May 30, 2013

I am Enough

Every handful of weeks, (perhaps it is cyclical) I do not feel like myself. Despite my vigilance with medication, my neurotransmitters fizzle, needing some sort of extra jump start. And until I get that jump start (usually via rest, commiserating with friends, or just talking myself through it) I'm in a funk.

The funk usually involves a lot of self-doubt and low self-esteem. A lot of feelings of not being 'enough'. Not good enough, smart enough, funny enough, kind enough. Not a good enough mom, not a good enough wife, not a good enough friend, just not a good enough human.

I doubt who I am, even questioning if I know who I am. I feel inadequate, knowing that I lack the motivation to throw myself into a passion, wondering if I even have a passion. (This wondering about having a passion is not a phenomenon only found during these funks.) I compare myself to other people, weighing my abilities against theirs, always finding myself coming up short.

Lately, I have started to wonder if at the end of my life I will only see mediocrity. Was I a good mom? Sure. Was I a great mom? Not really. Was I a good writer? Well, an okay one anyway. But was I great? No. And I continue on and on through all and any interests or 'jobs' I may have.

It's not healthy, I know. And I work on it, every single time it comes up. Inevitably, my friends reassure me, my husband reassures me, and somehow I manage to overcome my faulty wiring. The medication helps, of course, and my therapist, who I am convinced saved me, do a lot of the work. I know I'm not in a perfect place, but then I'm not sure if 'perfection' even exists.

But I keep trying, for myself, for my girls. I finally understand how hard it must've been (and sometimes must still be) for my parents to know my self-doubt. Even though I know that it's biological, that's not my fault, I worry about the girls. I desperately want them to know how wonderful and special they are. How they are and will always be Enough. And I am struck by how this deep-down love and desperation I have must also be how my parents felt. How hard it must've been for them to see me and know I could not see myself the same way. How hard it must still be for my mom to read this and hear my not-so-fine moments.

I am fine. I am. Most of the time I know I am a good person and a good mom. But, just like everyone else on the planet, I am a work in progress. So I try to cut myself a little slack and be okay with those moments of doubt and let them go and move on. I will be a positive example to my children of what a human is, imperfect and compassionate, that compassion extending even to myself.

I am good. I am kind. I am Enough.

(And by the way, so are YOU.)


May 29, 2013

The End and the Beginning

Last Friday was Hope's last day of preschool. Forever. As my oldest baby she is stuck with all the firsts. The first to go to preschool, the first to end preschool, the first to go to Kindergarten. My goodness, I just realized this means I officially have a Kindergartener at home now.

I loved Hope's preschool teacher. She was the perfect fit for our sweet and extremely timid daughter, and a perfect fit for our family struggling through our first experiences of sending a child to school. She made each family feel important and each student feel special. And the only reason I didn't bawl when we said good-bye was because Paige will have her for a teacher next year.

There are so many mixed emotions going through me right now. I would blame the pregnancy, but who am I kidding? I'm a mixed emotions kind of girl any time.

I love that Hope is getting older. That she is growing up and gaining independence. That she is learning about the world and meeting new people. That she is understanding jokes and sarcasm. That she wants time to herself but she still likes to snuggle. I love love love it all.

But sometimes it's hard to watch her grow older too. It's hard to say goodbye to preschool. To know that she will be gone every single day. (And the year after that she'll be gone every single day all day long.) That things are shifting in our family. I love it all, I really do. But sometimes it's hard. It's hard to know that there will come a time when she doesn't think I'm great, but is instead embarrassed by my very existence.

It's hard. But I try to remind myself that today is not that day. Today I am still her world (along with numerous friends). And this growing up thing? I've got time.

Here's a photo from Hope on her first day of her last year of preschool this past fall, and then on her last day of preschool this spring:

Happy Summer to all!


May 17, 2013

At Least I Have A Passion For Sleep.

Sixteen weeks, this week. Two weeks into the second trimester and I was hopeful the exhaustion would begin to lift. I am not a stranger to fatigue, however, which is perhaps why my body still struggles to keep up with growing this baby AND living the other part of my life. I find myself disappointed that things I used to derive so much pleasure from (writing and photography) have been pushed aside, even if it has been for the greater good of this family (ie. me getting naps so I'm not a bear in the afternoons or evenings).

I had a discussion at length with a dear friend about how I view myself and my attitude about hobbies and interests. At first I am extremely excited and eager and ready to learn, learn, learn anything and everything I can. But as soon as I hit a spot where more work might be done, or run into even a minor challenge, I tend to give up. I find my inner dialogue reassuring myself that I wasn't that interested in the hobby to being with. I wasn't that good at it. I seem to lack a certain (and necessary) mental puzzle piece that motivates me to continue, that keeps me from giving up.

I used to think that my tendency to give up so easily had more to do with the hobby/activity not being my passion, but I've come to wonder if it has more to do with me just not having the drive within myself to push through, take risks, and keep going. (I mean, what if I fail?)

But today, right now, I use this poor baby as my excuse. I use my pregnancy as my crutch to reassure myself that I'll pick that camera up again soon. Or even take another class. That I'll start blogging more regularly, and even start writing short pieces to exchange with a friend. And who knows? Maybe I actually will. But I suppose right now is not the time to beat myself up, or push myself too hard.

In fact, right now feels like the perfect moment for a quick (or not-so-quick) nap.


May 1, 2013

An Update and News

Today is May Day. I have visions of little blond girls in Easter dresses running from door-to-door with giggles and hands grasping elaborate weaved baskets overflowing with homemade candy. Peeking behind bushes, covering their mouths with pink painted fingernails, squealing and laughing as they run away from the chasing recipient.

Of course, my May Days were never quite this romanticized, and we most certainly did not participate in any May Basket deliveries this year, but maybe some day. If my visions come to fruition.


This spring has been difficult, as evidenced by my blogging... or lack thereof. It has been difficult and yet, it has been a good spring. A wonderful spring, in fact, if only because we found out Hope and Paige will be big sisters. And oh, this is something I've been wanting for a very long time so of course I am thrilled and excited and dancing for joy.

Except that I wasn't. Because all I feared was that I'd go to the bathroom and see some blood. Or that we'd see the doctor and there'd be no heartbeat. But slowly I've allowed myself to feel the excitement, even if the entire pregnancy there is a component of fear that hovers over me. So yes, we are having a baby and I am excited. I am thrilled. I am dancing for joy.

The weather and fatigue have been the hardest part of this year. We had a tease of spring over the weekend and of course are back in the forties. And the fatigue, it pretty much makes me want to lay on the couch all day and drift in and out of sleep.

But there are moments. If I really focus on it, there are a lot of moments. Good moments. Moments I am a motivated mom, moments I have a burst of energy and fold some clothes, make some dinner, straighten the house. Moments that are happy and silly and not filled with irritation or grouchiness (mine, not theirs). Moments that remind me that I am doing things right, that even if we go a few days with too much TV or snacks for lunch, my kids are happy, they know they are loved.

So I give myself permission to have raging hormones, to have less patience, to need more breaks. And I give myself permission to let it go, to apologize, to try again tomorrow. We are doing well, even if some days I'm not so sure we are.

And I'm hopeful that as the summer arrives (if it ever arrives) those bursts of energy will be more frequent and last longer so that the girls and I can enjoy the sun, and maybe I can even get back to this blogging thing.

Enjoying one nice day last weekend