Sunday, July 10, 2011

Identity Juggle & Parent in Training

So, I have not found a way to juggle the mommy, wife and me identities. In fact, I still feel like I do not have the chance or opportunity to be me on top of being mommy and wife. I feel sad because of it, and yet when I try to talk about it I cannot. Why do I have these problems? It's not like I do not have projects that I enjoy doing. And in the process of being mommy, I think we may have missed some parent training for Brandon and myself, the ability to do things with or without the other...


I have my quilt I have been working on for a few months now. It has been fun sewing and piecing together the blocks. The whir of the machine is nice and calming. Even though the tension is messed up (I don't think it was ever not messed up) and sometimes the thread gets caught on the bobbin, it has a calming effect.

I have my Project 365 which has been going for almost 13 weeks now. But for that I was sick during one week and decided to push it back. I have not been able to just jump right back into it since. That and my camera is so frustratingly irritating! It takes decent pictures (once they are fixed up) but when I get into a situation where I think it would be cool to change certain things, I cannot! At least I am getting back into it more so than I have been since I was sick.

I have Nikolai's baby book scrapbook. But I have not worked on that at all since April and only have two pages. It takes a little more time and makes a little more of a mess than the quilting project. I like to spread out pictures, papers, stickers and the other what-nots used for scrapbooking.

Sadly, with all these projects going on I do not feel like it gives me the "me time" that I need because I am interrupted or rushed. The quilting I do after everyone else has gone to bed. I feel that I am rushing through the process of piecing a block just so I can get it done and go to bed. I am not able to totally enjoy it! I have already mentioned my frustration with my camera. I haven't touched the scrapbook. And, all the while if I try to do these during the day I do not get to do so without interruption because Nikolai is hungry/wants to play/tired/needs a diaper change or Brandon needs help with something or isn't inside (is outside or at work) to watch Nikolai and I have to do it. 

I feel bad. I discussed with Brenda that I just want to take a day. Just to leave Nikolai with Brandon and go do something just for me, for a whole day. The longest Brandon has had Nikolai by himself (no one else at all) is only a couple hours when I took my brother to dinner for his birthday. That was back in February! 5 months ago! I feel I should have done this sooner; that now Brandon does not know how to take care of Nikolai without someone else there to help him.

We were watching TV, winding down before putting Nikolai to bed (he was playing on the floor), and I was having my night time snack of cereal. Nikolai spit up, then was crawling through it to get to something. I saw it as I went to get up and pour myself a second helping. Brandon got mad at me because I went to get more cereal rather than grab a Clorox wipe or a napkin to help clean up Nikolai. I replied that I clean Nikolai up every day without help, he can clean Nikolai up without help every once in a while too. Brandon was so mad at me, he went straight to bed (so much for not going to bed angry). I don't necessarily feel bad, maybe the way I went about saying it, but not about not helping. I feel I need a break. I am stressed and even simple spit-up is affecting me.

I am tired of being involved in every little thing. I say I want a break from diaper changes because 1 out of every 3 that Brandon changes, he does without me helping. If I follow for conversation, I do not count those as helping. But where I help get the diaper ready, open the wipes and prepare those for him, even turning on the light or taking Nikolai so he can wash his hands! I do more than that on my own every day, whether weekend or weekday. I don't need to be involved in every little bit of spit-up or diaper change.

I think that in the process of taking care of Nikolai and not having left him with Brandon more often, we have missed crucial parental training opportunities for Brandon and myself. I need to remember how to be me and Brandon needs to be able to do things for Nikolai by himself.

Now for the difficult part: how to initiate this without causing problems or frustrations because that will only exacerbate the situation...