Not sure where to start, as it has been many moons since my last post. I think the majority of my posts have been centered on accepting the normality of an unhappy baby. The unhappy baby has since turned into a cuddly, silly, adorable, yet temperamental toddler. Eric and I are grateful that he has evened out, although often it feels as if we haven’t achieved “normalcy”. I know, I know, what’s “normal”, right? I guess having a kid like Malcolm is like having a kid that acts like he’s teething most days–resists sleep, very sensitive, volatile even. He is old enough to “discipline” in the most rudimentary ways which was helping me feel like I had some control, but there were times he could not breath without screaming, and during those times, I felt completely alone and depressed.
In fact, I got really depressed for a few weeks in October leading up to our big San Diego trip. I wasn’t sure why at first since nothing had technically changed. But after some reflection, it was clear that the reason I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning for a month was how utterly powerless I felt in my own home at the mercy of a very emotional kid. And a sassy preschooler on top of that when the mood struck her. And the results of it were super ugly. I was angry and nasty to my kids and I hated myself for it. I’ve never really had much “mom guilt” in the past. I have always been honest about how tough it is raising little kids and I’m doing the best I can at meeting their needs. Then all of a sudden the ugliest parts of me are being spewed all over my children and it wasn’t pretty. I was officially entering “bad mom” territory and to make it worse, I was medicating with food and alcohol.
Earlier this year I lost nearly 20 pounds, and now I have gained it all back, and then some. The scale continued to climb along with my anger and depression. I would wake up ungodly early with my kids and have no pants that fit me, even the new ones I recently bought in a larger size would not even zip. Afternoons were the hardest, as Mal would cry from the moment he got up from his nap to dinner time. I would throw back a few glasses of wine to ease the afternoon, but it just stuffed down my anxiety for the moment.
The trip to see my sister was a nice change for us and provided some refreshing distance from the daily grind. Now that I know the source of my anxiety (lack of control), it has been easier to tackle. Prayer is frequent, food and drink less frequent, and I am down four pounds in the last week. Because of God’s provision with our housing, I can afford a gym membership along with childcare, which has been a priceless gift. For the first time in months, I want to be with my kids instead of trying to run from everything or completely check out. Malcolm has been having a great week, which helps, but I also think my renewed perspective has made things a bit brighter too. I’m hoping I can seek God first instead of running from difficulty and I know that will be a lifelong challenge. For now, this is a great Christmas gift and I’m looking forward to the coming months.