September 24, 2012

Getting through the Transitions

At times I sit here and wonder, how in the world, the underlying reason behind the start of this blog, is turning 6 in a few more weeks.  How did I manage to blink and all of the sudden have a big girl who goes to kindergarten, rides her bike without training wheels and has a very specific opinion about what she's wearing, how her hair is done and even the accessories that go with her outfit.

We've been through some major transitions/experiences this summer -- KT's best friend moving away, deaths of close family members in both mine and C's families, starting kindergarten, my pregnancy -- and at times it feels like the household is still reeling.  Still unsure of our footing as we continue to navigate through these changes.  Each day I wake up and hope that the day ahead will be calm and happy, but steeling myself for the likelihood that there will be chaos and tears.

Making the transition into kindergarten has presented many challenges.  Sending her off to school wasn't a challenge in itself.  I looked forward to hearing her stories, seeing her make the transition into a full-fledged student and having some much needed one on one time with her little sister.  What I wasn't prepared for was the emotional turmoil it would create within that beautiful little girl.

The first week was tough on her.  Tough on me!  She'd come home from school and scream at us over everything.  The slightest agitation immediately escalated into rage.  Didn't matter if it was because I poured a glass of milk when she wanted water with lunch or her sister took a toy she wanted.  No one, no situation was exempt.  And the task of trying to get her to rest in the afternoon was another matter.  Her school schedule requires us to wake her earlier than she normally gets up, and the activity of a full morning would send her home with big purple circles under her eyes and yawns through lunch.  To me, it was apparent that she needed rest, that she needed some time to rejuvenate.  The slightest mention of a nap though would initiate tantrums of epic proportion that would leave both her and I exhausted and in tears.

I just wanted to have good days.  To hear her excitement over school -- friends made, songs sung, games played.  Instead we've muddled our way through the screaming and the tantrums, hoping the transitional time would be short.

She just finished her third week of school and it's getting better.  We're making progress but there is still much ground to be covered.  Each week I'm trying to help the transition along.  Trying to come up with ways to sidestep the tantrums and screaming.  Trying to take little steps, giving KT a little more independence and helping to foster her self-confidence while finding a balance of showing her that I still love her dearly and she's still my little girl.

September 16, 2012

Admitting This is Tough

I am so tired of the "Mommy Wars", a debate started in the late 80's over who has it easier/better -- the moms who stay at home with their children or the moms who work out of the home.  We all need to do what's best for our children, our families and OURSELVES.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios.  What works for one family might be a complete disaster for another.  What comes easy for one Mother might be really difficult for another.

Instead of bashing and belittling one another for the choices we've had to make, we should support one another in our decisions and rally together to help through the difficult days.

I posted a status update the other day, saying,

I love my kids and am grateful that I have the chance/ability to stay home with them. But today is one of those days where I'm envious of the parents who work outside of the house.

It was one of those days where I was envious of the working moms who could go to the bathroom in peace without having a small child intently inspect what you were doing while trying to assist or having to hurry through your business because you could hear them emptying stuff out of the refrigerator.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who could hold business conversations over the phone without having to lock themselves into the bedroom for 3 minutes of semi-muffled quiet or asking your banker if you could call them back because you couldn't hear them over the screams of two fighting children.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who could take their kids to daycare and then take a sick day for themselves where they could actually get some rest and try to get feeling better.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who didn't have to sit and listen to an hour of their five year old screaming how they hate you, how you're a horrible parent and how they wish they weren't part of the family all because you tried to get them to lay down for a nap.

My intent wasn't to say or insinuate that working moms have it easier.  I wasn't saying that they're lucky to be away from home all day, to have someone else tend to their kids.  I know there are aspects of my day that working moms long for.

What I was saying was that *I* was having a hard day being a stay-at-home-mom. That *I* was struggling with the blessing I've been given.  That some days I question if this is the best decision for our family, for me, for the kids; that I wonder if the girls would be better if they didn't have to deal with a short-tempered, exhausted Mom some days. 

Some days I wonder what the hell I'm doing and if it's even close to the right thing.  Those are the days that are really tough.  Especially when I am criticized for complaining, criticized for saying I'm envious of others.  I carry enough guilt for feeling like I'm failing my kids and not appreciating or savoring the chance I have to stay home; I don't need others making me feel worse for just admitting my weakness(es).

Aren't we all allowed to have bad days?  Days where we question what we're doing?  Days where a part of us, even if only a teeny-tiny part, wishes things could be different?  That things could be easier?

All I know is that being a Mom is by far the toughest job I've ever had.  If you've never had a moment in this career where you drop your head into your hands, or stand in the shower, sobbing because you're overwhelmed, exhausted or just completely unsure that you're doing the right thing and praying that you're not messing up your kids, you're luckier than I.

I didn't mean for my comment to cause such controversy.  I was just trying to let the other side know that sometimes, I wish I could be in their shoes, even if they are simultaneously wishing they could be in mine.

September 10, 2012

The Next Step

I've been thinking about shutting this down.  For a while I made it so that only invited readers could view the blog.  And then I didn't invite anyone!  Haha.

But there were a handful of people I wanted to know that I was pregnant.  Knowing that one of the best ways to get the message to them was this blog, I opened it back up and posted the last stuff about my heart.  Now I'm back on the fence about shutting it down completely.

When I started this blog 6 years ago it was an on-line journal of sorts.  A no-holds barred place to dump my feelings.  A place that only a select few were privy to; a place where people supported what I wrote. Anymore I feel like I have to be cautious about what I say here because of how it's perceived -- spending too much time online, sharing stuff too personal in a public space...

It seems like I can't win for trying.  I'm trying to decide if the backlash that can come from posts is worth the relief I get, for getting stuff off my chest.