I am having a bad time

And I wish I could post about it and ask for advice. But I'm legally not allowed to. Which almost makes me want to laugh, but not really.

Anyway, here's some irony*: Now that I'm emotionally healthy enough to allow myself to cry about it instead of just holding it all in like a Good Girl, I've discovered that I'm a Tension Increaser, and crying doesn't make me feel any better.

Somebody say something nice. Here's something: I work with some really smart and kind people, who make me laugh all day long.

Now you go.

* Maybe. I'm not sure I even know what irony is anymore. Rain on my wedding day isn't, but what is? If I feel like saying "Man bites dog!" after I tell the story, does that make it irony?

111 thoughts on “I am having a bad time”

  1. Someone else is cooking the turkey and then I get to leave early to pick my best friend up at the airport.HAPPY Thanksgiving.

  2. Moxie,You reached out to me many years ago by replying to an anguished comment I left on another blog – your usual brand of insightful, caring and practical advice – and I have been an admiring reader ever since. I am so sorry that things are rough for you right now – here’s someone in Scotland sending you very warm wishes to find the right path through your current predicament.
    With much affection.

  3. I have much to be thankful this year.Some might say that having a child quite ill is bad luck.
    But the less-sarcastic version of me realizes that we caught it about 12 hours before it was too late, and Bobo recovered fully.
    And that is good luck. Serindipitous good luck, even.

    Irony: I was on pelvic rest while pregnant with Bobo and I have never in my life wanted, ahem, something as much as I did then. The ironic part…once he was born and the pelvic rest was over, I had no libido. At all. Double irony.

  4. Moxie,Thank you for being there in the middle of the night, when my son was so small and I was learning to nurse and thank you now for being here still, despite all of your own stuff helping so many moms. My son is now six and a week does not go by where I don’t check in here for some bit of humor advice fellowship. I spread the word to anxious looking moms in the bookstores and Target. Ask Moxie! You’ve helped me through so much in these last six years. There are many mothers out there whose hearts you will be in this Thanksgiving.

  5. Moxie, you were the sane only voice I found online telling me that my babys *specific* sleep problems were normal and even anticipated. You made me feel like I was competent for the first time.Also, you have pretty eyes.

  6. I’m so sorry. Nice: Well, uh, the pile of expensive Suck we’re under is so far less expensive than it could be. Still more money than we actually HAVE, but less than we feared. So far.A four day weekend is coming soon and very soon.
    Maggie is learning O Come All Ye Faithful for the school Christmas concert, which she sings CONSTANTLY, and attempts the Latin although she sings it like this:”(nonsense syllable nonsense syllable nonsense syllable) INFANTE!!! Venete nonsense nonsense DOOOOOMINUS!!!” She is so serious about it I have to bite my lip to keep from letting loose the giggles, and the seriousness just makes it cuter and funnier. As does the fact she has inherited my singing voice, poor thing.
    You have lots of smart, strong, tough people who have your back, in this situation as well as so many others.
    It’s Candletime!! And here’s an Ask Moxie question: how do you keep cats and kids away from the candles? Two of my three cats are not very bright and the older dimwit has singed his whiskers before. And my not remotely dimwitted daughter has scaled shelves to get to a reed diffuser, I don’t know what havoc she’d wreak with candles, while my son is into everything like a good little 21-month-old. I want to practice Candletime too!
    When crying doesn’t make me feel better, movement usually does. Yoga? Dance? Something?
    I hope everything looks up soon. You’ve had an epic year and deserve some nice smooth happy times soon.

  7. LOL, about being a tension increaser. And {{{Magda}}}I am thankful for so much in my life: wonderful 2yo boy, hubby, home, horse, friends, and YOU, Magda, and this wonderful community you have built here.
    I get confused about irony now too. I think it’s ironic that while I am VERY sensitive to and irritated by noise, my son LOVES noise, the louder, longer, more obnoxious the better, and has since he was a wee wee thing.

  8. A friend who is a police officer went on vacation, was in a near fatal car accident and is now in a medically induced coma with a banged up liver and a stint in her brain. My problems are small.Nice – My ex step-father whom I haven’t spoken to in years has taken in my wayward younger sister (his bio daughter) after she burned all her bridges elsewhere. I talked to her this morning and she said he has like a thousand pictures of me and her and my brother as we were all growing up all saved in photo albums and boxes.

  9. My favorite song at the moment is “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnificent Zeros. It’s got an infections melody and great lyrics. Listen and feel better.”Ahh Home.
    Let me come home.
    Home is wherever I’m with you.
    Ahh Home.
    Let me go home.
    Home is when I’m alone with you.”

  10. Oh honey, I’m so sorry. I’m in a similar boat – also having a bad time and can’t talk about the details online or IRL with most people other than my therapist, and of course she’s not available this week. If you want to email, even just about the frustration of the situation without giving the details, I’m here.Nice: my daughter is going to be in the Nutcracker and she is so happy and excited and adorable about it all that I could just eat her up! It is a joy to behold.

  11. Moxie,So sorry you are going through a rough time. Remember that you have lots of people in the world who care about you and want you to be happy. I, for one, wouldn’t have made it through the last 3 years without the benefit of your sane and caring advice. Maybe I’ll burn my copy of “The Baby Whisperer” in your honor! (i.e., the book that several friends loved but was a disaster for me and my super-spirited kid).
    Here’s my nice thing that I’m thankful for: all my good friends and a couple of dear coworkers who are helping me get through a bad divorce situation. Even though a lot of family has deserted me, my friends have been there through thick and thin. I’m lucky to have them.

