Mom “secrets”

I was at the gym this morning when I saw an up-coming Today story – What’s your deepest, darkest secret? Moms confess…  Today.com and Parenting.com surveyed 26,000 moms.  Mental note – go look that up online later…

So I read the article.

Uh…..nothing surprising. Really – any mom out there look at that and feel surprised by anything they said? Shocked at how many admitted to certain actions like medicating a child or using them as an excuse to get out of stuff?  Haven’t done the former, have done the latter. So what? I’ve sent a sick kid to daycare and I often want to be left alone. Are you judging me now? How about that I ponder the “Do Over” question?

So why am I writing about this? Besides shaking my head at the honest reality of it all?  Yes! It is so freeing to be able to say these kinds of things to my closest girlfriends (and I guess now the internets).  Blogs like dooce or All & Sundry have helped in laughing, crying or figuring out tips of my own in the whole parenting scheme. Or the ah yes I remember that moment…  Like at my 2-week post partum sobbing to my doctor that I didn’t want to be a mommy that day.

But those blogs didn’t exist when I was considering pregnancy – OK, they might have, but I wasn’t reading them. There was not a Loud Voice out there of Mommy Bloggers talking about the challenges and joys of parenthood. No one being totally honest and raw about what it meant to be a parent.

I remember coming back from maternity leave, Fall of 2003 and running into a pregnant co-worker in the cafeteria. She was in the happy pregnancy stage, no morning sickness, not physically uncomfortable, she was just joyous and bubbly. I was operating on about 4 hours of sleep.  She asked me how wonderful it was to be a parent and how excited I was to have a daughter. I looked at her straight in the eye and say “No one tells you how hard it is”, she smiles, “No really, there are not words to describe how HARD it is!” She gave a nervous laugh and walked away.  Months later after her maternity leave, she walks up to me with that wild-eyed new parent look, takes my hand and says something to the effect of, “You were SO right and I had no idea…there truly aren’t words…”

If you aren’t a parent – that may not have made sense to you.

I love my child. She is sharp, creative, caring, pretty and cunning. She is a force to be reckoned with now and will be until she leaves the nest for her own place. I love that she takes care of me when I’m ill, brings me art for my office, eager to share a dessert, read a book together and wants to cuddle from time to time. But sometimes….

sometimes….

sometimes….

….sometimes….

I just wish I could do it over.

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Serenity Now!

It was a pretty rough week, things were more stressful at work than they probably needed to be, or maybe I just wasn’t prepared. It doesn’t matter now – that work week is over and I’m resting up for the next one!

By Friday night, I was ready to collapse in a pile and be done with it all. I was so far gone I didn’t even want a drink or dessert – I just wanted to run away.  That is ultimate stress for me – not to sound like I rely on my Friday evening cocktail – but not wanting it is a sign I need some serious re-group time.  So I decided to just let it go, and prepare to take a kick-boxing class Saturday morning at the gym. What better way to get out frustration than punching and kicking?!  Problem was, the studio for class was being refinished so all classes were canceled for the weekend. Frick!  I went for a long run and pushed myself to run most of it. I felt pretty good by the time I got home.

But it still wasn’t enough.

I needed to get out for the day. To go be alone and recharge and I wasn’t sure when I was going to come back. I drove up to the Anacortes Art Festival. I used to go every year, but not so much recently.  It was good, I’m glad I went. Saw some good artisan work and some, well, eh. I ran into a friend of mine that is a jeweler and spent a little bit of time catching up and meeting her daughter. After walking through the whole festival twice, I was ready to go. But it was only 4:30 and I wasn’t ready to head back down to Redmond. Still too much energy inside.

