There and back again….

Yeah, yeah. I am not a hobbit, nor I am elfin or dwarf…. but there are days I wish I were.

It has been some time since I wrote last, or had much to say for that matter. I am now, not only a mother to a precocious 3 year old but also to an almost 1 year old little boy who is equally just as active. There are days I wish I didn’t have to get out of bed. There are days where I would just like to do nothing. I am a mother…. so this never happens. Even on mother’s day.

My son really has a hard time letting me do much…. he wants to be held a lot. And if he is not held he screams. I can not stand the scream crying. It is too much for me. So, I am holding Smiley. A lot. Thus cooking is difficult and so is getting around to typing on my blog much. But, here I am. Trying to write while he is asleep on my lap.

I still struggle with depression and anxiety, but I have managed to do okay in most areas of my life. Patience, at times, is not one of those areas. There are days where I wish I could be a better, and more patient mother to my daughter. She is so much like me in so many ways that it is scary. I want so much more for my kids then to have to struggle with anxiety. My anxiety and lack of patience is higher with lack of sleep. I want to continue to use attachment parenting, but there are many areas in which I have just had to stop, or change tactics when trying to parent my highly passionate daughter. Have I mentioned that my daughter is a MASTER negotiator? She is even using the phrases “lets make a deal” or “lets compomize mama.” She wants something and she wants it 10 seconds ago, but she will use her impressive vocabulary to say why she wants something and try to negotiate how to get it.

You know that t-shirt that says ” I am a co-sleeping, breast feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, blah blah blah, attached mama”? I am still officially a breast feeding mama. My daughter quit 2 days before my son was born. I was all prepared to tandem nurse, but even after Smiley was born, Sunshine tried some pumped milk and just didn’t want it. I am still nursing my son and he just chows down a lot at night. Yes, we are still a co-sleeping family. My daughter finally moved into her own room, but she struggles with nightmares and anxiety. We would have her stay in our room but she actually sleeps worse when she is in there. Smiley still resides with us though. He is the better sleeper between the two. Otherwise, Sunshine sleeps from 7 p.m. to 7- 8 a.m.  I am still a “sometimes” baby wearing mother. Smiley prefers to be held, but he is outgrowing the ergo just a bit. Now, cloth diapering I save for swimming diapers. Regular cloth diapers just became too much. I am finding I need to really clean house. Get rid of a lot of clothes and items…. perhaps with kid #3 or #4 I will have time to launder such items… but babies make a lot of poop. And my kids especially. So, cloth diapers are out for now. I feel terrible about the earth and the ecosystem… but I can only do so much with the limited brain power and high stress levels I already struggle with.

I guess I am starting over. It is quite a journey; motherhood. I may not always be patient, but I am being more patient with myself. I am not perfect, but I love my family perfectly. So, I guess I will share what I know, what I don’t know, and what I am still learning; As a mother, as a woman, as a human being.

And another new beginning….

I apologize for being on hiatus for so long…. I found that I just needed to focus on my daughter and on myself. Now that I am writing again, (I still plan to focus on my daughter as she gets into EVERYTHING), but writing is for me.

I don’t care much what my blog looks like, as long as its accessible. I want anyone who needs to, be able to navigate without issues around the site.  So, thus I changed it around again. Plus, I like change. I don’t like things to become static because then I also become static. For some reason when there is not change, I begin to lose some of my creative edge and thought processes. Its like the longer you sit on the couch in one spot, the harder it is to get up cause you have permanently indented the cushion. No. That is not me. I like to move, I like to read new things, and be doing a new project. So, while I am mommy and still incredibly love to spend time with my daughter, I am also a person who loves to be needed and to use my knowledge and education that I have worked so hard to earn.

With that, I am putting ideas and thought into motion. I am now applying for some part-time positions. (I could not do full-time as that would totally take away from the fun I have with Sunshine and I so love to see her grow). I also acknowledge that when working full-time I become ill. My anxiety worsens and then proceeds to make my other mental illness just as worse. I find working part-time is wonderful and I get the best of both worlds and remain healthier, emotionally and mentally. There are not, however, that many part-time positions in my field right now. Just full-time. I fully acknowledge that a full-time job is NOT worth it to me. I don’t even need the bene’s. I would just like the opportunity to NOT have to pay back my RSA scholarship that paid for my Masters and stipulates that as long as I work for a nonprofit or government agency for the next 5 years, I won’t have to pay for my Masters.

