Jun 8, 2010

What I didn't realize or expect...

Two wonderful bloggers "O My Family" and "Heir to Blair" also blogged about this.  Reading about their feelings made me feel that I shouldn't be ashamed of how I feel at times.  Motherhood is hard, much harder than I had ever realized.  I never thought being a mom was easy, but I definitely wasn't ready for the huge challenge that was ahead of me.

In 2005 after Alayna was born,  I had a lot of post partum depression.  At that point in time, I don't know if I knew it was exactly that or if I was just in denial about it.  Let's face it, I had a lot going on at that point in time.  I was dealing with the horrible break up from my ex-fiance/Alayna's dad.  That was absolutely terrible because of the shock of it all.  We were in love, we were happy, we were both excited and planning on moving in together...  I got a call from my birth mother when I was 6 months pregnant, telling me that she had seen my ex-fiance with another girl at a restaurant.  When I confronted him, he broke up with me.  It wasn't at all amicable either.  The break up was such a shock, it was so hard for me to get over it and get over the memories, it was something that actually, in reality, took me 3 years to finally get over.  The depression got so bad while I was pregnant, my OB/GYN wanted to put me on anti depressants.  I declined because I didn't want to take anything that could endanger my baby.  I also declined after I had Alayna because I didn't think I would need them.  I told myself that I could overcome whatever lingering depression I had left on my own.  I was so very wrong.  I should have gotten on the anti depressants after birth because by the time I realized the depression was too much to handle on my own, I was too ashamed to ask anyone for help.  I kept it to myself.

As well as the break up, in 2005 my grandmother went into the hospital and had to have part of her foot amputated due to diabetes.  We really didn't think she was going to be able to make it and that really hurt.  That added to my depression.  Even when my grandmother pulled through that with flying colors, the reality that my grandparents were getting old and I wouldn't have too much time left with them really hit me hard.  As I have said before, my grandparents were my best friends. 

This comes as a shock to a lot of people, but a month after Alayna was born, I went to work.  I worked at Bath and Body Works and went back so quickly for two reasons.  #1.  I felt like I needed to get out of the house and felt like I needed to talk amongst adults, socialize and just have my own time.  #2.  I was a single parent and the realization of financial insecurity scared me into working as much as I possibly could.  Do I regret going back to work so early?  Partially...  I feel, looking back, that infanthood goes by so quickly.  Really, it passes within a blink of an eye.  I regret not being able to enjoy Alayna's infanthood as much as I could have had the chance to, but I was doing what I felt I had to do for her.  I was working as much as I could and trying to make a living.  

Post Partum depression made things a lot more difficult for me, and I believe it is still there.  I'm only 25 years old and my kids are my life, don't get me wrong!!  Sometimes I feel like I wish I had more time to spend time with my friends, sometimes I wish I had more time to try to meet someone to make me happy, sometimes I feel like I had more time to myself to just spend time writing, listening to music or playing games.  I know, it probably makes me sound like a terrible parent to wish those things, but that's only a small percentage of my thinking.  

Having both of my kids were unplanned.  (Disclaimer: I wasn't just having sex without thinking about the consequences.  We did take precautions.  Unfortunately, with Olivia, I had been taking medication for something else that counter acted my birth control.  With Alayna, we were just the unlucky 5% that gets pregnant even when all precautions are taken.)  When I found out I was pregnant, I read every parenting book there possibly was.  I wanted to prepare myself for being a parent and I really thought that by reading all of those books, I'd be ready.  Little did I know how difficult it would be.  I never expected parenting to be what it is.

I expected having a little girl to be like having a best friend 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year.  On one hand, it is, but it's not at all was I expecting.  I do consider Alayna and Olivia my best friends and they consider me the same.  Though, there are days where they scream at me, tell me they hate me, are rude to each other.  I know, I know, they're sisters.  Sisters don't ALWAYS get along, but once they start in their little attitudes, it's so hard to snap them out of it.  It's so difficult for me to sit there and try to calmly tell them to stop day after day, hour after hour.  I don't like to raise my voice.  I hate yelling at my girls.  Though sometimes I have to when there is no other option to getting them to stop.

Constantly walking into my living room or their bedroom and seeing toys strewn everywhere, cleaning up all the time, at the second I finish cleaning up, more toys are already out.  It stresses me out beyond belief.  All the while, I know they're kids and know they are going to make messes.  I know they're just playing and I also know I should be a little more strict with them cleaning up their toys.  Sometimes I feel the arguing isn't worth it.  Begging them to clean up their toys 8-10 times a day just isn't worth the exhaustion it takes to constantly ask.  I wish I could walk in a room, ask them to clean it up and a few minutes later walk back into a spotless room.  Though, that's just fantasy.  That doesn't happen in real life.  There is no magic fairy dust you can sprinkle to make kids clean their room.  

The fights to get them into the bath, the fights to get them to brush their teeth, the fights to get them to bed, the fights to get them inside after we have been playing outside, the fights in the middle of Toys R Us when we can't buy a toy that they desperately want...  It all stresses us out and I'm sure a lot of us wish there were magic words we could say to make things all better and to make them behave.  

Motherhood is an extremely amazing experience and journey, it really is.  Though there are those times where we just wish things could be different.  When we just want those quiet times to ourselves, where we wish we were more prepared about the obstacles of the journey ahead of us.

I know it will just get more challenging as they grow up, and I know that I will grow up more as well and hopefully, as I grow, I will be more prepared for the long ride ahead of me.  

My girls are my life and they mean the world to me.  As I always say; "If your kids sometimes hate you, you're doing something right."