Monday, 28 February 2011

I Almost Registered For a Dating Site

I know that I am not ready to date.  I know that if I went on a date I would be completely pathetic and the poor sucker sitting across from me would run to the nearest monastery and never date again.  I know that if I went on a date, I wouldn't be cute & funny & playful.  All that said, I got an email from and clicked on the link, I was curious.

Before I met exHusband, I had a whole list of rules/criteria about meeting men to date:
- no blondes
- not shorter than me
- no family connection
- no set-ups
- if you meet in a bar then it is a one-night stand only - no relationship
- not at work
- no dating services, no internet
- no divorces
- no children
But none of this seems to be applicable anymore.

So anyway, I clicked on the link and was taken to the registration for the dating service.  It asked me all kinds of questions about myself and then it started to ask me questions about the person I wanted to date.  Salary range, ethnicity, job, physical characteristics, etc.  I kept putting them all as "no preference".  I had no idea what I would want and it just seemed so wrong.

It doesn't matter how much money someone makes or if they are an artist or an ad exec.  It doesn't matter if someone is blonde or slender.  It matters that you get along with the person, it matters if they appreciate you, it matters if they make you laugh, it matters if they laugh at your jokes, it matters if when you hold their hand you feel safe like that hand will stop all the bad things in the world from happening to you, it matters that when you kiss them you feel like you are home.

I had that all once and I hope that I can have it again some day, but I don't think that I will find it from a dating service, I need to see & hear & feel the person.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

I Took Off For A Couple of Days

This week I went on a business trip to England.  I had mixed feelings about going on the trip, but am glad that I did.

- I haven't been off the North American continent in about 5 years, and hadn't been to England in about 8 years.
- I thought that I would be able to catch up on sleep.
- I was going to use my brain again
- I was going to be in a completely adult world
- I was going to be able to have a drink
- I was going to be able to wear clothes that had nothing to do with nursing or trekking through the snow or pushing a swing
- exHusband would be spending a lot of time with the boys alone and would finally understand why I was such a crank

- I was very worried that I hadn't stock-piled enough breast-milk for BBJ2
- I was worried that I might lose my milk
- I was worried that BBJ2 might decide that he prefers a bottle to the breast
- I was nervous about meeting lots of new colleagues
- I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to have a conversation if it didn't involve Dora or Buzz Lightyear
- I was a bit worried that my emotions might run amuck and I wouldn't be able to hold it together

The Results:
- Spent 2 days in England and saw the airport, and 2 hotels, so I didn't really get to explore or shop the way I like to when I travel.
- Came home more tired than before I left.  Couldn't sleep on the plane even though I was in Executive Class with the fancy full bed/seat.  Stuck at a Holiday Inn next to a theme park during a week that was a school break, so there were children running up and down the halls screaming and laughing, and I think my hotel room was haunted.  Again on the plane home couldn't sleep.
- I did use my brain and it was awesome.
- Completely adult world = excellent.  I did get to do some baby/child talk though because some of my colleagues have children and one was pregnant, so of course lots of baby chit chat.
- I got drunk on a glass and a half of wine.  I've been pretty much pregnant or nursing (or both) for over 3 years now, so my tolerance is a bit low.  I did not make a fool of myself - so that was good.
- Clothes - WooHoo, loved wearing clothes that were for me.
- I think he gets it
- There is still milk in the freezer - Whew!
- Still producing - while I was away my breasts were huge and felt like they were filled with milk, I was  pumping to keep up supply but wasn't able to pump as frequently as BBJ2 nurses.
- Still nursing
- I don't know why I always get nervous about meeting new people, it is almost always o.k., and this time was no problem.
- I did have a conversation about Dora, but otherwise was able to have intelligent conversations
- Emotions stayed in check while I was at the conference, I did lost it a bit on the plane home, but otherwise o.k.

Overall, it was a success, I was able to function in a work environment and I made some great contacts for when I return to work, BBJ1 had an excellent time with Dad, BBJ2 had a hard time without breast-feeding but he was fine, and exHusband had some good dedicated parenting time with his boys.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Living Single

I was feeling pretty good about not having to share my home with a man anymore, feeling a little bit like my old self, with my own place (although with a lot more toy cars than I remember), then it hit me, I'm single again.  This might be a problem.

