My desire to bake is dead! It is for the time being anyway. I just can’t even imagine myself baking in my new home or in my new kitchen. I have zero desire to even reach for one of my cookbooks or to take inventory of my pantry for a baking supply shop. The thought alone of me baking just stresses me the hell out, and don’t get me wrong because I love to bake! In fact it was something I enjoyed doing at least once a week before we moved. I now share a kitchen with my Mother-in-law, and when I start to think of me baking in this new home I lose all interest.
The last time we were both in the kitchen together I was fixing dinner for my boys when I observed a sick dance between us. I was working as quickly as I could, my shoulders pushed up to my ears and I am aware of every crumb, every drip/drop, every dish, everything. She begins to run a sink of soapy dish water, and my interpretation: Don’t use MY new dishwasher. Then she was snatching up my dirty dishes before I even had a chance to wash them myself, and my interpretation: You are too slow, and too dirty for MY kitchen. When I forget something downstairs it will mysteriously end up on the stairs leading to our living space, and my interpretation: Put your shit away! We don’t want any evidence of you or them down here! So I just can’t even think of what it would be like for me to even try to bake with her watching me, judging me. The thoughts just completely deflate me and the desire to create is gone.
I am still searching for a creative outlet. One that doesn’t involve too much noise, smell, heat or time. Still searching.
Before we moved I created an Instagram account just to have a place to post pictures of all of the things I love to bake and cook for my family and with my family.
We have almost been in our new home a month but I just can’t shake my feelings of unhappiness. I knew there would be adjustments and growing pains but I never imagined I would be comparing this experience to having our first child. Enormous amounts of fear accompany each unfamiliar, and uncomfortable adjustment to all of the things that were once normal in our old life, only there was no added joy with a newborn baby.
At the end of every day that has followed 8.11.15, I have let out a huge sigh of relief that there have been no big fights, and with the start of each new day I rise with a reminder of my own unhappiness growing, as I tip toe from my bed to my bathroom, my jaw clenched tight. My first thoughts are always the same: “Who in the hell has to go through this kind of shit? What kind of life is this? This is NOT normal! This is not fair to our kids!” These negative thoughts setting the tone for my day, again. We have had to change everything about the way we live and interact as a family, and all to accommodate a tolerable noise level for the two grandparents who now live on the floor beneath us. I hate what I am turning into, and that is a Mother who is constantly shushing and yelling at her children, inside of their own home! I am always reminding them to “Be quiet,” and “Don’t stomp,” and I struggle with what is even right anymore, and I have to keep questioning all of my thoughts and decisions.
When we married, I knew that eventually this would be our lives since he’s an only child. I suppose I had always assumed we would have had more time together than this, but maybe I would be feeling this same way no matter how much time we really had together, alone. What time were we ever really alone anyway? I think I can always remember them being there.
This just hasn’t felt like OUR home, and I feel like I am constantly walking around on egg shells. There has also not been a single solitary moment that we have been home alone without them there. Yesterday evening I finally had a mental breakdown. I even threatened to take the kids and leave. What kind of monster am I turning into? I really thought that I was stronger than this. In fact, when I had looked into the future, before we were living together, I saw myself taking charge of this very situation that I am finding myself in now. Why am I being such a coward? What am I so afraid of? Why do they have so much control over me? Over us? Why did I ever allow this to happen?
Tonight is the last night that we will sleep in our home. One thing I cannot forget is a promise I made to both of my boys, for us to make one last growth marking for each of them inside their closet. When we moved into this house 10 years ago, our oldest boy was only 9 months. Now both boys are ages 10 and 4 and this inner corner of their closet resembles a handmade ruler of sorts. We have always placed at least 2 markings per year for each boy, and it’s always been fun to see where baby brother is in comparison to where his big brother was at his age. This tiny corner in our home is now the only personal item left, and it seems sort of sad to be leaving this memory behind. I wish there were some way to preserve it all, and tonight I will do my best to capture it in a photograph, only I know the angle will be all wrong.
I am feeling really proud of myself today. Although, if you could see what I look and sound like at the moment you might be really confused by that statement. I barely recognized myself in the bathroom mirror this morning; something I have only experienced one other time in my life, and that was after my first son was born. I have enough pressure and weight on my shoulders at the moment that it could be enough to crush an entire village, yet, somehow I am persevering. Today I woke up determined (after I had a good cry), and I know that I can get through this move and begin this new chapter of our lives, and find a way to be happy. I can hear a few strong female voices inside of my head telling me “You don’t need a man, and you can do this shit yourself!” It’s just been hard to keep my emotions in check right now, but, I am aware, and I am working on it! I have just been let down a lot lately. Time to lace up these boots once again.
Like these growth markings inside of my sons’ closet, I wish I could be measured in some permanent way, for the accomplishments and work I do for my family. I only wish I could preserve some parts of me. I think I just need some validation for going this last stretch alone.