I have been writing a lot recently about the difficulty that I have been having. Anxiety over raising my daughter, the stress of it, the sheer panic that I get that I am doing something wrong. Well, unfortunately things have gotten worse. On February 22 my father passed away. He was 74 years old and died in his sleep, I am thankful that he passed in his sleep and did not suffer as so many people do. My father had COPD but seemed to be doing well, He was home from the rehabilitation center and starting to get things in order. He was a recovering alcoholic who lived a very hard life. He was a musician in his younger days and lived the life a musician for a while. He had beat cancer and we thought his health was improving. He was learning how to take control of his finances and was even planning different outings and events with his children and grandchildren. He was so excited for spring to arrive because it meant he could leave the house and visit with his family. We had so many lunch dates planned and so many place we were going to go. So many things that he wanted to do. Sadly, my father did not get to see spring arrive, or have the lunches that he had so looked forward to, save for one. Two weeks before he passed away, my husband and I took our 3 month old daughter to meet her pop-pop for the first time. The weather a little nicer and my father had gotten over his cold. So we stopped at Wendy’s (he loved their burgers) and brought Fiona to him. We only spent 1 hour with him. We ate lunch, did a few things for him around the house that he couldn’t do but most importantly he got to meet his youngest granddaughter. He made he laugh and she made him laugh. It is my final memory of him. The giant smile he had on his face when she smiled at him. I regret that I did not take any pictures of them that day. I would have loved to have had a photo of Fiona with her pop-pop. But I was so in the moment and enjoying seeing them together that I didn’t think to take any. All I have is the memory of seeing them together on which to hold.
Now as I help my brother put all of his affairs to rest I am left with a hole in my heart that I can’t seem to fill. My whole life I was “Daddy’s Little Girl” and “Daddy’s Princess.” When we left him after lunch the last day were together the last he said to me was, “I love you Princess.” That is what he always called me. I am 33 years old and my father still called me princess! I will never “Princess” again.
People have asked me if he was sick or was it expected or was it sudden. Yes he was sick but it is always sudden. Even if the doctor tells you to be prepared it is still sudden. A child is never ready to say goodbye to a parent.
I will miss the phone calls at random times of day just because he was thinking of his “Princess.” I will miss deciphering his writing because he was not a very good speller. I will miss the errands he would send me on to pick him up little things. I will miss the scruffy kisses on my cheek he would me when we said hello and goodbye. I will miss his voice when he would sing to me. I will miss his scent. I will miss knowing he was just around the corner. I will miss him more than words can express.
I love you Daddy! You will always be in my heart and never out of my mind! Rest in peace and keep making beautiful music in Heaven.
Ok, so I didit! I bit the bullet and did it. I have been feeling very anxious and stressed lately. My cousin thinks that I may be suffering from postpartum depression and asked me to talk to someone. So I did. I was nervous at first because of the stigmas that you hear go along with postpartum depression. But I am really glad that I called. I met with the counselor for the first time. His name is Norm. He kind of reminds me of Sigmund Freud. Sweater with collared shirt underneath, grey beard and glasses. Very nice man and easy to talk to. He does not think that I am depressed. He feels that I am suffering from anxiety caused by severe stress. Which I will definitely agree with.
I have this unbelievable fear that I am going to make a mistake raising Fiona and that I am going to mess her up for life. I also have this fear that if I call the pediatrician too many times they will think that I am a bad mother and take her away from me. I know it is an unfounded fear but it is a significant one for me nonetheless.
Adding to my anxiety is the fact that Fiona has decided that sleep is her enemy. She loses her mind whenever we put her down to sleep, at bed time or at nap time. She is normally swaddled but she has begun rolling over in the crib while swaddled, so we need to put her down unswaddled. So she is leaening to sleep unswaddled and sleeping back in the crib. I know that bedtime/nap time is going to be difficult and I dread having to deal with it. To the point where I can’t sleep or focus on anything else.
Norm did tell me I am doing some things right. He says that my Tai Chi class is excellent because the breathing exercises will help reduce my anxiety, workout classes will help reduce my stress and blogging will allow me to get everything out and off my chest! Glad to know I am doing something right.
He did say that I am a people pleaser and I need to get over that. Now that I have a daughter she is the only one I need to make happy. I agree with him. I hate confrontation so I try to make everyone happy. I need to knock that off.
We are meeting again in 2 weeks, after Harrison returns to work. My anxiety is high over the changes that will happen with that. I will keep you posted as to my progress.
If one person benefits from the struggles in my journey I will feel good.
Right now it is 7:27pm on Sunday night of the Oscars. The Oscars are my favorite award show ever. I have not missed a broadcast in the past 15 years. Tonight I will break that streak. I am lying in bed hoping to fall asleep by 8pm. So that when my 3.5 month old daughter inevitably wakes up at 2am I will be able to get up with her to give my husband a break. She has decided that she hates sleep. They are not friends and are currently seeing other people. So when she wakes up at 2am and it takes 2.5 hours to get her back to sleep I will have gotten some rest.
