I Get Mad Sometimes

Is this really productive?

Is this really productive?

For someone who says they have a near-perfect life, I get mad a lot. At my husband. At myself. At my friends. At my kids. Why aren’t they giving me what I want and need? Don’t they love me? Have I, after all, gone down the wrong path, and now I’m surrounded by people who don’t really care about me, and now I’m destined to be taken for granted, an afterthought, mindlessly serving food for an eternity? Who really cares about what I have to say? Geez, do I even have anything to say anymore?

So let’s talk about what we give to others, and what we ask for ourselves. Because when I really think about it, after my brave words yesterday, I realize that I still don’t really ask for what I need, on a day to day basis–instead, I expect that others should “just know” what I need, and instinctively give it to me because I’ve worked hard enough to deserve it, dammit!

And if they’re not magic mind readers? Well, clearly they never loved me anyway and this was all a tragic mistake and fuck those jerks!

Let me say this: I love, love, love staying home with Sarah and Sid. This is a treasured time that is once in a lifetime. But my grownup time is severely limited, and I’m spending the bulk of my time giving to children who are not equipped–and cannot be expected–to take care of my emotional needs.

And that is hard. Not earning money is hard. Having a husband who works a lot is hard. Asking him to take time away from work to tend to me (when my own sense of self-worth is steadily diminishing), when he’s the only wage earner, is extremely hard. Also, I made a pie yesterday that kind of sucked. Pie is hard!

But I’ve come to the realization that my anger and frustration aren’t really helping the issue–letting things build up leads to venting, which leads to guilt, which causes me to shove my needs aside, which then resets the cycle anew.

So. On top of meal planning, and breastfeeding, and diaper changing, and listening to 2.5 hours of talk about Minecraft every day, I’m going to think about one concrete, sustainable thing I need every day. And I’m going to ask for it in a calm, reasonable manner. Hopefully.

What do you need today?

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High Anxiety: Maternity Leave Begins . . . Now?

So my maternity leave begins today, on my “official” due date (update: no baby yet) and I feel . . . completely paralyzed. It started like an ordinary day: I fed us all breakfast, handed Scott and Sid their lunches, and saw them off to school/work, while I . . . stayed home. I’m currently sitting in my pajamas, watching an episode of Hart of Dixie on Netflix, while my heart races and I stay off email. After sending out reminder emails to my co-workers.

I’m not sure what I was expecting. There were certainly times at work when I encountered an annoyance and thought, “Thank god I won’t have to deal with this for a few months.” (And frankly, work probably felt the same way about me!) But now that I’m on hiatus, all I can think about are the things I’ve left undone.

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Things People Have Actually Said to Me During My Pregnancy

“September 22. It’s a girl. We haven’t decided on a name just yet.” If I weren’t already 38 weeks pregnant (due September 22!), I would probably put that on a T-shirt, just to skip the three most common questions I get from (very nice, well-meaning) people. However. There are other people out there, people who have the strangest and most hilarious ideas of what is appropriate to say to a pregnant lady. Here’s a small sampling, most from near strangers:

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