Parenting, a dog as toddler, and come what may
August 25, 2012
Someone said his Daddy skills were going to waste on a dog.
I asked if he meant the skills that enabled him to ignore the dancing, sniffing, persistent nudging at his elbow who was nearly perishing of thirst every night for a week at 2 am when we were having a slightly warm spell so that I was getting up instead?
Oh yes. Yes, those – well, apparently Daddy skills like feeding, diapering, taking them out to play, etc., are best practiced in the daytime. They also mean Best Sleep Ever.
Cue the biggest eyeroll of the century, please. I am not amused.
All kidding aside, we’re back on the subject. And with some other life changes going on, it warrants the consideration of whether or when this is something we’re going to do. Mostly me. I’m going to say, mostly me if he’s pawning off pregnancy and night duty. Plus, my blog. Nyeh nyeh. (Yes, we are totally mature.)
I’m more at peace with the ideas of kids eventually, all of my worries are not gone, of course, but I have accepted that they, in fact, are part of life and no, I can’t have my mom back to make this less scary.
It’s when I focus on the pregnancy bit that it all falls apart. There is just nothing appealing about it. Not just because I’ve only heard a million and one truth stories about it, but because for the first time in nearly twenty years, I’m starting to see a chance to repair my health and I’m thinking erm? Pregnancy? That … doesn’t so much sound like a step toward better. And healthier. And less broken. Kids are fun and fulfilling and all that but you know what else? They are hard work. They are responsibility, late nights, long days, lifting and hauling, racing after them, praying to anyone who will listen you can keep up with them this time, keeping them engaged and entertained, teaching them and oh-so-much. But that’s all after surviving a pregnancy, unbroken.
Lauren’s Insta-Grammy #6 triggered this sense that I’d be taking a long jump off a short cliff.
Not that her announcement post didn’t get me in the gut a bit too, but that was in a different, rueful laugh, oh-my-friend, my-suffering-pregnant-friend, let’s get chocolate because there’s a lot of time left on this clock and yes almost every mother I have known well IRL has told me that the GlowyPregnancy was a myth kind of way.
And her update post was simply: Yes. This needs to be a CHOICE. Because it’s too damn painful, difficult, sacrificial or much, at any given point not to be something you want for yourselves. And it’s not something I’ve seen most people regret when it was their active choice. In the long run.
It was this bit, from the first post that made me breathe deeply for a minute:
“Traveling and not feeling 100% always sucks, but we also had a lot of fun. I mostly felt guilty for not being my usual yes yes yes self. Having to leave events before they were finished, having to take breaks and rest in our hotel room during the day, having to start the days a little later than usual in order to pull it together. It all made me feel guilty. Not because other people were at all difficult about it, but because this weekend was about family, and even then I had to take time out just for me and that’s really difficult for me to assert or admit to.”
That description is so apt, and so incredibly familiar, that I wilted a little. I can generally take on the world in so many ways but this? Is me. And this is me on a normal day, much less on a travel day (-5), much less with the addition of family(-20), or the addition of family events (-30), forget the idea of having all the side effects of carrying a childling around in my belly.
My normal has been starting out the day, any day, always at less than 100%. Getting up takes 10%, getting ready takes 15%. Then it’s a 10-12 hour day ahead. Typically with no food, water or bathroom breaks. One if I’m lucky. Home to prep dinner or mewl weakly on the sofa for a while (60/40 which kind of day it’ll be), while PiC takes care of the evening necessities and dinner before collapse.
The imagination quails at the thought of taking a version of that and adding a new, totally unpredictable, factor to it.
There are certainly other plans on the horizon to deal with the insanity of my current life but the health and related energy issue piece when most people don’t really know or understand what’s “wrong” with me, especially when I’ve learned to hide it so well because:
Most people don’t need to know my “weakness”,
I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, it’s nice to pretend I’m fine sometimes,
and frankly, I’m tired of hearing uninformed criticisms and advice from people who should know better,
and yet I still feel guilty or judged for taking the breaks I desperately need when I am around the people who, again, know and should understand (but don’t care).
That’s a different level of discomfort I’m now working through.
It doesn’t help having heard how I should “avoid becoming a burden” to others. I already knew not to lean on people anyway, that statement reminded me, again, that I am considered “less than” and that those who might naturally have been thought to offer support will not, in fact, be anywhere but in the Talking Head Category (and now, I hope, geographically very far away) if this proves a difficult journey.
I’m not the person to ask for help or support. I give it, and I take care of others. And if I can’t, then I simply go away, but the last thing I’m comfortable with is asking for assistance, having been so independent for so long. It’s a good thing my sense of self esteem is rather well established by now or these little but consistent zingers would be rather destructive.
Without borrowing trouble, I’m now preparing for the eventuality that in some people’s* eyes, any needs, anything that happens if we choose to do this, any problems, they will all be “my fault” and down to my “weakness.” As I write this, I realize that I can deal with that if I expect it and I will have some support from my own, even if just in spirit.
I hope for the best, that my imagination is more creative than reality should we commit to this, and plan to deal with whatever happens. As usual. Guilt be damned.
*Specific people. But I don’t feel like naming names, though it may make more sense why I’ve bothered addressing it at all if I did. Just not worth it.