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Kerry: Long time gone, catching up

It has been a while. Really. A long time. But now it’s time to get real again. Had my baby boy. 9 lbs. 6 oz. (same as Babygirl 15 months ago) The birth was traumatic and painful, but I’ll save that for another day. When they (the doctors) said the baby might get too big and get stuck in the birth canal, they weren’t kidding. Next time I’ll pay better attention. There won’t be a next time of course. Hubby’s getting snipped. But baby is beautiful and healthy and I seem to be recovering nicely, so all is well in the land of chaos.

I tried to pretend I didn’t have to write, didn’t have to be creative. I’ve put off painting for so long now, isn’t it easier to just let it go? Not really. I paint in my night time dreams, when I sleep long enough to have one. And I thought I could hide the fact that I sabotage myself and any free time I have. Now I’ll just be the “man” and own up to it. I did not just say that. Do men really own up to anything?

And I wanted to come across as the happy housewife (gag) with a remarkable relationship and children who love me. Ha! And ha again. I have learned, once again, how much my fourteen year old hates me this month, and how my relationship is held together by the frayed threads of a tattered past, and how my seventeen year old aspires to be a high school dropout, living with her illegal alien boyfriend in some ghetto apartment, and how my little angel Babygirl can throw tantrums with the best of the two year olds, refusing to speak in words, expressing herself only in screams.

So my last post was a rant against my significant other, against my life, against everything. I simply wanted to run away. I deleted the post the next day. I figured I should heed that old advice “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I haven’t had anything nice to say for quite some time. I felt I could not trust my fingers, trust my mind, so I stayed silent. But I’m back. Even if it is merely to write a few words about my day, about the never-ending chaos that is my life. I used to embrace the chaos, smile, laugh a little and get on with it. Has three years in pregnancy and post pregnancy made me so bitter? Or is it my outstanding relationship and darling, loving, helpful children?

And a side note: the experiment in meditation: can I meditate while breastfeeding? No. I can however fall asleep quickly and awaken with drool on my chin, only to burp the little one, switch sides and do it all again.

This weekend we are having a birthday BBQ for my disgruntled teen who turns fifteen. We bought her a trampoline so our house would be “cool” enough to invite her friends to. We have spent $480 and the past two weekends taking her to a driver’s ed class so she can get her permit next week. Oh boy. We bought her a queen bed to replace her twin so she could feel grown up. All in the name of love? Sure. I figured we should spend some time and money on her so she didn’t feel left out when the new baby came. Avoid that jealousy thing. I failed.

Babies are a handful. Babygirl gives her new brother kisses by head butting him. Babyboy has his own issues, like not gaining enough weight, not having enough bowel movements, and spitting up too much. We take him back to the pediatrician every week to get weighed. I’m supplementing the breastfeeding with formula. I never seem to make enough, or something. But breastfeeding is so good for the little ones, I hate to give it up entirely.

Babygirl takes naps in her crib now. A positive, which leaves me a little time alone…to breastfeed and bottle feed the new baby. But, like now, Babygirl has been going to bed earlier, all by herself in her crib, and the little man sleeps, so I have a minute.

I have to wonder if art will again become more important than a nice hot bath? I know I can’t hide forever. I get e-mails from artist friends and the guilt builds up inside of me. It seems like a spend so much of my day hanging on the edge, waiting for that next something to smack me upside the head. Embrace the chaos, embrace the chaos. I’ll just keep telling myself that as I dream of cute young men, margaritas and the beach on the coast of Mexico.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kerry, it’s great to see you back on the blog. Congratulations on the arrival of your son!

    I wish things were a little rosier for you right now, but I can totally relate. In fact, at the moment, I can relate a little too much. I won’t go into all the unpleasant details here, but I really get where you’re at. I wish I had something cheerful and constructive to say.

    Sometimes I too am highly resentful toward various family members. I consider the likely truth that I am just a selfish, unfeeling shrew. Running away has a certain appeal sometimes, I have to agree. But then you think–a woman who is nine months pregnant with four other kids at home–well, I’d look pretty silly packing my bag and taking off in the mini van.

    It will all blow over, as it always does, and I’m sure that’s true for you too. Doesn’t make things any easier in the moment, however, does it?

    Now for my attempt at the cheerful, constructive part: I do think you should give yourself a little break. You have a newborn AND a toddler–not to mention the rewarding, ever-thoughtful teenagers–and you are seriously in the trenches. This really will NOT last forever. That said, however, you need a survival plan. What do you think would help you most right now?

    April 27, 2008
  2. kabennett #

    Survival plan? Get enough sleep to make it through the next day? A nanny and a maid would be beneficial.

    Yes, I need a plan. Maybe revisiting the new house idea might not be so bad. A change of scenery might be wonderful. A new start? Nah, it’d all follow me…the chaos and unhappiness. More space would be great though. Not waiting for the hubby to finish my studio space. What if I could just set up an easel and try to paint when I had two seconds? What if I didn’t have to put everything away? What if both babies were happy and healthy as opposed to teething and spitting up? Those would be good things.

    I fantasize about teenagers who want a relationship with me. I dream of romance with my hubby, like in the beginning…I remember those feelings, when we liked each other? But anyway…

    I think all we can do is get through the day. If there is time to write, to paint, to plant a flower, to hold baby and read a story, to chat with a friend, then our day is all the better for it. I have to learn to love where I am now. Being a mom is a wonderful thing, even with teenagers. I can feel every day getting a little bit brighter. This last pregnancy was a heavy burden indeed, but as the weight comes off and my body returns to normal, it feels like some of the despair fades as well. It will get better. I won’t have it any other way.

    April 29, 2008
  3. Kerry–it’s been so long since we heard from you. If you receive this comment, please let us know how you’re doing with the two little ones and the teenagers. I don’t see any activity at your personal blog either, so am hoping that all is well. Thinking of you!

    October 25, 2008
  4. kerry #

    Thanks for thinking of me. I have been lost in the baby trenches, with little time for anything. This has to be the hardest thing I have ever done. My baby boy is a handful and my baby girl is into everything now. My fifteen year old still hates me and expresses her feelings everyday. She refuses to help out with the babies, around the house, etc. School is a battle and now her new pastime is skipping classes. My eighteen year old still wants to come home, and get away from the boy she was so eager to move in with. R is still working on various projects around the house, including the studio which I may not ever get to use. Well, maybe in two years or so, when the little ones are more manageable. And blah blah blah. I was thinking of writing a book, but what a thought. I tried to sit down and come up with an outline or something to start from, and I swear, two minutes into it the baby boy starts shrieking…up from one of his twenty minute naps. Sure, I could stay up later. The children go to bed, if I’m lucky I can have them both asleep by nine, but I’m so exhausted, I fall asleep after I’ve read about two pages of any book I’m trying to get through. Life. It’ll get better. I’m afraid I don’t have any tips or advice about being creative while taking care of two babies. I’m trying to be creative when I talk to my teenager and come up with punishments. does that count? Anyway. I’d like to say I haven’t given up, but maybe I have. I’ll try to post something soon. Hope you are well and finding time to be creative.

    October 26, 2008
  5. cathy #

    don’t give up! and please stay in touch here, it sure helps me (13yr old, 10 yr old with aspergers syndrome and new baby blended family). it can be very isolating if you don’t keep in contact with the outside world….

    October 26, 2008

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