Bah Humbug

Let me just get it out there; I am SO GLAD Christmas 2013 is over.


Done. Finito. No more vomit-inducing music, red & green wrapping paper or a jolly, fat bearded man at every freaking turn. No more pretending to be merry & bright when I really want to be crying & drunk. I don’t know what it is about the holidays that force people to suppress their real feelings. Or actually, what is it about the holidays that make all the suppressed feelings of anger & loneliness & pain come to the surface? Maybe that’s why there is so much alcohol served during Christmas…or why me people start binge drinking between Thanksgiving & New Years.

This was the first year in my twenty—it doesn’t matter really the specific amount of time. What matters is that this was the first Christmas EVER in my personal history that I was not with my parents. And on top of that, the first Christmas in Baby Bee’s life that he didn’t spend it with me. Then I spent Christmas day in pretty awful pain, all but ruined my boyfriend’s Christmas & ended the day in the Jack in the Box drive thru after spending 2 hours in the ER*^. Way to kick a girl while she’s down, LIFE. Ok, I’m not gonna lie, the Jack in the Box thing was pretty cute because I had C next to me. And it was a damn good chicken sammich & don’t even get me started on their curly fries! <droooooool>

But seriously, C saved my life. Not just because he half forced me to the hospital, but because he stayed by my side & kept up a steady stream of Pinot Grigio & Angry Orchard. And when that didn’t seem to work, I got a big arm around me & a kiss on my forehead.

Ok who the hell is that girl up there!?! A happy Mama Bee that’s who. Despite a less than “ideal” Christmas (whatever THAT means), I am SO thankful that I had that amazing bearded man by my side the entire time. Neither one of us particularly enjoy the holiday, so I’m glad we had each other. Even though my family was apart, they made sure Baby Bee & I had presents under the tree & love in our hearts. And when Baby Bee comes back in the New Year, we are going to have our OWN fantastic, nausea inducing, Pinterest-worthy Christmas next to my tiny & pitiful tree.(see above image)

And if not…eh f— it. Baby Bee is 2, he’s not gonna remember this. Christmas is supposed to be about joy, love, peace & family. Not about the pain of the past, or feelings of inadequacy or bitterness of not nailing that PERFECT Christmas tree look. Despite knowing this, & achieving it (for the most part), I’m still really relieved it’s the 26th. Christmas is OVER! <cue angels singing>

I’ve given up on expecting a glitzy & fun NYE, so the letdowns of 2013 are over. 2014 holds a lot of promise so I’m gonna focus on that. And that beautiful bottle of Riesling in C’s fridge…

*Ok I was informed that Emergency Rooms are now Emergency Departments. Whatevs.^Also, don’t panic I’m fine. A pretty nasty bladder infection. Nothing that antibiotics and some Vicodin can’t fix!


Rough Patch

I’ve been stuck in a very low point in my parenting the past…oh I don’t know, MONTH?! I have not so slowly become the type of mom I never thought I’d become. The mom who has unkempt hair (ok that’s just a given for me), ill-fitting clothes, an exhausted look on her make-up free face & a sharp edge to her voice that always seems to be raised in frustration. I hear myself talk to Baby Bee sometimes (especially this past week) & think “Good God that CAN’T be me!? I sound so ugly & mean!” I imagine what my face looks like to my small, equally frustrated son & I feel like shit. I soften my face, take a deep breath & try to calm down. But then he throws the 100th temper tantrum of the hour, or tries to bite me & I’m back to Mean Mommy. I never wanted to become this. I never thought I would become this. How did I get here?!

My son has never been an easy child to raise. I blame most of this on the stress level I was in during my pregnancy & especially the first 2 months of his life when we were breastfeeding & my world was falling apart. Add his genetics to this & it’s a perfect storm. He is high-strung, strong-willed, extremely sensitive & (more than) slightly obsessive. Okay, so I just described myself…. Which is probably why it’s so hard to deal with him sometimes. It’s next to impossible to calm & soothe a stressed out, angry, non-communicative 2 year old when I am just as stressed out & angry & trying to figure out how we’re going to survive the next week, let alone months. I read all these amazing articles about Positive Parenting & helping your toddler communicate & think “Yeah I can do that! It makes perfect sense! I’m going to be one of these moms! Hooray for us!” And I implement the practices for about….oh 10 minutes. Then my temper flares & we’re both in tears again. I know there is no such thing as A Perfect Parent, but I don’t what to be a Shit Parent. And I feel I am dangerously close to being a Shit Parent.

Baby Bee has the biggest brown eyes that are so full of life & pure JOY…until Mommy freaks & he is crushed. Then those big brown eyes turn into dark pools of hurt & confusion & “you-are-the-worst-mommy-ever” feelings. The last part could be my perfectionist nature accusing me. Or it could be really how he feels at that time. I do always try to apologize & explain WHY I was so angry, but that doesn’t take back what I said or, more frequently, how I said it. Raising Baby Bee has been one learning experience after another, and unfortunately for him, I only learn things the hard way. I am terrified of damaging him, of ruining his chances of a successful & happy adulthood. Because let’s face it, the odds are already against him…he’s from a split family, is in the low-income bracket & is exposed to God knows what at the Drone’s. My one & only goal in this whole parenting thing is to protect him from the bad stuff & give him the skills & resources to RISE ABOVE & be an upstanding citizen. All that strong-willedness & high-strung tendencies are not necessarily bad traits to have. He is not a quitter & definitely knows what he wants. I suspect he could be a CEO of his own multi-million dollar company if that’s what he chose to do. My boy is TENACIOUS if nothing else. But it’s up to me to show him how to channel all that energy into good things, instead of destructive or mean things. How can I do that when I don’t even know what to do with my own nervous energy? When I show him time & time again that when we’re angry we yell & slam around the house? I believe that emotions are GREAT things for kids to acknowledge, identify & own….even the ugly ones. I let him see me cry & I let him see me be angry or frustrated. But I need to figure out how to do that in a healthy way that won’t destroy his trust & his feeling of safety, but teach him how to deal with those potentially scary feelings. I guess first I need to figure out how deal with them in myself, before I start teaching it. But HOWWWWW? God, this parenting shit is f’ing hard!

I know I’m not alone here. Nobody ever feels like they have Mommy/Daddyhood figured out. And if they do, they’re liars. But it just seems the more I realize I’m screwing up, the more I actually continue to screw up. We are in a vicious cycle of frustration & fear, Baby Bee & I, and I’m worried it will only intensify after he returns from Christmas with the Drone (ugh don’t even get me started). He’s frustrated I won’t/can’t let him do what he wants & he’s afraid of….well everything really. I’m frustrated he won’t listen & fights every little blessed thing & scared of breaking our bond with my anger & Mean Mommy Face. I feel like we need an intervention.

I just keep trying to do my best, but lately it’s been hard to find my best. It’s buried underneath the exhaustion & panic. Or maybe, worse, my best just isn’t good enough. I just hope we’ll pull out of this & find higher ground before he gets old enough to remember it.

I guess I’m done whining now. Really. I’m just trying to get my footing here…figure where to even begin to help my boy. To help me. And writing is my therapy, my self-help tool. Truths come out when I write, even ones I don’t want to admit. And I decide to air them over the internet….’cause that makes SO much sense!