Change is: Tough, Weird, Good

For the first 14 months of my son’s life, I was a stay at home mom. I had a job (working in digital communications for Signature HealthCARE), but I did it from my computer at home. The older James got, the harder working became, but I found the time and made it work. I was determined to be a stay at home mom until James, and any other kids I might have, went to kindergarten.

And then this amazing opportunity came along–the MFA Specialist position in the Bluegrass Writers Studio opened up. A job that I only had to be away from home 12 hours a week, could work the other 8-10 from home. A job that would let me work on a website, a literary journal, and in an office with professionals in a college setting. It was perfect. So, I applied, not thinking I would get it.

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But I did. Wonderful news! And then it hit me–I was going to have to find child care for my son, for the boy who, for his entire life, had spent every single day, with only a few hours here and there as exceptions, with me.

I spent well over a month talking to people, trying to find someone to come to my house, to find a day care, a baby sitter that I trusted. Well, I did, and James has been with her for the last three weeks, three days a week.

To say that it’s been a seamless, perfect transition would be a bold faced lie. But it has been less painful than I thought.

Leaving your baby with someone, even someone you trust, is terrifying the first time. You’re saying to the person watching your child, “Here is my heart. I’ve cut it from my chest, wrapped it in all the love I have, and am giving it to you for safe keeping.” That’s a big freaking deal. 

But then, faster than you’d think, you start to grow accustomed to the change. That panic at leaving your child with someone diminishes and new worries and fears emerge. // Is my child giving her trouble? Is he too much to handle? Will his tantrums and stubbornness make her dislike him? Will she dislike me if he’s bad? Does he have a good time there? Is he happy? Is he happy without me? Does that make me happy or sad? Am I damaging him by leaving him while he’s crying? Would I damage him by keeping him holed away with me at home 24/7? // So. Many. Questions.

So in the span of a few months, my plans drastically changed. I was no longer a stay at home mom (some people cheered this, others gave me disapproving looks). I was working part-time (more cheers, more squinted eyes). I had to trust that another woman (she’s absolutely AMAZING, by the way) would care for my son with the same mama-bear-ness that I do.

Basically, one small change turned my world upside down and shook it like a snow globe.

Being a mom when things change is hard, because no matter what choice you make–staying home, going to work, finding a sitter, finding a nanny, finding a daycare–A, people will have opinions, both good and bad, about it, and B, change is just never easy (at least not for me).

So, James is now a kid who, three days a week, gets to go and play with other kids, and hang out with the coolest babysitter ever. And I am now a human being who gets to go and do adult things on computers and with literary journals (go check out Jelly Bucket if you get the chance!) and with actual adult people three days a week for a few hours at a time, but then gets to go and pick up her sweet boy and still spend most of her time with him.

Change is hard. And now my life feels really, really weird. But this change, I think, is going to be really, really great.

Hyper-Emotional (or Why I Feel Like a Monster)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been emotional. Like, really emotional. Waaaay more emotional than most/normal people. That’s not to say I have really intense emotions all the time, but rather I am aware of and experience my emotions all the time. ALL THE TIME. There are times when I feel hyper-emotional, and while those times are few and far between, they’re overwhelming, sometimes overpowering. Most of the time I’m not like that, but I am always, always, feeling something and that’s where the trouble comes in. My emotion, my thoughts, show in my posture and face even if the emotion I’m feeling is mild.

This hyper-emotional aspect of my personality has been a blessing and a curse. The blessing comes in just how much, how deeply, I can love the people closest to me. If I say I love you, please know that that means I LOVE you, and would do pretty much anything I could to make you happy. And even if those other emotions creep into our relationship, know I still love you deeply.

The other emotions, the “curse” ones, are a little trickier.

It takes very little to make me sad. And when I feel deeply sad, it can be an ugly-crying, shaking, pulling my hair kind of sad. And I have a pretty short fuse, but it generally dissipates quickly. Unless it something that really makes me angry, in which case, I see RED.

Because I’m hyper-emotional, I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Unless I’m just really, really tired, you’re gonna know what I’m feeling when I’m feeling it. But that isn’t the worst part–the worst part is that, because I’m so hyper-emotional, if I feel a little bit irritated, a little bit mad, a little bit not-happy, it can come across as really irritated, really mad, really not-happy.

Over the last 31 years, I’ve been told I have twelve different personalities, that people are afraid of how their words are going to affect me, of how I’ll react. I’ve been told I was crazy, that there was something wrong with me, wrong with my brain. After hearing these things, or things like it, for so long, I’ve started to feel like there really was something wrong with me, like I was a monster, and for a hyper-emotional, heart-on-sleeve person, that feeling is paralyzing. And if you’re cripplingly insecure, like me, it’s hard to break out of that I’m-a-monster cave that you find yourself in.

Being emotional sucks. It can also be pretty wonderful. I experience so much joy in each day! But I also experience a lot of sadness, a lot of anger. I lot of worry, doubt, excitement.

I don’t really have a point in writing this, except to be honest and open. I’ve always wanted that–to be honest and open about my self, my beliefs, my truths, and this is one of them. There’s a good chance that I’m more emotional than anyone you’ve ever met. I hate that about myself. HATE it. I also sometimes love it, but not as often. And that’s one of my truths. Somehow, I feel like sharing it will ease some of the burden I feel at having to carry it, but maybe it won’t. Maybe I just needed to write all this down. I don’t know, but it’s done now.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re one of those people I mentioned before, the ones who I love with a scary intensity, and if that’s the case, I love you for reading my scrambled thoughts. ❤

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