Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bringing nothing to the table since 1998.

Like most mothers, I question my ability to raise my children on a regular basis. People tell me I'm a good mother, and I believe I am to the extent of things like, I don't beat them and they always have cooked food and wear clean clothes and stuff. Also, I teach them about God and Jesus and I know that's not for everybody, but for us, it's important. They always brush their teeth and they are always at school, on time, every single day, because By God we might not be the smartest or best at anything, but we can show up!

I've been kind of depressed, lonely, sad, scared, and so on lately and one thing that I noticed in my soul-searching is that I have absolutely no friends who have children my age. Zero. None. I have no frame of reference. I have no one to talk to about what they are going through and what they need.

Also? Most people who have young kids or babies or are pregnant? Absolutely have zero respect for my opinion.

This isn't true of everyone of course. I know that my sweetheart M respects my opinion very much. She doesn't ask me for advice or anything, which is fine, because let's face it, I'm hardly Ann Landers here. But she does respect the job I've done raising my children. I also have one pregnant friend who feels strongly that I've done a good job and hopes she can ask me questions when her child is born. I know I have other friends who appreciate my mothering skills and whatnot...I don't mean to say that everyone feels this way about me. I'm very grateful for that, because often? I feel like the kid standing at the back of the room that no one wants to talk to.

It's not like I'm going around offering unsolicited advice. Other than my open letters, I'm really not like that at all. I don't have really strong opinions on things like, c-sections. I mean, you have one or you don't. What the crap do I care? I mean, it's your body, not mine. I personally had a c-section and it was fine. I didn't feel that I missed anything because the babies came out of hole in my side rather than a hole in my vajayjay. You know? I don't want to debate the merits of natural childbirth versus having a whole bunch of drugs, because frankly I don't care. No, really. I don't care. I think every single woman who ever has a baby is completely 100% entitled to make those decisions for herself and not have someone judge her for it.

I guess I just want people to ask me my opinions. I just want people to say, "How was this experience for you?"

And since I'm being really honest here? I have absolutely no business giving anyone parenting and children advice. None. Good Lord. It's almost criminal that I would do that.

Do you know how much about pregnancy I know? Probably as much as the average American boy in the 7th grade. Seriously. I know how you get pregnant. That's about the extent of my knowledge. I don't know when you have ultrasounds. I don't know how big the baby is when you are six weeks pregnant, or six months pregnant or anything. It's like there are millions of women who have taken this secret health class and I was to busy playing softball with the boys while it was going on and totally have no idea what's going on. Come on in! It's the Girl Class! That Chick over There is not allowed!

Also? It annoys me with myself that I don't know more about girl crap. Because I could do the research and whatnot. I mean, I try not to beat myself up about not doing it while I was pregnant since I was left by my husband and spent the majority of the pregnancy weeping and sobbing and trying to do things like, keep the lights on and not commit suicide. So I was kind of preoccupied I guess. I'll give myself a pass on that.

And granted, I could have done the research SINCE then. It's been like nine years now and while I've kept pretty busy, I'm sure I could have turned off E's True Hollywood Story and read a book about my fertility or whatever. It's just...I get to the parts about my vagina secreting something that's the consistency of creamy egg whites and I just throw up in my mouth a little. I'm so not evolved.

So I have no right whatsoever, NONE, to be annoyed that so many women think I have nothing to offer when it comes to kids. I mean, I have LESS than no right. I know this, I recognize this, and it still annoys the crap out of me.

I think I need therapy.

Seriously, I think I just want someone to ask me about how it was so I can remember. Because I don't remember. I don't remember anything.

I want to remember.

As wonderful as my life is and as wonderful as my family is and as grateful to God as I am for these two wonderful kids...I want to remember what it felt like to be a new mom. I want to be able to look back on that entire experience with something more than a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Because viewing your entire pregnancy and childbirth experience as a horrible, horrible punishment for something you did in a past life? It's really not good. I mean, really. Not. Good. It makes you feel like you are the worst mother on the planet and certainly YOU don't deserve such good kids. And there are plenty of women out there who would love to have your kids...women who have real infertility, not crappy secondary infertility like your sorry ass.

Which is, as you might imagine, not the best way to feel.


Britmum said...

I personally and its my opinion think that you are grieving for the experience of being pregnant and becoming a new Mummy because it was taken away from you. You were not given the chance to enjoy being pregnant and all the excitement that goes with it. I know you know this because this is what you are saying in your post. Its easy for me to say move on and enjoy what you have now but to some degree I think that most of us mothers (unless I am a weirdo)feel some sense of loss as our babies grow up. We all want to go back there and remember what it felt like to hold our new babies in our arms. So you are not alone in the feeling but to feel so cheated must be hard to deal with and I feel for you sweetie. Its something that you are going to have to work out by yourself or yes with some therapy. Don't beat yourself up so much because your children love you and wouldn't have a different Mummy for the world.

