Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Whole For The Holidays

Swiped this image from HERE.
So I'm not sure why, exactly, but it seems to me that this time of year there are a lot of babies being born.  Maybe it's the spring mating season thing?  I don't know, and I don't pretend to really care why.  The thing I do care about is that during the "holiday season", we're all ready wracked with enough insanity, before we add to it the babies.  

With every pregnancy announcement and upcoming birth, those of us who call ourselves "intactivists" just get STRESSED RIGHT FREAKIN' OUT.  I swear, I have an ulcer.

Nothing says "Happy Holidays" like knowing that people you've spoken to about circumcision a dozen times (at LEAST) over the last several months, very likely just had their newly born son circumcised.  And it's not as though they didn't know the facts.  If they ignored the sea of information I gave them, the decision to cut him would have been completely based on the husband's insecurity with his own genitals.  ("What's wrong with being circumcised?  I'm circumcised!  And my son will be too!")

What really GETS to me about this time of year when it comes to circumcision is that these adults are thinking of all of the super cute little outfits they're going to buy for their son.  They're thinking of the gifts that they'll have for him under the tree.  And they'll be spending two months flipping through flyers and websites, looking for that perfect gift for themselves.  'Tis the season for giving (and receiving), right?

I have this "crazy" idea.  How about instead of worrying about which Christmas sweater you're going to buy your son, you just leave your him with the foreskin his body was meant to have, and call it even.  It'll save you $24.99, and save him a lifetime of living with your idea of what his genitals "should" look like.

How about you just forgo the circumstraint, the tearing, the screaming, the trauma... 

How about you just love your son for the person he is, without thinking that his penis was made so horribly wrong that it must be "fixed" before he goes home from the hospital because, *GASP*, what if someone was to see it intact?!  The HORROR!!!

How about this holiday season, you leave your son's penis alone.  Give him the gift of a whole, intact body. Your son's "package" came perfectly wrapped, exactly as it was designed to be. It's a gift that keeps on giving all throughout his life, and one that he'll never grow out of.  (Which is more than I can say about that ugly sweater...)

Christmas sweater...see what I mean?!
(Swiped image from HERE.)
If you need more information, here are some links.

Also, if you have any questions and need someone to talk to, please, email me,
or send me a message via my Facebook page.  (LINK HERE.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Crafts For The Kids

I had a friend just send me a msg., asking me to re-post a link to a craft that I shared on my Facebook wall.

While I was searching for it, I found more.  Tons more.  I thought I'd share them with you.  (I'd LOVE to see the results!!)
Green and red paint, yellow marker.

I'm sure I'll find more along the way, and I'll keep adding to it.  But this should give all of you something to do during that super-long Christmas break that is coming up!!  (Stock up on supplies now before the stores get even MORE chaotic!!)

Have fun!!  :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sugar-Free Chocolate Cake for The Boy

Baking fairy  :)
So my Little Daughter is having her 2nd birthday party this coming Saturday at my In-Law's house.  (I love them, they are amazing.)  We're ordering a cake for her from a place in town because of the number of people that will be attending would cause me to have to spend 2 days baking, and I have no time for that.  Plus, the cakes we buy there have always been great.  (They cost too much, but they know that no one in the world has that much time or toy-free space to work in, and we're screwed if we don't get one there.  They could probably charge twice the amount, and some of us would still get our cakes there out of nothing but desperation.)

Anyway, because our son can't have refined sugars (and I'm not even trying the substitutes because they aren't healthy for ANYone), I have been in kind of a pickle.  What do I do about him not getting any cake?  Doesn't seem fair that he'll have like 25 people around him eating it, but he can't.  He's four.  I'm not about to let that happen.  So I did some research and found a recipe that looks like it has some serious potential to be tweaked into an edible sugar-free chocolate cake.

**I do want to mention that I'm writing this in trust that the recipe and additional information I found will work out.  I don't KNOW if it is going to work well, yet, but will update with how it worked out.**

Here's the recipe, and I found it HERE:

Oven preheated to 375 degrees. Square 8" pan greased and ready to go.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Mix together in a bowl. Add to the dry these mixed wet ingredients:

1 cup of water
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes, then removed from the pan to cool on a rack.

