The Complainer

14 Oct

You know those people?  The ones who seem to have everything you want, who have good lives and should be grateful, but instead they complain?  I’m about to be one of those people.  I just need to get it out of my system.

Let me preface this (almost not posted) post by saying the following things that anyone who knows me in real life will answer with a big old DUH.  I adore my husband.  I love my daughter in a way that makes my head feel explode-y and she is a nearly perfect baby who basically sleeps through the night and is currently laughing and smiling her way through teething.  I am so blessed to be able to stay at home right now, and I really like the job I am currently doing.  I love my dog.  This house is lovely.

Now on to the complaining.

I’m having issues with balance.  I am having trouble figuring out how to get it all done in a day and not feel stressed out.  I spend most of my day on the couch, since my work requires several hours of typing and that several hours is spread over the course of the day thanks to diapers and bottles and my silly need to eat something sometimes.  I’d like to get out of the house more, but finding somewhere to go that isn’t far away (gas costs money) is tough, and most places I’d need to be to find the work required internet connection also want me to spend money.  The people at the local coffee house understandably frown upon me taking up space there for several hours without buying something.  We’re on a very limited budget, so how do I get out of the house without spending money we don’t have?

How do I fit work and baby and laundry and dishes and unpacking into a day?  How do I remember to shower when it seems like such a secondary thing, something that can wait when there is work to do, or dishes to wash, or baby laundry to do before she runs out of bibs again.  I feel stressed, and a little bit depressed.  I don’t see friends, because we live so stinking far away from everyone that no one wants to drive this far, and I don’t blame them.  I do get a lot of interaction with people online, and I honestly think that is part of what’s keeping me sane.  Thanks guys!

I’m also feeling frustrated with all of the physical issues.  As previously mentioned, things are just not the same for me physically.  I had some poorly healed scar tissue that was causing a lot of pain and made normal intimacy impossible.  I had it treated (hey!  silver nitrate burns!) and now it looks like I will have to treat it again.  And here goes any glamorous notions you had about me…  I have a bacterial infection that I can’t get rid of.  I was really prone to infections during the pregnancy, and it looks like I still am.  They are giving me a very low level medicine to treat it since I am still breastfeeding, and it seemed to worked until a few days later when the infection returned.  I also have a hemorrhoid (oh how sexy am I now?) that came part and parcel with Evi’s birth.  It seemed to be getting better for a while, but lately it is getting much worse and now I bleed every time I poop.  I haven’t called the doctor about it, because I know they’re going to say I have to have surgery and I have had enough surgery for three lifetimes now.  I know.  I know I should call anyway.  I don’t even know if I am supposed to call my regular doctor or the obgyn.

The dog still has fleas.  We are trying all sorts of things.  The stuff the vet gave us, which is also a heartworm medication, is not working at all.  She is itching herself into oblivion, and she is driving us all insane with it.  She itches and chews and licks all day and all night.  She makes it hard to sleep.  We bathe her with medicated shampoo, which helps only until she goes back outside.  Her skin is red and angry everywhere from all of the itching.  We need to treat the yard with diatomaceous earth, but because I suck as a pet owner that is just one of the things that keeps getting pushed down the list.

We are no closer to being unpacked and totally moved in than we were two months ago.  Everything that is left to unpack is the unnecessary stuff… books, knick knacks, decor… and I just keep letting it go.  Some things are still where they are because I don’t have a place to put them, which seems insane in such a big house.  We need bookshelves, but no one is freecycling anything we can use, so the books stay packed.  We need shelves, but again no freecycle luck, so the knick knacks still sit wrapped in tissue.  The bathroom is only half stripped of the hideous wallpaper, and only one quarter primed for painting.

I vowed to finish my book so that I could start shopping the manuscript, but I just can’t seem to find the time to make it happen.  It isn’t a Must Do, so it gets delayed and delayed until it just never happens.  Since I type all day for work, it seems like just one more thing to do instead of the project I loved.

I am SO not exercising.  I eat… passably, balancing not-so-good meals with healthy foods, but I am about fifteen pounds heavier than before I got pregnant.  It doesn’t sound like much, until you take into account that pre-pregnancy I was still about 48 pounds heavier than I “should” be.  So that means I am now 60+ pounds over.

Do you see now why I needed the disclaimer at the beginning?  I have a beautiful life, so much of it is exactly what I want, and yet I don’t feel totally content right now.  I compound the problem for myself by feeling guilty every time I feel less than perfect, because how can I feel badly when everything is so good?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s a phase?  Maybe I just need time to adjust to the way things are now?  I am off to make phone calls… the vet, the gyn, the pediatrician, the people who may or may not be able to replace our mysteriously missing oven rack…

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12 Responses to “The Complainer”

  1. Lydia October 14, 2009 at 7:47 am #

    That is a lot to worry about. I imagine the physical issues really compound everything else – it’s hard to feel mentally sound when ones body is complaining. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to balance life, work, and a baby. No advice here, I’m afraid, except to remind you that’s it’s okay to ask for help.

