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Category Archives: Worry

Parenting – Where’s the Instructional Manual?

Excuse me Doctor. You’ve given me this baby, but where is the instructional manual? Seriously! Where is it?

That’s how I felt when I got home from the hospital and looked at my precious new baby girl 7 years ago. I quickly realized that I not only had no idea how to work my diaper genie, but I also had no idea what to do next.

A friend recently posted on Facebook about how there really ought to be real parenting classes for parents. Like How to cook one-handed and How to pee with 2 under 2. Oh how that brought back so many memories. I spent my 1st anniversary spending the entire weekend in a pre-natal parenting class with my husband. Hours on hours learning how to breathe and watching that insanely cheesy and out-dated birthing video. And in the end I had a c-section and nothing from that class was helpful.

So where do you turn?  Every medical practitioner, new mom and ever so helpful parenting advice books all have plenty to say.  But I personally found no information on what to do when you baby spits out her soother and you are driving in rush hour. Or how to juggle nap times and preschool when you have your second child.

So where does this leave us? As new clueless parents that’s where. Who are so hard on ourselves for not being the perfect Mom we envisioned we would be. But the truth is we are all doing the best we can with what we know. I truly believe parenting is all about survival. You may have the best intentions to have a perfectly clean and organized house. To never yell at your kids. To always have your family wearing coordinated outfits. To always have children who are on their very best behaviour. And of course being that perfect wife and mother who has lost all the baby weight, only serves organic freshly made lunches and has plenty of time for her husband at the end if the day.

Well here is my reality check. You make think all the other moms are living like that. But I bet if you peeked into their homes you would see her kids eating spilled Cheerios on the couch and watching tv while Mom runs around the house frantically trying to get everything ready before she ships off her kids to school in un-matching outfits which she likely pulled from the pile of laundry she ‘hoped’ was the clean pile.  I know at my house you will see my son wearing pajamas nearly 24 hours a day and likely I un-matching footwear (maybe even one rubber and one winter boot in the middle or summer).

So let’s make a pact. Stop pretending to be super Mom. Stop striving to be. Stop judging other moms! Bond together and admit it. It’s hard. Hard being a mom. Hard feeling guilty if you are a working mom. Hard answering the question “what do you do for work” if you are a stay at home mom. It’s. Just. Hard. And that’s ok.

Did you feed and cloth your kids today? I say Rock Star Mom! I don’t care if they still have jam on their face or you have five loads of laundry yet to be put away. Your kids are happy. They are loved. You did good today. So have a glass of wine and go to bed early. Because let’s be honest. You have to do it all again tomorrow and that’s without an instructional manual.

 

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Say What? As we are driving today, my son requests a song.  Typically he asks to hear the “spider song” – a song from his sister’s preschool cd. Today, however, he said “Mommy, I want to hear the Justin Bieber song”. WHAT? Did I mention that he is 2? How does he know about Justin Bieber? I tried to explain that Mommy doesn’t have any Justin Bieber music. That didn’t go over well…

A Lighter Side of Things.  Lately after my husband has put my daughter to bed I like to sneak in to her room and lay beside her and have a little chat. I find it’s a great time for her to open up about things that are on her mind and gives us a few minutes of uninterrupted Mommy-Daughter time.  The last few days, the discussion has been pretty serious. As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, cancer has  been the big topic of discussion as of late. I always let her lead the conversation since the point is to let her open up. When I laid down with her last night I was preparing myself for another heart wrenching talk discussion. But last night she wanted to talk about her loose tooth. It’s been loose for a week now but has yet to fall out. During our conversation she told me that she “keeps forgetting to wiggle it” and wanted to know “what would happen if she lost all her teeth at once?” Our talk was full of giggles and left me (and hopefully her) with a heart full of joy and grateful for our time together.

