Author: Anxious Mom

We Weary All Right

My husband and I thought the parenting thing was pretty easy with Little Man. How hard could it be to raise a kid who was kind, respectful, relatively easy-going, etc., right? So we had another kid and the universe pretty much laughed in our faces when it handed over Baby Girl.

There is so much I love about Baby Girl. And I feel like it’s important to emphasize that before I write anything else. Funny, bright, strong-willed, spirited, loving…did I mention funny, already? She has quite the sense of humor and can already deadpan with the best of them.

But whoa, that child. I’m scare to look at my hair too closely in the mirror, because there are probably gray hairs. Some of it would be due to worrying over her and the rest would be because of how taxing she can be.

Here are a few of the things that might lead to her having a shit fit at any moment:

Baby Girl, eat your breakfast.

Baby Girl, time to take a bath.

Baby Girl, you watched your show, now it’s time to turn off the TV.

No, Baby Girl, I can’t play; I have to work right now.

Baby Girl, it’s time to pick up LM from school.

Baby Girl, here is the lunch you ASKED for.

Baby Girl, I can’t carry you right now, walk and hold my hand.

Baby Girl, let’s work on our letters.

Baby Girl, time to go to bed.

Considering that five of the items on that lists are musts every day, there are lots of shit fits. I don’t understand why it’s so problematic to eat a meal or put on pajamas. Little Man had his complaints over food that was deemed spicy or clothes of textures he didn’t like (hello, sensory issues), but it wasn’t anything like this. Attempts at reasoning with her are fruitless and generally met with her throwing her head back and screaming loud enough that I fear the neighbors will call CPS since it sounds like she’s being killed. It’s her way or it’s hell, so unless it’s one of those minor “pick your battles” situations, it’s hell.

I know some people think we suck at discipline, but we try so hard. We’re consistent, we try to offer choices, we do all the things that are usually recommended for tricking toddlers (well, preschoolers) into behaving. She mostly sees through that and is like “fuck this.”

She makes me so weary and on edge — those shrieks make my anxiety go haywire. Going out in public, going grocery shopping, whatever has me in that anxiety mode, knowing the odds are high that the shit will hit the fan. I just want one day where we do the things we have to do and there is compliance and no screaming. Some people say a compliant child is a child who can’t think for herself or some shit, but I think they’d welcome a compliant day or two if they were in my shoes. When she’s not in that mode, she’s in total sweetheart/hilarious/all the good things mode, so the bipolar joke/misconceptions where people flip from one mood to the other rapidly would totally apply here.

(Can kids this age have bipolar disorder? Maybe the apple didn’t fall far from the tree? Shit, I’m not looking that up and getting my brain off on something else right now.)

Baby Girl is three and a half now. We’ve been in this “phase” forever it feels like. Really, though, she started off refusing to eat food and being very demanding about who held her when she was 6-9 months old, so forever isn’t much of an exaggeration. Much like I did with ages 2 and 3, I’m hoping that some of this stuff phases out as we get closer to 4. (After writing this and reviewing, I realize that the instances of her head banging the floor have decreased big time, so there’s some progress.)

On another note, this child will be going to kindergarten next year. Sure, it’s a year and a half away, but still, it feels so weird to say that, considering she was only 4 months old when I started this blog. A part of me wonders how she’ll be close to being ready — physically she still moves more like a toddler and she rarely lets anyone (including her preschool teacher) know what she knows (like, she’ll say that a T makes the “ssss” sound or that a 2 is a 9 just for the hell of it). But, again, a year and a half is roughly a third of the time she’s been on this earth now.

Now y’all know there is loads of good stuff I could write. Many of y’all have seen it on my other blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But I don’t usually write about the more stressful aspects there, unless they’re kinda funny, so this is me venting. I kinda feel like an asshole for venting about a three-year-old, and am aware that this probably reflects on my parenting fails more than anything, but…whew.

I’ll move on to Little Man for the next post.

Advertisements

I Regret Nothing…Maybe

Looking back through some old (and mostly private) posts, about three years ago, I was falling apart. Depression was worse ever, anxiety was bad, there was lots of family stuff going on, etc. — just a straight up clusterfuck. And then I made things a hundred times worse when I stopped taking my antidepressant and anxiety medicine on a whim. It makes me cringe so hard now just thinking about what a straight up mess I was.

Image result for inspiration get to where i am today

Okay, yeah, inspirational type things like that really aren’t me.

