My daughter helped me face my fear…. of public transportation

Santa Cruz Buses are Good for the Environment Too!
Image borrowed from: http://forum.bustalk.info

My 6 year old daughter has been asking me to take her on the bus for a solid 2 years now. Apparently there is something that seems glamorous about going for a ride on a huge blue box. You can see the bus stop from our living room window, so there is no hiding the bus swinging on by every hour, on the hour.

I had been avoiding taking her on the bus for 2 years now. However she gently reminded me of my promise I had made 2 years ago. I realized I had no more excuses. It was time to conqure my fear, and get my ass on that bus.

Now you may be asking yourself, “What the hell is her problem? Why would she be nervous about taking the bus?”. Well let me shed some light on the ways of my manic brain. The last time I took the bus was 20 years ago when I was 14 or 15 years old. Back then (the 90’s if you may), the only people that rode the bus were junkies, homeless, mentally disabled, and teenagers. Do you know how scary teenagers are? Fucking scary!!!! Ok, but really. The bus smelled like piss back then and had a strange dirty, sticky, vibe to it. Even as a kid, I only rode the bus maybe 1-2 times in my life. Anywhere I needed to go, I could ride my bike, walk, or get a ride. And when I was 16, and got my license, you better believe I felt too cool to ride the bus.

But here I am now, 34, and about to take my precious babies on what I thought would be cesspool of germs and goober. But my baby gets what my baby wants. (enter sarcastic tone). One fear I have is pretty logical. I was afriad I would get on the wrong bus and end up driving to Africa let alone across town. I did some research online and found our route. I also found the bus fare amount and made sure I had exact change. $2!!! What a deal!! Of course in my mind I kept thinking, “What if I don’t have enough? What if the coin gets stuck on in the machine and everyone yells at me? What if, what if?”

So we had our money, we had the time we needed meet the bus, and we had our route. We were all ready to go. So here we are at the bus stop. I had a 6 year old, a 21 month old in a sling attached to me, an umbrella stroller, a backpack, and a bag for our library books. Here we come!!! We got on the bus with flying colors. Phew! No one even yelled at me one. Go figure!

I was pleasantly surprised once we got settled in a seat and was on our way. The buses must have been remodeled somewhere in the past 20 years (Who would have thought?). The seats and floor was clean. There was no unpleasant smell. I felt comfortable and safe. There were no crazy people. Don’t get me wrong… There were people of all walks of life, shapes and sizes, etc. But mostly college students, some elderly, and lower income people. But was nice to experience a different side of life that I don’t think about on a day to day basis. And it was nice to just sit back and not have to worry about other drivers, traffic, etc. Granted it took twice as long to get to where we were going, vs driving myself. But we weren’t in a hurry and just had fun riding the bus.

Sometimes it takes our children to help push us beyond our bubble and comfort level. I certainly did not want my daughter to share in my own fears without having her experience life for herself. Most of my daily fears are not based on reality, but my own perceptions and judgements. Which isn’t healthy, but my own shit that I deal.

But that is saved for a new post. For now, all I can say is, YAH for public transportation!!!!

Agoraphobia….or just no night life?

I watch way too much TV violence. I know there is a serial killer waiting for me at night.

I watch way too much TV violence. I know there is a serial killer waiting for me at night.

I can’t say that I have ever really been an “evening event” person. Even before having kids, I enjoyed an evening consisting of a bong hit, a good moving, and carton of ice cream, before considering attending a party or social gathering. However, for the past 6 years, my evening routine has consisted of a babies bed time routine, followed by pi’s, locked door, and TV by 7:00pm. Our kids have always gone to bed between 6:30-8:00pm. This includes starting the evening routine around 5:30 with dinner, bath, etc. It just works for us.