I hope that I haven't rambled too much. You have my email if you ever want to chat.

Take care and big hugs to you xx

Kimberly said...

I think Britmum got it in one. You did get cheated. And as I was reading your post I couldn't help thinking that the best possible therapy is for you to write about it. Not just like you're writing about it here...but maybe a longer story, detailing not just what you felt and experienced, but what you -wish- you could have felt and experienced. I think it would be really cathartic, you know?

And about being asked for advice, that's another thing that comes part and parcel with the new mommy experience, and being in a really crappy situation probably robbed you of that too, which is probably why you're wanting it now.

You don't feel crummy because you're a crummy mom. You feel crummy because you were forced into a crummy situation. It's so important to recognize the difference, or yeah, you'll continue to feel like crap.

My unsolicited advice? Acknowledge what you lost and grieve over it. Realize that what you feel as guilt is really sadness mixed with resentment. It's impossible to get over something if you don't properly identify what it -is-. Does that even make sense?

Catwoman said...

You forgot what it's like to be a new mom when you have two nine-year olds? What in the world???? ;-)

You break my heart Chick, because really, I would take your advice and the advice of all the other great moms who read my lame-o blog in a heart beat.

And between you and I...

Mine's only 19 months old and I've totally forgotten what it's like to have a newborn.

There's a girl who's pregnant at work and she never asks me for advice either. Fine, we're not close. Fine, she's only known me five months. But really, I might be able to provide some input.

Or at least I think I can.

But then my sister, who's got a baby 11 months younger than mine asks me questions like when she should start her daughter on meats or on Gerber fruit puffs and I have no freaking clue when I started Little Man on either of those.

Good thing I've got the blog, so at least I can go back and try to see if I've written about him eating meats or puffs, and at least then I have the answer for her.

But otherwise, I look at a newborn now and I think "what in the world do you do with that thing????"

And the only reason I knew what to do and when to do it during my pregnancy or the first year of Little Man's life was because of the kindness of and the newsletters they sent me on a weekly basis. And my pediatrician.

Otherwise, I'd know crap at all, because I skipped many a chapter of What to Expect When You're Expecting.

So I'm in the back of the class with you. But at least we can giggle and roll our eyes at the nerds in the class, ok?

frannie said...

I agree with BritMum that you are in a grieving phase of your own pregnancy. (but what the hell do I know)

Is there anyway you could volunteer at the baby ward in the hospital or maybe even just volunteer to help out with your friend's baby when she has it. Maybe that would help out.

Kellie said...

You make me sad, too. I'd SO e-mail you for parenting advice ANY day!! You rank extremely high on my scale of "Kick Ass Mommies" and I don't even "know" you!!

I'm sorry you feel this way. I agree with britmum that you don't remember the experience because it was taken from you. I'm sorry.

I'm with you and the back of the class. My knowledge of pregnancy and being a mother is crap. Hell, the days that my kid eats three great meals, takes two great naps, sleeps well at night and doesn't cling to me while I'm trying to pee? Yeah, those are the days that make me feel like a I have a semi-clue about this gig.

And, I'll have a baby for you if you want!! It'll allow me to experience being pregnant again AND allow me to do something for someone else.

Smile,'re beautiful and we all love you!!

velocibadgergirl said...

Dude, when I have kids? You are going to have to block my email. I'm going to be all over you like white on rice, trying to figure out how to get my kids to turn out as awesome as yours.

You'd better BELIEVE I'm going to be asking you for advice and input and probably sometimes to listen to me cry like a little girl because my kids just won't act right.


Kerry said...

I too, totally agree with Britmum. As someone who kind of got cheated on pregnancy too (for TOTALLY different reasons; sick as all through, DS born at 27 weeks, so did the hospital thing rather than the newborn thing), I've done some grieving for that missed experience and it sounds like that's what you're doing too. Go for it! It's perfectly normal and healthy and you're entitled. Grieve for what you didn't get that so many people take for granted and fail to appreciate. Love your blog, which I only just discovered this month. Hugs.

nailgirl24 said...

Well I wouldn't ask you for advice cuz after 4 kids you know. But if we lived close I would have you over and let you love all over my little Cam man and you could console me on the fact that he could be hearing impaired. As if he didn't have enough problems. Then I would console you on your secondary fertility. We could kick it and stuff cuz we are cool like that. hugs

Angie said...

Maybe you need this time to greive for what you didn't get during your pregnancy with your babies. Perhaps this is your therapy? Cheaper than an office visit by far. Hugs to you. You are in my prayers and thoughts.

nailgirl24 said...

