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As if it wasn’t hard enough.

They say staying at home raising kids is hard work. Really? I must be doing it wrong because I think it’s the easiest thing in the world! There’s no TPS reports, no budget meetings, no politics or backstabbing. I sit around all day drink Gin and Tonics and watch TV. Oh wait… that was a dream I had. Never mind.

This is where I introduce an acronym for my new (not new, just new to us) phrase of Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (AYFKM?) My family says I’m swearing too much lately, I think it’s some leftover hostility from my 20s I never released, so I’m trying to use curse words less often, even in print.

Parenting is hard work. No shit.

Now the ‘experts’ say that raising children full time at home, makes you less healthy than if you go off and work in some actual paying job, according to the American Psychological Association’s “Journal of Family Psychology” article.

AYFKM? Yeah. DUH.

Thanks. So now I have the guilt of, “oh, I never pursued my career past the  rearing of my children, and devoting all that time to them is going to shorten my life span so now I won’t be able to enjoy my grandchildren.”

Let’s rewind a little shall we?

I’ve always wanted to stay home and raise my children. My mom did this for us kids. She was completely there for me. She packed my lunches, made dinner, did the laundry, sewed our clothes, everything. My dad worked hard at his job Monday through Friday. It was pretty much your traditional 70s/80s upbringing.

After college, I fell in love, got married and had a kid. Well it took 5 years, but still, I didn’t take the option of running away to Hollywood or Broadway to pursue my acting career. Something deep down told me to stay put since love and family was probably going to prevail longer than any waitressing acting jobs that might come.

I have no regrets about this. None.

My job at the time of getting pregnant with Emma was a glorified administrative assistant for a start-up company. What am I saying? It wasn’t glorified. It was hard ass work. I did the job of 3 people and was paid the salary of an admin, but it was good experience and great medical benefits, if I remember. So I stuck it out and counted the days until my maternity leave. (I was put on bed rest at 25 weeks of my pregnancy, but that’s another story altogether). Lucky for me the company went under while I was on maternity leave, so I didn’t have to leave my sweet pink bundle of joy and diapers called Emma, for my stingy, troll of a boss that micromanaged every trip to the bathroom I took. Now I took my boss (Emma) with me to the bathroom!

So staying home with her was a blessing. BUT, GEEZUS it was HARD. I mean, really HARD. No adult interaction, no showers, no make up, no cute clothes, saggy engorged boobie bags that looked like a cow’s, nursing bras that had been leaked through so many times I didn’t care anymore. Feeling like a zombie. Rinse and repeat….

The idea of pulling myself together enough to leave the house to look professional, spend 8 hours away from her and then to come home and have to spend half the night up breast feeding, just didn’t sound like a party.

So I admire those that do this! Being a mom is hard. A mom of a newborn especially. Heading off to work must be painful.

But, and I mean a big BUT, I can see the rewards. To get paid for what you do is a good thing.  Intellectual stimulation from peers and colleagues- good. Going out to lunch- good. Looking like a human with clothes and makeup- good.

I found this excerpt of the article to sum it up: “After interviewing hundreds of mothers repeatedly over the course of a decade, the researchers found that those who worked 32 hours per week or less were more sensitive to their kids’ needs, less likely to have symptoms of depression, and more likely to split household duties with their spouses than mothers who were not employed.” AYFKM?

And therein lies my problem. I’m depressed and don’t share household duties. Okay, I’m not really depressed. I take my meds and do fine. But I know a lot that are, and I’ve been down some dark times myself. And I always feel like I’m doing all the household duties myself. Not very well, but still.

Then the kicker later in the article:

“Additionally, mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms may have more difficulty seeking employment or keeping a job.” AYFKM?

Fantastic. Now I’m just screwed if I did choose to go back to work. Who wants a whiny, not employed in a decade housewife to come work for them? Apparently, no one.

Here’s what it boils down to:

I chose not to work. I never regret staying at home with my children. In fact now it’s the greatest. They go off to school, I pretend to get stuff done around the house, they come home from school and I’m in a good mood since absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I’m not getting paid, I don’t need to prove anything to anybody. My children are fine individuals. I’m raising them real good.

