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Archive for the ‘sometimes it’s about ME!’ Category

here

2012/05/30 2 comments

Haven’t had much time to write recently, don’t see that changing any time soon… But I am still here, and things are going well… And now, let this cute picture of the Meeks distract you:

 

Shouldn’t we all be so happy? I think so!

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situational

2012/05/09 3 comments

Not to take away anything I wrote last week, because it is still true and I still mean it, but to qualify… first and foremost, PMS! Oh, how I forgot about you! And oh, how you made sure I remembered with a vengeance!

But beyond those bitch hormones, I’ve been thinking about the WHY lately, and tried to articulate it to my lil sis the other day… And what I’ve come up with, is that it is situational. Or perhaps, locational. Take this exact same scenario, but plonk us down in a different city/town/etc? I’m pretty sure things would look VERY different…

Why?

Well, some of it is the pressure-cooker environment of New York; no matter what field you are in you feel it, but in the one my husband is in (and that I opted out of temporarily)? It’s even more intense. You get paid less and work more than people in the same field outside of the city, all for the “prestige” of living and training in NYC. And yes, there are benefits to this – once you are done. When you are in the middle of it? IT SUCKS DONKEYBALLS.

Feeding into this – or perhaps, stemming from it? – is the “paid less” part translating into my frustrations because anywhere else, we could more easily get through this rough patch by throwing money at it for a little while – hire a cleaner, eat more take-out, etc. But here? Yes, yes, there are ethnic cuisines of whatever obscure corner of the world you want to explore on every block. But. Money. Not something we have a lot of right now. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not starving… but we also can’t eat take-out and hire a cleaner. So. Yeah. Scratch that solution.

And, of course, what also comes along for the ride in this expensive-ass city is paying more for rent to live in a postage-size apartment than many pay for their mortgage on a house with a yard and a white picket fence, etc etc. While this helps with the cleaning part (less to clean! YAY!) it doesn’t help with much else… Because you are always on top of one another, as well as the hundreds of others who live in your building and thousands of others on your block and millions of others on this one tiny little island.

And the living on top of each other part is where a lot of my frustration lies, I was realizing. As I described to my sister: some of my friends’ husbands are training to be surgeons, which means they are away. A LOT. They might see their children for an hour every other day, or so. But? When they ARE there with their family? They are THERE. Both physically and mentally present (as much as they can be, what with the sleep deprivation). My husband is in a different specialty, and what that has amounted to recently? Is that he is studying – from home. So he is actually physically present, quite a bit of the time. But mentally? NEVER. He is always, always thinking about the test/studying for the test/being annoyed that he’s being distracted from studying/etc. There is no separation between work and home for him, and so he is always absent (though physically there… which is it’s own problem, see next sentences. Would rather he was actually NOT physically there more of the time, paradoxically). Also? Due to the aforementioned tiny-ass apartment? His desk is in the living room. Which means Meeka and I are NOT in the living room. When your tiny living space is cut in half? THAT ALSO SUCKS DONKEY BALLS. Just sayin’…

So. That. Things still suck, the test is two weeks away, I am hanging on til then…

Meanwhile, while I was thinking all this, I read one of those posts that makes you stop and go, “YES! EXACTLY!” … She wrote much more eloquently about the truth of living in NYC:

“New York City takes all the basic facets of normal human existence away from you, and then sells them back to you one at a time as luxuries. Want a bathroom that fits more than one person at a time? That’ll cost ya. A bedroom door? Five hundred extra per month. Don’t even ask about closets; you don’t get those unless you work on Wall Street.”

And also this:

“the truth is that we’re just not reaping any of the benefits of living in Manhattan these days, and city living is getting in the way of our life more than it’s enhancing it.”

That, right there, is IT. Yes, my husband is NOT helping matters right now with his intense preoccupation with himself (ahem. his test. sorry) but the root cause of my frustration? Is situational, locational, perhaps even somewhat vocational (OK, not that last – just wanted to make it rhyme)

So that’s the update.

