Archive | August 2014

What kind of mother are you?

I have noticed I have a few drafts that I never got to finish – interruptions you know.


My neighbour gave me some back issues of Chatelaine and I came across this article yesterday.  This particular passage evoked a strong response in me.

One night, about 10 weeks in, Rob came home late from work and found the baby shrieking and me in tears, the two of us having a big ol’ bawlfest, keening, wailing, two hot, puffy red faces, snot and tears everywhere.

He called a nanny, who started the next day. A couple of weeks after that, I was back in my home office, writing full-time, which was a much easier transition than I’d worried it would be. I love my baby, you see. But I also love my work. Returning to it was a huge relief to me — though admittedly it helped that my office is next door to my son’s nursery. I also napped. A lot.

Many of my friends who are mothers told me they couldn’t imagine going back to work as early as I did after having my son, that they “just weren’t in work mode” for at least a year after giving birth. If I’d had corporate maternity benefits I might have felt the same way — but deep down inside, I doubt it. I’ve spent so long writing every day that it felt alien not to do it. I was happy to concede my work for the first few delirious weeks with my son, but after that I wanted my life back.


When I read that part, I have to admit, I was jealous.  She got to go back to work.  After 10 whole weeks.  She got to nap, dammit.  Her husband actually called a nanny and whammo, she got her life back. That would not have happened in our household.  I have a lack of a f/t career.  Oh that.    I once spent $30 for someone to watch my kid for a few hours because I was so drained from having a bad cold and if I couldn’t lay down to rest  without having to get up every 2 minutes, I was going to lose it.   I might have had a nap. I don’t remember.

There was just a few comments after the article, one was supportive and one was more from the “that’s what’s wrong with society” camp.

And so I am left thinking about this whole motherhood bag and what a journey it is.  There are those who are closer to the let’s all sleep in one bed, make everything from scratch and carry their kid around for 6 years and then there are the 9-5 super moms who have calendars for everything and in between there are the SAHM who are entrepreneurs who look wicked in yoga pants, there are the overwhelmed moms who drink too much and give their kids Frosted Flakes for dinner and have no idea that there kid is a menace on the playground… and so many others.  And everyone has an opinion about them.  Does fatherhood merit this kind of scrutiny?  According to what my mum said to me years ago,  my dad never beat or molested me, so he wasn’t all that bad.  Wow, what a benchmark.  From Peter MacKay to your MIL, everyone has a say in what kind of mother/woman you should be.  And if you’re not a mom, well, you’re opinion doesn’t count.  Unless you’re O.prah.

I had an opinion about mothering, based on how my mother raised me, both negative and positive aspects.  And just when I needed her the most, she had a damn stroke and left me with a ton of questions she could never answer. And if you don’t have a reliable template that you can relate to, then you research and read books and manuals (and there’s a ton of expert parenting books to sift through). Then you have to get your significant other to follow the same template.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.  And if you’re married to a man, then you really get to see another side to their view on womanhood.

There have been times when I wish there was a support group for mothering.  And the time to go to it.  Or would we just turn on each other?

The beginning and ending of things

 I read my last post and I wonder what the hell was my point.  I went from sharing a nightmare to my anxiety attack on a great day with my son at a park and then to being annoyed that my husband doesn’t know what I order from a sushi joint.  All over the place, but anyone who knows me knows I talk like that anyway.  This is what my life looks like these days.  When I titled my blog, I’m not sure I realized then how appropriate it would be for the years ahead.  It started out to be about the indignities of infertility, then my foray into adoption and then motherhood with a dash of infertility (cause that shit really doesn’t go away).  Occasionally, I felt balanced and grateful and threw in a dash of Buddhism and now…. a Woman My Age is about…. a woman my age.  I have an amazing 4 year old son on the cusp of kindergarten (please teachers’ strike be over very soon), my career is improving and I’m battling depression and anxiety.  Oh yeah and peri-menopause.  What an amazing opportunity to transform my life!  I hope I actually do!