What happens if I have a heart attack or fall down and crack my head open?  The boys don't know how to use the phone properly yet.  There isn't someone coming home from work in a couple of hours to find me.  No one will know.  What if the pizza delivery guy is a crazy pervert?  I know the odds of this happenning are very very low, but it wasn't something I needed to worry about a few months ago.

Here is the really bad thing - I am going to have to date again - OH MY GOD!!!!!!

I just remembered how terrible dating is.  On the subway yesterday, I saw a man that for some reason reminded me of a guy that I brought home once.  He didn't stay long, thankfully, because he scared the crap out of me.  He kept saying strange things about being dangerous, and I was completely creeped out by him.  I was convinced that he was involved in some scary stuff.  And then I got a bit mad, why didn't he steal me and sell me into the sex trade, what, I wasn't good enough?  In the end I decided that he was just some lame guy who believed that women like bad boys, so he was trying to be a bad boy, but in a really bad way.

It took over 2 months with one of ex-boyfriends before I was sure that we were dating and not buddies.  We kept going out, but so often one of his buddies would be with us, we always did fun stuff, always in casual clothes.  I was never sure if he was just a new friend or a new boy-friend.  Turned out he was the latter, he was taking his time, and sometimes taking your time with a woman can be a good thing!!

There was the guy that I sat in Fran's with until 4 in the morning, drinking coffee and maple syrup, we laughed almost continuously, flirted non-stop.  We had worked together for a while before this first date,  so we knew each other, and it didn't feel like a first date.  At 4am, we ended up heading back to my place, as he was too tired to drive himself home way out beyond suburbia.  He slept on the couch, not even a kiss, and he farted loudly and smellily all night.

By the way, I am not a slut, I know that two thirds of my bad dating examples involved me bringing home men on first dates, but I didn't do that with all of them.  Sometimes I went to their place.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

My Body is an Amazing Miracle

Last night I wrote about how I do not like my body (among other things), but today while I was nursing my baby, I remembered that my body is amazing.

My body made people.  What could be better than that?  My children were created from my body.  Sure exhusband contributed some DNA, but my body made them.  I think of it like exhusband and I were co-architects, he contributed some of the design plans to the babies, but my body took the plans, found the materials, and constructed them.

Not only did my body make the babies, it also provided their only sustenance for 6 months.  (I am discounting the 2 ounces of formula that BBJ1 was given while in the NICU, the night he was born.  I always feel bad that he had any formula, but he was born 5.5 weeks early by an emergency c-section and I didn't know what I needed to know.)  Both of my boys were exclusively breast-fed for their first 6 months and both continued to breast-feed after starting solid foods.  So until they reached 6 months they were completely manufactured by my body.  AMAZING!

Breast-feeding was fairly easy for me, I didn't go through all the pain and trauma that so many other mothers go through.  The only pain I ever had was from pumping or from biting.  Even how my body provided milk was pretty amazing.  BBJ1 breast-fed whenever he wanted until he was one and went to daycare.  He would breast-feed in the morning when he woke up and as soon as we got home from work/daycare, and again before bed.  Here is the amazing thing, on week-ends he would nurse more often and my body still had milk for him.

My body also hugs my children, dances with my children, carries my children, lifts them up, lets them fly, plays with them, sees their beauty, hears their voices, smells their yumminess, talks to them, holds their hands.

My body is amazing, it has created and sustained miracles.

What am I Worth?

How much am I worth?  How do you measure the value of a person?  If I auctioned myself off on eBay, what would I get?

I measure my value by feedback I receive from other people.  Most of the time, I discount any praise but take any criticism at 100 %.  I don't know how to measure myself just for me based on my own opinion. I see myself as a reflection of how I think others see me.  I measure my competence against other peoples accomplishments.

I have a huge connection between my physical appearance and my self-worth.  I have rarely thought that I was beautiful.  There have been many times in my life when people have told me that they thought I was attractive and I didn't believe them.  When my father tells me I am beautiful, I think "he has to say that, that is what fathers tell their daughters".  When men in bars told me I am beautiful, I would think "he just wants to get laid".  It took quite a while before I believed exhusband thought I was beautiful, but I often thought he was crazy.  I did believe him, our marriage was one of the only times in my life where I felt consistently o.k. about my looks, I saw a reflection of myself that was beautiful when I saw him looking at me.  Right now I am having trouble looking in a real mirror and seeing that beautiful person.

