Monday, August 1, 2011

Everybody, everybody wants to be loved...

You may have noticed an epic slow down in the blog post category this week.
You're not wrong.

My brain just isn't working lately.  There's a very good reason for this.  I have been more stressed at work this week than in all of my career.

I love my job and because I work in a state facility, it's often not really a high-stress kind of job.  But, somehow this week I was completely bogged down and overwhelmed and couldn't seem to catch my breath.  I never feel that way at work.  I consider myself one of the lucky ones who was spared from last year's onslaught of lay offs.  But, this week has been different.

The stress of it all finally came to a head on Thursday and after sitting in some heinous traffic, I came home and could not do much more than space out and sit in front of the TV.  As toddlers often do, The Incredible Hulk had other plans for me.  Plans that included using mommy as a jungle gym.

(Have I also mentioned that despite the beauty of this moment and the ease with which we were able to wean - my boobs freaking hurt right now and I'm only just starting to get a little relief.)

I was peeling him away from me and trying to distract him with toys, with food, with sippy cups, with anything that would keep him from touching me while my husband attempted to get the dishes done.  I just felt so run down and sore and....well, like crap.  Finally, I got him to settle down for a second on my lap, but then something excited him and he stood up like a shot and his tiny, yet hard head just nailed me in the jaw.  My teeth gnashed together and sent a shock wave of buzzing, excruciating pain through my entire body.  It. Freaking. HURT.

I couldn't take it anymore.  The stress of work, the pain of weaning, and the fact that I had perpetually felt like crap for a week just rained down on me.  I broke.  I just started sobbing.  I had this small, selfish thought: I kiss all kinds of boo-boos, make it "all better", do everything I can to keep every ounce of pain away from this little guy, and wouldn't have it any other way - but who takes away Mommy's pain?

My husband came in from the kitchen to see me weeping like a moron and TIH likely looking kind of confused.  He asked me what happened and I could barely make it out into words, but something came out like, "I know he didn't do it on purpose, but AND it just hurts and I can't deal with any more pain right now."

I've talked about feeling under prepared to be a mother despite really, really wanting to be one and doing everything I possibly could to prepare myself for the task.  Most of that under preparedness comes from not feeling like I'm a very nurturing person.  My husband has assured me that this is as far from the truth as possible (and given the fact that I chose a helping profession for my career, he's probably right), but I still have this nagging feeling that I'm never going to be nurturing enough for my children.

As I sat there and wept like a moron, I felt two little arms circle around my neck and pull up.  I felt a little body mold against mine and a face press against my cheek.  And then I felt the best feeling in the whole world - a little pat pat pat on the back of my head.  There, there, mommy.  Don't cry.

I know I can't and shouldn't depend on my kids to always be able to make my pain go away.  That's what they need me for.  But, somehow, that little guy knew exactly what his mommy needed in that moment.  A little hug and a little pat pat pat to make it all better.

A second later, he pulled himself away from me slightly and surveyed my face with a concerned look.  I was still crying (probably more because his sweet little hug touched me so much) and so, he squeezed me in tighter again.  Pat pat pat.  All better.

Not only did I stop crying, I did actually feel a little bit better.
And, I had a thought - maybe I am nurturing enough for this kid.

I mean, he must have learned that somewhere, right?


  1. Oh I feel your pain. There are times when I think "I CAN NOT KISS ANY MORE BOO BOOS UNTIL SOMEONE MAKES ME FEEL BETTER!" Motherhood is so hard.

    But you are obviously awesome at it because he DID learn that from you. He learned empathy and love and the importance of a well-timed hug.

    Sounds like we both need more sleep!!!

  2. I don't even know how many of those days I've had. There is nothing like having your kid make you feel better. It just gives you that little nudge of hope that yes, it will get better, and that maybe, yes maybe you are doing something right. As much as I hate those breakdowns, they are pretty awesome too when your kid makes you feel ALL better!

  3. I just had one of these breakdowns on Saturday. Sometimes mamas just need a BREAK! Don't feel bad. I think I am planning a mama vacation in Sept. Just me and a friend (who has to work while we are there so I will be alone a lot THANK GOD). Though I can't drink, I think it will be heaven. Wish you could join! Keep your head up!


  4. @Law Momma - "I CAN NOT KISS ANY MORE BOO BOOS UNTIL SOMEONE MAKES ME FEEL BETTER!" What's so true about this is that if we don't feel well, we cannot be expected to take good care of those around us. We just CAN'T. Thanks so much for validating me. That's like a well-timed hug as well :)

    @J&K's Mommy - I am so glad to hear I am not alone. This was the first post on here that I was nervous about - I worried everyone would think, "Well, I NEVER feel like that." Instead I find it's quite the opposite.

    @Julie - Having #2 scares me for this exact reason - I was a MESS when I was pregnant. I can't even imagine caring for him, caring for the baby-to-be, and taking care of myself all at once. I don't know how you do it! (And without alcohol? SO IMPRESSED.)


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