September 11, 2010

dwell in possibility

i debated whether or not to go to sleep after i put the kids to bed and while i could be putting this time to better use (since i decided not to sleep, obviously) i'm here, instead. since i'm not working on an article submission, i've decided that this entry may be good book fodder so i don't feel like it's a complete waste of time to come and vent in my blog. but color it what it is, because that's what i'm here to do.

i could say it all started when 6:00 p.m. rolled around and we hadn't heard back from the broker about the only house we've put an offer in thus far. we had gone back and forth with counter-offers since our first offer was countered earlier this week. today was pretty much it; we agreed to nearly all of the sellers' terms and stopped the negotiating at their last asking price. i thought it was a done deal and maybe it is - i completely understand that it is a weekend, afterall, and just because i don't have a life and checked my phone every five minutes to see if my husband texted me with word from the broker i do know that the broker, the sellers, and the sellers' agent all probably do have lives. it's possible my husband will hear something tomorrow or early next week but since losing hope is my favorite past time, this was definitely a dinner-time catalyst for all hell to break loose in my head.

it also happens to be that one day a month when my womanly hormones are all like, "hey, you suck and so does everything" so even though i maintained calm peaceful serenity all day, after 6:00 all bets were off and i was a bad midol commerical waiting to happen. it, of course, doesn't help that i KNOW my craptacular diet and lack of exercise are totally to blame for this, but whatever. can't change that now, and it comes, i'm like carla in one of my favorite episodes of scrubs...

i snap at my husband during dinner and then quickly excuse myself, explaining that it's so me and not him but it's also this list of things, which i present to him, after which he just rolls his eyes like he's still taking it all personally and wishes i would have just apologized rather than elaborated for the sake of some compassion.

i go have a good cry in the bathroom. i know the house thing is completely out of our control and even though i'm getting mighty sick of telling this to myself, i truly believe that everything happens for a reason. if, at least on some cosmic level because i must admit, i don't often know the reasons things turn out the way they do for at least a decade.

i also get over, rather quickly, all the other things bothering me and head back out to the table just in time for pea to spill a glass of water.

things were relatively okay until i decided to brush my teeth before getting the kids ready for bed and sure enough, sprout started crying hysterically for me. i love that my kids love me (at least the two little ones do) and most of the time i love that they are super attached but on days like today, i resent it. pea is nearly five but bean is nearly fifteen and for nearly half of my life i haven't had the luxury of going to the bathroom in peace. bean was not nearly as attached as the younger two, so while i could usually shower or pee without him in the bathroom, banging on the door, or crying on the other side of it, i did have to worry what he was doing or getting into; one time it was the nail polish all over the carpet and in his eyeball; another time it was his two-year old self running naked across my apartment complex; and yet another time he'd stuck a penny in a tupperware cup and then decided to microwave them both. quite frankly, i'm spent. i opened the door to let the little squirt in and started crying myself. again. then pea walked in and said, "next you're brushing my teeth," and i didn't know what else to do but continue crying.

i'm not looking forward to bedtime. i have to wrangle both little ones to bed and lay with them until they fall asleep. i had visions of what a peaceful time of reconnection this would be after the end of our days. we'd read, like we always did before sprout was born, i'd nurse, and we'd all calm down blissfully.

but reality is a bitch.

if we're all in the same bed, this is a chore i despise. it's not peaceful and it's not enjoyable. pea is getting much better about having to fall asleep on his own, but only after i try to lay with them both and make big threats because neither of them will settle or stop squirming. i used to be such a hard-core proponent of co-sleeping, too. i used to justify it (or hide it) to (or from) so many people when my oldest was a wee one and i believe i still really enjoyed it when pea was younger. i even dealt with it despite major back pain but now, i don't know, maybe i'm selfish but i want my bed back and i am definitely night-weaning sprout earlier than pea. but this is where more of my piss-poor attitude rears its ugly head...i haven't been able to night-wean because awesome papa works a lot. like more than would be legal if he were someone's paid employee. being his own boss and having to run two businesses means he doesn't have a choice but to work twice as many hours than most people, without the added benefit of extra pay. he is always early to bed (or tries to be) and always super early to rise and the protests of a little one being weaned (or put in a crib) would interfere with his much needed, and deserved, rest.