So, as I said, there are not many part-time positions out there for me at this time. What am I doing in the mean while?  I am starting a foundation. Just getting my feet started on the steps of at least starting the support groups.  What I plan to do is form a Resource and Peer Support program for Mothers that have Mental Illness. I am not excluding those who have Postpartum depression, but I am focusing on the women who had diagnosis prior to pregnancy and there mental illness is not related to said pregnancy after.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some mental health issues that come along with just having a kid that some people do fall into…. this can be directly correlated to lack of sleep, inappropriate diet or lack thereof of healthy food, and no real self-care. This is an area that I, myself, am trying to alleviate.  (Will post more on that later).  The real issues are that many women who have a significant mental illness (like Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorder, Dissociative disorders) become pregnant and don’t have the resources to really be the best mom that we can be. That is what we all ultimately want, right??!! To be the best parent we can be. Our mental wellness, or lack thereof can get in the way of this. On top of this, because we have children, the previous resources or avenues to seek peer support or help are closed to us because children are not welcome at such places.  Thus, the need for a place that women can go with their kids to receive assistance and peer support.

So while I am not working, I am working on something. It can be difficult for me to get my head wrapped about this, and I do have my daughter going with me in everything I do. That is the point…. She is my reason for being a better mom, and for trying to support and help other moms in this same quest.

For now, I must sign off, as my kid is currently pulling out all the dog bones out of the drawer again, and I need to protect her from the dog.  But let me know what you guys think and which direction I should move on this now (Aside from developing a pamphlet, contacting a local church to set up a first meeting, and contacting all the mental health agencies and hospitals in the area to let them know we will be up and running soon….)

Blessings to all and don’t forget to giggle!!

Learning to love the self

I believe, as we grow older, that we also grow more wiser in regards to learning to love ourselves.

Picture from canberratimes.com.au

It is amazing how society has done a number on us, especially women. We are taught to question our beauty, or talents, and pin them against the likeness of others instead of teaching us to improve ourselves for ourselves. Instead of being content as a stay-at-home mom, we have to one up others as well as our husbands and do something “more” with our lives.  I have to admit, that for a long time I believed I was going to be a career mom. I grew up with a mom, who for awhile was a single parent, and very busy trying to find work to keep our little family going. She did get a position that she was very successful in, and became a workaholic. She had the chance to retire, but did not enjoy not working. She took a part time job, and then was offered a pretty lucrative executive director position she couldn’t turn down. The thing is, my mom grew up believing, or perhaps from her experiences learned, that true enjoyment in life and love of oneself is derived from what you do as a professional woman.  It wasn’t that being a mom wasn’t important to her, it just wasn’t where she derived her self worth from.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t believe your self worth should come from just a job, or even from being just a mom.  I believe a person’s self-worth comes from just being. Surviving this world and all the good and bad experiences that occur.  I believe that a person’s self worth doesn’t come from someone patting you on the back and telling you that you did a great job on such and such project. Self worth should come from inside, and that the good deeds we do as human beings should be of utmost importance. That we treat others in life with kindness and humility, and we don’t judge others for their choices or decisions because we do not live in their shoes, nor have the background to base such choices on. That a higher power, be it God, Allah, Buddah, whomever, has called us to be better people and accepting of differences in each other because we were all created to be unique individuals.

For me, learning to love myself and be content with who I am today, has been an extremely difficult thing to do. Being a professional working mom was supposed to be what I strove for. You have probably read other posts where I have beaten the proverbial horse dead on this matter, but it is still something I am working on daily. Something I am faced with every time I get an email about a job (which I get about 20 emails a day regarding this) or information on disability related issues.  I have this part of me that so desperately WANTS to be out there doing more for the disability community. Volunteering, participating in legislative issues, working within the community of others with disabilities. But this all requires me to leave home and Sunshine is not permitted to join me.  If she were, this wouldn’t be an issue and I would probably be neck deep in volunteering with Sunshine strapped to my back.

So, here I am. Struggling with wanting to participate in the Governor’s Commission again, but also wanting so desperately to be a good mother. A lot of moms would have made a decision already. I actually have made a decision, by not making a decision. It has to be perfect. The job or volunteer opportunity has to be a sign from God that this is the right move to make.  I have been praying and praying and until that sign appears, I am content with being at home with Sunshine. Technically, we are rarely at home and my husband has been complaining lately that we use more gas than he does.  We have been going out a lot lately, but it is more for my sanity that anything else.  Staying active and involved is a huge part of why I believe I am doing as well as I am without medications.

I know this post is rather random, like much of what I write. But I wanted to remind myself, by writing it down, that learning to love myself is a neverending quest…. that I first need to like myself at bit more and that by striving to be a better person, to myself, to my husband and daughter, to others who I do not know and just meet on the street, a store, or a park…. that being a better person is first and foremost what will help me get closer to that goal of loving who I am.