  12. Pretty sure I’ve shared my favorite pair of quotes for getting through hard times, but they bear repeating:”It’s important to find pleasure even in these difficult times; especially in these difficult times”
    – George A. Kaufman
    “The Czar always said to me ‘Olga, don’t be stingy with the blintzes”‘
    – George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart,
    “You Can’t Take it With You”
    Hugs and all goof thoughts for a kinder, gentler, simpler future.

  13. Well, I can’t say thank you for being there for me in the middle of the night and I can’t say thank you for your insightfulness from years ago. But this is what I can say thank you for: Thanks for being out there in the big ol’ blogosphere and reiterating just how alike we all are. We are women with real dilemma’s, we are mom’s that love our babies even when they puke on us, and we are people that have this strange bond because of our ability to write and share it with the world. And for that, even our times of pain have the ability to help someone else! So even if you are having a rough time, just know there’s a woman out there that you have helped today!

  14. Every time I’m struggling with sleep issues, I read your posts. And every time on of my mom friends is struggling with sleep issues, I send them to your posts.They make me feel better every.single.time. Even in a sleep deprived haze.
    Lots of hugs and I hope things improve for you VERY soon.
    Whenever crying about the problems in my life makes me feel worse, I put in a DVD of my favorite movie that makes me cry both happy and sad tears – Sense & Sensibility with Emma Thompson. It releases some of the emotion without making me relive my problems over and over. If you’ve got 90 minutes to yourself (ha!) it’s worth a try with the movie of your choice.

  15. A Tension Increaser! Once again, Moxie’s got it right. I’m a tension increaser too, but I never thought about it that way. When I start crying about something, if I let it go very long, it simply makes me feel worse. I’m trying to learn “snap out of it” techniques that still respect the hurt.Something good: yesterday we went for a 12 kilometer hike as a family, approximately 3 kilometers of which my 2.5 year old insisted on walking (running, really) on his own instead of riding in the Ergo. As I watched him run down a hill shouting with joy, then try and “push Maman” up the other side, I thought _this_ is what it’s all about.
    And he didn’t even fall asleep in the car on the way back, even though it was well past nap time. I’m starting to appreciate my little guy’s endless energy and sometimes sleeplessness!

  16. Thanks for all you do, Moxie and for sharing your frustrations too. One small bit that comforts me . . . whenever I have a terrible, awful, no-good day, it always seems the next day is always a tiny bit better, as if to balance out some universal pain.

  17. I feel ya. I hit rock bottom, and told my doctor, I cannot go on like this. So I know about rough patches. My mantra became “I’m doing the best that I can” and “Just getting through today.” (Sometimes I changed that to getting through the next 15 minutes. One chunk of 15 minutes at a time . . . ) and two more things really helped me just get through the moments: a little exercise, like, walking around the block, doing a flight of stairs, whatever, and laughing. And there are a few websites for me that consistently make me laugh out loud: 1. I can has cheezeburger, 2. Best of craigslist (best for those with a very liberal and somewhat bawdy sense of humor, generally), and 3. Go Fug Yourself. Lastly, Pema Chodron’s Fear of Uncertainty on my ipod. I have some other buddhist books and audiobooks, but this really helped me in terms of my overall approach to rough spots. I didn’t follow your specific directions, to post something good, except this: I feel like I have hit rock bottom, been to that place where getting out of bed seemed too monumental a task, where being seemed utterly purposeless, and I fumbled my way back out to the light.

  18. I’ll just say….I think your blog is great.
    I think you’re really nice.
    I think your wisdom helps a lot of people, even if it doesn’t always feel like wisdom to you.
    I wish I could make you feel better.
    I appreciate so much how much time, effort, and love you have put into this blog and to making it a welcoming haven for moms all over the world.
    You do a great job.

  19. My son is not a sleeper, and he’s a tension increaser, and when I was in the throes of the 4 mo sleep regression last spring which was making what was already so freaking hard, SO MUCH FREAKING HARDER… reading you kept me in touch with sane. I certainly wasn’t sane, but you know, it kept me knowing that sane was out there and that we were going to be fine.I’m sorry to hear that you are going through suckitude, but I hope that knowing how much you’ve helped others will help mitigate it, at least slightly.
    Hang in there.

  20. Moxie (Magda) you have always been there for all of us confused parents, and provided so much clear, common sense that I could find nowhere else. Why did this man treat you so badly? He is missing out on a wonderful lady and kids. Screw him, ass. I don’t know how you find the strength to do what you do, honestly. But I totally admire it. We all love you, Moxie. Just remember that. And have a great holiday. We love you!!!

  21. Hugs. Sorry you can’t vent to us OL but I hope you have RL people to whom you can vent.Thanks for being here for us though. You know we’re all there for you in spirit.

  22. Ok, I can summon up some good things this week, I know I can. Here goes:my son has dealt with his abrupt weaning better than I expected.
    the antibiotics are working.
    I (14 wks pregnant) finally got my hands on the H1N1 vaccine.
    I know I can get through this day.

  23. Nice: We’re over the flu. At least the barfing part! There’s nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to change three beds and put three kids back to sleep, then sneak around eating food the next day because you don’t want any smells to set them off again. But! We’re past it! And everyone’s back to school for the 2 days this week.Best to you, Moxie. Hope things get better.

  24. What gets me thru the tough times is remembering that the only true constant in life is change. If it’s raining now, it will eventually stop and the sun will shine. If it’s hot today, someday in the future it will be cold, maybe not for months but the universe eventually balances itself out like a giant teeter-totter. Sometimes you bang into the ground when you get to the bottom and it isn’t pleasant, but if you hang on you’ll rise again. And if there were no up and down, you’d be stuck in the middle. And that’s so boring you’d only want to get off.I always remind myself that low lows are surely balanced by some really great high, it just might be at different point in life.
    Moxie you have helped so many people. I gave your web URL to a new mom ages ago, she hasn’t asked for advice since. There’s a wealth of information here that so many could not do without.
    Hope things turn around for you soon!