Most of the time, I know that I am intelligent.  This is probably one of the characteristics that I value the least, even though it is one of the positive ones for me.  When I was young, in primary school, intelligence was not valued by my schoolmates.  The children that received good grades or who knew the answers were picked on.  I very quickly picked up on this and stopped raising my hand and did not publicize my grades.  I often refer to myself as stupid, although that is generally because I have done something stupid, which most often happens when I react without thinking.  I have done more stupid things over the past few months then is normal.  I was reacting on emotions instead of thinking things through.

I often compare myself negatively to other women who appear to accomplish so much compared to me.  I have a friend who went through law school while married to a very busy man and with 4 children.  I was in awe of how she could juggle everything.  There are so many women at my company who have successful careers while raising children, having hobbies and volunteering at charities and I always think "wow, I am barely keeping my head above water with the little that I have".  My mother raised my brother and I while working, volunteering, having an active social life, and helping her elderly parents.  I found it a struggle to be at home with one baby, a struggle to be working with one baby, and a struggle to be home with two babies.  How will I manage working with two little guys?

I struggle with being a mother, a good mother.  I've read tons of books about raising children, spent tons of time looking for parenting advice on the net.  I try to apply that information with the boys, I try to be the mom that I think my boys deserve.  Very often though, I am chastising myself for not being good enough, for making mistakes.

If I think about it and try to be honest with myself, I know that I am not as pathetic as I often feel I am.  I know that I am not ugly or fat, I know that I am doing a decent job raising my two boys, I know that I am good at my job.  But it is so hard to remember this, it is so hard to remember that I bring lots of good things to the table.  It is hard to remember that I am worth a lot more than I feel I am worth.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Cannot Eat, Pray, Love

I watched "Eat, Pray, Love" last night and it made me wistful.

I wish that I was able to take a year to travel and find myself.  I really love to travel, to see different things, to experience different cultures, meet interesting people, and to eat.  I have never been able to meditate (I'm great at doing the yoga poses - very flexible), but I cannot get my mind to shut up.  I thought I knew how to love, but I'm no longer sure.  I so badly want a Balinese Medicine Man to read my palm.  That isn't going to happen, I don't have a year of travel money socked away and I have 2 little boys that need to be taken care of.

I know lots of people who eat when they are stressed, I don't, I stopped eating.  At first I couldn't eat, I felt nauseous all the time.  I did eat a bit, but it was just enough to make sure I didn't faint on the kids.  I started to eat more after my mom reminded me that I was nursing.  After the nauseousness went away I still wasn't eating lots and that is part of my crazy.  I totally connect being thin with being attractive and worthwhile.  When exHusband broke up with me, I instantly went into a really bad place where I felt like I must be ugly, mean, terrible, stupid, etc.  How could I be anything but all around terrible, if I wasn't, he wouldn't have left me.  I know this isn't true, but it is what crazy does to me.  But here is the really bad thing, I like being thin again, I haven't been this thin in a really really long time.  The crazy in me makes me think that if I am thin, then maybe I am o.k.  However, the last time I was this thin, I was young and had lots of collagen in my body, and I hadn't recently had a baby.  So I'm thin but now I have this extra skin on my belly and my face looks a bit older.

I don't' know what to pray for, I don't know what I want to happen.  I guess maybe I should just pray for peace and to be a good mother.

For a huge part of my life I didn't think that I would ever love.  I was so terrified of being left, of being hurt, that I wouldn't let myself love.  Over time I knew that I needed to change and not be scared or I would be alone for ever.  I didn't plan on falling in love with my exHusband, it just happened and I couldn't stop it, and I didn't want to.  It was the most fantastic thing to be in love with someone who I felt loved me back.  I don't know if I will be able to do it again.  Time will tell.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Cherish the Little Moments

Lots of little happy sweet things have happened today, they happen every day, but today I noticed them and told myself to remember them.  The big stuff (vacations, big firsts) are important to remember but it is the little things that happen everyday that make us happy, if we want to be.

Little Moments - hugs - the last few days BBJ1 has been very loving and it is so sweet, I have been getting lots of hugs accompanied by "I love you too, mom".  (he says it first, but always says too)  Some of them come at inopportune times like during diaper change or while I'm trying to nurse BBJ2, but I just melt into them and feel so loved.

