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So, I left!

September 20, 2007

And I sat in the car and cried.

Called The Pro.

Cried.

Went for a cappuccino at a really great coffee bar in the neighborhood and tried to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. So NOT the book to read these days.

Cried some more.

Do you realize, this is the very first time I have ever sat in a public place alone and drank coffee and read something? Alone. And I didn’t care if anyone thought I was alone.

I cried most of the time.

I returned to the school a half hour early and waited in an empty classroom…with say, a dozen mothers who STAYED the whole time…crap.

But I realized something. It’s all coming back to me now.

PPD.

And that awful feeling of “alone”.

I remember many times when Fa was days, weeks old. My in-laws would come to help me out. Thinking they were being helpful, they would literally shoo me out of the house and take care of the baby for as long as I wanted to be gone.

No time limits. No kisses goodbye, just go.

Sounds like heaven to a mother with sleep deprivation and a need for caffeine and a short escape?

Not for me.

All I thought about was how alone in the world I was. How I missed my mother terribly. How no one in the entire world understood.

Where should I go since they kicked me out of my own home?

I stayed down the block in the car, all alone with nowhere to be and my boobs aching because I was a failure at breastfeeding. Crying inconsolably.

This happened at least once a week for the first few months of Fa’s life.

I never want to do that again.

Well, those feelings are back. All except the achy boobs. Well, no, they ache too…but its PMS not breastfeeding failures.

Obviously, I don’t have PPD anymore, but that feeling is creeping its ugly head up into my conscious again.

Strength is depleting. Anxieties are taking over.

I’m feeling melancholy and anxious.

I have to do this every day until June. Give or take some holidays.

I’m not feeling very confident in myself this week.

I need to regroup.

This is for Fa. And me. She will not be my end all and be all. It’s not fair to give her such an unattainable responsibility. No one could fill those shoes.

I need to start letting go.

Starting now.

****

Update! Today I stayed. And talked to some moms and the director.

Fa had a substitute today. Her teacher’s dad passed and won’t be in tomorrow either.

Fa saw her teacher from last year subbing and freaked the fuck out.

It was the whole “out of her element” issue that has been a problem before, but she was doing so well. It was weird for her to see her old teacher in a new surrounding and she literally broke down. Clung to me for a good half hour. Then, I got strong. I threatened. Whatever works, you know.

I told her if she didn’t go play, we were going home. She gathered her courage and played. I stayed in the room for a few more minutes and then said goodbye and left. I waited in the ‘holding room’. She was fine the rest of the time…I vented to some moms and I feel better. For now.

But I was proud of myself for not taking her out of the situation and forcing her to be strong.

I praised her when I picked her up and told her how proud I was of her for doing something that was difficult. It was difficult and she did it anyway. Whatta kid!

This is very hard.

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24 comments

  1. such a real, raw post. I hope it gets better for you. Would exercise or calling friends help during that time?

    You can do it for Fa !


  2. Oh hon! I’m sorry it was so rough. But, you did it, and you will find the strength to keep doing it – you hit the nail on the head ‘This is for Fa. And me.’


  3. Ugh, I’m so sorry. I could say that it will get better but a) I’m sure you already know that and b) it doesn’t make right now any easier. So I’ll just say I’m sorry that this is so tough rightnow.


  4. I wish I was there…I would go have coffee with you, cry with you, whatever. Sending you big hugs. Of course, I don’t have the issues this year, because I’m used to it with the Pres & Fat Baby is, well….Fat Baby. We need our time apart & I’m more than okay with it. But, I do have a schedule, so that each day isn’t so random & chaotic. Monday is grocery shopping, Wednesday is my “working” (you could do volunteer work?), and Friday is the “me” day (haircuts, pedicures, shopping…). Tuesday & Thursday are housework days. Just a thought.

    Love to you!


  5. that sure explains many things.
    I would have NEVER EVER shoo’d a new mother out of the house.

    grandparents are there to DO DISHES, SWEEP FLOORS, ENTERTAIN THE OLDER CHILDREN, PUT OUT THE GARBAGE, AND RUB NEW MAMA’S SHOULDER AND TELL HER WHAT A DELIGHTFUL JOB SHE IS DOING WITH HER NEW LITTLE ONE.


  6. PS. I hit enter prematurely.
    They probably thought they were being wonderful.

    I think maybe you still need someone to pat you on the shoulder and tell you It is okay, you are doing a fine job

    A mother’s job is to raise a child that will be have the self-reliance required to meet new challenges with a “I can do” attitude.