  25. Moxie,I could never express to you just how much you have helped me in the over 2 years I’ve been reading your blog. Your ideas and help have been indispensible for getting me through the years. It was because of you that I realized I was suffering from PPD 2 winters ago, and got the help I needed. It was because of you that I learned about the sleep regressions, which my daughter went through so badly. And it’s because of this community that you built that I’ve found other understanding parents going through similar issues. Thank you so much. I hope that you make it through this rough time as easily as possible.
    Nice: I LOVE being a mom of two! It’s hard as all get out, but I’m enjoying almost everything about it. Even the hard times, even the meltdowns. (But not so much on sleeping less than 2 hours in a row for months straight.)
    And here is a quote that I always think of when things are rough. It’s from a sci-fi show called Babylon 5 and said by a really neat character named Marcus:
    “I used to think that it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe”

  26. Moxie, I have read every single one of your posts forwards, backwards, and occasionally upside down. I like to find the the post that fits my current situation, and read it several times a day until it no longer applies.Today I came here because I am newly pregnant with #2 and am feeling so overwhelmed with anxiety. What have I done? But I know I’ll find a post in the archives that will make me feel better and get me through this phase. Thank you Moxie.

  27. Awwwww, Moxie. Hate to hear you sounding bummed out. “If I feel like saying “Man bites dog!” after I tell the story, does that make it irony?”…. this is so utterly tantalizing! Whatever could it mean? FWIW, the mental images created by that sentence have kind of made my day. So there’s something. I’m going to take a very deliberate moment on Thanksgiving to think of you and be thankful for you and for this whole community. Cheers to all.

  28. I’m sorry that you’re having a rough time – I wish we could help more. Hopefully, you have a good circle of IRL friends for advice, etc. Also, I’m sort of wondering if maybe, instead of being a tension increaser, you might just have a whole lot of tension to get rid of – it seems like it would be hard to find a good time to have a “good cry”, and there might be a lot stored up. (maybe you could work it in on that long commute? :^P). Or stretching/exercise/massage might help.Nice:
    An Affair to Remember was on TV Friday night and I managed to catch it right at the beginning and I stayed up for the whole thing. The boys were camping, otherwise I’d never have seen it.
    Also nice: baby chortles. Even at almost 2, El can still make them sometimes.

  29. Moxie, I’ve been a reader since my daughter was born four years ago. You helped me with a personal question I posted which insured me that I wasn’t insane. You’ve helped me with a gazillion questions that I found in your archives.I hope that things get easier for you … in fact, I know they will because in my experience, “things” always get better. In the meantime, take your own advice and do some T-Tapp (something else I found through you) and give the boys a squeeze.

  30. Since you can’t talk about your own situation, maybe you could tell us about a friend’s situation which is clearly so different, but similar enough that as we respond, it would be hilariously comforting?? Certainly, I’ve only ever posted about my friend’s husband who sometimes isn’t ideal, and her children who have sleep and eating problems. Like right now, her 2 year old is probably not consuming enough calories to keep a goldfish going. I feel so badly for her because of course my own children eat balanced meals that they prepare themselves using organic ingredients we grow together in our completely-paid-for backyard.Poor woman – perhaps you have some advice for her?

  31. Nice: you kicked me out of my bad attitude yesterday with just ONE snarky comment. That is some serious talent.I haven’t thrown up on my husband in bed in like 3 or 4 days. (not “in bed” in bed. like serious coughing fit at 3 am that ends in puking when you can’t catch your breath in bed). My daughter got booted out of OT services by the school today for being too normal. The best part: I agree.

  32. @Amy M, I have been watching Sense and Sensibility on my worst days for ages. Usually when I’m sick or really sad.Moxie, I’m relatively new here, but I feel like your friend. When I’m confused and can’t find the words to explain it, I read something you’ve probably written quickly in your hectic, busy life, and I think, “How does she know just what to say?” So, thanks for being there and for creating a following of such cool people.
    Nice: We are finally over the flu and my kids are back to sleeping at night. I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of my 5 year old reading to my 1 year old in their bedroom together. So much to be thankful for!!!!

  33. Oh Moxie I was about to post the Litany Against Fear from Dune and caramama went and out-nerded me with Babylon 5. (Caramama, why do you not live on my coast so we can geek out in person sometime, huh?) :)Moxie, I am so sorry you’re having awful things. Know that no matter what, you are a beacon of light to thousands. And we might not all be as bright as you, but we all shine back a little bit in our way. All, all, all these little lights out here–we’re not going to let the darkness close in on you.
    NICE: I always find reading something really un-realistic, like science fiction or P.G. Wodehouse, to be helpful. Also, flowers are nice. Pick up a bunch, stick them in a vase. They help.

  34. I am a tension increaser too. Here is my coping mechanism: When caught in a loop of feeling bad, freaking out, and then feeling worse, I resolutely put on some happy, fun music.Then I feel really irritated by said music impinging on my mood, but stick with it. I eventually start to sing along. After 20-30 minutes, I am suddenly much less out of control.
    Of course it’s not an actual solution, but can be a help in the moment. My music of choice for this is historically the B-52s.
    Oh and something nice: To echo other commenters, I can’t count the times you have brought me back to reality when I was sure no baby in history had ever cried so much, slept so badly, nursed so awkwardly, etc. I have read some of your posts (about sleep, it’s always about sleep) out loud to my husband, who says he doesn’t want to hear internet advice but then is nodding and saying, “Wow, I feel better,” by the time I finish. So thank you.

