In Tense

if you are depressed
you are living in the past

if you are anxious
you are living in the future

if you are at peace
you are living in the present

-Lao Tzu

i think about this quote almost everyday.  it is one of my mantras to help me stay focused on the present as that is all i have at any given moment… for the most part.

i've had a a rough last couple of days where i have struggled a little harder to stay mindful and present.  as Malcolm changes that tiny bit day by day and week to week, my heart aches for those first few days in the hospital when he was just my tiny little ball of warm downy flesh, when his tiny bones and muscles could still curl into that tight fetal position, so compact i could hold him in my hands!  i look at the "newborn" photos i tried to arrange in those first 2 weeks and i get angry.  i didn't get what i wanted and i think it is because i didn't even KNOW what i wanted.  i feel like i tried to copy and remake the popular styles trending on Pinterest rather than capturing true moments which is what i usually do!   then i get frustrated with not having a photographer husband to capture me and Malcolm's early moments and present day-to-day moments that I WANT to remember and look back on when i no longer these sweet days…  and then i get depressed over my body because even if he was taking photos, i would not look like those moms who lose all that belly and whose boobs don't balloon into 10 cups sizes beyond.

i'm angry at Time.  i'm angry that newborn stage is so goddam fleeting and that i can't go back.  i can't go back!!!!  I ALSO MISS BEING PREGNANT AND I CAN'T GO BACK!!!!  I'M BANGING ON A DOOR THAT WILL NEVER OPEN!!!

 today, i read another quote from a friend on Instagram who had a photo of a very loved barista that would be leaving:

"Don't be sad that it's over, be glad that it happened!"

it was exactly what i needed to hear.  i can't live in the past because i do definitely end up depressed. truly, i need not mourn for the past but rejoice that i experienced it and that it was so very lovely…  then my mind races to the future: i think of what is to come, the same wonderful amazing 5 years of hell that i have just about finished with Moses and Chloe, i will get to relive them with Malcolm.  i should rejoice, but instead i panic.  i panic of how fast it is going to go.  IT'S GOING TO BE SO AWESOME AND THEREFOR IT WILL GO EVEN FASTER AND THEN IT WILL BE OVER FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER AND I WON'T REMEMBER ANY OF IT.  i panic as i realize that Moses will be 10 when Malcolm is 5.  i panic of the exponential amount of control i will continue to lose with each year that passes and brings us closer to those dreaded teenage years.  i panic about my current parenting, i panic over my strength of character and if i will have the courage to take on the many struggles that these THREE children (THREE!!!!!) are going to need me for…  it will be like three puddles of quicksand all trying to pull me under and if i don't have the will power, i will drown and die.

will i be good enough?  
will i be able to support them in the way they need me most?  
how will i survive?  how did my mom survive?

i panic myself into a whirlpool of despair and wonder what i am doing with 3 kids in this tiny little house.

which then sends me in a rocket ship to the past of my carefree glory days with gorgeous skin, a rocking bod, bursting with Red Bull levels of energy and hours and hours of time to do whatever the hell i felt like doing and looking fantastic all the while.  to think of all the days i thought i had NO TIME.  it just makes me want to go back in time and beat the snot out of my idiot self.

and that just makes me imagine myself 10 years from now wanting to go back into time to RIGHT NOW to punch myself in the face for reasons YET TO BE REVEALED…

i hate Kindergarten.
i hate that Spring Break is over.  i don't want Moses to go back to school.  i don't know if all these "behaviour issues" are from the new baby, moving, full day Kindergarten schedule 5 days a week and/or ALL OF THE ABOVE or if it is his personality or if he is just going through some mental and emotional challenges as part of his current age… THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START.  

i'm so frustrated.

parenting is bull.  you can't quit.  you can quit any job.  you might think you can't quit but you can definitely quit a job.  like unless they have you tied up with a gun to your head or something extreme like that, you know…  well i guess you CAN quit on your kids but good luck living with the consequences of that, unless of course you don't care but if you don't care then maybe Child Services have already removed your children from your care…  or maybe i just harbour too much guilt too easily?

people talk a lot about Catholic guilt and i never know what they are talking about despite having been brought up by zealous Catholics and having had attended Catholic school from K to grade 12.  perhaps it is because I never felt that God was someone to be feared?  i also always thought it ludicrous that every time i "sinned" i was nailing Jesus to the cross.  I was pretty aware that the Jews of the time did that and while on the topic, thank God for the Jews because without them, Jesus would not have had the fame he does today and what would the world do without Christianity?!!!  ok, we are getting off topic here.  anyway, where was i?  GUILT!  ok Catholic guilt, I never understood, but MOM GUILT, that is a whole different story.  mom guilt, it would seem, is something i never seem to be able to have TOO much of.  it's like a buffet to which i have a chronic addition.  i feel bad about everything i do everyday and so i am constantly trying to make up for it with things like Arts and Craft time and Movie Night.  god, those seem like underachieving goals when i think of how many times a week i fail at being the parent i want to be.  and on the topic of "failing to be the parent i want to be", am the only one who seems to fail on the seemingly "good days" only to give 'er like crazy on the super challenging days?  WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN???  is it that whole idea of putting the pussy on the pedestal?

