Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inadequate Mommy

The last few days have been a little more rough than we're used to around here. Munchkin is a pretty mellow dude, smiley, content to play independently for long enough for me to load the dishwasher, switch laundry around or just sit down for 10 minutes. I've been spoiled by his sweet disposition, so much so that this week, when he was diagnosed with pink eye and his first ear infection, on top of a second tooth coming in, I have almost lost my mind several times. In addition, I've also been sick, mostly a cough, sore throat and exhaustion from coughing all night. His increased fussiness, clinginess, screaming, crying, have been quite the trial for me. (The Wiz is out of town, too!)

Today I just about lost my shiz over the stupidest thing. With Munchkin's new mobility, going to the bathroom is even more eventful. So, I thought I'd put the pack and play together so I could stick him in that and pee in peace. The pack and play is not my friend. Suffice it to say, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, cursing, and so on. It was one of those every-part-but-one-is-working-and-I-can't-fix-this-one-part-the-baby-is-crying-trying-to-climb-up-my-leg-I-just-need-to-pee-ohmygooooooooooooooooooooooooooosssssssssssssssssssh!!!!!!!!!!!!

At one point I looked up to the heavens and cried out, "I can't do this!! I just can't do it! I wasn't meant to do this!!!" I felt so overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with this poor sick baby while not feeling well myself, then I felt immediately silly and guilty because the reality is- I felt like a wimp. Yes, my husband is out of town. Yes, my baby is fussy, and I don't feel good either. But it can always be worse, and I do have help- my parents are incredible. And I only have ONE baby. How many mothers are there out there with more babies, with more problems, less help, more stress, who COMPLAIN and STRESS OUT less than me?? The fact that I am so selfish and so wimpy makes me question whether I'm truly cut out for this stay at home stuff. I hate cleaning the house, and can always find something else to do during Munchkin's nap than mop the floors or dust. My temper is so short some times, and I worry that Munchkin will turn into some bad tempered maniac because he's seen me freak out on several occasions.

I love my son more than words can describe, and I can't imagine nor do I want to hand him over to someone else to take care of him every day. I can't imagine not being there for his smiles all day, to tickle his belly and make him laugh. I want to be the one he snuggles up against before his naps, to be the one that gets to greet him first when he's all sleepy and smiley after he's woken up from his nap. I just feel so inadequate. He deserves so much. He deserves the best- the best person to teach him, to train him up in the way he should go. He deserves someone who is unendingly patient and compassionate for all of his needs. I don't have the ability to be perfect, kinda perfect, near perfect, nothing. How can I train him in the way he should go when I feel so far off the godly path myself?

I feel so small, so incomplete- like I have a few parts of the good mommy recipe, but that I'm missing some very important, very essential, ingredients and I don't have the currency or smarts to attain those missing pieces.

Lord, help this inadequate mommy overcome the worst parts of herself to be the mommy the Munchkin deserves.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PYHO-I Effin' HATE Cancer.

Today I'm linking up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say to Pour My Heart Out.

Some of you may have read an earlier PYHO I wrote a few weeks ago, about a pain I had in my underarm and the emotional journey I undertook to find out if it was cancerous or not. If you missed it, you can find it here.

Luckily, blessedly for me, my journey had a happy ending, and was not cancer.

Recently a friend of mine had a similar situation- pain in her underarm- and it has not turned out quite as happy for her. Yet.

My dear, dear friend A has breast cancer. When she first told me the news, it felt like all of the air was sucked out of my lungs, sucked out of the entire room I was sitting in.

Lots of people think they are friends with the sweetest person, the person who'd do anything for you, who makes you feel as if you are the most special person in the world. But unless they are friends with A, they don't know what the sweetest person in the world is truly like.

The words I would use to describe A would be: gentle, kind, soft hearted, hilarious, generous, creative (truly creative- when I switched from teaching 5th to 3rd grade, she took my former 5th grade teaching job- and has out-taught, out-planned, and out-created me at every turn. I don't say that in a bitter way- because I realize and accept I'm not even close to being in her league as a teacher. The proof in that pudding? The woman was Reading Teacher of the Year AND Teacher of the Year at our school- in.the.same.year. She rules, and her fifth graders are pretty much obsessed with her. 'Nuff said.)

One of the ways that A and I have grown close is in our respective journeys to conceive babies. A's journey started before mine, but there were many chats, emails, coffee talks, and tears shed together as we tried to achieve our dreams of having babies. I still remember the day she told me she was pregnant- how as soon as she told me, she asked me if I was okay, with love and sincerity in her eyes. She was genuinely worried about telling me because she didn't want me to be discouraged that I wasn't yet pregnant. The woman is pure love.

As it turned out, her amazing twin girls are just 3 months older than the Munchkin, and we have been blessed to experience pregnancy, child birth, and the raising of little ones together. A absolutely adores her girls, as evidenced by her family blog and her FB posts about the adventures and joys of raising them. We all know mommies have rough spots with their little ones- every day, in every situation. Never once have I seen or heard her complain about a rough day with her girls. Not.once. (I myself am guilty of unloading stress on FB about Munchkin's napping habits, fussiness, etc.) And no, she's not one of those Super Mommy Wannabe's, whose sole purpose is to make everyone think she has it all together and that togetherness makes all other struggling feel bad about themselves. My BS radar is honed by years of teaching pubescent children, and A is the real deal. She has rough days like all mommies, but the way I see it, complaining, especially about two gifts for which she is so grateful, just isn't her thing.

And now, I'm pissed. A may not be a complainer, but I'm a world class bitcher. If she won't do it, I'll do it for her. Cancer sucks big ol' hairy monkey balls. Sorry for the imagery, but it's true. Her prognosis and her attitude are positive and promising. But there will still be chemo. There will still be nausea, exhaustion, hospital visits, vomiting, and worry. After all she's been through, working to become a mommy, kicking butt as an outstanding teacher, achieving a dream of starting her own photography business, and finding her groove with all the roles she plays- this happens. Whatever happened to a woman getting a break?! All of those side effects of this situation translate into one thing: that it'll be time spent away from doing the things she loves most, that she does best. I'm pissed off that she is having to endure the nausea and exhaustion that will make it hard for her to play with her girls, or to take her amazing photos. I'm irate that this gift of a human being will spend one second of her life worrying about her health and her future. I've mentally throat punched this cancer, followed by a round house kick, then Bruce Lee'd its ass all over the place for her.

A has the exact right attitude- grateful that she caught it early, with a self-examination, grateful for the wonderful care she is getting and for her support system, determined to remain positive and focused on all of her blessings, refusing to give into worry or fear. I have no doubt that she will come out the other side of this battle triumphant. I hope that as things progress, she will take up my offer to help out in any way that I can. Until then, my mental throat punching of this cancer will continue, taking form as prayer, encouragement, and support for A. If you'd like to follow her journey, and read some AMAZING writing, you can find her blog here.