Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

What If What If

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

This is probably the opposite of how most people feel, but the further I get from my teenage years the more I love going back to my parent’s house in the town where I went to high school. Even though I no longer run into people I know at Starbucks and I barely recognize parts of the county thanks to tons and tons of development I get more and more comfortable there. My current life as I know it fits into my teenage year memories better than I ever expected it to – like at the party on Christmas night where my mean, scary 9th grade French teacher played with my kids for an hour. If you had told 15 year old Suzanne that would happen some day she would have laughed right in your face. Or when another high school friend’s mom hugged E, greeted him by name and said it was great to see him again. I have been dragging him around to my social stuff for such a long time now that he KNOWS these people, people I sort of hoped figured I’d never see again after graduation but have somehow continued to reappear in extremely pleasant ways.

Of course, it’s also impossible to go back to the place where you went to high school without being FLOODED with memories. I think I drove E a little crazy, pointing out that one road where that one guy I knew once almost ran into a tree. But honestly, the number of memories I DIDN’T say out loud was somewhere in the thousands. It was exhausting, both mentally and emotionally, to be surrounded by so much personal history.

Swistle posted earlier this week about imagining life as a choose-your-own-adventure book, which is something I’ve been sort of obsessing about for the last week. Except instead of imagining how things would be different if I changed BIG things – like going to a different college or marrying someone else or buying a different house – I change teeny tiny things. What if I hadn’t come home late from curfew that one time and been grounded? What if I hadn’t gotten that part in the play my senior year? What if I hadn’t gone on that one date? Or that other one? What if my first car had been different? I have a habit of getting carried away with “what if” thoughts whenever something bad (BAD bad or broken dish bad, doesn’t matter) happens, especially as a result of my choices. Like, what if I hadn’t skipped that french exam to leave early the Friday before Thanksgiving break in 2000? I could have been on the road at a different time, I could have been in an accident, I could have met someone at a rest stop who changed the course of my life. I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating but if you think about how many tiny coincidences you CAN trace directly to visible things in your life (the best example of course seems to be getting pregnant – SO MANY tiny things worked together to create THAT SPECIFIC baby) it’s not too much of a stretch.

Of course, all that imagining is pointless and time consuming and although it gives me something to distract me from what I’m pretty sure is an extremely painful collapsed lung* on my right hand side, it’s also starting to prevent me from focusing on IMPORTANT and HAPPY and REAL things happening in my life. I especially need happy thoughts now, since we’re starting that dark, cold, boring part of the year where I expend all my energy practicing for the non-existent Moping Olympics. Maybe this year I won’t even enter!

*Not actually a collapsed lung.


Don’t Wanna

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Diagnose me, interwebs. I need you to tell me I’m normal. Or maybe just a quick kick in the ass and someone to drag me out of this giant hole of ennui and laziness I’ve fallen into. I don’t really feel like doing anything anymore. And I really mean anything. Getting dressed is boring. Going to Stroller Strides is too much work. Taking the kids to the grocery store is exhausting. Washing my hair is pointless. My diet plan sucks. Talking to people is hard. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I don’t wanna and this couch is so comfortable and no one actually cares if I get off it.

As a stay at home mom, I have the option to just…stay home. And lately that sounds more and more appealing.

I can complain about being So Busy with the best of them – “Oh yes! I’m So Busy! I’m on a diet and exercise plan, plus I’m really into making soup from scratch these days. And the blog! People are counting on me to…write stuff!” – but really? Besides providing basic food stuffs and making sure the laundry piles don’t get too high (and you know, keeping two children alive) I have no mandatory activities. So when I’m exhausted and in bed at 9 pm it’s my own doing. I’m not busy. I MAKE myself busy to make myself feel more important.

(Insert paragraph about how raising human beings IS important! I am creating loving, kind, functional adults who might cure cancer or fly to Mars or invent calorie-free dark chocolate! Now insert massive eye roll because all I’m actually doing these days is wiping butts and filling sippy cups.)

Lately, when we’re on our way to somewhere I start fantasizing about how I could just NOT. I can seeeeeeee us, all NOT DOING THINGS, and we are are enjoying it. I can feel my desire to be still and quiet pulling on me, whispering in my ear that my kids are too young to even remember these places so why bother? For the blog pictures? That’s stupid.

I’ve given in to my laziness a few times over the last few weeks and it is kind of fantastic. Kid’s TV for the toddler, stretchy pants and a Diet Coke for me, grapes and a teether toy for Caroline and we can all do nothing until E gets home from work. But it makes me sort of nervous because there is a fine, well walked line between taking a few days off from regular life and becoming a shut in whose kids no longer know how to interact with the general public. How deep can I let my hole get?