I don’t need an article to tell me I’m depressed and overly sensitive- my husband tells me this all the time.

Pretend I never wrote this blog. I could have started with the last three sentences and have been done. But alas, I just wanted other depressed, pill popping, gin and tonic drinking moms to feel empathy with me.

(borrowed from Bluntcard) Look how happy she looks!

Here’s that full crappy article if you want to read for yourself:

Working Moms are Healthier

Literally, working my ASS off.

Yep. I’m going to the gym. SHIIIT. I have to admit, it’s the only thing to get my ass in these jeans. Cuz here’s the shiz, peeps. Why am I talking like Snoop Dogg, I have no idea.  I am on a very limited shopping budget. We are saving for a family trip to Europe this summer. I need to save my pennies and not buy new clothes. So in the effort of not looking like Mariah Carey stuffed in a sausage casing- I need to work out.

The fact is- I’ve tried vitamins, low calorie intake, the nap diet- (I made that up, it’s where you nap and burn calories sleeping. It beats eating a whole cake in one setting) and just casually walking the dog. I went up a size. Yep. So while a lot of you are saying, ‘yeah, no shit sherlock, doing nothing gains weight’, I thought if I just did like French women and nibbled a little here and there, I would fit into Chanel off the runway. Insert snort through nose disbelief sound here.

Not to sound like Dr. Oz, your mom, your doctor, or that damned annoying Jillian Michaels- working up a sweat helps you feel better. Period. Oh, and that reminds me, it helps your periods. It’s true. It’s a vicious cycle of feeling like a slug, not working out because you’re feeling like a slug, time of the month comes, you’re feeling like a slug, on and on it goes.

Exercise helps with migraines. I don’t know why, I just have less when I burn a sweat at the gym a few times a week. It lowers your blood pressure, helps your heart, helps your endorphins. And yes, endorphins are those little happy molecules that apparently all you sorry saps out there reading my blog, need more of. Including me.

I also read somewhere more exercise helps with better sex. I will spare comments on this subject. I think if James worked out too- there would be something to write here. Since I’m doing all the work…let’s just say…I’m doing all the work. Ba da bump.

Oh, what else? Cancer. Yes ladies, and gents, exercising reduces your risk of cancer. And if you’re having a glass of wine each night to help your heart, you’re upping your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. I know, that sucks. So work out, and you can off-set that factoid.

AND, it helps build bone mass so we don’t end up looking like our grandmas all hunched over. Posture ladies- it’s true. We suck at it. If we were put in a time machine and transported to the 50s we’d be fat slobs slouching around with our muffin tops hanging over our pajama jeans. You know those women’s health and fashion magazines that say standing up straight makes you look 5 lbs lighter? Well, they’re right! It does. I can’t stand to see a pretty girl hunched over. Suck in your gut, squeeze your bottom and throw back your shoulders. What are you afraid of?? Okay, I’m scaring myself because I sound like Miss Minchin in A Little Princess.

I’m not preaching here, I’m just sharing. I’ve read all the articles, all the magazines and there’s no short cuts. So enjoy, don’t kill yourself, and work out for reasons that are more than skin deep- like your brain, your heart, your uterus, your boobs, your bones. Those are good reasons, right?

Remember this from “Friends”?

Hint- I’m Phoebe.

This will not be my form of working out. Not that James wouldn't mind.

Again, not me. Don't be intimidated. Just Do It.

I know why the holidays suck for some of you (Revisited).

I’m revisiting this post because it’s the final stretch to Christmas day. There’s a lot of us that are happy and joyful, crazed and freaking out. It’s so overwhelming. Maybe holidays suck for you, not because of losing a loved one (the reason for the first post on this topic), but because you don’t have warm fuzzy feelings of the holiday in the first place. Or maybe you are feeling poor, unloved, unworthy, and stressed and having to spend the extra time and money is like drawing blood from a stone. There just isn’t anything there to give.

Here’s the thing- I totally get it.

What could be more depressing than a bunch of happy people all dressed up and fancy, doting on their families, showering them with gifts? What could be more strange than a story about a virgin in an ancient land that had to give birth in a barn on some night that what was probably Halley’s comet streaking across the sky?

So let’s make a cheat sheet of how to get through it:

Vodka, Wine, Tequila.