  2. a October 14, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    You won’t get enough time to do all the things you want to do. Accept that as a fact, and you’ll feel a little less pressure. Get your laundry and dishes done, because they need to be done. Spray your yard with some sort of flea killer, because you need to be flea free. Don’t worry about unpacking – you’ll get to it eventually.

    I’m sorry you’re still dealing with health issues. That makes everything so much more difficult.

    As far as getting out…can you just go for a 15 minute walk? It would also serve as exercise. Is there a public library that’s close? They’re free and many have free wifi. Also, you could probably hang out in a very busy hotel lobby if you can find one of those (more free wifi) or a major airport!

    Finally, make some time to work on your book, because it will make you happy. Even if it’s just 2 hours on the weekend when your husband is home to take care of Evi – make the time.

  3. Cynthia October 14, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Heather, I feel your pain. I think most people have been there, done that in some way or another. I have a few suggestions that might help…….With age and experience, comes wisdom. I learned that when I turned 50, others probably learned it sooner than that!
    Anyway….
    Most of it is psychological, what we think we can and cannot do.
    A lot of it is your attitude. So….
    Set your mind to shower first thing in the morning. Wake up just a little bit sooner than Evi and get ready before your day starts. This will help you feel so much better about yourself. Then make your bed.
    Then set a few goals that you want to accomplish that day. You can do this while you are breastfeeding and write them down. You might only want to set 3 goals, simple things that you know you can accomplish. I think that if you do these few simple things, that you will feel a whole lot better.
    Don’t buy junk food at all because if it isn’t in the house, you can’t eat it.
    Find some other young moms like yourself and arrange some simple park dates or excursions with them. Maybe once or twice a week. That will get you out of the house with somewhere to go and someone to talk to about babies!
    I think most women get hemmrhoids after birth but I don’t know if you’ll need surgery for them. Hopefully not.
    So eat healthy, grab an apple end some light cheese every time you sit down to breastfeed, and a tall glass of water. Go for a walk daily with Evi in the stroller. A brisk walk. That might help with the extra 15 pounds you have.
    I hope that this helps in some small way. Believe me, I’ve been in your shoes before, and I do feel your pain.

  4. bustedbabymaker October 14, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    I could have written this same post ALMOST word for word other than I don’t have any infections and am not working from home (so less to do than you!).

    The problems with normal intimacy, hemmorhoids, easy baby but feeling stressed, et cetera. I’ve been too scared to say it to anyone but DH because I don’t feel entitled to complain for one second about anything after all we’ve gone through to have the little guy here. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But the stress of daily life and little issues like weight/feeling like I’m giving birth every time I go #2, added to moving right now and worrying about money (not to mention the anxiety of H1N1, SIDS, et cetera) can really add up.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to make this about me – just wanted to let you know you’re not alone at all, and that even deadbabymamas can get a bit overwhelmed by life with a live baby.

  5. missingone October 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    I know what I used to do and still do really, is schedule schedule schedule. When A was a baby I would get up, make breakfast, shower, go for a stroller walk for an hour, come home, during nap I would get some work done, throw a load of laundry in , play with the baby, start dinner etc.
    Once you get a routine, you will find oodles of minutes in a day because you are not thinking about what to do next. Also, getting out for a walk first thing make you more productive because your body and mind is more awake.
    I would only do a load of laundry a day. Throw it in the morning, switch it over at noon. fold at night.
    hope this helps!

  6. Caryn October 14, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    I don’t have advice. But I do think you’re allowed to complain. Your problems aren’t any less important just because you have a good husband, adorable baby, and nice house.

    Personally, I find sometimes that venting about it and getting it all out helps a little. I feel more clear-headed and able to figure out an action plan to get through it (the to-do list your Mom suggested is a great idea, IMO).

    Hang in there. *lots of hugs*

  7. Connie Dees October 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Honey, you can complain anytime you want to.

    In the yard, the DE will work. Do it. Also, beneficial nematodes. Trust me. I had a huge flea problem when I moved in here and the organics did it. Just don’t put any chemicals on top of it or it will kill the good things.
    You aren’t going to get them off the dog until you treat the yard and house.

