September 17, 2010

Existential Crisis

I realize I've disappeared off the blogosphere the past couple weeks. I've been going through what Clay calls an existential crisis which basically means I hit a point where I question life and what it's all about. A little dramatic I know but oh how different this is from having a first child. The challenges are totally different. Some days I think I have it figured out and some days I wonder if I'll ever be able to pull it together. I wake up every morning and hope for a good day but never know exactly what I'll's pretty much a toss up. Over the past week or so I've felt things all the sudden spinning out of control and I hit rock bottom yesterday. I suddenly came to the conclusion that I wasn't meant to be a parent and something in my life just wasn't right...I wanted to run away from it all!

What got me here? Good question! I can't really pinpoint it exactly but I've recognized a lot of my problem is my patience or lack of. Some days I can handle any and everything that comes my way and others I break down at every little thing. I have those days when I feel I'm failing in all areas....failure as a parent, failure as a wife, failure as a dog owner, failure as an employee, failure as a friend, etc. I look around my house only to see a screaming toddler, screaming baby and a house that looks like a tornado hit it. It's at this point when I can either take it and move on OR I just break down in tears. I hate the days that bring tears.

The past few weeks have consisted of full on chaos! I'm sure some of it is self-inflicted but sometimes I have a hard time keeping it together. I think my hormones are still a little out of whack which could be part of the problem. For example last Tuesday I realized I forgot to add Gaines to my insurance within 30 days which meant we not only had no coverage for him but we would be stuck with all the hospital bills (NICU bills at that...OUCH!). This started the week out just perfectly and was probably the beginnings of the existential crisis.

I also really haven't been able to deal with Lola's whining and/or fits lately. They literally drive me INSANE! One day I lost it and sternly told her to "Shut up". How horrible is that?!?!?!? She immediately got a puffy lip and started crying. It really hurt her feelings which made me feel sick to my stomach. This was one of those "I'm a terrible mother" moments where I felt like I was completely failing as a parent. In addition to this terrible moment, another day last week, I realized all I had done all afternoon was scream at Lola. It sounded a little something like this - "No Lola!", "Lola, That's enough!", "Lola, If you do that one more time!", Lola! No!", "Lola, You're going to get a spanking!", "Lola, I've had it!", "No Lola!" get the point. She also got about three spankings between the hours of about 4:30 - 6:30. They don't phase her by the way. Unfortunately, not only Lola gets this sort of treatment around here. I also feel like I'm constantly yelling at the dogs to get out of my way. My poor gorgeous girls. Now they too are out of sorts due to all the chaos in this house and are constantly running to hide somewhere to get away from it all. Hell, I don't blame them.

In addition to all of this, I feel like I'm not able to spend enough time with Gaines as I'm constantly having to clean, work or pay attention to Lola so she doesn't get her feelings hurt or get frustrated/jealous and then try to hit, bite or kick him. At this point, I clearly haven't figured out how to manage it all! To make matters worse, the breastfeeding thing isn't going so well. Gaines isn't breastfeeding which means I have to pump vs. breastfeed. This takes a lot of time and energy. At this point, I'm basically a human milk machine and that's it! On top of that, he drinks the bottles too fast causing him to have little stomach issues which means lots of whining, moaning, groaning, growling and grunting. With all the funny noises he makes, sometimes I feel like I gave birth to a 90 year old man vs. a baby.

Here's the most traumatizing part of it all (not really but I'm dramatic at times)... Although I've been trying to eat healthy and consistently exercise, I weighed last week and discovered I've only lost an additional 4 lbs since my last doc visit over a month ago. WHY?? WHY?? WHY?? The weight literally melted off with Lola....not so much with this baby! Oh what an extra 2 1/2 years can do to a person. Much easier to peel off weight at 31 vs. 34. Ugh! And of course, I'm still getting NO sleep which is probably attributing to the lack of weight loss! Last night I was up every hour...pumping and feeding. It was rough! Oh how I would give anything for even a three hour stretch of sleep. That three hours would make me feel like I've died and gone to heaven. All of this translates into me being silent and depressed and not paying any attention to my hubby. Awesome!

So, that's just a brief/quick breakdown of some of the happenings. Believe it or not there's more. If only I had time to get into the detail of all of it. Maybe I will in future blogs but enough of the "woe is me" sob stories right?!?!?!? I hit rock bottom yesterday which had me laid up most of the day on the couch in full on depression mode. Gaines and I just slept all day. This is absolutely not something I would typically do but I didn't have the energy to move. Once I came out of my stupor I decided it was time to make a change. Enough of this!!! I also decided I wasn't going to wait until tomorrow or next week that I was going to make the change immediately....and I did!

I pulled it together, quickly straightened the house and headed out to pick up Lola. When I picked her up I made a commitment to myself that I would not yell or spank her. It's clear this type of discipline is not working for Lo so we have to try something else. I also decided that although it's hot, hot, hot that we need to stay out of the house as it makes everyone stir crazy to be cooped up inside. So, after I picked her up, we came home, jumped in the stroller and all of us walked to the playground for a picnic. I have to say it was so much fun and Lola just LOVED it! After our picnic, Lola played on the playground and I chit-chatted with the other mothers. It was so refreshing! We stayed at the playground until 7:15 and then walked home to get ready for bed. With the "new me", the evening went much more smooth and there were no fits, back talking or screaming on my part. I too loved it and it made me feel like "I can do this". Unfortunately, sometimes it takes an existential crisis to get to this point.

This morning went just as well. Typically I'm at my wits end by the time we're finally walking out the door. Despite the lack of sleep I didn't let myself get to that point. I was patient with Lola and we all got out the door in one piece with no fits, back talking or yelling and we were 30 minutes early. YEA!!! Then Gaines and I went to the lake and did a 3 mile loop. I ran 2 out of the 3 miles which made me very happy. Now here I am...finally able to get a blog written and hopefully posted. I feel things will really come together now and I hope I'll be able to update you on on the good and fun times (like the ones below) too!

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