Monday, September 5, 2011

At the moment


Beaches dominate my life at the moment. Not that I'm complaining, but its so surreal to think that I go to the beach once ever single day, usually twice! we live close enough to walk to four seprate beaches within 15 minutes. The Little Man is obsessed with the "teeny tiny rock beach", as we call it, that is a short walk through a wooded path behind our house. He has no idea how lucky he is to be growing up around so much nature! I'm becoming quite complacent about them, which is sad, but when we hit a new amazing beach, I can still get excited. Like the one we saw yesterday while we were away for the weekend - it was the right temperature outside, the sun was shinning, and we all enjoyed just playing in the sand and the waves. It was absolutely brilliant and I'm so glad we got the chance to do it! I need to remember that it won't be like this all year round either - we'll still go in the wet wintery season, but the experience will be so different. 
I'm dreading the winter already - cold, wet, dark days - so not good for my state of mind. Hopefully I will have found a way to achieve more balance in my life by then and I won't feel so gloomy and depressed. My goal is to find a way to be content and comfortable with that time of year - something I have struggled with since I was a teenager. I'm happy I don't have to deal with cold and snow anymore, but they at least get sunny days! The fact that its only the first weekend of September and I'm already thinking about it cannot be a good sign. 
I wonder how other bloggers can be so eloquent about their lives on here - I always end up sounding like such a cry baby, oh woe is me....
Being away this weekend has been so good for all of us. The Little Man and I needed a break from our regular routine so badly, especially me. We all found it a bit weird the first day, a new place to get settled in, but are comfortable now. It makes me really appreciate our life in the city being way out here, but also understand why people live out here. The quiet is lovely. It gives me time to really think, instead of just being in my head all day wandering and worrying. I realize how lazy I get in my day to day life, how easy it is to just keep on keeping on without doing anything to feel better. I love my life, our life, in so many ways - our house, our city, our growing community of friends, our lifestyle, how simple things can really be - but I am also unhappy in so many other ways. I don't even know if unhappy is the right word - there's so much confusion around what I should be doing/feeling/living like/looking like, that I sometimes get lost in what I need, what I want, and what feels right for me and my family. I'm a stay at home mum - that's a hard thing to do! to find any separation between your "work" and the rest of your life is almost impossible. Especially for someone like me who has never found it easy to put myself first. I'm getting lost in all of this. I feel bored, uninspired, and frustrated so much of the time, but don't want to go back  to work or put him in childcare. Even part time is nauseating. I really want to feel good about being home, about what we're spending our time doing, about the gift we're giving each other. I don't want my time off from being a mum to be spent working. But more money would be so nice and more independence. But would i feel better if I just took some time each week to go to a fitness class, a yoga class, or did something with my friends? Would that help? I don't even know anymore. I just don't want my little boy to be ruined by an unhappy, bored mother - that's a waste of anyone's time! 
I always feel so inspired and ready to make a change when I'm away from home. But once we're back in the reality of it all, it gets lost and it only ends up giving me something else to beat myself up about. I think I need to break it all down into much smaller, achievable goals, something I can feel good about instead of more ammunition to kick my own ass with and get frustrated over. My  best friend and I have a plan to set some goals together and help each other reach them - let's see how that goes! now I just need to narrow it down to a measurable number!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Putting it out there