This cake gets that reddish tinge from the cocoa powder, where red velvet cake possibly originated from. The baking soda and the vinegar react to form this great squishy cake. You need the vinegar to activate the baking soda. You won't taste it!

Now I'm going to have to replace the sugar with honey.
How much honey does it take to replace a cup of sugar?  Oh, I looked that up too.  (I found the following information HERE.)

How should I alter my recipe?

1.  Use Less Honey:  I’m sure you realize that honey is much sweeter than sugar, so in recipes you need to use 1/3 less to achieve the same results.
2.  Reduce Liquids:  Unlike sugar, honey contains water, so reduce the liquids to about 1/5.  In addition, you might add a small amount of extra flour and baking soda if you are baking a cake, for instance.  This will help it to rise up nicely.
Another good quality of honey is that not only does it contain water, but it actually attracts moisture.  This is a great thing for baking because your cakes will stay fresh and moist.
3.  Adjust Your Oven Temperature:  Also, cakes and breads made with honey are much better looking than cakes made with sugar.  You will find that the cakes and breads are a nice rich, golden brown color.   Adjust your oven temperature down alittle (350 down to 325) to make sure your cakes aren’t too brown.  As each oven is different, start out with a small adjustment and change it if you need to next time.

What Kind Of Honey Should I use For Baking?:

For baking, it is best to choose a mild honey, like blossom.  The clearer the honey, the easier it is to use for baking because the flavor is generally milder than darker honeys, so it won’t interfere with the flavors you’re trying to obtain.

Well, "honey fanatic", I'm using organic raw honey.  It's fantastic, and has a more mild taste than the nasty honey I bought the last time.  *You can read about it HERE.*
Organic, raw honey
FTR, when it comes to helping my son find a way to navigate his life without refined sugars, I can completely and fully set aside my own beliefs in veganism.  The truth is I would do anything for any one of my kids, no matter what.  No. Matter. What.
Now...frosting.  (It's NOT cake without frosting!!)  I found this recipe HERE.
Healthy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 cup frosting
Healthy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
~This Chocolate Buttercream uses healthy, whole-food ingredients. Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free (when using sunflower butter), Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Vegan.
  • 2/3 cup mashed sweet potato*
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons nutbutter of choice (I used sunflower seed butter. Tahini or almond will also work well)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk (coconut or almond work well)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Whisk in the cocoa powder to create a chocolate syrup.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend together the dates and milk to create a sweet milk. Blend until smooth. More dates will create a sweeter frosting, less dates will create a darker frosting.
  3. Add the sweet potato, nut butter, and vanilla to the blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Stir in chocolate-coconut syrup mix until well-incorporated and smooth.
  5. Use right away or keep in fridge until later use. The frosting will become more firm while in fridge.
*I used baked sweet potatoes and take the skin off before mashing.

~Now, we don't have Coconut oil.  GASP!  I know.  Crazy.  So I'll be substituting margarine for that...unless I go all nuts shopping and just spend the $12 for a jar of C.O.
~As for "nut butter", I'll be using peanut butter.  The Boy is a super-fan.
~Also, I'll be using regular 3% milk, not almond milk.  I buy the "vanilla" almond milk, and that is sweetened.  I'm not doing all of this so the almond milk can mess it all up.

Clearly I'm going to be cooking some sweet potatoes, and stopping at the Bulk Barn to get some supplies. 
 I have some real work ahead of me. LOL I hope the Baking Fairies help me out.  Baking has never really been my strong point, but this amazing little boy deserves to have something that makes him feel special, and not just "different".
  *fingers crossed!!*

Another Baking Fairy.  LOL

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Taking Off The Paper Wings. (Truth Post Part 2)

Let me begin by saying that I think there is a very good reason, besides hormones or lack of sleep that makes so many mothers feel like they are losing their mind.  I think another reason may have to do with what I am calling the "Caterpillar Complex".
Let me explain:
I feel like a caterpillar that knows it should become a butterfly, but who can't because it needs to stay a caterpillar for the good of all those around it.  So, instead, it makes some fancy paper wings.  It gives the illusion of everything being super it should be.  Other butterflies see it and think it's one of them.  (Oh, aren't you perfect and beautiful like us!)  And sometimes when it just quickly sees a glimpse of it's reflection, it really thinks it is one for a second.  And, for a second, it has that feeling of being okay because it believed it had become what it was meant to become...that everything really IS great and wonderful.
But it's not one.  Not really.  And the truth always returns.  Those wings are made of paper.