  35. Was feeling blue the other day and remembered reading an article about doing something for others when you’re feeling down: I brought a bag of books to my friends’ kid with H1N1; brought a bag of groceries and flowers to the friends who have been sick — the whole family — for two weeks; and am bringing my niece who has a crappy home life to spend Thanksgiving with us and she’s supercool and thinks I’m supercool…so that is a win-win!! All of these things have come back to me ten-fold…Reading all these posts about all that you bring to others, Moxie, should have about the same effect.
    Nice: My son learned to say “clock” the other day. But he says it without the “l”…so now my husband is trying to get him to say what a “big clock” he has! Yep…we like that kind of humor.

  36. Moxie/Magda, I hope you know that you have been visionary in creating and maintaining this community and that willingness to try things, and keep your eye on the goal combined will probably help you out of your dark time.I also think you should post a fictional related dilemma. πŸ™‚ Or create an email list where we can help, but that’s not so public!

  37. Sleep talk on this site – invaluable!You know what else I’ve gotten from this site – the ability to believe in myself as a parent. I’m surrounded by “old school” thinkers when it comes to spanking. I am firmly in the no spanking camp. Just my own personal, gut level belief. One of the tricks I pull when I’m feeling overwhelmed by people who are sure the tantrums would stop with a “swift smack of the butt” is to repeat over and over and over that “I am the best parent for my child”. I learned that here.
    Thank you Moxie for bringing this community together.
    I am very sorry you are struggling and wish you strength and resolve and a turn of good fortune but please also know that what you have given is appreciated by so many for so many reasons.

  38. Oh, Moxie… I’m so sorry you’re feeling bad, but things will get better. Granted, I know nothing about anything that’s causing you pain… but I have faith — like, FAITH — and sometimes that simple belief just has to be enough.As for something nice… I’ve got a new friend! Now, this is a very big deal, because pretty much everyone of import in my life is a) a family member, b) a school friend from long ago, or c) either a or b from my husband’s side. AND I’m an introvert. πŸ™‚ The idea that I’ve found someone who I can call to say, “hey, let’s grab a coffee,” or even, “hey, let’s take the girls to the park,” makes me want to dance a little jig. Mommy made a friend! For me, that’s nice.

  39. I’m one of those who found you in the middle of a dark, dark night. You urged me (not me specifically, but all of us prone to PPD) to take my flaxseed oil and to give myself a break. I’ve counted you among my friends ever since.If there is any possible way, give yourself a break. You will find your way through this, and if there’s anything that a working mom in a podunk town in East Texas can do to help you, then just say the word. For the number of times you have helped me traverse my own dark spots, I owe you plenty.

  40. Sometimes I think that what we need even more than advice is to know we are not alone, we are not the only ones who don’t get enough sleep, have enough patience, our children are not the only ones crying and having tantrums. Usually, knowing that other moms feel my pain is enough to make me feel better. I’ve only been reading for a few months, but I’m addicted, and I get that here. So thank you for taking the time to create this little world! I hope things get easier for you quickly!Now, for the nice bit… My husband and I actually got to go on a date this weekend! I got to go “shopping” last week in my niece’s wardrobe for tons of stuff for my daughter (yay freebies!), and we have a 5 day weekend coming up. Hurray!

  41. Moxie, nobody does it better than you. And I really admire your restraint. Of course the curiosity is killing me, but as they say, discretion is the better part of valor. Good for you for respecting those tedious legal boundaries that you know you gotta respect.Nice: a mom acquaintance I know admitted she has a yelling issue with her 27 month old son. Her candor made me think she’s actually an awesome mom, and that we could really be friends.
    Irony? I always think of the movie “Reality Bites” where Winona Ryder’s character is asked to give the definition of irony and can’t for the life of her come up with it. And that Alanis Morrissette song (sorry not a fan y’all) “Isn’t it Ironic?” Um, no, it’s not “like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.” But don’t ask me for a definition. πŸ™‚

  42. You made me laugh when you said your kids were becoming fun people instead of “bottomless pits of need.” This describes my 21-month-old to a T right now, and I sometimes refer to her as the B-PON. Thanks for helping me keep my sense of humor.

  43. Dear Moxie,Sorry that you are going through such a rough time. Wish I could help and be there for you in some way…you were always there for us while we were struggling through the first year of parenthood.
    There is no simple answer nor a solution to make things better but we hope God will grant you strength to keep fighting through your troubles, tenacity to hope for the better everyday, and insight to find joy in the smallest things in your life.
    You are a source of unbelievable encouragement to all of us who read your work. Ironic is even though you feel defeated, you already have it within you to survive and win through what you are going through.
    I think I’m a tension increaser too…Have peace and let things go.
    Thank you for everything. Wishing you the best this holiday season!

  44. Moxie, I, like so many others, hope you have some real life friends who can help you through. I find crying doesn’t help me, but venting/talking to an understanding friend does.@Caramama- I love your quote. I may have to print that out and add that to the quotes I post at work!
    My favorite quote, from a physics prof who claimed it was a Portugese proverb or something:
    “Everything always works out well in the end. If things aren’t going well, its not the end yet.”
    @ACJ- I think my toddler photosynthesizes. It is really the only explanation for how she continues to subsist.

  45. When I taught irony (in its literary sense) to my 9th graders, we explained it this way:Situational Irony is when the plot (or an element of plot) works out one way when the reader has been led to believe it will work out another way.
    “Verbal” Irony is when a character says or does something and intends or implies the opposite, OR when a character says or does something and the author intends the reader to infer the opposite.
    Those are very simplified definitions, but 9th grader need it that way, you know?
    Moxie, I cling to Romans 8:28. Not all things *are* good, but good is always what everything is working toward. 1 set of footprints along today’s beach, sister. He carries you.
    Nice: DD is 100% potty trained at 2 years, 11 months. 100%. AMEN.

