Friday, August 3, 2012

How To Be Not Mad

This is one of those "Smile for the Picture" photos.  I'm not really this smiley and carefree about having two boys to tend to. But I do think my eyebrows look good.

I think the secret to this Mom Thing is the old "Take Time For Yourself."
But not in the way it's always advertised.
I mean, get real.  Going to get a pedicure is out of the question with a 2 year old and a new born.  Heck, getting ready to get a pedicure is basically out of the question.  Spending time reading in a bubble bath... that's silly.  For two reasons.  One, I think baths are gross.  Just sitting in water made murky by all the dirt and mulch pieces that stuck to you from the playground with your toddler and all the puke/poop/drool from the new baby.  Eh eh.  Gross.  Second,  the warm water would activate le ol' milk ducts and I'd have two lactating fountains.  Again.  Eh eh.
All those glamorous "Me Time" ideas are ridiculous.  And even with a helpful partner, which I have, the time is still so limited.  I mean Joe Joe likes to eat.  A lot.  I haven't taught him to tell time yet but feeding every four hours is practically starving him.  So he's attached to the boob most of the day.  (Maybe that's why he's gained almost 4 pounds in a month.)


I have come to this conclusion.  I have to do something for me.  Every day.  I've spent a couple days paddling in the boat with the moms who don't and I know what it's like.  I end up resenting the kids.  Having thoughts of how mice life would be without them.  I think about hiring a kidnapper.  Not listed in the Yellow Pages. Hmph.  I swear at them in my head.  And sometimes out loud.  Anytime Joey starts crying I think "Where is the closest wall?  He's going through it!"  It's awful.  I feel possessed.  But, any mom who is doing this a-round the clock knows the feeling.  Like there is no escape.  Drowning.  Drowning when you weren't even having fun swimming.  Drowning when you were like... paddling on a treadmill or something.  Life feels heavy.  Awful.  And unhappy.

I think this is why some moms end up looking so upset.  And wrinkly.  Not to mention have perma-angry eyebrows and frowns.  Even when their kids are grown up. 

So- here's my secret.  First.  When Koley is going through a fit or tantrum or anything that involves yelling-  I walk away.  I'm not going to give in to him so why do I have to stand there and listen to him whine about it.  (Whine is not a strong enough word.  What is the word for whine times a million?)  It's little.  But it helps me.  I also have started reading my Oprah magazine when I am nursing the baby.  I started with my current book but there are a lot of interruptions when nursing a new born.  Burping, puking, Kole grabbing him.  I could get through 2 sentences over and over and over.  Frustrating.  So I switched to a magazine.  The first 5 or 6 times I browse through it I only look at the pictures anyway.  My biggest help has been movies.  Joey is still putting me in the Circle of Pain every night starting at about 10.  And carrying on until 1 or 2.  Only once until 3.  (In his defense it is getting better.  He told me I had to write that.)  But instead of pacing my bedroom and bouncing him and crying with him and watching Ken sleep and wishing I was in bed and praying for the strength not to harm this baby... I put in a no-think movie.  Movies like "The Devil Wears Prada"  or "Eat Pray Love."  A movie where the dialogue is not really that important.  That way I never get mad when Joe Bo amps up and I can't hear.  The time goes so much faster.  I feel like I did something fun.  And I'm not mad.

I figure I'm going to be tired anyway.  I might as well enjoy myself.

Does anyone else have a suggestion for me?
A trick you used to keep sanity?
Ken says adoption is not an option.


DoublClik said...

I love you for who you are, and your true blue honesty. Its refreshing to see this side to motherhood, I think you're all that and a bag of chips

Juli said...

Can I tell you how much I love you in this post?


I didn't have a helpful partner... and the husband I had left when Youngest was 11 months old, so yeah...11 and 27 months alone... no fun.