Little Moments - dancing -  my bedroom has become a dance club, we turn on the music and dance and laugh

Little Moments - flying - I lie on my back and the boys take turns flying on my legs.  BBJ1 loves this and laughs and screams, the really great moment is when BBJ2 has his turn and his face goes from stoic when I put him up to a huge grin as he very gently bounces up and down.

Little Moments - running through our home on tiptoe today with BBJ1, we took turns being the chaser and chasee and the chaser always says "I'm gonna get you" and then we both end up collapsing on the bean bag or the bed with a "I got you" and lots of giggles at the end.

Little Moments - BBJ1 passed gas while in the tub, there was a look of surprise and then a huge smile and tons and tons of laughter.

Little Moments - when I am nursing BBJ2 and BBJ1 cuddles up next to him on the nursing pillow, it is crowded, but the sweetness is worth it.

Little Moments - the day that BBJ2 first followed me from one room to another.

Little Moments - peaking in on them while they are sleeping and seeing the peace on their beautiful little faces.

Little Moments - when BBJ2 gave me a huge smile followed by his sweet head tilt while I was feeding him his cereal.

Little Moments - playing cars with BBJ1, he is very serious about the playing, but also just glows from the attention.

Little Moments - when holding BBJ2 and he just leans his head on my chest, makes me want to melt.

All these little moments are so important, they let me know that my children love me and trust me, they let me know that my children are happy, these are the moments that are really important.  I hope that I am able to always recognize the little moments and be present with my children during them.  I think that these little moments are what really makes the relationship, not the big stuff.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sleep Training?

I'm at the end of my rope.  BBJ2's sleeping pattern is too much to handle right now.  I am contemplating "sleep training" but don't think I should (I don't think it is the correct thing to do for a baby) or that I can.

I did not do sleep training or crying it out with BBJ1.  I received lots of suggestions to let him cry it out which always included examples of success stories, but exhusband and I did not think it was the right thing to do for our baby and toughed it out.  He didn't sleep through the night until he was 1 and at daycare.   He was able to fall asleep without nursing, if exhusband put him down by holding him and swaying while singing to him.  He is now able to put himself to sleep without any 'crutches'.

This time is tougher, I now have 2 boys to take care of all day, no chance for a nap (BBJ1 almost never naps), and I think that BBJ2's sleep pattern is worse.  So, I have been researching, looking for a magic bullet.  One of the things I keep reading is "children need to learn how to put themselves to sleep" "this is a skill they need to learn to become adults", o.k. this may be true, but when?  My child will need to drive one day but I'm not going to give him the keys to the car when he is 4.  My boys will need to take the subway by themselves at some point, I'm not going to send them off with their tokens just yet.  People need to eat solid food, but you don't give a one month old a steak.  Most people seem to understand that children need to be introduced to different things at the appropriate age, and you can often tell the appropriate age by watching your children.  It seems like the one exception to this is sleeping.  If your baby can't put them-self to sleep, maybe they are not ready, maybe they still need you to parent them.

If your baby is crying, they need something, why is it o.k. to deny a helpless innocent child something they need, because it is inconvenient to you?  Parents don't deny their babies a clean diaper or food when the baby is hungry.  So the crying might not be due to a physical requirement, it may be emotional but so what?  If you were crying about something for 20 minutes and your spouse was in the next room and didn't come and give you a hug how would you feel?

Regardless of my feelings on sleep training, I have tried a couple of things along the lines of sleep-training over the last two days, with no success.  I have put BBJ2 in his crib when I know that he is tired, but he is awake.  This results in either him crying immediately or him standing up and "calling" out.  Last night I put him down and left him, I made it one minute before I had to go get him.  I was balling my eyes out.  I was crying for a few reasons;
1. for myself - so tired - so frustrated
2. for BBJ2 -  he was so sad
3. for BBJ2 - poor guy has an evil mom who left him crying for all that time.

Even after last night's experience, I am still feeling desperate and wanting some solution, I just don't know what that solution is.  I know that at some point he will sleep all night, I just want it to be now.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

BBJ1 is a Comedian

BBJ1 was funny tonight.

