Blasphemy! I know, I know! I am a terrible mother. I am not saying that for pity of martyrdom, but seriously, there are key childhood, key baby moments that I just do not have the answers to. But my dear penguin, before you take to the therapist couch just yet and carry all of my baggage with you ( Vera Bradley or Tumi please), please know I have very solid reasons for not knowing some of these answers.
Maybe it’s turning 40 this past year. Maybe it is because she just went to her first dance (daddy-daughter dance) and then I saw pictures of the eighth grade dance on social media and immediately thought “ahh, I can’t take it, that’s next. And then the prom”. Or maybe it’s the People magazine article I read on the opioid crisis among young adults and that sent me tumbling down another rabbit hole all together. But anyhow, I saw this beautiful advertisement on Zulily for one of the chalkboard milestone fill ins that are so popular these days and I started thinking, “I don’t know the answers to those questions “.
The parent fills in X for age, then other answers such as “I can ___”, “My favorite toy___”, and “My favorite foods___”. Oh my did I start feeling like a failure. I immediately asked Tommy for answers and went into a diatribe of “was she going to end up with an empty, or half filled baby book and just a box of keepsakes from her childhood like he has in a closet of his married home”!?!?!? Yes! I spin out easily and fast. Clearly these meds are not working. Which he did mention, have you started the new hormones? I digress.
Tommy , your daddy my dearest love penguin, says your first words were something of the “da-da-da-da” nature. Leaning towards “daddy”. I do not disagree. I am sure even at just a few months old you knew who would be the calmer of the two of us. Please know I have a good reason for not having these answers.
I truly do not remember exactly when you took your first steps. I was too busy trying to protect you from hurting yourself when you did.
I am not sure what you favorite foods were. I only wanted to feed you the healthiest and the best and whatever had the least like-ability you wouldn’t choke on it.
I do not think you had a favorite toy because I did not let you sleep with anything. I did not let you sleep without being held for the first two weeks of your life and then after that you slept without anything close to you, on a breathing monitor with a video monitor. I did this because I was scared of something happening while you slept.
So, no I don’t have all the answers from your baby days. I don’t know all of your first. There were days I was so anxiety ridden with something happening to you that those days led to sleepless nights. I’ve just tried to protect you since the day you were born. I don’t have the answers because I was too busy loving you.
*Disclaimer: I do not insinuate that parents who do know the answers love their children any less. This is my blog. My thoughts.
I realize my post earlier today was short and puzzling. That is okay. But, I have made an astonishing decision while watching T.V., which for some reason I tend to think a lot while doing. Part of the reason I could not seem to connect my thoughts to paper earlier is my depression and anxiety. But, I am trying something new to see if it works.
Acceptance. I am going to accept that I am on a carousel of cleaning, laundry, etc and move on. I know it sounds weird, but I have been stubbornly fighting it ever since I became a stay at home mom. “What do you think housewives do?” You ask? Well….I’m not saying I thought I should never clean, but I guess I really thought it was more balanced. I know, delusional. I have been causing myself the anxiety by fighting it all this time. I must accept that I am now Cinderella before the ball and there is no glass slipper in my future.
The glass slipper in this case would be my anxiety going down, having more patience which will lead to a happier home life. This may seem delusional too. Maybe it is? Maybe I’m hungry and my blood sugar is low and I’m not thinking clearly. Who knows? Really at this point I’ll give it a try though. I really have to relax. I don’t mean sitting around, I mean mentally , and if that means just accepting that I am to clean up behind everyone and take care of everything then I’ll give it a whirl. My body cannot take much more of this constant stress and anxiousness.
So, here we go. Acceptance.
Well, old friend, it sure has been awhile. I have no idea where the time has gone or the pen or the paper. No excuses for why I haven’t written. I have tried to keep every little detail, every memory tucked away in a special folder in my mind and heart. But, it sure does feel good to have the keys below my finger tips and hear the tapping of them in my ears as I pour out the song of my heart from the last year of mountains and mole hills.
