Posted in Musings, Useless Opinions

How do you mom when you really don’t want to?

Birdy does this thing where when she’s really tired and something’s pissed her off, she’ll cry and lay on the floor face down while wiggling her butt up and down like a worm. It’s very funny. She disagrees, but like… Who likes being told they’re cute when they’re mad?

I am feeling that way today. I’m not in a particularly bad mood or anything.. I just… really don’t want to mom. At all. This happens fairly often to me (and I assume many, if not all moms) but some of these days are worse than others. I’d rate this one like an 8 out of 10. The resistance is there but the frustration is not. I’m sure the frustration is on it’s way. Today it’s just indifference. Not towards my kids, they’re sitting happily eating their fruits and lentil crackers. I made them a nice mushroom and cheese omelet, tickled them and pretended to eat their feet on the change table, etc. I just really don’t want to.

So – to restate the question – How do you mom when you really, REALLY don’t want to? Sorry.. I don’t actually have an answer for you. I know. So misleading. When I really don’t want to mom, and I have no one to pawn my kids off on, I do the same thing you do. I just do it anyways. And it really sucks.

I wonder if I’m the only one who feels more exhausted after a break. I’ll go to my mother-in-law’s for the night with the kids, or even leave them there, and by the time I’m back to being a mom I am even more opposed to parenting. Don’t get me wrong – I am VERY grateful for the break. But like.. Jesus. Is it just because it isn’t a very long break? If I got a week, would I be more inclined to go back to being a mom? It feels like the times I’m most “on it” are when I haven’t had a break in a while.

I’d like to be clear in that I do like being a mom. I adore my kids. I hope I’m not making it sound like I spend every day waiting for it to be over. That does happen, but mostly I like hanging out with them and watching them grow. They’re insanely smart, super funny and obviously cute as hell. But holy fuck is this job exhausting. I might have written about this before, but I know I was having a conversation about it a while back. This is the most engaging and difficult job I’ve ever had, but also the most boring job I’ve ever had. It is an intense dichotomy of emotions, and it brings on a lot of guilt and feelings of inadequacy. Boredom is a brain killer, so that’s probably one of the leading causes of mom brain. I always feel like I should be doing so much more with them. I don’t know how to grab their attention, and I don’t really know how to play with them without toys. I see my family and friends playing with them and they’re so engaged, I feel like I don’t really get that level. I want to take some classes or read some books about it, but I’m so exhausted with life and a lack of it that I am not sure where to fit it in.

And now I’m trying to get back to work… The way I see it, a job is going to go one of two ways. Hopefully the responsibility and schedule will revive my brain and boredom, and still leave me exhausted but in a more satisfied way. If this is the case, I am hoping it will help me engage with my kids better and have more energy for them. Otherwise, it’ll just exhaust me that much more and my kids will suffer for the lack of energy. At that point we’ll have to figure out if it’s worth me having a job, because we’ll likely be breaking even with the cost of childcare. If there’s no benefit, there’s no point in me doing it. I feel like I need a job though. I’ve never not been bringing money in. This last year I’ve felt very…. Useless. Which sounds ridiculous cuz I’m raising two babies. But it’s true. It’s amazing how bored and unaccomplished I feel. I think a job can resolve that.

I’m hereby making a commitment though, that being a mom is my first job. If the job is getting in the way of me having the energy or wherewithall to raise my babies, I will quit and figure something else out. It would be amazing to have the extra income so Dave and I can buy a house. Trying to win the lottery hasn’t been working out.

I feel like we’ve gotten a bit off topic. Leave it to me to take a normal conversation and turn it into one about my feelings of inadequacy. I guess that kind of thing is easy when you spend two days periodically writing out something that’s suppposed to be a continuous thought. Basically, my best answer is…. I dunno. A stress ball? Freezing baby food on your more energetic days so you can be a lazy mom on other days? Invite friends over and ‘accidentally’ fall asleep on the couch while they’re playing with your kids? If there was an answer, someone would have found it by now. But this is probably something that’s plagued moms for centuries (and probably a lot worse in the past when women had fewer rights than cattle…)

I wish you luck and stiff drinks. Let me know your favourite mom short-cuts for your lazy days 🙂

Posted in All, Musings

Big Pumpin’

So I’ve been trying to ween off pumping, and apparently going far too fast. I’ve got this big ol’ blocked duct under my areola. I think there might be some other little ones around cuz DAMN Lahey hurts. (My tits are named Lahey and Randy.) It sucks too cuz the block is right under where the pump horn sits so it’s hard to massage out without losing suction and getting a titty fart.

I’m guessing people know what I’m talking about. Pumpers, at least.

