Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Looming 33

This year, I turn 33 years old. And for some unexplained reason, the connotations are not as pleasant as in years past. I finally feel like I am really a full-blown adult. And I am, but now I feel it. I feel the perception. I am seen for what I am. A mother. A career woman. An adult. Holy shit!!! I better get to doing something important in my life!!!

A few more consequences of chronic sleep deprivation...

It is incredible how many little mistakes and oversights I am committing at work these days, these weeks, these months.

Either I have quite suddenly become a severely scatterbrained twit or sleep deprivation is affecting ever more aspects of my daily life. With certain people, the important people, I make typos, screw up numbers, write wrong emails, don't finish sentences, forget my left foot from my right. We're talking about some basic, basic shit.

I am actually getting to be scared of what my brain will think up and tell me to do! And I really don't see much hope in sight. I have two weeks ahead of constant visitors, and visitors always means more outings and fewer naps. I am also on duty two more Saturdays this month. And my killer week of the year is also coming up.

Whodda thunk how so terribly important sleep was for the most basic intellectual tasks.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Today's Momversation podcast was about divorce. It was really touching. I have started to form one-way bonds with the women who contribute to the Momversation podcasts, it is pretty crazy. And all of them were in some way affected by divorce: either they were divorced themselves, or they were children of divorce.

Although the message was quite positive, it really only confirmed how damaging divorce can be on the children.

I should probably listen to the podcast whenever I am feeling husband blues. Because the stuff Tiziano and I fight about is so silly and unimportant. Just simple shit that would never merit the huge pain that it would cause our children.

I am a "child of divorce" (quotes are to dampen the cheese of the phrase), and divorce has always seemed a very easy option to choose if ever I was miserable with the man. But now that I think about it, it has probably made me more committed to my marriage - I don't take anything for granted because I know how easy it is for the relationship to degenerate.

Friday, 24 April 2009

More husband blues...

... which did get better!

But, since I mentioned it...

UGH! So I am going through a mid-career crisis (I want to do a Master's), and the other night, when I was talking about my choices to Tiziano, he sighed heavily and essentially ignored me. I said, "Sorry! Am I disturbing you? Is there something on TV that you really want to watch?" To which he replied, "Sigh... it is just that... well, I mean, what you are talking about isn't really urgent, and it's not as if you have to make a decision tonight... and I am trying to watch..." I didn't let him finish his sentence of course.

And then a stupid little fight ensued. He accused me of a double standard:

Him: "God forbid anyone disturb you when you are watching Desperate Housewives!"

Me: "Once a week, for 45 minutes, I ask to watch a TV show and for some silence. How can you possibly compare my wanting to have a chat with my husband one evening when every evening he plops down on the couch to watch TV!"

Him: "S*I*G*H*... I get home tired, and I just want some peace ... !"

Me (thinking): 'Oh and of course, I am not tired, because I wasn't the first person up this morning, spent 2 hours in traffic, worked a full day, came home to feed the kids, put them to bed, and wanted to have a simple chat with my husband before pumping my milk and going to bed...'

Thankfully, he then came into the bedroom, apologized, hugged me and let me talk about all my choices for a Master's. What a sweetie in the end!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Natural Births

Another friend just had a baby today. She had a natural vaginal birth without pain relief. Again, I am envious, and I feel jipped. I have never and will never experience one of the most fundamental experiences of motherhood, birth. I regularly get the usual reasurrances, "To be a mother is so much more than the birth," "At least you had healthy babies!" "Do you know how many women in the past have suffered so you could have a pleasant, safe, relatively painfree birth!?" "Natural births are overrated - they are way painful, for no good reason!" "You don't have to worry about being 'loose'"

But the feeling deepdown is that I am less of a woman. That I missed out on something important. That all other women share a special bond, that I will never. That I could have taken more risks and fought the system more to get my vaginal birth.

And I also feel judged, by the natural birth believers. It still stings when I think of another acquaintance of mine who drilled me about motherhood, birth, etc., and immediately dismissed me when she said, "No, I am definitely not going to resort to a c-section." Or something along those lines. As if I had a choice in the matter.

The women who have natural births, especially without an epidural, brag, as if wearing a badge, and I am just a failure.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


Now there's a topic worth discussing on Momversation!

I just can't get over how much infertility, potential or otherwise, is around me. It is very disconcerting. It makes me feel so very fortunate to have my two boys, and makes me want to have a 3rd, just for good measure. But at the same time, it is so very scary. I just can't imagine the pain of not being able to have kids! I think it would be one of life's worst hands you could get (of course, be born into war, abuse, famine is probably worse, but you catch my drift, right?).

It is also scary because its widespread grip can only mean something's gone bad in the West, in my generation of women, and it feels kind of sinister. Why do women from poor countries multiply like rabbits? Why can't we? Is it the food we eat (pesticides/hormones/antibiotics/meat-intensive)? Is it lifestyle, i.e., stress? Or is it the widespread, long-term use of the Pill? Whatever it is, if it is making our women infertile...