Until I write again…

Shay

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

It’s Always Something. Nothing like going to the doctor  to have MY stitches removed and the first thing the doctor says is “so before we get started,  let’s discuss your son. Because I was up all night reading his test results”. That’s re-assuring. Sigh. Short story is on top of whatever else seems to going on with him, he now also has a UTI. He is on medication and it looks like we will be following up in the new year with more tests including an ultra sound. I can only pray that one of these days they are going to get to the bottom of my son’s ailments and we will finally get some answers. For now he seems happy today despite a runny nose.  I let Jack sleep in our bed last night because my husband was worried about him. I can’t worry about him because I am on this “I refuse to freak out and worry until I get some answers quest” but my husband was worried, so Jack slept with me. I know some people LOvE sleeping with their kids. I’d like to say I do. I mean, when they are sleeping I think they are the most cute and precious creatures ever imaginable, but get them in my bed and ug. I’m getting an elbow here and a foot here (if it’s my daughter). My son on the other hand sleeps sideways with his head shoved right in my arm pit. I tried moving him but he was like a spring and within seconds had sprung back to his arm pit position. Not comfortable. It’s no wonder since he was sideways in my stomach my whole pregnancy. Took a c-section AND forceps to get him out. He’s a stubborn one if nothing else.

So anyways, back to my stitches. No big deal, just a biopsy on a weird-looking mole but it resulted in five stitches in my mid back. Right where you can quite reach so of course they were agonizingly itchy. I asked my husband if it was going to leave a scar since i can only sort of see it when holding my hand mirror over my shoulder while i stand with my back to the bathroom mirror.  He replied “some people get tattoos, you get scars”. It’s so true. My back and stomach are like a road map from all the minor and major medical procedures endured. Seriously though, it doesn’t bother me. My doctor recently asked me where the giant scar on my stomach came from. “The last two times were c-sections and the first was exploratory surgery from a ruptured appendix. All the same scar” I said proudly. “Alright then” he replied. I think for me they are a right of passage. A sign that life tried to throw something my way and I threw it back.

On a more serious note though, I have to say that my five-year old was pretty upset about my recent surgery.  “What do you mean you can’t carry my back pack?”  For the last week I have heard her say with great concern “is your back ok? Does it hurt?”  It truly shocked me how she was affected by it. Add on a flu stricken head-cold sniffling me and now she is truly unhappy.  “mommy I don’t like it when you’re sick”.  It’s funny how we overlook how our health effects the short ones in our life. It reminds me that I am being watched by my kids all the time. They hear me when I’m on the phone. They notice when I’m in a bad mood. They are always there watching, listening, learning. So to this point I will be making an extra effort to keep them in mind as I go about my daily routines. Maybe I can keep my mood a bit lighter even when I’m in pain or unhappy. Maybe I’ll take an extra minute to share with them something great that’s going on with my day. Maybe I tried this today and my five-year old said “are we done taking yet? Can I go play?”

Let it Snow! We had our first snow fall today since January. I know a lot of the areas around us have had snow earlier but we seem to live in what I call “the weather bubble” and are rarely if ever affected by snow. But today we have snow! My daughter was so excited all she wanted to do was to skip school and build a snowman. Since living here we’ve managed to build a snowman once. Back in January it snowed one day. But as we were building our snowman, it was raining. Never done anything like that before. Building a melting snowman. And the next day it was hot and sunny so we watched it finished melting. Today seems like the snow might actually be sticking. My son had a great time playing outside. I got out all the beach toys and his big truck. He did fall down once and could not get up. I guess his bulky cloths and snow pants made it difficult. I being the good mom, of course, laughed and then took a picture before I actually helped him. I also built him a soccer ball sized snow ball I thought would be fun for him to stomp. He got quite upset when he tried to kick it like a ball and nothing happened. I guess I should have clarified what I meant by snow “ball”. He soon discovered how fun it was to throw snow at me. Especially with his giant shovel. So we had some good laughs there. At least until he tried throwing it at himself. Not a big fan of wet, cold, snow in his face. Oh well. It’s suppose to warm up and start raining so I’m not sure how long it will last.  But we’ll enjoy it while it’s here.

