Tag Archives: choices

Life goes on

I am missing this

I am missing this

We are back in our home, finding our routine again. For some unknown reason DS hardly pooped the whole trip and is now making up for it by pooping 4-5 times a day – real little turds 🙂 (only a mother could find this at all endearing).

With our return back to our home in Israel – has come the intense, at times overwhelming feeling, that this is not *my* home. Yes, I speak Hebrew, yes I own a home here, yes I have a job if i want it, yes I have a few freinds here and I am even a citizen here. In contrast to what it was like to be near my family and to be in my home town – it is just not comparable.

I need support as a mother. It is not something I think I can manage without. For the health of my marraige, my sanity and the sanity of my child (children) – I cannot do this alone and in so much conflict.

Resistance is the word that has left the strongest impression on me. Resistance to the choices I make as a mother, wife and person in my own right. And I am tired of meeting that resistance. Not tired enough to just say ‘f*ck it, I’ll just change’ – but tired enough to contemplate relocating.

It is hard for me to consider asking DH to move his life. I feel the responsibility of taking him away from his family and his life/job/country/friends to be HUGE. I am not sure I am brave enough to do that. And yet, I was brave enough to move myself to a country that has seriously xenophonbic issues, a foreign language and a very different culture. And I have done it. On the surface of things it has been a huge success.

Like DH having taken responisbility for my happiness here to a certain extent, I think I would feel responsible for his happiness in ‘my’ country.

And South Africa is hardly a thriving safe place to relocate to. I do not even know if DH would find a job there or if we would be safe and happy there. I do know that my family would support my choices (if only because they know better than to interfer) and that they would provide the support and peace of mind that I so need as a mother. I just would not have to be going against the current when it comes to food, toys, play, lifestyle etc etc. And I might actually get out for dates with my husband, knowing that my son will be in good hands – that I trust.

I have not quite rid myself of my parents pervasive habit of being overly optimistic – but the one outstanding thing that did happen on our retuen was MIL’s husband going to extra mile and stocking out fridge with organic produce. He completely poo -poo’s organics – but wanted to support me in my choices and I will always remember that kindness.

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Fish out of water

I am sure I have alluded to the difficulties with my IL’s, particularly one set of them. FIL and his wife, and particularly the wife.

It’s not going away.

Step MIL (SMIL) does not approve of any choice that I have made as a mother/parent. From the birth through to where DS sleeps, vaccinations and what and when he eats is all met with the most scornful and biting disapproval and not so passive aggressive jibes. In my mind she has come to embody the *anti-mother*. She is highly distressed and offended by breastfeeding, convinced babies need to be left to CIO and not manipulate their parents, and that infants require a diet of meat, white flour products, sugar and dairy products. And let me point out that this is a woman who is a MD who works with diabetic patients. Our relationship has become strained to say the least. I react in the moment of conflict with her with silence, and then let loose at DH with a long list of words describing my sense of frustration, hurt, dislike of this woman: bully, disgusting, revolting, despicable, slimy, underhanded, unctuous, arrogant, ….. the words that flowed so freely today are now missing…. Yep, I do not really like her and for some reason that keeps tripping me up she gets under my skin each and every time.

And then I try and conjure some sympathy and the people around me just do not get it. I think she has some real problems with my choices as they threaten her and her choices. For someone who is so anti sleep sharing, I find it hilarious that her large dog crawls into her bed each and every night…. and it’s also a bit sad. Babies are supposed to be trained to sleep alone and dogs are allowed in bed… whatever. To me it is f*cked up.

And I am just having a crappy time with IL’s in general. MIL and her husband, while being emotionally very much there for us, think I am totally barmy for wanting to eat organic whole foods and beleive that it is a ‘personal taste’ choice that I am making. In their world,  I should be prepared to compromise on food. Somehow, in their reality, when you choose to drink OJ or apple juice, so you make the same decision if you choose organic or pesticides… it’s a matter of personal taste. And this frustrates the hell out of me. I get branded as this extreme individual who doesn’t like to compromise, and the people branding me just have no clue. It makes me hopping mad it does.

Gosh, how I wish I could find more people who didn’t freak out at the term ‘organic’ or ‘wholefood’ or ‘complementary medicine’ or ‘environmental’. I am really really tired of having to do what I know is best for my family while the people around me snicker behind their hands and feel oh so comfy on their high perches looking down on me and my choices. Inform yourself people. Ya’ll don’t even know what ya’ll are talking about.

I’m off to look for a comfy pond.

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Was I too sure of myself?

It happened rather unexpectedly. The manager of the Occupational Therapy Services at the hospital where I work called today. She assumed that while I am not coming back to work before my one year is up, I would be back on the 18th of February 2009. Crikey. I tried to find a nice way to say that this not a foregone conclusion. Now I am doing my own head in as I try to rationalize why I am making this choice to say that I am taking more than one year.

I know that I am not going back. I am just in a bit of a mess as I contemplate saying it in a unequivocal way, a way that will leave me without a guaranteed job and essentially unemployed.

What does that say about me? I immediately started to think of study options and making this time count. But why can’t it count that I am being a mother? I know better than to tie myself up in knots at wasting my life and getting trapped into a situation where I loose my work skills and kiss my career good bye. I know this is not true. It does not have to be true.

I have been thinking about my values and how I know I would suffer leaving my child in the care of a paid someone. I would be worrying all the time that his needs are not being met. And I feel like a bit of a sissy for worrying. But DS doesn’t even speak – how the hell would I know if something were not OK? I feel like I am being made into some sort of freak for being OK with being at home with my child…. I am asked to think of offering even 2 -3 days a week instead of the full 5 day week. Something, anything. And I can’t.

This I think is the bottom line. I can not. There is just no way that I could put my child in the care of a stranger, however warmly recommended. I rationalize this by saying that no one else will take the time to cook DS organic fresh food. No one else will be bothered to use cloth diapers. No one else will ensure that he is not eating deep fried peanuts and chocolate millk (firm favorites for infants where I live). No one else will snuggle up to him when that is what he wants. No one else will take the time to accompany him on his journey of discovery of the world – there is far too much pushing the world onto little children in the hope that they will catch on faster. And I specifically do not want this. I feel myself (rightly or wrongly) the guardian of my child’s childhood.

I am getting messages, even from my parents, that I need to let go. I cannot protect my son from everything (this was in response to me saying that I am not sure I want to use teething gel with sweeteners in it). But when he is so little and there is so much going on in his body as it grows and develops, I do want to protect him. I have in my hands (and in my heart) the beginnings of a whole human life. How can I be flippant with that? How can I not take that seriously?

My common sense tells me that I will have to let go at some point. But I am not sure now is the time. Just like I have chosen to take my cue from my child as when to feed, sleep and cuddle, I would like to be able to take my cue from him as to when he will be comfortable without me near his side. I do not see the merits of stressing either of us out. I am hoping that the world will be kind and not punish me for taking the time to care for my child in is infancy.

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