I did mandate bedtime though... after 7pm was me time. They could play in that room all they wanted, cry, or order 15 pizzas from Dominos via the old phone in their room I had no idea was working, but NO way were they coming out.

I do also remember doing a lot of yoga poses and breathing in my spare minutes... good for stress...

Poulsen Family said...

Can I just tell you I literally get sick to my stomach thinking about Joey having colic. I feel for you beyond words can express! If I lived nearby I would come take Kole in a heartbeat, and I'm not just saying that. Colic was one of the very worst times of my life!

I'm not sure you want to take a walk at midnight but that really helped me during Max's colic. He liked the constant motion and when he didn't I just walked faster in frustration and tried to enjoy the fresh air. Plus I think the exercise helped with my hormones :)

Michelle said...

For me, it took until my second baby to realize I could read as I nursed! Late night Conan O'Brien and I also became very good friends. I didn't mind so much, getting up with a perpetually hungry baby, when I knew old Conan would be there waiting with some laughs...

Kar said...

I've heard about this stuff called Gripe Water that is supposed to really help with colic. I think you can buy it at pharmacies nowadays. It used to be you had to order it from Canada or something. Maybe that will help? And I NEVER had a kid who wanted to breastfeed every four hours. I was lucky to stretch it to every two hours with them. Breastmilk really goes through them a lot quicker than formula does. Basically, for the first little while, you're going to be an African tribeswoman with your boobs hanging out all over. Which might make you feel resentful. I HATED breastfeeding. So very, very much. And yes, resentment is the name of the game with kids of ANY age. I feel it all the time. Even though my youngest is two. Maybe...I don't know. Maybe on weekends, you could express some milk ahead of time and have Ken take a shift in the night? That's the only idea I've got.

Sean and Rachel said...

Thanks for you honesty. I remember wishing I was rich JUST so I could hire someone to take care of the baby at night. I would keep my small crappy apt forever if I could only get that! Good news though, Saved by the Bell is on TBS around 5 every morning. That was a plus to me. Also I got my sister the book "Go the F**k to Sleep" when she had her last baby. It's not kid friendly, but it says exactly what you're thinking. Funny stuff!

Beth Willmore said...

You're amazing Patty! I feel EXACTLY the same way that you do - and I agree with Juli. Once the kids are in bed it is ME time! (A lot harder when you have a nursing baby - I know and I'm sorry about that, but know that it won't always be like that!) I can blog, watch TV, read vampire books, whatever I want to do and I don't feel guilty about it because I need that time so I don't turn into the Mom Hulk at the first sign of whining in the morning!
Good luck my dear and know you're not in that boat alone!

Anonymous said...

I like you're honesty!:) Too many moms act like their life is perfect, but we all KNOW it's not!!

When my baby's were eating at night I would always turn on the TV. When Jonas was a baby I would sit in the rocking chair and watch old episodes of Full House. I would often nod off, but like you said, it's a TV show that wasn't entirely important to hear every word!! It sounds like you're doing great!! I'm sorry that Joey isn't a very good sleeper and cries a lot!! I really hope he grows out of it fast, for your sake!!

lucy said...

No advice, but I think your picture looks great. You look youthful and your skin looks great. Maybe it is the brows. ;) Don't underestimate the fake smile. You know what they say fake it till you make it. We all do. Good luck

Joanne said...

I think if I had had an ipod when I had my first nerves would have been saved. You are so right about all those suggestions of getting mani pedi and bubble baths. I think I saw that on Oprah once and I just about threw my sneaker at the TV!
Hang in there
Blessings, Joanne

Cinderella, the A-Train and Our Little Caboose said...

You inspire me Patty! You have given me some great ideas...and the wonderful part is I can use this stuff at any age my kids are in! Seriously, watching movies at night...why didn't I ever think of that? Genius! (Especially since I love cheesy moves that Andy doesn't care to watch).

PS. You look BEAUTIFUL in that picture!!

Israel Gonzales said...

I agree :)