  46. Say something nice…hmmm…Last week when our 5 week old was cold and clammy and my DH googled those symptoms, he came running upstairs thinking she was going to die. I took her temperature and discovered that she was just wearing too many clothes, not near-death. Whew. After the drama was over, my dear, dear husband said, “I know, I know. I should have asked Moxie.”Something else nice: 6 weeks in with baby #2 and I am exponentially a better mother. To both my kids. Because of you.
    As far as practical advice, I second the need for some sunshine and a little bit of dancing. I danced in the shower the night before my second (disappointing and dreaded) C-section and I actually felt better. Crying would have only made it worse for me, too.
    @pennifer – I, too, am very sensitive to noise. My naturopath increased my magnesium and it’s all better.

  47. Ouch. I think I’ve been holding it all in like a Good Girl for far too long. I hope you find a good way to let it out soon. I hope we all do.Something good: My 3 year old daughter has decided one of the best things in the world to do is to do something silly to make her 1 year old brother laugh. Then I have 2 laughing kids, and she says “Mama! I make brudder WAF!”
    And thanks, Moxie, for all that you do here. You really did help me find confidence as a parent, and the belief that I could do this and stay sane. Relatively speaking, of course.

  48. I hope you are able to find good people with whom you can (legally) vent all the things that need to be aired.You have provided such an amazing forum for parents to panic, query, and cry for help it seems so unfair you can’t do the same.
    something nice: all it takes is looking at the sky or the moon or smelling my children’s hair and I can’t believe I’m so lucky to have and to have given the gift of life…

  49. Sending good thoughts your way.Today I have randomly seen a bunch of my friends without planning, and it’s been fun. That’s a good thing.

  50. Nice: Early dark means my kids can enjoy the magic of dusk on the skyscrapers.Amazing: Your site, your posts, your commenters were a lifeline for me in dark, dark days of parenting. I know I’m just joining the choir on this one but it’s totally true.
    Remember, that which piles up eventually unpiles. I hope it unpiles in a way that makes you happy.
    Now about that commute…if I had a JetPack I’d give it to you!
    Happy Thanksgiving. Hang in there.

  51. Moxie, like many here, I emailed you with a sleep question that only you could answer with your personal touch/insight/empathy. That was 2 yrs ago, and I still come back here to read (and re-read) your posts (now for a sleepless 13-mo. old). I am sorry you are going through this, and hope that through it all, you will feel peace and thanksgiving this week.Now for the nice: We are all finally recovering from the flu/cold/whatever! Oh, and treating myself to a gingerbread latte!

  52. Can you post anonymously to Her Bad Mother’s Basement?Hmm, something nice. My son has speech problems and he has been parroting us left and right and saying longer sentences. I love hearing him talk!

  53. Moxie, you, your site and your readers have been a great comfort to me over the past two years. We have lived in (soon to be) nine homes in five cities, in three countries over the past two years and two weeks – with a now two-and-a-half year old trailing behind us.I miss my friends, I miss my family and, as much as I love my husband, I would suggest that a person thinks long and hard before giving up EVERYTHING to follow her man. While it’s been (sometimes) fun and interesting, it’s also been incredibly lonely and frustrating. At 18 weeks pregnant with #2 I am terrified of PPD, knowing that we have no support system whatsoever.
    The nice part; however, is that my little boy is wonderful, albeit sometimes frustrating. He’s smart, charming and cheeky and the apple of my eye. My DH and I can’t imagine our lives without him and we’re about to (hopefully) settle down for at least two or three years in the same place.
    The other nice part is that a friend from my baby group back home turned me on to your web site and I love it. No matter where we are in the world, I can log in and find you and your readers proffering wisdom, humour or just companionship. So thank you Moxie. You’re a pretty special person with a gift for reaching hundreds, if not thousands of people who need a friendly ear.
    Hard times suck, and sometimes it’s like sliding in the abyss but you will come out the other side, and be stronger for it.

  54. You have helped so many so much, and I’m totally sorry that you can’t discuss whatever you wish in this forum. I’m sorry that you have no forum to work it out.I wish you a forum, and a relieving cry, some movies, some wine, a good friend or two and lots of hugs from the boys.
    Nice thing: The caring, intelligent and wonderful women at my church turned me on to The Nurtured Heart method of parenting, and I feel like something has finally reached my child and I see her true self shining and I’m so grateful.

  55. On the third birthday of “Ask Moxie,” you posted the following note. I’ve kept it and I read it whenever I’m having a rough day (week? month?) It’s been a life-saver for me:”You are doing a really good job. Both at parenting, and at being who you’re supposed to be. Even if you don’t feel like much right now, that’s just the externals: sleep deprivation, drudgery, survival, making decisions you never thought you’d have to make. If now feels like a super-crappy time, it’s probably because you didn’t notice yourself spinning the chrysalis. You’re inside now, working on stuff, and soon you’ll come out and stretch your wings.”

  56. Something nice: how fast our little ones are learning and growing. Two years ago there was very little sleeping. Last year they were starting to stand on their own and soon after to walk. This year, running and talking-talking-talking.Another nice thing: the help you and your site give to parents. I particularly wanted to check in for some tips on preventing biting, and of course there are some good ones here (going to try Cloud’s play-acting with the stuffed toy idea). You provide a great community for us. I hope you have a place where you can vent your concerns and frustration, too.
    When we are out and about and linger too long in one spot (especially in a store), the girls call out, “Keep going!” When I’m feeling low, I imagine that in their wonderful toddler voices and it cheers me right up. Moxie, just keep going.