Today is going to be great!  I'm going to be patient and not yell and we will do a project yaddi yadda…
is often followed by a big bellowing snap of impatience… followed by an extra large helping of guilt stew.

I feel like ultimate crap today, how am I going to make it through the day without killing everyone yaddi yadda… is often followed by slowing down in an effort to not burn down this house and everyone in it… followed by cherry blossom paintings and a movie together on the couch.

i don't get it.

i'm fully aware i can't live in the future (or be ready to face massive storms of anxiety...), but i feel like having kids changes that.  you are ALWAYS concerned about their future and how to ensure they have the best one that you can offer them.  because of this, the day to day, the PRESENT, becomes a constant state of fear that i am not doing a good enough job to ensure my kids' future and that they will definitely be damaged by their mother's psychotic state of mind.

OMG.  i am insane.

the other thing i have been struggling with the last couple of days is a FATE thing.  i don't really believe in fate but in some ways i really really do.  if i were smarter I would start inserting things about the Matrix in here.  yes, i do believe we control our destiny, i believe our decisions are made in real time and are not predestined, each decision already in line and waiting to be executed; on the the other hand, i also believe that history repeats itself and that the miracle of genetics encourages this repetition.  lately i feel like we are given the children we have because they will challenge us in the way we need to be challenged the most.  yes, we may share commonalities that bring us together, but i feel like we are tested in some twisted way to overcome our greatest challenges via the children that are born into our lives, we are given a chance to right the wrongs of the present, to have a redo if we choose to take on that challenge.

there are things that i see in my children and their relationship with one another that so easily reflect me and my siblings.  i see my sister in Moses: bossy and controlling yet ever helpful and generous.  i see me in Chloe: discouraged and unsure of herself yet carefree and a daydreamer.  i know some of the negative consequences of having an older sibling and it sucks.  i see it in Chloe and it breaks my heart to see her fumble through things as she knows Moses is about to correct or lecture her at any given point rather than to just let her learn things on her own.  i see her ask him for his approval when really she doesn't need it, he isn't the boss and he definitely is not perfect.  she is her own wonderful person just as he is.  she doesn't need to be like him because she isn't him, they are both special in their own way with their own strengths and weaknesses.  as much as i love Moses, god forbid there be two of him.  thankfully, kevin's mom sent us over an article just in time that speaks to practicing self-awareness and self-advocacy.

this has been at the forefront lately, and i spend a lot of time reminding them of this.  Moses gets so frustrated at the thought of her doing something wrong, i find myself having to remove him from Chloe's side so that he can simmer down and she can be free to do things and learn things her own way just as he was able to do.  WHO CARES IF SHE DOES IT WRONG.  LET HER MAKE MISTAKES AND LEARN.  SHE WON'T LEARN WITHOUT MISTAKES.  if she wants or needs help, she knows she can ask and she does!  i want her to have the self-confidence that i continue to lack.  it breaks my heart when she disappointingly says she doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up and asks Moses what she should be.  I HATE IT.  WHO GIVES AN EFF WHAT MOSES THINKS IT IS NOT HIS LIFE.  and then i wonder if that's the reason why i still don't know what the hell i want to do with my life, what is my calling, while my sister is miles ahead of me with a terrific career.  i have to wonder how much sibling order truly affects how you are shaped.  i'm doing all i can to level the playing field but it is so hard!  it isn't that i am doing anything consciously, but you can't help but force that older child to figure things out themselves while you are busy dealing with the younger(s).  i can understand how first borns become more independent and resourceful and dependable while they are being gently neglected.  there are definitely pros and cons to being the first born.  i'm trying to give him more slack and give chloe more responsibility but oh my god i can't decide which is harder and having to do both at the same time to the sound of their whines makes me wonder if it is really even worth the huge amount of effort.

some days i feel like they are tearing me in half with their opposing emotional and mental needs and lately i feel like i just can't do it.  i feel overwhelmed and frustrated, wanting to throw in the towel and run far far far away forever (hahahahaha…) but i can't because Malcolm just woke up and i have to take care of him too.

well that was a lot, i'm glad i got that out there.
hopefully the idiot iPhone weather is all wrong again and we will have sunshine so i can get out of the house and not feel entirely so miserable about my shitty parenting.


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