Yeah, as if.

Most importantly, if you have children this is the best gift of all. It’s a clean slate. Whatever crappy Christmas memories you might have from your childhood, their minds are malleable, fresh and impressionable. If you can be available to them, and I mean ‘available’, like listening, playing, snuggling, whatever gives them your attention, this is what they will remember most. For reals.

You’re broke- okay, who isn’t these days? We are reminded that 99% of us in this country are poor. I’m just kidding. But really, if anyone in your life makes you feel unworthy because you didn’t get them a present, they aren’t worth having in your life in the first place.

One of my favorite blogs- Rants from Mommy Land, did an experiment called Christmas hookers. They got names and addresses of moms whose budgets were tight this Christmas, and I mean REALLY tight, and matched them up with one of their readers that could send them a gift card from a large retail store. I got my woman’s name, a mom in Louisiana, and I sent her a Target gift card. I hope she gets it soon and can go shopping for her kids. I would do that for 10 more people, but James gets really Scrooge like that, and says we’ll be in the soup lines if I don’t stop paying for everything and everyone out there.

Maybe I’ll do that next year on my blog. If you need help, just message me. If you’d like to help, let me know, and I can match you up.
Doesn’t everyone need a Santa?

I don’t think I’ve covered it all, but if I’ve even touched on some areas, I hope you know you have a sister here in Seattle, blogging with the messiest hardwood floors, a fridge that hasn’t been cleaned out since 2008 and an ass the shape of her couch- so hey, nobody is perfect, especially me.

Like Judy Garland sings- Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. And hey, look on the bright side- it’s almost over.

******

We are supposed to be happy. Yeah like in Disneyland, it’s supposed to be so frickin’ fantastic. I’m tired, my kids are driving me crazy, and I can’t buy anymore of this crap. No. We’re not in Disneyland. It’s Christmas.

But there’s more to this holiday being depressing than just the nonstop Macys commercials, drippy “Christmas in the Northwest” song on the radio, getting all the crap done that everyone expects of you and if you don’t do it all, you feel less of a woman- depression.

No, I’m talking about the pain in your heart and the hole in your gut from knowing this holiday is the first since losing a loved one. Or maybe it’s the second or third since they’ve passed. How do you fake happy? How are you supposed to be cheerful and live through the four weeks (make that eight weeks thanks to the annoying mass marketing our commercial society has created…) of holiday hoo-ha?

But maybe, just maybe going through the ornaments, pulling out the photos, getting out the stocking that was theirs is like pulling off a band-aid. Painful at first, but better afterwards. Why is it the ones we love hang on through the holidays and then seem to pass in January? It seems those I know that have died and usually from cancer, have hung on to Christmas and then had to let go come January or soon after. Hanging on to spend their last holiday with family.  But no matter what time of year you’ve lost a loved one, the holidays seem to lurk and you might resent them instead of embrace them.

My friend Julie who passed away almost 10 years ago, would bake the most amazing Christmas cookies. Every Christmas I would wait for her goody bag of delicousness. That was her gift to her friends. Even when she was having chemo or recovering from a surgery, she made those cookies. Her last Christmas before she died in January, she made those cookies. I didn’t get to see her on Christmas day at my parents like we had done in years past. She was too weak.  I swung by her apartment the day after Christmas and her boyfriend gave them to me. She was sleeping he said and needed her rest. I wasn’t aware how close she was to death. I took that bag of cookies home. Inside was also a tea tin of Murchies tea from Canada. Our favorite. I had one of her biscotti and made a cup of tea. I had a cookie a day or so. Savoring each one. The powdered sugar on the wedding balls, the jam inside the cutouts, the chocolate ganache between the butter cookies…I couldn’t believe that she made them despite being so sick.

When I got the call she died on January 13, I still had cookies in the bag in my pantry. I stopped eating them. I just left them there on the shelf. I would see the bag and her handwritten note that was attached with a raffia ribbon every time I opened the pantry door. I didn’t dare move it or eat any more of those cookies. As if it was a sacred shrine to her. That the cookies were my last bit of her I had.  A whole year went by and I had those cookies in my pantry. And then one day, I thought, Julie would be so pissed if she knew I wasted those cookies!! Not only was she a stickler for neatness, she wouldn’t let anything go to waste. She had a very sophisticated palette and she kind of scared me, because everything she did was perfect. Every time she cooked it was like a Bon Appetit magazine spread. She insisted on quality and taste, never cutting corners or falling into the traps of ‘boxed’ or ‘name brands’. Heaven forbid I open a box of Kraft!!