 

Falling

2012/05/02 9 comments

“You make it look so easy,” he said, watching me wrestle a hyperactive dog into submission with one hand, a curious baby strapped to my chest, my other hand getting the appropriate keys ready to let us into the apartment.

I gave a small smile as I thanked him.

But inwardly, I cringed. That’s the problem, I thought, that’s exactly the problem.

I make it all look so easy.

———-

Our pictures are falling off of the walls.

Something about the change in temperature or humidity, combined with the way we hung them up (3M Command Strips, in case you were wondering… as it is next to impossible to nail into concrete walls), means that every morning I find a new hole on the wall.

They fall, but they don’t break.

And every morning, I pick them up, dust them off, and hang them back up. Hoping that this time, this time, they won’t fall.

———-

My friends have told me that they like to talk to me because I am so level-headed. They can tell me their problems, and I can help them see solutions… Or at least provide a sympathetic ear to listen.

I am the one who tells my old roommate, a new mother, that though she is not the mother she wanted to be – though she has had problems and struggles with things she never thought she would – she is still a mother. And a fantastic one, at that. She might not be able to breastfeed, but she is doing anything and everything she can for her daughter. And that’s what counts.

I am the one who is able to listen to the frantic worries of my friend about what might be wrong with her daughter, and then calm her fears with my background medical knowledge and some insight into genetic testing. Her daughter will be fine; she will be fine; everything will be fine.

But I am also the one who does not confide my worries to these same friends, because what could they say? My worries are not about my skills as a mother (I know I am a good mother. I know I make mistakes, but that I learn from them. I know I am trying my hardest. I know I am doing fine) or the development of my daughter (I still think she is absolutely brilliant… or at least, meeting all developmental milestones). They are more general and more specific than that. They reach to the heart of my family, not just myself…

———-

My husband has made it clear that, for now, his priority is not his family.

While I can see where he is coming from (somewhat), I cannot agree.

But I also cannot change this.

There is no way to change another person’s mind once it is set.

And so I am left to shoulder the burden that he has left behind.

I work full-time, mother my daughter full-time, and do everything else as well.

I feel myself stretching thinner and thinner to cover all the things I need to do.

I empathize with all the single parents out there, because that is what I now am, despite what it looks like to others looking in.

I have hope that it is temporary… But worry that it is not. Once the date of his test comes and goes, what happens? One thing will be over, but we’ll be moving on to another, just as big, just as stressful… What then?

And so I make plans… Plans to get out, get away, get myself the help that I need. Get my daughter other people to help with her care. Get us away from an environment that churns us into these situations.

Of course, none of that helps with the now. Even if these plans work out, nothing will change today, tomorrow, or even next week.

———-

Just like the pictures, I can feel my life falling down all around me… Falling, but not breaking. And just like the pictures, every morning I find a new hole, then pick up the fallen pieces and carefully place them back, hoping that they will not fall again.

The problem is, no one else sees what has fallen.

I am up earlier than everyone, gathering the pieces, replacing them, filling the holes.

They see the wall, covered with smiling photos.

I see the pictures that have fallen, been replaced, and fallen again.

I see myself picking them up, every day.

I see myself making it all look so easy.

But that doesn’t mean that it is.

bad mood

2012/04/25 2 comments

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately… Also known as: WARNING! WARNING! BAD MOOD!!! WARNING!

There is no real reason, just a general ickiness. Things I want to change – that I know WILL change – just not fast enough for me.

When my daughter gets fussy, it’s usually pretty easy to fix – she usually wants food or a cuddle. And if all else fails, the boobs solve everything.

I only wish my bad mood could be solved as easily.