I also forgot to mention that I talk alot about when my kids were born and what it was like so I would ask you lots of questions. You would be surprised by what you do remember chick.

Anonymous said...

Grieving is a process. You seem to be in the throes of it as all the other fine commenters have already acknowledged. I wonder if you are like me, and the people around you have no idea you are hurting like crazy. My blog has been mountains of therapy for me and because I blog with an alias I have felt so free to let it all out at times. So wonderful you have the blog and get to write out your thoughts and feelings. God put the passion for writing in your heart as an least that is what I believe about myself. Hope you feel better soon. When I was in my worst depression I didn't really want someone to fix me, I just wanted to know someone cared about me and listened to me now and then. I wonder if you can relate to that?



Bethany said...

I told the Big Guy I was just going to check my email, so I have to be quick or he'll start whining.

I agree with Brit Mum and those who agreed with her. Let me add my own bit o mama crap. Secondary infertility blows. I know, I'm there and having to come to terms with the "this is it" part. I feel some how worse because I have my darling Ebaby, like I did it once, I should be able to do it again.

I know how you feel and unforunately I have no funny little quips to make you chuckle- because it sucks and breaks my heart.

I'll probably read this 2 days from now and say I really botched this comment. I hope it is somewhat understandable though.

I am so going to need your advice. Ebaby is 4 and Sis is 16...but I didn't "get" Sis until she was seven. Right now...could use a little help.

When did your kids recognize their own written name? According to her teacher Ebaby doesn't hold a crayon properly- help!
How do I get her to stay in her own bed? What the hell am I supposed to do with a Barbie?

Will be back with more??? The Big Guy is complaining that the computer is taking "his" time. Yeah home for five minutes and it's his time. He probably just wants dinner.

Love you lots and you do have lots to offer other mothers.

Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

You have a lot of friends.
Lots of analysis and lots of advice.

I'll offer you the same help you offered me (you just didn't know you did it).

Crawl back into your book and continue writting. It is workign wonders for me. Painful? Maybe. But YOU, my friend, are strong and will make it through.

Blessings to you.

Shanilie said...

Bringing nothing to the table?! You have the highest calling of being a mother and a wife and by the looks of things you are doing a great job and have 2 beautiful well rounded kids and a husband who loves you. Those 3 are the most important people in your life.....just ignore the rest ;) amen to what Britmum said. I hope you have some time to re-charge this weekend. Let it all out, yae for blogging.

Heathie said...

I've got loads of questions about raising twins and I like the way yours turned out so far, based on what I've read in your blog, so I'll get a list together and you can help me out.
I like all the other comments; I don't have anything very profound to add, but cling to your kids and your hubby, especially if you can talk things through with them. And writing is cost-efficient therapy for lots of people. It always helps me to get memories out on paper. It makes the sweet ones sweeter and the painful ones less sting-y.

Margarita said...

I have no idea how you feel and havenothing riveting or even witty to say.
I'm here if you need me sistah!

Dawn~a~Bon said...

Ditto our badger friend. If I ever have kids who are as happy and sweet and full of joy as yours, I will consider myself a raging success as a human being, so I'll be bugging the hell out of you.

I hate your ex-husband for robbing you of a joyful pregnancy/birth experience, but then again if that hadn't happened you wouldn't have your Jason, and he's pretty darn cool, so I guess that happened for a reason? Or something pithy like that. I just hate that you had to hurt so much to get where you needed to be.


Amira said...

Hey, Chick. Well, I'm just gonna add my groove to the record above. I think you're grieving and it makes perfect sense.

Yes, you have two wonderful children. But your sister just lost one of her twins and that has to trigger something in you. And the age your children are at is when we look through the porthole into the past and the future of their lives.

I will also echo Alpha Dude--keep writing. It is cathartic. And you touch all of us with your honest and genuine search for understanding your own pain.

Amy W said...

I agree with the majority, you are grieving...

And I would totally take advice from you...tell me how to raise the wonderful kids you have!

SJ said...

I would take advice from you any day! ANYDAY!

I looked through your flickr by the way, you, your husband and kids are adorable.

In every way, shape and form!!!

HeatherAnn Fragglehead said...

You know, the past few months I've been trying to do things differently. I've been trying to parent differently. And, I kind of use you as one of my inspirations. Because I think you ROCK as a mom, I really do. The fact that you went through so much during pregnancy and childbirth and with an asshat ex, and you've still managed to rock at parenting, that speaks a lot about your character.

I didn't realize how much we really had in common until I read this. I wish I could view pregnancy and childbirth in a different light, too, and I wish I knew all about secretions and what means what regarding pregnancy, but I was 17 for fuck's sake.

P.S. I love you.

P.P.S. My bean is not much younger than your kiddos. And I welcome any unsolicited advice. :)