9.19.2010

Confessions of a Closet Crazy

Get ready folks, as this post is going to be a long one. I can guarantee poor grammar, incorrect tenses, and overall confusion. But hey, I'm a "crazy" and all the shit that's been spinning around in my head like a tornado is about to be unleashed.

Fuck. Hasn't it been such a long, long time since I dropped the f-bomb on the blog? I bet it was pre-Preston. Before I developed my Mom-mouth. But since I'm a crazy, I can say it. Because crazy people get a pass when it comes to swearing. Being crazy, and swearing, go hand in hand. They are tight, like a monkey and his tail.

The last seven weeks have been a whirlwind. Three and a half of those weeks were spent traveling- ten flights, eight states, and over 10,000 miles. Norah, at the wee age of two-months-old earned her wings! We visited family and friends in Ohio, and vacationed with family in The Outer Banks. And although seeing our families and friends was much-needed for the kids, Jeremy, and myself...it wasn't relaxing. Living out of our suitcases, being out of routine, sharing bedrooms with the kids, in the car, out of the car, to this house, and that house...nearly put me in the crazy house.

What's all this talk about crazy, you ask? I'd say about a month and a half after Norah was born, after the flow of family help ran out, I proceeded to secretly shut down during the day. And I haven't talked about this openly with anyone, not even my husband.

Most days, it was all I could do to just get the kids fed and diapered. I couldn't wait for nap time for Preston, because I just needed a break. Preston's a great kid and the addition of Norah into the family didn't change things much for him. It's as though he understands she needs more attention/help throughout the day just because she's a baby, and he's okay with that. Me counting down the minutes to his nap time wasn't because he was acting out or being unruly. It was because I didn't feel like tending to him. Isn't that a shitty and overly horrific thing to say about your child? "I didn't feel like tending to him." Oh, the guilt. I knew then, and I know now, that this wasn't "me", but I just couldn't shake the funk.

Preston probably doesn't see it as much of a funk though. After all, he's now been introduced to The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Once a child only familiar with PBS programming, has now been cable converted. Ugh. But hey, he can kind-of count to a hundred in multiples of ten; although he has no idea what that means. [Thankfully I had enough sense to steer him clear of the shows featuring grown adults singing. Gag me.]

Norah, on the other hand, hasn't slipped through my crazy unaffected. Last week she turned FOUR months old. [Where the fuck has the time gone- oh, that's right...the crazy has taken my precious time. I hate crazy.] The pediatrician doted over her, repeatedly remarking how fabulous she is. That's the word she kept using, fabulous. Norah is 15lbs. 6oz, and 24 1/4" long; no wonder she's wearing clothing for a 9-month-old. She's in the 75-90th percentile. And she has mild plagiocephaly.


Right now I feel as though I'm at a Crazies Anonymous meeting. I'm standing up in the circle of shitty mothers, and admitting that I've let my poor, helpless, sweetheart of a baby lie on her back too much. I didn't force her to do tummy time, because quite frankly, it made her cry, and I've been too crazy to deal with it. I'm standing up in this circle and I'm shaking. I'm tearing. My shirt is wet from the constant stream of regret and shame. I'm a horrible fucking mother. And I'm in this circle. And it's not soo anonymous, is it? [Just writing this, admitting this, makes me want to vomit, then curl up and die and hope nobody even reads this blog ever again.]

Norah's case is "mild". Which means, the doc isn't all that concerned, but worried. That's what the doc said - not concerned, just worried - aren't they the same? Norah's head isn't freakish and luckily FOR HER she sports a sweet do. Her flat spot is in the back, not on either side. The pediatrician said it's hard to find any one-year-old today without some hint of a flat spot, due to the 'back to sleep' campaign. She advised me to not have her on her back AT ALL unless she's sleeping. This should round her head out, as she's only 4-months-old, and her skull will continue to rapidly develop until about a year of age.