No Snow at the Beach. On my way home from the doctor’s office I drove down to the beach. I love the beach and still can’t believe I get to live 10 minutes away. I’ve never been to the beach when it’s snowing so I thought it would be really fun to go check it out. Apparently the beach is also in the weird weather bubble because it was not snowing there. But I went for a little stroll anyways. It was amazing. The water is usually so calm, almost never any waves. Today the tide was so high and the waves were crashing all over the place. I took a bunch of pictures and stood back in awe. Then I watched some people walk along the promenade and get hit by a wave. It was awesome. What were they thinking? Standing back I could clearly see that the waves were crashing so high it was splashing all over the picnic tables and such. Did they think their umbrella would help them? I know I shouldn’t laugh, but it was really funny to see the shock on their faces. The people next to me laughed too.

Umbrellas for Snow. I forgot how people here use their umbrellas in the snow. I spent seven years living in what felt like the coldest place on earth where it snowed every day for about 8 months and I’ve never seen anyone use an umbrella in the snow. But out here on the west coast it is very common. As I dropped my daughter at school I saw a few moms with umbrellas and even more as I drove around this morning. It looks completely weird to me yet makes so much sense. Especially when the snow here is so wet. That’s what I find so weird. When it snows, your coat gets soaked. Not used to that. Back home its dry snow. Hard to even make a snowman.

Alright I gotta go. Lots to do now that my head-cold seems to be winding down. If you are reading this somewhere its snowy keep warm and drive safely!

Until I write again.

Shay

A Little Less Worry

A Little Less Worry. Today I thought I would share something that I struggle with – worry. I worry a lot. I worry often. I worry too much.  Here is a bit of what Wikipedia has to say about worry.  “Worry is thoughts, images and emotions of a negative nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats…Worry refers to negative self-talk that often distracts the mind from focusing on solutions to the problem at hand.”

My husband doesn’t do this. He is very optimistic. We were recently at the doctor’s office getting some blood test results back for my son.  The doctor indicated because my son’s test results had not improved in the last month, as he thought they should have, he was going to send us to a pediatrician.  My husband left our visit thinking that there is probably nothing to wrong with our son and that we shouldn’t worry until we hear what the pediatrician has to say.  I left that same visit thinking there must be something seriously wrong with my son and then panicking as I knew it could be months before I’d have answer –  meaning months of worry on my part.  I spent the whole evening stressing about a the possibility that my son may have some serious illness. Whereas my husband simply said “if it was anything serious he would have sent to the hospital. He probably just has another virus”.  Glass half full/glass half empty. That’s us. The truth of the matter is we’re not going to know anything until we go see the pediatrician. No amount of worrying is going to change that.

I fully recognize that spending all this energy worrying is self destructive. Nothing positive can come out worrying about what might happen. So why do I do it? Why do I waste much energy worrying about what hasn’t happened instead of living in the present and dealing with what is happening right now? My husband asks me this all the time. My response is always the same “because I’m so good at it”.

So my challenge this week is to not worry so much. To try and focus my energy on more positive thoughts and live more in the moment. I read this quote on Pinterest that really stuck with me – “if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, if you are at peace you are living in the moment” Lao Tzu

A Bit of Gratitude. In keeping with the theme of worry, I am grateful that I have someone like my husband in my life who isn’t like me, who does see the glass half full. I’m glad that he can show me another way to look at a situation and remind me to keep calm.

The Polka Dot Peanut.  On a lighter note, I thought I would close this post by sharing a quick story about my son.  I always get a good laugh by the stuff that comes out of my son’s mouth. He didn’t really start talking till a few months ago and now he talks non-stop. He comments on everything he sees and often loudly. My husband always says that Jack has two volumes “loud” and “louder”.  Yesterday, as Jack and I were walking we spotted a dog. My son is obsessed with dogs, especially since we’ve told him he is allergic therefore can’t pet them. He spots them from miles away and will shout “Mommy, look a puppy! No touch puppy Mommy, I get sick”. The dog we saw yesterday was a very large, very active white and black dalmatian.  As it was jumping around with excitement my son shouted “Look Mommy, the puppy has a polka dot peanut!”  The owner just chuckled and said “yup, it’s a boy”.

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