It’s no surprise that getting sober has also come with a pretty big dose of letting go of my controlling ways. (And yes, I’m sure I sound like I’m jumping the gun saying that I’m “getting sober” when I’m only two weeks in on this stint, but over the past two years, I feel like I’ve made strides toward lasting sobriety – it’s just a matter of me really deciding to make sobriety a priority). When my (now 6 year old) son was born, I absolutely lost my shit because I was unable to successfully breast feed. Three different lactation consultants, multiple breast pumps, shields, etc, etc, and I failed miserably. I had always envisioned myself breast feeding my child, and it never even occurred to me that I would not be successful at it. He was born on December 15, and by Christmas, I was drinking. Drinking and crying. I think I had a touch of PPD as well, because it took me months to bond with him. But back to my story – we struggled with infant constipation – very bad – until we found a formula that would work. We struggled because until he was about 10 weeks old, the only place he would sleep was in his carseat. (we actually put his carseat in his crib and let him sleep like that). And then, as he got older, the struggles kept on coming. Nothing big – just the usual that all parents deal with, but that a control freak like me completely loses it over. What a realization – he is his own little person and I can’t control him! So, what do we do about this? We drink. And we drink often.
Instead of doing the hard work with consistent discipline, when the going got tough, I’d drink. When I was stressed because my little guy (who is extremely willful and stubborn) was acting up, I’d pour a big fat glass of chardonnay and just zone out. And now, I’m reaping what I’ve sown. He is a very bright boy, does excellent in school, but he’s a very spoiled only child (and even worse – an only grandchild!!). He knows how to work me, and he knows how to work my mother. I’ve never consistently disciplined him, and he talks back, laughs when I try to discipline him, and acts like a little brat sometimes (to be quite honest, as bad as it sounds). I adore him more than anything else, and we are actually quite similar in many ways, but we are struggling now. And I told my husband that we simply need to do the hard work and right this ship.
Today was the first day. He kept acting up at church, and I gave him a warning. Told him that if he didn’t stop and act more respectful, I was taking his Scooby Doo Wii game away. He kept it up, so we took the game away. He was devastated at first. But then, something amazing happened…
We had a GREAT day! We read a ton of books (he even spent 20 minutes reading to me), colored, played bingo, played with Legos, watched Big Hero 6 (great Disney movie, btw), and he got his backpack ready for school tomorrow, took a bath, and now he’s literally cuddled up against me watching a show while I blast out this blog post. He even ate his veggies at dinner, which is usually impossible. He did ask several times if he could have his game back (“Mommy, I played nice with Junebug – our dog – in the snow, can’t I have my game back??”) Now, maybe it’s a bit of a coincidence, but it makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, my husband and I can do this.
It’s just one more reason why I know that this is the better life for me. It’s time to be a parent. Sober, present, real.