20-something miseries, motherhood

Life Update: Brought to You By Nesting, The Dragon Prince, and Math-Induced Shame Spirals

Hey everybody! Hopefully no one has noticed that this post is coming a full 12 hours after my daily posts have typically been coming out…yep, I’ve officially started falling behind on BEDS. We all knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and honestly, the halfway point is later than I thought it was going to be.

So today’s post is just a quick reflection on what’s going on in my life right now. Maybe if I expose the chaos, you’ll understand why I didn’t have a post prepped and ready for this morning. Specifically, let’s talk about nesting, The Dragon Prince, and math (with a special guest appearance by shame!)

So nesting is basically when pregnant creatures, humans included, start prepping their “nest” for their little one. And I am in full nesting mode. I’m doing baby laundry, finally doing the fun painting projects in the nursery that I’ve been planning since I found out I was pregnant, and my husband and I start baby classes tomorrow morning. I was having pretty bad insomnia earlier this week, and I think it was at least partially because my nesting instincts were telling me we had to stay awake and get everything ready RIGHT NOW. Plus, I recently had my first Braxton Hicks contractions, and it really hit me how little I have prepared if the baby were to arrive early. It’s nice to know we’re on our way to being more prepared, but there’s definitely still a slightly feral part of me that wants to just prep and paint and work for the next 3 days straight until everything is completely ready. I am resisting this urge (for now). On the upside, all this work means I’m exhausted at the end of the day and I’ve actually been getting some sleep the last few days. The downside? Falling behind on blog posts.

Okay, topic number two: The Dragon Prince. This is a truly wonderful animated series available on Netflix about dragons, princes, and of course, the intricacies of power and the inherent inaccuracy of narrative history. Honestly, I didn’t even see the first season, I just came home last night and my husband was starting season 2, and we watched half of it last night and the other half today, and it was delightful. It’s so nuanced and funny and totally for kids but that’s fine because we’re both kids at heart. 10 out of 10, would binge again.

Okay, last but not least, let’s talk about math and shame. Like many people, these two subjects are so intertwined for me, it’s nearly impossible for me to talk about math or do math for more than a few minutes without bursting into tears. Basically, I have always done math “differently.” I’m actually quite good at math, but I FUCKING hate it because I’m not great at doing it the way I’m supposed to. I’ve never been great at memorizing, and I always had way too many questions about “why” for my math teachers’ liking. I just wanted to understand why I was doing what I was doing, which seemed fair to me, but we were just supposed to memorize everything. That never really happened for me. To this day, I harbor an innate loathing for the numbers 7 and 8 because I had/have some kind of mental block about them, and I still count on my fingers occasionally.

And you know, I’ve more or less made my peace with this. I do math different, so what, I still get it done so why does it matter? Like, I got a 5 on my AP Calc exam, so clearly I’m doing just fine. But then someone will say or do something that implies that it’s ridiculous that some people don’t just have simple math facts memorized (often unintentionally), and all that shame comes flooding back. All the sudden, I’m 9 and sobbing at the kitchen table, again, because I am a freaking idiot because this is not hard, it shouldn’t be hard, but I still don’t know it, and what the hell is wrong with me??

At first, I get mad at the person who said/did whatever math-related thing. I get defensive, and I might even start saying some pretty nasty stuff. I am desperately trying to defend myself from the absolutely SUFFOCATING shame that’s swirling in my brain. But I’m learning that focusing on others won’t help me. Odds are, I can’t change their mind, especially not with nastiness. All I can change is me. I can slow down, sit with 9-year-old me and assure her that she is just fine, and she is not stupid, no matter what anyone else might say (or snidely imply). Maybe if it’s a good day, I’ll even tell her how her incessant questioning is actually one of her best qualities, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the math classroom.

So that’s what’s going on with me at the moment. I’m hoping to return to more polished posts soon, but that will require me to catch up, and that will require life to give me a break for, like, 30 seconds. We’ll see.

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