Thursday, January 31, 2013

mom guilt and the fear of failure.

I've been listening to Taylor Swift's Red album pretty much on repeat... so be prepared for a lot of TSwift songs.  Had this album come out 5-6 years ago, I would probably be listening to it while bawling my eyes out, lol - but thankfully I've come along way since then :)

I forgot my snack this morning, so I'm going to have to buy some yogurt, not really a big deal, but I'm not always a fan of the flavor options.  I also wish the little shop sold raw veggies in addition to the raw fruit they sell.  I'm sure that option is somewhere on campus, but I'm hanging out in the library and it's cold outside, haha :)     

Our van has a maintenance plan up to 36,000 miles that includes free oil changes.  The van currently has 35,810 miles (or somewhere close to that).  I just google maps'ed everywhere I have to go from now until my appointment on Friday, and it's 142 miles - so I should be good!  It would stink if I got there with 36,002 miles on the van! 

I had a pretty good day home with the kids yesterday.  Elliot requested a dance party while I was cooking lunch and we listened to Call Me Maybe and Beauty and a Beat on repeat for 20 minutes while dancing around the kitchen.  Then he wanted to do it again after nap, and while I was making dinner.  It was a lot of fun, and quite a work out since Caroline insisted that I hold her all day long, including while dancing.  This morning I woke up and my lower back is killing me.  It took me a while to realize it's because I was dancing while holding Caroline on my hip.  She's a good 20lbs.  I probably should have stretched out afterwards, lol.  I also shoveled for about an hour, so that probably added to my back issues.  I'm taking an Aleve as I type!  

Well, if you look to the right of the screen, you'll see that I gained some weight this past week.  Honestly, it was my birthday weekend and we ate out a ton.  I was expecting this.  The problem with such derailment is getting back into the groove.  Monday and Tuesday were okay, but I didn't work out.  Wednesday I was home all day with the kids (snow day) and even though I did some unstructured exercising, I didn't eat really well.  I just kind of snacked all day long.  Nothing was really what I wanted to eat though, so I just kept eating.  I got rid of all of the chips in our house last week, and that was probably a good thing because that was really what I wanted to eat!  I had a few girl scout cookies, but I am more of a salty snacker than a sweet snacker, so I didn't over indulge in them - but it's not like their healthy, lol.  I settled for saltine crackers.   

I find myself getting totally bummed out as I see other people succeeding with losing weight - don't read that as I'm not happy for them, but more of a reflection of how I feel about myself.  Like, ugh, Bekah, get you're shit together.  I was overweight when I got pregnant with Elliot, and I gained a crap ton of weight while pregnant.  Part of that was what I ate, part of it was not staying active, and part of it was the pregnancy itself (hello 20 lbs of water weight).  When Elliot ended up in the hospital, and until he was about 7 months old and starting to actually seem better, I couldn't focus on myself at all.  I only cared about taking care of him and making sure that he was progressing with his health.  I think a lot of people, including myself, forget what that first six months was like with him.  Having a new baby is stressful enough, having a new baby that has something wrong is even harder.  Thankfully Elliot had a successful surgery and was off medication after a year, and then I felt like I could finally breath a little.

I don't want to seem like I'm just making excuses, but when I look back, I barely remember those early months.  I was really just trying to hold on for the first three months.  I couldn't control anything.  Elliot would eat, seem fine, then due to acid reflux from his CDH, he would throw it all up.  I felt think I couldn't take care of my child, and there wasn't anything I could do.  Also, we lived in an area where we knew no one.  Closest family was 2.5 hours away.  Until you have kids (healthy or not), you don't really know what that type of stress feels like (assuming you like your family, lol).  I had lost a ton of weight right away due to breastfeeding, and when I stopped I gain some back, but I just didn't have it in me to focus on me.  Maybe I was trying to avoid the reality of my weight, or maybe I already felt guilty enough, that focusing on me would just make me feel selfish that I wasn't giving everything to Elliot.  Like, if I had the energy to work out, then I must have not given him my all that day (trust me, I understand this is backwards thinking because being healthy is giving you're child so much, and trickles down to affect so many areas of their life). 

I lost all the baby weight, then kind of stayed there for awhile.  I think I was just comfortable, and glad that I hit my goal of losing the baby weight, that I didn't want to focus on the rest of the weight I had to lose.  And then I got pregnant with Caroline.  Through this pregnancy I ate WAY better and was more active - part of that was due to running after Elliot!  I was also in school again, and felt like I was moving forward and progressing personally.  I gained 35 lbs with Caroline, and am still working on the last 10 lbs.  

