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The epic meltdown of the century

Ever since my adorable, tiny baby was born, I’ve been looking forward to when we could get back to our previous schedule of frequent outings. Well, not ever since, since for at least a few days to a week I was quite enjoying just sitting around having a normal breastfeeding relationship with my new baby. It wasn’t before long, though, that I realized that my ability to remain calm in the face of my toddler’s inability to remain calm hinged on our ability to get her the hell out of the house. Having a newborn who eats on a regular schedule of all the time put a damper on my ability to go anywhere where I wasn’t just sitting right back down and feeding her again. (Another hindrance in our leaving the house was the factor of how inordinately hot it’s been this summer and my inability to survive and parent when it’s inordinately hot.)

When adorable, tiny newborn was about a month old, after a couple of weeks of increasing tension from seeing only each other all day, every day, the three of us went for a walk to the playground. It went fairly well. Newborn (C) slept in the Ergobaby or nursed almost the entire time. Toddler (G) played with “her friends”, aka kids she just met. There were a few less than optimal aspects to our trip. I should’ve brought the stroller at least for the walk home. I should’ve brought the water bottle. I couldn’t have done anything differently when it came time to leave and C started crying just as G was running away, crying that she didn’t want to leave.

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in mama

 

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Memorial Day weekend lesson learned

This weekend, I learned a valuable lesson about myself. Or rather, I officially recognized what I’d known about myself for a while yet hadn’t necessarily taken seriously.

If I get overheated, I do not function.

It’s not so much that if it’s warm out, I get a little cranky or if I get warm, I get cranky. If I’m overheated (which is exacerbated by the pregnancy, no doubt), my ability to engage with the world in a respectful way decreases until I’m a raging, frustrated puddle of sweat. I am unable to parent in a way that my child deserves. I am unable to interact with others in a way that they deserve. I am unable to care for myself in a way that I deserve (and even writing that sentence is somewhat difficult in that merely acknowledging that I deserve to be taken care of properly brings up feelings of guilt that I’d be taking time or attention away from caring for my family, but that’s a tangent for another post).

It doesn’t matter what the thermostat says. It doesn’t matter what other people are feeling. If I feel as if I’m overheating, I have to take steps to prevent it from getting out of hand. I have to make myself drink ice water. I have to get myself in front of a fan or in a room with air conditioning. I have to be ok with the possibility that our electricity bill will be higher from running our A/C more frequently, especially if that means that I’m able to treat my family the way they deserve and the way I prefer.

Maybe this kind of thing is obvious. Maybe this kind of self-care/self-awareness is normal for most people. Up until the past few days, though, I’ve been thinking of temperature control in terms of others being comfortable, and if I got too warm, well, I just had to suck it up and deal with it (so said my internal monologue, not anyone else). Sucking it up isn’t working anymore. I’m learning to trust myself, learning to recognize my limitations before I reach them (at least for the most part), and learning to speak up or make changes to prevent myself from turning into the Incredible Sweat Puddle Hulk. Because really, no one wants to see that.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in mama

 

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