I’m not a bad mom because I medicate my child

I don’t think I’ve ever really posted about it, because I still have so much shame and sadness about the fact that I need to medicate D to get our family through the day… (isn’t it silly, that I can proudly treat my own mental illness but not my son’s?)

Anyways, we decided to skip a couple of days medicating after he had a wicked stomach bug. I took the kids out yesterday to grab a few brownie-baking supplies, and the cashier said something about his spiritedness (literally spinning in circles, blabbing nonsense, punching the air) and I made some comment about how he skipped his medication this morning. She asked me what I meant and I explained that he has ADHD, and he didn’t take his pill today. She replied with, “Oh I don’t believe that’s a thing… some kids are just more intense.”

I was so worn out from 2 days without sleep (his stomach bug) and 2 days of him not being medicated, and shocked at her comment, that I didn’t say anything. I don’t know that I could have said anything meaningful in the few seconds before she’d have to ring the next customer up. But let me clarify a few things…

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Sick, sick, sick

Seriously, I feel like my pregnancy with little D was smooth as butter compared to this little one.

During my first trimester and partly into my second, I felt like I wanted to throw up ALL THE TIME. Only, I’d just gag and then shit myself. WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THAT?! Anyone who thinks pregnancy is beautiful can suck it. Oh, and apparently if you have insane diarrhea instead of vomiting, it can be totally normal. At least, that’s what the midwife says. Fun. If it wasn’t running to the bathroom it was laying on the couch or in bed because things were spinning far too much for me to even move. Yeah.

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Losing my job was the best thing that could have happened to me

I’m writing this after the dust has settled a bit, just over two months since I was downsized out of a position I held (and loved) for almost five years.

The details aren’t important, what matters are the lessons I’ve learned in the days since finding myself (somewhat) in the realm of the unemployed. I say somewhat only because I do have a little bit of freelance work that keeps me busy.

I’ve been incredibly sad to step back from work that I absolutely loved, with people who inspired me every day, but to be honest I’m actually a bit happy as well as I was getting majorly burned out.

Ask those closest to me and they’ll tell you how I was crying at my desk, throwing up with anxiety on my commute, dreading waking up every morning. Things had gotten so bad towards the end that I’d even gone back on anti-depressant medication, as a last-ditch effort to cope with the demands of life.

And then my position was eliminated.

And I could breathe again. Except, not right away because I was scared shitless – like holy fuck what am I going to do with my life and what is life without work? So much of our identity is tied up in what we do. What happens when you no longer ‘do’ and simply just are?

I returned my company-issued tools, collected my personal effects and walked out of the building crying tears of uncontrollable relief I just couldn’t hold back. My daily grind had just become a lot less grinding.

In the weeks that have followed I’ve caught up on all the health appointments I’d been putting off. Dentist; check. Optometrist; check. Weekly massages to use up my benefits before they ran out; check. For the first time in a long time, I started to take care of myself.

I’ve had time to exercise almost every.single.day. I’ve taken up meditation. I’m blogging again! 

I also now get to spend each and every day doing the most important job the universe has ever tasked me with – raising my son. This has been the most wonderful and joyful change that’s come about as a result of losing my job. I get to experience each day anew with him, through his eyes. Everything is magical and wonderful to him. It’s hard to be anxious and miserable when he’s just so darn happy and inquisitive about everything.

I get to play outside EVERY DAY. I get to take a freaking nap EVERY DAY. I get to be creative in a variety of ways EVERY DAY.

Losing my job has allowed my soul to begin to heal and strengthen a little bit more EVERY DAY. I smile. I laugh. I’m happy. I haven’t described myself that way in a very, very long time. Most importantly, my family reaps the rewards of my joy as well. My long-suffering husband is slowly getting back the vibrant, optimistic woman he fell in love with. My son no longer asks ‘why you crying, mama?’ These changes mean more than any paycheque in the world could ever compare to.

I thought that losing my job would be the worst thing that could happen to me but I was completely wrong – it’s actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise and probably the best thing that’s happened to me in a long, long time.

Oh f%@!

Ask anyone who knows me at all and they’ll tell you that I’ve never been particularly ladylike when it comes to conversation. In fact, for as long as I can remember I’ve had the mouth of a trucker and haven’t been afraid to use it. Sometimes to my disadvantage, but more often than not allowing me to fit in with the guys and bond with like-minded ass-kicking ladies.

