The Mommy Wars

I am very happy to say that today I noticed that my guest post was published on End the Mommy Wars blog. You can read my story on potty training here.

There is a reason that ending the mommy wars and stopping moms passing judgement on one another is very important.  There is a reason that I needed to sign the Mom Pledge.

I’ve never really explained my reasons. But today I am going to. Not because I feel like I need to defend myself. But because I want to.

I have stated in the past that I have been judged for my choices as a Mom. And I have stated before that I dealt with Postpartum depression and Anxiety after each of my children were born. It wasn’t bad after Alex and it hasn’t been too bad since having Zoey. But after Nick it was bad. Really super bad. I didn’t bond very well with him at first. Looking at us today you wouldn’t know that. But it has affected all the relationships in my household.

My husband bonded more with Nick than he did with the other kids, because he was making up for my lack of interest in him. I was more than willing to pass off all the feedings, diapers etc to him. I didn’t want to do any of that. If Alex needed me, I was there, if Nick needed me… it was harder to want to be there. I was still there. I tended to his needs. But there wasn’t the same emotional attachment to him. This affected how Hubs bonded to Zoey. Because I didn’t have the same problems bonding to her, he wasn’t as hands on with her and felt as though he wasn’t bonding to her at all. Thankfully, after him and I discussing this, he has realized this isn’t the case, he loves his little girl as much as he loves his little boys. I have no doubts about that.

When I decided to get pregnant with Zoey, the troubles I had with Nick played a big factor in that decision. I didn’t want to have another baby if I was going to have a hard time bonding to him/her. That wouldn’t be fair to me, the baby, the boys, or my husband. So I did some serious thinking about what contributed to those feelings. I figured it out pretty quick.

I realized that when I got pregnant with Nick, there were a lot of people who made negative comments and criticized that I would even keep the baby. (I know right.. imagine having someone tell you that you should’ve aborted your baby because your kids were to close together. Talk about mind boggling) There were comments about how I was being unfair to Alex by having another baby so soon. There were people who told me it was so so so hard and I would struggle with it. So few people said to me ‘You’re a good mom. You can so this. It’ll be tough, but you’ll figure it out’ The majority of it was ‘omg, you’re crazy.’  So I knew that I needed to get those people out of my life.

After I got the obviously negative people out, that left the more subtle people. Those people were harder to weed out. But by the time I had Zoey I had gotten rid of them. And you know what? My postpartum issues, were so so so minimal compared to what they were after Nick.

Part of me wishes that I could go back and not have the issues I did after I had Nick. But a bigger part of me cherishes the fact that I was able to build a strong bind with him in spite of our rough start. When his first word was Momma, my heart melted. And I am glad that those experiences gave me the voice I need to tell those negative people to shut up. I sincerely hope that my story can help even one mom not feel so alone. And realize that there are people out there who don’t just want to judge. I may not be the perfect mom, but I am perfect for my kids.

I encourage everyone to take the Mom Pledge and support one another instead of judging one another.

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Home from Camping, and another award!

This past week, Hubs and I took the kids out camping for a couple nights. It was supposed to be one night, but it turned into two. We had a great time. All the things I was stressed about ended up not happening. No one fell into the fire (although my brother almost set himself on fire starting up the BBQ) No one drowned in the pool. No one got (badly) hurt. The kids slept pretty well. And we all had a great time! I didn’t forget anything important (although since we stayed for 2 nights instead of 1, I almost ran out of diapers) No one was dehydrated and the kids got to spend some quality time with their Nana and uncle. It went so well (and with no major anxiety attacks for me), that I think we are going to go for a night or two again next week!! 

When I got home yesterday and finally got a couple minutes to get onto the computer, I discovered that I had been nominated for another blogger award! This one is the Team Membership Award. Which I assume means someone thinks I am contributing something worthy (A huge thanks to How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day for this fabulous nomination! Seriously, check out her blog, she is a fabulous writer!!) 

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With this award comes the big task of passing it on! So here goes:

McCrazy Daily Lessons

Mummy Flying Solo

Wings as Eagles

The Girl who Blogs

Thanks again for the nomination. It makes me feel amazing that people are reading and enjoying my blog! What a boost of confidence! (Knowing there are people out there who seem to be enjoying my writing, has also given me the confidence to send in my story to the Fearless Formula Feeder, hopefully to share and encourage mom’s to have the confidence in their choices, regardless of what those choices are! I’ll share it here too soon!) 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

just to warn you… this post is a little muddled…

Today I took the kids out to Lilac Resort to spend the day with their Nana and Papa, my mom and dad. (Lilac Resort is a campground geared towards RV camping, you can rent a site for a night/weekend or for the whole summer which is what my parents do. There are pools, paddle boats, water slides, playgrounds etc etc etc.) 