Here is a message sent to me from a friend who is feeling the same way.  (Published with permission.)

"So, lately I've been really reflecting on myself and the important things that life has to offer and I realize that I put my priorities so far out of order it felt like there was no turning back. I explained to H[ubby] that mothers are garbage dumps, or at least the level ground beneath them. Everybody comes along (kids, husbands, and so on) and starts to dump all of their garbage (drama) on the mother, until she is completely buried and nobody can find her. They forget that under that pile of garbage is where she lies, that she even exists. Then, she has a really good cry, which burns off all of that garbage that so many people have piled on top of her, and she is free again. Free to bear the burden of everybody else's problems. I explained this to him because he has never understood why girls need to cry every so often to recharge.I watched that video that B*** posted, about the guy with cystic fibrosis. I thought about donating $10 off of paypal. Then instantly I was wracked with guilt. I can spare $10 for a man, for his life, and continue to play our video games. GO ME! :(not. WTF is wrong with me? That's like saying that a mans life is worth only $10. I would have instantly given him everything we have on paypal, but I'm getting E***** new diapers. Does he desperately, can't live without them, NEED THEM? Not necessarily. So now I'm in this huge moral dilemma with myself, and I realize that a big shift, a big spiritual change is coming.I am so exhausted. Each and everyday I do nothing with anybody. The kids ask me to play, I say maybe later. They want a drink, I grumble in a few minutes (then I do give it them, don't worry!), the point is I have been walking around in this muddle. I've become lost under the title of mother and wife and forgotten that I actually exist somewhere in this life. I've been eating nothing but shit again. And I'm paying for it. My emotions are all over. I was waiting for a book to be ready at the library for over 5 weeks. I finally got it, and was so excited. That was a week ago, and I haven't even opened it. Why? I don't have enough energy to start reading a book right now. SERIOUSLY.I can't keep living like this. I need to get healthy not only for my children and my future but for my SANITY. Money be-damned. If we can spend XXX amount of money on shit foods for months as well as the good stuff while the good stuff is barely touched until the very last minute.. then we can afford to lose the shit and eat more raw.I feel like so many changes are happening within me right now that it is making me dizzy, because they are happening at lightening speed. If we live with less (let go of clutter and silly belongings, maybe sell them and use that money to donate) our lives will be easier to manage. Maybe I won't feel so overwhelmed, that I walk into the kitchen, move three dishes around in the waterless sink, throw my hands in the air and walk away. I might actually get some dishes done. But as it stands right now, this very minute? I feel like I don't even know how, or what, or why, or whatever."

xoxo  Thank you Lady P. for letting me share that.  (I removed the names for her privacy.)

It makes me wonder if one of the reasons so many of us are losing it is because we're in a time of change.  The time is upon us where we looking back on what we wanted once upon a time, what we have now, and where we want to be in the future.  (Perhaps the overwhelmed feeling is because we suddenly realize that we're not where we want to be...yet.)

I can't help but think that any time we are going through a major change in our lives, even if it's one inside of ourselves, it's going to come with some growing pains.  Even a butterfly has to go inward and close off for a time before it reemerges as that magnificent being.

I think this all goes perfectly hand-in-hand with some information passed along to me from the Dr.Sears website.  It's called "Avoiding Mommy Burnout".  And it HITS HOME.

Here's a little of it.

Burnout is a state of emotional exhaustion. A mother feels burned out when she has been out of balance for too long. With so much energy draining out of her, she reaches a point where she feels she has nothing left to give. Yet baby continues to need mom, and mom needs to go on coping. Moms can become unhappy, angry, and most of all tired. This can often lead to questioning mom’s ability to care for baby and blaming herself for not enjoying motherhood.
Women who are the most highly motivated to be good mothers are most at risk for burnout. You have to be committed to parenting and working hard at it in order to burn out. Mother burnout can be one of the side effects of attachment parenting, especially in families where there is a high-need baby."
*My "baby" isn't high-needs, but having three children in under 2 1/2 years has made the children (in general) high-needs.  (Not blaming them.  Just explaining.)