  57. Irony: “It’s when the actual meaning is the complete opposite from the literal meaning.”(quote by Ethan Hawke as Troy Dyer in Reality Bites, circa 1994)

  58. My dear friend’s son just had an accident. Running around on playground, a branch whipped back into his face, literally popped his eye open, and now he is blind and has lost the eye ball, facing multiple surgeries to stabilize the eye socket so that as he grows, he will maintain a somewhat normal appearance on that part of his face. Five years old, beautiful boy. It really brought me to my knees. Visited him today in the hospital, and he was jumping around like always. Happy, minimally affected.I felt great joy in seeing the resilience of our children. And it made me think about making an effort not to dirty up their very optimistic view on life, with my sometimes too worrisome/jaded/burned-a-few-times outlook. I gleaned from him that ability to look on the bright side.

  59. I am so sorry you are going through this and cannot discuss it on Ask Moxie! It is, indeed, an irony that your blog is in the business of comforting and giving guidance to those with issues yet you cannot ask for comfort for yourself.I wish I lived in NYC (or close) – as I suspect that the legal reason you cannot post on the ‘net does not extend to in-person conversations.
    Just let me say, my thoughts are with you. And here’s a hug just because.

  60. I’m sorry you’re having a tough time right now. I just recently found you when searching for sleep issues on a toddler and you’ve brought me so much hope & sanity. It was so encouraging to me to read that my DD is not the only child who acts like she does, even if all the children of my friends are “angels”. You helped me to realize I am being a good mommy to my daughter and my 3m old son. THANK YOU!NICE: making hand turkeys with your 2 yo and then watching her hit the cut out hands yelling “high five” or your 3m old discovering he has feet for the first time.

  61. I sat down just now to write a similar post on my own blog but when I read yours, I thought there might be something I could offer and therefore I should try. You have made. a. difference. in. my. life. Thank you for working so hard to help mothers and women everywhere discover their own intuition and trust it. I seek to follow the Emerson definition of success:What is Success?
    To laugh often and much;
    To win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children;
    To earn the appreciation of honest critics
    and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    To appreciate beauty;
    To find the best in others;
    To leave the world a bit better, whether by
    a healthy child, a garden patch
    or a redeemed social condition;
    To know even one life has breathed
    easier because you have lived;
    This is to have succeeded.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    You are a HUGE SUCCESS.
    Please give yourself and your kiddos a BIG HUG and ask for one from an IRL friend.
    Thinking of you – Kimberly

  62. Crying doesn’t seem to make me feel better either… that isn’t ironic, just sad. Here are some things that help me when the situation is painful and totally out of my hands: exercise, films and fiction, journaling, planning a trip, and doing things for people outside my usual circle. And I agree about flowers, they work wonders for my soul.Dozens of people here are sending you their love and appreciation. But sometimes those virtual hugs fail to make me feel even one tiny bit better. I hope you are getting plenty of hugs in the flesh today too.
    OK, you asked for something nice so here’s mine: today both adults in my house took a turn climbing into the crib with the baby in an effort to get him to nap there. My husband is 6 ft tall, and he somehow managed to fall asleep in there, with our 9 month old. I was at work – sadly – so there are no photos. We amaze ourselves daily with the crazy things we’ll do now that we’re parents! What a surprising adventure!
    So glad we found you. Hope the sun shines warmly on your tomorrow.

  63. Moxie, you amaze me with all that you do with this blog. On your own. In your ‘free’ time. I couldn’t do it, but I’m SO glad you do. Hang in there. I’m sending virtual dark chocolate truffles, from my neighbourhood artisan chocolaterie, your way.My good thing? Today it was confirmed that DH’s platelet and hemoglobin blood levels are back to normal after a 1/10000 chance reaction to the H1N1 vaccine (he has an underlying condition, so the docs aren’t even in agreement that this is what caused the plummeting levels – which could have resulted in a fatal hemorrhage. Gulp.).
    So good to have this news after a very stressful week last week where I was stuck hundreds of miles away from home on a business trip while DH navigated the waters of 2 blood transfusions alone.
    I am so thankful for generous friends & neighbours. I think this is the thing that finally kicks my ass in gear to get the total emergency plan in place.

  64. Moxie: I have never posted here before, although I’ve thought of doing so a 1000 times. I sound like a broken record after reading everyone else’s posts – but really, truly, you saved my sanity when my little bear was NOT SLEEPING and NURSING CONSTANTLY. I would sold her on ebay had it not been for your wisdom/humor/advice those first 9 months. I can’t let YOU be sad; so I’m losing my Ask-Moxie-virginity here ;).Even when it feels hopeless, remember that it often felt hopeless to many of us— and that you pulled us through it by telling us “whatever means necessary.” Now allow yourself the same.
    Something nice: little bear walked today! right into my arms! πŸ™‚

  65. I hate to cry. It just makes me snotty and my face swells. When I’m sad and just want to wallow in it, I put on the soundtrack to Les Miserables and sing LOUD. Helps every time.Nice: We’re going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving weekend. And I am lucky to have Great in-laws.

  66. Today, after her nap, my almost three year old daughter said “Mama, I’m happy you’re in my family”. I’m going to try to hold on to that for a while, because there are so many times when I feel like I can’t do anything right as a mother.I found this blog because I’m dealing with sleep (and other colic-type) issues with my 4 month old. It has saved my sanity!

  67. Moxie, I have never commented or written with a question, but I am here reading every day. Just knowing that you and this community are here with thoughtful, non-judgmental advice gives me greater confidence as a parent.Nice: Yesterday my 5 year old DD slipped her hand into mine just to walk to the kitchen.

  68. I forgot to say thank you for this site, without which I never would have found other mothers with children like my first one- everyone I know in real life has kids who slept through the night from relatively early ages. It helped so much to find out that I wasn’t alone and that I wasn’t doing anything wrong.And I forgot to say my nice thing: my two year old frequently tells us what will happen when we get little. She will drive us around and change our diapers and we will get to ride in the cart at the supermarket. I love this.

  69. Ummm… your posts on sleep (and lack of) and infants, and the comments that followed, helped me push through some verrry dark times. THANK YOU.

