Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reflection

Can I be honest?  I'm not so sure this blog is working out for me anymore.  It's caused some personal strife, and it's weighed heavy on my heart.  I had a new design done and all that did was increase the pressure on me, which plainly stinks.

I started this blog years ago as a way to gather my thoughts for myself and to record my adventures as a newlywed living overseas.  And it was great.  It was my space to write, and it felt like a relief to have some place to record it all. 

And then I started feeling like I needed to focus more on things that represent my idea of this chic life.  When in reality it was a pain in the rear sometimes trying to think of what on earth to blog about.  I'm in a different season.  I'm a mess.  For instance today E cried anytime she wasn't either nursing or chewing/drooling on some body part of mine.  I wanted to scream.  I at one point called G because I was losing my mind (and the feeling in my left arm).  And just a few minutes ago I finally let it all out and had a good cry and told G that I was losing my mind and that I sucked at motherhood because I just wanted her to shut up and go to sleep.  He's a rockstar and currently dancing with her while playing what is probably questionable music...so glad she only gets beats and doesn't understand words yet.

So I'm stuck.  I'm not sure whether to wipe the slate clean with this blog and start over or simply begin another.  Writing is therapeutic so I don't want to give it up.  But I'm feeling more like writing about me, my extreme failures at homemaking (might as well let the cat out of that bag), my frustrations as a mother, etc.  I want this to be more authentic, more of what makes my life chic, even if it isn't ideal.  I may lose some readers, and that's okay.  I need to get back to writing for me, though I do hope it can bring some "I'm not the only one" feeling for others. 

Because I may be wiping away all the previous posts, if you have a favorite recipe or such, now might be the time to write it down.  (Or you can always e-mail me.)  It may be quiet here for a bit while I gather my thoughts (and my sanity).  Thanks for your understanding.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Kate,

    I don't always leave a comment but I read your blog and I follow all that's happening in your life on FB.
    With all your new life changes, I am not surprised you are feeling funny about your blog . It's going through growing stage, too I would bet. Please don't delete it or stop blogging....And write what is in your heart and on your mind. I won't stop reading :)

    xoxo, Adrienne

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  2. Kate,

    Even if your quiet on your blog but I know you're a mother now. We are in a new stage of life and it's hectic. It's OK to write what's on happening, oh please don't wipe all your posts. I like going through them and it get inspired by them once again. Write when you can and I'll still be here.

    Hugs and kisses,
    Ping

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  3. Hi Kate- I am a new-ish mother too. Don't wipe your blog, just take a step back for a few days or even longer and think about it. You may well regret wiping your years of thoughts and efforts in a rash moment.

    Believe me... my son is 20 months and I have felt at the end of my tether like you descibe so many times. I love my son more than life iself, but it took many MANY months before i really found my stride as a mother.... I had SO many meltdowns. I remember handing him over to my husband crying 'take him away from me' then sinking a double vodka and crying myself to sleep for an afternoon. (And I do not even drink usually!) We all go thrugh it, we all have our doubts about our abilities!!! There is a woman who lives near me with a son the same age, and she always looks so in control. I was pretty envious of her- but once her husband let slip that she is working herself into knots trying to be perfect, and it is causing her alot of stress. I think you are putting way too much pressure on yourself to be the perfect everything.. perfect wife/mother/home maker. It really IS okay to just do 'enough' or just enough to get you and your family through another day. Asking to be perfect as well is too much to ask of yourself.

    You will regain your equilibrium- but this is a time of enormous change for you, and you have gone through a huge thing- growing an entire human being! Take a step back, be gentle with yourself. And don't think you have to write about how you are achieving a perfect life for all of us out here. We read you because we are interested in you and like you, not because we exect you to be superwoman!

    Hope you are feeling better today

    Lots of love, Solange.

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  4. Hi Kate,

    Please don't wipe your blog. I think you'll regret it. You've written some lovely, inspiring, and honest posts in the past, and I really think you'll enjoy having them to read later on in life.

    I can't imagine how tough things must be for you right now, but please keep writing. You keep writing, and I'll keep reading :)

    Hang in there! I'm sure you are being much too hard on yourself.

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  5. Hi Kate,

    I am a long time reader and a first time commenter... I absolutely love your blog, and what I love is that you write about what is real. Take a step back, take whatever time you need, life is never easy... Especially with a new baby! You are an inspiration, and I hope that things feel better soon...