"Modern mothers are expected to do it all: keep a perfect house, raise intelligent and creative children, provide their husbands with companionship and sex, and have a stimulating life of their own on the job or elsewhere. A new mother who tries to live up to this image of Supermom is headed for trouble. Learning how to be your baby’s mother is a more-than-full-time job. When too many other demands are placed on a mother, giving her more to do and less time to care for herself, she is in danger of burnout."

*I am fully expected to keep a perfect house and raise these children to be amazing, all at the exact same time.  I also feel like I'm expected to want to be intimate with my husband, and really engage with him and care about the things he talks about.  Being tired is no excuse for not giving a crap about the shift changes at his work.  

Also, on top of all of that I don't have a life outside of our home.  When I talk about it, I'm told that I "could", and I'm told it's my "own fault" that I don't get out.  Yet I live in reality and I know that up until VERY recently, my husband has been unable to care for the three kids on his own for any real length of time.  He'd swear up and down he could do it, but I've taken a shower and come out to chaos...  So no.  I really could NOT just go out and get a life.
(Thanks for making me feel like this was all my own fault though.  That was really great and super helpful.)

I'm to the point that I realize that I am absolutely ready to take the steps to become a real butterfly...and my kids are old enough that I can actually leave them for a few hours without the sky falling in on all of us.  And, even if the sky DOES fall's not actually the sky.  It's just my husband learning how to do this with three toddlers.  And we'll all make it out the other side okay.  Maybe we'll look like something the cat brought in, but we'll brush ourselves off, and be okay.  We'll all be okay.

I realize now that the expectations that I have put on myself are much greater than the ones other people have for me (people outside my home, I mean).

I realize that my husband has no effing idea wtf he's talking about.  And he can't.  It's not even his fault, either.  He's never here.  He is standing in the dark, telling me about the light.  But he hasn't seen it, so he's talking out of his ass.  (Seems that's been going around lately...LOL)

I am able to see that where I am now (as an individual outside of the roles I have), is not what I want for myself.  I'm not saying I don't love my roles, I'm saying I need MORE, because I AM more.

I am able to see now that I have been out of balance for a very long time.  I have made everyone else the priority, which I don't think is horribly wrong, but in doing that I completely lost myself.  I have become overwhelmed knowing that I am emotionally and physically exhausted, but cannot stop doing what I've been doing.  
My family needs me to fulfill the roles I have here (mother, wife), and as much as I have wanted to take the paper wings off for a long time and grow some real ones, guilt and fear have stopped me.  I see that what needs to happen is that I need to find a way to even out the scales a little bit...find a more balanced approach to all of it.

My family are going to be my priority no matter what.  They are my heart, my whole world, and are the center of my being.  I love that I get to have all of these people in my life every day.  But, instead of just making sure they are taken care of, I'm going to make sure I'm taken care of too.  Like I posted a while back, we're no good to them if we're not around.  (We're also no good to them if we are half the person we used to be.)

Even the most beautiful paper wings don't make a caterpillar a butterfly.
I think that along with growing my own wings, I'll be teaching my children that it's okay for them to grow wings too...that staying a caterpillar only to the benefit of everyone else, is not healthy.  I want my daughters to know that when they grow up, they can be MORE than a wife and mother.  They ARE more than any role they have.  They are an individual within those roles.  And I hope by showing them this, that they will find a better way to balance their lives when they're grown.
Also, I want my son to know that he too can grow wings, and he should not define himself in any label.  We all have the ability to be ALL that we are, not just my girls.  My son has watched me put everyone else first, and has watched the steady decline of my sanity in doing so.  He is all ready a boy who anticipates the needs of others, and has grown to be someone who will give away the only toy he has to play with so another child stops crying.
I've raised some very compassionate children.  But I think there's a thing as too much.  I don't want my children growing up to give more than they have, because then the only thing that changes is the name of the person who is going without.  I think that it's necessary to keep those scales level.  Keeping your own head above water is okay.  You can't really help anyone else when you're drowning.