I have joined the class of women I often have blogged about before. The women who get to exercise at 6:30 in the morning. The women who go to their children’s school events. YES, those women. I am that woman now, that mom. I joined the stay at home mom club back in May 2018. There was no ceremony, no pinning, no certificate even. Just a miserable job, a discussion over bourbon with my husband, a 2 1/2 month notice -that turned shorter thank you JESUS– and then one day I just became a stay at home mom. I dropped the penguin off at school in my pajamas and I picked her up in my pajamas. I’m not going to lie. There was only two weeks left of school at this point. Wait a minute, actually, the first week she continued to go to after school care so I picked her up around 5:00 in my pajamas. That’s right, that’s why I didn’t get the certificate, because I didn’t start running at 6:30 a.m. right away.
Sarcasm aside, as much as I can push it away anyhow, I am not going to gush about how I love being a stay at home mom. Don’t get me wrong. I do love being a stay at home mom. But not exactly for the reason that I expected or that other SAHM might love about it (I don’t know for sure what other SAHM take away from it so please no hate comments). The one thing I know is that I am grateful for my husband that he heard my cries of anxiety and unhappiness in the workplace. I am grateful that he has a financial plan in his head that allows me to do this at this time of our child’s life that is so crucial. Whether I worked or not, he would still be driving a truck for at least another three years only coming home about 1 1/2 days a week. As parents we felt the need to have one parent be more focused on the penguin inside the home and I DO realize what a blessing this is. So please don’t ever mistake my sarcasm for me taking anything for granted.
Full disclosure. I just deleted 2 more paragraphs I wrote. My heart has quit singing and my mind has closed off the folders. There is no more for the keys to tap out today.
As the penguin 🐧 and I “Raced” 🏁 to get dressed this morning, she would say “I’m going to win”! Then she saw me with my shirt 👚 half on putting on deodorant and said “NO CHEATING!”. I asked, “putting on deodorant is cheating?” “Yes!” She says. I replied in my usual dark and twisty mother of the year way, “you need to learn how to loose” 🤦♀️
The penguin replied, “oh I know how to loose”
“Do tell me your story of loosing that Lifetime will make a movie 🎥 about ”
“Loosing means you don’t win. You can’t always win”…
Well, there you go….
Well, you know that I care nothing about being a cool kid. Never did, never will. I definitely don’t tell the Penguin about being cool, except for in the sarcastic way this conversation went this morning. But, it is alarming how even at age six she has some understanding of cool vs. uncool.
We were discussing the pop socket I have on the back of my phone. You know, that really stupid gadget that is making someone a fortune because it is the latest thing to have. I guess I fall prey to propaganda, and I love gadgets!
Penguin: I like this on the back of your phone. What is it?
Southern Belle: It’s called a pop socket, its what all the cool kids have (sarcasm oozing)
P: Ms. Sarah and Ms. Summer have one of those on their phone, but it doesn’t look like yours.
P: Mama, you can’t be a cool kid (looking up at me like the emoji SMH should be above her head)
SB: Why not? (Very indignant, yet humorous)
P: Because you don’t wear a hat, cool kids wear hats
SB: Uh? Cool kids wear hats?
P: Yes, daddy can be a cool kid because he wears a hat
SB: Where did you learn this rule?
P: Dylan, he says cool kids wear hats. Sometimes they even wear them backwards
Now, I’m the one with the face palm emoji above my head.
I guess I’ve gotten somewhat used to change in the last three years. Maybe I’m better at it at times than others. The schedule changes. The last minute “I won’t be home until tomorrow ” changes. Maybe I have just accepted not to expect or rely on anything constant. So, maybe I haven’t adjusted to change, I’ve just accepted there is nothing to rely on.
Yes, here I am. The cynical, smart ass Southern Belle you came to love. I have tried to hide that too. The cynicism. But, sometimes it proves to be too much and it overflows.
The dust is stirred up on our dirt road as he drives in off the road. But, thinking about what we do with the short time he is home….
I don’t think the dust has settled from the trip down the dirt road home when it’s time to drive away again.