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

English as a second Language

It is weird that some parents who are not mother-tongue Anglo would choose to speak to their children in English at home. Weird not because English isn't a super useful language to speak fluently, but weird because the parents are obviously valuing English over their own mother-tongue. I can't help but think this is a little extreme. Or is it?

I ran into a family that did this last year on the ferry to Korcula. Then I thought it was cool. But today, at the park in Luino, I heard another family doing it. They were obviously German (because Germans and Swiss Germans invade Luino on Wednesdays, market day - and then of course the way they were dressed and their accent...). Yet, they were talking to their son in English.

They smiled at me, and I think were trying to establish some kind of complicity... or not. I avoided their gaze of course: I wasn't in the mood to start a whole "Where are you from/why did you come here/how long have you been living here" spiel.

I was kind of annoyed by their accented English. Mother-tongue means the language of the mother, it being the first language, fluent, etc. It is so false to be German, living in Switzerland/Germany and speaking to your children in English! UGH.

Monday, 13 April 2009


I wish I could just relax. I get so stressed out when I hear one of the kids fuss, or not eat, or unhappy. I mean they are happy kids, well taken care of, and both Tiziano and I are really doing the best we can. If that still means that occasionally, one or the other cry on occasion, it shouldn't be the end of the world!!! A crying kid, a salty meal, and tardy bedtime on occasion, ice cream before lunch, who cares????

Yet all of the above get me all stressed out. UGH. A stressed out mom is an unhappy mom. An unhappy mom is a mom who tries to escape all the time. I need to relax and enjoy all this voyage with the kids, all this voyage with my husband, all this voyage through life.

RELAX, fuck!!!!

Bringing the in-laws together

I have a peacemaking headache. I.e., the headache that comes from making peace between two warring factions, my mother vs my mother-in-law.

I am mostly, of course, rooting for my own mother, since we have the same views, priorities, faults, preferences. We both think my kids' happiness is more important than ironing clothes and keeping the house in impeccable order.

My mother-in-law's priorities are washing, ironing, pre-arranging food in the fridge, just so, bla, bla, bla. She loves my kids, and they love her, but she thinks of me, at best, a mediocre homemaker.

So when she comes over and immediately makes underhanded comments about how the flowers are going to die because "no one waters them," I get a little annoyed, to say the least.

Today, she did just that, and it just about ruined our Easter lunch. She calmed down after a while, well, after I told her she could do my laundry and iron my clothes, and then it was my mother and HER potty mouth I had to control.

I had my two kids vying for me attention, my husband asking me stupid questions, my mother whispering things to me in Spanish, my mother-in-law loudly talking about every single thing she did this weekend (hour-by-hour) and will do this afternoon, and I have to be smiling and responsive to everyone.

That's the joy of being queen of the house!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Husband blues

Yes, once again, Tiziano is driving me nuts. Well, that makes it sound nicer than it is. I am going through a "why-did-I-marry-this-guy?" moment. It feels like we are roommates, not husband and wife. The only reason we stay to together, it feels, is because it is too complicated to separate. And of course, the kids need both parents.

We aren't fighting non-stop anymore - that period, in the Fall, was pure hell. Now it is just apathy, dislike, hidden resentment, boredom, annoyance.

I mean, I know, the passion is of the early years, is gone, of course. That is normal, apparently. But dislike? If it weren't for the extra set of hands to help around the house and with the kids, I actually prefer it when he isn't home. I like it when he does the night shift, and I can sleep by myself, be more relaxed in the morning, take things easily, without feeling like I have to work, work, work, please, please, please, appease, appease, appease.

Everything he does is important and special, "what a lucky woman I am to have such a great husband!" Everything I do, is simply expected and taken for granted. When I need to delegate something to him, I have to sweet-talk him as if I were asking him some great favour. Same with taking us out on the weekends, for a walk, out to eat, somewhere special.

Thankfully, my mother's arrived, and I actually have some company now. THough, of course, my mother comes with strings attached and some heavy baggage. But at least she is more interesting and fun.

Is this a Man/Woman Mars/Venus thing? Or is it simply that I have fallen out of love?

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


What a topic. Needs vs. desires. For child and for mom.

I am writing about this because a colleague reminded me of this today: if you satisfy a small child's needs right away, it goes away. If not, it transforms and grows with the child. I always agreed with this principle, but had lost sight of it last night in another bout of despair I had with Sebastian lack of tranquil sleeping.

Screw this, if he needs to be sleeping with me, then he can just come into bed with me. At least until he is 3, we are just going to have to suck it up. Apparently, 3 is the magic age when all children suddenly start sleeping. I have 8 more months to go. I keep thinking I want to sleep with hubby again, or that Sebastian may be "spoiled" for sleep, or as they say in Italian, "facendo capprici." But I probably know deep down it isn't that. He has never been a sound sleeper. Even when he sleeps with me, he still usually wakes up at a certain point scared and searching for me.

What are my needs vs my desires? I feel like they are one and the same right now.

I need some sleep, I need some alone time, I need some freedom, I need some love and pampering.

I want some sleep, I want some alone time, I want some freedom, I want some love and pampering.

Maybe if I got one of the above, the rest of the above would go away.