Also, my desire not to do stuff has also started creeping into stuff that’s slightly less optional, like dinner and laundry. How about pizza for dinner? Why put these clothes away when they’re just going to get dirty? Who cares if the half of the house we don’t use is a mess? None of the other people who live here seem to. And then a teeny tiny thought that says Why don’t you just not get up with the baby? You can let your husband do it. You can just stay in bed. He would HAVE to deal with it eventually. It only takes a few seconds for me to shake it off, but the idea showing up in my head at all is like having your grandma show up in your sexy dream about George Clooney. That’s weird, Grandma. Go away.

I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse, since the colder weather means fewer places to go (mall, aquarium, children’s museum, mall, aquarium, lather rinse repeat) and bundling up two kids is about as much fun as bundling up two rabid badgers. And when it’s snowing, staying home is allowed – encouraged, even! – so the people I see on a regular basis won’t even start to wonder where I am. Which might be nice for a while, since I can’t seem to hold a normal conversation without talking about my toddler’s potty training efforts or my baby’s habit of biting my nipples and NOBODY wants that mom at their party.

The irony of all these words is that I didn’t explain myself very well, but because I am so filled with ennui I can’t be bothered to explain any better, which might actually be the perfect example of what I meant in the first place.

I’m still hoping science figures out teleportation before I have to decide

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

This is sort of rambling and vague so I apologize in advance.

Baby Evan’s birth was just the way I wanted it. It was fast and uneventful and pain-free. I went to the hospital without a formal birth plan (although I joked I was going to print out a dozen pieces of paper that just said “GET THE BABY OUT” in giant letters) since my requests were already written in my chart. I liked and trusted the OB practice I was seeing and with my totally normal, low risk pregnancy I was confident I could avoid the only two things I was horribly afraid of: a c-section and an episiotomy. And I did, thanks to a doctor who let me go home to labor, a very well placed epidural, some of the strongest pelvic muscles in the Western hemisphere and a lot of luck. I have absolutely zero regrets regarding my choices, especially since I ended up with the healthy baby every mom wants after 40 weeks of pregnancy.

But sometimes I feel that because I didn’t give birth squatting in a meadow surrounded by bluebirds and fawns and harp music and 100 of my closest friends chanting ancient birth rituals I have somehow failed. Because I don’t have regrets about trusting modern medicine and taking advantage of pain medication I am betraying womankind. Because I didn’t even try to do it naturally I am less worthy to call myself a mother.

Which is all ridiculous.

I think I just spend too much time on the internet, where the only two stories seem to be horrible traumatic c-sections no one wanted and all-natural wheat field births where Jesus himself was the midwife. If I had never heard a birth story other than my own I wouldn’t feel this way at all. Which is probably an indication I need to get away from the computer more often. But with every joyful, triumphant, glowing story about a natural childbirth I wonder…could I do that? Do I even care if I do that or is it a weird form of social peer-pressure and misplaced guilt?

This pregnancy is clearly to blame for all my thoughts about my last birth, since I hope to experience another one in the not too distant future. But do I want the same one?

(Sidenote: E thinks I’m a crazy person for even considering doing things differently. What kind of person decides their birth was too easy and too painless? A crazy one, that’s who. Which means any of the husband-coached pain management techniques are probably out – my coach is too skeptical to be truly helpful.)

p.s. As silly as this sounds, one of the reasons I feel I have to give this birth so much more thought is my day after Christmas due date. I have horrible fantasies of a doctor who doesn’t want to miss his kids opening presents and insists I get a c-section so he can be home in time for dinner. Not that I think that would ACTUALLY happen. Probably not. Right?

p.p.s. And THEN I start thinking of the mothers who didn’t end up with a healthy baby in the end and think I’m being totally selfish for spending so much time thinking about trivial details. I imagine those mothers would sign up for unmedicated c-sections if it meant they could have their babies back.

Regarding comments: Please feel free to share your experiences and birth stories. I love reading them, especially the good kind – and by good kind I mean any that you were happy with. But if you use the phrase “women have been giving birth for thousands of years” or “your body was designed for birth so of COURSE you can do it naturally” you’re going to get some epic eye rolling on my part. I’m not looking for a bunch of “you go gurl!!!” support. If I DO decide to do things differently this time I will let you know I am open to all the womanly power affirmations you can think of.