Tagged: motherhood

How I started to slowly lose my chill about Covid19

March 12 at 3:18 PM

‘Mother, mother

There’s too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother

There’s far too many of you dying

You know we’ve got to find a way

To bring some lovin’ here today, eh eh

What is Going On?’ – Marvin Gaye

[Disclaimer: I want to say that I am taking the situation very seriously and all my thoughts to those who are already affected but I need to process the last 24 hours in my own neurotic way.]

I usually never panic. When everything falls apart around me, my face does not move and I usually keep chopping onions. This is probably the result of a rather troubled childhood. Growing up in a home where people would get screamed at or hit at you for no apparent reasons or where you are having dinner without knowing the person who is eating next to you on any given day kind of trains you for the ‘no reaction resting bitch face’.

Ten years living in New York sealed the deal. Things like your children wanting to apply their CPR technique on a crack addict who fell on the street at 8am build up your armor. You just cannot lose your shit there.

So yeah, I always pride myself for never showing emotions and keep on. And I chop onions, cilantro too. My faves.

But here’s the step by step recount of the day I started to waver during the coronavirus pandemic.

Step 1: What is going on in Whole Foods???

I get a concerned call in the middle of a business meeting from A begging me to get medications and food as we may have a lockdown situation on our hands soon.

I am laughing; he is not. He is really getting on my nerves right now. I truly married Mr Doom and he does not even wear a freaking cape and his hipster beard is NOT a steel mask so can he just drop the act? OK, fair enough he has foreseen countless financial crises or dips which saved us some money on the housing market back in 2007. Still, I am still not over that time when he refused to tape our windows for the Irene hurricane mocking me for my over reacting – which led to angry sex and…L 9 months later as I was barely out from breast feeding the twins. Not regretting the arrival of  L. but I am still mad about the Irene’s ‘I am not duct taping your fucking windows’. So we argue for 5 mins over ‘the end of the world’ shopping.

Eventually, I give in mainly out of pure viciousness. He has been on my a** about our grocery bill for months and I am having a free rein today? B**** no need to tell me twice.

So here I am casually strolling through Whole Foods getting Morbier cheese and snails in a jar just to take the piss. But then, I end up facing empty shelves after empty shelves. There is no pasta, rice, lentils, or quinoa. Granted it is freaking Whole Foods so there is always a shortage of quinoa. I do lose my smug face straight on, though.

When the same shit happens in the frozen veggies section, I start frowning. The only thing left is frozen corn – which is not a vegetable by the way. I am frowning so much that I cannot even find it in me to celebrate a personal victory as I spent 2 full decades saying to the masses that : ‘corn has no place on frozen pizzas! Get out of my lawn!’

When I see that the only sugar left is biodynamic organic sugar – whatever it freaking means – I am getting dizzy. Hmmm…

Note: Biodynamic means ‘of or relating to a system of farming that follows a sustainable, holistic approach which uses only organic, usually locally-sourced materials for fertilizing and soil conditioning, views the farm as a closed, diversified ecosystem, and often bases farming activities on lunar cycles.’ Is it bad that as I am reading this definition the first thing I am thinking is the female body and menstruations and not sugar at all?

Guess if we are in a lockdown, the ones who will be ahead of all of us are the ones who know how to make their own bread, cook frozen corn and flax seeds.

As I am pondering whether or not I am ready to take the flaxseeds leap of faith since somehow I did buy dry mung beans without knowing what it is, I am texting my girlfriends to laugh. My girlfriends and I have this 24h day SMS line in which texts go from ‘I just told my kids to shut up’ to ‘people need to check their privilege’ or ‘shots, vodka or Prosecco?’’ . These women do not play, they don’t BS and talk it real. Harlem real. I rely on them every day to keep me cool as a cucumber. Or just cool, period.

I start ranting about how people are all nuts starting with my own husband. But after 5 mins I realize that I have now set up a train wreck in motion. Speed 2 has nothing on me right now.  Keanu, come back and save me!!!

Yep, my girlfriend’s husband is texting her now: ‘A knows something!!! Get food, get cash!’.

Me: ‘Chill out, ladies, A knows nothing!!! He is a hypochondriac!!! Stop, people!’

But it is too late, way too late. I am taking that last organic semolina pasta pack off the shelf.

Step 2: Corona caused first family dispute

A comes back home: ‘if the whole city shutdowns, should we drive to Vermont???’
Me: ‘The city is not SHUTTING DOWN! This is New York. Stop it!’
Then he starts questioning my ‘it is the end of the world’ supplies: ‘that’s it?’

Me: ‘oh yeah???? You are complaining? Are you kidding me?  Look at me losing my shit now! This is me dealing with 5 hours at the ER eye center with L and looking at him licking the reception desk. Yes! LICKING!