But with the evenings starting so early comes a compromise that I never considered until recently. We have no night life. Unless we make plans for a date night or one of us has a night with friends, we are home bodies, from approximately 6:00 pm till bedtime. Our date nights are pretty few and far between, and usually consist of a movie and cuddle time on the couch. So when the time comes where I actually take those steps outside of my house, into the car, in the dark of night, the strangest level of anxiety and overall uneasiness comes over me. And all I want to do it reschedule my plans to stay in the safe zone of my locked door and house. Even if I need to get something out of my car, I will run to my car, get out what I need, lock the car door, and run back to the house, locking the door behind me.

Ok, blame it on watching too much violence on TV or horror movies. Blame it on the fact that I don’t go out at night….like ever. Blame it on the fact that I have too large of an imagination. Whatever, you will. But I just hate going out of my home when it is dark out. Even to get something out of my car at night, I usually just make a note to get it in the morning.

I have to laugh at myself. Way back in the day (aka, high school), I used to consider myself a “goth”. I was “a woman of the night”. Ha, yeah right. I was a poser, that’s what I was. But now, I am just a plain old hippy dippy mom, who rather be gardening and watching DYI then out on the town at night.

Something comes over me when I walk out that door and head to the car. The world is quieter at night. People who roam the streets at night have secrets lives and things to hide. There are many more hiding places  for serial killers attack me at night. There are more cars to not see me driving and accidentally hit me. People could be driving drunk. People could be rushing home. People could be rushing to rob a McDonalds. I don’t know… I just know, there is something mysterious, unsafe, and scary about being out at night for me.

I hate this feeling. I really do. I am way too young to feel this way. And it isn’t that I just can’t leave the house at night. I certainly can leave the house at night if I need to. It isn’t a feeling that inhibits me to get things done that need to be taken care of. It is just that I feel more comfortable taking care of business and having fun during the day. Then enjoy the comforts of my own home at night. However, I just imagine myself 40 years from now. I am going to be that old woman, who is extremely Agoraphobic and has like 10 cats and enjoys life from the window out her living room. Maybe I seriously need to get a life…..

What happens when mommy can’t sleep

Go to sleep dammit!

About 3 months of so ago, Wendy, a close friend of mine, posted an article about how she has insomnia. I read it, felt sympathy to her, and thought, “sucks to be you”…. Well, kharma is a bitch. And now I am the fool who can’t sleep.

Lately my baby boy has been waking around 3:00 am, then again around 5:00 am. Not cool!!!! I usually can get him back to sleep the first time around. A gentle push of a pacifier back into his mouth and a stumble back into bed, usually takes care of it. The 5:00 am waking requires a bottle stuck in his mouth, and if I am lucky he will sleep for another 1-2 hours.

Most the time I can go back to sleep after the 3:00 am waking. It takes hard work and determination to fall back asleep at 3:00 am. The trick is to stay half sleep during the whole pacifier/bottle process, then stumble back to bed and try really hard to not think at all, before falling back to sleep. The moment, one semi-intelligent thought enters my mind, BAM!!!! no sleep for me, thank you very much. The 5:00 am waking, is a long shot for falling back asleep all together.

This morning, at 5:00 am, I stumbled back to my cozy bed, ready to doze back to sleep for at least another 90 minutes… and then it happened. What you are about to experience, is a walk-through of a series of strange and obsessive, random thoughts that enter my mind, as I am try and fall back to sleep for the last 90 minutes, of what is suppose to a calming and restful sleep cycle:

Ok, if you can just relax your mind and body now, you can have 90 minutes of sleep. Do it, relax…. RELAX!!!!! Ok really, you need to breath in and out, and relax. Please go to sleep. 

Does fruit snacks count as a healthy breakfast? Shit, I really need to go grocery shopping. 

I don’t think I have given my kids vegetables for an entire week. I am a horrible parent. I am going to scar my kids for life and cause them to go into therapy.

I seriously need to remember to pay that bill. Oh man, I hope I don’t forget….. Pay the bill, pay the bill, pay the bill.

