And now, he’s two and a half, has a better vocabulary than most his age. He’s bright, funny, kind and most importantly – in good health. He’s got his Daddy’s height genetics, that’s for sure. You would never know that he was born early, that he spent time hooked up to machines to help him breathe, being fed through an IV for awhile. I am amazed when I look at my son, and I never miss a moment to tell him how much that I love him. And I am so proud to be his mother.
My thyroid disease played a part in my early delivery. It has taken me for a loop since I was diagnosed during pregnancy, it’s not something that just goes away on its own. My medication has been tweaked, I’ve had to make adjustmetns on what I eat. It’s been very difficult to lose weight, even with exercise and it’s been so frustrating. No diet programs like Advocare or Plexus will work – it’s not a ‘I’m overweight and fat’ problem that I can drink away with shakes and pink water. It’s about me trying to stay healthy and keep my thyroid function where it needs to be.
Just recently, I had a biopsy done because there were nodules on the left side. Everything is okay, but I still have problems and sometimes I’m sluggish, sometimes I’m in bed at 8 because I’m just so tired. In two weeks, I see a new endocrinologist – apparently he’s one of the top thyroid disease doctors in the city. I know that I can’t be cured, but I hope that this new doctor helps me in ways that my old one just didn’t. I want to be healthy for myself, my son and my husband. It’s important, especially after everything our little family has been through.
I sat here at my desk today and truly debated writing. And here I am.
This morning was very difficult. I didn’t turn on the television. All I needed to see was a text from my best friend that said, “It was real.” That’s when I knew that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. When I went to bed last night, Hillary still had her shot at winning. I had my electoral college map colored in, I was doing calculations and hoping that Pennsylvania came through. When Hillary only needed 55 points to meet 270 – I decided I had to get some sleep. I turned off my television, prayed that the country I love would not be on fire when I woke up, then got into bed. I miraculously fell asleep, my anxiety ridden brain gave it a rest.
I opened the door to my bedroom and didn’t see a dystopian world outside of my window. It was grey and bleak, pretty much representing my mood the second I read Alena’s text. I continued to move along as I normally do in the morning, shower up, get dressed, say good morning to my son. He’s not a morning child, he resists getting up and he gives us a hard time every single morning. Except today. He was in a jovial mood, laughing and joking with us. Oblivious as to what just happened in this election. I was envious in that moment, but I remember that I too, was once his age and didn’t know how this country received Ronald Reagan. I was too young to remember his terms, the first election that I started to understand everything was in 1992. I was in 7th grade. Our history class all voted for Clinton after lessons and research had been done. I couldn’t wait to vote for real and have it count.
To those of you who felt like your vote didn’t count, or that you failed your country and your family — you didn’t. It’s been a very tough election for me, because I’ve seen people get straight up nasty on both sides of the fence. I don’t judge anyone in my friends or family for the way that they voted. That’s their business and their right as an American citizen to do so. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for others (on both sides of this). I’ve been awake for roughly six hours now and it’s totally sunk in that we can’t take our votes back, we can’t change who was nominated in the first place.
But we can change how we react.
I’m not afraid to say that I absolutely am not a fan of Trump’s, but he has now been elected to run this country. I’ve accepted this, and will continue to use my voice, vote in EVERY single election (even those small ones everyone deems unimportant), and continue to have hope. And this is what I had said to him in response to his victory tweet – “History has its eyes on you, sir. I sure hope you do right by this country for the next four years.” I am a parent, a wife, an American citizen. I understand the magnitude of this election and the vote. I cannot sit here and spit out hate, fear, and overall ignorance. I’ll sit here and let everyone argue with one another, continue to break friendships over politics (and even family for that matter). I just can’t participate in it. I have friends who are scared, hurt, angry. Their struggles are not mine, but I still empathize because my kind heart doesn’t allow for anything else.
Be kind to one another, and treat others how you would like to be treated.
I’m tired and exhausted. And still clinging to a shred of hope.
It’s 8:33 and my son has been asleep for nearly an hour already, that’s what.
My husband was given Saturday off, his company is very busy working on an order for the Hillary Clinton camp for Election Night. But he was given a day off and that meant one thing for me – I get a day off-ish.
Yesterday, Jim wanted to stay in bed in the morning. Andrew woke up, wanted to go watch cartoons. I was annoyed because Jim wasn’t letting ME rest but then I realized I was being a jerk and I needed to let him have his day off. We had plans to spend the day together anyway, just the three of us. I was going to dinner later on with two of my girlfriends. I needed to get over it and stop being selfish and resentful.