Image result for office laughing gif

If I were going to do an inspirational type thing, it’d be something along the lines of, “Yay, you’re less of a fuck up than you were a few years ago. Go, you.” (And now I really want to make that and post it in the comments section of the next person who posts one of those memes. Oh hell, I’ll do it.)

It’s been about a year since I saw my therapist. And in the year range since I wrote anything about my own mental health. And I never dance around those issues with my friends anymore, either. (I say “dance around” because those conversations were very limited and vague.) After spilling my guts the other ways for the better part of three years, it’s been weird not saying anything and kinda losing touch with myself, if you know what I mean. I went from being very in tune with my feelings, moods, etc. to, well, not. 

That kinda bit me in the ass a little, too.

A few months ago, I started having some heart palpitations. A few times per hour, I was having palpitations. Since the only other time I have had heart palpitations is when I was having an awful anxiety/panic attack, I assumed that my heart was about to kick it.

Husband: “It’s anxiety.” 

After waiting for my heart to kick it for a week, I went to the doctor.

New doctor: “Sounds like anxiety.” 

Me: I don’t think so…

<refers me to cardiologist, palpitations worsen>

Cardiologist: “I really think this is due to anxiety, but I’ll do an ECG.” 

That turned out fine, of course, but I still didn’t think it was anxiety. I figured that as someone who has dealt with anxiety pretty much forever, that I would know if anxiety were the culprit. I mean, yes, I was having anxiety and very much on edge a lot, but still…that wasn’t how it typically presented in me.

Psychiatrist: “What’s new in your world?” 

I tell her about the palpitations.

Psychiatrist: “Oh yeah, that’s anxiety, it might be time for you to start back taking a daily medication again.” 

Me, in my head: IT’S NOT ANXIETY.

Me: I don’t think it is. Doesn’t seem right. 

Psychiatrist: Maybe it’s not, but let’s give this a try for a month and see what changes.

I agreed.

Within a few days, the palpitations were gone. Hmph. Being the person that I am, I skipped them for a couple of days, and lo and behold, palpitations started back. So everyone was right except for me on this one.

That definitely showed me that I’m not as on top of the anxiety (or any of the other mental health stuff) the way that I was. Maybe if I had been mood tracking (the tracker goes through a bunch of symptoms on a sliding scale to show how you’re doing with anxiety, depression, etc.), I’d have put it together on my own without wasting a few hundred bucks on having my heart checked. (Or maybe not, it’s possible that I’d have never fingered something I associate with attacks with run of the mill anxiety.) Same thing with my moods — when I’m not diligent about tracking those and being aware of triggers, it’s easy for things to go south and get super irritable. Whereas if I’m more aware, I can tap out or do whatever it is I need to do to stay right. Not so much tapping out these days.

So, I guess I should add this to my New Year’s Resolutions list — track shit, lest I go in clusterfuck mode again. I’ve got an app downloaded to my phone, plus I was gifted a nice adult coloring book/marker set for Christmas. Everyone says it’s really calming, so we’ll see. I don’t anticipate having the patience for it, but it does look pretty cool.

Really, though, I think it’s extra important to be on top of things right now. As excited as I am about getting a cochlear implant, I know the risks. I know that I might lose the rest of my hearing in the implanted ear, that the sound quality might be awful (think sensory issues), that relearning to hear just might not work out, etc. I’m willing to take those risks because the possible benefit is huge, but I know that if things don’t work out or it gets too overwhelming or whatever, that I could be prone to falling into a bad depression. I guess that’s true any day, but more so with that situation, I’d think.

So, here’s to getting in touch with my brain again, so that I avoid the cringe in future posts. Scratch that — there’s always going to be cringe with me — so I’ll shoot for avoiding batshit cringe.

Next up — time to do a catch up on the family that doesn’t involve talking about what cute/funny thing they said. As much as I enjoy doing the Dorky Mom stuff, it almost pains me at times to only show my family/myself through that one lens. That’s the nature of the content and all, but still…

Till then.

What’s Your Score?

Just for fun —

Saw this on Facebook and had to do it, of course. First it’s a Facebook quiz of sorts and second it’s related to picky eating, which y’all know I’m all about.

My eye twitched a little bit at the spelling of lettuce.

Out of 66 food items, I won’t eat 33. Fifty percent — kind of a high number when you’re the person in the group who sometimes orders chicken nuggets off the kid menu when we go anywhere that isn’t pizza or steak. And I think ham, pork, and bacon being three separate items was kinda bullshit.

So, what’s your score?