Go to sleep!!!!! Just go to sleep!!!! Why can’t you go to sleep????? Ok, ok, relax, you can do this. If you go to sleep now, you can have at least another 60 min before you have to get up. 

Shit I have to pee. No forget that. If I get up to pee, I am going to get cold and then I will never ever get back to sleep. I might as well just get up and start the day if I cave and go pee. I don’t have to pee, I don’t have pee. 

Lovely girl, won’t you stay…. won’t you stay…. stay with me… (that is a Lumineers song lyric incase you didn’t know.)

I wonder what Kim and Courtney are doing in Miami right now. I could just get up and watch it and just give up on this whole sleep thing. 

Maybe I should get up and take a shower. I showed last night, but maybe I smell. Old people smell bad. Maybe I smell like an old person. Oh shit, that would suck balls!

I really hope my skinny jeans fit today. I shouldn’t have had that ice cream last night. Maybe if I go poop before putting them on, with the right underwear, they won’t be too tight. Maybe if I had cooked more veggis for my family, my skinny jeans would fit today. 

What will I blog about tonight. Maybe I should just sleep tonight instead of blogging. I think my entire 16 readers would understand if I didn’t post tonight. No, no… I really should keep up with it. I will never get more readers unless I keep blogging….

For the love of god woman, go to sleep!!!!! Ok let’s try some meditation techniques. 

I think somewhere along those lines I did fall back asleep…. for about a 10 minutes. Then my 6 year old woke up and came into our bed. And basically it was all over from there. Time to get up and start the day. Maybe tomorrow I will have better luck. It is either that, or I am getting up and watching Kim and Courtney on TV at 5:00 am. Their lives are more exciting than the OCD that runs through my mind. Or maybe not….

Failing at being Supermom

With this being a new blog for me, I am still finding my voice and my writing style. I would love every post to be knee slapping funny, have a sense of sarcasm and just touch every parent who reads it on a level of connection with humor attached. But sometimes, my posts are going to be more of a barf of words. A rant of how I struggle with parenting, or hopefully succeed in parenting. With that said….

___________________

stressed

Failing At Supermom

I am failing at being a Supermom! (I feel like I am in an AA meeting right now, introducing myself, “Hi I am Delia, and I am failing at being a Supermom.”)

Before I had children, I had this ideal image of what motherhood meant to me. I would be the soccer mom, the bake sale mom, the mom with the bumper sticker on her mini van that says, “My child is an honor student at…”. I wanted to stay home with my children and spend my days cleaning house, cutting coupons, trying new recipes, be the perfect at home mom.

Ok back to reality. Supermom is a myth. Reality is that I work full-time and I am a full-time mom. I chose this path. I wanted to be with my kids and not in the office full-time. But I am wearing myself too thin. I flake on parenting participation commitments for school. I “heat” vs cook dinner. I let my kids watch WAY too much TV. And I always have the huge mountain of dirty and clean laundry that needs to be washed or folded. I can’t do it all!!!! Plus I am balancing the kids school and home, along with checking emails, and working late nights.

Tonight, after getting the baby to bed, I rushed out to the store to buy paints and mushrooms for a life lab project for the kinder class tomorrow. Two weeks ago, it was my turn for life lab again, and I forgot half the items on the list for the project, and had to back out last minute.

I also work in the kinder class every other Tuesday. Which I have my mom or my sister in law watch the baby. At 5:30 this evening, I got a wave of panic, realizing I had forgotten to arrange childcare for him for tomorrow, so I could work in the class.  This over extending of my time seems to happen on a daily basis for me.

Field trips, bake sales, nutritious homemade meals, storytime every night, arts and crafts, properly brushed teeth twice a day. It just doesn’t happen on a regular basis. If I am lucky maybe once a month? Ok, I have to admit, we have gotten better about the teeth brushing. But this is after 2 “princess teeth”. That is a nice way to describing her 2 silver crowns due to root canals.