That being said, the pediatrician told me she was adding a 'referral' in my chart. That I should discuss this with my husband. And perhaps we should set up an appointment with Children's Hospital Craniofacial Center. First thought in my mind was...HELMET. Which, of course, I quickly asked her about. She said the doctors there would discuss repositioning options with me, and blah, blah, blah. But all I heard was, "YOUR BABY NEEDS A HELMET. YOUR FAULT." Although neither of those things were ever actually said. It's just the crazy.

I researched the Craniofacial Center online and found out that helmets aren't even an option until babies are over six months old. Whew, okay, a ray of light in this dark mess I've created for my child. Once the referral goes through, Jeremy and I will take her to the specialist. In the meantime, she hasn't been in her swing or bouncer ONCE. I've been using a Boppy Noggin in her crib and alternating the direction in which she lies. [Yes, I'm aware Boppy advises against this. Fuck them. I'm using it in the crib.] The Noggin really helps keep her off her flat spot, and makes me feel a hell of a lot better considering how much she sleeps. Last night she slept 14 hours, without waking. Then she took three small naps today. She's an excellent, easy baby. And for that, I am thankful. Very, very thankful.

This flat-head condition has pretty much been the electric shock therapy I've been needing. I have the righteousness of my wonderful pediatrician to thank for this verbal slap in the face.

Pediatrician: How's tummy time going?
Me: She hates it. Are you asking because of her flat spot?
[No, her flat spot wasn't news to me.]
Pediatrician: Yes.
Me: She cries and screams when I try to lay her on her tummy.
Pediatrician: What if she cried when you put her in the carseat.
Would you drive around with her on your lap?
Me: Uhhhhh, no. [Wake up Kate!]

I'll have to thank Dr. Flowers the next time I see her. Otero Flowers is her name. I love her name. Have no idea what it means. But I love it.

Since our recent visit, I've kicked into ORH...operation round head. In addition to the Noggin, I also bought a mirror for the floor. Norah seems to really like it and her tummy time is going much better. In fact, she even fell asleep on her tummy yesterday afternoon! I borrowed a Bumbo chair and she loves it! I've also started laying her across my lap when sitting on the couch. Hopefully this newly found effort will pay off, in addition to whatever the specialist recommends.

The crazy is still very much lingering. Today I've been battling it. Doesn't help it's so fucking rainy here right now. I can too easily sit my fat ass down on the couch and watch G movies all day with Preston. That's another part of my crazy- how grossly fat I am. I've got no excuse here, either. I just suck.

I know, whaaa, whaaaaa, whaaaa. I'm a bigger baby than my kids. :) No worries. I'll pull myself out of this funk. No need to call children's services or set up camera's during the day while Jeremy is at work. We'll be fine. Just send me good vibes and some sunny weather- otherwise I'm going to need one of those sun lamps to keep my spirits up OR pills. Whatever works, right?

In the meantime, I'm making promises.I've made a promise to myself. I promise to take each day one day at a time. I'm going to try to not think about tomorrow, just live for today. I promise to be a better mother to Norah and hopefully this flat-head thing will work itself out. I want her to keep looking at me with those big, loving eyes and wide, gummy smile with such awe. She has no idea about her slightly flat head. All she feels is how much she loves me. I owe it to her to straighten the fuck up. I promise to not let the tv be the babysitter for Preston. We've got to get back to the parks, to our crafts, and playdates. I owe it to him to be the mother he had before his little sister came along. He's an amazing boy and at 2.5, such a smart little being. He needs to experience childhood and learn by doing; not to be sat in front of the tv for three hours a day. I promise to take more pictures and movies of BOTH kids. I promise to take more pictures of the kids together. I promise to update the blog regularly.

Last, but not least, I promise to open up to my husband. I promise to be better at expressing my true feelings, to not be soo snippy and bitchy. I promise to be a better wife.

And after writing this post, I promise to not call myself crazy anymore. At least on here! ;) And I shall finish reading Eat. Pray. Love. It's been a great read so far- when I have the time. And Oprah said it changed her life. Or rather, her producers told her to say it changed her life. Not even sure how it changed her life, or if she can read. And I don't even care if Oprah can read. She's annoying and all of her shoes have red bottoms. And now I'm off on another tangent about another topic. Perhaps I should just go to bed!