Its official, I am bored. And I feel absolutely horrible saying that out loud, but its true. Absolutely horrible saying that!! My days at home being a mum have all of a sudden become much harder to deal with and I need to find a way to get out of this rut. It has nothing to do with the Little Man whatsoever - he's adorable and fun and its so great to be there for him. But I am not being the best mum to him and I think its beginning to show. He even seems a bit bored with the same old, same old all the time. It's been a bit of a weird summer weather-wise, and all our usual friends have been busy with guests and adventures out of town, so we've been alone way too much. All our usual programs and whatnot are on hold till September too, so that doesn't help either. I don't so well when I'm alone too much- I get anxious, my mind runs away with me, and I have a hard time getting motivated to come up with things to do. I want to be grateful for my time with L and have the energy and excitement he deserves on a regular basis. Even though we've been working on the sleep stuff and are all getting more of it, I still feel so lethargic and uninspired - not as much on the weekends when R is home, but still so hard to make a decision about what to do each day! i would do so much better if I knew what we were doing when we woke up each morning. I'm definitely going to register us in something for the fall - not sure what, but we'll find something! And I am definitely going to start getting my resume ready and put the word out that I'm looking for part time work...something that pays well and fits into my schedule with L. I can be picky, there's no rush - other than my sanity!- so I want to put it out there.
I'm looking for part time work, up to 15 hours a week to start. Pay at least $18/hour, ideally $20!! have a flexible schedule if needs be. It be close enough that I can walk or take a short (less than 15 mins) bus ride. I would like to work around interesting, creative, fun, like minded people, doing something that keeps me engaged and helps people. I would like to be involved with an educational setting - UVic or Camosun maybe? Or an elementary school? It would have benefits and paid sick days. There would be other parents working there, so people understand some of the things I might be dealing with and give me some extra support if needs be. There would be extra benefits, like a free gym membership or yoga classes for free, or classes and training that would interest me, cheap. I will find someone wonderful to watch Luke while I'm there, or it will be R. Ideally, I wouldn't want it to be him all the time as I want us to have time together too. I will actually take home some money to save or use to help us out - it won't all go to childcare and commuting. It will be a way into a great working environment that I can move into full time work when I'm ready and feel satisfied about my work life. Or at least open doors to that way of life. I'm looking at working part time for a couple years till L is off to kindergarten, and then being back full time - and still get home to meet him after school if I can.
I guess the first thing I need to do is get my resume sorted out. Unfortunately, I have lost all my recent copies, so I need to start from scratch...yuck. I hate doing my resume. I hate talking about myself and my skills - I never feel confident about it. Hopefully my mom will help flush it out a bit once I send her a first draft. Once I'm ready to apply for work, something will show up. Maybe I'll find something through the family of the house we're renting our suite in. Or someone through my sister and all her connections. Or maybe through my friends. Someone is bound to need some help administratively!
I need to stay positive, try and find a way to feel happier while things fall into place, and be as nice as I can to L - he doesn't need a grumpy, unhappy mother. He deserves much better than that!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

all talk and no action....

I don't know who to talk to about everything that's going on in my head these days. I need to process whatever it is I am going through and I have a hard enough time putting it into words in my own head, let alone explain it to someone else. I'm tired of coming back to the same issues - lack of confidence, self esteem, not knowing how to be myself completely (especially in my new role as a mother), how to speak up, how to not be afraid or anxious as much, exercise more, eat better, make more friends, connect better with R again, on and on and on. Its like a broken record. I found some old journals from a few years ago and I was saying the same things then - exercise more, eat better, be better in general - how can I just be happy with who I am when I don't know who that is?!! or who I want to be?!! I always end up wallowing, feeling like I'm suffocating in my own inadequacies or lack of motivation or inspiration or energy or whatever it is this week. I stopped worrying so much about the sleep stuff and now pour all that fear and doubt into my relationship with R and how we don't connect the way we used to and how I can fix it - but its not about that either. It's about being happy to be myself, but also remembering that I am taking care of a toddler full time and we have no family here to help us out and I have yet to organize a babysitter, so life is pretty full just on its own.
Its like I have all these little boxes that need to be checked off everyday, every week - did we get some couple time, did R and the Little Man have some time, did we both get some alone time, did I eat well, did I exercise enough, did we see our friends, did we have some family time - and if I don't check them all off, then there's something wrong with me, and i'm failing on some level. or lots of levels! so I set myself up to fail so I can beat myself up - lovely. And I have been doing this for a very long time - even when I was a kid. Now I need to stop and figure out what makes me happy, what helps me feel more grounded and settled on a daily basis, and what I can do something about and what I have to let go of.
I'm so worried about saying something or doing something that will upset R, put him in one of his bad moods, that I end up doing nothing and feeling anxious because of it. I'm allowed to speak my mind or say I'm going for a run or need some space or ask for help around the house. My inner assumption is that if someone gets mad, they will leave, so I don't want to risk it. and because I'm not my best self these days, I worry he doesn't even have a good reason to stay, other than his adorable son of course! I feel clingy, highly strung, needy, and lost - nothing that can be very appealing to someone living with me. Sure, I make him tea and take care of things around the house and spend the day with our son, but can that be enough? I want to be fun, energetic, interesting, full of good stuff to talk about, braver, and more in tune with myself - am I putting too much pressure on myself to be that person? I think she's already in there, I've just covered her up under fear, laziness, anxiety, and boredom. and I could go the rest of my life like this - but I don't want to. I need to accept that life is tough right now, but stop being so negative and afraid and just do something about it!!
what can I do right now, in this moment, today, this week, to be more authentic? I can continue to go running three times a week. I can connect with my friends again this week. I can sign us up for a class. I can set up a date with R again - a walk or just a movie together at home. I can stop eating so much crap, get it out of the house altogether, and find a new way to feed myself that isn't a diet or restrictive and painful. I can make more time to read my books, to learn something new. I can make time to find some work I can do from home. I can find a way to meet new people. I can get us out for longer walks now that its getting nice out again. I can get my family out for a walk every weekend somewhere - research some in the area and just go. I can research a few holiday options for us for this summer - then we know how much, how far, what there is to do, where we'd like to go. I can encourage R to set up a family playdate with some of the people he works with who are really nice. I can let go of the perfect image i have of myself and my life. I can take a few minutes to just breath and be grateful for how lucky I am.