Someone asked me what a mid life crisis was and I tried to explain it.  I tend to think of it was an extreme peak that begins and ends in a certain amount of time.  It’s like waking up and thinking ohmigod what have I done with my life, this is the shits and if I don’t run away, I’ll explode. And then you get over it somehow.  Somehow as in you have an affair, get a divorce or give up all your shit and eat, pray, love yourself for a year until you run out of money.

How this is different from perimenopause I have no idea.  If anyone would care to share, now would be the time to do it. It certainly seems that one minute I was perfectly happy and content and now I’m searching for scraps of joy throughout the week to keep moving forward. Some days I have it, some days I fake it, and some days I’d rather just stay in bed.  Of course, I don’t, but I have fantasized about it.  Hormones, the evil tendrils of depression or both?  Or maybe I’m just recognizing my own limitations?

 However, with my career doing much better these days, I am booking a sitter as often as I need during the day.  I am back in class and it feels great to be working out my creative chops again.   My son is 4 and is a lot less demanding than he used to be (of course, that’s relative) and he is always up for a new adventure. Of course, this is all temporary, as time and money is running out, hubby’s job is going to be done by the end of October and after that, we have no idea of where the money is coming from. 

Which brings me back to a woman my age. Both the person and the blog.  I may have to put the blog and my beloved ALI world on hold while I get my shit together.  To try something new.  It’s been my security blanket for so long, a thing I just can’t manage to quit, but perhaps I should try not escaping into your worlds, but deal with my own world. I may not be strong enough to support others at the moment.  It’s like someone saying there is no more wine left.  Scary.  And the woman that is me, is not doing so well right now.  I mean on the surface, I’m great, but the anxiety is slipping through and I need to chart a path of self care. As my husband pointed out I go through this every 4 years or so and why is that?  I don’t fucking know but I’m sure that I don’t have money to give a therapist for 2 years to find that out.    I have this amazing fucking kid that I love so much it hurts.  I can’t possibly give him anything less than a whole, healthy woman to be there for him.  I still have my mum to care for and the days slip by without me being there for her because I’m too fucking exhausted.  And yes, I owe it to myself.  In Buddhism to slander (to put down, to not respect) yourself is the greatest wrong you can do.  And if that’s my biggest problem, then I’ve had it my whole life in one way or another. 



Holding it together

Nothing like a dream where I’m in a movie hanging out in extras holding and suddenly I can’t find my sides (it has the scene schedule and dialogue) and then when I do find them, I’m not in anything all day and I can’t find my travel mug and then all of a sudden I can’t find my way out.  I’m being penned in with equipment and people keep telling me I can’t get out whatever door I try to use.  It’s not the first time I’ve had a dream like that but it never fails to freak me out.  It feels like my identity is being wiped out.

I went to the naturopath last week.  I had drag Boo along cause I didn’t have anyone to mind him for me, but he was great as usual.  He stayed in waiting room occupying himself with his tablet while I talked to the doctor. We talked for an hour going over my concerns and first up is hormonal testing.  Just the thing I was laughing at my friend about last year.  I’m not even going to tell you how much that costs, but I’m in for a penny what’s another 10 pounds, right?  She gave me a discount though and also let me pay in installments for the test.  Now I just gotta wait til Day 19 of my cycle for the spit collecting to start.  Luckily it’s just for one day.  Just listening to the instructions stressed me out. Oh yeah and a food diary starting today.  So last night I ate ice cream and sweet/salty popcorn.  Good news is that I can have full fat Greek yogurt.  Plain.  With raw honey and fruit if I like.  Baby steps.  Oh yeah and B complex.  I can do that.  Easy peasy.