i need rest, too, though. can't say what it is but this go-round, i don't easily go back to sleep when sprout wakes to nurse. i don't feel rested or renewed in the morning, even if my back doesn't hurt like it used to. i think i'll be a better mama if i get some sleep, so i must night-wean. awesome papa leaves on a business trip tomorrow and i've told myself for months that i'd use this time to get down to business, myself. tonight, though, i wonder if i'm up to the task. i have comforted sprout to sleep, without nursing, many times before - but never consistently, because, as much as i'd like to think that i have to prevent his cries from waking my husband, the truth is that my threshold is very low. i cannot much tolerate the sound of my children crying.

i don't know if that makes me a wonderfully attached parent or just a largely conflicted freak.

so as i lay between two squirmy, but super sweet little boys, imagining my impending doom, the ball continues to roll as it may and only one thing comes to mind.

i am unfulfilled.

as much as i always wanted to be a devoted, stay-at-home mom i didn't grow up with one and i don't know how to be one. my mom might completely disagree (and just in case she's reading, "hi, mom" *waves excitedly*) but for part of my life, she was a working mom, and for the other part of my life she was self-absorbed or otherwise occupied and/or on mind-numbing antidepressants.

in the case of my older son, i was most of those things, too.

then i got older and had two more kids after  people would have safely assumed that i'd "grown up" and all was supposed to fall into place. i really wanted to be one of those moms that i knew. like my friend's moms - the ones that stayed at home, listened to all their kids problems without judgment and gave them a hug afterward, baked cookies and fresh bread, didn't hit them over the head with the hairbrush...but not many of my friends were all that happy with their parents (some were, it's true, but not many) so, reflecting on this, it is entirely possible that i painted a rosier, more "leave it to beaver" picture than that bitch of reality.

it is also entirely possible that i'm too hard on myself - and it all comes down to that last entry i wrote on a similar topic. i still haven't found a way to nourish myself. haven't recharged. haven't reconnected with myself or my husband, though i did take one mildly relaxing bath since then.

since i started this, the baby woke up and i went to bed. as much as i want to night-wean, i also want to cherish forever the way he holds my hand as he nurses and the way he scoots his body as close to mine as possible, when he's done, and practically sleeps on top of me. i am a conflicted freak. no doubt!

it is now the next morning. i am much, much better. i keep experiencing little waves of saddness over the possibility that the sellers changed their minds and that house won't become ours. i also keep experiencing little bits of peace as i tell myself that maybe their agent (and our broker) just don't see the urgency and will get back to my husband tomorrow. i hate waiting for nothing, though, and even more than that, i hate getting my hopes up for nothing. it's such a personal thing, but it makes me feel foolish to the very core and it's part of my hard exterior that i have yet to unravel.

i plan on really sitting down with my husband, upon his return, and revisiting the idea of nourishment. it occurred to me last night that if i feel unfulfilled, he might, as well. i have no idea what he might need but i intend to find out. i do know what i need to regain some sense of balance - i need to reconnect with my art. i had just started to when we got serious about buying another home and selling ours, so packing and purging took priority. i need to recharge, somehow, and i'm not exactly sure that night-weaning is the answer, but it's a start. i have decided to ease up on the pressure i've created for myself and take the gradual dr. gordon approach  until it's complete. i did a modified version of this with pea, right before he turned two years old. in about four weeks, he was sleeping through the night. sprout is a different baby and more easily comforted, and also more likely to unlatch before falling asleep - he is a frequent, but not a comfort, nurser. i'm going to re-read dr. gordon's advice and not lengthen the steps in the process but stick with the ten-day program. by the time my husband returns, we'll be halfway done :)

i need to really let go of the house because all things happen as they should, and knowing this, i really need to stop feeling that things are always so close, but yet so far away. so many things are within reach right now but instead of dwelling on the challenges in the way, i need to dwell in the possibilities!


  1. I could swear you just entered my head and wrote it all down. All I can say is same same ditto ditto. Wow! Freaky. I am going to read about night weaning now....

  2. hey lady...i will give you a hug and say "chin up, keep calm and carry on." xo

  3. thank you, ladies ;)

    i have the "keep calm and carry on" print hanging in my kitchen and TOTALLY have to stop taking it for granted, but actually meditate on it every morning. because it's the only way to really operate and things really do work out the way they should!


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