So I took the bag and emptied the hard and crumbly cookie remains in the garbage. I apologized to the spirit of Julie, wherever she was. I kept the gift bag and the note with her handwriting among my keepsakes of cards and notes from loved ones and I drank the tea from the tin and saved it to keep more loose tea in it still today. I knew that she would’ve thought it silly not to actually EAT the cookies she baked, but she would be glad that I’m at least using the tea tin.

The pain of a friend passing is not that of a son, daughter, parent or spouse even. I won’t even pretend I know your pain.  Sometimes your sadness puts you in that dark hole of wishing everyone else wasn’t so damn happy. But then I think there’s a purpose to the world that keeps turning. With each year, the happiness can start to outshadow the sadness. Like a moon waxing from new to full. There’s a little sliver of brightness coming around with each season. It starts with darkness and ends with a ball of light.

I hope that any of you facing a painful Christmas, that first or several after, can see the light that comes around. That knows even though you are aching inside, it’s okay to be happy sometimes. It’s okay to laugh at Elf, to sing along to Perry Como or enjoy the lights on the neighbors house, to get a little tipsy at the cocktail party with friends. Because those that we miss, would want us to enjoy what probably gave them the most happiness. And for the rest of us, hopefully we can stop and appreciate the joys of the season and not just dwell on the craziness and stress.

Medicated and Proud of it- Part 2. revisited

I’m reposting this, because I’m frickin’ going all honey badger today. Any sympathy, wine, blindfolds, ear plugs, sensory deprivation chambers would be welcome.

oh and for fun- here’s Tina Fey doing her genius interpretation of female things:

Annuale, Saturday Night Live

Oh and this is Part 1 of this post from over a month ago. This resonated with a lot of people in case you never read it.

Medicated and Proud of it (Part 1)

Part 2

I didn’t really mean it to become a series. But I never had so many positive responses to my blog before or since. So that means, a lot of you out there are messed up too? Yay. I guess.  No really, misery loves company, so this chick is glad to have a lot of friends.

You know those days where you feel so emotionally brimming you could cry? And it could be happy or sad. Like, your child gives you a sweet tap on the arm and tells you how wonderful you are. Bring on the Kleenex. Or, you witness a squirrel getting hit by a car on your way to the gym and you burst into tears like you’re watching The Notebook? Or your husband uses your car and when you get in, you see the gas light is on when you go to drive your daughter to school after she missed her bus and yelled at you for not washing her favorite hoodie, and then you drop your phone in a dirty diaper someone left in the parking lot. Seriously.

That’s everyday you say? Yeah, tell me about it.  Okay, well when I have one of those days, I also know that PMS is probably right around the corner (la, la, la, la, cover your ears, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you..sorry boys). But really. Then after the crying/laughing feeling goes away, I’m left with this knot in my stomach that extends to my lower back. Is that called anxiety? Or labor? Or too much coffee? I feel like I could use a gin and tonic before lunch. For those of you who feel this too, I don’t recommend a gin and tonic before lunch. I tried it once and just napped the rest of the day. Nothing got done. Oh wait. That’s everyday when I just drink tea and then put the kids on the school bus.

I feel like if I could just take a deep breath it would let all the anxiety go. Maybe I have ESP and don’t know it, and I’m just reacting to something bad happening in some far corner of the earth. Some atmospheric shift in the universe is sending me these tense waves of emotion.  That would be awful. Can you imagine being one of those psychics and you get those nasty visions of horrible things happening to people you don’t know and you go to the police and no one believes you. Oh wait, that was a Lifetime movie I watched. But still, I hope I’m not psychic.

I start to worry about everything. What to make for dinner. Will I have time to get cat food before going to the library and then getting home in time to meet Emma’s school bus. Will I get Alzheimers? What if the dryer catches fire while I’m not home. What if the pets can’t get out when the house is on fire? What if the organic milk I buy isn’t really organic? Are soybeans safe? What if, what if, …. Oh my gosh make it stop!!