So anyways I took the kids out there for the day today. They love it. Swimming, playing with Nana and Papa, water fights, and so on. But I had told my parents that we would only be making day trips this year. I wouldn’t be staying the night. (The biggest reason for this, to be perfectly honest is that 1- it makes me anxious and 2- my grandmother is normally out there and she drinks quite a bit. And when she drinks she says things that really piss me off) But my mom and I were talking today and she is planning on staying out there most of the summer and not coming into the city much. (I am staying at their house, without them, it would seem.) And since she is going to be out there all week (and my grandmother won’t be) Hubs and I should stay out there one night a week with the kids. For some reason, I agreed with her. But. She only solved one of the two things that bothered me about going out there over night. There is still the whole matter of how anxious this makes me. 

I hate being anywhere outside the house. Which is so so so unlike me. I am normally the one complaining about how boring it is to be inside the house all the time and pushing my husband to come for walks with me, take me into the mall etc. But the joy of anxiety is that being out of my comfort zone and around people sets it off. Like mad. Now I hate being out of the house. Driving across Canada to come visit my family had me on edge. Being in my parents house isn’t too bad, even though I didn’t grow up here, in the last 2.5 years I have spent 11 months here so it might as well be home.

Spending a night in a camper though… for some reason that really really really puts me on edge. I don’t know why. Really I don’t. I will bring the two playpens. One for Zoey and one for Nick. Alex will sleep in the bed with hubs and I. There will be Hubs, me, mom, and my brother to watch the kids. The camper has an a/c in it, so heat stroke isn’t likely and the kids have a cool place to nap. The kids LOVE being out there. There can be a lot of people sometimes, but during the week there usually isn’t, and if there is a lot of people and I am uncomfortable, mom and dad’s site is pretty secluded and I can hide out there. 

The biggest thing for me is that I am constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone so my kids don’t miss out on things. I still take them to the park, shopping, museums, the zoo and what not. Even though there are crowds and unknowns and things that bug me and make me anxious. I think I am more anxious that my anxieties are going to make them  miss out on things that kids should be able to do. But, once I spend a few hours doing those things, I am stressed out and struggling to remain patient. I am really good at being patient with the kids. But my poor husband has been snapped at, cussed out, and generally bitched at much much more than he deserves. I know I have a great guy though, when through it all he lets it roll off his back, waits for me to come and apologize (I always do) tells me he knows I didn’t mean whatever it was I said, and moves on with life. He lets me ramble and talk through my feelings/anxieties and never pushes me to do anything I might not want to do, while still encouraging me to push my boundaries. 

I guess we’ll see how Wednesday goes, when we embark on our first family ‘camping’ trip! I’m sure things will be fine, but I can’t help but be anxious about it anyways. Lists here I come! (Lists make me feel better and a lot less anxious about things!)

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Helloooo Anxiety!

So I am sitting here on the couch while hubs puts the kids to bed and Zoey sleeps about 3 feet from me, thinking about doing laundry and I can feel my anxiety levels rising. Sounds kind of silly that my anxiety is rising over laundry, but let me finish and it will all (with any  luck) be clear that it’s not the laundry making me anxious, it’s the sorting and getting rid of stuff that is.

Zoey is officially out of her newborn sized clothes. And into 0-3 month sizes. So while I am folding laundry, all of her NB stuff is going into a box to be dropped off at a friend’s house tomorrow. Her stuff is going to a good home, I am not worried about it being taken care of. There is really no sentimental attachment to any of it. Most of it she only wore once. But. It means I am never going to dress any of my babies in those itty bitty clothes again 😥 (I don’t know if I mentioned it, but Hubs is going for his vasectomy in August, and barring some absurd twist of fate, we are done producing offspring!) My babies are growing up fast. And that makes me sad. I want to hold onto her

The real anxiety strikes though when I am boxing up my maternity clothes. I have pre pregnancy clothes that fit me (most of the ones from pre-Zoey do and some are even getting too big on me!) So it’s not that I won’t have anything to wear. But.. has anyone ever notice how awesomely maternity pants hide the little bubbly pooch of stretched out skin that tends to just muffin top with normal pants? Am I the only one self conscious enough to even notice? I know that I should love my body for what it is, and what it has done, and most times I do. In fact, I even joined a Facebook group dedicated to loving the postpartum body! And, as people keep pointing out to me, I am only 1 month postpartum and I can’t seriously expect to have my pre-baby body back. But for some reason, having people be able to see that my body isn’t perfect is causing me a lot of distress. It seems like such a stupid thing to get anxious about, but it seems like there is so much emphasis on how we look that I can’t help but have it consume me.