23 comments:

Melissa said...

I completely and honestly feel for you. But there is some sick, twisted part of me that is happy that I'm not alone. Sorry, but I have been going C-R-A-Z-Y for the last few months as well with my two kids under the age of three and was starting to think that I was the only one who felt this way.

You are doing great. Having two babies (Preston is still considered a baby...in my book - the kid title doesn't start until at least 4 or 5) is TOUGH. Not to mention living away from home. My hubby's job brought us to the East Coast in a hotel room for over a month and I thought I was going to end up on top of the roof a few times. It's no picnic.

I'm seriously just trying to get through the day without feeling like a shitty mom. Being an average mom is awesome. I also hated letting my kids watch TV but have grown to love how Yo Gabba Gabba gets them to quiet down for 24 minutes at a time.

As for the flat head...my son had it and he has a perfectly round noggin now. No helmet, either. Don't feel guilty...you'd be surprised at how fast it'll round out! Good luck and know that you're not alone! :)

Melanie said...

Hi Kate,

I stumbled upon your blog about 2 years ago after I learned I was pregnant. It wasn’t a planned pregnancy and I was totally freaked out and where do you go when you’re freaked out and looking for answers? Google, of course! I found your blog and immediately fell in love. I thought Preston was the cutest little boy I had ever seen (you do have beautiful babies, don’t you?!). I began reading your blog religiously, losing hours of productivity at work. :) It was through your smart (and hilarious) musings that I determined what kind of mom I wanted to be.

I don’t think there is a mother out there who hasn’t experienced what you’re feeling. One thing my husband is constantly telling me and that I’ve really tried to incorporate into my life is “don’t be so hard on yourself.” Some days are good. Some days are bad. Some days we could be in the running for mother-of-the-year. Some days it’s a struggle to get the kids dressed (let alone, ourselves!).

So, don’t be so hard on yourself, Mama K. You’re a great mother! Baby Norah and big boy Preston are very lucky to have you!

I wish you all the best!
Melanie

MBKimmy said...

I am with Melissa - however my crazy started when I got preggo with baby #2. Mine are 14 months apart and really the "baby" was only 5 months old when I got "all knocked up" with #2. I. FREAKED. OUT.! I was CRAZY up until baby 2 was born and really I think that was part of the issues with him. He was NOT a easy baby as with baby #1. He had acid reflux and colic until 8 months ... talk about more crazy!!! I was in a funk!
They are now 3 and 2 and it is getting SO MUCH more enjoyable! I actually look forward to it - but I am till a fat ass mess! Not as crazy just have to find time to work out at some point and that point hasn't come yet - but I am guess just like not being crazy came so will working out! haha

Anyway hugs and good vibes!

Lindsay said...

I felt the same way when I had post pardom depression. I finally gave in and got a prescription for zoloft. It was the best thing for me. I am praying you find the best thing for you. Don't beat yourself up because I think bouts of survival mode are completely normal for moms of little ones! In the words of my mom, "and this too shall pass". Hopefully, you will see that light at the end of the tunnel soon.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there sweet Kate. I know when life starts swirling it is hard to stop and take a breath. Balancing motherhood and wifery (is that even a word? sounds so '50s!) and friendships are so tough. Do take it one day at a time...even one hour at a time if that is all you can do. Also, when you have a quick moment (yeah, I know you don't have time, right?!) well, when you do check out my friend Liv's site that is all about noticing beauty each day - a lesson she learned after having post traumatic stress after her 1st baby. www.choosingbeauty.com Even in the midst of the "crazies" there is beauty to be noticed.

Do know I am here for you and am ready with a glass of wine in hand or just open hands to take the kids.

Love,
Tracy

betsy said...

You make other mommy blogs look stupid. And you are my BFF. And I miss you. And I think we all owe you at least $100 for the hour's worth of head shrinkage you provided.

Anonymous said...

