Part of my tradition for starting a new year is to look back and hopefully let go of the last one. This year was my first full year of blogging so I decided to do my year end review by looking back at mamaTRUE. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about how the year went. Tomorrow’s post on my intentions for 2010 will include some of what looking back at the year told me.
I was never a big New Year’s Eve fan. Though I’m up past midnight most nights, the fireworks, parties where everyone’s wasted, plus the pressure to have a whole new life, be a better person, and have a stellar kiss at midnight are all a little too much for me. As mama to a young child, I feel even less sure about how to deal with New Year’s Eve, though my first inclination is just to stay home.
Is it possible this is happening already? My 27 month old has started saying, “No kisses” and rubbing them off his cheek. He takes his soft little palm and wipes my kiss away as if it were dirt. When he did it the first time (possibly in order to avoid crying) I said in a joking voice, “You’re wiping off my kisses?” and he said, “Yessssss!”
“Yeah, okay,” my two year old says when I comply with his latest request, “Mama yogurt.”
Here’s how I know when I’m out of balance:
- Every pair of shoes anyone in our household owns is on the floor in the entryway or the living room, waiting for us to trip over, waiting to be put in the shoe-holder in the closet
- I haven’t vacuumed in so long there are remnants from multiple snacks or meals under Cavanaugh’s table in the living room
- Our refrigerator is empty and the compost bin is full of rotting vegetables
Earlier this month I wrote Running on Empty about feeling mama burn out. It was a hard blog post to write. I felt ashamed. I felt like a failure. I felt worried that motherhood was going to turn out like so many other jobs I’ve had: fun and interesting at first, then drudgery. I needed a vacation from my mama job, which wasn’t realistic. Getting a vacation from my state of mind, however, was absolutely possible.
It’s hard to feel in conflict with our boy and exhausting to practice boundaries all the time. It feels like the most terrible part of two’s to me. So I just read a great article from Dr. Sears on “18 Ways to Say ‘No’ Positively.”
I offer this series of posts on night weaning in hopes that it will help keep mamas from being resentful night nursers and children from having a hard core night weaning experience because his/her parents are so exhausted they just can’t take it anymore.
Right now I am writing while my toddler does puzzles on our “big bed,” a king size mattress on the floor of our master bedroom. Quiet time is that not-so-quiet hour I set an alarm and instruct my son to play by himself while I work across the room.
Yesterday I wrote about how I’d had my worst day as a mama in the almost three years I’ve been on the job. Here’s the short version: my son and I had opposing wants and needs from the moment we woke up until he went to sleep. I did not act the part of the grown up, at least not the nice nurturing grown up I manage to be with him most of the time.
Yesterday, Cavanaugh and I stumbled on a new and very sweet game. He was sitting in my lap while we ate lunch and I said, “I like it when you sit in my lap.”
I know I’m not supposed to say it, much less want them, but I miss cigarettes. I miss the smell of them on my fingers, a cigarette with my morning coffee or after a big meal. As absolutely ridiculous as it sounds, I miss how they helped me to just sit down, take a minute, and breathe. Yes, I realize that all that breathing entailed inhaling carcinogens, that cigarettes are stupid and deadly and expensive, but they were for a time when the only person I was really responsible for was myself. If I did something dumb or dangerous, the only person I endangered was me.
Man, did I want to enjoy the holidays this year, get in the spirit, create family traditions, celebrate. I was trying so hard that I felt like a Weeble Wobble (okay, I know this dates me, but for you younguns Weebles were these plastic toys with sand or something in the bottom so “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”).
Photo by redux