Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day - my lesson.

I just got back from a loooong walk. You know the kind; one of those walks where you keep looking down over the canopy on your stroller to see if they're asleep yet.

It all started innocently enough - hubs went to lay down before going into work at ten, so I took the burrito downstairs and placed him lovingly in his pack 'n' play. In a few minutes, he was p'n'p-ed out, so we switched to the new convertible walker/easel-type toy with Pooh noises. He soon tired of that too. I knew he was tired, so I walked him around a little bit. Nada. He started to scream louder. The pac didn't work, holding him sideways didn't work, none of the usual tricks.

So, I resorted to the last trick I knew - The Stroller. I estomped (that's Legally Blonde for walked while pouting) upstairs, ripped off my PJ pants and put on some jeans, threw on a sweatshirt, estomped back downstairs, grabbed Yelling Child from p'n'p of death, grabbed dog leash, yelled over my shoulder to said dog, yanked stroller down the front steps, and attempted to shove Yelling Child in stroller. Pac in mouth, dog in front, all was good (read: distracted).

I a complete failure. Here it was, Mother's Day, the day when I should be celebrated (it's my first as a mama), and give myself a pat on the back, and pamper myself (the non-diaper variety of that word please). The day when I get to bask in the glory of my kid(s), and reflect on all I have done for them. And I have to push Yelling Child around the block in Stroller to get him to calm down. Normally when it's the two of us at night, hubs and myself, it works out better. I'm not sure why; it just does. But when it's just me? I swear that he senses it and is not satisfied with the norm. He wants more! Step it up mama! Work for that title!

So all through the walk, I'm wallowing. Rolling around like a pig. In the mud of my self-pity. "You had to use the last resort Stroller! on Mother's Day no less! What kind of mom can't calm their kid down?? What kind of mom can't rock their baby to sleep??" A tiny voice in the back of my head said, "ok, but you knew that the stroller would calm him down, and he loves walks." And I wanted to estomp it out and continue to wallow in my lovely mud.

And then I realized. I was giving up too easily. I'm not sure where, but somewhere along the way, I have come to be That Girl - the one who cries "this is too hard - I don't want to do it anymore!" and estomps back upstairs and into bed. I have no idea how it happened; maybe it was a result of my relationship troubles last year. Somewhere, after all the not giving up there, I apparently started to feel like I could now give up everywhere else. Maybe my emotional brain decided that I hung in so long with that aspect of my life that I deserved a little giving up elsewhere. I don't know for sure. But I know it's been happening more recently. Especially with Yelling Child. And I don't have a colicky baby, an awful baby, anything like that, which may make it worse - I expect him to be happy all the time because he is happy most of the time.

So...where does that leave me? When is it ok to "give up," to throw in the towel and go get a pedicure? Because I'm sure that there are times where that is acceptable. But not all the time. Not every day. Not even when, on the day we go out to breakfast to the place that I want to go to, where hubs utters two complaints (which I knew were coming), where the burrito gets fussy because he poops and then proceeds to rip off the wipe I strategically place upon his baby nether regions while changing him and then emit a stream of urine so powerful the second I turn to grab a new diaper that it not only wets his face, hands, jacket, overalls, shirt, and the changing table, but also myself and the whole underside of his outfit as well (which I did not discover until afterwards when he was sitting on hubs' lap while we were waiting for boxes for our food and the check because his spare outfit was used the day before). I kinda gave up then. And I really didn't have to, but I think I placed so much pressure on the whole thing to be perfect that it was doomed from the start.

I'm pretty sure that's the worst kind of perfectionist too - the kind who doesn't even do things because they know it can't be done perfectly, so why bother? I don't know, is that me?

Well anyway, I know what I have to do now. Self, this one's for you:
Realize that life will go on no matter what, and if you keep stopping to complain/give up/estomp upstairs, you may miss things.
Don't worry, it can always get worse.
You have been through worse - this isn't it.
While ruined moments may give you just cause to eat a whole pack of chocolate poptarts, they do not give you just cause to continue to ruin more moments. Only one pack is justified, so suck it up and say NEXT.

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