Monday, October 15th, 2012
…right before you get on a plane with your husband, you email your closest girlfriends, your aunt and your brother a document titled “Final Wishes” that spells out exactly how you want your children raised, what type of schooling they should have and what sort of life you want them to live should you perish.
Yes folks, it’s called rock bottom crazy and I hit it last week.
Phil and I were flying to a wedding in Sante Fe. This is the first time we left both kids behind. Something I regretted and vowed to never do again. (Though drinking until 1 a.m. at the wedding and then sleeping in was a treat so I may retract that sentence.)
Earlier in the week I had our will all updated, legal guardians set, etc. But then the what-ifs started to creep into my brain. In a last minute frenzy I typed up the document and sent it out. Thing is, I didn’t feel crazy. Still don’t really. It made me feel saner.
After my cousin was killed earlier this year, I figured that having your bases covered was prudent. My aunt and brother agreed. My two girlfriends told me to go back to my shrink (who happens to be a hypnotherapist). I am heeding their advice, but more for my general need for a tune-up.
Needless to say, we got back safe and sound. My heart was aching for my babies and I said I wouldn’t leave them again. Then a work gig came up and 48 hours later I found myself flying to New York. Ack. But it was a quick 1-day shoot and I was back. My plane didn’t crash. And Phil didn’t go, so at least one of us would be around, god forbid.
My next trip is in a month. To Vegas. With one of my best–and most fun–friends. (Yes Dena, I’m talking about YOU!). Phil will stay home, so I’m covered. But after that, I swear, I’ll never leave my kids again… or on second thought, just seek the professional help I clearly need.
Anyone else want to tell me their version of crazy to make me feel better?
Airplane picture courtesy of Shutterstock
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Have Baby, Will Travel, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips
Monday, June 18th, 2012
Today I am partially unplugging for the week. My goal? To become more mindful and present. Here’s why:
My friend Teresa came over yesterday. She is pregnant and a vegetarian. I was ordering pizza. I needed a crucial answer. I texted her: can u pick the meat off or do I get veggie pizza? What kind of veggies?
She didn’t text back. I got a little indignant. I went ahead and ordered (one plain, one pepperoni). When she arrived I asked if she had seen my text. She said something that I’ve been floating through my increasingly scattered brain for a few days.
“I try and only check my phone every 2 hours. Especially when I’m with my son. It makes me feel like I’m not a good mom when I start responding and not focusing on him. I find that the more I check my phone, the more depressed I am at the end of the day because my mood is constantly shifting based on what comes in.”
What she said = gold in my book. And my brain. I kid you not: last week I had a headache for 3 days. I could tell it was from tension. Nothing made it go away. I honestly think it’s because I’m so scattered with a lack of schedule (read: Frustrated. Need to Vent) and feel pulled in a million directions that no amount of aspirin or Motrin will help. What will help is changing my behavior. Drastically.
Granted I wrote last week about the beauty of social media. How I’m now a believer in it. But, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t put limits on all this stuff.
On any given day, here is how my crazy goes:
Fia and I are playing. I check my phone. She frolics, I text or email someone back. Then I run into the kitchen. Open freezer. Remember someone else I was going to email about something. Write them. Freezer is still open. I pull out chicken to thaw. Fia shouts, “Mama, what are you doing?” I open a cabinet. ”I’m coming baby.” I pull out a glass and fill it with water. I check the phone. Oops–respond to an email. Cabinet still open. I almost walk into it (two years ago I did and broke my nose. No sh-t). Glance out window. She isn’t maimed. I shoot a quick text to another friend. Reply to the email. Fia asks for me again. I walk outside with my phone. Oops. Forgot water. Back inside. And on and on.
No wonder I don’t feel “present.” No wonder I have self doubt about my mom abilities. Or frankly any of my abilities. It’s a CONSTANT yo-yo of emotions. Even as creatures of adaptation, our brains aren’t made for that.
My mom in her crass wisdom used the quote, “If you have one foot in tomorrow and one foot in yesterday, then you’re pissing on today.” I’m going to say that when I have one foot on my computer and one foot on my kids, I’m pissing on the present. I can’t straddle the worlds anymore. It’s a lose-lose situation, and one that apparently has consequences. A recent article in the New York Times says there is a thing called Facebook Depression. And that constant texting and emailing can cause mental illness. These include OCD behavior (me) and narcissism (probably me).
As my friend Teresa said, “Bottom line: this sh-t isn’t good for us.”
I find in moments when I am down on my knees, sans blackberry, playing with Fia, helping her poop, whatever, there is never stillness. Instead of absorbing everything about her and our moments (yes, even if it’s in a disgusting public bathroom), my mind spins. Crazy sentences begin. I literally have conversations with people, thinking about what I will text or email them–which then turns into an entirely different conversation that can range from my purpose in life to my next grocery trip. I am so tired of hearing myself.
TIME. TO. STOP. THE. F–KING. CHATTER.
Here’s what I’m doing: I am going to overhaul my life and really examine how I can schedule my week in a more seamless and sane fashion. Following Teresa’s lead, I will allot myself time to check my phone and time to put it away. I will schedule chunks of time for my kids without the phone even in reach. I think this will reduce my mom guilt too. I’m going for quality over quantity.
Like I said, I’m giving this a week. Anyone else want to join me in this venture? I’ll report back on June 25th. If you want to do this too, post comments on this blog and I can share them in the follow-up post. And not to worry; I’ll read your comments during my allotted “work time.”
Lastly, if anyone has any suggestions on how to manage time and technology better, please share!
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blackberry, depression, facebook, facebook depression, ibook, ipad, iphone, mental illness, milestone monday, narcissism, neurosis, neurotic, OCD, oversharenting, social media, tech, technology, twitter | Categories:
Milestone Monday, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips