Monday, March 12, 2012

when you are completely and totally at your wit's end...

something has to change. I never write in my blog, but I am right now because I have to be able to remind myself of something. Lately I have been overly stressed. It's clear as day. I am not my usual self. The reasons are beside the point. The point is that something HAS to change. It was my mom who helped me figure that out this evening, and as soon as it dawned on me, I logged on to blogger and began to write it down.

Today my morning started off wonderfully. I felt so positive and full of energy throughout the day. And then I cam home from work, and my feeling toward life went for a nose dive. Jeremy, at only one year old, managed to push every single one of my buttons until I was a crying mess. Seriously, it was me rocking him to sleep, my tears dripping on to his yellow pajamas, pleading "buddy, please". Not good. As soon as he was asleep (45 minutes later) I called my mom, crying, saying "why is it Jeremy's mission to prove that I am an unfit parent".

After a loooong, long conversation, she convinced me that there was nothing wrong with Jeremy, but that I have the problem (in nicer words than that). I am not coping well with the demands of being a mom. I fall apart when things get loud, when demands are put on me, and when I can't sit and have quiet. And Jeremy being a "spirited" kid, I need to grow some serious mommy-balls, so to speak.

In our conversation, I realized that the only way for me to be a more affective parent is by putting myself first. This totally goes against how I have been parenting Jeremy since he was born. I have always followed the principles of attachment parenting, but I thought that AP meant being selfless and self-sacrificing. But it's really not working! My mom said to me, "You have to go to yoga. You have to start going out, like gong to the movies", and she's right. It's been a year of me neglecting myself. Feeling totally guilty about everything I do that's not for Jeremy. It's really not working. "Even Michelle Obama puts herself first", says my Mom. "Michelle puts herself first, and when she's good, everyone else in the family falls suit. Plus it's a good lesson for your children". Mom, you are so right. I need to care for myself, so I can be a better Mom. Not this stressed out, anxious mom who walks on egg shells and lets her baby bring her to desperate tears. I know deep inside that when I take time for myself, when I go to yoga and exercise and meditate, I can deal with everyday stress like a champ. When I don't, well, I am who I am today.

So, at the end of our conversation, I decided that yes, the mommy needs to be happy and healthy for the children to be happy and healthy. You can not grow a garden in bad soil, I thought. If you want your garden to grow, you have to have healthy, nutrient rich soil. The same goes for your family. This is my new mantra.

So, thank you Mom for your wisdom. And thank you to those who have been telling me this for a while. It wasn't until tonight, at a very desperate moment, that I was able to hear it.

Love Always,
Joan Blondina


the ifree yogi said...

Great post Joan!!! I think the inspiration is right on... This wisdom is easily something to pass on to Jeremy as he gets older... Compassion for oneself trickles automatically into compassion for others:))

Tamara said...

Oh, I SOOOOO know how you feel. Nobody can break me down to blubbering mess faster than my kids. Hope that we can get together soon for a playdate, or maybe even for a cup of coffee - kid-free!

Rebecca said...

thank you for sharing this honest and intimate self reflection ... it is inspiring to go there for growth! You are such a strong spirit, and an inquisitive learner, there is no doubt that you will continue to grow forward, revealing your innate nature each step of the way ... You are a beautiful mother spirit ... find your balance and you will be your true self with grace!

Anonymous said...

As you go through your day, you may discover that you do spend a huge amount of time reacting to everything. Try choosing instead and see what an amazing difference it makes to how you suddenly feel about things. Taking time for yourself will help maintain your identity and help Jeremy build relationships with others on his own. Motherhood is a job and we LOVE it but we all need a break So go to that class and enjoy a movie with friends