Oh. THIS is called PARANOID. Yeah, well, I wouldn’t be human or female if I didn’t have days like this I guess. Here I go sharing again. I know I won’t regret it. You like me….you really like me. Okay, now I’m just being ridiculous…

Medicated and Proud of it- Part 2. revisited

I’m reposting this, because I’m frickin’ going all honey badger today. Any sympathy, wine, blindfolds, ear plugs, sensory deprivation chambers would be welcome.

oh and for fun- here’s Tina Fey doing her genius interpretation of female things:

Annuale, Saturday Night Live

Oh and this is Part 1 of this post from over a month ago. This resonated with a lot of people in case you never read it.

Medicated and Proud of it (Part 1)

Part 2

I didn’t really mean it to become a series. But I never had so many positive responses to my blog before or since. So that means, a lot of you out there are messed up too? Yay. I guess.  No really, misery loves company, so this chick is glad to have a lot of friends.

You know those days where you feel so emotionally brimming you could cry? And it could be happy or sad. Like, your child gives you a sweet tap on the arm and tells you how wonderful you are. Bring on the Kleenex. Or, you witness a squirrel getting hit by a car on your way to the gym and you burst into tears like you’re watching The Notebook? Or your husband uses your car and when you get in, you see the gas light is on when you go to drive your daughter to school after she missed her bus and yelled at you for not washing her favorite hoodie, and then you drop your phone in a dirty diaper someone left in the parking lot. Seriously.

That’s everyday you say? Yeah, tell me about it.  Okay, well when I have one of those days, I also know that PMS is probably right around the corner (la, la, la, la, cover your ears, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you..sorry boys). But really. Then after the crying/laughing feeling goes away, I’m left with this knot in my stomach that extends to my lower back. Is that called anxiety? Or labor? Or too much coffee? I feel like I could use a gin and tonic before lunch. For those of you who feel this too, I don’t recommend a gin and tonic before lunch. I tried it once and just napped the rest of the day. Nothing got done. Oh wait. That’s everyday when I just drink tea and then put the kids on the school bus.

I feel like if I could just take a deep breath it would let all the anxiety go. Maybe I have ESP and don’t know it, and I’m just reacting to something bad happening in some far corner of the earth. Some atmospheric shift in the universe is sending me these tense waves of emotion.  That would be awful. Can you imagine being one of those psychics and you get those nasty visions of horrible things happening to people you don’t know and you go to the police and no one believes you. Oh wait, that was a Lifetime movie I watched. But still, I hope I’m not psychic.

I start to worry about everything. What to make for dinner. Will I have time to get cat food before going to the library and then getting home in time to meet Emma’s school bus. Will I get Alzheimers? What if the dryer catches fire while I’m not home. What if the pets can’t get out when the house is on fire? What if the organic milk I buy isn’t really organic? Are soybeans safe? What if, what if, …. Oh my gosh make it stop!!

Oh. THIS is called PARANOID. Yeah, well, I wouldn’t be human or female if I didn’t have days like this I guess. Here I go sharing again. I know I won’t regret it. You like me….you really like me. Okay, now I’m just being ridiculous…

I know why the holidays might suck for some of you.

We are supposed to be happy. Yeah like in Disneyland, it’s supposed to be so frickin’ fantastic. I’m tired, my kids are driving me crazy, and I can’t buy anymore of this crap. No. We’re not in Disneyland. It’s Christmas.

But there’s more to this holiday being depressing than just the nonstop Macys commercials, drippy “Christmas in the Northwest” song on the radio, getting all the crap done that everyone expects of you and if you don’t do it all, you feel less of a woman- depression.

No, I’m talking about the pain in your heart and the hole in your gut from knowing this holiday is the first since losing a loved one. Or maybe it’s the second or third since they’ve passed. How do you fake happy? How are you supposed to be cheerful and live through the four weeks (make that eight weeks thanks to the annoying mass marketing our commercial society has created…) of holiday hoo-ha?

