Mom Guilt

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IMG_20160113_171524609Let’s talk about mom guilt.

I swore to myself that I’d avoid the mommy wars. That I’d not judge myself harshly based on other parents. Not succumb to making myself feel better the easy way by judging other parents, whether based on long association or just on how our respective littles were behaving in a moment in the grocery store.

IMG_20160204_163529555For the most part, I’ve succeeded in this. Where I have failed, and failed miserably, is in not giving in to guilt. Guilt because I gave birth to a healthy baby when several of my friends can’t even get pregnant. Guilt that nursing came easily, if painfully at first, to Baby Gecko and I while so many mothers struggle for weeks and months. There’s the guilt from being able to stay home for five months with my little man, and the guilt from having to return to work.

I feel ungrateful when I complain about being sleep-deprived, because Baby Gecko usually only wakes once in the night and has for weeks now. Then there’s the absolute terror that he won’t wake up. I battle the feeling that, since everything is going so well, something bad must be about to happen. I’ve battled that feeling since I was young, over any major event in my life. Like many feelings since Baby Gecko’s arrival, this particular one has intensified.

I have been working on my guilt. It’s getting easier to manage, especially as I get more sleep and a better perspective. Mr. Gecko has been very supportive through all of this, especially during my crying meltdowns. I don’t write this to humblebrag or to get sympathy or for any acknowledgement at all. I debated with myself whether to even post this. I feel better for writing it all down, though, and maybe someone out there will feel better and less alone for reading it.

Throughout the day, too, there’s this face and this little man who has taken over such a large part of my heart. He makes it easier to stay in the present and enjoy every moment.IMG_20160228_143858650

Winter 2016

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Teton mountains in the snowThis winter has been an odd one for me. We’ve had a bit more snow than last year, but now the weather is warming up more than normal. Bison crossing the HighwayI haven’t been working, due to Baby Gecko, so I haven’t seen as much wildlife.

Two bull moose eating branches.On the day that my dad and sister arrived, though, we saw two cow moose close to town (no pictures), and two bull moose in one of the developed areas in the park.

IMG_20151226_150445799_HDRI, of course, didn’t have my camera with me, so these are cell phone pictures.

Sugar is adjusting to the new family member. She’s having a harder time adjusting to the diet the vet put her on at her last checkup…The dog in fresh snow.

Random Notes From A New Parent

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IMG_0540About two weeks ago, Baby Gecko joined us. It’s been an intense, draining, terrifying, amazing time since his arrival. My family was here for the first week, and my mama stayed another week longer. Having that support made adjusting to the new, demanding, presence easier. Also, being so very exhausted for the first few months of pregnancy prepared me somewhat for the tiredness now; it also has made it easier to ignore housework.

While I was pregnant (and since giving birth, as well), I repeatedly heard the advice “Sleep when the baby sleeps”. That advice sucks has been difficult to follow. So this post is going to be a bit on the disjointed random side. It’s also been written and rewritten in my head over the past three weeks, since our visits to town have become carefully orchestrated expeditions planned around baby things rather than internet time, and at home my arms are usually full of baby rather than laptop. At some point, I will post pictures of our winter so far, and the crafting I’ve been doing, and more on the baby. It may be July before I get to it, though.

When I look at his little face, I wonder who he is going to grow up to be. I want to protect him from everything that might ever hurt him and at the same time, have him grow to be as kind and strong and loving as his father. As I sit on the couch, watching Mr. Gecko with Baby Gecko asleep on his chest, I realize, for the thousandth time since Baby Gecko’s birth, how much I love this man and the small life we have brought into this world.

Winter Sheep

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DSC_0088We are still awaiting the arrival of Baby Gecko. Between getting baby supplies and getting the house ready so that we can fit those supplies, I haven’t been spending much time taking pictures. I’ve done crafty things, but none that I can post yet. But I did make it out on the National Elk Refuge last week to take some pictures.DSC_0031Every winter, bighorn sheep move down from the higher elevations in the area, and many of them come onto the Refuge to spend the cold months. DSC_0047This ram came right down the hill towards me, then crossed the road to see some lady rams. He was not successful. DSC_0071I heard headbutting, but didn’t see any. These two were just hanging out.

I’ve got family coming in for Baby Gecko’s arrival, so there will probably be more wildlife photos to come, depending on when Baby decides to arrive.DSC_0056

Book 11: The Martian

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This one has been on my to read list since right after it came out. I ended up borrowing the Kindle version through our library rather than buying it, because I wanted to read it before watching the movie.

The Martian, by Andy Weir, begins with the main character, an astronaut, becoming stranded on Mars after his team thinks he has been killed in a storm. The rest of the book bounces between the logs he writes while trying to survive, and the attempts of people on Earth to come up with a plan to rescue him. I don’t want to give too much away, though.

I really enjoyed this book. The science behind what the characters did was well explained, and I’ve been told it’s pretty accurate. My background is critter science rather than space, so I have to go by what I’m told in that respect. The characters are well developed, and the logs of the main character frequently made me laugh out loud. I’ll probably end up buying this book at some point. When we are done buying baby things perhaps…