This is me taking G for 3 cavities filling. This is me being blamed for being late for ballet by P because I was bloody looking for pasta…yes there is a shutdown: MINE !!!! And yes, you are going down Sir but because I am going to smother you in your sleep! I am and I am going to take my fucking time doing it.’

Things got silent quickly at the dining table. I am so not cool as a cucumber right now. Try a jalapeño.

Step 3: Overnight, these things happen. 

Tom Hanks is sick with Covid19. If Mr Nice dies, it is the end. The world does not need this right now. Tom, I am ready to go all ‘Saving Private Ryan’ on you. We need you to make it.

Travel from Europe is banned. Okay…

The Met is shutting down. What?

Broadway is closing until further notice for the first ever, 100 million dollars in revenue loss expected.. I am beyond Jalapeño now. I am not fucking chopping onions or cilantro. I am crumbling like fucking guacamole.

I wake up and want to apologize to A but instead texts: ‘why is there still no wine on your ‘must haves bunker list’ ???

Guacamole, I am. But a bitchy guacamole.

Bare

I pondered about whether or not to share this post. I initially wrote this as an email to DH but before hitting the ‘send’ button I thought ‘every single mom probably goes through this. It is all fucked up sometimes and I wish I had the courage to lay bare these moments and surges with other women as they happen and not 1 day after I (somewhat) processed the feelings and tried to make sense of them’. That is when instead of the email being sent to DH it went straight to redlipstickmama.com

Hey,

Hope your day is going well and that the jet lag is not too bad.

I need to share with you that I am having a burnout as an entrepreneur, a mom and a wife.

I am getting paranoid/paralyzed about failing, not doing enough or at least not well enough. I feel like everything, everyone around me is putting pressure on me. Which probably is inaccurate and I (and maybe also our parents) am the only one who put these pressures on me. On my fucking own.

What annoys me is that I am numb today. Like I don’t care anymore of what people think, like I don’t care anymore about raising to my own expectations. It is so not me. But I am tired.

I know I have to take it easy and take positive and constructive time for me without guilt but to be honest I don’t know how to do this. 
Today I just want to crawl into bed and sleep (although I haven’t been able to for weeks now). I have a meeting but I cancelled it ; I don’t want to the garage* because I think it will make me cry and I just want to hide. I just want to be a slob, a lazy person without being terrified that I might be depressed. Can anyone do this?

There is nothing you can do about it; I just need to say it.

This makes me look like a cry baby but today I just don’t give a shit.

*my co-working space

S

NB for my readers: as I am sending this, I saw on the Instagram feed a 20 year-old friend this: ‘We are born to be real, not to be perfect’. How fitting. So wise.
No lipstick mama