But maybe, just maybe going through the ornaments, pulling out the photos, getting out the stocking that was theirs is like pulling off a band-aid. Painful at first, but better afterwards. Why is it the ones we love hang on through the holidays and then seem to pass in January? It seems those I know that have died and usually from cancer, have hung on to Christmas and then had to let go come January or soon after. Hanging on to spend their last holiday with family.  But no matter what time of year you’ve lost a loved one, the holidays seem to lurk and you might resent them instead of embrace them.

My friend Julie who passed away almost 10 years ago, would bake the most amazing Christmas cookies. Every Christmas I would wait for her goody bag of delicousness. That was her gift to her friends. Even when she was having chemo or recovering from a surgery, she made those cookies. Her last Christmas before she died in January, she made those cookies. I didn’t get to see her on Christmas day at my parents like we had done in years past. She was too weak.  I swung by her apartment the day after Christmas and her boyfriend gave them to me. She was sleeping he said and needed her rest. I wasn’t aware how close she was to death. I took that bag of cookies home. Inside was also a tea tin of Murchies tea from Canada. Our favorite. I had one of her biscotti and made a cup of tea. I had a cookie a day or so. Savoring each one. The powdered sugar on the wedding balls, the jam inside the cutouts, the chocolate ganache between the butter cookies…I couldn’t believe that she made them despite being so sick.

When I got the call she died on January 13, I still had cookies in the bag in my pantry. I stopped eating them. I just left them there on the shelf. I would see the bag and her handwritten note that was attached with a raffia ribbon every time I opened the pantry door. I didn’t dare move it or eat any more of those cookies. As if it was a sacred shrine to her. That the cookies were my last bit of her I had.  A whole year went by and I had those cookies in my pantry. And then one day, I thought, Julie would be so pissed if she knew I wasted those cookies!! Not only was she a stickler for neatness, she wouldn’t let anything go to waste. She had a very sophisticated palette and she kind of scared me, because everything she did was perfect. Every time she cooked it was like a Bon Appetit magazine spread. She insisted on quality and taste, never cutting corners or falling into the traps of ‘boxed’ or ‘name brands’. Heaven forbid I open a box of Kraft!!

So I took the bag and emptied the hard and crumbly cookie remains in the garbage. I apologized to the spirit of Julie, wherever she was. I kept the gift bag and the note with her handwriting among my keepsakes of cards and notes from loved ones and I drank the tea from the tin and saved it to keep more loose tea in it still today. I knew that she would’ve thought it silly not to actually EAT the cookies she baked, but she would be glad that I’m at least using the tea tin.

The pain of a friend passing is not that of a son, daughter, parent or spouse even. I won’t even pretend I know your pain.  Sometimes your sadness puts you in that dark hole of wishing everyone else wasn’t so damn happy. But then I think there’s a purpose to the world that keeps turning. With each year, the happiness can start to outshadow the sadness. Like a moon waxing from new to full. There’s a little sliver of brightness coming around with each season. It starts with darkness and ends with a ball of light.

I hope that any of you facing a painful Christmas, that first or several after, can see the light that comes around. That knows even though you are aching inside, it’s okay to be happy sometimes. It’s okay to laugh at Elf, to sing along to Perry Como or enjoy the lights on the neighbors house, to get a little tipsy at the cocktail party with friends. Because those that we miss, would want us to enjoy what probably gave them the most happiness. And for the rest of us, hopefully we can stop and appreciate the joys of the season and not just dwell on the craziness and stress.

Medicated and Proud of it- Part 2. revisited

I’m reposting this, because I’m frickin’ going all honey badger today. Any sympathy, wine, blindfolds, ear plugs, sensory deprivation chambers would be welcome.

 

oh and for fun- here’s Tina Fey doing her genius interpretation of female things:

 

Annuale, Saturday Night Live

 

Oh and this is Part 1 of this post from over a month ago. This resonated with a lot of people in case you never read it.

Medicated and Proud of it (Part 1)

 

Part 2

I didn’t really mean it to become a series. But I never had so many positive responses to my blog before or since. So that means, a lot of you out there are messed up too? Yay. I guess.  No really, misery loves company, so this chick is glad to have a lot of friends.