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  6. Hi Kate, I agree with everyone else. Take a deep breath, even take a break, but don't wipe out everything. This really is a difficult time for you - it's not easy to get your equilibrium back after childbirth, after those first feelings exhilaration peter out. Be sure to use G. as much as you can, as a sounding board, as an extra pair of hands and arms - you really need the support, everyone does. It's even more difficult if your wider family is not near - I had the same situation. Use your blog as an outlet for your frustrations - I'm sure you'll get lots of supportive feedback!

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  7. Dear Kate,

    Just wanted to chime in with other comments - I very much enjoy going back to old posts and would miss your content if you deleted all the past material. That said, do what is right for YOU. Your readers will keep reading! My daughter is a month older that E and believe me, life has not been easy. Just do the best you can, and don't feel like you have to do everything yourself - ask for and accept the help. (I struggle with this because I am such a perfectionist, but motherhood has definitely challenged those tendencies!) Also, nursing is an emotional experience and there is nothing wrong with needing physical and mental space from your little one. Hang it there and remember that you're doing a great job. E is blessed to have such excellent parents!

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  8. Dear Kate,

    I am a long time reader but never commented before. I am old enough to be your mother so perhaps am able to see things from a different perspective, which may help you to see that it will get better. Right now you are still recovering hormonally from the birth of your daughter and in addition to that you are sleep deprived because you breastfeed. These two things alone are major contributors to your fluctuating emotions. I had two daughters and well remember the times when they were infants that I just wanted to bail out. It was hard to find time and privacy to even take a bath. And while they liked my husband to entertain them, the person they always wanted was me and I felt suffocated. Do you have a neighbor or friend whom you could trust to watch your baby for a few hours while you and your husband went out--just the two of you? I think you could use some time to just regroup and find that old Kate who is still inside you. As time goes on, you will feel more balanced and your baby will start to become independent of you and be happier for longer periods of time. For me, I think the turning point in my babies' neediness was when they were able to sit up alone. Then they were much better at entertaining themselves. It will get better, dear Kate. I promise you. Please don't give up your blogging. Let it morph as you do. You don't know who all reads your blog that may be encouraged when they read of your successes and failures. I think you and your husband sound like wonderful and loving parents and I wish you the best!

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  9. There's not much I can add to what has already been said. I also think that you may come to regret it if you delete this blog. It's who you are, it's your history, it documents much of what has happened to you, including your pregnancy.

    You can write about anything you want to on this blog. It doesn't always have to be about the chic life your are building. There is more to all of us that one topic of interest and your blog can be the same. You're writing this for yourself, and it's possible that you may lose a few readers, but it's more important that you are true to yourself. The focus of our lives changes, our interests change, and our blogs can too.

    Ultimately you need to do what you need to do. If you discontinue this blog, I will miss you. If you write another I will follow you. If you change the focus of this one I will continue reading.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, things will get easier. If you do decide to take a break, don't worry, we'll be here when you get back.

    xo

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  10. Dear Kate,
    I've been a long time reader and just wanted to join the chorus asking that you keep it.
    I also want to add that I am praying for you and your family. Please be gentle with yourself...

    xo
    Darlene Renee

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  11. Yup. Sounds pretty typical. I was full of rage for both my babies' first years. And I thought I was the only one! Only time revealed that the majority of my friends had the same post-baby issues. The one thing I can suggest is that if anyone, friend or family, has offered you any help at all--take it. Don't be afraid to ask someone to watch her while you take a shower, get a pedicure, or most importantly-take a nap. And it's not really the time to be trying to improve as a homemaker--just try to keep your head above water. As long as you both are clean and fed (G can take care of himself), you are doing better than at least half of us!

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  12. My thoughts/advice, for what they're worth.

    I am in the same boat as Anon, above, and had many of the same experiences as a new mom. When my son (now almost 16) was only a few months old, he'd get colicky every single day at exactly the same time every afternoon. I couldn't tell you how many minutes it lasted, nor how many days or weeks, it's now a blur. But there was no explanation for it. I felt utterly helpless and frustrated every time it happened. I remember one time breaking down and crying with him, crying so hard and begging him, "Oh, my baby, please stop crying, please stop, please stop, please stop." And I caught myself laughing, because I realized how funny we both probably looked having our simultaneous meltdowns. But then one day, he didn't have colic that afternoon -- and never had it again. He went back to being extremely agreeable and easygoing. And for my part, I admitted that I needed help from family (just a couple of hours every other day so I could take care of my own self), eventually got caught up on my sleep, got into the groove of a schedule with him, and my hormones leveled out. It all got a lot easier.