    You have done that. Fa sounds like a very normal and happy child.


  7. You will. You are strong. And you don’t want for Fa to carry that responsibility in her life.

    Alone is such a terrible way to feel. There seems to be a lot of it going around these days.


  8. If you go back and read my blog entries from late August last year, you’ll see that I also had a horrible time adjusting to preschool. The boy? Oh, he was fine. Better than fine. He loved it. Me? I was a mess.

    It’s pretty normal, JJ. Sucks, but it’s pretty common. I suspect that it’s hardest on those of us who only have one, or who don’t have a littler child at home, because it’s just so strange to suddenly be alone when you’ve been on 24-7 mama duty for the last three years.

    It won’t be this awful every day between now and June, I swear it to you. It’ll get easier. It’ll start to feel normal. But between now and then, just do whatever you need to do to ease your own ache. It might be helpful to ask her teacher if you could have a quick conference with her sometime soon, that way you can hear straight from the teacher about how Fa is doing. Or you could offer to volunteer in the class, so you can see with your own eyes what her day is like.

    Hang in there, sweetie. I’ll leave you with a happy image… yesterday I saw my little boy chasing after a white butterfly, calling “farfalla! farfalla!” It’s the only word of Italian he knows beyond “si” and “ciao” and food-words, so I was impressed he remembered it, and it made me think of you and your butterfly girl!


  9. Next year you’ll see the moms waiting for their kiddos and you’ll hold your head high and know you survived it.

    You are so right about making her fill those shoes. It’s time to figure out what you want. It’s easier to focus on someone else so you don’t have to do that.

    Put go to BlogHer on your list of things you want. Then we can all give you the hugs we want to give you right now.

    Email if you need to talk. I’m always here.


  10. It is hard, but you’re doing great. I think it just must get easier with time.


  11. Well done. You handled that perfectly, and Fa reacted as best as you could have wanted.

    Hang in there. You’ll get through this. You’ll find a way to enjoy your time to yourself, I’m sure.


  12. I never cried. Does that make me a horrible mom?


  13. good grief, us mom’s couldn’t stay past the dropping them off. Once their “school day” started, we had to be gone. I know it was only preschool, but still.

    I wish we had a place we could have hung out. Not that any other mom’s seemed as upset at me. They would be on their cell phones dropping their kids off, not even hugging or kissing. I just don’t understand that.


  14. “It was difficult, but she did it anyway.” Just like you will eventually be alright. It’ll get easier. It just has to.


  15. HUGS!

    You so totally rock, really. You are doing it. It may not feel like it but you are letting go, one step at a time. I can’t even do that. Becca is not in preschool because I cannot let go. I do not want her to think that I do not want her. So she is staying with me. She would rock at preschool. But I am not ready. So she stays home.

    You … You have taken the step. You rock!


  16. That does seem very hard.

    But you know what? you are one strong chick-a-dee. And you DID it! And she DID it!! woo hoo for you both! So very proud of you.


  17. It will get better, and easier for you both. I’m really pulling for you!


  18. Oh sweetie. That’s GOTTA be hard. I cannot even imagine. I wish I lived closer. I’d play hooky and meet you for coffee!


  19. Change is hard. I remember the first time Parker was in preschool two and it was my FIRST time alone.

    It was odd. Very odd.

    Then it got easier and I began to *gasp* enjoy time to myself. After 5 years, it started to feel good to reclaim some of myself for MYSELF and no one else.

    It’s like finding a whole new me all over again. It’s scary at times but also exciting.

    Hang in there. And when you’re feeling down, maybe try to view it as a time to rediscover yourself too. Gosh, you’ve changed so much since becoming a mom and WOW how neat it will be to know yourself again! Woohoo!!


  20. (((you)))

    more

    (((you)))

    as many times as you need/want.

    xo,
    OTJ


  21. *hugs*


  22. I just want to give you a great BIG hug and not let go until you feel better!!!

    Sometimes it seems like the only mom that doesn’t crave a “break” from my kid… Glad I’m not alone 🙂

    Letting go is so tough. I’m glad to hear that Fa is doing so super in her new environment, but I’m also proud of YOU for doing something difficult, too.


  23. You’ll both get through this adjustment. Meet some moms – they’re going through it too!


  24. Wish I had some sage advice to help…

    all I can say is you are doing great so keep up the good work and hang in there..



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