I’m Having Trouble Feeling Like Me

I hate my back.

And I also hate the word hate, but my back has pushed me across the line of severe dislike into the deep, icky area of hate. I hate my back. And not just because it is causing me pain whether I am sitting, standing or sleeping.

I hate my back because it has made me doubt myself in many different ways.

1. As a mother.

Since my back injury, I have not been able to lift the boys at all. Now, with BigBrother, this is not an issue as I couldn’t really lift him anyway. He’s too tall, too long, too heavy. LittleBrother, however, is still rather small and needs help with various things. When we traveled with FireDad this summer, I had to have LittleBrother crawl in and out of our SUV by himself as I couldn’t help him. And once, when he was throwing a fit in a restaurant, I forgot about my back due to the crazy anger and embarrassment adrenaline surge, lifted him out of his seat to go outside and talk and paid for that move for quite some time afterward.

Mornings with LB at the park are lovely.

Beyond logistical issues, I can’t run around in the yard with the boys. I can’t walk them to the local city park as we were known to do regularly. I can’t lift them to the monkey bars. I can’t even push the darn swings. It hurts me to sit on the floor and play a game of Chutes & Ladders or Cariboo. I can sit and blow bubbles — but not for too long as it hurts to stay in the same position for more than five minutes. I can’t bend over the tub to wash them. When I cuddle up with them in bed to read a story, it hurts so bad to get out of the bed and stand up.

I feel like a useless mommy.

2. As a woman who used to be pretty darn happy with her body.


Lack of exercise means change in body shape. Which has made me question my self-image. Big time.

The weight gain is not my favorite part about this back injury. I am not feeling like myself because I don’t feel like I look like myself. My clothes do not fit properly. I sometimes get all stubborn and force myself to walk two miles — and then I can’t move for days afterward. As someone who had taken back to running and was at yoga class twice a week, the lack of movement has hit me hard — especially considering that movement and exercise help me manage my anxiety.

I don’t like the way I look right now. And when I would feel that way before, I’d go for a walk or a run and remind myself to eat well. But now I can’t walk or run and the anxiety builds up and I say, “Screw eating well! I need comfort food.” And the scale keeps tipping.

3. As a wife and partner.

I missed this guy yesterday!

See above and add in relationship-based body insecurity. Of course, my husband keeps telling me reassuring things like “you look great!” and “I love you!” And I look at him with an eyebrow raised, the “Daphne Returns” episode of Fraiser playing in my head. Is he blinded to my change in shape by his love? Or is he just a smart man?

A clip from the middle of the episode in which Fraiser tells Niles that his perception of Daphne is blurred by his intense attraction to her.

I don’t know.

I do know that my back is not healing as quickly as I’d like. Or as quickly as my chiropractor would like. And an MRI is going to be scheduled soon… and I don’t like that either. I don’t like feeling this way — the not knowing what is next, the self-doubt, the mother-doubt. I also hate shuffling around like someone’s Great-great Grandmother. (I can’t even say Great-grandmother because mine walks better than me right now.)

I’d give anything to wake up tomorrow and feel better. Then again, I’d also like to win the lottery, have a book published or make sure BigBrother never comes home from Kindergarten in tears ever again. All of those seem somewhat doubtful too.


Cyber Monday

In Case You Missed It, 8.20.2011

This was a crazy week. BigBrother started Kindergarten and we have apparently all survived. Despite the craziness, I still managed to read some great pieces on the web.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Two great pieces on racism: Parenting Tip – Open Up by Soulseeds and Parenting Challenges: Race, Color, Identity and the Need to Belong by Christy at QuirkyFusion. Both amazing pieces to read about race and family and parenting, even if you think that you don’t need to be concerned with such topics — because you do.
  • Just Another Night by The Kitchen Witch. I dare you to not be moved by this poignant post about aging, love and the compassion we can have for others. I cried just now, reading it for the third time. It is an amazing and powerful piece of writing.
  • I Support My School.. My Way… With Music by Greeblemonkey. Now that’s a school fundraiser I’d go to. But awesome music aside, it is so encouraging to see so many people willing to come together for the good of our kids’ education. High fives to Aimee and all who were involved: You inspire the rest of us to do more, be better.
  • About as Real as It Gets by Mandy at She Breathes Deeply, a blog I discovered earlier this summer and have fallen in love with for many reasons. This post, however, could have been written by me after BigBrother was born. I still grapple with my perfectionism, as I think many of us do. This was just a beautiful, raw piece.
  • I Won’t Photograph Ugly People by Jen McKen Photography. Read it, especially if you have teens online. She refused to take the senior portraits of a group of girls when she came across their hateful speech and postings on Facebook. I applaud this photographer as a photographer myself, as a girl who was bullied in high school, as a woman and as a mother.

In case you missed me elsewhere this week:


And, lastly, my favorite picture from the week (other than, you know, these or these):


Here’s hoping for another week of survival!

What a Brother Does All Day


He swings.

Monkey Bars

He gives the monkey bar a swing with his daddy.


With Mommy

He has some time alone with his mommy.

He misses his brother. I’ve already heard it in his tone when he asks if it’s time to pick up BigBrother yet. I’ve seen it in the way he looks at toys that are more fun when two people play together. But when he smiles at me on the playground or at the coffee shop or just in our living room and says, “I love you mommy,” I know that this one-on-one time that he’s really never had is probably a good thing. He’ll get two years of it.

Here’s hoping for two years of good memories together.