Posts Tagged ‘mothering’

Fears

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Motherhood has amplified some of my more irrational fears. When I bend over to put Spencer in his car seat, I feel really exposed and do it as quickly as safely possible because I convinced someone is going to come up behind me, bonk me on the head and steal my baby. I classify this as possible, but extremely unlikely even when factoring in the cuteness of my baby. I also fear that I will wake up one day and he’ll be grown and on his way out the door, but that one is classified as inevitable.

There is one fear, though, that I have always had that was amplified today: strange dogs, especially large black dogs. I think this stems from my childhood when I used to always walk a few houses up the street to play at a friend’s house and in between there was this green house with a huge, black dog that would charge their fence and bark at me. It was terrifying to my eight-year-old self and may be why I have some dog issues to this day. I don’t dislike dogs, I fear dogs. Once I meet the dog I am ok. It is just the proximity to other people’s dogs, on the street, at the park or in their yard that freaks me out.

My neighbor’s have dogs that they let sit in their unfenced front yard, mostly while they are in the garage or in the front yard. This bugs me, not that these dogs are scary, but I still don’t like it when they come up to Spencer’s stroller when I am walking by their house. And the neighbor, not walking over, just calling out, “Oh, he’s friendly” doesn’t cut it. I have a baby, control your dog. (Full disclosure, part of me can’t stand these dogs or neighbors because they let their dogs poop in my yard and my elderly neighbor’s yard. And don’t ever clean it up.) But those dogs aren’t the issue. Today.

I walked to the grocery store today, pushing Spencer in his stroller. I brought my own bag. I was doing my best to be an eco-friendly suburbanite. I went in the afternoon, which is not our usual time for walks. I don’t always like walking in the afternoons because our sidewalks are a little more crowded and I am a bit of a passive-aggressive yielder. I’ll yield every time, but I will resent you for it. I also took a new route. It is pretty much a grid, so all that means is that I went down a new street. Actually it wasn’t even a new street, just a new side of the street. This was on the way home. And there is was. My nightmare come to life. A huge, black dog sitting in the middle of an unfenced front yard.

I didn’t see it in enough time to cross the street because it was half hidden by a car in the driveway. The owner was in his open garage staring at me as I walked by. The dog moved just enough to freak me the hell out. A slow stroll in the direction of my stroller. The owner made no move from the garage, didn’t call the dog over, didn’t yell out, he’s friendly. I’m sure the look on my face was uncomfortable to say the least. I just kept walking and kept my pace. I’m not sure whether the advice don’t run applies to dog attacks or bear attacks, but it seemed like sound advice.

And nothing happened. It was fine, but I freaked out. If it had happened on the way to the store I would have turned around. I don’t want to be an entitled parent, but an acknowledgement would have been nice. It made me wish I took my husband up on his offer to get me a taser for my birthday.¬† And I won’t walk on the side of the street again.

And here is the point where I feel compelled to discuss privilege. Yes, I live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, with a park; I live in a house; the neighborhood is safe for walking during the day and (mostly) during the evening. And I live in the suburbs in Southern California. That said, I don’t think I need to be scared of the neighbors’ pets while I am walking my privileged ass around the neighborhood.

Not Good Enough

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Sometimes the internet makes me feel like a crappy mother. I get the urge to clear out my reader, dump my twitter account and finally cut ties with facebook. I feel like the things I do aren’t good enough. I breastfed, but had to supplement due to low supply. A lot of lactivist bloggers causally state that low supply is such a rarity that it makes me feel like they are telling me I faked it. I only plan on breastfeeding for about a year. I’m not going to aggressively wean, but I’m going to stop taking domperidone and I am not sure how my supply will do. I cloth diaper, but not from birth and not all the time. I stay home, which online is a good thing, but I was just at a gathering where the women seemed a little judgemental because I stopped working. They all work except for one and were acting like I just couldn’t handle being a working mom. I plan on sending my child to regular old public school, not home schooling, not waldorf or montessori – just school. I feel like all of my choices are being picked apart on any random day on twitter. Maybe I am jealous that I am not more hard core in my crunchy choices, but I love paper napkins. I just need to remember that I am raising a great little boy and making the choices that are right for me and my family.

Maybe I’m just feeling insecure and old because my birthday was yesterday or maybe I need an internet vacation because I really do love the friends I have made through twitter and the peeks I have into people’s lives through their blogs. Comparisons are hard, I know I shouldn’t make them, but I do. And I feel less fun and less cool than other moms. I feel old and geeky and it is kind of like high school and I HATED high school.

Mothering

Monday, May 10th, 2010

I feel the need for another Mother’s Day related post , partially because my last was so abrupt and also because of the lovely event I attended this morning. The woman who runs the breastfeeding support group that I attend hosted a small event honoring mothers. She led an interesting discussion on what we gain and lose when we transition from maiden to mother. It really made¬† me think about my sense of self has evolved since becoming a mother.

There are the obvious changes, like becoming a stay-at-home mom, but there are some aspects of my personality that have shifted as well. I definitely have let go of some of my need to plan; sure, I still like some structure and am not thrilled with surprises, but I certainly go with the flow more easily. My pragmatism has been beneficial and I have come a long way in managing my fears about Spencer being in danger. I know I still hover a bit when he is doing something that in1“ retrospect doesn’t seem so dangerous, but at the time was giving me heart palpitations. I feared that he would give himself a concussion banging his head on the hardwood floors and no I am so much more relaxed about it.

During the event, we were asked to think of a mom we admired and a trait that she embodied. I thought of my choice and she sure embodied confidence. The leader then stated that this was the trait we probably wished we had more of. So true! I have come a long way from the day we were leaving the hospital and I was afraid to put his arm through a sleeve because I thought I would break him, but I am no where near where I would like to be. My goal right now is just to grow every day.

My First Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

My first Mother’s Day was a little bittersweet. My mom has been gone for three years, but Mother’s Day still makes me think primarily of her; it seemed strange that people were wishing me a happy mother’s day. Overall, it was a day like any other. I’m not sure what I was expecting. A rogue bit of sarcasm somehow led to me cooking hubs his favorite dinner, but he did get the diaper sprayer and the new car seat installed, so woot for that. And we had made favorite burger for lunch with a chocolate shake, too. I was going to fill this post with wistful reflections on being a motherless mother, but I am kinda over it. Family is what you make it and you have to love who you got.

Testing out his big boy car seat

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