He had a late afternoon nap, falling asleep in the stroller when we went to the drugstore.  I had to wake him up for dinner and he was grumpy at the time.  We had roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegies and gravy.  He said "no, I want lunch from the cupboard", I went through everything in the cupboard, and he said no to everything.  He then requested waffles, so I made the waffles and presented them to him and I received this response "I want more, I want more".  I asked "more what?", "more".  This went on for quite a while until he came up with "candy, I want more candy".  From this point on he was just funny.

I was in the bedroom putting on BBJ2's pajamas.  BBJ2 was wailing (tired and teething).  BBJ1 walks in and says "what is going on in here mom?"  in this totally serious and stern voice.

He was eating these gummy candy things that came in a cup.  He removed them from the cup and they were stuck together in one huge lump.  He was standing on the coffee table while I was nursing BBJ2.  I requested one of his candies.  He took the lump of candies, hid it behind his back and said "I am putting them away now", again in a very serious voice.

Later while I was trying to put BBJ2 down, BBJ1 came in and was playing with the candies, I took one and put it in my mouth.  He gave me a funny face, held out his hand and said "my candy, I need that back", so I took it out of my mouth and returned it to him.  He inspected and then said "OK" and put it down.

He accidently left a couple of the candies on the chair, so when he left the room, I put one in my mouth, when he came back I was chewing, he gave me the mad face, held out his hand and said "mom, those are my candies, leave them"  when I explained that it was too late, I had already eaten, he shook his head at me.

I'm sure there was more but that is all I can remember right now.

And yes, you caught it, my son had gummies for dinner and that is o.k.

Another fun thing, I'm pretty sure that BBJ2 said "mom" tonight.

Need Comments/Help - Pumping

I'm trying to build a milk supply for BBJ2 for when I need to go out and for my upcoming trip to London.  The supply in the freezer is growing, but not at the rate I think is necessary.  I am hoping that there is someone reading this who can offer some help/feedback.

Timing of pumping:
I really only try to pump when he is a asleep.  I wait about an hour after he has gone down before I pump.  There are some problems with this method.  He rarely naps during the day, if he is in the stroller and we go out, he will nap, but with the weather we've had this is not happening very often.  Without the stroller he will sleep in my arms, and sometimes I can get him down but it only lasts 45 minutes tops.  In the evening, we are in this continuous cycle of nurse, fall asleep, put in crib, wake up (tonight I have been him down 6 different times already).  It often gets to the point that I am just so tired I can't stay up any longer.

So, anyone out there pumping during the day while their baby is awake?  How does that work for you and your baby?  What happens if your baby wants/needs to nurse and you are empty because you just pumped?

Pumping is easier since I picked up an electric pump, but I still find it to be a pain.  Constantly washing & sterilizing the equipment just adds to the already too big task list.  But the big thing is that no matter how long I leave the pump on, it stops getting milk but there is still milk in my breast.  I end up hand squeezing for a minute or so to get all the milk.

Does anyone else have this issue about the pump not getting all the milk?  Any tips?

How much do I need?
BBJ2 nurses, I am not away from him very much and never for more than a few hours.  I have no idea how much milk he takes in when he nurses.

How much milk do they need?  How do you figure it out?

Monday, 7 February 2011

OK, OK, Going to be OK

The last 2 days have been ok.  Not too bad, not too good.

Yesterday ex came over with the 2 steps to visit.  I didn't cry, I wasn't even sad.  Actually happy at numerous times watching the 4 kids together, they really love and like each other.  BBJ1 was happy to see his big brother and sister, he misses them, he missed them before, as they didn't come over as regularly as he would have liked, but it has been over a month since he has seen them which is a long time.

Today my step-mom and step-brother came over to watch the boys while I went to my therapy session.  BBJ1 was of course happy, he loves playing with guys, he was pushing me out the door "mommy go now!", with literally a shove.  BBJ2 had a bit of a harder time.  He was o.k. as long as he was being held, but any attempt to put him down resulted in crying.

I'm finding the therapy a bit weird, but feels good and helpful.  I talk and then there is a long pause, and sometimes he says stuff, or asks a question, but he really doesn't say much at all.  There are times when he closes his eyes during a pause (mine or sometimes his) and I think "is he falling asleep or is he thinking", one time I almost did an AHEM, but he is just thinking and putting his words together.  It reminds me of this boss I once had who literally would fall asleep in meetings, he did once in my annual review session, I did get an unbelievably good review that year.  He didn't last very long, and I have no idea if there was stuff going on with him.  Weird.

