you a special bond with that child – it’s a natural psychological response to want to be close to that child and have a hand in their daily lives.

Don’t let people use God to guilt you into doubting your decision to work outside the home. There are some, most likely just like you, who have no other choice.

Think for a moment, what happens if you give in to your guilt and you quit your job.

Will God put food in your child’s belly? Will He clothe your child and keep her warm from the coming winter fast approaching? Now you can hold your child in your arms all day long, but at what expense? Will you have a roof over your head? Will you have a car to drive him to all the playdates you so desperately want to attend?

I’m calling all Christian Mamas out there who work outside the home. I’m telling you that  you don’t have to feel guilty. This world is based in money. That’s an unfortunate fact and no matter how much you try, at the end of the day, your working puts food on the table and a roof over your child’s head.

It doesn’t mean you love your child any less. It doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong. It doesn’t speak to your greed or your priorities as a mother or a woman, it simply speaks to the necessity to do what is right for your family.

The harsh reality of this world is that it doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not. The bill collectors are still calling. The house payment is still due. The medical bills are still calling out to you from when little Johnny broke his arm last year. Those things are going away, it’s not by some miracle of God going to disappear.

I commend the writer of the original article. She has beautiful words for the working mother. All working mothers can relate to the feelings she describes. Her words are written more eloquently than mine are, because now, I’m more interested in giving you a real good shake.

Don’t let people guilt you. Don’t let people doubt you. Don’t let people tear you down.

And to those women who think they are helping by adding more stress and worry onto women who are only doing what’s necessary for their children and their family. Shame on you. You don’t walk in their shoes, don’t presume to know who they are. Just because you have been stirred with what you call the duty to spread God’s message, doesn’t mean you have to put it on the heart of a fellow woman already struggling.

At the end of the day, what does the Bible say Jesus preached? Love and compassion. Not guilt and judgement. Seek to find the same level of belief and standards you hold these women to. Seek to walk in the way that Jesus walked, or don’t say anything at all.

Working moms, of all beliefs and family dynamics. You are struggling. You are doubting. You are heartbroken. But remember this above all. You are important. You are loved. You are appreciated. Your struggles don’t go unnoticed. Your doubting has no foundation. Your heart will mend each time with the happy smile of your child when you walk through the door. Your heart can withstand, your child is learning valuable lessons from you. Teach your child the idea of standing on your own two feet, doing what is necessary, and caring for the lives you have brought into this world and keeping them safe, warm, and happy!

Let’s all give a little more compassion to our fellow mothers. Regardless of our beliefs. Regardless of our decisions. Regardless of how we raise our families. Regardless of how we got here, we are all mothers. Let’s stop this war against each other. Let’s stop the judgement and start appreciating one another. Let’s stop the guilt and start learning from one another. Let’s stop the advice and start listening to one another.

Let’s just be women. Caring for our children. Doing what is in our heart and our soul to do on pure instinct.

Love one another.

Our World Is Full Of Awesome

On the wedding front, we are still saving up the money to drive to Iowa and get the marriage license to make this thing legal. Not as romantic as a wedding should sound, but it’s practical. The fun part is on Pinterest. I was a little discouraged about the venue and stuff being so expensive, well out of our price range. However, we have some awesome and very supportive friends. They suggested some great parks and places in the area. So I am going to scout this place out in person. It’s $100 for the whole day. I think I can spruce it up and make it wedding AND reception worthy. I already have lots and lots of ideas in my head.

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It holds 100 people, which is great for K’s huge Italian family and my semi-large out of town family and of course our friends and co-workers!

I’m thinking if I can get some fabric, we can put it around the outside edges to make it more like a ‘tent’. I am envisioning getting some stringed lights to hang on the inside to give the lighting more of a glow and romance. I have gone to Pinterest for centerpieces and all that, so we can get decorations cheap at the craft store and I’m pretty darn crafty.

We also started painting in this house. K’s therapist recommended that she get some of her creative ideas out in the form of painting. With her BiPolar Disorder, she has a lot of racing thoughts in her manic swings and it’s difficult for her to concentrate. So, this is one way for her to get it out and have an outlet for those thoughts. She has painted some pretty nice paintings. We are a Doctor Who family, so she painted a galaxy painting with a TARDIS for me to display in my cube at work.

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People comment on it a lot and absolutely love it. I helped her paint this one, we did it together. So I really took a liking to painting, so I painted one of my own last night!

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Punky has been way more vocal lately and that’s pretty awesome. Her little voice just melts my heart and I love it! Here’s a little treat – I think I figured out how to post videos!

Can I Borrow Your Backyard?