  70. I told a friend of mine a few months back that her approach to parenting reminded me of yours…she was thrilled beyond measure.

  71. I’m so sorry that you’re having a hard time (and not allowed to talk it out here).I have a five week old son and your posts about PPD have been keeping the two of us above water. I couldn’t possibly be more grateful.

  72. A while ago I wrote to you to ask about advice about my bedtime-reticent daughter. You told lots of wise things and my nice thing to tell now is that it’s WAY better at bedtime and she now sleeps through most nights (who wouldn’t at the prospect of Nutella reward next morning – bribery works!). Yet another huge difference you have made to someone else’s life. If only we could all make a small difference in yours, which would add up to a GINORMOUS difference to your sadness and situation. Your post made me think that maybe we should all sometimes phrase our issues in just that way ‘Can’t tell you the details, just that I am sad and need support’. Then we might get exactly what we need, support, instead of not-asked-for advice. I confess that I sometimes preface calls to my mum with ‘I need to be pitied right now, please indulge me’.

  73. It has all been said: I can’t possibly add anthing else.But…….I hope you are feeling a bit better today MO.
    Something nice? My 34.5 month old ( so 3 in 6 weeks) finally likes cuddling up with someone other than me!

  74. May the road rise to meet you,May the wind be always at your back,
    May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
    And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
    —————
    How you’ve made a difference: I have a clear image of myself after my son was born, desperately searching the internet in the wee hours of the night for any hope that he wasn’t damaged, that I wasn’t a horrible mother, that we would make it through another night. And I found this site. It quite literally kept me from the abyss.
    Something nice: 3-1/2 years later, that same child falls asleep, in his own bed, within 5 minutes, stays asleep most nights ALL NIGHT and now is completely potty trained. All miracles!

  75. Nice first. May 22 month old daughter had a huge, huge tantrum in the busy post office.I tried lots of things and felt really helpless. Got a lot of the worst mother ever looks too.The sweet 92 year old lady who lives in our street was there to get her state pension and sat down on the floor with my toddler and eased her out of the tantrum. Truly the nicest thing.
    On the other, Moxie, I too hope that there is support in your real life for this bad situation. And that it resolves better than it began.
    You literally changed my parenting life and my mothering every day this year with your insight and compassion. That’s something that I am truly thankful for. Hang in there.

  76. I haven’t read the other comments yet, so I’m sure others have responded, but since I’m an English teacher (well, formerly at least) I’ll be happy to give you a simple definition of irony…it’s when something is strikingly contrary to expectations. The reason rain on your wedding day isn’t irony is because rain is a normal occurrence and even though it stinks to have it spoil your ceremony, it’s not really unexpected. The only thing ironic in Alanis’s song is the idea of crashing on your very first flight. That is pretty ironic. Anyhow, sorry you are going through a rough time and I hope that it all resolves soon and to your benefit.

  77. You know, Mox, it occurs to me that with all of us parents thanking you for the ways you’ve compassionately and wisely helped us to improve our parenting and our SELVES … there is going to be a not-inconsequential slice of the upcoming generation who will be, in no small way, improved and empowered by the parenting you’ve helped us to do. They’re becoming citizens of the world who will be better, wiser, gentler, more authentic, more true, more of their own amazing selves because YOU helped US guide them there.And Moxie, who KNOWS what wonders our children will do?!? Their potential is utterly boundless. YOU are helping US unleash it! It is not too much to say the world will be a far, far better place because of OUR children — THANK YOU!

  78. I have an 8.5-month-old son and I started coming to your blog when he was about 2 months old. I like to tell people on a regular basis that they don’t have a say unless they’re willing to do a shift at 3 a.m. πŸ™‚ You have a great sense of humor, flair for capturing detail in your writing, too! Hugs for you! Seriously, I need you so hang in there!!!!My joy: My son is having a TERRIBLE time with teething, esp. at night. (I believe we have the 9-month sleep regression on our hands folks.) Anyway, last night he was FRANTIC for comfort, and I was that comfort. He was screaming in his crib inconsolably and when I picked him up he grabbed on and held on for dear life… until I rocked him to sleep. I am constantly amazed that I can bring another human comfort just by being there in the middle of the night and he feels safe enough to fall asleep in my arms.

  79. Our Thanksgiving has been complicated by someone’s medical needs, and thanks to this place, I know (I think) how to be as helpful as possible.Also, medical needs are short-term and will resolve happily.

  80. Here’s something which I hope will help.Back in April 2008, I was teetering on the brink of a messy and unwanted break-up of an eight year relationship (leaving me as a terrified single parent to our nine month old baby). All I wanted to do was clap my hands over my ears and shout LALALALA, in denial, because it all seemed too awful to contemplate.
    And then I logged on to your site and saw your post in which you wrote:
    “If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a God out there who cares about you at all, there is. And he’ll rush in to help you and give you everything you need. But sometimes you have to stop pretending and just give up on your own pride before he can get into that little space and crack you open. And then everything starts to get good.”
    I don’t necessarily believe in God, but I believe in Moxie. Reading your words that day sparked something of an epiphany. It planted the first tiny seed of faith that if I stopped fighting so hard to save a doomed relationship that was slowly but surely sapping every ounce of self love and worth I had, things still might just end up being OK, for both me and my daughter. Or even better than OK.
    Fast forward and here I am, some time later, happily remarried to a good, kind man and in a vastly better place in so many ways. And I honestly believe that you helped change my life with that post. Thank you, Moxie.