The next day I got a playdate with Boo’s friend and I took them to a nearby waterpark.  Of course, there was a festival going on and that mean limited parking.  I had to drive around and around looking for parking.  Not so easy when you’re driving a F150  that I couldn’t parallel park with cars waiting behind me and I felt myself getting more and more stressed, but finally a diagonal parking spot opened up and I slid in.  I almost cried with relief.  Yes, I’m grateful we even have wheels at all but I will be thrilled to get something more manageable.  I ran into my naturopath at the waterpark!  I know she is a fellow adoptive mum but I didn’t get a chance to ask her about her experience as I was set up in a mini shelter on the lawn (with my purse ensconced inside and had to get back to it.  That’s what I told myself anyways, but in truth I was battling a lovely  anxiety attack and had to get back to my deep breathing and chanting.  I hope I didn’t act like a rude idiot.  She looked so pretty and so put together and here I was trying to simultaneously relax and keep an eye out for the kids without actually hovering over them.  I couldn’t possibly have a  decent conversation with her while keeping an eye out for them, my stuff and deep breathe at the same time.  Her child was gorgeous and he looked happy and engaged with other kids so I slipped away.  Back to deep breathing and calming down and keeping them in my line of vision.  I’m not sure how they did it in the old days. Oh, that’s right, Valium.

The boys had a blast and I managed to feed them, toilet them and bundle them all back in the truck and get them home.   I knew I just had to stop doing any more stuff though.  Hubby called me and wanted to know what was for dinner.  I told them it was up to him as I was not cooking.  I got home just after he did and he proceeded to tell me to order sushi and he would pick it up.  Frankly, at that point, I wasn’t even going to do that.  I was done and was hot and tired and wanted to take a shower and grab a beer.  So I just told him he had to order. To which he replied that he didn’t know what I wanted.  Now folks, we usually order the same thing about 98% of the time.  I certainly know what he likes, he has heard me order it a million times.  Ohmigod.  Yet I told him what I wanted and then got in the shower.  I’m not sure why he has this thing about not ordering food, but he rarely calls in a takeout order unless absolutely necessary.

By the way, I had just seen a segment on Dr. Oz about saying no to people.  What a great reminder.  Practice makes perfect.





Gin & Tonic summer

So not too much to say, other than I think I’m so hormonally challenged, I’m going crazy.  Crazy mood swings, my middle section ever increasing and if I could manage it, I’d lock myself in with cartons of Haagen Daaz salted caramel gelato.  I’ve been keeping busy, taking Boo and Juju out here and there.  Yes, even to a pool.  Long, summer, hot days…… Boo and I biking along Spanish Banks, hanging out at the watering hole in Lynn Valley, walking at the rocky waterfront, yelling at the dog to stop eating seaweed.  Ah, summer.  Wishing I had more energy…or more cold beer…desperately pushing the cranky back so I can enjoy my kid and this delicious summer.

I’m going to a naturopath tomorrow.  Can I tell you how much I hate naturopaths?  About as much as I hate doctors.  We do have insurance for it so thank goodness for that. I’m going cause if I go to my family doctor I kinda know what she’s going to say, lose weight, exercise, your cholesterol is going up and you’re going to get diabetes if you’re not careful.  That I already know.  And then if I bring up my crappy, irritable mood  that makes me not want to do anything, she’ll start the talk about anti-depressants.  She wouldn’t be wrong in any of that of course. I was pretty darn close to suggesting it myself.  It seems every month  just before my period I slide into a hole where I want to set fire to the kitchen and run away to the circus.  We’ve had that talk in the past, I ended up in counselling which helped a great deal and now I’m back at the beginning of that same circle.  Now I’ve made a bit of money, I can invest in another route, one I haven’t done since infertility days.  And that’s probably why I had such a problem with naturopaths. 

The last time I went, I didn’t get what I wanted.  Which was to get pregnant.  All I got was a restricted diet which made me crazy, a pimply face from B-12 shots, and I still had to go to a doctor for my fibroids.   I tried another one years later and got a 2 hour appointment  full of strange tests terminating with a long and expensive list of supplements.  I’m cranky and cranky people don’t have a lot of patience, but if I can give six weeks for a anti-depressant to work and give me a bunch of weird side effects than I can certainly give a naturopath another try.  I got a good recommendation so I’ll let you know how it goes. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Or gin and tonic, one or the other.