December 9, 2009

I Like My Temper How I Like My Women: Short and Hot!!

I take back what I said in previous posts, only to restate it with some caveats.  Becoming a father makes me feel like a better person on occasion.

While it is true that I find myself wanting to do more things around the house, such as fixing (or pretending to fix) the dishwasher, installing lights and planning how to renovate the bathroom and attic, I also am finding myself to be more short-tempered.

Having a new house and a beautiful daughter at home in that house is making it an agony to go to work.  While this job is not my ideal, it is in the education field and I am working with math students.  Most days, it is acceptable and can even be great, but for the last 2 weeks, I have found it a bit less than tolerable.  After a few days of hard contemplation, I've come to the conclusion that nothing is different about the job, the administration, or the students.  That means the only thing left is me.

I'm aware that I have seasonal mood swings and it is about time for my winter depression.  Over the past few years, I've gotten better at controlling my temper and my depression.  Being aware of the changes make it easier to correct, allowing me to take some time to deeply breathe, count to ten and get back to the situation.

Over the past two weeks, however, I haven't been able to do that.  I've been trying to smile through, and thinking about Harper, especially the latest pictures, make that easier.  At the same time, all I want to do is go home to her.  I can think of a dozen things that need to be done in the house without even trying.  I spend much of my down time at work either losing myself in a book or looking up things on line that I could use to improve my house.

My patience with my students, something that I have actively been working on for several years, is wearing VERY thin.  I have yet to scream at any of them, but in situations when I would normally sit and try to explain something 4 or 5 times, I'm settling for 1 or 2.  I don't like this at all, but I worry that if I stay longer, my frustration at them not understanding will turn to anger and I will explode.

This at least gives me comfort because it means I still have control over my temper.

The thing that I find most shocking is that I have no anger towards Harper.  Thinking about it, I almost feel like I should.  When she lays there and screams in the middle of the night and can't be comforted, I think that I should be getting angry, but I don't.  My frustration is more at myself for being unable to make her calm.  I worry that I'm doing something wrong with her and that if I would just hold her a different way, or rock her just so, she would be happy.  I'm frustrated with myself that I can't find that way, but the only feelings I have towards her are complete and total love and devotion.

Even these feelings are getting a bit out of control and moving into the realm of the insane.  My mother-in-law and aunt-in-law (is that a thing?) came over today to watch Harper so Sara and Jill could go run errands.  I was practically shoved out the door and sent on my way to work and I think I was a little less polite to our guests than I could have been.

On my drive to work, while listening to Brittany Spears sing about having a three-some, I had a horrid vision of my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law (I think it's a thing) having an argument over who should hold Harper and actually tearing her in half, each lovingly cuddling one arm and one leg.  This vision almost made me turn the car around and call in sick.

It's absurd!  I know how insane it is, but I've already become so protective of this little girl that I barely trust anyone other than Sara to take care of her.  I understand why she would want to be a stay-at-home-mom and I wouldn't at all mind staying home myself.  I'm not sure I would have these feelings if we had had a boy.  At least, I don't think they would be the same or as intense.

I've already become that dad who sits on the porch polishing the shotgun for when the boyfriend comes by.

I don't feel the need to hover over her at all times when I'm home.  I'm happy to let her sleep, or look around, or do whatever without constantly having to hold her.

As soon as I leave the house for work, however, the bottom drops out of my stomach and I enter a state of distracted frustration until I get home.

Is this normal?


Anonymous said...

Dear Justin,
Every day I look forward to a new chapter in this baby blog. I love it!! Keep them coming! Glad you three are doing so well!
Love Aunt Deb

Mom (Elayne) said...

There are a lot of thoughts, feelings, fears, EVERYTHING that fall within the range of "normal." When you hold a particular moment up to close scrutiny it might be suspect but what you might come to realize is that moments like that define the continuum of normalcy. Parenting is a hell of a ride, so hang on and try not to get stuck in any one moment. They're all part of the ride.



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