Holy smokes, people. I didn’t really think about how much is costs to have a stupid wedding ceremony. See, I know earlier I was all “Yay Wedding!” “Yay walking down the aisle!” That was before I went to price venues for an affair such as our wedding. Are you kidding me? $2000 for like three hours? Honestly, I have the food taken care of, I don’t need a dance floor or anything fancy. I just need a place to walk down the aisle in a pretty dress and say I DO to the love of my life.

Is that really so much to ask for?

We are parents of a small child and I don’t have the cash to have even a small affair. I mean, sure we could save it up for a while, but then the wedding would never happen, because we really are the worst savers on the planet! LOL.  And, anyone who knows me personally just laughed out loud for real, hopefully you aren’t drinking anything. Sorry about your nose ….

Anyway, so I am thinking about just crashing someone’s backyard. You know, put some lawn chairs out and pay homage to my redneck roots. Here I am rolling my eyes right now. Seriously, that just won’t ever happen.

But, I suppose, eventually I will make this work. There’s got to be a nice place I can have a decent wedding ceremony and not have to give my imaginary second born child as payment. (We can’t give up the first one, they’d give her back, and we aren’t having a second one, now we’re screwed!) Heh, but really, planning a wedding is expensive!

We have a date though, in May, hopefully. I am really shooting for that, regardless of what we do. And, we will technically be getting married before that, legally, with the paper and all that signed in a month – maybe less, as soon as we get some information from Iowa on how we have to proceed. I don’t want to be driving all the way to Iowa (I know, I know it’s only 2 hours) and find out that we weren’t fully prepared.

I sent an email to the county recorder’s office there on Labor Day and haven’t heard anything yet. I figure they are busy with a lot of midwesterners with the same questions I have about same-sex marriage, since the IRS ruling that just came out. I’m sure I’m not the only one with the questions on how to do this properly. And, Iowa is the closest state we can do it when we are smack dab in the middle of the country. I swear, the midwest needs to get with the program for crying out loud.

So, we have a semi-plan for the trip to Iowa, now we just need to figure out how to make the ceremony nice and still keep it reasonable  for our pockets. It’s really going to be a frivolous expense anyway, but I am set that I will have my day to walk down the aisle. Our mothers will be able to see us stand in front of our friends and family and proclaim our love to the person we have shared the last decade with. Our fathers will have the chance to walk us down the aisle, give us away and dance at our wedding. It will happen. It will.

In other news, I’m still working the night shift, getting off at midnight. I’m still doing a fill in supervisor job in the hopes of making it permanent. Keep your fingers crossed for me, it’s a great opportunity and it’s definitely what I want to do.

And, as always, it allows me to do great things with Punky that I wouldn’t normally be able to do. K and I decided that for pictures that aren’t ‘creeper worthy’ or nude pictures and stuff that I don’t actually ever post, I am not going to password protect, because damnit, I hate doing it. So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s what we have been doing!

Over the last holiday weekend, Punky helped me cook spaghetti. She really just stirred her own pot of cold, salty noodle water and nibbled on the uncooked noodles.

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We also spent some time at Barnes and Noble for the first time with Punky. She had a nice time with their Lego display thing.

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Tuesday we went to story time at the library. I didn’t get a chance to get any pictures of her there, because the story time was too little for her and she was too busy. We may try storytime for toddlers next time.

Then today we went for a little outing to the store this morning. I am just loving the fact that she walks to the car by herself and she can hold my hand, even if she doesn’t really want to.

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She climbs up the stairs, she takes a little break and then of course, becomes distracted by things on the way, but we get there eventually. I know I have more patience than K does in this department, but we are working on it! Our little girl is getting bigger and bigger. Her half birthday is on Saturday! We will likely have a little celebration for her 18 months. I’m sure I will have pictures for you then too!

Hope everyone had a great week and has a great weekend!

 

Wedding Fever

So, I never really thought this would happen. I want to plan a wedding! I want to have that walk down the aisle. I want to stand at the end of an aisle, arm and arm with my dad and look down the aisle at my beautiful K waiting for me. Ten years is a long time and I guess, I haven’t really thought about an ACTUAL wedding before.

But, now it’s possible. Now, it may be something we can do! I’m a typical girl. I want to say my “I Do” in front of my family and friends. I want to show the world that we can and will be together forever!

And along came Pinterest in the midst of ALL the changes to my new status as a ‘fiance’. I’ve been a fiance for 9 years, but I am a head full of schoolgirl plans and beautiful flowers, the dress, the music, the decorations. The invitations, the drapery, the guests, and the food. All with a budget we can afford, but I have waited 10 years for this wedding, I can definitely wait a little longer to make it sweet and worth our love.

So, if you wanna follow my wedding fever on Pinterest, jump aboard the planning of my lifetime! I will say that I haven’t consulted K about the plans yet, BUT, rest assured my darling love, I will consult you! After the fever is over! Think of it as … giving you options! I’m doing the pre-planning!