Anyways, I knew that once I had kids I’d have to be more mindful of the language I used around the little people, I just didn’t think it’d be so soon.

Today, D started running around the house yelling “Oh f%@!” and his daddy looked at me with big eyes and I knew I was in trouble.

Part of me couldn’t stifle the laughter at this tiny little person running around and cursing his toys and his lunch in the sweetest little voice, and the other part of me was thinking, “Oh f%@!, what are the other parents going to think of us at playgroup?” We already had an epic meltdown at the library circle time the other day (stay tuned for that post), what if he starts cursing the next time we’re there?!

Needless to say D was mighty pleased with himself after seeing how reactionary daddy and I were with his newfound vocabulary, which prompted him to continue saying it over and over again. (I’m sorry, dear!) We went with the old but effective ‘we’ll take x toy away if you say that word again’ trick, and he stopped. But then at supper he hurt his finger and began swearing again. (So long Drip and four-wheeler).

When I was pregnant, husband and I knew we’d have to make a conscious effort to cut down on the salty language so that it was easier after babe arrived – and for a while I did all right, L is much better than me. But then it started creeping back in again.

Now, in my defence, I really only curse when injured or incredibly frustrated, so I like to tell myself it’s not that often. But really, a two-year-old is incredibly frustrating, so I’ve probably been cussing more than I think I have. I don’t know how but I’m going to have to cut down on the bad words even more seriously now that little parroting ears are keenly listening.

Do you have any tips to help cut down on cursing in front of the kids? Please let me know in the comments below!

An open apology to mothers everywhere

Before I became a mother (and I know it wasn’t that long ago I made the transition) I used to have many opinions about the decisions that the parents I encountered had made for themselves and their families. It wasn’t until welcoming our little guy that I realized how hurtful, insensitive and rude these judgements were. And quite frankly, that those decisions were NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

So to all the moms out there I secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, passed judgement on, I offer up this heartfelt apology. And I hope others (with and without children) will join me in saying a loud, “I’m sorry.”

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Coping with sadness and anger post-delivery

I know it’s been a while since his arrival, but it’s taken me this long to finally settle into feeling ‘OK’ about my son’s delivery enough to be able to write about it.

I still don’t feel good about it. I don’t know that I ever will. Coming to terms with an experience that was so different than anything I’d wanted or imagined… and was so far from my fundamental trust and belief in nature and its processes is something I think I may struggle with for the rest of my life. Continue reading

Breastfeeding allies

Given the many documented health benefits of breastfeeding for both mum and baby, I’ve always known that I wanted to breastfeed, should I be able to.

Before having baby, I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to ‘expose’ myself in public, but after actually being in the situation of having a hungry baby in a public place, it hasn’t been an issue.

I’ve happily been able to feed our little guy in places from the doctor’s office to restaurants, malls and extended family members’ homes. Shoppers at our local mall have even come up to me and congratulated me on being able to breastfeed when they themselves weren’t able to. Having this kind of support is invaluable for new mothers.

Most recently, I had a wonderful experience at McNie’s fish and chip restaurant. As soon as our meals came, babes decides that he too was hungry. So as I was feeding him in our booth, I was secretly hoping the others in the restaurant weren’t judging me in a negative way. (It’s never happened, but I worry about these things, perhaps unnecessarily.) Continue reading

The kindness of strangers

So often throughout pregnancy, women can be met with ignorance and rudeness. This can even carry over into new-mommyhood, with glares and snide remarks from the peanut gallery about everything from the style of stroller you rock to your decisions to breastfeed or co-sleep.

Which is why, when something nice happens, it’s good to share. Not all of humanity is so careless and it’s important to remember and celebrate the good ones.

Yesterday, I took baby for a walk down to the local market cafe to sign up for a CSA box. (One of my goals this year is to eat more local, organic and seasonal foods, whose origins aren’t as sketchy as grocery store fare. And supporting local farmers is pretty awesome too!)

The farmer didn’t have enough to make us a box on the spot, which was totally fine, but then a patron kindly offered us her box as she hasn’t yet used the items from her delivery the week prior. Score! Continue reading