Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Ridge and Valley Women

It’s taken me a while to write this because I’ve been in a bit of denial lately. I worried that it was negatively affecting the group and that’s why I turned it over to (the wonderful) Carla when I did. And truthfully that should have happened sooner but, I had a hard time letting go.

For those that don’t know, my husband has accepted a transfer opportunity with his job. He currently works 70+ hour weeks and travels a third of the time. Obviously this creates a poor work/life balance for all of us. We have been talking about and looking into different options for some time now. In just about a month we pack a truck and make the 1100 mile drive to southern California.

I wanted to take the time to thank all of the wonderful women in this group. When I started it just over a year ago I never expected anything to come out of it. I never expected that there would be this small community of women who have come to mean so much to me. It breaks my heart a little to have to give up and let go of this group. I started it out of a bit of rebellion. I had been rejected by other “Mom’s Groups” and told that I just wasn’t the type. I’m opinionated and have a potty mouth. I have an ex-husband and am not afraid to say I can’t afford something. I am not defined by my children. I know that my girls are not spectacular to anyone but me and am not afraid to admit I find stranger’s kids irritating. I knew (or at least hoped) there were other women around here like me. I wanted a place to be able to connect and support each other. I wanted to be able to bitch/celebrate about my house, my kids, my husband or the kick ass new shoes I just found. I wanted to have the joy that only comes from a good circle of girlfriends. I found it.

And now I’m leaving it behind. I have had to pull back a bit over the last few months. I feel as though I am severing a limb and now have to sit back and lick my wounds.

My older daughters are struggling with leaving their schools and friends behind. They’ve heard, but doubtfully understand, that this is what’s best for our family. I know it doesn’t make it easier for them. I do understand and it doesn’t make it any easier for me. Here I sit, in the shoes of my teenage daughters, and if fucking sucks.  

I know that I am taking a bit of every one of you with me in my heart. I have made friendships here that will last a lifetime. I wish I could thank you all individually for what you have brought to my life. Through this group I have made connections and learned the real importance in having a strong group of women surrounding me. I have laughed until I snorted coffee, cried over losses and celebrated victories with you. We have welcomed new friends and had to say goodbye to others. Now it is my turn to say goodbye.

I wish you all the best in everything you do. Thanks to the magic of the internet we are never that far apart. And I promise to always be here with an inappropriate commentary or some ridiculously blunt take on parenting.

Thank you, Ladies –for all that you are and all that you have given me.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The First Month

I’m told quite frequently “I don’t know how  you do it”. Let me tell you a little secret… I don’t. I’m glad that I am able to have this illusion that I have my shit together. But in all honesty – I don’t. My house is a disaster area, my kids don’t always get the attention they need and I’m snippy with my husband when he doesn’t deserve it. It’s a balancing act and most of the time I’m just trying to keep the shit that falls from breaking. 

It’s been a month since Georgie was born and I keep thinking that at some point I’m going to get it all back together. I’m going to figure out how to have two very small children at home and still be able to be a functioning adult.  I did this before, shouldn’t it be easier this time? Well, no.  When I had Krysty and Allie I was barely 20 and too stupid to realize how bad I was fucking it all up.  I didn’t struggle to prioritize my responsibilities because I wasn’t responsible. If the dishes or laundry didn’t get done or the bills didn’t get paid it didn’t matter. There is some bliss in ignorance.  I feel like I’m dropping friendships and loosing connections because I just can’t find the time to do all that I need to, let alone the things I want to.  I often hear that I need to just relax and everyone gets it. I know I do when it’s someone else.  I don’t hold myself to the same standards or expectations I have for other people. Do any of us? 

I have finally reached the point where I am not in tears every night.   I think hormonally I am starting to balance out even if nothing else is.  I’ve tried telling myself that I need to be on “maternity leave” for at least 12 weeks.  Isn’t that about what everyone else gets? 12 weeks to be home from work with baby and adjust. The problem is that I can’t put my life on hold.  I know that the pressure I am feeling is only what I put on myself. My husband understands. I just wish he would explain it to me so that I do.

It’s hard sometimes to rationalize what you would chastise a friend for doing. I am 25lbs over what I consider and “acceptable” weight. Not a goal or ideal, but acceptable.  I am trying to find where I can fit in some exercise because that 25lbs is making me nuts.  “Seriously, you look great, you just had a baby and you’ve already lost 25lbs, give yourself a break” is what I would tell me if I was my friend. Unfortunately I am not as good of friends with Me as I should be .  “Georgiana’s fed and changed, some extra Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is not going to hurt Fiona, and the older kids should be helping out more”. See, I know  all of this. It’s all the things my husband and friends tell me. But again, expectations are higher and not being met. Things are not getting done.  My excuse of being pregnant and tired and blah blah blah are gone so now what? How do I rationalize turning from one excuse to why I’m not getting things done to another?  Time to buck up and power through. Innovate. Adapt. Overcome. Be easier on myself, breathe and relax. These things do not mesh. Find the middle ground between the wife/mother/woman I want to be and what I am.  Find acceptance in the wife/mother/woman that I am. 

My goals for today are both easy and unattainable. I’m shooting for somewhere between useless and fucking awesome. One thing at a time.  It’s been a month since Georgiana was born and this is where I am.  I can’t believe so much time has past and how short that time really was.  I wonder how the next month will turn out.