Don't get me wrong, being a parent is awesome!  My kids are amazing and I could talk about them all day long (btw, Caroline said, "one, two, three!" this morning!), but there are some days that I just feel like a complete failure.  I bring this guilt on myself for every decision that I make now, will make in the future, and those I've made in the past.  Being in school.  Putting them in daycare.  Taking certain classes.  Not breastfeeding long enough.  Getting an epidural.  Having c-sections (even though they were medically necessary).  Not buying organic fruit.  Letting them eat chicken nuggets and pizza.  Not cooking enough.  The fact that Elliot LOVES fruit, but hates vegetables.  Feeling like we don't read to them enough.  Letting them watch TV.  I could go on an on, and it may seem like stuff that doesn't really matter, but I think sometimes we (as parents) just need to be honest and say that these worries and concerns and guilty feelings are real.  Some of the things are also irrational.  We do read to the kids, quite a bit, and they are smart.  Really, they're fine, happy, and healthy. 

Sometimes I consider leaving Facebook just so I stop the social comparisons.  Studies have been done showing that people tend to put status's that reflect more positively on them than negatively (except everyone seems to know at least one person who does the complete opposite of this), and I know this, but I still feel like I can't live up to what everyone else is doing.  - I'll admit to doing this.  I'll update when the kids do something cute and smart, but I don't write a status about how pissed of I was when Elliot ran upstairs making a ton of noise and woke up Caroline.  I definitely don't post when I lose it and yell at him instead of doing any of the other parenting techniques that I know and believe in. 

What this all comes around to, is I think I'm afraid of failing at something else.  Not that I would fail overall, but ending the day feeling like a failure.  I don't think this fear of failure only effects moms, I think it's something a lot of people have, and it was a fear I had before I became a parent.  It's easy to say, well, make good choices, so you don't have that feeling.  But every choice has a response cost of something else I could have done, and finding a balance is tough and full of guilt some days.  H.L. Makin (a 19th century writer), put it perfectly, "For every complex problem, there's an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."  Not that eating healthy and exercising is the simple and wrong answer to losing weight (because I believe it's the very right answer), but sometimes it's easy to look at others lives and think, "Well, they obviously just need to do X instead of Y, and then their problem will be solved."  And that's so not the case.  Every decision has consequences, good or bad, big or small.  

What this all comes down to, is just me, needing to let myself off the hook.  This constant guilt is getting me nowhere.  And what others are doing for themselves and their families may work for them, and it's okay that I'm not doing or haven't done the same things.  Our kids are going to turn out fine, I'm going to do well in school, and I will lose the weight eventually, no matter how long it takes. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthday Weekend!

Song of the Day:  Happy Birthday Rebekah  - my brother found this, how awesome?!

Well, I'm now officially 26, or as I've been putting it - "the wrong side of my 20's."  I just feel so old.  I think I would maybe feel less old if I wasn't in class sitting next to people who are still excited about turning 21 soon.  Ugh, I guess I just have to live with it, lol.  And it's too early to start lying about my age!  haha :)   

We had a lot of fun this weekend!  We ate out A LOT!  There's all of these places that we've wanted to try, but it's not always fun taking kids out to eat!  I took the kids to my parents house on Friday, so we had a full weekend of trying new food and places!  We went to Brocach's Irish Pub, The Koffee Kup, El Rio Grande, Maharaja, and Banushi's Bar & Grill (BBG's).  My favorite might just be El Rio Grande!  I got Camarones al Mojo de Ajo - which is a shrimp dish with tons of garlic and it is AMAZING.  Best information yet?  They are a walkable distance from our house - and they deliver!

We also FINALLY bought furniture!!  We've been talking about getting new furniture for almost a year now, and have just kept putting it off.  It gets delivered on the 9th!  I am beyond excited!  Unfortunately with the nasty weather, the kids are still at my parents house, and I'm going to get them after class today.  Thankfully my mom was able to take a day off!  We probably could have made it last night, but we didn't want to get there and end up stuck for the night.  

I don't really feel like I've started a new semester.  Last semester I was so excited to start school and felt way over prepared.  This semester (which has only been 3 days) is just kind of 'eh' so far.  I don't really feel any drive or motivation to do anything.  Which I'm hoping will change once everything gets a little more routine.  I think part of it is that I only have three face-to-face classes, so my days don't seem as packed.  I think once I get to my field training site, I'll feel more like the semester has started.  I'm really excited for my placement!  The guy who was there last semester got to do a ton of stuff with the students!

Well, I should probably get some reading done this morning :)   

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What to do, and other things I forgot to mention.

