potty training

 

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everything is in a constant state of change when being a mother.  from infant to toddler.  sitting to standing.  breast feeding to solid foods.  and now I embark on a huge journey with little miss B – potty training!

I’ve read the other mommy blogs – you can potty train your child in a weekend just like I did.  better yet, I did such an amazing job on potty training my 6 month old that you can purchase my new book which has all of my secrets and witches spells that you too can do in the privacy of your own home.  good grief!

I thought – I use the potty, my baby is relatively intelligent, how hard can it be?  those are some famous last words.

let me say, child birth was a far easier experience than trying to engage B to use the potty.  I did the no diaper, run around the house naked all weekend thing.  first of all, my kid has the strongest bladder of any human known to man.  in 2 days she peed twice.  granted both times were on the floor but I digress.  I put B on the potty every 15 minutes to get her excited, asking her is she had to go pee or poop. I’d give her a gummy bear as a reward for sitting on the potty.  we’d talk.  we’d laugh.  she’d throw tissues in the potty.  but no bodily functions were emitted in said potty.

generally after one of our sitting on the potty sessions trying to coax her to go B would inevitably pee or poop on the floor.  it was both weird and gross.  even my little, chronically obese dog was horrified.  B didn’t pee or poop on the floor when she was an infant.  but now she does?  I had the awful flashes of her in the future, 16 and peeing behind my couch like some feral mountain child.  I hoped to potty train in a weekend and all I did was shred my nerves and give myself an anxiety attack.

after a Xanax I decided to chill a little.  who said your 21 month old had to be potty trained in a weekend?  surely not me! I realized I need to stop comparing myself to other moms and do work works for me and B.  so maybe we’ll get a little more focused on potty training when B turns 2 and she is more ready.  maybe we’ll practice using the potty each day.  no one said it was going to be easy, but no one said pushing myself into a manic episode to accomplish my toddler’s milestone was necessary either.  together B and I will accomplish potty training at our own pace.

until tomorrow…

 

 

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I fucking hate Facebook 

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i was doing a little cyber stalking last night on Facebook and just got the strangest feeling come over me.  i hate the way that looking at other people’s profiles makes me feel sometimes. i find myself constantly comparing their lives to mine. the glossy photos, the upscale homes, the amazing trips.  i feel totally inadequate!

i thought I’d be somewhere different at this point in my life.  I’m turning the corner on 40 and i thought I’d be a little more accomplished.  don’t get me wrong – i love my life.  B is the biggest blessing and more of a joy than i could have ever imagined.  my fiancé has given me the world and he is the love of my life.  but somehow i thought life would be different.  i thought i would have the glossy pictures in the tre fabulous home and jetting around the world on spectacular vacations.  I’m content, until i check facebook.

i fucking hate facebook.  i hate the way it makes me feel.  i hate being jealous  i hate having envy in my heart.  i hate thinking nasty things about people.

do you ever notice that more people only put the most outlandish and ridiculously positive things on their pages?  i rarely see anyone having a bad day, or dealing with a chronic illness.  no one talks about how hard it is to be a parent or that they can have kids. who is having problems in their relationship, managing a mental illness or taking care of an ill parent.  i don’t think people are being their authentic selves.

i do this as much as anyone.  I’m only a part of my authentic self on social media.  i post pictures of B and our adventures.  i talk about how grateful i am for my life now and make funny observations.  i don’t talk about how hard life can be.  how hard it is to be a working mom.  how hard it is to manage my bipolar disorder.  i don’t let everyone in.  i don’t want to be judged…

so i think I’m going to challenge myself and be more authentic.  tell my facebook community about my definition of authenticity and that i hope to start a dialogue.  what do you think?

until tomorrow…

 

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toddlers are a test for the sanest of people

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gone are the days of lazily rolling around with my baby, snuggling, nursing, sleeping.  these were tender moments during an incredible time of bonding with my little bundle of joy.  then…

SMACK! my once sweet and demure infant goes from cooing and snuggling to morphing into the two foot terrorist.  i feel like i am embarking on a 24/7 rollercoaster that never stops. sleep comes from exhaustion and exercise is now in the form of scrubbing food or poop off of the various surfaces of my house that said terrorist can reach.  buckle up mom!

my days are a blur.  wake up, baby up, change baby, feed baby, clean baby, play with baby.  by 10am my house looks like a frat house the night after their annual toga party.  clothes strewn across the floor.  half consumed sandwiches, bananas, cookies on the tables.  and bottles, oh the bottles!  they are everywhere!  my kid can drink.  sometimes B is even double fisting for the day.

about 11:30am we have lunch and then the most glorious time of day arrives.  the time of day all moms pray for and dream about.  it’s naptime!  if its a special day then I get to nap too!!!

but alas – this is where my mental illness kicks in.  maybe I’m bipolar with a sprinkling of ocd.  if B is down for a nap then I have 2 hours of uninterrupted cleaning time.  laundry in – check! scrubbing kitchen – check!  dishes soaking – check!  prep dinner – check!  pick up, organize and put away toys – check!  I feel like I just got enough done to put my feet up and watch some tv and bam – B is awake.

yet this is how most of my days go and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!  give me 23 hours 50 minutes of chaos for just 10 minutes quiet time with my baby reading a book or discovering a new word or experience.  I can’t think of anything cooler or more magical.  I love seeing the wonder and amazement in my daughter’s eyes.

