Tag Archives: snark

Dusting off the keys

I see it’s been four months since my last entry. Here’s the short list.

  • I recently got over a relapse – “flare” didn’t seem to cover it – that lasted almost a full two months.
  • I developed optic neuritis, which has improved since its initial appearance, but has not left me yet.
  • I switched medications from Rebif to Rebidose, and it is SO MUCH BETTER. No more painful injections (much smaller needle), no more loss of medicine because of loading my own syringe , (I lost four one night in less than 20 minutes), and only a slightly more obnoxious auto-injector (inasmuch as the whole thing is use and toss, so it must be left to warm and disposed of as a single piece).
  • We lost Tucker (our GSD female, and my “pregnancy nanny”) to complications from lupus in March. She now has a comfortable bed covered with roses in the backyard.
  • We brought home my Service Dog in Training (SDIT) from 5L Farm German Shepherd Kennel in North Carolina, a 16-week-old German Shepherd we named Abram. He will be trained mainly for balance and mobility, to offset my physical losses during a flare; for medical alert, so I can be aware that a flare is imminent (if possible – I’m not sure how or if it’s possible to scent-detect a MS flare); protection, since I will be out on my own with our son and can no longer trust myself with grip or aim on a handgun; and of course, obedience. His first public open testing will be for his AKC Canine Good Citizen, so that I can ensure that he is ready to be publicly acceptable (beyond the SD vest).
  • OUR SON TURNED A YEAR OLD. It’s a miracle we all survived. This year has been much easier than everyone says, though.

Nothing has really changed. We still live with my in-laws, and they still find new and different ways to drive me batshit. I stepped down from my nonprofit position and became a SAHM only, though I still keep my fingers in various pies. The boy, the dog, and my husband are my primary concerns, as always. When they are taken care of, then I can concentrate on the next thing, which generally means cleaning some room of the house AGAIN; or scrubbing the dog(s); or something along those lines. It’s been a rough couple of months, I’ll admit, but there have been a lot of good points, and a few bad ones. I’ve changed a lot, and my temper has flared more often than it used to. My memory is often shot, as is my eyesight some days. Not every day is bad, and not every day is good.

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The Village that “they say” is so important.

Breaking my silence only to say that the “village” it takes to raise a child should consider appearing only when and/or if requested, and its opinions can be left at its home base. Nobody said anything about needing a village for unwanted advice, opinions, orgrabbiness. It’s not that I need time off from my son as much as I need time away from the village. I’ve never had the village offer to clean its shit out of my truck, or offer to fix the door panel that mysteriously broke while I wasn’t driving it, or spontaneously clean house. It just shows up and dicks up the things I’ve cleaned, put away or fixed.

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Worthless day.

The MIL is at home for the week, since she took off three days and the county gives them two for Thanksgiving. I don’t know if it’s that it seems like she has gotten so much done while I barely managed to get eight invoices typed, or that I just had an off-day. It’s hard for me to adjust to sudden changes in schedule when not on my dime, and having her in the house with me 24-7 is not something that I would opt in to given the choice. If she helped me get more done, then yes, but it usually just ends up that I’m taking the boy back. It didn’t help that I had no real schedule for today, and somehow I feel guilty for that.

I don’t know how women did it in the 40s and 50s. Raised to it, I guess, because I can’t do it all. I can barely keep the floors swept. But then, I am cleaning and cooking for four grown adults, four dogs, and a baby – and most of the time, the dogs seem to be better at keeping their space clean than the people. It never fails that by the time I get to the back part of the house, the front needs cleaning again. And before you say anything about getting the rest of them to pitch in, let me add that I can’t even convince 354 to put his socks away in the hamper most days. (And he wonders where they all go…)

I need a maid. Or, a decent babysitter. Either would help me out tremendously.

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Dear Mother-in-Law.

I love you. You’re great. Thank you for taking me into your home and your family with open arms. I got lucky as mother-in-laws go.

But you fucking irritate me. A lot.

Continue reading

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The recurring cycle of maternity denigration.

“Don’t worry, when that baby comes, nobody’s going to know your name!”

“When that baby comes, everybody’s going to forget who you are. The only name you’ll remember is ‘Mom’!”

“Enjoy it while you can, when that baby comes, you’re never going to be able to do that again!”

I will never enjoy the phrase “when that baby comes” because of the above comments, and all the rest I left out. Usually said in a tone intended either as some perverse comfort, or in perverse amusement. What makes moms, or other women in general, think any of those comments are okay? Is it just because someone said the same things to them once upon a time? Because they’ve heard it time after time, and it’s become one of those “things you just say”? I don’t understand. Can anyone tell me if this is a solely Southern phenomenon, or do other regions have this as well?

Think about what you’re saying – even if the woman you’re talking to wasn’t hormonal and anxious about being a first time mother (because who would bother saying that to someone who already has kids), you’re basically telling this mother-to-be that her entire life as she knows it is about to collapse in her face because of the child she’s carrying. Instead of giving her another reason to celebrate the birth of her child, and being excited about his/her impending arrival, you’ve just added another reason for anxiety – she’s about to stop existing, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, because the baby will eclipse all things. She will lose her personality, her individuality… everything. Can you think of a better reason for perinatal or postpartum depression? Those are the kinds of things I was afraid before I got married, things that could have kept me from getting married, or having children, or anything remotely related to what people consider a “normal and well-adjusted life.” It took a tough round of self-therapy and trust in my husband to overcome those feelings, and I’m intensely glad that I did. Other women may not have that luxury of therapy, a constantly-available support structure, and an environment of trust and love that allows for those fears to go away.

“Don’t worry, when that baby comes, you’ll just have been another baby-machine!”

“When that baby comes, you’ll totally cease to exist in the eyes of others! Your only memorable contribution to society is that baby!”

My literal “translations” (above) are a touch harsh. I know I’m over-reacting, just a bit. It’s just one of those things that drive me up the wall, a phrase that I have heard from all those overly-huggy old women at my in-laws’ church (along with “We are so proud of y’all!” which is just a comment that confuses me in general), while they try to rub on my stomach to “feel the baby,” and stamp their little feet over the baby. Jesus, y’all, settle down. Nix that – go ahead and be excited, because when the baby comes you’ll all be talking about how I won’t let that baby go into the nursery and how it must be the post-pregnancy hormones that keep me from letting anybody hold that baby instead of the desire to keep most of your snotty-ass kids away from my child and his currently non-existent immune system. And probably what a heathen I am for nursing him during the sermon, instead of taking that baby out into the lobby to privately do that. And Lord knows what else I’ll do wrong. (Except I don’t care.)

Small church lady tangent aside, if you find yourself suddenly in a place where that phrase comes tumbling through your brain (I’m sure I will not be immune to it, despite my loathing.), stop for a second and take a moment to replace it with something a little more supportive. Something a little more comforting, a little more cheery.  Even a simple “Congratulations!” or “That’s so exciting!” is better than “when that baby comes,” no matter how much you mean well by it.

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