Monday, March 21, 2011

filling a hole...

Plug Hole, England

Its yet another grey day and I can't help but think how much this winter has kicked my ass. We've barely seen the sun, the wind blows a constant chill through all of us, and it doesn't feel like spring will ever come back! I have always had a hard time with winter - the short dark days, the cold, the stir craziness, the dreariness of it all - and I have yet to find a way to shake it off. I go into each winter hoping this year will be better, only to come out in March feeling beaten and so depressed. Maybe I do have SAD (seasonal affective disorder), might need to get that checked out. I loved winter when I was a kid, so maybe as the Little Man gets older, I will find ways to enjoy it again, but right now, I'm not happy and its only getting more frustrating.
I am finding life really hard lately and I don't know why. I keep eating to try and fill the hole in my soul...sounds so silly really, but that's what it feels like. I have a wonderful husband, an amazing little boy who brings me more joy (and more fear and anxiety and frustration) then I ever could have imagined, with some great new friends and we live in a wonderful part of the world- what do I have to complain about?!!!! I think that's what's making it even harder for me to feel like this - like something's missing, or I'm not doing enough. I've put on the pounds this winter from my diet of carbs, chocolate, cookies and homemade goodies. I haven't had enough vegetables, or fruit or anything that really resembles healthy eating. I'm sure a therapist would look at me and see right away that something is off - why can't I put my finger on it so I can fix it?!! I know the sleep deprivation is one thing - I'm tired and I feel like a failure for not being able to get my child to sleep better, or for even trying to change anything. Sleep deprivation does lead to weight gain, so they say. Of course, weight gain only slams my already weak self esteem even more - why don't I take better care of myself, I look horrible, I am so un-sexy and unattractive, who would want me really?!! I know I'm using my role as a mother to hide behind my own priorities, but why? I'm afraid to speak up, even to R. My mom just keeps telling me I need to get more people in my life, which is another obvious solution, but not one I seem to be able to solve very well. I think about signing us up for a program for Luke, but he hasn't been into it and I am not sure which ones would suit us both. After the debacle with the swimming lessons in the summer, I must admit I am totally gunshy about joining something. and he can be so shy sometimes and scared around new people - I don't know how to set it up so he feels comfortable and also learns that its ok to be around new people. trying new things isn't something he's scared of, just the people.
I feel guilty about so many things- not bringing more people into Luke's life,not being able to help him sleep better, not being able to stop the breastfeeding or bed sharing, not socializing him more, keeping him away from his extended family, not going away with him or going out to eat more often, on and on and on- part of being a parent I know, but when I'm already down, the guilt only increases.
I feel like I'm on such a downward spiral, I don't know how to catch myself. How to feel energetic, happy, useful, productive, interesting/interested, beautiful, connected, calm, alive again. Then, on the other hand, I don't want to put so much pressure on myself to be amazing either - can I not just be myself and that be enough? But who am I when I'm being myself? the self I want to be!?! The one I am right now isn't it!! I don't like being tired, scared, lazy, unmotivated, anxious, uncertain, lost. I need some direction, some help, some guidance to shake this off and get out there and start living life again. I'm tired of waiting for life to happen to me, for it to sort itself out, for L to learn how to do it differently on his own, for R to tell me I'm amazing and wonderful all the time and do more around the house on his own. I need to stop feeling like life is running away with me,with us, and figure out which things I can do something about and which things I simply need to let go of or accept. I'm not saying this is going to be easy, but its a much better road for me to be on then sitting around worrying about messing up my child, ruining my relationship with R, and totally losing myself in all of it.
Life feels so hard sometimes, but I'm not dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake (knock on wood!!) or a flood or with so many other challenging things I could be facing, so I need to be grateful for the life I have and the opportunity to make it even better. Need to be gentler with myself though and set up some goals to go for and see what I can do from there.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Farewell January!!