Kate, this might as well have been me writing this post! Although, mine would be a bit boring and probably three short sentences that no one would understand:) My sweet June has a flat spot and I'm sure I'll get the talk at the Dr.'s in a couple of weeks. Yes, Ruby has also been watching way more TV and I feel sooo very guilty. I'm still eating like I'm 10 months prego, and I'm bitchy to my poor husband. To top it all off I just returned Eat Pray Love back to my sister because I have started it so many times it's annoying me. So there, we are in the same lovely boat:) Let's make it a priority to get together more often... perhaps the girls can have tummy time, the toddlers can fight over the remote and we can have a drink and catch up. Take care! Katie

Conner and Katie's family said...

You're not alone!!! I've felt like that too. My son is 2 1/2, my daughter is 7 months. When I was on maternity leave I took him to his day care 3 days a week just so I could breathe, then spent all 3 days feeling guilty. Sounds to me like you're totally normal! I've been following your blog for about 2 years, and it's funny how some times you say what I feel.
It does get better! Once the babies are a bit older you feel like you can breathe again...

Have a random hug from a stranger.

Liv @ Choosing Beauty said...

Hi! My friend Tracy told me about your blog because she knows I embrace the CRAZY! :) I think that's the only way to survive these fragile days (or weeks or months) when you have little ones and feel like you have no life to call your own. As you can see from the comments you're getting, you're clearly not alone! Bravo to you for being honest about how you feel because so many moms feel the same way.

AND I want to say here that a lot of moms need more help than a blog post or other moms saying they feel the same way. I never thought I'd wind up with postpartum depression and ptsd, but I did. If you feel like things aren't improving much or that you're distancing yourself from family/friends/passions, I urge you to talk to a therapist (I actually think everyone on earth should have a good therapist!). That may be all you need to get stuff off your chest and receive support & ideas on how to manage your CRAZY life...or maybe there's additional intervention needed. I am happy to point you to some resources if you are ever interested.

It is easy to slip away from yourself without noticing, especially when you put so many pressures (or "promises") on yourself. Give yourself a break! I truly think the very best thing you can do for your kids is to show them what it's like to be authentically happy. They wno't remember things like tummy time or TV time, but they will remember if they grew up with a stressed out, sad mom. They deserve more and you deserve more.

I wish you the best on this journey, through all the ups and downs. You are a great mom - even if you don't believe it yet!

Liv

Breakfast With the Bennetts said...

I can not say that I know what you are feeling but I can say that I think you are so brave to talk about it. Even if it is just with us. We do not think you are crazy, just tired, and stressed. I think a nice discussion with your dr might be in order. Sometimes they can give you a temporary fix to help you get out of the funk and that is all that is needed. You owe it to your babies and yourself to feel better. Don't be afraid to go talk to your dr about this.

On a side note...

Please stop by and see my blog. After reading your posts for a long time I have started one of my own. I hope that one day it is as nice as yours and that I can be as honest!

Karen
http://needdistraction.blogspot.com/

Mama R. said...

Kate! I want to cuss you out for not calling me, even though I know that is the very last thing you do when you feel like crap. So I'm going to cuss myself out instead. I'm so sorry I haven't reached out more. Now, please stop being so hard on yourself. There are a million and two things that can go wrong with our babies (that isn't making you feel better, is it?) and mild flat head isn't something that anyone in their right mind would blame you for so stop it! I thought Sam had it! I took pics of all angles to show the ped. (He doesn't. But it happens. And remember, it's not permanent.) Preston will also be fine. He has you as his mama, so he's already a lucky guy. A few hours less of you won't kill him.

From one crazy to another, I love ya.
Laura

Jennifer said...

Until I read your post I felt like a horrible mom. I didn't realize how common plagiocephaly was! At my sons 2 month appointment (he was born 2 weeks after your daughter) I was told he had positional torticollis and I needed to work with him on getting him to look more to the right. The doctor never addressed the fact that he had the pretty bad uneven spot on the back of his head. Well I worked with him on looking to the right more and at 3 months he started rolling onto his tummy, because thats what he preferred. I even allowed him to sleep on his stomach because he refused to sleep on his back( I got lots of lovely comments from people about that). I thought all of this would help him with the flat spot...it didn't get much better, it just hasn't got worse. Now his 4 month appointment is on the 5th and i'm dreading the word "helmet". I'm hoping she tells me it'll get better on its own but I don't think it will. :-/

aubrey said...

feel better. a bit of wine always helps me!

taramariephotography said...