    I think you just have to give it time. Don't be afraid to ask for help. People LOVE babies and would be delighted, not burdened, to sit with her at home for a couple of hours while you lock yourself in the bathroom and tend to yourself, or go out to a coffee shop with a book or a girlfriend, or go to the salon and get your hair cut. They'd be delighted.

    Please be sure to talk to Nora's pediatrician or the phone nurse. They've seen it all and really can help so much. Sometimes it helps just to hear someone with experience say, "Yes." It's validating.

    And if you're feeling physically "off" yourself, please go see your OB-GYN, even if you feel sort of vague about how you're feeling. It might be good to vent a little and be validated about how hard it's been on your body and your life. It's ALL NORMAL. Being a mom is hard work, the hardest you'll ever do.

    As for your blog and other online things, take a break. Take a total technological break for a week, and see if it makes a difference in your life. I think online activities can make people feel inadequate because other people give such glowing reports of their own lives -- and who even knows if it's true? Or you get the sense that you need to have your sh!t together perfectly 24/7, and you're a loser if you don't. Screw it. You're not behind. You're not inadequate. You're not a bad mom or person. You're a new mom. You're tired. Your baby's in a high maintenance stage right now. Give yourself a break. You have no standard to measure up to, other than to tend to your and Nora's needs. Endeavor for you both to be clean and well fed and well rested every day, and that's all. The rest, believe me, is icing on the cake.

    And just because you feel overwhelmed right now doesn't mean you will feel overwhelmed in a month, or a week, or even a day. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Be clean, be well fed, be well rested. You and Nora. The rest will take care of itself.

    As for your blog, don't delete it. Just forget about it. Take a nice vacation from it and take care of your family.

    Hang in there. This too shall pass. It really will. You're gonna be teaching that girl how to drive before you even know it.

    (Oh, a day or so after Sam and I both had our little afternoon crying jag together, I felt better able to handle it, so I took out my tape recorder and recorded his colic spell for posterity. I came across it a few years ago and listened to it. It was so sweet, SO sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. It may be hard to see it sometimes, but these are sweet moments in your life.)

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  13. Kate,

    Your blog has become one of my favorites. First of all, thank you so much for writing!

    It's amazing to me that you're writing at this tough stage of your life!

    Why erase your blog when it's such a great record of a past life? It's fabulous; be proud. Life is not black and white, who cares if what you post in the future doesn't match the updates when you first started? It makes you just that more fascinating! You seem to have an established audeince.

    Perhaps you should announce a "maternity leave" from your blog, with surprise posts if you feel like it ...or guest post on my blog! Just until you can concentrate more on more than your lovely daughter. If so, I will miss your posts!

    And, honestly, a more attainable chic life interests me more than a very glamorous one. Please continue to inspire us!

    Sending lots of love and understanding your way,

    Michelle

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  14. From my vast wealth of knowledge being a "relatively new" parent ;), I would like to encourage you to wait to make any decisions about your blog until after your little one sleeps successfully through the night. Judging by how much you really enjoy writing, I believe the biggest issue right now is extreme tiredness. You are not responsible for your actions or words right now, at least until after you have transitioned into the next stage - finally sleeping yourself!

    I thoroughly enjoy reading this blog, and I do check it at least twice a day to see if there's been any activity that I need to know about, so I would truly be sad to find that your best interest lies in discontinuing it! However, that being said, as a mother myself I get everything you say and are feeling. I am completely amazed, not to mention eternally GRATEFUL, to discover that my thoughts about this difficult journey of motherhood are shared by nearly every mother on the planet. It helps me immensely in keeping myself sane. It's comforting to know that many other women feel ridiculously inept at navigating these waters. And, it's even more comforting to know that I'm not the only one on the planet who wonders, "WTH did I do??!" and has many, many moments where I do not like it. At all.

    So, in my whole convoluted way, I want to ask you to hold off on making any big decisions for a bit. We all have been there and completely understand. I do want to say that I find your blog to be a huge inspiration to me, as a mother, a wife, and more importantly as a woman. We are aligned in so many ways, and I do tend to look to you for some guidance.

    xo

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  15. I encourage you not to delete your old things- its super easy to just set them as drafts if you no longer want them published. I've been there- in blogging and in motherhood and in life. It's good to let it out. Easier said than done I know. :)

    Steph

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