Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Change Afoot

I've been purposefully balking at posting because the thing I've been thinking about most I haven't been ready to share.  It's intensely personal, but now that the wheels are in motion, Grace is still napping (wake up!  wake up!), I've cleaned some, had lunch, did some filing... I'm getting bored by my procrastinating.  So I suppose it's time.

I'm going back to work.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9-4.  The job I left for stay-at-home motherhood came calling about a month ago asking if I would be willing to come back, and after a lot of thinking and talking and thinking some more, I decided to go for it.  It just became unofficially official (the right people had to sign off on my schedule), and it will happen.  When is still up in the air.  Paperwork still needs to get filed, I need to be reinstated.

I'm still working on finalizing the whys, and I'm sure I'll share my thought process eventually.  For right now, I think this is a good move.

So...there you go.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Confessions of Motherhood

I have this image of me, this ideal me, always at the back of my mind.  She's organized, prepared for everything, startled by nothing, always knows what to say and how to say it, knows how to read her audience, has boundless energy to keep a flawless house, walk the dogs, play with her daughter, cook gourmet meals, do all kinds of crafts, remembers everyone's birthdays, and in amazingly great shape.

You may laugh, and most days I do, but deep down it really isn't funny.  Because this is who I measure myself up to, this Imaginary Me that does not exist except to haunt me every day.

My name is Lori, and I'm a perfectionist, and, therefore, a masochist.

Motherhood has been the most emotional ride I've ever been on.  I've never felt such highs and lows, such unbelievable love and such horrific hopelessness.

All because of her.

Let's back up.

The beginning days of parenthood is a wonderful mix of adrenaline, fear, happiness.  Glad that you finally met the wee one that you anticipated for so long.  An "oh!  So that's what you look like!  Nice to meet you!"  and "Holy crap!  What is that!  Is that ok?"  And "does she really like to be wrapped up like that?"

Then...  then the exhaustion starts to set in.  This is where I had my first crack in my image of perfection.  Every parent knows it, but I just didn't get it, how fucking tired you get.  How unreal the exhaustion is.  If you parented, you know this.  But for some reason, I didn't believe it.  And to an certain extent, I didn't think it really existed, because all my friends and family really didn't complain about it.  And I'm sitting here going, HOW THE HELL DID YOU NOT SCREAM TO THE WORLD THAT YOU WERE HOLY SHIT TIRED.

Clearly, I did not handle this part well.

Then, because you are tired, you make other mistakes.  I dropped glasses, forgot to pay bills, yada yada.

When I quit the professional life, a clearer image of who I was supposed to be started forming in my mind, but I knew right away (and perhaps this was my downfall) that I could never be that person.

By gum I had to try!

I did.  I failed.  Everyone knew better, and everyone was nice enough to not say I told you so.



I shattered.  This was a very tough time, trying to accept that I can't be that Ideal Mom just like I'm never going to be a  5'10" 110 lb supermodel.  She's just not me.

So I had to think about who I really am, and what mattered.  First, I knew that even the dumbest, most irresponsible and selfish people in the world manage to raise children.  And I was not in that group.  I gave myself that much, at least.  If a crack head can raise a kid, then I can.

Second, I knew that I needed to use my quirkiness to my advantage.  To stop trying to change who I am and work with it.  Can't fight the tide, so you gotta just go with it.  So lately, I've been a much happier person by loving who I am and working with who I am instead of trying to change myself.

In the end, what really matters as a mother is that Grace loves me.  I can do no wrong (until she's a teenager).  She loves me.  I'm perfect for her, because no matter how crappy I feel about myself, I love her and she loves me.

That Ideal Mom is still back there in my brain.  I don't think she's ever go away, because there will always be those moments when I wish I could be better for Gracie before I realize that I am already the best for Gracie as I am.

I look back on my first 10 months of being a mom, and I do smile (believe it or not).  I just want to hug my exhausted, melodramatic self and tell her to hold on tight, that she'll have revelations that will change her outlook on life, that the Ideal Mom truly does not exist, and that she's doing a wonderful job.

Luckily, I didn't need to, because my mom did that for me. My mom hugged me, talked to me, encouraged me, ensured me that the Ideal Mom doesn't exist, and she always always always told me I was doing a wonderful job.

What a kick ass mom, right?  At least I have a great example to follow.  In my own way, of course.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there!

Trust me: if you doubt, you are doing FINE.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Snacks For You!

No pictures!
The Confession:  It's been a long plateau on the scale, my friends.  To be frank, I'm trying to beat down emotional eating and that process has kept me at the same weight for about 2 months.

It does not bode well for fitting into my wedding dress come July 1st...

But I suppose that's ok.  This whole journey isn't about fitting into a wedding dress, but into a future with Gracie and Dave.

What has been going well?  Walking.  Aside from my flu that sidelined me for about a week, I've been getting out several times during the week for walks.  Yesterday it was 2 miles.  Today I'm headed out to a park with friends and hope to squeeze in a couple more miles.  When the weather is this good, it's almost impossible to not want to walk.

What hasn't been going so well?  It was pointed out to me that maybe, just maybe, I was taking advantage of the Weight Watchers Points Plus (WWPP) system.  WWPP has this little gem in it's program, that all fruit and veggies are free.  I admit I abused that.  I still firmly believe that it's darn tough to get fat on fruits and veggies, eating a pound of bananas every day might hinder weight loss.  Just a bit.

So for the last week I've been trying my darndest not to snack between meals and only when I'm actually, genuinely hungry (not bored or procrastinating).  And when I am hungry, have a single serving fruit instead of indulging in a 5 pound fruit salad.

Result:  It's made a difference.  The scale is heading downward again.  I worry about the next true stress to hit me (because that's when all hell breaks loose), but I feel that practicing not mindless snacking on seemingly harmless foods will help me when the time comes.

Anyway, my darling G decided her nap is not going to be long.  Signing off!