I will show them that a person doesn't have to sit idle while everyone around them grows wings and flies off.  I need to teach them by example.  My job is to ultimately teach my children how to live independently from me, and I've been doing them an injustice by allowing them to see me sitting around with those paper wings on, pretending to be okay (when very clearly I wasn't, and it's stupid to think they haven't noticed).

It's time to stop being a martyr, since by definition there's no chance for a happy ending.  It's time to live what I want for my children, and lead them by example.

I got off track for a long time, but I'm working my way through the brush to get back to where I belong.  I have no doubt I'll find what I was looking for, and I have no doubt that in the end we will all be better for it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Taking Off The Paper Wings. Part 1.

So for almost 2 years now I've been writing posts for this blog.  I have had fantastic intentions.  Really.  And sometimes I miss the mark without really realizing it.

I think the problem was that I was standing in the dark, talking about the light, yet had never really seen it.

Confused now?

Let me explain.

I have lived in this world where things are black and white.  Right and wrong.  This or that.  And as much as I have been able to find that place where I believe that any mistakes a person made with their children, they did the best they could with the information they had at the time (hence the name of my blog), I don't think I was really, fully living it.  I thought I was...but now I see it differently.

I've come to see something I never saw before.  I think it's the truth...the "light", so to speak.

I'll start by telling the truth about myself, and that will make what I say at the end make a little more sense.

You see, sometimes I get overwhelmed being at home every day.  I don't drive, and I live out of town.  The only thing within a 20 minute walk from my house is the post office, and a convenience store.  I have no friends here, and my only contact with other adults is through Facebook.  (Sad, I know.)  I do see my husband a few hours a day, but it's after he's worked 12 hours a day, and he's all talked-out.  So I spend my days surrounded by my kids...and only my kids.

I sometimes feel like I want to run away.  I want to just put on my shoes, my coat, and run* as fast and as far away as I can go.  But I don't.  I don't run away because my kids would think that it's because of THEM that I lost my mind.  And really it's not them.  It's me.  Me.  It's me who has become lost and overwhelmed.  It's not their fault.  Not really.
*(Reality...there would be no "running" involved, unless a dog was chasing me.  I've had one too many kids to be able to run anymore, and just don't do it unless it's a life or death situation.)

Sometimes I want to hide in my bed, under the covers, with the bedroom door locked.  Just so they can't get to me.  But I can't.  I can't.  They need me to get up with them, get them fed, get them dressed, and interact with them.  Because they're just little.  They are still completely dependent on me.

I have lost my cool with them before.  I have yelled at them.  Yes, even I have yelled at my kids.  Mrs. Says-She's-Perfect.  And I don't WANT to yell at them.  I don't want to see that look on their faces when I yell.  I don't want to be THIS mother.  THIS mother is not the person I really am.  THIS mother is a woman standing on the edge some days, who WANTS to jump just so it'll all go away.  But at the exact same time I just couldn't.

There are times that my kids want to climb up on my lap, and I just feel anxious.  I am just touched OUT.  I have been holding them, and hugging them, and touching them, and BFing the little one...all. day. long.  Some days I am completely fine.  Other days I wish I could just slip out of my skin because I can't handle the touch of one more person.  Any person.

Which brings me to my husband.  There are times he wants to be intimate, and I just want to drop kick him in the throat for even suggesting it.  And it's not that I don't love him.  It's not that I don't find him attractive.  And it's not that our sex life is lacking in any way.  It's just that sometimes I feel like he's just one more person that wants something from me...someone else who wants to touch me!  GAH!!  

I never used to feel like this.  For a long long time I really was one of those people that were THE attachment parent, just completely taken by the love of where my life had taken me.  I never yelled.  Ever.  And I was just thrilled to get the kids a drink four hundred times a day, and listen to their endless stories about Dora and Boots. I was happy with things exactly as they were.  I was just in awe of them.  They were absolutely perfect, and anyone who said otherwise could kiss my arse.  (Clearly they were crazy for thinking my kids were loud and crazy and overwhelming...) 