The not so great part of the last 2 days is that BBJ2's sleeping is worse, probably my fault.  I have been trying to put him down earlier, since supposedly they will sleep longer and better the earlier you put them down.  Instead he is waking up in the middle of the night and being totally awake, trying to crawl around and explore.

Feel like ex and I are working towards being friends.  Feels like I am getting better, but not sure if it is real, or my facade.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Knackered Out

So tired, I have been tired for for over 3 months or for a few years, depends on how I look at it.

When I was pregnant with BBJ1, I was exhausted, I couldn't get enough sleep.  Spent a year at home with BBJ1 who slept through the night maybe 4 times.  Spent a year back at work, taking care of BBJ1 and  pregnant with BBJ2 for 9 months.  The second pregnancy was not as exhausting as the first, but still tiring. For the last 8 months taking care of 2 little guys full time.

For the last 3.5 months BBJ2 has not slept through the night.  For the last 2 or 3 months BBJ1 hasn't napped (he naps if Daddy is home and puts him down, but that is it), which means that I cannot take a nap during the day to catch up.  BBJ2 often sleeps for 45 min - 1hour at a time from about 8pm until 2pm, at that point I give up trying to put him back in his crib and take him to bed with me.  I have nothing against sleeping with your baby, it can be quite beneficial for everyone if everyone is happy with it, but I'm not.  I find that when the baby is in bed with me I don't sleep as well, I wake up frequently to check on him, make sure I have rolled on him or covered his face with the blankets, etc.

On top of BBJ2's sleeping pattern, I am trying to express milk to prepare for my upcoming trip to London.  I find that I need to wait about an hour after nursing to get a good amount of milk.  So every time I do get him down, I wait to try to pump instead of going to bed.  Very often he wakes up just before I start or while I am pumping.  BBJ2 does not have a schedule for nursing or sleeping during the day.  I'm nervous to pump during the day unless he is napping in the stroller (almost guaranteed that he will sleep for about 3 hours if he is in the stroller and we go), I never know when he is going to need to nurse and don't want to be empty.

So not near enough sleep + nursing + pumping + no chance to nap + playing with the boys + pushing a stroller with 2 kids in it (or wearing one in a carrier) + + + + = one very knackered mama.

Friday, 4 February 2011

I Can Do This

Today was a much better day. I know that I can do this, I can be a good mom to my boys, I can be friends with exHusband, I can be myself and I can love and like myself.

I have been very worried about handling mornings by myself after I am back at work. I am not even close to being a morning person. When I was working after BBJ1's mat leave, exHusband did the morning, I got out of bed, had a shower, dressed, grabbed the coffee that exHusband made for me, said good-bye and left. He fed and dressed BBJ1 (while taking his shower and getting ready for work) and took him to daycare. This morning we needed to go to the passport office and I wanted to go as early as possible to avoid huge line-ups. It took one and a half hours from the time we got out of bed to out the door, we all had breakfast, I had a shower, and put on makeup. Not bad, it is workable.

The trip to the passport office was good. BBJ2 slept in the carrier most of the time, but when he was awake he wasn't fussy. BBJ1 was amazing, held my hand all the time, no tantrums (okay, there was about 20 seconds of bad behavior on the platform at St. George subway), he stayed close to me at the passport office (pulled out Buzz Lightyear and a chocolate chip cereal bar when we arrived), and displayed good behavior all the way home.

In the afternoon, BBJ1 helped me polyfil some holes in my bedroom wall (nail holes, not fist holes), and we danced to Motown Classics. It was great fun, even BBJ2 was bopping a bit. It did make BBJ1 go a bit insane, really hyper but the moment was awesome.

At some point today I put on my Grandma's ring. I have my grandmother's engagement ring, and it is very special to me. I loved my grandmother so much and she passed when I was quite young. I used to wear the ring all the time, it makes me feel good to have a piece of grandma with me. I stopped wearing the ring when exHusband put my engagement ring on my hand. It was totally me that stopped myself from wearing the ring. I think that I felt like if I was wearing Grandma's big diamond that I was competing or belittling my engagement ring, like the engagement ring was so important that it needed to stand alone. I love the ring and I love how I feel when I wear it, so I am wearing it again.

