Thursday, March 9, 2006

From Mommy to Mom in 60 seconds flat

I knew that eventually this day would come. I just didn't anticipate it happening so soon. Today, Brendan called me "Mom" instead of "Mommy." Ack!

I didn't expect him to do that until he was at least five, maybe even six. Unfortunately, his friend Lily, who is six months older, just started calling her mother (my friend Laura) "Mom." I should have known this was coming last week when Brendan announced, "I call you Mommy, not Mom!" He has obviously been giving it some consideration.

Still, when I called to him to hurry this morning so that we could get to preschool on time and he responded, "I'm coming, Mom!" my heart stopped. No! You can't grow up this fast. I want to be your mommy. To protect you. To cuddle you. And nurture you. And yes, baby you from time to time. You can be a boy. But I will always be your mommy.

Naturally, because I'm me, I responded, "My name is Mommy or Mama, not Mom." This, of course, cracked Brendan up. And because he has his daddy's sense of humor, he started in with a sing-song chorus of "Mom, mom, mom! You're Mom! You're my Mom!"

I had to smile in spite of myself. But inside, it's a different story.

A Sunny Day: Nature's Miracle Cure

Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours outside planting the bulbs I bought to plant last fall. I never got around to it and on Sunday I noticed they had begun to sprout. So, why not plant them, I thought.

Before going outdoors, my mind roiled with fear and worry over everything from the state of my house to my weight to how much TV Brendan was watching. However, the moment Brendan and I walked out into the warm sunshine, all my cares simply melted away.

Brendan rode his trike in the driveway while I dug in the dirt, unearthing slithery worms and creating planting beds for a variety of tulips, daffodils, daylilies, and purple drumsticks. We had fun and the warm balm of sunshine, blue skies, birdsong, and friendly neighbors somehow worked out all the kinks in my mind. When I came inside two hours later, I felt like a new woman.

After a shower, I cooked a delicious dinner, tidied up a bit, and looked around my house. It's not nearly as messy as it seemed that morning. And I feel like I can manage my other concerns. All I need are a few sunny days to keep me sane.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Manifest Destiny

After a week or so of feeling great, I've had the wind knocked out of my sails. Just when Scott and I have agreed to stop trying not to get pregnant and feel like we're ready for another baby, we learn that the company he works for on a contract basis is being bought by another company.

Scott remains optimistic, thinking that his work speaks for itself and that if they re-evaluate contractors, he'll do okay. He's also much more optimistic about the idea of the possibilities that can arise if he is laid off.

I waver between optimism and abject fear. On the one hand, sometimes it takes getting laid off or some great change in life in order to propel us forward. Something really incredible could come out of this. But on the other hand, there's that fiery lump of fear in the pit of my stomach that burns through my core, constantly making me ask "What if...".

How I wish I could let go of all fear and fully embrace faith! I wish my "what ifs" were of the positive and hopeful variety: What if Scott gets laid off and then takes the time to finish his album and it becomes an overnight success and sells thousands of copies? What if he launches his own consulting firm and has more time to spend at home with Brendan and me? What if I'm propelled forward to take my freelance business to the next level? What if we move to a new city that we just adore and make tons of new friends there?

Rather, I find myself stifled by fear, though I try to put on a positive face and only say positive things aloud. Inside my mind boils and bubbles with bleak possibilities.

I think it's time to revisit my old pal Wayne Dyer. I practiced some of his techniques for powerful positive thinking and manifesting my desires in the past, but I really have a hard time maintaining focus. And, with a child, I have trouble finding the time I need to meditate, pray, and focus. I'm sure some folks manage just fine. But, right now, it's all I can manage just to keep my household afloat. Of course, maybe if I visualized things a little differently, all the things I want would just come to pass.

Any thoughts?


Two weeks ago, I went to the doctor after being sick for five days with what I thought might be food poisoning. While there, I decided to ask the doctor about a problem I've been having for some time. For over a year, I've been experiencing extreme anxiety and severe mood swings the week prior to getting my period. The last couple of months, I've noticed it starting around the time I ovulate and continuing until I get my period. Additionally, I've also felt confused and unable to focus on anything. I wrote it off to PMS and tried to battle it the best I could. My mother-in-law witnessed one of my meltdowns last month and suggested I talk to my doctor. So I did. Turns out, I have an extreme form of PMS called PMMD. It affects between 2-9% of all women of reproductive age (no one knows for sure because they can't even agree on whether or not it's a "real" condition.).

Unfortunately, the treatments are birth control pills, progesterone therapy, or SSRIs -- Prozac or Zoloft. None of those are acceptable options to me. So, I've been researching the issue and have found that some women respond really well to calcium supplements, increased Omega-3, and B vitamins. I'm trying a combination of the three and trying to get more exercise to see if any of it helps. If not, I don't know what I'll do.

Sadly, the condition is referenced in the DSM-IV, the handbook of mental disorders put together by the American Psychiatric Association. Rather than treating it as a naturally occurring medical condition, natural (though extreme) hormone surges are being treated as a mental disorder. Another way to label women as crazy instead of legitimizing their experiences and giving them the support they need. Men experience similar hormonal surges and cycles, but no one labels them crazy.

All that said, I just want to feel better. I want to find a way to control the hormones without putting anything too harsh into my body. I definitely think diet and lifestyle are the way to go.