It was like that until I was about half way through my pregnancy with Little Daughter.  My hormones went insane during that pregnancy, and so did I.  Afterwards things got slightly better, but only to the point that at least I wasn't a screaming maniac anymore.  But I've never gone back to being that person I was prior to that pregnancy.  And it's not that I didn't plan to have her.  We planned her.  She's always been wanted, long before I did get pregnant again.  And it's not as though she's ever been hard to deal with.  She's never ever seemed like a person who made "more work" for me.  Ever.  She's been an absolute pleasure, right from the start.  

So what happened?  Why did I go crazy, and STAY crazy??

I tried talking about it with my mother (maybe that was my 1st mistake), and she told me that it's "normal" to be like this because I have three kids.  Certainly SHE would have been this way too...which, I guess, is how she judges what's "normal" or not (how she would have reacted).  She told me to "get over it", because living in "LalaLand" (her word for the happiness I lived in prior to becoming crazy) wasn't normal in the first place.  She said that THIS is how everyone is.  She said I worry too much.

Suddenly I was worrying about worrying on top of the rest of it.

So instead of asking for help, I tried to suck it up.  I tried to just swallow that anger I felt.  I tried to pretend that everything was lovely, even though I had days when all I wanted to do was just leave.  I tried to just bury my feelings, because I was being selfish worrying about myself in the first place.  (I have kids that need me to worry about them.  What kind of mother sits around worrying about themselves?!  A horrible one.)  Time went on, and the un-like-me version of who I'd become just stayed.  Over time, it just became who I was.

Recently it's all just come to a head.  I can't do it anymore.  I can't live like this, and I can't deal with my life normally.  I can't look at my children for another day and know that I'm being anything less than the mother I used to be, to them.  They deserve that person.  They deserve better than this...than ME.

I looked up PPD, thinking that possibly there could be something long does that last, anyway?  Apparently not 2 years.  I guess it's not that.

The very worst part of this is that I have felt completely ashamed and alone for a long time.  Because this isn't who I am.  THIS isn't the person I am!!  The person I am believes that children should be treated with kindness all the time.  They should feel safe every minute, and never be afraid.  (Especially never ever afraid of their parents.)  Children should be held as much as possible, and our job is to love them every second of every day.  Children should never be yelled at.  Children are a beautiful gift and should be treated as such.

And it's not that I don't believe those things.  But I've seen the light, as I said.  The truth is not the same as that make believe world where children crap rainbows, and mothers have a never ending supply of patience and overwhelming joy of just because they are a mother.

The truth is that my kids crap CRAP, just like your kids.  And everyone else's kids.  The truth is that sometimes it all gets to be too much.  We get lost along the way, while taking care of the people we love more than life itself.  And then we feel this enormous guilt when we aren't thoroughly over-the-moon happy every second of the day.  Because a GOOD mom would be!!

The big picture here isn't hard to see.  It's not that I don't love my children entirely and completely.  Of course I do.  Of COURSE I do.  I love my children more than anything in the world and would die without them.  I would kill for them.  I would give anything to make them happy...and I have given up everything I ever was to try to make that happen.

I am failing miserably.

I've lost myself.  And I know I'm not alone.  I've had this entire awakening after speaking to a woman online that I've never met before.  She has a group on Facebook full of women who are just done.  Done.  And since then, I've had two other friends come forward and tell me that they're standing on the edge.  (They did not know I was writing this until after they had already told me how they were feeling.)

I'm going to post a link to a couple of sites for you to read more about exactly what I'm talking about, and help explain it a little better.

Sepia: Homeopathy’s Wise Woman

Sepia Moms

After finding all of this information and having that so-needed conversation with a kind stranger, I've had a very deep "ah ha" moment.

Every time my children scream/screamed in the night and I go/went to them, I deprived myself of sleep.  It took a chunk out of my soul*.  I still do it, and always will, because they need me to.  (Doesn't change the fact that it's taking a chunk of me every time I do.)

(*using the word "soul" here because I don't really know another word to describe what I mean, other than that one.)

Every time my children screamed in unison and made my head feel like it was about to explode and I kept my cool, it took a chunk out of my soul.

Every time my children screamed in unison and I yelled back to stop, it took a chunk of my soul.

Every time I have swallowed my own feelings for the good of the kids, it took a piece of me.

Every time I did not, it took a piece of me.

Every time I pretended it was all okay when I really just wanted to reach out and beg someone for help, it took more.

