K and I had a talk last week where a lot of what I've been hiding came to light. I talk a big game, but the truth is I'm pretty much afraid all the time. Nothing specific, just a general feeling of fear about everything. Afraid of failure, of making a fool of myself, being somewhere without having brought something I need, just a general fear of doing wrong. He knew this was in me of course, but not to the extent that it paralyzes me. I'm somewhat agoraphobic. As a result, I've become a computer addict. I can hide behind my keyboard and no one will know if I do something stupid. I can present myself however I want to be perceived and not make a whole lot of mistakes that will mess with that perception. I don't even do a whole lot of housework because I'm afraid of throwing away something I might need, ruining something by trying to clean it, burn dinner, etc etc.
The goal this year is to be better. K and I have talked about various ways that he can help me be better without just doing things for me. For example, if we have a flexible meal plan for the week, I'm more likely to make a real dinner because I know I'm not using up something that was purchased for something specific, I'll remember to defrost things in time to actually use them, stuff like that.
I finally got the girls and I signed up at the Y and we're starting swimming lessons for the girls next week. Ok, I know most people don't understand why that's a big deal for me. Going to the Y seems like a pretty easy thing to do, but here's what runs through my head when I think about that first swim lesson. What time do we need to arrive? How will K and I wrangle the girls in the locker rooms? Oh crap, I need to get a lock for the lockers. Where do I put valuable things like my phone? Do I really feel it's secure in the locker room? Ok, how much showering is required before going into the pool? Do I need to soap down? Is the locker room shower a naked thing or can I shower in my bathing suit? The girls have never been in a shower, will they panic or pitch a fit? I'll need to bring shampoo for them and wash their hair after so it doesn't turn green from chlorine. They pitch major fits when we change diapers, how am I going to get them out of their swim diapers and get them dressed again without everyone thinking I'm beating my child because they are crying so hard? How much of my body do I need to shave to not gross people out when I'm in a bathing suit. Let's not even discuss how I'm too fat for a bathing suit to begin with. Then of course there's the whole fear of keeping the girls safe in the water (we'll always have one parent per child, I won't be trying to keep twins safe by myself).
So you see what my brain does to paralyze me and prevent me from doing the simplest things? This is how I need to be better. We're going to work on this ourselves and if I don't begin to feel safer pushing my very tight boundaries, we're going to look into counseling for me. I don't want to pass this on to the girls. I already see it a little bit. The house is full of boundaries and whenever I open those boundaries up, they are SOOOO hesitant to cross them. That's good in a lot of ways, but then again, I don't want them enclose themselves as tightly as I have as an adult.
So here are the resolutions.
1) Reduce my daily computer time. No specifics on this, but reduce it to the point that I don't feel like an addict going through withdrawal whenever I'm not on it.
2) By the end of the year, I want most of the baby gates to come down and to be teaching the girls "no" rather than simply blocking their ability to do anything they shouldn't be doing. I'll spend the next year slowly expanding their access throughout the house. So far, I've connected their two playrooms which effectively doubled their playing space. My office (which is now one of their playrooms) has kind of a fence instead of a wall, so I took advantage of that and they now have a little hallway between rooms while keeping my desk inaccessible.
3) Take the girls out at least once a week. I'm terrified for when we go to the park because Teeny Tiny will gladly walk off with anybody so this is going to be a hard one for me. I'm just not sure I can keep the girls safe in a place like a park, but we can't afford indoor play spaces and other organized things all the time either. Gotta do some research on gated parks and ease into this one by doing it on K's days off so he can help.
4) Focus more on teaching rather than doing everything for them. First step, giving them a bowl and spoon rather than just feeding them their morning oatmeal.
5) Put more effort into my online pottery shop. To make this goal achievable, I'm basically going to pretend that the shop is only open for the holiday season and focus on fully stocking it and marketing it for a good 2014 Christmas season. That gives me a lot of time to put that work in before being disappointed if it doesn't result in good sales.
6) Do craft fairs next holiday season. Put myself out there and face rejection in person. Learn that rejection won't kill me.
7) I'd like to have a part time job by next Christmas. Difficult to find the right one as a stay at home mom, but I'm going to put more effort into making that happen. If the pottery shop is successful enough to actually bring in a comparable income, I'll consider that my part time job.
8) Spend an hour improving the house every day. Most days, this will just be standard housework, but I also need to work on purging baby stuff and finding places for things to go that have been sitting out getting in the way for a long time.
9) K and I need to spend more time together. We hide behind our computers and don't interact as much as we should. Even on date nights, we don't have much to talk about because I don't really do anything during the day. I catch him up on the girls and that's about it. I'm not sure how to go about breaking our habits and start amusing each other again, but we're going to put in the effort.
10) This is a big one. One that addresses just about every fear I have. Fear of rejection, of looking stupid, of diving into something I know nothing about, fear of failure. I'm going to try to write a book and probably self publish it on Amazon. I'll likely repackage the first two years of this blog and present it as a book of my miscarriage and infertility experience. The big thing I have to get past - It takes a lot of arrogance to think that anyone would be even remotely interested in reading anything I have to say. Others have had it worse than me, what makes my story worthy of reading? Every day I'm going to try to fight that negative self talk and do it anyway, even if I'm a big fat jerk face for being so conceited.
So that's how I'm going to try to be better. A few tangible things to work on to try to improve the intangible issues that I'm living with.