 

not a post

2012/04/13 1 comment

this is not a post, because i do not have the brain power to actually compose real words into real sentences with real meaning.

i am just too tired.

the combination of a severe head cold (thanks for sharing, meeka and all you other daycare kiddos!) and total lack of sleep (why, hello there sleep regression! and also four new teeth! nice of you to stop by!) has turned my head into a cloud of fog from which very little coherence escapes.

so i’m just gonna post some pictures from my phone and call it a day. (these are from a couple months ago, but whatever. they’re cute. and meeka just outgrew those pyjamas, which were some of my favorites. SOB! why oh why do these little ones grow so fast?!?!)

she was so itty bitty!

and now she’s a big girl, with a big girl attitude!

 

firsts

2012/04/09 7 comments

A new baby has many firsts – first tooth, first step, first… everything.

A new mother has many firsts as well … Some good (first time back into your pre-pregnancy pants!) and some less so (first time you realize that, yes, your hair really does fall out!)

A few days ago, I hit another first …

/PAUSE

***WARNING: girly talk ahead !!! ***

/UNPAUSE

First period following childbirth.

UGH.

In the 18-ish months since the last, I’d managed to forget how much I HATE this mother-effing part of womanhood.

(In case you couldn’t tell, menstruation and I do not get on well. Sure, there is the bloating and wacky emotions. But it’s the C-R-A-M-P-S that I find nearly intolerable…)

I know I’m lucky that breastfeeding has managed to put off this return to woman-body-normalcy for so long (and yes, I *am* still breastfeeding…) – I know there are those out there who breastfed and STILL got their period only weeks after giving birth… But still. I am mourning this first. I could have easily been happy for it to hold off a little while longer…

How about all of you? What firsts after child(ren) did you (do you) wish you could have held off on?

24

2012/04/03 1 comment

4AM – that’s when I got up yesterday. I then spent a very effective few hours working on my lab meeting, which I hadn’t had a chance to do yet because of other demands on my time (also known as “my baby” and “sleep”). Got it done, went to work, presented, and all was well.

Except now I’m EXHAUSTED.

So let’s try to distract your attention away from the black circles under my eyes with a picture of my adorable daughter:

(Photo taken by a friend at our story hour play-date yesterday…)

Tangentially related story: the play date was held in Barnes and Noble (home of Sunday morning Story Hour!). The container Meeka is holding is cheerios. She was very good at reaching in and getting the cheerios out … and then dumping them on the floor. Let me remind you, this is the floor of a public Barnes and Noble (granted, a little used corner of it. But still). Then, she would grab her floor-cheerios- and eat them. Eventually (OK, after like 3 times), I just gave up trying to stop her. She was too fast and squiggly for my efforts to be at all successful… So I just shrugged and chalked it up to “building up her immune system.” Mother of the Year? Yes, indeed 😉

And on a totally different topic – I read 24 books in March! I may have accomplished very little else, but that, that I did! (I guess its not totally unrelated, if you take the jump from a play date in a bookstore to talking about books in stride)

My “good” aka “thinking” books for the month were –

  • Naughty Secrets by Joan Elizabeth Lloyd: meh. I picked this one out thinking it would be something of an anthropological/sociological review of why people act the way they do (the topic was sex, btw). Instead, it was just the verbatim transcription of what people wrote in response to a survey. Which, yeah, somewhat interesting… But not totally what I was expecting or hoping for.
  • Macachiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World by Dario Maestripieri: similar experience. Guess I wasn’t on my A-game for book-picking this month. Once again, this book took a look at the nitty-gritty details of monkey life and behavior – which was interesting. But I was hoping for a good anthropological wrap-up of monkey vs. human behavior, and nope. This was not it. (Can you tell I’m a closet soc/anth geek?)
  • How to get your kid to eat – but not too much by Ellyn Satter: a nutritionists take on feeding your child from infancy through teenagerhood. Granted, it’s a bit old (um, 1980s anyone?) but still a good- and useful! – read.

The rest of my monthly reading consisted of a lot of YA Fiction, for the most part (Meg Cabot and Tamora Pierce are two favorite authors, in case you were wondering) … and let’s not even discuss how the rest of my 2012 goals went, mmmmkay?

Now I’m off to mainline the rest of my coffee in the hopes of feeling slightly less bleary this morning…