I'm in a bit of a bind this semester.  I found out that one of my required classes (Behavioral Neuroscience) is not going to be offered next semester (my last one).  Thankfully I have options:

1. A committee finds a replacement class for me, and I take that class next fall.
2. I take the class this semester.  That means I can either have 15 credits, or drop a class and stay with 12.
3. I possibly take the class over the summer at another school and transfer the credits over.

I've thought a ton about option 2, but the problem is the class is offered from 3:45-5:00.  That means the kids would be in daycare from 7:30-5:15, and we wouldn't get home until 6:00.  Last night, Caroline went to bed at 6:00.  I wouldn't even see her, and how would dinner and everything work out?  I was planning on taking the class next semester because Caroline would be older and staying up later, so it wouldn't affect her schedule.  I really want to take the class.  It's Behavioral Neuroscience, extremely hard, and totally satisfying.  I am really interested in the class, and it's almost like a right of passage to take, but I just don't think I can do that to the kids.  Yeah, they're kids, and resilient, but they practically only have one parent during the week, I want to give them as much time with that parent as possible.  

So, it looks like I'm going with option 1.  I keep talking about this choice because I just don't know if it's the right one.  I mean, I know it's the right one, but it's just not really what I think I want to do.  I feel like I'm taking the easy way out - not that college with two toddlers and a husband who travels every week is easy by any means- but some days, I just with that I had more freedom to make my own choices.  

Things I forgot to mention:

1. I got a perm, and I like it!  It's pretty loose, and I really did it to add volume and give my hair some texture.  It's also nice to not have to "do" my hair every morning!

2.  I don't have glaucoma.  This may be confusing, because I didn't really tell anyone besides Kyle and my parents that it was even a possibility, but it was.  Late December I went to the eye doctor and she was worried with how large my optic nerve was.  It had been about 1.5 years since my last eye doctor appointment, and this was also his concern at the time.  After a few appointments, tests, and pictures, I don't have glaucoma, but my eyes aren't "normal."  Turns out they're normal for me though, and healthy, and I have nothing to worry about.  Good to know now, but it made for a long 3 weeks when I didn't know.

Good news - I lost 2.2lbs this week!  Not a ton, but heading in the right direction :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Doing nothing and it feels so good

Song of the day:  B.o.B. ft. Rivers Cuomo - Magic

I have done almost nothing Monday - Friday of last week, and I'm looking to do the same amount of work this week.  I had all of these plans to take the kids to daycare and work on the list of house projects, and instead I've taken them to daycare and watched Grey's Anatomy on Netflix.  And it's been great.  I can't tell you the last time I've just relaxed!  And I haven't really done nothing.  I've ran a few errands, including an impromptu lunch with a friend in Chicago, and had a few doctor appointments, but nothing that really required me to use my brain.  Hopefully this mental break won't come back to hurt me when school starts in a week!

My diet/exercise has been kind of a hit or a miss.  Some days I eat great, others, not so much.   Some days I work out, then others I don't.  But again, mentally, I just need this break right now.  I've devised a little reward system for Kyle and I to compete with each other on working out, so next week, that's getting implemented!  And hopefully it helps motivate each of us!  I also think that being back into the routine of school will help me a lot.  Right now, I'm just enjoying a break a little too much :)


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

*Meant to publish this yesterday*

Song of the day: It's a Wonderful Life - Auld Lang Syne

Well, I was suppose to start a class today, but instead I'm home with the kiddos and Caroline is sick, and it seems like she may have spread it to Kyle and I.  I took her to the hospital last night and we know it's not an ear infection or pneumonia, but they're not really sure what it is, so they're just treating her anyway with some amoxicillin.  Her fever is down this morning, but it's obvious she just doesn't feel good :(

Kyle and I decided to continue to order nutrisystem since he is gone so often and I get really sick of the lean cuisine meals (since there's only a few that I don't think taste exactly alike).  I lost some weight on it in August/September, so I'm hoping getting back on it will help me lose weight again!  We also bought a treadmill - and I can't wait to use it!  We realized that if we got a gym membership that we would only really be able to use it on the weekends, and we're not always home on the weekends, and the main thing that I would use it for is cardio - so we just decided to get a treadmill.  We got the Nordic Track T5.7 treadmill from Sears.  It was pretty easy to set up (it helped that Caroline slept the whole time), and it seems pretty cool when we just turned it on quick last night (after getting back from the hospital).  It is compatible with the iFit, which has routes based on google maps, so that might be kind of cool to get in the future!  My goal is to walk/jog/run (depending on energy level) for at least 30 min, 3x a week.  That's a pretty attainable goal, and hopefully I'll find myself doing more.
2013 Day 1 weigh-in: 218.6

Okay, I'm starting back at this!