Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Diary of an Anxious Mom

It's been a while. A long while. A lot has changed with our family since the last time I blogged. Husband got a job as a city planner for the city of South Jordan and is currently going to school part time to get his masters degree. Carter is in his first year of kindergarten, just started piano lessons and is my little boy genius. Jude just started preschool officially this week and is in no way ready to potty train but that is the next thing on the horizon for him. Me? I feel like I've had the biggest change of them all. This fall I started school for the first time in over 10 years at Salt Lake Community College for a degree in Fashion Design and almost exactly one month ago I quit my job to be a stay at home mom and full time student. Everyone was so positive about my decision to stay home but most people also threw in their condolences for the fact that I will most definitely go (more) insane and at times regret my decision to leave the work force and be governed by 2 small, and at times angry, bosses.
        I decided today as I was waiting for TRAX in the cold that I should create an outlet for my feelings on being a stay at home mom and my triumphs and downfalls in this new world. Do I expect people to read this? Maybe... Do I expect people to care? Maybe not... This is for me and for anyone else that has ever felt inadequate, lazy, anxious, excited, confused, or just down right scared crapless to be a mom and be responsible for the lives of small little people. 
           Anyone that knows me knows that I have always had anxiety and feeling of guilt about my ability to be a mom. Husband grew up surrounded by kids with younger siblings and nieces and nephews by the dozens but I was the baby of the family and there were no kids. I didn't hold a baby until I was at least engaged if not married. I always knew I wanted kids but I was always afraid. Afraid I would accidentally drop them, drown them, screw them up psychologically, feed them the wrong thing, make them cry... you name it, I was scared of it. When Carter was born I was a wreck. I would go all day without using the bathroom so he wouldn't cry, or only eat lukewarm food in case I spilled on him because heaven forbid I put him down long enough to actually eat something. I slept with him on my chest for the first month and a half because I wanted to be sure he was alive. I cried when the nurse told me to give him formula so he wouldn't have kidney failure when I had severely clogged ducts and trouble nursing. I had a lactation consultant come and help him go back to breast feeding after only bottle feeding for at least a week because I did not want my baby to be bottle fed. But the worst of all... I hated being alone with him. I always wanted people there to make sure I was doing things right. There was always someone better suited for whatever task that needed to be done even though I was his mom. 
            When we moved to Utah Dave and I both ended up staying home for a while and I loved it. I always had that support and someone there to help and watch to make sure I wasn't screwing things up. I went back to work full time when Carter was 8 months old and I hate saying this but I felt like there were others better suited to take care of him. I always had that "mom guilt", sure, but I never worried about him getting adequate care without me there. I always fully trusted everyone that was watching him even more than I trusted myself. My end goal was always to be a stay at home mom but I never really believed the day would come and I would have to be solely responsible for the care of my child. I've worked since then and even went back to work 6 short weeks after having Jude. During my time as a working mom of two I was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD and was taking medication for these things. Once I discovered that I had anxiety and started working to correct it I started wanting to be home with the kids more. With every little success came a greater desire to be solely responsible for my own children. 
         Don't get me wrong, I still feel very inadequate. I'm in no way a super mom. The hardest part is that I am surrounded by super moms and can't help but feel less than. I watch my sister in laws with their kids and wish I could be that confident and amazing. There are women in my neighborhood that home school their 10 children who are all so polite and considerate. All I can say is WOW. I am so jealous of these women and their ability to nurture, teach, discipline, organize, clean, cook, serve and run a happy home. Rather than focus on my deficiencies I have decided to try to be more like them. I am grateful that I have so many good examples of moms around me. Will I ever be perfect? H no. Will I ever be good enough? Yes and that is my goal. Be enough for my kids. 
          I am hoping to blog more about my journey as a stay at home mom but be warned. I'm sure there will be plenty of self deprecation, mom guilt and hopefully, at times, bragging when I feel I've done something right. You don't have to read it if you don't like it. I know I am long winded and even if people do read it I doubt they will make it to the end. I want to see my journey and my progress as a stay at home mom. I am so excited for the opportunity and know it will be a challenge. Not to get all Stuart Smalley on you but today I will tell myself "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me."

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