A couple days ago I walked to McDonald's to rent a movie with Oliver. There was a lady there with a three month old at the counter. She was trying to rock her baby's carseat and find her wallet in the diaper bag at the same time. She really looked like she was going to cry. I wish I could've helped but... its not like I can fish through her diaper bag, and its not like I can hold her baby for her. All I could do was shoot her a nice friendly look to say "don't worry about your baby crying, its no big deal."
I was sitting down drinking my shake when the lady's order came up and she had to figure out how to carry everything to her table. She looked like she was about to cry, so I got up and brought her tray to her table for her. She asked me how old Oliver was, and she seemed surprised when I said he was 7 weeks old. Next she asked me how often I take him out. She explained to me that her baby is almost 3 months old, but she has only been out with him twice because she has such a hard time with her son.
She asked me how I manage to "do it all." I actually laughed when she said that because sometimes I feel like the worst parent in the world. I finished my shake and told her she just has to keep going until she gets better. It was the only advice I could really give her because I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing a lot of the time.
Its hard to admit but a lot of times I just feel like I suck at this. It is hard to keep the house sort of clean and also to take care of myself and Oliver. These past few days have been even harder because Oliver has decided he doesn't want to nurse at all and he was getting dehydrated. How am I supposed to fix that?
Tomorrow I've got an appointment with the lactation specialist to try to work on a solution, so until then I'm just nursing him around the clock and giving him bottles to keep him eating. I know I'll work through this but its frustrating when I feel like I was doing so well with the breastfeeding before. I don't know hwat I did or changed to make that stop and its driving me crazy.
A lot of things have been "driving me crazy" to the extent that I'm going to bring it up at my doctor's appointment on Friday. I'm nervous about telling her. After going all this way and doing so well it is ahrd to say I think something is wrong. Maybe because I don't know ifs omething is wrong. Maybe I'm just having a hard time in a normal, acceptable way. Maybe I'm having a harder time than I should be. I don't know, so I'm going to ask.
I wasn't even going to write this post, but I figure being "real" here online is the best thing I can do. I've told friends that its brave to admit when you need help, so I'd be hipocritical not to tell anyone how I'm feeling. So here's to being real. I'm worried that something is wrong with me.
Because.. its not like I really feel sad. I don't feel sad at all. I'm not even anxious or worried. I know that in the long run things will be okay. I don't neglect Oliver or hurt him or feel like hurting myself. I don't feel hopeless or lonely. But, its more like... I get overwhelmed. I get upset. I get angry. Sometimes when he is refusing to nurse correctly I just want to yell at him and tell him to do it right. I am completely frustrated that I can't control what he does and I just have to take everything and remain cool and collected. Its hard. I just want to scream at him. I don't, but I want to. It makes me feel terrible that I want to. Sometimes I want to scream so much that I just set him down and leave him to cry for a few minutes while I calm down. Does that make me a bad parent? In my head I know it doesn't but it doesn't stop me from feeling like I am.
I can't tell you why I feel like I suck at this. I can't think of any real concrete reasons why I'd be considered "bad" at this. Rationally, I know I'm doing the best I can. So why do I feel like I suck?
I guess I just want to make sure I am doing this right. This is the hardest thing I've ever done but its also the most important thing, so the pressure I'm feeling is enormous. I want him to have a good family, and I want him to remember his childhood as being happy. I want him to love his family even if parts of it are flawed. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to give him a happy place to live because a lot of times when I was younger I was so unhappy. I sometimes hated my family. I hated that they didn't get along because I didn't understand any of it. I wasn't told the reasons why people didn't get along. I still don't know all the reasons why.
But that doesn't matter. I'm at a place where I feel like I can deal with my family reasonably well. I just don't know how to prevent these problems in Oliver's life. I want to make sure he never takes other people's problems personally. I want him to try to help make peace - but not at the expense of his own happiness. I don't want him to be ashamed that our family sometimes sucks. I don't want him to hate Christmas for the 900 different celebrations we have to do with the different disagreeable factions. There were years when I hated Christmas because I hated everyone's drama. I hated feeling stuck in the middle of everything. I don't want him to be stuck like I was.
I just want to make sure that I'm okay so I can give Oliver everything I want to give him. So even though I'm embarressed to admit I don't feel "okay" ... I'm going to do it on Friday anyways. Maybe just writing this will help me out. It might be better just to get it out there no matter how stupid I feel saying it. Maybe I'll tell the doctor all of this and she'll tell me I'm doing just fine. Maybe she'll just tell me I'm normal. Maybe its reasonable to get angry at 2AM, because no matter how upset I am at night I always feel better in the morning. I'm always able to rally my forces to get through the day. Its true that I end up worn down by midnight, and I can get really angry ...but who wouldn't be? Is this normal? Am I coping okay? I don't know, but I'm going to find out. Wish me luck.