Thanks for being honest! I was in a funk just after having my little girl in June. Throughout my pregnancy and after, your blog has been a REALISTIC guide to pregnancy and having an infant, without the butterflies and rose petals that most people coat their stories with. I've missed your blogs, so thanks for the promise to update more often.
Looking forward to more, even if they include the F bomb....

The Casault Family said...

you are not alone...my boys are 15 months apart...i feel the same guilt...lots of moms do...i thank god i enrolled Kingston on preschool...we have alone time together...Davin has been such a clingy baby, way different from Kingston was born...just like you said take it one day at a time...once i get a steady schedule i will be emailing you for a playdate...

Chrissy B. said...

Hey, I was just wondering how things were going? Keep us posted when you get a chance. We know that it is tough being a parent to one kid I could only imagine 2 of them. Hoping all is well

Anne said...

I understand and feel for you. I had the feeling that I have to tend the little one because I thought the eldest is already grown-up. yeah it was kind of crazy but we can get over it.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Anonymous said...

Hello! I found your blog one boring day at work about a year ago. I'm not a mother yet but your stories are honest and inspiring. I know I don't know you but I care about you and hope that you are feeling at least a little better. My advice (though I have no experience at parenting) is to find a teenager to help you when you are home- she/he can play with Preston and you can focus on the new baby. Or you could have this helper come over when you know baby will be napping, and then you can have some time to focus on yourself (like a bubble bath!)

8 weeks pregnant said...

great post. Do what you gotta do to feel better. A little pampering never hurt.

chell-belle said...

Hi Kate,

I found your blog almost two years ago when I decided to get pregnant. I wanted to know what to expect and I wanted to know I wasn't going to completely lose myself.

I love reading your posts because you're a great writer and it was obvious that becoming a mommy didn't change your awesome sense of humor or touch your creativity. It may have changed your life but you are still "you!" Even in this post, your strong personality shines through. Since then, I've never stopped reading and I still check back every month or so to see if you've posted anything new.

I want to leave a comment to tell you about a close friend of mine who, after her second child, was not the same person. She gained weight and, by her description, had become a bad mom and a bitch. She was impatient with little things and felt constantly guilty about snapping at her husband and her 4 year old. Her mom and sister came to visit, saw what she had become, and urged her to see a doctor. She did and found out that she's now hypothyroid - which causes bitchiness and weight gain. That diagnosis and the treatment she's received for it has made her herself again.

Hang in there but, most importantly, take care of yourself!

vww said...

I just found your blog, and read this post, and had to comment.

You sound like a perfectly normal Mum to me. You don't want your baby to cry, so you give her more of what she wants... that's not neglect. It's not bad parenting. It's just a shame she didn't like tummy time from the off!

It also sounds to me like maybe you need to cut yourself some slack. Get a babysitter. Go out. Have a bath with candles, oils etc. All the things you did before you had kids. If you feel better in yourself, you will have more energy for the little ones. Don't beat yourself up. There are enough other people that do it to you, you don't need to do it to yourself too.

Good luck with it all. Keep smiling. :)

iammomster.blogspot.com said...

OMG sounds like a hectic few weeks! I never finished EAt,Pray, Love either.... it seemed to drag a bit during the middle section... i don't think I made it to the last country.

Julie Cafaro said...

Just getting caught up on your blog. Hope the crazies is gettin' better! But catering to all the needs of two young children day in and day out is a really, really hard thing to do and not go a little crazy no matter how much you love them and how darn cute they are. Your kids are adorable, your sense of humor is intact, you are a great, fun mom. Keep up the good work and remember to keep finding a little time to recharge your own batteries. You count too!