Hi, I’m Debbie Downer

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There are quite literally days I don’t talk to anyone but the kids and Kevin. It’s awful quiet those days and I find myself reaching out on the internet. On groups and on blogs and even Facebook (although I’ve sworn off it for a while). I don’t think I am a “dumb” girl. I don’t feel small-minded or mean. I try to look at things from both sides. But often, maybe even always, I say the most idiotic things ever.

I think it’s because I am a Debbie Downer.

My friend Jen is on an awesome 21 day health, um, plan? I think. Me, trying to be encouraging after failing miserably at my lifestyle change, made some stupid comment on her blog about how I couldn’t do it. Way to be encouraging. Um, not. You can’t delete those posts like you can on Facebook but I was forced to go back and comment what a numb nuts commenter I was. She understood. But I still felt like an asshole. I feel like an asshole a lot.

I try to think about what I am saying/typing before I say it. And often in my head it sounds genuine and kind but it’s not. It’s almost always the wrong thing. And I don’t know how to fix it.

I have the unfortunate habit of being a “half empty”. I find it hard to see the good in things because well, let’s face it, I’m sad a lot. A true Eeyore at heart really and feeling all the feels all the time takes a lot out of a person.

Fresh air they say! Get outside. So I do. I take the kids to the park and I’m then the “phone mom” or the mom whose kid pee, with his full bare bum, into the wood chips on the playground. Mortified, I generally yell at him and sweep him away in shame. Instead of just calmly explaining that we use the bathroom or at the very least a tree. I take them to the baseball games in hopes there will be kids to play with and adults to talk to but I am the mom who flies off the handle because someone pushed my stroller down a hill with my camera inside. I bust him, telling him to be more careful instead of taking the blame for leaving my camera somewhere unsafe to begin with. Then I over think it for weeks and never want to go to the park again. At least not until I’ve had parenting lessons. Fresh air doesn’t help me, it makes me more insane I think.

I thought it was free breakfast at Chick Fil A yesterday. My husband works there, you’d think I would know what was going on. I don’t. He doesn’t tell me. I don’t ask and I stopped reading the mailing list emails a long time ago. We like free breakfast, especially because the store is slow in the mornings. I can sit close to the glass enclosed play area and the kids can play while I attempt to eat a warm breakfast. But yesterday? It was not free breakfast. Instead it was BINGO.

Someone kill me.

Of course we couldn’t leave because I’d promised Dexter a sandwich and some playing and so, I rushed him to the table and then through the actual eating so that we could get the hell out of there. Bingo is my worst nightmare. All those people, all that noise and not being able to control whether we win or not. While I want my son to learn to lose gracefully, I don’t want to do it in front of 50 plus mothers and their children.   That is a lesson for another day. We left, with the promise of the park. I knew this wasn’t the best idea because I had errands to run and well, I was filthy but sometimes bribery works… except for when it doesn’t.

We got to the park that I like because it’s small but has enough for everyone to do. There was another family there, of course eating McDonald’s. McDonald’s is something Dexter asks for almost daily and I also say no to. Because let’s face it, it’s gross.  And I was hot and tired and not excited to be at the park and I have this horrible sciatic nerve injury that makes it hard to lift Dixon, let alone Dexter. So of course Dexter needed help with everything. And I finally got frustrated when he cried from the swings that he needed help up and said, if you can’t do it yourself, then you’re not big enough to do it yet.

That’s when “best mom ever” stepped in. “Do you need help buddy? You can’t get your butt up there by yourself?”

Seriously?

I took him aside and explain for probably the 12th time that my back hurt and I wasn’t gonna be able to lift him and he had to stop crying. Of course then is when Dixon runs in front of her swinging children and with a cheerful tone, she tells my 2-year-old to be more careful. I hear that as “hey asshole, watch your kids”, swoop everyone up and just go home because Debbie doesn’t need the shame of the park.

So they say think positive, read positive things, and you’ll be positive too. So I subscribe to the happy emails, I unfollowed yahoo news (because let’s face it, if I have to read about another baby dying I may need a straight jacket. Was it always like this or is it just now that the news is so available?) But now I feel disconnected and the constant stream of make your life better by following these 10 simple steps makes me feel like I can’t follow simple directions and that’s why I yell at my new driver when she can’t parallel park in front of a police officer. Image my horror when he rolled down the window to talk to us. It was all I could do not to cry.

I’m a Debbie Downer and I don’t know how to change it. I don’t know how to “be” happy. How do you just do it? Because I am really trying to choose it and I am really, really not doing so well.