I think the important discussion here is, I finally agreed to stop pumping. It seems a weird time to do so, we’ve just gotten them sleep trained and they’re still not really into solid food. (This week we’re gonna try some stuff other than rice cereal. I’d heard the grain cereals were the way to go, but since I fed them that stuff I’m hearing literally everything else. Tomorrow we’re gonna try mashed banana and titty milk.) Plus with the sleep training, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of my mental health back. So why the cut?

Cuz I’m selfish. I want my tits back. I want my time back. And it still makes me really anxious while I’m pumping, especially when I pump at night for some reason. It’s like the last remaining source of intense anxiety I have left. And it’s weird, because I hadn’t really gotten pumping anxiety for a while. It kinda came back with the sleep training so I figure I was so anxious and mentally unwell that I just didn’t notice the anxiety when it came. Like it was just a pebble in a rock slide or something. Then once I started feeling better sleeping properly again, the pumping anxiety became more intense in contrast.

I get anxious when I think about not pumping anymore too. I’d always been of the mind that you should give babies breast milk until they’re about two, at least that’s what I learned in high school Biology. Not that I’d planned to have a toddler hanging off my chest…. But basically my plan was to breastfeed until 6 or 8 months, get them onto a bottle by a year and then bottle/sippy cup feed them until 2. Of course, this was before kids. Once I had the twins and we realized breastfeeding was a pipe dream cuz of the bottle feeds in the NICU. But the plan was still to pump until 18 months or 2 years, then came the question of whether it was causing or worsening my postpartum issues. I was really resistant to stopping, cuz I want my kids to have the best start especially cuz they were premature. They’ve caught up tremendously! They’re doing amazing. They haven’t looked premature since they were like 3 months old, and they learn insanely fast. Knowing that they’re pretty well caught up, I’m a little more comfortable with not breastfeeding anymore.

So I figure, I’ll very slowly stop. I’m guessing I have that (those) blockage(s) because I’ve slowed down too fast. I went from 25 to 30 minutes to 20 minutes in like a week. I was still getting similar volume though, so that’s interesting. As I wrote the first half of this post I did a full 30 minutes (31 actually) to get rid of the blocks, and it seemed to work but I guess I’ll find out as the day goes on. My tit doesn’t hurt as much as it did when I started writing this so it’s a win either way!

Anyways, the NEW plan is basically to cut two or three minutes off each week. So it’ll take me 12 to 15 weeks to really cut’er down, and that gives me tons of time to get the kids eating all kinds of tasty food. Plus my crazy milky flow doesn’t get all stopped up and cause me the pains. I had the beginnings of mastitis once a few months ago and it was fucking brutal. I thought I had COVID I felt so bad. I was in intense body pain, felt like I was gonna throw up and couldn’t really eat, I was so tired – and this was before sleep training so for me to have said I was way more tired at that point? I figure you get the idea. (At this point it’s also probably important for me to note that I’m a notorious hypochondriac…) Needless to say I didn’t have the COVID. Not long after I made the appointment to get the test it dawned on me that I might be getting mastitis, cuz my tits really hurt too. So I did a major pump, lots of massaging and I went for quite a while. I felt way better almost immediately.  Still got the test cuz… You never know!!! What if it’s cancer?!?! Google said it was!!

So yeah. I’ll keep y’all posted on my progress I’m sure. Maybe I’ll chicken out of quitting cuz my mood has been great, and I really do want to give them the good stuff as long as I can. I’ve mentioned that I’m a recovering conspiracy theorist, and you don’t really need to be a conspiracy theorist to not trust Nestle or large food production companies. I don’t really want my kids on formula, and I’m lucky enough to have a strong milk supply. I never had to take meds for that or rely entirely on formula and I’m grateful for that. I lost one of my dearest friends to Domperidone (actually that’s who we named Birdy after.) Scary shit! She left behind a seven month old baby – my babies are just over seven months now. Just… Didn’t wake up one morning. Her husband found her slumped over the edge of the bed like she was trying to turn on the lamp or something. She and many other women accidentally gave their lives to feed their babies breast milk. It makes me feel a little guilty that I’m just calling it quits because I feel like it. And I get the whole “you have to do what’s best for you and your family” but this seems like something I won’t know is a mistake until long after. Or maybe it’ll be fine and I’m worrying for nothing. I dunno. Life is bonkers.

For now I’ll keep pumping, less and less until I’m out of milk. And of course, worry on and off the whole time that I’m not doing the right thing. But hey, I guess that’s why I have a blog. To talk this shit out with myself in a public forum!

Thanks for listening. And now to post this without reading it, just like almost all of my posts.