  8. Auntie Kate October 14, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    You are just totally overwhelmed and I remember those days myself. In addition, you have some physical probs which need looking at, and which in time will be fixed or will heal, but you’re dealing with a lot! I agree with the comments: be kind to yourself and don’t worry about dieting, writing, etc., until your health is back and just deal with the baby and enjoy her. You are not alone. It is physically tiring to take care of a baby all day, in addition to all the other things you want to accomplish. I’d say less is more — put stuff on the way back burner without feeling guilty. Try that walk in the morning, read a while, play with Evi, and see if you can find a few moms in your neighborhood. I had a playgroup once a week with my neighbors and we are STILL getting together for dinners every few months and it’s 25 years after our babies were born!! That really helps when family is far away. We just walked around and invited everyone we saw with a baby in a stroller to come for coffee once a week and took turns hosting. Can your mom come for a few days? Just to have her there to help out and talk is a godsend, plus you’ll laugh a lot. There is plenty of time ahead for career changes, writing, etc. Don’t try to do too much right now and sleep as much as possible. Lots of love is sent your way!!

  9. Coggy October 15, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    Everyone else has offered you the best advice so I can’t offer anything more than it’s OK to complain about stuff we all know how much you appreciate what you have.
    I felt very similar when I started having a hard time, I kept asking myself why I couldn’t be happy when I had everything I could ask for (well almost). I just had to accept things are the way they are.
    Things will all come together in the end. If it’s any consolation we’ve lived in our house for nearly 10 months now and we haven’t got round to doing anything. We still have some boxes unpacked. I am still to locate one of my pairs of glasses. I think I’ve finally realized it’s pretty much impossible to get most stuff done when you have a baby. I do the essentials and have finally learnt that the rest will still be there when I’m ready to do it.
    Hang in there! xxx

  10. Coggy October 15, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    Oh and I had a hemorrhoid after having Em. I treated it with over-the-counter cream and it did help. I don’t notice anything now so I’m taking that it’s a lot better. It did take a bit of time. Some one told me that in chinese medicine it’s advised not to have another baby before a year because that’s how long it takes the body to recover from the previous pregnancy. I know that’s not much help, but I mean that the body does take a battering during pregnancy/birth. My friend had third degree tears after labour and I know it took her a good few months before she felt things were getting back to normal. Pester all the docs you need to get them to check you over and make sure things are healing as they should. Big hugs x x x

  11. hailerstar October 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    My life isn’t as crazy busy as yours. I know this. But I would hazard the guess that you are feeling very frustrated because you are expecting too much of yourself in one day. You are feeling very out of control, like you’re not the one in charge of your day, and this isn’t true. You are. (I just thing some things are going to take extra planning on your part to get you to where you want to be … like taking some time while your husband watches Evi and making a list or meal plan for the coming week, so then you know what you have to eat or should be eating at a specific day/time and don’t have to think about it or feel guilty over hastily made choices).
    No one expects you to get it all done in a day. (Okay, you expect you to get it all done in a day … but that is rather unrealistic and unkind to yourself, you know). Figure out what goals you want to get done in the coming week. Then take those goals and space them out, a couple or so a day. Meeting those goals, even tiny ones, will help you feel better and more in control of your life. (Maybe even find a small swath of fifteen or so minutes and tell yourself to write 200 words on your novel … it may not be one to three thousand words or more a day but it’s a step in the right direction … it’s progress … trust me … any progress will make you feel lighter and happier).
    Do you have flea bites? If the dog has fleas than so does your house. Is the vet sure it’s fleas? You moved to a new area, right? Maybe she’s allergic to something outside – pollen or something – that she gets on her skin/fur and it causes the itching reaction? Have you found any fleas on her when you give her a bath?
    I totally loved the start of this post … the ‘I’m about to be one of those people’ … it made me smile. You’re not a bad person for being unhappy or frustrated with your life – and I know you know that already. I just applaud your candor in saying exactly how you feel and knowing that if you get it out there then it will nag you just a bit less.
    I know you don’t want more surgery … but you may not need more … least for the H problem. I’ve been seeing ads all over the place that they can do that kind of thing – with lasers and such – as outpatient surgery … at like a surgical center. Okay so it’s still surgery but at least it’s not stuck in the hospital overnight or days on end kinda surgery.
    Just remember that your most likely frustrated because you don’t feel in control. So take control. Figure out the little steps that will get you to the big goals that you want to achieve (damn, I should take my own advice, eh?) Implement them. Even if it’s just a few at a time. (Don’t give up on the writing … even if you make a goal to do a page a day … maybe change your timing if you can and do the writing first before your typing job … that way you won’t be looking at the blank page and feeling burn-out from the day long typing).
    You’re in my thoughts.
    -H-

  12. Tori Blaine October 15, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

    Of all your issues, the only advice I have is probably the least of your worried… have you tried putting your dog on a no wheat diet? Our golden retriever is super sensitive… itching, licking, biting her skin… until she has sores…

    We give her no-wheat food, add some sort of good oil to her food to add moisture, and when she gets too crazy with the itching, give her a benydryl or two.

    doesn’t cure it, but makes it easier to handle…

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