I'm so happy to see the end of January 2011, it has done me no favours. We have been dealing with work uncertainty on R's part once again, colds for all of us, and me being obsessed with sleep or lack there of and I need a new start. I need some sunshine, I need some fun, I need to feel that hope and excitement about life again and I'm hoping as we move into spring, it will start to come back for me. for all of us. R has had so much shit to deal with around work - the 18 months before we moved here were full of uncertainty and security and he had thought the new place was going to fix that. But, things have changed there so fast and so badly that he's reeling and has no idea what's going to happen next. He knew it wasn't going to be a place he'd stay forever, but he was happy enough to bide his time and figure out our next step. Now, he's not sure how much he can tolerate and whether there will be any other options. And as a result, he's in a totally bad head space and it only leaves me anxious and scared- for him , for us, for our little life here. And the worst part about it is that I don't know how to help him- I don't know what he needs from me. I don't know what to do to make it better or to relieve some of his stress and it only adds to mine. I feel like I'm annoying him, that he is getting sick of all my anxiety and paranoia and fear and will just go. I don't feel like someone who anyone would want to be with right now - there, I said it. I feel pathetic and I'm so sick of feeling sorry for myself and living in negativity and fear, but that's how I'm feeling these days. Maybe by putting it out there, the Universe will help me find a way to get back to a positive way of thinking and living.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January Blues

I don't like January, I never have. When I used to live out east, it was because of the cold and the snow and how winter would wrap itself around my neck and slowly suffocate me. Living on the West Coast means a lot less snow and cold, but the constant grey and wet can really bring me down. This year it seems particularly bad - I don't know if its a combination of things or the lack of sleep or being home with the Little Man - but its been a very long month and I'm really ready for spring to start to show up. I don't think I can take much more. What with R dealing with work issues again, after finally moving away from the 18 months of uncertainty we lived through last year, and our landlord deciding to sell the house we're renting in, I really feel like the Universe is trying to teach me something and I am tired of trying to figure it out. I feel like I'm being kicked while I'm already down and getting really sick of living in negativity and fear. Really sick of it. I feel like these days I spend 75% of my time feeling angry, frustrated, overwhelmed or anxious - not where I want my energy to be spent. But, to be honest, I've been living life in that zone for so long now, I can't remember how to do it any other way. And I need to. I can't go on like this anymore, I feel like I'm wasting my life and not living it as the best version of myself.
I am tired of beating myself up about it though too - I'm a mom of a very busy toddler and we have no family nearby to give us any help, and sleep is scarce, so its no wonder I'm finding it hard to connect with the authentic me. But I need to find some way, however tiny, to give myself a chance. Some time on my own, some time alone with R, some time with girlfriends, and some way to give myself some credit for the things I am achieving at the moment.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sleep...where are you?

I have a child who doesn't sleep very well. Since he was born, he has gone through every night waking up every two hours (or sooner), every single night. We've had a few freak moments where he went for four or five hours, but they can be counted on one hand. He's been sleeping in our bed, with us, since he was 5 months old. We tried to move him into the crib then from his bassinet but his sleeping got even worse, so I caved and let him into our bed. I've actually loved having him there, despite the guilt I feel about giving in. He is still breastfeeding and can only get to sleep with the boob. Dad is not allowed to be involved, he only makes the Little Man freak out even more. So, putting him to bed has been my job since he was born and I'm on duty all night long - after being on duty all day long. I go between feeling good about sticking to my decisions about not letting him cry it out and feeling like such a fool because I've created this situation where he's totally dependent on me and I'm too scared to change it. After almost two years of not sleeping, I don't have the energy to even think about what its going to take to wean him and get him sleeping on his own in his own room. Maybe he will surprise me and it will end up being a relatively straight forward process - but I'm guessing he will fight it with every last ounce of energy he has. I'm sure that's just the lack of sleeping talking, but it does make it really hard to get motivated to make a change and stick to it.
I've never really talked about any of this with anyone before, I've been too embarrassed and ashamed. But I think about it all the time. ALL THE TIME. And I wish with all my heart that there was some easier way to change this, that he would just fix it all on his own for us and then we could move on. He's gotten too big for our bed and wakes himself up all the time running into one of us. He needs more space and so do we. I sleep on the edge in the weirdest positions, waking up with sore hips and back every morning, and could sleep for days to be honest, if I was allowed. We don't do anything at night because he often wakes up a couple times even before we go to bed - I'm lucky to get to sit through an hour tv show, let alone a movie. I can't plan anything because who knows how the night will go. My friend says I need to plan to take a night once a week away and let Dad put him into bed, but I'm so not ready for that. I don't know how I will ever be ready for any of this. But I do know, if it goes on much longer, I will lose my mind and it will end up coming from a place of anger and bitterness, instead of love and support.
I have no idea how its all going to play out, but I am going to start to move towards making it a reality - somehow. I just wish I had more support close by.