Every time I tried to talk about it and I was silenced and had my feelings left invalidated, it took more.

I am now to the point that I feel like I've had holes punched into me.  I have holes in me...many many holes.  I feel like I have no more to give...but I have to.  *Oh...that's another hole.*

Knowing that this can even happen has shown me something I never knew before...something I never would have seen, otherwise.

I now understand it when I have a mother tell me that she screams at her 4 year old son 20 times a day, and she's proud of it.

I now understand when a mom tells me that she 'HAD TO' leave her baby to CIO, what she means.

I now understand how a person could leave their newborn with their parents for a weekend and not feel horrible about it.

I now understand that these people may not be these bad, intentionally mean people so many people assume they are.  They are not even necessarily people that just don't know better, like I prefer to believe.  Maybe they do know that what they're doing is wrong (or less than ideal)...but they are just so full of holes that they are doing the best they can..even if compared to that "perfect" image, they're doing a piss poor job.

Maybe they started out with holes.  You know?  Maybe they came into motherhood with holes, and never even knew it until they had children.

Maybe they are just made of something less virile, and the holes get punched out of them easier, or faster, than some other people.

Maybe instead of suddenly telling someone that they're a horrible person for spanking their child, we can tell them that we're sorry that they feel like they have to do that.  Maybe we can find some kindness for them...understand that maybe doing that makes them feel like a piece of shit.  Maybe they wish they could do better, and by talking about it, someone will hear that silent cry for help.  Maybe what they need are some other (more peaceful) options, and less judgement.  Maybe we could just set down those stones and lend a hand?  Just because some of us can stop short of hitting our child, doesn't mean that everyone else is going to be able to.  I imagine that the people that spank/hit their children have more holes than I do.  My heart hurts for them.

Because I know that after I raise my voice at my children, I am judging myself more harshly than anyone else ever could.  I know that in those times I lose an extra large chunk of myself.  Self-inflicted punishment, because I am not the mother I wish I was.

What needs to be done is some healing, I think.  Some coming clean and facing the truth.  I think that it's only THEN that a person can go forward and try to change things.  (Until then, the day is about guilt and trying to hide the truth.)  We can't fix what we do not recognize.

I have ordered Sepia (free), and will try to see if that is the answer to what I really believe is a mixture of depression and feeling like I'm not living my life the way it was meant to be lived.  I don't know if it's going to work, but it's a legal option to fix me.  I am still BFing Little Daughter a million times a day, so whatever I choose has to be both legal and something that won't hurt her. I have chosen not to approach my Dr. because I don't want anything in my body that will go into hers that is not 100% natural.  This is my problem.  Not hers.

I have high hopes that this will help me be able to turn things finish what I started by talking about it.  Being honest about this has already improved things.  Since I spoke to that woman online last week about how I have secretly felt for a long time now, I have raised my voice to my children twice (which is a great improvement).  I feel like just SAYING it somehow freed me.  It released some of that pressure of having to just PRETEND all the time.  And being honest about the fact that I'm NOT always happy with my life as it is, has made me appreciate it more now than I have since I was pregnant.  It's made me look at myself and ask myself what I can do to make ME happy.  Because it's become very clear that I have done absolutely nothing with MY life in five years.  Since the day I got pregnant with the twins.  Every day for five years, my life has been completely devoted to them.  And the person I am...the person I am outside of my roles in my home...that person has been STARVED.

I coloured my hair.  I bought some kick ass heels.  And I'm going to go out for dinner with a couple of girls I know that I haven't hung out with in years.  No husbands.  No kids.

I've come to realize that I am a caterpillar that needs to keep moving forward if I ever want to be more than a worm with paper wings taped on my back.
I'm not looking for friends when I write this.  Nor am I looking for enemies.  The reason I had to write this is because it's not just me.  It's not just those few friends I have.  It's not just those few women in that group.  It's many of us.  Many of us who are too afraid to say the words, to look less than perfect, to allow ourselves to feel the feelings we keep bundled up inside ourselves because both fear and guilt keep us from saying it.

This is something that needs to be said.  I can't go another day letting someone out there believe they're alone in feeling like this.  You're not alone.  Not by a long shot.