Posted in anxiety, family, kids, Life, Mental Health, motherhood, Musings, women

Challenged

Warning: This post will mention periods- and I don’t mean the kind at the end of this sentence. You’ve been warned.

Yesterday was kind of a disaster. I tried, I really did- I wrangled most of the dishes into the dishwasher and remembered to turn it on. I also remembered to put the chicken I’d thawed out into the crockpot, AND I remembered to turn it on, too, so that’s a win. I managed to get a good chunk of work done, as well, although…I did notice that by 10:30 yesterday morning, I was extremely stressed out, trying to navigate my way through our new system while seeming to have forgotten everything I’d learned over the past two weeks. Everything looked different. I was sure they’d done updates or something over the weekend and forgotten to tell us. I switched from one work queue to another, hoping it would sort itself out. Eventually, I just took a break, if for no other reason than to unclench my jaw and try to turn the volume down on my anxiety. I was just about to take the garbage out when my boss called me- she asked me some questions that I didn’t know the answer to, mostly because I didn’t understand what she was saying- yes, she was speaking English, but my already frazzled brain couldn’t quite wrap itself around this new lingo that came with the new system. Sigh. I muddled through. I must have given her some semblance of a proper answer because she let me off the phone- either that or I confused her so much that she gave up. Either way, the garbage went out. Another small win.

By the time I clocked out, I was feeling incredibly drained and ready for a nap. I had planned on going to the gym, but I couldn’t figure out how to fit in a nap, AND my daughter’s first day of second grade homework, AND the gym, and somehow not die. So the gym was out. This is where things shoot straight the hell downhill. Homework. It’s always homework that pushes me over the edge.

I had such high hopes this year. I imagined Cam and I sitting together, peacefully working through her spelling words, me a bastion of patience and support, her a shining little genius, impressing me with her brilliance. HA! I forgot about the whining, the tears, the outrageous behavior. And that’s just me- you should see how she acts! Hahaha. Seriously though, WTF? How hard is it to trace over some letters and copy a few sentences? Why is this such a struggle? And why oh why oh why have I not learned by now that me yelling does nothing at ALL to help the situation? I am so utterly sick of my yelling…I’ve just had it. I’m the adult, and sometimes I am as prone to fits as a two year old. It’s embarrassing.

There was one moment of grace in all of that, at least. After I completely lost my shit, and after she had lost her video privileges for the rest of the night, we moved on to our 20 minutes of reading. I decided that she would read to me for five minutes, and I would read to her for 15, at least for now. We started “The Boxcar Children”, and to my surprise, she really liked it. For at least those 20 minutes we matched the vision in my head- a mother and daughter, totally sane, curled up together on the couch reading, in a house that smelled like delicious dinner. When the timer went off, she asked me to keep reading! That was a first!

Unfortunately, I was dead on my feet by 7:30 and insisted that we go to bed early. Everything would have been fine if I hadn’t suddenly realized I’d forgotten to take my vitamins and gotten back out of bed. That’s when all hell broke loose. Somehow, on my way back to bed, my cat got a little frisky with me and bit my hand- this is fine, we play like this all the time. Except this time, the cat somehow got his claw STUCK in my little finger. STUCK. I had to pull it out of my own finger while it was still attached to the cat. To say that I was furious would be about correct. It HURT! It was bleeding, and my finger was throbbing like a heart beat. I banished the cat from the room, and Camryn was crying because I was so mean, and I was mad at everyone, and…then I started my period.

And everything suddenly made sense.

Why I was so angry. Why the Kids Baking Competition on TV made me cry. Why homework was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Why I could not stop eating all day. And why I was so exhausted.

Listen, this is no excuse, I know it. Lots of times I still act up and it has nothing to do with my hormones at all. But hormones are REAL. When they are out of whack, you really do have less room for error, less space to negotiate with before spouting off. At least I do. And I know that is not true for everyone, and congratulations to you if you are one of those rare birds, but I am not. I have to track my cycle like a pro, and even then it can catch me off guard sometimes. Like yesterday.

Now I’m getting to my point, and yes, I actually have one- You know I love nothing more than a good challenge, right? So today, I am going to see if I can go just 24 hours without raising my voice once. Just 24 hours. No excuses. Unless, you know, someone is about to unwittingly walk off a cliff or in front of a car or something. No raising my voice in anger or frustration. Do you think I can do it? Well, I’m about to find out. Wish me luck.

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Posted in fun, funny, humor, Life, Musings, People, women

The Hormone Weasels Have Come to Roost.

pms

I don’t have much to offer beyond that title, there…just a brief note to let you all know that, much like every other month of my life, my body has been taken over by high levels of the unfriendly variety of hormones. I should probably know more about what they are, but to be honest, women’s bodies are incredibly complicated and difficult-even for women- and even though I’ve read all about all of the particulars of what we grossly call the “menstrual cycle” (admit it, that is such a gross word), I can’t retain that kind of information. It just flows in one ear and out the other. Pun intended.