Hello, 2018

My husband thinks I’m weird. Again. Shockingly, after being together for almost 13 years, I can still manage to surprise him with my weirdness. This time it was because I commented, “Thank God, I hate odd-numbered years” after the ball dropped and we welcomed 2018. You’d think that for a guy who gets irritated when he finds out that I stopped pumping my gas at the $12.97 mark instead of the $13.00 mark, that he’d somewhat understand. But  nope.

So that’s how my 2018 started, which was probably better than how we’ve previously rung in the New Year — with drunk people who had access to fireworks, firearms, and Fireball. Yikes. We watched part of the new Dave Chappelle special on Netflix, switched over to watch the ball drop, argued for a few minutes, and then finished the special. Obligatory “we’re officially old” comment. And then my husband turned 40 yesterday, so the oldness is legit on his behalf, and now I’m old by association.

Little Man and I talked about writing down New Year’s resolutions, but we didn’t. Considering that both of us essentially had “be organized and get shit done” as one of our goals (his was phrased less cursey), it appears that we aren’t off to a great start.

I had a few goals last year, some I was successful with and some I wasn’t. The main goals was actually losing more weight, which I did. I was down almost 40 pounds when Thanksgiving rolled around. And then after Thanksgiving, my extended birthday weekend, the cruise, multiple Christmas get-togethers, and my husband’s birthday, it’s more like 35. Now it’s time to get back to it. Another goal was to open an Etsy shop, which I did. I only had a few sales (most of my sales were from my Facebook page), but I was able to check that off at least.

Now for some positives from 2017 that weren’t really goals. I was hired for a new job about a month ago. (And got offered for two others I applied for within the same week, go figure!) Typical work from home content writer, part-time, flexible schedule deal. It’s more hours than the other freelance gigs I’ve had in a while, and I’m still trying to get adjusted to that. I like more hours, but finding the quiet time I need to write has been tough, especially with the kids out of school. Note to self: maybe don’t start a new job during the busiest time of the year.

The positive thing that I’m most excited about from 2017 — I was recommended for cochlear implant surgery and will get implanted this month. The insurance company denied it at first and gave the two most bullshit reasons ever, but after a peer-to-peer with my doctor, they approved it, so yay! The doctor said it isn’t guaranteed to work well and that it could take up to a year to see max benefits, but I’m hopeful. Worst case scenario (assuming I don’t die or get meningitis and then die), is that I lose the residual hearing in that ear and am in about the same place I am now. Best case — through rehab and relearning to hear in that ear, I might get close to normal hearing in that ear. The risk is worth it.

This is a big deal, since it recently hit me how much of a struggle it would be with most traditional jobs (Baby Girl will start kindergarten fall of next year), struggling with using the phone, not being able to hear most conversations with background noise, etc. If the implant works, I’ll have more options as far as job opportunities go, plus it’d be nice not to depend on my husband so much.

So, hello 2018 — bring it on.

Any goals for your year or are you just gonna keep on keepin’ on? 

Old People and Technology

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for months — time to let it see the light of day.

My mother-in-law got a new car. She is really not tech savvy. I routinely have to fix her computer, her tablet, and her phone. Had to fix Facebook for her once after she accidentally set her posts private for a year and was pissed over lack of comments, and then there was the time she straight up thought Obi Wan Kenobi was Jesus on Facebook. As most of y’all probably know, many (maybe all, I dunno) new cars have infotainment systems. And guess what’s required to use this system? A basic understanding of technology!

The struggle has been real for my in-laws because of this. We were getting call after call asking about syncing, music, bluetooth, contacts, Google Voice, where Siri went (which is strange, because my MIL has never owned an iPhone or iPad that had Siri), and On-Star. I know there’s a learning curve on this stuff, and despite my teasing, I mostly don’t mind helping. (And as much as I like to joke about older people and technology, I have to ask for help on some pretty basic cooking things, so it evens out.)

Mother-in-law approached me a month or two ago to ask about the possibility of legal trouble regarding their new car. After complaining about it for a few minutes, she told me that she was worried they were going to get arrested because her husband cussed out the virtual advisor. He asked for directions, it didn’t understand him and it gave him some random answer. After that happened a few times, he let loose.

“Could he go to jail for that?” she asked me.

I can usually keep a straight face with her, but this time I couldn’t. The thought of cussing out On-Star’s version of Siri is was humorous enough, but getting arrested for it? I about pissed my pants.  I assured her that no one was monitoring those interactions (I don’t need to expose her to my paranoid brain) and that no laws had been broken.

I thought that was the end of it until I talked to her grandkids this past weekend and one of them mentioned her calling all four of them — recently, too — and asking if they were going to get arrested over this. Holy shit.