what I do wish for was my child to keep her food on the tray of her high chair.  my dog is clinically obese from all of the food being thrown at her.  she doesn’t have the self-control and discipline to say no.

until tomorrow…

 

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#ItAffectsMe

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yes, I have a blog.  but that doesn’t mean that I am public about my diagnosis.  my parents and fiancé know that I am bipolar.  I’ve told some of my close friends, and that’s it.  no one at work or at many other facets of my life have any idea that I struggle with and manage my mental illness everyday.

people are spreading awareness of mental health with #ItAffectsMe.  as someone who is so closeted with this aspect of my life I find this movement both fascinating and liberating.  it makes me feel proud to disclose my bipolar disorder to others and possibly be more free with how being bipolar affects me.

does that mean I’m updating my facebook status to feeling blue and living with bipolar disorder?  probably not anytime soon.  but this simple hashtag gives me hope that the negative stereotypes of bipolar disorder and mental illness may become a thing of the past.  one can hope…

until tomorrow…

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limbo…

I often get the feeling like I’m in limbo.  Almost a floating sensation.  I’m in between things – moods, places, experiences.  I never really feel present.  Somehow I’m someplace else.  Not quite myself but never someone else.

This in-between state brings out the worst on me.  I become my “other” – snappy, angry, shrill, rude, harsh, judgemental.  Everything at once that I can’t control. I feel broken.  I hurt those who love me the most.  My head hurts and my heart breaks.

I make bad decisions.  I spend too much.  I eat too much.  I drink too much.  I don’t sleep.  All I want to do is sleep.  I’m groggy.  I’m grumpy.  I’m impulsive.  I don’t think about the consequences of my actions; not because I don’t want to – I can’t.

If I had cancer or MS everyone would be understanding.  They’d make me casseroles and bring magazines for me to read when I’m blue.  If it was something that people perceived “happening to me” then they’d give me the benefit of the doubt or say what a poor girl to be going through this.

I don’t have control.  I can’t stop it.  I fight for control everyday.  I am conscious of my bipolar condition.  I take my meds as prescribed.  I make a schedule and stick to it, even when I don’t want to.  I parent, I cook, I clean, I work, I write, I breathe, I live.  Bipolar is a part of me.  It makes me, me.

We are all broken and trying to put together the pieces.  I want my pieces to shine a light for others to see, for B to be proud of.

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The diagnosis…dant dant da!!!

I went on for months feeling depressed and out of control all at the same time.  Add some anxiety and a little alcohol self-medicating and you got yourself a crazy cocktail.

But I digress.   I know I need to talk to someone so I scheduled a therapist appointment through my insurance carrier (which I recommend all women do if they feel out of sorts post baby).  As part of the intake process and in order to get anti-depressants I had to meet with their psychiatrist.  I’ve never been to a psychiatrist and had no idea what to expect.

So it all began with me sitting across the desk from this very nice man who appeared to be in his late 60s or early 70s and was either Egyptian or Indian.  That’s all I could focus on – where was this guy from?  He has a diploma for medical school on the wall but that’s from SUNY.  His accent…what kind of accent did he have?  I can’t place it. His name is so innocuous.  Why can’t I figure out where this guy was from?

Oh what?  I’m sorry, I missed what you were saying.  Yeah, the appointment went something like that.  He asked my a series of questions:

  • Yes I do have periods of prolonged sleep followed by unexplained insomnia.
  • Yes I do have anxiety that is heightened by stress
  • Yes I do have impulsive activity – including wild spending sprees and risky sexual behavior.
  • Yes I do have racing thoughts and speak very quickly
  • Yes I have had overly long periods of sadness
  • Yes I am extremely irritable.

OK, I know what you’re thinking – this girl is a mess! And while you’re not wrong, I thought everyone experienced this.  I was just a little more depressed then normal and need something to jump start myself so I can take care of B.

Well apparently this doctor wants to be thorough and gives me a real diagnosis – Bipolar.  38 years old, been like this my whole life and now you’re telling me I’m bipolar?  You mean I could have been working on this all along?

Good grief…

Until tomorrow…

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Now that I know I’m really crazy, what do I do?

So apparently I’ve been crazy as far back as I can remember.  Great! Having a kid, who likely will be plagued by having a mentally ill mother, is how I find out I have a room reserved in the nut house.

Bipolar.  What does that even mean?  It’s such an ugly and loaded word.  It’s used to make fun of people, to demean people, to label people.  I don’t want to be in any of those categories.  I don’t want to be labeled.  I want to be functional, competent and self-reliant.  I want to be a caretaker and role model for B.  I feel like being bipolar will be a stigma in being a mom and a person.

I even had a friend tell me – well you’re a gemini so that makes sense.  Huh?

So what do I do now?  I’m feel like I’m medicated out of my face trying to find the right cocktail of pharmaceuticals to manage my mood swings.  I’m also seeing a very nice therapist.  Talking to someone about my thoughts and feelings, even my fears is so freeing! I’m slowly starting to float up above the water that I felt dragging my body down.

I need to get myself out of this funk.  If I’m going to get a handle on this bipolar thing I’d much rather be in a manic episode and get some shit done rather than being all depression girl.  It is what it is, now what? How can I learn more about myself and manage this condition.  I can’t bury my head in the sand I need to take action.  Right?

More tomorrow…

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