Since we broke up, I have been focusing on all the 'problems', I have been spending my time and energy worrying about how I was going to do this, it felt like too much. I have been in a very negative space and blaming exHusband for doing this to me. But the thing is that he didn't do it to me, we did it together, I just didn't see it. We fell in love together, we built our relationship together, we built our home and our family together, we also took our marriage apart together. I did lots of things that contributed to our relationship breaking. I took his love for granted. I focused on what I didn't have or what I wasn't getting and ignored what I did have and what I was getting. I became terrified of losing him and acted on that fear, I was suspicious and jealous. I was angry a lot. I don't think that I would have liked being around me.

I'm going to try to focus on what I do have and what I can do instead of what I don't have or can't do. I'm going to work with exHusband to raise our children in a happy, loving, nurturing family that just happens to have two separate homes.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

What a Day!

Today was not a fun day.

In a couple of weeks I am going to England for a business meeting. I need to get my passport renewed since my existing one expires next month. I have just enough time to get a new one if I can get the application in by tomorrow. I arranged for my mom to come and watch BBJ1 so that I could wait in the line ups toddler free. I was expecting her to come in the morning and therefore did not take the boys to the park even though it was a beautiful day. Mom showed up around noon.

So the morning consisted mostly of BBJ1 going through all of my stuff and standing on furniture. At one point he came to me "here mom, for you" with my grandmother's perfume atomizer. It is blown glass and is one of the few things I have of her, I cherish it, and every once in a while I open it and smell Grandma.

After Grandma arrived, I headed out with BBJ2 to go to the passport office. I was wearing BBJ2 in a carrier under my mamajacket. As we neared the subway station, a man walking towards me hit me in the face with a bag of McDonalds and said something like "stop crying about that baby...". I was stunned and confused - I wasn't crying, I was actually in a pretty good mood. I turned around and said "what the fuck?". There was another man behind me who had seen what happened and started to tell the crazy guy off, and received a bag of McDonalds in his face. The two men then fought until the witness guy was holding crazy down on the street in the snow. I was on the phone with 911. There was a third man who had just come off the subway who also was on the phone with 911, he said that crazy had tried to pick fights with numerous people on the subway just prior. It felt like forever before the police showed up. The poor guy holding down crazy was really great, he did keep asking if anyone was coming, but he showed huge restraint, crazy called him the 'N'word and he did not retaliate or beat the dust out of him, but just continued to hold him in place. The police arrived, put crazy in a car, took statements, etc. I was not hurt and BBJ2 was absolutely fine, he slept through almost all of this.

So the hardest part of this was that the only person I wanted to call was ExHusband, but I couldn't call him. I felt like, ok, we are broken up I need to buck up and take care of myself again. I did it for years before I met him and I was o.k., I need to do it again. Later ExHusband texted me about something and I ended up telling him what happened. So I tried to not go to him for support but ended up there anyway.

So once the police said I could go, I headed to the passport office. Once there, waited in line only to find out that the particular office I went to can not turn around a passport as quickly as I need. We headed home, I just didn't have it in me to head downtown to the other office.

Later in the afternoon, at home, BBJ1 was in his chair having a snack and I was trying to get my work laptop connected to the office network, when BBJ1 said "mom, go to the big door, check the door". When he said that I noticed a funny burning smell. I went out into the hallway and the smell was quite strong and there were other neighbors checking it out. We determined that it was coming from the apartment in between us and that neighbor is away. I called building management to have someone check it out. I kept the door open so that I would know when the super came so that I could know if everything was ok. This meant that we had to be in the hallway while BBJ1 ran up and down. At one point some neighbors on the other end of our floor were in the hallway talking, BBJ1 was off, by the time I got there he was inside someone else's apartment sitting on an elderly ladies lap in her dining room. It was a pain to get him out and the man of the apartment kept saying "it's ok, he can stay" and I'm looking at the crystal bowl on the coffee table, so I got him out as quick as possible. BBJ1 decided that we should go into the stairwell. I told him that you have to have shoes on to go into the stairwell, so he went and got his shoes. We ended up going up and down 7 flights of stairs. (I have been thinking that I need to start working out - tighten the glutes - if I'm going to start dating again, so not a bad thing to do stairs). I don't know if the super ever showed up, I managed to get BBJ1 back inside after the stairs, but the smell did go away.