  81. Like everyone else, I hope things start looking up soon and that you have some real life support to help you along until they do.I don’t know what I would have been like as a parent if I hadn’t found this site. I’m definitely a better parent for having read your wise thoughts over the last couple of years. I KNOW I would have been stressed out about baby sleep if I hadn’t found you. Thank you!
    Nice thing: It was my birthday today and my 2.5 year old broke into his version of “Happy Birthday” multiple times today and gave me lots of lovely spontaneous hugs.

  82. M, I am in awe of how many lives you’ve touched with your grace, wit and sagacity. You have, beyond the shadow of a doubt, saved lives. You are not alone – you have an army of friends behind you.Sending love, gratitude and wishes for brighter days your way, dear Magda.

  83. Sorry you’re having a rough patch–and although you can’t blog it, I hope the thought of many, many, many readers sitting out here and wishing you well is some sort of comfort. Your presence here in blogland has helped so many of us know that whatever is going wrong, we’re not alone, and there’s a way through. I hope you find your way through soon.

  84. Moxie – you absolutely rock! Your blog, your honesty and wisdom have been a light in many-a-dark day for me, and I’m so grateful for that. I hope _your_ dark days are over soon. In the meantime, we all are here for you. Truly!

  85. Thanks so much for all the perspective you’ve generously provided over the years. I hope your current struggle blows over quickly.Nice: in less than a month, the days start getting longer again – that thought makes me feel better each winter.

  86. Moxie — you’re a goddess. And from my knowledge of the greek myths, even goddesses have bad patches. Keep your head up.Nice: My mom is absolutely the best, and I strive to be that to my little one (ones — ack!)
    Complete aside: A very cool SoCal / San Diego kids band, billed as free-range, organic kid-folk will be on the East coast. I’m completely unaffiliated with them, just enjoy the heck out of them. They’re playing at:
    Nov 28 — Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA
    Nov 29 — Bowery Poetry Club, New York, NY
    Their home page is http://www.hullabalooband.com/home.html
    and I know they have a facebook page if anyone is interested.

  87. Moxie,Your site is wonderful. You’ve helped me so much. I hope your situation improves soon.
    Nice thing: my 1 year old started copying my yoga moves this week. She’s ambitious and started with downward facing dog. She copies exactly how I do it, including the grunt-sigh thing I do (but didn’t realize I did, of course). So here we are, a sahm and her kid, butts in the air. This is what we do when she won’t nap, for the billionth time. And now I can accept she doesn’t follow the expert’s rules of napping, thanks to your wise words.
    Feel better soon!!!

  88. I would love to meet so many of y’all in person – maybe there can be a Moxie WorldCon someday…Nice: my neighbor’s maples provide – absolutely free of charge and without any effort on my part! – gorgeous fall decor through my kitchen window. Currently, the deep red leaves are set off by a striking, clear blue sky and a chilly breeze.
    This offsets the fact that my DS, 1, has just discovered he LOVES to eat dog food. No coaxing required, as with all the normal (meant for human babies) foods I offer him.
    Moxie, you’ve been thorough a lot of tough situations. You’ve gotten through them & emerged on the other side better, more you, happier. Will happen this time, too.

  89. I was just in a similar boat, big trouble and couldn’t talk about it. I had cried a little every day for three weeks and my tension was increasing, so much that I convinced myself I might be having a heart attack one day (I’m 38 and in pretty decent health). My chest was so tight I couldn’t breathe and then my right arm went numb. It turned out I just wasn’t crying enough. It took five hours, nonstop, sobbing, choking tears, the quiet crying, every form of it imaginable. I just hadn’t been letting all the hurt out. It’s like pulling a scab just part of the way off. Then you have exposed wound and the scab itself hurts from the tear. You’ve just gotta go all the way and don’t let all the voices telling you that you’ve cried enough, you should be over it, you don’t have time for this, you’re being too dramatic stop the tears. Oh, and drink lots of water. I felt so emotionally cleansed but dehydrated for like two days after. So sorry you’re hurting. I’m sending some love and light your way.

  90. Nice: The movie version of you is played by Tina Fey…. at least in my head, and I really like Tina Fey.Nice: my parents are visiting for my little guy’s first birthday and he LOVES his grandma. They haven’t spent a lot of time together because we live far apart but it’s hilarious to see them together.
    It’s the little things. Sometimes they bunch up and make us feel like everything’s crap. And sometimes they are wonderful rays of light that bring us hope and joy. Our job is to shift focus when we need to.
    BTW, it took me 32 years to discover that crying made me feel better. I think it’s because I have a tendency to hold my breath and crying makes you breathe.

  91. I’m late to the party on this one because we’re in the midst of planning a big move and dealing with a 5.5 month old who’s still in the throes of her (4 month?) sleep regression – a phenomenon about which I would be completely unaware (despite the MD after my name) if you hadn’t clued me in. I’ve learned a lot more about parenting and babies from you than from….well, definitely med school, and basically every other source in my world as well. I’m another one who reads your blog in the middle of the night and cries in relief when I realize that my baby and I are in fact “normal” – or at least not alone – in our woes with sleep and breastfeeding. You have made a very big difference to me.Nice things: my daughter is just learning to reach out her little hands when I pick her up and wrap them around my neck. It’s the best feeling ever.

  92. So…what are we tension increaser adults to do?? Seriously, I can deal with my tension increaser toddler, but can’t deal with my own problem with it.One thing I know for sure: giving myself a time out is the worst thing I can do in the heat of a battle…I just get ten times more fired up when I’m supposed to be taking a few minutes to relax. I go through all my arguments and grievances and step it up a few notches.
    Is there something obvious that I’m missing on how to deal with myself??

  93. A dear, departed friend of mine had a favorite quote — “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” I think it’s Winston Churchill. Anyway, keep going, Moxie — you’ve kept many of us going, many a time.My something nice: My 6-y-o, who is going through a seriously lippy period, was an absolute delight today, respectful and fun and wonderful. We’re getting through it together.

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