Monday, October 22, 2012

Mean Mommy

Just 24 hours ago, I thought that I was almost over this sinus/respiratory thing I've got, and today I learned how very wrong I was. I suspect that I may be partially to blame, having overdone it yesterday between church, brunch out with my parents, a trip to the furniture and shoe store with Tom, and rehearsal, followed up by a late night/early morning on Facebook. That last bit was incredibly foolish of me, and I knew it. But I was so behind on updating my photo albums, and I convinced myself that 1 am was actually the best time to be uploading all kinds of baby pictures, so that I wouldn't end up flooding the news feeds of every person unfortunate enough to be friends with me at that moment while they were actually trying to use the application.

I really shouldn't worry myself about stupid stuff like that. If they don't like my baby pictures, they can always block them, I suppose. But there's a little insight into the root of much of my anxiety: I worry far too much about not only what other people think, but all the ways in which I might, unintentionally, be making their lives more difficult or unpleasant. It's exhausting. And in the end, I can't account for everything anyway. I can't always even control my own behavior to the extent that I'd like to.

Today was a perfect example of that. I guess that being sick is like my red kryptonite, because I transformed into Mean Mommy overnight.

Sure, I've had my moments before now. Being tired all of the time doesn't exactly bring out the best in me. And I've been a sick mommy before, a few times. But being the sick mommy of a toddler is a whole new ball-game. Those coping skills that I picked up, like spending most of the day on the floor with the baby, and keeping necessary materials like diapers and wipes close by so that I didn't have to travel far, don't really apply to my life now. Well, they can't solve for everything, anyway.

There's no getting around getting physically involved with an active toddler, though sometimes I try to avoid it initially, which is when I start to hear yelling and harsh tones escaping my mouth. When it happens, I mentally cringe, and I promise myself that I'll be more restrained the next time, but then, when it does happen again, it's like I'm having an out-of-body experience and watching it all play out with someone else at the controls. And I feel helpless, miserable, depressed, and even less prepared to comport myself properly with each unfolding situation.

To make matters worse, on the couple of occasions that I was forced not only to drag my foggy-headed, exhausted self over to Abby, but also had to pick her up and forcibly remove her from her brother, I was unintentionally rough. My fatigue and wooziness, coupled with my increasingly crippled sense of balance due to pregnancy caused me not once, but twice, to put her down in such a way that she didn't land on her feet, as I intended her to, but fell to the floor and tumbled a foot or so across the ground. She walked and laughed it off like it was nothing, and I'm sure it was, to her, but it left me feeling out-of-control and like a horrible person, and mother.

I was so overwhelmed by the way that I was feeling about myself at the end of the day that something stupid (and completely innocent) that Tom said to me caused me to break down into hysterical tears.

And here I am now, typing instead of sleeping (though I promise with a cherry on top that I will be getting to that very soon) because even though I had made up my mind to "write in sick" on the blog tonight, I just had to get it all out.

Maybe some reader out there will nod his or her head in solidarity. Maybe they'll judge me instead. But what I really hope from all of this is that the writing of it has somehow helped me process it in a way that I can cope more effectively next time, or at the very least figure out how better to forgive myself if it happens again. I know that getting myself into a depressive funk over it is definitely not the way to go...

The one comfort that I take in all of this is that I'm reasonably sure that Abby and Michael did not notice any of it to nearly the degree that I did, and that by tomorrow it will definitely be forgotten by both of them. My poor Tom, on the other hand? That might be another story. Because, of course, my red kryptonite brought out a second alter-ego in all of this: Witchy Wife.

Here's hoping for a better day tomorrow, for all of us.

1 comment:

  1. OH I have been here so many times...even this morning. Mean mommy is raging and I hate it. I'm actually in time out right now because I didn't want to yell at my kid anymore. He's locked in the playyard and I'm in the other room. *sigh* you are so not alone.