Saturday, March 16, 2013

Having a bad "mood" day and mothering

For a long stretch of time, I sorta forgot I had a mood disorder.

This aging business, though, is having its way with me.  I suspect wonky progesterone levels are affecting my moods more often than in the past.  I'm having breakthrough anxiety a bit, such as this morning when I was folding sheets. Prior to Lexapro, if I was folding sheets and they touched the floor I had to wash them again to remove the germs.  (Ain't OCD grand?)  This morning, the sheets touched the floor, and while I didn't wash them and was able to talk myself down, I felt a visceral pulse of anxiety.

Being around the boys when I'm having a low spell is truly a challenge for me.  I'm sure people think I just bitch about motherhood because it is funny or like it's just "my schtick," but unless you live with a mood disorder on a daily basis, you don't understand how frustrating it is to already be moody inside your head and then to have crazy up-and-down moods thrown at you all day long.  I've mentioned before that I catch other people's bad moods like hookers catch the clap.  A funny way to say it, maybe, but very, very true.

Three-year-olds are bloody nightmares for a moody momma.  In the car the other day, one instant M was screaming and crying because of something G did, and twenty seconds later he was laughing at something else that G did.  G is remarkably better than he was when he was three years old, but he is still a pretty moody kid.  Kids, by their nature, cannot control their emotions very well or at all.

It is especially problematic when one's 3-year-old has a tantrum in the middle of the night (like last night).  A chronically sleep-deprived momma woken in the wee hours to deal with a screeching 3-year-old who wants to get up for the day hours and hours before the day actually begins is simply unable to deal.

In addition to the moodiness, I've also got an overabundance of guilt and still fight the "shoulds and shouldn'ts" on an all-too-frequent basis.  If I'm having a challenging day (or minute or hour), I think to myself that I "should" treasure this time with my children because parents with terminally ill children would be thrilled to have healthy children who yell and are boisterous and moody to an aggravating degree.

I get very frustrated with this line of unreasonable thinking on my part.  Raising children is amazing and also the most difficult, tiring thing I've ever done in my life.  I am allowed to feel what I feel---good or bad, and I shouldn't berate myself for experiencing the same feelings that every parent throughout time has felt.

But I do, which only makes a bad mood worse.  

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