20141120-121510.jpg

Two

P & G have just turned two. Our friend Tess who has a kid born on the exact same day sent us some birthday wishes saying ‘Happy Birthday to the kids. Times flies by, doesn’t it?’. Wishes were answered as follows by a dead serious DH: ‘Thanks for the wishes. No, time does not fly. I felt every second of it.’Time does not fly indeed; it almost stands still in fact. However, the twins turning two made me reminisce a couple of things. I remembered the day I got inseminated. I was given a picture of the two chosen 5-days blastocysts, early stage embryos, by oddly emotional fertility nurses.My first thought was: ‘they look like unused condoms; it is weird‘. My second was:’So here are the winners of the race for the fittest, huh?’. I was also given a little plastic round dish in which the blastocysts have been carried around since leaving their ‘pool of creation’. It was tiny, simple, made of cheap plastic and thus very deceptive. Not only the contents cost thousands of dollars but were anything but simple. It was the result of unbelievable scientific prowess. Indeed, not in a million years I ever thought that one day my whole body and menstruation cycles were going to be taken over by a bunch of strangers with white blouses and plastic gloves. Since my fertility treatment, I have been loathing movies about women getting preggers after a one night stand. They basically say ‘girls watch out. If you drink or sneeze for that matter you can get knocked up despite the condom’. Are they for real?? I suspect what these movies are really trying to say is ‘girls, don’t do casual sex. You will suffer the consequences’. Because of course in these movies, not only girls get knocked up by batting their eyelashes in front of random guys but they also ALWAYS keep the babies. Like in real life, right?
.
I also remembered the day when fetuses both started to move and swirl inside my belly: it looked and felt like a scene from ‘Alien’. Try to imagine that while being actually sober 4 knees and 4 elbows are poking out in your belly. I think my child free sisters are still haunted by this memory. Even my ‘ boyz in the hood’ brothers shrieked. That is when I realized that I was not going to regain control over my brain and my body for another while. After the ‘sleek Scientists’, the ‘swimming Fetuses’ claimed ownership and decided when I was going to eat, sleep or go all hormonal on DH. They decided I did no longer like garlic, onions, red wine, hot chilli peppers…and eggplant.
.
I remembered the day when we came home leaving our comfy maternity private room for which we slashed our savings so we could get nurses schlepping for us. DH and I put down the car seats with the babies inside in the middle of our,then, uncluttered living room. We looked at each other. DH asked: ‘what are we doing now?’ and I answered flatly:’I have no fucking idea.’ Note: this exchange still holds; we repeat the exact same words at least twice a week. Only the tone changes: bored, impatient, angry, depressed…
.
I remembered all those moments. However, strangely the days I thought the most about in the last week are all those times when DH and I argued, bickered, agreed, disagreed about whether to grow our family or not. We had postponed THE conversation for years. Because we could not procreate, it was easy to do so. It was easier to tell other people (and ourselves) that I could not have children rather than say ‘I don’t think I want children’. It is simpler to talk about potential fertility tests than justify a different choice for your life. Eventually we did have these talks though. And boy once the pandora box opened, everything started flying out: the known, the assumed, the unexpected and the ugly. I thought about a family boat outing during which out of nowhere I told DH: ‘I don’t trust you to be a fit father. You are too self-centered and I will not be a sacrificial lamb. I don’t want children. Will you stay? Bla, bla, bla…’. (Note: I still regret these words). At this point I was not sure if he was going to a- throw me out of the boat, b- ask for a divorce or c-do both. The truth, after months of agonizing self-reflection, finally came out: I was petrified. Petrified that once with children, I would never be able to walk out. I don’t do unrequited or selfless love. But isn’t this the plight of every single parent? Children can hate you, belittle you but you just stay there and smile. There is no way out. And then one day, I woke up and said to DH: ‘I am fine now. Let’s do this.’ I am not sure exactly why I changed my mind. Perhaps because I finally truly believed that if the treatments failed, we would still be happy. Perhaps because us having children was a real choice.
.
So, when G & P ransacked the living room an hour before their birthday party, pulled each other’s hair over some dirty cardboard or splashed their faces with the water from the toilet bowl I reminded myself that I, ME and MYSELF chose this. And when they blew together their candles shaped ‘2’ completely ecstatic in front of their friends and with sparkling eyes, I thought ‘I am not sure if they were the fittest but they sure do fit’. 
G & P

Sandy hook: how much is too much

I have not written in a while because I was a shell of a human being, my body and brain all numb from the lack of sleep. Everybody says it is going get better, except that at this present time, in December 2012 it is not fucking getting better. In fact, it went from OK to bad to worse to worst to ?!!!@@@!!!!??????But today it does not matter. It does not matter that the twins are now climbing out their cribs in the middle of the night and are jumping around yelling as if they were in the Saturday Night Fever movie. It does not matter that L at 8 months old still does not sleep through the night and  still thinks he is some kind of fat lump attached to my hip. No, it does not matter because on Friday 14th December a very sick person barged into a school and gunned down 26 people including 20 children aged 6 or 7. 6 or 7. Just like that, birthdays, first kisses, first time sex, graduations, first pay checks, weddings, etc. were wiped out. Just like that.It is heartbreaking. I am at loss for words, loss for emotions even.
sandyhooknames
The whole week end, I kept thinking about the same stuff over and over again, while looking at my three kids eating christmas cookies’ raw dough when they were not busy throwing it on the floor. I wondered if these parents got to hear their kids say that they loved them. P told her nanny she loved her but has yet to tell me or her dad. I hope they did get to hear it, at least once. It would be a memory I would hang on to if I lost my child. I then thought about how relieved I was that my kids were not only alive but too young to read or listen to the the news. I was glad I did not have to explain what ‘shooting massacre means’  because where would I even start? I mean, P & G are so clueless about right and wrong, hurt and pain that they do not understand why we get all pissed off when they throw milk bottles, cream containers or portable lamps onto L in his sleep. They just smile. It is a chilling experience, believe me.Finally, I asked myself what if it had happened to us? How can you recover? DH and I agreed that granted we survived, we would probably dedicate our lives to make sure that no children ever get to die this way again. We would probably feel that inaction would be like letting them down. And then I looked at my three kids wrestling on the floor, fighting over a stupid broom and thought: they are alive but am I not letting them down anyway moping about the shooting and doing nothing? When I moved to the States, I always said that I would be politically involved in three issues: women’s right to choose, marriage for all and gun violence. And then I forgot.

Today, I am adding a new page to my blog ‘Activist mama’ where I will publish my thinking and my actions. This page will remind me that sleepless nights, back to back tantrums, getting hit by flying toys, my kids’ diarrhea etc. will never be in the end too much. But a child who will never be 8 because they were killed by a gun, a woman who has to resort to illegal street abortion or a couple in love who cannot get married because society thinks they are abnormal, is too much, way too much.