Posted in All, Musings

Mama’s first Mother’s Day

In high school I was such a conspiracy theorist. 9/11 happened when I was in grade 8, so for several of the following years it was “George Bush” this and “Skull and Bones” that. The Government, maaaaaan! There’s still remnants of it in my personality. For example, I totally think the COVID virus was created and released. By whom, and to what end? Well.. I don’t really think enough about these things to form a complete opinion. Anyways.. One of the symptoms of this charming personality trait is that I hate “Hallmark Holidays.” Just days created by ‘the man’ to push sales, costing people money on things no one needs. What a rip! I would still call my mom, send her flowers sometimes. But whatever. Not a real holiday. Pointless, I say!

So now – I have kids. More specifically, I have two 4 month old premature babies that I care for while my fiance goes to work full time, in the middle of a pandemic that eliminates the possibility of accepting any of the help I was offered beforehand. Shit is hard! Holy crap! I had no idea how hard being a mom is. I thought I knew, and I thought I’d heard enough to be adequately prepared. No. And any mom who is reading this right now is chuckling to themselves, because you likely felt the same way. Even if you weren’t cocky about it like I was – You definitely learned a lot about patience and hard work in even the first week of parenthood. You’ve definitely had your share of breakdowns and “what the fuck have I done” moments. I remember sitting in the NICU with my mom and we were talking about how it’s something that you just can’t be prepared for. No one can tell you what it’s going to be like in a way that you will understand. I have worked hard labour jobs, waitressing jobs, three jobs at once, jobs where a normal day for me was 16 hours… Those was nothing in comparison. I love my kids. I absolutely adore my kids and would do anything for them. But unfortunately I’m not at the point where I’ve gotten to really enjoy being a mom. I spend a lot of time reminiscing about my old life when I could just up and go to Mexico for a month or two, or when Dave and I would go to the city for the night to see a band and get white girl wasted. Things you can’t do as new parents. And granted, I’ve been spending less time in regret mode as the kids get older but damn. I miss being young and exciting. If I only knew, bla bla bla… I’ll spare you that diatribe.

When Dave asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I honestly didn’t even know how to respond. It had never even occurred to me but all at once I realized how much moms deserve that shit. The flowers. The Chocolates. The macaroni pictures that live on the fridge and slowly lose pieces over time… All of it! Ladies – You deserve that shit entirely. Eat the whole box of chocolates. Be proud of those macaroni pictures. Smell the flowers. Let your kids make you breakfast in bed. (Warn dads to be ready to clean that shit up too cuz having to clean up the mess involved in kiddos cooking and serving negates the pleasure of a breakfast in bed.)

After I realized how much I’d earned a day, my sad self started thinking about how much I maybe didn’t deserve it. I still don’t feel like a mom. It feels weird to say that because I spend my life pumping and bottling and changing diapers and rocking and everything else involved with raising tiny babies. I am all that is mom. Except I don’t get to really enjoy it right now. Spending time with the kids is great, it’s just a lot of responsibility. Usually I get off on responsibility but not as a mom. I don’t know if it’s that there’s so much more at stake than someone’s breakfast order, or maybe it’s just the way it goes for new moms (new multiple moms, maybe?) Or maybe it’s just the onslaught of postpartum mental health issues I’ve experienced since the kids came out. It becomes a bit of a vicious cycle – I am depressed and exhausted so I don’t enjoy parenting. I don’t enjoy parenting so I feel guilty. My guilt makes me feel even more depressed and exhausted. I feel like I’ll probably start enjoying it when they sleep through the night and can sit up on their own. I recognize that a lot of my postpartum issues are due to near complete exhaustion, so maybe once I get a normal amount of sleep I will feel better and more in control. God, I fucking hope so. But I’m getting off topic.

I still don’t know what I want for Mother’s Day. I told Dave I want a clean house and a foot massage, that is really all I want. I sound like my mom and any other mom I’ve heard answer that question. I will likely only get the foot massage, and let’s be honest – I’ll still be really stoked about it. He’s gonna make us an epic dinner too. ‘Us’ being Dave and I, as well as Dave’s mom and her husband. We go visit every weekend to keep ourselves sane. Ma-in-law keeps the babies for the night so Dave and I can relax, get some real sleep, and then go for a little day-date the next day. We go home refreshed and (in my case) terrified to start a new week taking care of the babies alone. But for Mother’s Day, ma-in-law and I are gonna enjoy the relaxation. Me more than her apparently cuz she loves hanging with those babies!

All this to say – I have to recognize my struggle, and the fact that I have earned a day. I can still be humble about what I do for my family without being self-deprecating. I can let others appreciate me. Dave and I both have our jobs, and yeah mine is a little harder. Ok, maybe a lot harder.. But it’s ok. And I can do this – I do it every day! So yeah Dave, I’ll take the foot massage. And if you can swing a clean house? Fuck yeah. I’ll take that too. I’ve earned it. Thanks babe 🙂 Also, ma I’m gonna send you a big sexy bouquet of flowers. Maybe a little minion to massage your feet if I can find one.

Happy Mother’s Day, betches.