What are your best tips for turning your frown, well upside down?

God that was cheesy.

Barf.  See I did it again

Signed,

Debbie Downer

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Getting in the picture

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I won’t even tell you how many photos my computer holds. Albeit the most current years have fewer. I seem to take fewer. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gotten better or if it’s because I haven’t the same interest I used to. Regardless, there are a lot. I have well documented all the parts of my family that I love. Each child. Each home. Each milestone. I have a photo of it. What I don’t have is any photos of me. There are simply just none.

I admit, I am camera-shy but I am regretting, incredibly, that there are no photos with my newborns and I don’t have anything to remember the walks and the crafts and the holidays that I was a part of. It sometimes feels as if I was never there. And that’s not the best feeling.

Photography. Sometimes I miss it. I never totally closed the doors on my business. I keep it “open” for my beloved annual preschool shoots and the few holiday session I do. I take a few families here and there. I miss talking to the people. I miss the connections. I miss that stuff but I am terrible at business and I was failing miserably at it. I think for the most part my clients love their photos but I can’t help but worry that I ruined their memories.

I’ve been looking for a personal photographer. I have contacted several people who either don’t have the time to fit us in their schedule or charge extra for more than 5 people. Absurd. My family is 7. It seems crazy to charge more for people who actually live in my house. It’s not as if we’ll break off into family units. We are a family unit. Just one. Needless to say, I’ve chosen not to book that person.

But looking for a photographer is hard. I have a limited budget. Not because I don’t value photography, I do but because I am a family of 7 on a limited budget and I want the very best I can afford without having to sell a child. And I am nervous that I am going to have photographer’s eye and miss that it’s my beautiful family and only see the pink panty and posing flaws of my last family sitting (which mind you was before Dixon was born).

It’s a lesson in letting go. It’s hard to let go of what I have in my head. I want my photos to look how I feel. Which is probably hard to capture when you subject has resting bitch face.

I probably should just pray for the photographer now.

If I ever find one.

Mom’s ought to be in the photos, right? I gotta make this happen.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

A mother’s grief

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Like much of internet  yesterday, I spent a good deal of time refreshing my news feeds to see if there were updates on the “Disney Gator Attack”. I’d held out hope they would find him alive, knowing it was unlikely but still, hoping. Miracles happen they say. Matt and Melissa Graves did not receive that miracle we’d all been hoping and praying for. Their boy lost his life in a lagoon, to a wild animal on a vacation that should have been some of the happiest memories of their lives. Instead, they’ll have to get on a plane without their son in their arms.

I keep playing it out in my head. I can almost hear that mother’s screaming. That primal scream watching your son lost to the murky lagoon. Knowing that her last memory is that. I cannot imagine her grief, nor do I want to.

We’re were so fortunately gifted a trip to Disney this last Christmas. One we’d never been able to take had it not been for my parents. My tiny boy is missing from the photos because I wore him close to my body most of the trip. I will forever have the memory of holding my son as we met Mickey for the first time. Yesterday, I held him in my arms and thought of that mother. She’ll never hold her baby again, never feel the sweat on his neck or see the joy on his as he meets Mickey Mouse or which ever character was his favorite for the first time. Their lives forever changed by one wonderful adventure gone terribly wrong.

When the story first broke and there wasn’t much information, I admit I immediately thought to myself, “why is a baby wading in the water at 9:20 at night?”, forgetting that there is just so much to do at Walt Disney World. Learning he was basically snatched inches from his father just added to the horror. I could picture this man, trying with all his being, to save his boy. As parents, you will do anything for your children, even give your life. I can’t imagine what he must have thought realizing he’d lost the fight.

I cannot imagine.

Nor do I want to.

The moments are fleeting. Soon your two-year old is ten or twenty. I’m guilty of wishing the moments away. Dragging my dramatic 4-year-old back to the car, I’m wishing for the day to be over but I need to, I have to stop because in one swoop, he could be gone and our family forever changed. I think, what if that mother wished her day away and that day, the day they relaxed at the lagoon, was their last as a family of four. What if she spent her last day wishing it would go away? I feel confident she didn’t, vacation and all but what if? I never want to have my last day be one I wished away.

My news feed is awful now. As an empathetic personality it’s hard for me to detach. I think about it and think about it, often unable to shut it off. So much life lost, so much hate and judgement and sadness. The village is still failing, I pray for it to get better, for my children and for their children. We need a better village.

Rest in peace, little Lane. My thoughts and prayers with your family and everyone close to you. No mother should ever have to bury their child, big or small. Sick or well. I’m so sorry.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.