About six months postpartum I started becoming very short tempered. I call it Postpartum Rage. There were days when I woke up just annoyed. There were days when every little thing made me angry. Things that are usually a mild annoyance became enraging. Sometimes I could tell I’m overreacting as it is happening. It’s almost like an out of body experience where I see myself yelling and freaking out, and somewhere I think “why are you getting so mad? This isn’t a big deal” and yet I’m still yelling, I can’t seem to stop getting mad. I didn’t think I had PPD, I didn’t have the “normal” symptoms of not being able to stop crying or feeling unhappy or depressed all the time. I just had this anger seething just below the surface ready to explode at any provocation.
For a city that boasts being very kid friendly I didn’t see many kids around the downtown area (this is based on my googling “what to do in Seattle with kids” and seeing results about how great Seattle is for kids. In hindsight I guess it was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy. What city wouldn’t tell parents looking for suggestions that they are kid friendly). Of course there were kids in the areas that were meant for children, like the parks, and a few kid specific destinations. But just walking though the city I saw very few parents with kids. I barely saw any families in the couple of grocery stores near where we stayed and the baby sections were pathetic and practically non-existent (I needed the baby section because I made the mistake of only bringing two pacifiers with me, naively thinking “there’s nothing that I can’t buy there if I need it”. Well I lost one of them the very first day and I couldn’t find another one in any of the stores around Seattle Center). The pet sections on the other hand were gigantic and I did see at least 3 dogs in strollers.
It’s 2:30pm. I’m lying on a hotel bed in my jeans with my eyes closed while 4 little legs and 4 little arms are climbing all over me. I hear laughter and loud squeals. Every so often it’s hard to tell if the sounds are those of happiness or distress so I half open one eye to make sure everyone is still alive. I see them smiling and I smile back. My kids take this gesture to mean I want to play and double down on the climbing and jabbing me while I try to get some rest.
To my first baby: Happy 4th Birthday to my wonderful, spirited, artistic, clever, beautiful, kind, funny and witty troublemaker. I am so lucky to be your mom and I am grateful every day to have you as my child. I know that you will grow into a wonderful person and I am thrilled to see you becoming that person right before my eyes. I never realized how much I could love someone until I had you. I wish you health and happiness till 120!
Kids are notorious for not wanting to admit when they are tired. I have met the occasional mom who claims to have a unicorn child who says “I need to go to bed” when they are tired and go to sleep with no arguments. But I bet that’s pretty rare. I remember when I was a kid I hated going to sleep. I have memories of being annoyed that I had to nap in kindergarten. In former Soviet Union most kids had nap time until 5 or even 6 years old. The teachers would get mad at the kids who weren’t sleeping. There were a few times when I would say I had a tummy ache just so they would leave me alone and stop telling to stop rolling around and go to sleep. I remember chatting with my friend and being told to stop talking. I was told to stop talking quite often actually when I was a child. [Read more…]
We’re back from our Southern California family road trip. We got to see Disneyland for the first time, Hollywood and a little of LA (and a LOT of infamous LA traffic) and San Diego.
Driving so much got hectic at times but also a lot of fun. The kids did surprisingly well in the car for the many hours of driving. The last couple hours of the drive home got pretty hairy but everyone survived. I made sure that we had the ipad preloaded with a full battery and fruit ninja but I also avoided using it on the trip because I think there is something magical about the family being stuck in the car together for hours and hours with nothing to do but look out the window and talk with each other. It can be stressful but it can also be a wonderful bonding opportunity. I have really fond memories of being in the car for a long time with my parents and brother when I was a kid, despite how long the car drives seemed to me at the time. I want my kids to have these fond memories too instead of passing the ride in a haze of the ipad or movie.