There is a very large part of me that cannot believe I have a child. I cannot believe I thought this was a good idea. I can’t function properly on less than 7 hours of sleep a night, I am OCD about getting things done around the house and I have recently come to realize that I am incredibly selfish. I never thought that I was. I always believed myself to be a giving person. Someone who would go out of their way to help their friend, neighbor or someone in need. But apparently I was mistaken. I find myself not wanting to get up in the middle of the night, not wanting to stay up to put her to bed and excited to go to work so that I have to fight with her to take a nap. I am a terrible person and I feel like a terrible mother.
I find myself second guessing myself all the time; Is this right? Is she hungry? Should I get her to nap? Is it too early to put her to bed? Why won’t she sleep? Why won’t she stop crying? How do I help her? How do I make her happy? I know that were it not for my husband I would not be able to do this. In fact, there are times when I still don’t think I can do this even with his help.
I keep telling myself that it will get better when she is 3 months, 4months, 6 months, eating solid food, walking, talking, etc. I keep praying that the next milestone will come and make it easier but then it will all be over. She will be a teenager and my little girl will be all grown up. I pray everyday for the strength and the patience to be a good mother. To raise her well but I fear that I won’t be able to. I fear that my stress and fear will consume me. I try to relax and take time for myself. I take classes at the gym and go to church and try to spend time with family and friends but being a parent is hardest thing I have ever tried to do and I fear I am failing.
I just wish that it would all be alright. Are these fears and insecurities normal? Am I losing my mind or have all new parents felt this way at one time or another?
My dear daughter has reached her 100 days milestone. This is a big deal in the Korean culture (may daughter is half Korean.) Basically, it means she has reached the point where she is considered safe and healthy.
During these 100 days I have a lot of time to think. One conclusion that I have come with all this thinking
that I have been doing is that the word mom is not short for mother. I have come to the realization that mom is M.O.M, an acronym for Master Of Most, and GrandM.O.M is Grand Master Of Most. When it comes to children most things can only be fixed by M.O.M. My husband and I were trying to get Fiona to sleep. She fights us likes crazy. He has been home with her for the past 3 weeks and has 3 more to go. This means I get to go to bed early and he gets up with her in the middle of night. Just like I did while I was on leave and he was working. The one night I put Fiona down and she went to sleep. An hour and a half later she woke up. Dear hubby got up with her and tried so hard to get her back to sleep. Two hours later, a still screaming Fiona had poor hubby at his wits end, hair in hands and all. I got up and let him go to bed. Within 30 minutes I had her calm and sleeping in her rock and play, although her crib would have been ideal. The next morning he came into the living room (I was sleeping on the couch with her in the rock and play) and asked if she was up all night. To which I responded, “Nope!” He looked at me with sad eyes and said, “Oh, she hates me! I tried so hard!” That is when it hit me. M.O.M is the master of most because only M.O.M can fix most problems. Not that M.O.M is any better than dad.
There are so many times only M.O.M can kiss a boo boo. Only M.O.M can take the pain away. Only M.O.M can quiet the screams. I said to my dear hubby, “she doesn’t hate you. There are just times when only M.O.M will do!
So it seems that the major mantra of parents is “This too shall pass.” But what I have noticed since becoming a mom is that nothing actually passes. Every time something funky goes on with Fiona I am told “this too shall pass” but then something else happens. Again, I am told “this too shall pass.” Is this just what people say to parents so that they don’t lose their minds from sleep deprivation? It’s like when people say “every baby is different.” No shit every baby is different. Every person is different. If we were different then we would all be clones and life would be boring. I need a reason for most things. I need to know why something is happening. If my daughter starts acting different from how she normally acts I want to know why. I understand that is a lot to ask because there is not always a straight answer for what is going on but that doesn’t change my desperate need to know “why” or “is she OK” or “she is possessed and I should call a priest.”
No one really prepares your for all these crazy little changes that happen when you have a baby. They tell you it will be “hard” but they are not really telling you the truth. In fact they are down right lying. Parenting is not “hard” it is damn near impossible. The crying for reasons unknown because they can’t tell you, the lack of sleep due to the crying for reasons unknown, the inability to function properly due to the lack of the sleep due to the crying for reasons unknown. I mean it is crazy.
I am incredibly lucky to have the support system that I have. My husband is home from work for 6 weeks not that I am back to work. So he can stay up with her when she won’t sleep and get in the middle of the night when she wakes up screaming (for reasons unknown). My mother lives 2.5 minutes from my house and comes over pretty often to check in and help us out. I also have a an aunt near by that watches Fiona so that we run to the doctor, or run errands, or hell even go to the gym to have a few minutes to ourselves. I honestly can not fathom how single parents are able to do this on their own. I have a new found respect for single parents that are able to do this early part on their own. I know that without the amazing people I have supporting me I know that I would totally lose my mind and screw up my kid.