You know those days where you feel so emotionally brimming you could cry? And it could be happy or sad. Like, your child gives you a sweet tap on the arm and tells you how wonderful you are. Bring on the Kleenex. Or, you witness a squirrel getting hit by a car on your way to the gym and you burst into tears like you’re watching The Notebook? Or your husband uses your car and when you get in, you see the gas light is on when you go to drive your daughter to school after she missed her bus and yelled at you for not washing her favorite hoodie, and then you drop your phone in a dirty diaper someone left in the parking lot. Seriously.

That’s everyday you say? Yeah, tell me about it.  Okay, well when I have one of those days, I also know that PMS is probably right around the corner (la, la, la, la, cover your ears, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you..sorry boys). But really. Then after the crying/laughing feeling goes away, I’m left with this knot in my stomach that extends to my lower back. Is that called anxiety? Or labor? Or too much coffee? I feel like I could use a gin and tonic before lunch. For those of you who feel this too, I don’t recommend a gin and tonic before lunch. I tried it once and just napped the rest of the day. Nothing got done. Oh wait. That’s everyday when I just drink tea and then put the kids on the school bus.

I feel like if I could just take a deep breath it would let all the anxiety go. Maybe I have ESP and don’t know it, and I’m just reacting to something bad happening in some far corner of the earth. Some atmospheric shift in the universe is sending me these tense waves of emotion.  That would be awful. Can you imagine being one of those psychics and you get those nasty visions of horrible things happening to people you don’t know and you go to the police and no one believes you. Oh wait, that was a Lifetime movie I watched. But still, I hope I’m not psychic.

I start to worry about everything. What to make for dinner. Will I have time to get cat food before going to the library and then getting home in time to meet Emma’s school bus. Will I get Alzheimers? What if the dryer catches fire while I’m not home. What if the pets can’t get out when the house is on fire? What if the organic milk I buy isn’t really organic? Are soybeans safe? What if, what if, …. Oh my gosh make it stop!!

Oh. THIS is called PARANOID. Yeah, well, I wouldn’t be human or female if I didn’t have days like this I guess. Here I go sharing again. I know I won’t regret it. You like me….you really like me. Okay, now I’m just being ridiculous…

Follow up from yesterday- if you’re married to me, you don’t need to bother reading this…

As if I need to specify… More hormones and some whining here…

I can’t believe how much response my blog post received yesterday! But now, the anxiety sets in. I want to continue to enlighten, spread joy and reveal bull shit whenever I can- especially my own, but I’m afraid to fall short.

So in case you never read my blog again- thanks for accepting me and embracing my words.

When I asked James if he read my post, his response was so typically male!! “Gosh, you share a lot, are you sure you want that out there?”

And my answer is yes. If I’ve learned anything as I reach almost 40, it’s that I really don’t give a crap. That is SO NOT TRUE.

I really want people to like me.

Okay, but…

I also know it’s more important to be true to myself and honest than to please anyone. Even James. Sorry sweetie (you know this already).

I don’t want everyone to agree  with me, and yes, I don’t want people to not like me either! I can just see folks rolling their eyes about my comments about pajama jeans and Laura Ingalls. (Wouldn’t Laura dig a pair of pajama jeans??!!)

Yes, sometimes I might seem shallow, trivial and down right blonde. (Hey, I resemble that comment.) But that is because I sometimes can’t take the heavy. You know?
My parents are aging and fighting chronic disease, my adult sister is disabled living at home; I freak out when I think about the future sometimes. I grapple with the idea of drowning polar bears in the Arctic, garbage piles floating in the oceans and genetically modified alfalfa. I worry that my children will get a tattoo on their face when they turn 18. Please, anywhere else, just not the face. I’m afraid of bladder incontinence when I  laugh get older . I constantly think I’m on the verge of dementia. Especially when I walk in to the pantry while making dinner and don’t remember what….I…went….in….there…for…..

But I’m also so excited about seeing The Hunger Games as a movie, taking the kids to Europe for the first time, the next Oscar’s, Kristen Wiig’s next movie, will there be a Glee spin-off…. and so much more!

There’s always something to look forward to.  At least that’s what I’m thinking when I scoop out the cat box.

Well, it’s all about me, me, me isn’t it….

That’s all. Keep calm and carry on.

