Friday, October 30, 2009

It clicks

I have been going to counseling for a few weeks now and one of the main reasons is because I wanted to better understand why I struggle so much with becoming frustrated or angry and not being able to move beyond that feeling. It's like I get stuck in this emotion and even if I feel like it is illogical I can't break out of it.
This last week in my time with my counselor I had one of those moments where it clicked - where it made sense and I understood myself in a new way.
There are two important pieces of this discovery: 1 - I don't advocate for myself and 2 - I am on empty.

First, I know exactly what I want and need much of the time, but I don't vocalize that. I am so afraid to say what I need because I don't want to be selfish, but I also don't see that in order to be healthy I need to take care of myself. I am so afraid to come off as someone who is selfish that I instead let my own needs go. I try to give hints as to what I need and I do for others what I would want to have done for me and then if it doesn't happen for me I get into a funk - which often means I am frustrated or angry. I then get frustrated with things that probably wouldn't normally frustrate me, but I am so caught up in the emotion of it that I become almost irrational.

Second, I am on empty because I am not speaking my needs and I am getting frustrated and angry and then also giving (yes sometimes hoping to be given to in return - but please don't mistake this to mean that if I have given of myself to you that I did not want to or that it was because I wanted in return...most of the time my giving is 100% genuine) so I am left feeling empty. I feel exhausted (emotionally, spiritually, physically) because of this. I so desperately need to be filled up again. I need to speak up what I need so that I don't become empty and thus not so much fun to be around.

One of my favorite things about teaching is when I see a student have a moment where it clicks for them. When they have struggled to understand a concept and I have worked so hard with them on it and all of a sudden they get it - it clicks - it is such a great feeling as a teacher. For me this week I was on the other side where something about my own self clicked - I was not the teacher, but the student - and it felt so good.

It is hard for me to write about this because it is a level of vulnerability I am very uncomfortable with, but Jim has inspired me (through his own blog posts) to be more vulnerable. My friends have also inspired me to share these parts of myself by encouraging me and helping me to see that sharing these parts actually helps others relate to me. Sometimes we feel so alone in our emotions, but the truth is that we probably are not...but sharing the "crap" is so hard to do because it sets you up to be made fun of or for people to walk away from you. We want friends, we want to be liked...but we so desperately want to be safe. For me safety means protecting myself from being hurt by others - but I will never get to know anyone and will never let anyone know me if I am always safe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mom Brain

I have always prided myself on my ability to remember things. And not just remember basic information, I have a knack for remembering details...what people were wearing, what the weather was like...those kind of details.
And all of a sudden I am so incredibly forgetful. I spelled someones name wrong - and this is not someone who I should have forgotten how to spell it; I forgot to call my dad on his birthday; I forgot I was making a meal for another new mom and did it one week late because I got mixed up....what!!!! I don't do those kinds of things. What has happened to me???

Oh yeah, I have two kids. A needy infant (she doesn't like to be put down much) and a growing toddler that is testing her boundaries. I am so exhausted so much of the time that I can't remember the basic things.

I am realizing how much my life needs to shift now that I am a parent of two. I just can't manage as many things as I used to. I can't plan to go to friends for dinner whenever I want or run to the store really quickly to pick something up. I need to write things down or else there is a good chance I will forget. I also need to be better about voicing myself. Some things are just too hard to manage right now, but I need to tell people that rather than make plans and have to cancel. I have a lot to learn about being a mom of two!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Am I 13?

Why do I care so much what people think about me? At times I feel like I am driven to do certain things because of what other people will think about me because of it. I know it's so wrong to feel this way, but it's a struggle sometimes.
I had a really hard time nursing Amalea and stopped at about 4 weeks. With Maya I have had a bit of an easier time, but it has still been really hard. I won't go into any details, but it's been 9 weeks and at times I just break down and cry because its so challenging. And yet...I care too much what others will think if I give her formula that I continue to struggle through it.
There are other reasons I really want to keep nursing - its the best thing for her, it saves us money, its convenient - but in the end I know one of the biggest things holding me back is that I don't want other people to think less of me because I give my daughter formula.
This is just a moment of total honesty...I don't want to care. I want to be confident enough in my decisions for myself and my family that I don't need the approval of others...but it is so hard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So impressed

I never would have guessed that a 2 year old could love a newborn so much. Every day I am more and more impressed with how Amalea loves on Maya. When Maya cries Amalea comes to tell me she is crying (as if I didn't know). She tries to give her a pacifier, she pushes her in the swing, she gives her toys to play with, she cuddles with her, tries to pick her up, rocks in the rocking chair with her, and gives her enormous amounts of hugs and kisses. It blows my mind. I am so thankful for my girls and the love they already have. I pray every day that the love, care, and concern remain with them throughout their entire lives.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I haven't really figured out how to find balance just yet as a mother of two. Some days I think I can do everything I used to do without a problem and set out with the kids in tow. Usually at some point I realize I am overwhelmed and am trying to do too much. Other days I decide to just stay home and play here, but then Amalea gets a little stir crazy and tends to find trouble at that point. So, where is the balance? I think I need to find a few things to do to get us out, but they need to be things geared towards my kids (mainly Amalea at this point), not towards me.
I know a balance of taking care of my needs and my girls' needs can be found, but I am still working on that.
With all that said...Amalea is at such a fun age. She is listening really well and usually when she doesn't listen its a choice of hers, not that she doesn't understand. She has started to speak in full sentences and can even carry on a much fun! She is very accident prone - maybe as a result of her vision problems - so I always feel a little nervous, but I she is definitely tough because of that.
Maya is growing into her own little person and is almost two months old. She can't fit into her newborn clothes anymore and I feel like she is growing even faster than Amalea did. She has a lot of strength and is starting to play and smile more. I love when I walk into a room because she focuses on me and follows me with her eyes...we've definitely been bonding!
My girls are incredible and I am so thankful for them. I know balance will be found as we live each day and learn from the things we do well and the things that don't go so well.