I side tracked to Deception Pass. I used to go up there frequently when I was single. It was an easy hike, and there are beaches to sit and meditate on. I hadn’t planned on hiking so didn’t have the right shoes or even a backpack. Still I walked down to the beach and spent about a hour sitting in the sun, listening to the water break on the rocks. I put together my own spiral, it helped calm my mind.

spiral_1

There is nothing like a beach and water to help calm me. I’m not a mountain person, I don’t like camping, nature and I have a tentative relationship. Except for water. I could never live in the Midwest and be so far from an ocean. When I think about my retirement, I see my house being near the water, close enough that I could walk down to get the kind of recharge I had yesterday.

So here is a personal reminder to myself – that when it all gets to be too much, I don’t have to drive 90 minutes to Deception Pass (although a good option) – there are many beaches around town that I could escape. Some close enough to take a lunch break, some far enough that no one could just “drop in” on me.

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Cranky Ass Cranky Pants

I really like my job. I say that with honesty and some level of humbleness having never thought I would *ever* say I really liked my job, maybe even love it some days. I am fortunate to work with some really fantastic people on an exciting project that is pushing my boundaries and comfort zone in more ways than possible. Or so it feels most days. I’ve grown a lot over the last year. Made some mistakes with huge learning opportunity. Made some good relationships and set myself up for success on many levels in my organization and maybe even out of it one day.

The past few weeks have been very trying. I am pushed up against every motivation and belief of success. I feel like I’m fighting that stereo-typical up-hill battle on a 90-degree incline. Two weeks ago I was so frustrated I just had to laugh, I couldn’t let it get to me, how productive would that have been? Last week I was tired and going through the motions, but not going through the motions since there was a lot to get done and some significant blocks in the way.  This week….well this week….I’m just cranky!

I have that feeling that I remember so many years in my career. That poisonous feeling of resentment and frustration and hopelessness. Reaching the final edge of burn-out, but don’t see the light since this piece of work is going to carry into October. Gawd! October? I’m not done enjoying my summer!

I’ve come up with some sayings and stress release that help put a smile back on my face. It really is significant how laughing at it all can help reduce my stress level. Even better when I have people to share it with, and we can all laugh about it.  I think about some of the challenges in the past few weeks and have already identified some potential opportunities to change it next time.

Yep – I think tomorrow I need to add some new tasks to my white board. And spend some time each and every day on them to keep sight on why I like my job and right now, this week and maybe through next month – I’m just going through some shit that just has to happen. It will all be OK, we will get there, we always do!

(OK – I did just gag a little bit thinking I sounded like a cheerleader, which I do not associate with in any form!)

So then on to the next opportunity!
and a pedicure tomorrow, that should help, relaxation….yep….that should help too…

Heart at Risk

I’ve been a fan of Mike Doughty for awhile now. All the way back to Soul Coughing days.  I love to see him live at any opportunity, he puts on a really great performance.  I even have 2 signed CDs and met him in person (star struck eyed and all).  Today I was listening to Busking on the ride in and 40 Grand in the Hole was on.  This verse struck me so much that I rewound it 5 or 6 times to listen again:

When will I hear the click?

When will I know that it is time to split?

What is the use of it?

What is my life without the heart at risk?

It really was that last line. Putting my heart at risk. As those very close to me will tell you, I don’t do that. There is a wall that very, very few people get through. My dear husband included…

I have a history of being too trusting and having it come back to bite me. Or have people leave me because they don’t agree with my decisions. Those are people that probably shouldn’t be in my life anyway. I need to succeed or fail on my own. I should be able to ask my friends to support me either way. Everything is a learning opportunity.

Recently I’ve been talking about that in therapy. What am I protecting by not being totally honest with those I hold so dear? Sure, there are the obvious ones like judgment, rejection, or hits to my self-worth. It takes a lot to shock me or send me sideways when someone opens up to me, so why do I allow myself to live by different rules? ugh! (I can hear my therapist’s voice in my head right now….)

I’ve been experimenting in the last few months. Sharing a bit more with those that are closer to the wall. No one has stoned me yet. Although I still fear the reaction.

Baby steps I suppose…