I seriously thought about keeping a pair or two of maternity pants, but I can see my husband being curious about why I did, and somehow I don’t think my explanation about feeling too fat for normal clothes is going to cut it for him. (Don’t get me wrong he is an awesome guy, he just isn’t really into letting me allow my anxieties to control me, which I can rationally say they would be if I continued wearing maternity pants when I don’t need to be) I guess I can take this as extra motivation to eat healthy, exercise a little more, and drink more water. And of course, continue trying to embrace the pooch of stretched out skin as a memorial to the amazing things my body went through to bring my 3 gorgeous babies into the world!!

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

The Postpartum Life

This post is one I have been thinking about writing for a few days. I quite honestly don’t know where to start. After giving birth, your body changes. Fast. Drastically. In a big way. It’s overwhelming. It’s scary. It’s depressing. 

After I gave birth to Nick, Hubs went right back to work. He wasn’t going to take any parental leave. I could handle two kids on my own. It couldn’t be that different from having just Alex. I was wrong. Within a month Hubs was home with us. I couldn’t do it. (It takes a lot to admit this) Anytime the kids cried, I had anxiety attacks. If only one of them cried, no problem. But put them together and I shut down. Hubs came home one day to find the three of us sitting on the floor in the playroom crying. He’d noticed that there was something off with me since I had the baby, he just wasn’t sure what. He went on parental the next morning to give me the support I obviously needed at home, and sent me into my Dr to talk about what was happening. The Dr diagnosed me with mild postpartum depression and moderate postpartum anxiety. Hubs and I did some research, we talked, and we coped with it. I started taking birth control to help regulate my hormones. I started going out once a week to interact with people. I had an amazing photographer take boudoir photos of me (amazingly it helped. A lot. I started feeling better. Then we decided we wanted another baby.

When we made the decision to have a third baby, I was excited. I couldn’t wait. Things were going so great with our family, but I felt like something was missing in our lives. Once we made the decision we wanted another baby, we knew that we needed to talk about what we could do differently this time around to make the postpartum period easier. We talked for a long time about the circumstances around Nick’s birth. We realized we had a lot of negative people in our lives. I decided I needed to get those people out of my life. So I did. Anytime someone was super negative about our situation (for example, criticizing our choice to have a third baby) I removed them from my Facebook. I got my friends list down from over 200 people to 70 people. We were excited to be expecting Zoey and my pregnancy progressed.
Throughout my pregnancy, there were a few ‘episodes’ when I would have anxiety attacks, but overall I was controlling it well and I was optimistic that things were going to be better. I was over it. It went away. Turns out depression and anxiety don’t really just ‘go away’ they are always there. In the background. Watching. Waiting. For the opportunity to present itself. When I had Zoey, I felt great. The delivery was easy compared to the boys, my recovery was fast. But my body. It was so so so so so different. Even more different then when I had the boys. The stretch marks. The saggy-ness. It was depressing. I know that it won’t look like this forever, rationally. But my rational self is on a shelf that I can’t reach right now. Leaving me very irrational. Leaving me feeling anxious about things I shouldn’t feel anxious about. I know I don’t need to worry about what my body looks like. Stretch marks and saggy-ness is to be expecting after having a baby, especially after having 3 back to back babies. I mean, I’ve already lost 30 lbs. I am doing good for having just had Zoey 3 weeks ago.
My body isn’t the only thing causing me anxiety. There are other things too. Things that, rationally, I don’t need to be anxious about. But I can’t control it. At all. It consumes me. So it’s all I can think about. But I don’t doubt my parenting. I know I am a good Momma. I doubt how great of a wife I am being lately. I doubt a lot of things about myself. But never my role as a Mother. That’s gotta be an improvement right?
I am going to see the Dr later this week. I know there is something wrong and that I need help. Hubs and I have talked about it. And now I have made it even more real by writing it here. The reason I wanted to write this, is because after I had Nick and was going through this originally, I felt alone. Anxiety and depression seem to be taboo topics to talk about. They shouldn’t be. They are real. And the people who feel them are real too. And we all deserve to be listened to. I don’t feel so alone now, I have found a support system. And that helps. A lot.

Love, hugs, and more to come later

Lynn