Oh well, what can I say? My heart is into it. My intentions are good. My kids are fed. They have clean clothes and a roof over their heads. And in the end, they feel safe and loved. What more can I ask for…. oh yeah, maybe some sleep and a big bowl of ice cream. That would be nice.

And they wonder why I take anxiety meds….

It is 5:30am. The heater kicks on and the baby wakes up. I could easily use another hour of sleep. I stumble into the his room, stick a bottle in his mouth, pray he goes back to sleep, then stumble back to bed. I spoon my husband (as that is just about the extent of the action we get these days, and frankly that is just fine with me), and try to get back to sleep. As I settle into a cozy position, it happens. The cat farts… yes our cat farts. I never thought it was possible, but he does. The cat box is in our bathroom. He takes his morning shit at the same time, every morning. I lay there in bed, thinking to myself, “there is absolutely no way I am going to get out of bed to scoop the cat shit.” I would rather suffer through the smell if it means I can lay here and be cozy.

Then it happens, the anxiety kicks in. The chest tightens, the breath shortens, and the extensive list-making starts up in my head. You see, I have always been an anxious person. I have always been overly organized, type A, obsessive, etc. I have tried many different ways of relaxing to control the anxiety. But really it is the fear of lack of control that causes the anxiety in the first place.

After about 15 min of running through all the tasks I need to get done today, my daughter climbs into our bed, starts to wiggle, head butts me, and basically annoys me enough to get out of bed and start the day.

My daughter has started a morning routine about a week ago. She has a list of tasks to do in the mornings, like getting dressed, making bed, teeth, hair etc. Frankly as long as she is wearing clean underwear and shoes she can play in, I don’t care what she wears. Today she choose pj bottoms, a cotton dress that she decided to make into a skirt around her waist, a t-shirt, and sneakers. Good enough for me. Let’s go!

Today was my day to work in the classroom at her kinder class. So we dropped the baby at my moms, and were off to school. I was in charge of Life Lab today. Which I completely dropped the ball and came with half the items to complete the project. So Life Lab was out the door. After working in the class, we picked up the baby, picked up cat food, and rushed home for lunch and nap for the baby.

He went down for a nap, and I logged on to start working. You see I work 3 days in the office, and the rest at home. Which really means, I work every single day, every night, and whenever the baby sleeps or I can get in a bit here and there. Anything to make my 40 hours a week. When I work at nap time, my daughter gets to watch TV, play on the iPad, or in her room quietly. I know, I am a horrible mom to let her have “screen time” in the middle of the day, but you gotta do what you gotta do? And Frankly I can’t be up until midnight working.

After the 2 hour nap is done, we rush to swim lessons for my daughter. Sometime I am able to get in a 30 min lap swim while the baby is at the gym daycare. Sometimes I get in with both kids before her swim lesson and endure the old people yelling at me for whatever reason, even though I am abiding the rules. Last time it was because we were swimming in the middle of this old guys invisible lane.  Oh yah, good times.

After swimming, we rush to the store to pick up snack for kinder tomorrow. Yep, totally forgot we had snack assigned to us tomorrow. And headed home for a shower, dinner, and bed.

Daddy came home shortly after we did. And then the tag team starts. Dinner, shower, bottle, reading, whatever. He gets our daughter down to bed and I work on the baby. Then I get to work for another 2 hours until it is my bedtime.

You can imagine after a day like this, most mommies have a glass of wine, maybe even 2. Some may have a hit off the old bong. Some may have a session of meditation or sit in a hot tub. I would love to have wine, but it makes me sick. I would love to have a bong hit, but those days are over. And I would love to go meditate, if I didn’t have to punch into the computer and be a productive employee from 8:00-10:00pm.

So, I resort to my Lorazepam. I only take one pill maybe twice a week. It is just enough to take the edge off when I can’t calm my body and mind. No harm in that right? The little white pill that zones you out just enough, but not to the point where you can’t function. The magic pill of the modern mom. After a day like today, you can’t blame me, right?