We all like to think that we are not judging people. News Flash.... We are! All of us! I was 6ish months pregnant in a suite at an arena seeing my most favorite group, Sugarland. I was not huge, but adorably pregnant in a form fitting dress and boots, feeling mighty cute I may add. I have seen this group a few times since they were new on the scene and they have always had a pretty large gay and lesbian following. I do not care at all. I have some amazing friends that are gay and I love them. I have actually found myself being an advocate of the community recently. All this to say that in our small reserved suite, I was getting the evil eye from a group of lesbians as me and my precious 6ish month belly enjoyed one really cold Miller Lite. My first response (only in my mind thankfully) was "Who are you? I don't judge you for your lifestyle!" Then I thought, well obviously I am if that is the first thing on my brain. Then I immediately felt terrible, but that is how the brain works.
I have spent the last year dealing with what I honestly think is/was postpartum depression. I do think I am over the hump but I would give anything to go back to the 6 week check up when my doctor thought I was "on the verge, but not really needing medication" and medicate myself.
It has been a rough year in our world, Ben traveled a lot, I lived with 80 something year olds, I we moved, Ben lost his job, Ben found another job, I have a 3 year old and a baby and I work part time. I got myself in a pretty deep hole. Deep enough that I would scream and cry and say things like "I just do not like my life. I don't know what I don't like about it. I don't like who I am in it." When I would make plans with friends, I typically would not follow through. Eventually I got to the point where I just wouldn't make them. I thought a thousand times about quitting my job because it takes so much out of me in the mornings just to put on concealer and clothes that do not fit to go to work for 4 hours. It's REALLY hard to get dressed when you have a crawler crying and pulling on your pant leg begging for your to pick her up and a sister who wants chocolate milk, cereal, the tv on, "Annie pulled out my hairbow" etc. I would try to keep up with the agencies in the community I like to help but ended up doing craptastic jobs at all of them because I just did not have the energy.
Everyone under the blue sun has told me to exercise, change my diet, ask your husband for help, blah blah blah... I would love to change my diet but I end up eating in the car because that is the only time I can sit down in a seat and eat without having to share my food or get up in the middle of it to do something for somebody. And eating in the car typically means fast food. I HATE exercising and have written off that pushing a swing or carrying a 25lb baby around on my hip is good enough. And after months of being a total bitch, bitch turned into an emotional crybaby and husband got the picture. He has always helped some but not consistently and not enough but there are very few guys that do. Especially when he commutes almost 30 mins each way, works a full day and is trying to maintain around 100 head of cattle.
About 2 weeks ago (the week of Annie's first birthday) it hit that fan, all of it! I had a whole party planned in my head that I had not done a thing for. I had 15 invitations on the counter that didn't go out, I bought doilies to glue 12 pictures on that were to hang and look like snow flakes. I had recipes, punch and party favors pinned on a special Pinterest board. Finally at 5:30 on Friday, the night before the 10:30 am party, I went to the grocery store to buy necessities to have a few people over. The party ended up fine as you saw, but it was not all that I wanted for our little Annie and my attitude behind it was terrible.
All of this was because we had one really, really, really bad week. Annie has a lot of personality but she is one really hard baby. I try SO hard not to compare, but it's hard not to. You only know what you have experience with. Amelia was just so easy going. She had a witching "hour" from about 5 or 5:30 to 7. And she hated going to sleep so she screamed for about 45 mins in her bed every night. This was hard but at least it was consistent and at the end of the day. Annie whines in the morning almost the whole time I am getting dressed. She is pretty good until about 2:30 and then she pretty much stinks for the rest of the afternoon. There are many days where she makes it very hard to like her, or cook dinner, or clean the house, or eat, or tolerate her sister's 3 year old nonsense. It was a week of a lot of screaming and crying. Telling Ben I just could not stand her and I meant it and then feeling so guilty for saying it out loud. I didn't want to throw her a birthday party because I thought she was so awful and she didn't deserve one. She took up so much of my energy that I did not want to do anything in excess for her. I know that sounds terrible as I re-hash it here, but it was how I felt. And I know that I am not alone in this. I also know that it is ok to feel like this. Anyone who you share a roof with is going to get on your nerves. You add on being their primary care giver and the fact that they scream at you, shit on you, spill things on you and are basically ungrateful every single day, it will wear on a person.
In the midst of all this drama I sat in my bathtub and googled home remedies to help with postpartum. The humor in what I found was almost enough to cure me instantly. There were about 15 articles on eating your own placenta. You can freeze it into little pieces and eat a little everyday. Or freeze dry it out, crumble it up and put it into capsules to take everyday. Gross! My first thought? "Do these people also eat their boogers and call them flu shots?!" And while I actually made myself laugh out loud, that is still judging. I mean, in the position I have been in this past year, I would have almost eaten my placenta. It sure as hell wouldn't have made me any worse. Also, the Cowboy reminded me that we are about the only ones that do not eat their placenta and once again compared me to a cow. It sure is a good thing that I am pretty teeny tiny or I would have a serious complex.
It just amazes be how quick we are to judge others. I will tell you that this year I have looked at a lot of people a little differently. I know I have given more people the benefit of the doubt. I have exhibited so many character traits that are not me. From leaving my house a mess, to not following through on commitments, to being a total jerk to my husband and kids. You just never know what struggles people are going through. I have worn a smile and tried to act fine and carry on because you don't want to seem weak. Or you look at another and think they have a worse problem than you but are handling it with much more grace. It made me look at others and wonder if maybe they are struggling as well.
Not looking for a pitty party but just know that if I have pissed you off this year I am sorry. It was a rough year and I was doing all I could some days to hang on. I'm not sure what happened at 1 year but I swear we turned a corner. Annie is still fussy, but manageable and better. Amelia is still 3 and craptastic a lot, but with Annie stressing me less I can handle 3 year old drama. And with the drama comes a pretty fantastic little girl. The Man of the House has started pulling his share of the weight and that has helped a ton. I've also been mindful to get outside and breathe some fresh air whenever possible.
I have tried for a month to write this and just never got around to it. I probably still did not do my year justice. I went back and forth between "just let it go and don't mention it" and "be painfully honest because that's what really happened and you never know who it will touch". I think I met somewhere in the middle but closer to painfully honest. Not that I ever got close to driving my car off a ledge or anything, but I can definitely see how someone (especially a Mom of young children. especially a Mom who needs order and everything in its place at all times. especially a Mom who needs substantial sleep to function) could make a terrible decision in a split second.
I am thankful that I have turned a corner and have felt dramatically better over the past 2 weeks. But I am upset I carried this weight around for this long. I would definitely take medication over a placenta any day, I just wish I would have done it 11 months ago. Some people may still think I need medication now, but they have probably long since felt that way! haha
I type this entry a few hours before I turn 34. I proclaim that I will not carry this burden with me to another year! There are some great things in store for my 34th year. I can't wait to live it. The good days and the bad. They all make up this life of mine that I do truly love.