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All posts for the month May, 2013

Letting go of perfection.

Published May 30, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

*Note* I use the “bitch” word in this blog. I am aware that some people may find this offensive, and I do apologize. I won’t make a habit of it. 🙂 *End Note*

Last night I read a blog by MisBehaved Woman about having an inner voice that hates you. (I will try to link it, but I am blogging from my phone, so I may have to add the link later.)

Anyway, her blog really felt like something I could have written. Not the specifics, but in general.

My Inner Voice is quite the bitch. And not just sometimes. We’re talking pretty much every waking (and for I know, sleeping) second of the day.

I (or at least the inner me) am constantly putting myself down. Rebecca’s blog listed quite a few mean spirited comments that run through her head, and it was like she was in mine.

“You’re so stupid.”

“You’re disgusting.”

“You weigh a ton more than you should.”

“You’ll never succeed.”

“You’re a failure.”

I could go on for several pages, but the main one I want to focus on today is the one that is relatively new:

“You’re a terrible mother.”

When I had an epidural during labor, it was a failure. When I decided to stop breast feeding and start giving Briana my breast milk in a bottle, that was a failure. When I gave her a pacifier before she had really learned how to latch, that was a failure. When I started to waver at 4 months about switching to formula, that was a catastrophic failure…even though we stuck with breast milk for two and a half more months.

Oh, and the fact that she is on formula now? Total failure. Epic in proportion. I feel horrifically guilty.

My new mantra lately has been “You are such a bad mom.”

It doesn’t matter to my Inner Voice that I am doing my best, that I have more successes than failures, and that everyone tells me I am a good mom. In my mind, I fail every time I can’t get her to stop crying, she bonks her head, I lose my patience, or my nail catches her skin during a diaper change.

Occasionally my inner voice escapes through my lips, and people are often surprised by the vehement vitriol it contains, the absolute scorn and contempt I feel for my efforts, and for myself. “Hey, go easy on yourself,” is a phrase I have heard in many variations many, many more times than I can count.

I wish it were that simple.

My Inner Voice has had…just about 17 years to perfect its methods of mental destruction. And before now, I’ve seen no reason to fight back. I mean, only I hear this bitchy bully most of the time, so why should it matter?

It matters to me now.

If I allow my daughter to grow up hearing me constantly judge myself against impossible standards and put myself down, I am setting her up to fail. And that would be my true failure as a parent.

So, from now on, starting right this second, I am no longer going to try to be Super Mommy. I am going to be Briana’s Mommy instead. And when that bitch who lives inside my head decides to rear her ugly face, I’ll knock out her teeth…and comfort the Vulnerable Me instead of allowing the Mean Me to rule.

I will never be a perfect mom, because there is no such thing. But I am already a good mom, and I am going to tell myself that every chance that I can, until my Inner Voice believes it, too.

So if you catch me here on my blog beating myself up over some trivial thing, please feel free to call me on it. Because that Inner Voice is a sneaky one…

Briana’s Good Mommy

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A Quick Little Update

Published May 30, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

Since we have been gearing up for and/or actually moving, I haven’t been able to post in almost a month! I figured I had better get in here and let you all know we’re all still here.

Bri has changed and grown in leaps and bounds! At her six month appointment she weighed in a 16 pounds 2 ounces and measured in at 26.75 inches long. Insane! My grandma used to tell us when we were kids that she was going to put a brick on our heads to keep us from growing. Can’t Bri stay little for just a little longer? 🙂

She crawls around so fast now, I can hardly keep up, and she is trying so hard to pull herself up on furniture – thank goodness she isn’t there yet! She can push herself into a sitting position from her stomach, but can’t pull herself up into a sitting position from her back yet. She loves solid foods, and her menu now consists of oat cereal, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, peaches, peas, and (by necessity, unfortunately) prunes. Next up on her list is green beans. 🙂

She just finished transitioning to formula today. She’s on the Enfamil Gentlease Formula. I wanted to keep pumping but it was becoming impractical…especially with me going back to work at a grocery store where my schedule changes constantly. I know I have the right to pump at work, but I just wasn’t comfortable with that. Besides, I feel like pumping and giving her breast milk exclusively for 6 months and getting breast milk mixed with formula almost to seven months was a pretty big accomplishment. With my next baby, I am hoping to breast feed truly, instead of giving up after three weeks. Then maybe I will make it to the year mark like I had hoped to with Bri.

With the move and everything else going on, her sleep schedule has been a bit wonky. She had been falling asleep at ten every night and sleeping until 7 or 8, but now she falls asleep at ten and wakes up every couple of hours. We are hoping her schedule smooths out again as she gets used to her new home and all the new sounds.

I am no longer a stay at home mommy, unfortunately. I do feel blessed (or lucky, or whatever you prefer) to have been able to be a SAHM for 6 1/2 months of Bri’s first year of life, but I really wish it could have been more permanent. I loved it, even when my patience with her wore thin, it was the best, because I seriously felt like its what I was supposed to be!

But finances told me otherwise, so I applied at my old job (but at a location closer to home) and was hired back. Saturday was my first day, and I cried so hard before I left for work… Even though it was only a four hour shift, it felt like the end of such a special thing. 😦

Anyway, this was supposed to be a quick update, and I am blabbering on and on!

My Internet services have not been turned on here yet, so I can’t blog properly until that happens. Hopefully it will be within a week. I can’t wait to get back into blogging regularly, or at least semi-regularly. I miss it!

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