Anyway, generally I know what is coming down the pike for me because I wake up just really unusually angry. Even if I don’t know that I am angry, maybe Camryn can’t find her shoes in the morning, or maybe the dog looks at me wrong, and all of the sudden I am just furious. Stupid little things really set me off. That’s my first clue. After that, well…for instance, my boss said something jokingly to me at work today, something I would normally have laughed at. Today, I seriously considered quitting my job. I literally stopped, dead still, and thought “I’m walking out.” That was my second clue. Later on, I started crying over a loving family scene while watching a rerun of 90210- the WORST show ever in the history of ever (I don’t know why I’m watching it , it makes no sense at all) and I was about to breakdown because Brenda and her family shared a hug. Or maybe it was David Silver and his grandparents. Either way, give me a break. Finally, I was just sitting here, minding my own business, when out of the blue I became very, very upset by how fat and ugly I felt.

I’m pretty sure I’m no fatter or uglier than I was this morning, but it’s this awful feeling…unless you have ovaries, I just don’t know how to describe this sudden gloom of body dysphoria that descends from nowhere. But it’s a SURE indicator of trouble on the hormonal horizon.

I’m going to go take a bath, wash my hideous face, and hide my bloated body beneath a sea of bubbles and essential oils, taking solace in the fact that this will all be over soon. Of course, what comes next is no picnic either, but…this is not the blog to speak of such things.

Have a lovely night. I’m going to rustle up a salty chocolate snack of some sort before submersion.

Posted in advice, aging, family, humor, kids, Life, Musings, People

PMS: The Innocent Bystanders Survival Guide

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Mother Nature has a weird sense of humor. This year, my kids are getting a visit from the Easter Bunny, while I got a visit from HER…actually, she’s been hanging around, slowly increasing her presence for what seems like an awfully long time now. That’s kind of how it seems to be working for me, now, as I’ve gotten older. I don’t always get a hormone surge capable of launching me into psychosis, but when I do…it’s EPIC. So, like once every three or four months, rather than the average little grouchy mood and perhaps an annoying twinge in my abdomen signalling (*WARNING* I am about to discuss my PERIOD. If you are a man, or my mother, look away) the arrival of the nightmare in my southern hemisphere, I get a full scale metamorphosis- we’re talking Jekyll and Hyde, here- like an all out battle between good and evil, taking place throughout my body.

My boobs hurt so bad I am afraid to remove my bra because gravity is ACTUALLY PAINFUL. My body begins sucking calories out of the food other people are eating, and I bloat up like someone has been inflating me with a bicycle pump while I sleep. In reaction to this, I begin aggressively eating things I would not touch with a ten foot pole at any other time of my life. I have eaten McDonald’s twice in the past twenty four hours, not to mention all the candy I could pilfer from my toddlers Easter egg hunt winnings yesterday. And some ice cream. And perhaps some candy I found on the floor of my car. It would behoove you, however, not to mention this to me, as I am prone to violent, and totally unpredictable outbursts that may or may not escalate into physical altercations. I know, it surprises me as much as anyone. Still. And I have been going through this shit for YEARS. Here is an example of a hypothetical conversation between myself and my toddler that could have occurred, say, yesterday, for example:

Her: “Mommy, what are you doing.”

Me: “I’m watching this show.”

Her: “You really like this show, huh, mommy?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s why I’m watching it.”

Her: “Is it your favorite show?”

Me: “I don’t know…”

Her: “What…what…what’s this show about?”

Me: “I HAVE NO IDEA, YOU WON’T STOP TALKING LONG ENOUGH FOR ME TO WATCH THE FRIGGING THING!!”

Silence.

Me: Sigh. “I’m sorry, honey, I’m not mad at you.”

Her: “Are you a good monster, or a bad monster?”

Oh, if only I knew. My best tip to everyone is to not make eye contact with me, or say anything that may be considered “inflammatory”. unfortunately for you, nothing falls into that category, including utter silence. Yes, I can even turn that into an argument.

In my defense, and in the defense of all of the women in the universe who have ever suffered from this very same hormonal disadvantage…it is not our fault. There is literally some chemical madness going on in our bodies that even we don’t totally understand. There is always that one annoying chick out there who “doesn’t get PMS”, and to her I say: Suck it. The rest of us hate you.

This morning I woke up in a state of seething annoyance, hating everything about my house. I predict that this will progress, by mid-day, into utter self loathing, reaching a peek around two o’clock when i try to fit into a pair of jeans I know FOR A FACT will button, but not zip, at which time I will dramatically collapse onto the floor, sobbing, and dream about smashing everything in the house. Tomorrow, my period will arrive, and I will just feel silly about the whole thing. I mean, what the heck was THAT all about? Yep, this is the routine, for me. I just feel lucky it doesn’t happen every time.

Oh, and as for surviving it as an innocent bystander? You kind of can’t. If you are a man, just resign yourself to saying the wrong thing, no matter what you say, and perhaps threats of divorce or imminent relocation. If you can, maybe just plan to be off fishing, or at a religious retreat or something. If you are a child, pretend you are trying to get in the Guinness World book of Records for hide and seek, and HIDE. Speak when spoken to. Tell your mother she is pretty, and if she asks if you mean it. for Gods sake, do NOT snicker when you say yes. This is all I can arm you with. Good luck.

Happy Easter.