Medicated and proud of it

I’m not going to give you any bull shit here.  I am not my natural happy self all the time. In fact, I can be a real bitch. (no comment James) My favorite question from the husband, ‘why are you so crabby, did you forget to take your pill?’  Back off asshole! I’m crabby because you load the dishwasher like a drunk monkey that is blind and you can’t seem to remember that your clothes go in your closet and not on our bathroom floor!

As I was saying…

I take prozac. Just a small dosage. It’s called Sarafem. It’s for PMDD. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. (I know guys, I lost you at premenstrual…)

I seriously don’t know how I would function without it. And I want to tell you my story so you don’t feel bad about yourself, or guilty, or inadequate or whatever fucked up guilt trip you can place that most of us moms/women do to ourselves.

About 10 years ago my good friend Julie died of breast cancer. She was 41. It was in the gloomy post holiday month of January and I couldn’t seem to get a grip on life. Emma was not quite 2 years old and I stayed home with her, like I have done since the day she was born and still do for my kids. I had never lost anyone close to me. Not a peer anyway. Every day felt like PMS. Every day felt gloomy and lonely, especially home with a toddler where I had no interaction with adults accept for reruns of the Golden Girls and Oprah.  My doctor put me on Sarafem which is for PMDD. Like PMS, but different. (Sort of a personality disorder, personality being- you are a bitch no matter what and you can’t blame PMS for it)

Thankfully the little dose of seratonin each day helps keep my chemicals in a happy balance. I am primarily a positive person. I stay cheerful for my children, my spouse and my friends. I don’t like to wallow. But there’s days, maybe weeks, I feel sorry for myself. And then I feel sorry for myself for being so lousy about feeling sorry for myself! I know there’s other people who have it worse, who live with cancer, who lost their job, who have addiction, whose spouse is overseas serving our country,  or whatever else that burdens them. But my bad days are MY bad days. So I let myself have one or two, then slap myself across the face (sort of) and say pull yourself together. And go buy a new handbag. Just kidding James. Sort of. Not really. Usually lipstick. Or shoes. Mostly lipstick…

My point is, I think we need to be honest about our bad days. What are we ashamed of? Who are we fooling?

Do whatever you can to help yourself. Seriously.

A woman in my neighborhood 3 years ago, shot and killed herself while home with her 4 little children. She was manically depressed. I always thought she was happy, managing her household of little kids. I was wrong.  Every now and then, if she had said to anyone in the neighborhood, “please excuse me if you hear me yelling at my kids, they are pissing me off…or, sorry if I haven’t changed my clothes in 2 days, I am so exhausted that I can’t see straight”, then maybe she still would be with us and her children. Maybe she would’ve had that release of, ‘I’m flawed, and that’s okay.’ Although I think she had more mental baggage than just that. But I still think of all of us women in that boat of ‘how did the day go by and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet or organized the pantry shelves’, kind of day.

Another story comes from my cousin who found her best friend hanging from a rope. Another suicide, another depression. My childhood friend shot herself last spring. Depression, suicide.

Folks. When a woman talks about her depression or her medications for it, don’t tell her she’s weak for relying on something to make her ‘normal’. Don’t say that you would ‘never’ take something that alters yourself to be a functioning person. Those statements are so nauseatingly inaccurate, it makes my head spin. Depression is the evil beast that alters you. Not the medicine.

Of course there’s the argument of when people stop their meds, change their meds or certain side effects of meds that do alter their thinking. That is another discussion for another day.

All I can think of is the 8 children I already know without a mother. Will you tell them it’s a weakness to take a prescription for their mental health?

Do you tell diabetics they are pathetic for taking insulin? They should just change their diet, is that it?

If you haven’t figured out already, I’m pleading to us all to be more understanding, to not judge, to not say you’d ‘never’ do something when you haven’t walked a mile in someone’s shoes.

 

 

So I just wanted you to know, nobody is perfect,especially me. Maybe when we peel back the layers, take down the walls, we can accept each other and ourselves with whole hearts. Why do we punish ourselves, –there’s a whole lot of therapy in that answer. But start with loving yourself, and just go from there. Easier said than done, I know. But it will spread like pond ripples I am sure.