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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bad habit intervention (confession post)

This is a hard post for me to write because I would like it if I wasn't like this - I would like it if I didn't have to write about this. It plays against my perfectionism - I hate to give a bad impression of myself but what the hey - I am going to have to come clean, I aint perfect sisters and it is about time I realised that I will never be!!

So, JourneyMan and I had a talk tonight and I have realised that we need to have an intervention on ourselves. We have gotten into a bit of a rut of not doing stuff. We have become the 'not doing stuff' family, the 'looking at the four walls' family, the 'watching crap pay TV family', basically, 'the lazy family (foof, that one hurt).

It has been a combination of things that have caused this. For me, the pregnancy was tough (I realise that anyone who is struggling with infertility is probably yelling at the screen right now 'cry me a river - woman who has gotten everything she wants in life'). It was tough though in ways that I didn't expect it to be. I lost all of my fitness. I put on mega amounts of weight when I swore that I wouldn't. I was uncomfortable. These are not big deals and seriously, I am not saying that they are but I am trying to explain how I got to be in such a rut. After the battles of infertility and withdrawing from my friends and family, I got used to it. This was compounded in the last part of the pregnancy because I was pretty uncomfortable and without energy so I spent alot of time on the couch. I was very close to being a shut in and I really had a hard time moving myself out of that space - I am still working on it but I still have quite a long way to go.

Enter JBB and I struggled at the start. The sleep deprivation was to be believed and I was not handling the questions of JBB's 'exotic looks' very well, in fact it was a major stressor. Then JourneyMan lost his job and we didn't have any money to spare so we spent most of our time around the house. The crazy Melbourne weather didn't help matters - one day it was humid like Bangkok, the next day was a deluge of rains, then the day after that it was 40 degrees celcius (I believe that it is 104F). In fact, we have had an amazingly wet spring (and into summer) so I really didn't get myself together walking and getting outside - there always seemed to be an excuse. Yes, I do realise that all of these things are just excuses and seriously bad ones at that.

Lastly and not least (and seems to be the root of the problem). I seem to have developed a fear of taking JBB places. I noticed it pretty early on and I have tried to break myself of it by going out on my own with him but I haven't done it often enough to break the fear. I have told myself that it was for his own good so that I could get him into good sleeping routines etc but honestly, at the end of the day, it is all about fear. I am not exactly sure of what I am afraid of - the effort that it takes to go out. Not really, I have his bag permanently packed so that I just have to add a few things and I am out the door. It has just occurred to me that this may also be a form of my perfectionism - that I don't want to do something 'wrong' in public, that JBB might cry and I will see looks of judgement. Holy cow - I know how this sounds and I am thinking 'nutter' in my mind very clearly. The realisation came to me today. JBB was pretty grumpy yesterday and I was completely convinced that he was teething (and he may be) but I was out pretty much all day today and he was happy all day. I had to face facts today, people - he loves going out and I, as his mother, have to get of my arse and entertain this child!!

Okay, so I have gotten those confessions off my chest and I hope that you haven't walked off in disgust at my whinging about all the good in my life and seriously the sensory deprivation of this child. JourneyMan is also in the poo because as a family have not done a great deal of things together either, which is really sad - we are both going a long way to a smacked bottom! A couple of weeks ago, we went over to my brother's place whilst they were away for the weekend to loll about in their pool (my bestie came along for good measure) on a super hot day. We had an absolutely wonderful day and again, JBB absolutely loved it. For the most part, though, we have been 'the lazy family'.

This stops here, people!! There are some changes afoot in the Journey household. I signed up JBB for the creche at the gym today so he is going to creche for an hour and a half whilst I work out, then I am going to take my beautiful little man for a swim. When JourneyMan gets home, we are going to take JBB for a walk around the neighbourhood. This will give him some much needed fresh air and JourneyMan and I some time to talk about our days. We are headed to the country on the weekend for the day for a Hawaiian themed birthday party for JourneyMan's sister's husband's birthday (JBB has the cutest Hawaiian shirt and short set that his uncle got him on a trip to Hawaii - cuterson!!) which will be a fun day and then on Sunday, we are going to find a park and have a play.

I don't like fear and my way of dealing with it is to face up to the situations but I also don't want to go too far the other way. I am still going to be conscious of JBB's schedules and keep his life fairly settled but I am also going to take him out into the world more. The funny thing is that I was always the travelling girl - I have seen heaps of the world, I have done so much in my life and tried so many things. I have been brave and adventurous - I would really hate for JBB to grow up only knowing a cautious, shut in of a mum. I want him to see that his mum is fun, adventurous, willing to try new things, happy to get out in the world and smiles and laughs often.

Do the scars of infertility ever heal? I hope so, I really do - I want JBB to know the person his mum was before the disappointments changed who I am. I am determined. That is one thing I can say for sure, I am like a dog with a bone - I will heal, I will get out of this rut, I will bring the fun again!!


  1. Thanks for being so honest & posting this! I feel the same way about myself. I have 3 1/2 month old twin girls via DIVF, and I am afraid to take them out on my own. It just seems overwhelming to me! But after reading your post, I'm going to make an effort to bring them out in the stroller for a bit during the day, even if it's just to go around the block!

  2. I learned pretty early on that everyone has a child that cries in public. Most of the time, people don't notice. If I ever got dirty looks for my baby crying, I didn't notice because I was too busy trying to figure out what my baby wanted. But I was the same way you are about being afraid of a crying baby calling attention to me. Now I just don't care. Kids and babies are going to do what they are going to do and anyone else who has kids understands this. And for those who don't, who cares.

    Just remember to take it a little at a time so you don't fall back into wanting to be at home all of the time. Also, it gets easier to get out when your baby gets older. Its hard at first because of the schedule, but when he hits about a year, it will get much easier and more pleasant.

  3. I think I have the opposite problem in some ways. Will is a rotten napper, so sometimes I find myself creating a need to be out and about, where no need truly exists, in order to avoid bed-time, early wakings, and the resultant chaos that throws any sort of routine into. At home if he wakes early I have to decide: do I follow our Feed-Play-Sleep routine and feed him now, even though he's not hungry yet, do I spend an hour trying to coax more sleep out of him, or do I let him play knowing that he will then tire himself out and fall asleep during his next feed. If I'm out it all seems simpler. I just do what needs to be done - somehow the rules don't apply. And Will does enjoy being out... but sometimes I worry that the lack of consistency if what causes his napping problems in the first place. Sigh.

    Good on you for making the effort to get out of your rut!