This evening I tried to get back to work work, but needed to call the HelpDesk, they were unable to help me, said to call back later when their tool would be fixed. But after fiddling around with stuff, had trouble getting my personal computer on the internet. While doing all this was nursing and putting down BBJ2 numerous times.

On the plus of today, BBJ2 started to clap his hands again. When he first started clapping, he used to do it a lot. At some point he stopped clapping, but I didn't even notice. This morning BBJ1 was making the music on a toy play and BBJ2 started to clap. I realized then that I haven't seen him clap in ages. I hope that the clapping hiatus was just because he was busy learning other new skills and not because he didn't have anything to clap about.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better, although I will be heading downtown with both the boys to try the passport again.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Balance Sheet of Marriage and Parenthood

I think I now understand why some divorces are so ugly. During our marriage I didn't do things for my husband thinking about what I would get in return, however, now that our marriage is over I keep thinking that he owes me, and since I won't get the emotional support now, and since he isn't going to show up and clean my home, I have been focusing on money. The focus is there because I am broke right now, if he had left when I was back at work instead of on mat leave, it wouldn't bother me so much.

When things were good, I didn't think about who was doing more or less, contributing more or less. When things were stressful for me, (stress caused by external or internal forces) I found myself weighing our contributions against each other. When things were good, it didn't matter if I was doing more of one thing because I was getting more of other stuff. When things were good, I was getting tons of emotional support and love, so nothing else mattered.

Now that our marriage is over I am looking at back at everything and reassessing. I look back and think "Oh my god, why did I do that, of course he would have hated me for that", but at the time I was just reacting to a situation. I look back and wonder if I made the right decisions for me. If I had known that he was going to leave me, would I have done what I did? I look back and wonder how I ended up here. At some point in our marriage I lost myself, it wasn't my husband's fault. For a long time I didn't need or want anyone else, he was enough. Then I became very isolated during my mat leaves and ended up relying on him more.

So the one thing that I feel like he really owes me is time. Time to get back out there, time to reconnect with my friends, time to find and be me. A big part of me are my boys, but I need to have an adult me too.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Karma is a Task Master

Recently I told someone that Karma is a bitch. This was interpreted as they will get what is coming to them for what they have done. I was trying to say that if they changed how they treated people, they would then be treated better.

I just realized that I must have done some terrible things that I don't remember, or that I did things that I didn't thing were terrible but had a disastrous impact to others, because I feel like I am in the middle of a shit storm.

It isn't just that my husband left me, it is everything that happens as a result of that. I'm in emotional turmoil. Most of today I was really good, but just started crying as I edited the photos in the screen-saver on the computer. It is one of the things that really suck about being left. The person who leaves gets to pick what they want to take, they leave behind all the memories, all the pictures, all the things you bought together. The person who is left has all this stuff around to remind them. My husband picked out the paint colour in our living room/dining room. We picked out the couch together, and I'm pretty sure the choice was more him than me. I made the curtain in our bedroom when he was working nights so that it would block out the sun so he could sleep during the day. It goes on and on. While I have already started to make changes (re-arranged the bedroom furniture), I can't just change everything else instantly. I do plan on making more changes over time, but money is tight and the boys will wreck everything anyway so it makes more sense to wait until they are older and are no longer colouring the chairs.

It's knowing that I'm not going to get my turn career wise. A few years ago we decided that my husband would pursue a new career. It meant that I was the income for the family for at least a year. However there was the possibility that once he was established he would become the income for the family and I could pursue a different career. I'm good at what I do, I'm successful in my company, and there are parts of my job that I really enjoy, but it is not a passion. Now that we are broken up and I am supporting myself and 2 children who will need daycare, I won't be able to start from scratch, I'm now a lifer.

It's being alone in the responsibility with the boys. I know that my husband is there for the boys, but it feels really different. I feel so much more responsibility than I did before, which is hard because it was already a lot. Part of the extra responsibility is now I have to help them deal with their father not being here. Part of it is just being alone 24 hours a day with them.

I was pretty bitchy when I was a teen-ager, maybe it is finally coming back to haunt me.