But today, oh…did I get a surprise. My husband had been planning to take me somewhere today after church as long as he wasn’t working on Saturday. No working on Saturday meant the grocery shopping was already done so we didn’t have to go Sunday. That left my day wide open, but whatever my husband had planned I knew it wasn’t going to involve shopping, laundry, chores, and/or errands.
He took me to brunch at my favorite German food spot. I GOT TO GO TO BRUNCH, YOU GUYS.
First let me say that he woke up this morning and instantly made me French press coffee. That was enough to make me feel pampered and loved. We went to church, I got to sit by myself during worship because my son was downstairs at Sunday school and my husband was in the back doing the audio. I had no idea where we were going, but once we were headed in the direction of Hoboken I had a feeling.
My husband said, “I wanted to take you somewhere nice, we haven’t done this in awhile.” And my son said, “Because you’re the best mommy in the world.” I felt loved, I felt appreciated. I felt amazing. Anxiety didn’t get into my head and say, “I don’t deserve this.” We sat down, ordered a giant pretzel, my husband and I clinked our beer steins and he held my hand. It was an amazing brunch, time spent with my guys and I was absolutely overjoyed. And relaxed, I slept well the night before.
And when we got home, my husband took over and I was able to escape for an hour (or a little more) and nap in peace. I didn’t hear any screaming toddler or yelling husband. I heard nothing. I rested. I slept. I woke up feeling like a million bucks. It wasn’t Mother’s Day. There was no catch. My husband wasn’t trying to butter me up, this wasn’t a dream. Maybe my husband realized how frustrated I’ve been, how I’ve felt unappreciated and unloved. How I’ve been burnt out for weeks since our vacation. But I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth on this one.
For the first time in a long time, I feel worthy of a loving husband and one amazing little boy who reminds me every day that “you are pretty like a princess” and doesn’t hesitate to hug me. And this feels good.
Then there’s me. I commute daily to and from Manhattan. I don’t have the option to work from home. I get home most nights by 7, I have an hour with my son before I’m putting him to bed. Sometimes I fall asleep and I don’t get any time with my husband. Wake up, repeat the process until Saturday where things change. I don’t have to worry about tunnel traffic and getting to work on time, answering emails and praying to goodness my boss isn’t in a bad mood. I look forward to Saturdays because I don’t have to work, I get to spend a day with my son and enjoy being a mom. It’s just me and him, my husband is off at work wishing he were home with us. I get to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee, watching my son play, draw, color, build with his Legos. Sometimes he asks me to join him and I do. Then there’s times where he just wants to cuddle on the couch with me to watch Thomas & Friends or Daniel Tiger. And I happily oblige.
But there’s also a lot of things that happen Sunday-Saturday that leave me drained, that make me feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Parenting is a full time job. Being a wife is a full time job. I have three full time jobs, and two of them don’t provide a day off. There are no sick days, and I cannot even entertain the thought of taking a weekend and heading to Baltimore to see one of my best friends so I can roam aimlessly around Washington DC and get my history geek on. Hey, I get that’s what I signed up for when I became a parent. It’s not that I cannot take a weekend like that, it’s just that I won’t. Hear me out, people.
Most nights, my son begs me to put him to sleep. He wants me to read to him, hug him, cuddle him. My husband and I try to switch out but 90% of the time he doesn’t want anything to do with my husband. If it’s not Mommy, it’s not acceptable to him. He’s very attached to me and I know it’s not going to last very long but in the meantime…I NEED TIME FOR ME. “You have another parent.” It’s heard a lot around my house and then it’s followed by a whiny…”But I want youuuuuuu Mommy!” When my husband gets home from his workday on Saturdays, I feel bad because I know he’s tired. I know he just wants to rest, but goodness gracious I need time for myself on Saturdays because I certainly don’t get that on Sundays.
I told my therapist this week that I feel burnt out. That I don’t want anyone to ask anything of me for at least one day, but I know that’s not possible. I don’t want to be asked where something is in the house, or to cut up a peach, help clean the fish tank. Will this be different when my son is attached to my husband? Will I be able to have time to myself so during the week, I’m not up until 1am trying to catch up on my DVR? Will I be able to go to the bathroom in peace? Will I be able to get back to working out on a regular basis? I don’t know what the future will hold. I just know that for now, I wear many hats and I am counted on for a lot of things. I have a little life that depends on me, and a husband with physical limitations and a job that gives him one day a week off. So I’ll do this juggling with as much patience and grace as I possibly can and remember that I’m doing all of this to provide for my family.