Friday, January 29, 2010

How Did I Get Here? (part 2)

I believe I left off in HDIGH? (Part 1) with blissful happiness ensuing after I got married in 2003. And, truly, I was incredibly happy. My job, working with college students at a small liberal arts college, I enjoyed (most of the time). I also really loved being married. JT and I were in the middle of remodeling our (previously his, now, by the default of marriage, ours.) condo. And, when I say remodeling, I do not mean we called the contractors in and lived our life around the chaos of plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. Nope – JT and I were the laborers and project managers. Or, perhaps, more accurately, JT was the project manager, plumber, carpenter, and electrician and I was the designer, consultant, and occasional laborer. We were a good team and it was fun to work together on the project.

A month or two after finishing our biggest remodeling project (gutting a tiny galley kitchen and attached dining room and creating a large eat-in kitchen), and less than a year into our marriage I had a huge realization… “I am ready to be a mom.” I was 34 and was feeling… well, old…and was ready for “something more significant in my life”. Fortunately, JT was in agreement and, although it didn’t happen over night, six months later we were pregnant.

We were excited and thrilled! As an “older” (as my Dr’s chart stated – AMA – Advanced Maternal Age) first-time mom, I felt prepared for having children. And since most of my friends were already moms, I had a wealth of resources to pull from – not to mention all the “first-time mom” books I devoured. I was fortunate enough to be able to leave my job before AB was born to be a SAHM. After AB was born (12/04), I learned lots about what I was not prepared for – but regardless felt pretty good about my “mom skills”. And, when AB was 6 months old, we were cautiously excited to find out we were pregnant with our second child (NO, not an accident, just happened incredibly quickly!). Remembering the period of time between the birth of AB and until OB, my second child (born 2/06), was about 4 months old, the memories are coated with a hazy fog. I was sleep deprived and overwhelmed, but still, I was happy. This was my dream!…a bit later in life than I had expected, but all the more reason to treasure it, Right?
And I did treasure it. I knew that the moments with my babies were precious and worth being present for. I embraced each moment and enjoyed myself – until about the time they found out they had minds of their own. Don’t get me wrong – I was excited to see them reach their milestones and grow and develop – but slowly I began finding myself getting frustrated with them. “Let’s go! I asked you to put your coat on 20 minutes ago!”, “Why did you get into mommy supply cabinets when I have repeated told you not to!”, “You do NOT talk to me that way!” “How many times do I have to tell you that markers are only to be used on paper!” I would hear myself yell at them – Eek! I never wanted to be that mom – that yelling, screaming, losing-it mom – but alas, much to my dismay, I was! So off to the library I went…parenting books would help. And some did. I gained new skills, used different approaches, and changed my attitude but still I was feeling…unhappy? angry? alone? lost? Yes, yes, yes and yes! But how did this happen? Aren't I living my dream life?

How Did I Get Here (Part 3)

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