Searching for Happiness

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SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
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Searching for Happiness

FEEL FREE TO POST COMMENTS ON THIS JOURNAL, I DON' T CARE! Smile

Hello! I'm Amy. I'm kinda active here on Preg.org.

This last few days, I have given some hard thoughts to where I am in life, where I want to be. I posted these thoughts on my blog but wanted to set it up here too. There may be things I want to post that I don't want to on my blog so --while this isn't private either --its less likely to be found.

If anyone actually reads this, please feel free to comment in this journal. Its not rocket science, my ramblings may be long, and more importantly they may make no sense. But I loved reading over my rants in my TTC journal, maybe five years from now I will love reading over this journey.

By quick intro, I am almost forty, have four children, DSD, 28 and DSD, 26, are step, DD, 23 I adopted from foster care when she was 9, DS 2 is the love of my life. I am married to an amazing person and I think I'm facing a mid life crisis. :rolleyes:

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591
The times they are a changing --December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010

I don't remember when, or how, or why, but one day I woke up and really realized that I wasn't happy. Not that I was expressly unhappy, I just didn't like who I was or where my life had gone. I've never really talked to anyone about this, a few times with hubby, sorta, but not really. I'm not sure when I stopped being happy, and I'm not even sure I know why I'm not happy.

Don't get me wrong – I love my family. I love my daughters and could not live without my baby boy. My husband is my best friend, I adore him; he is the first person I look for in the morning and the last person I think of at night.

It's more where my life is, what I have done with it, what I have not done.

How do I know I'm not happy? I have no zest for life. I go to work and exist through the day, just waiting for the clock to say go home. I go home, and exist. I have a few glasses of wine, some nights maybe more, hang out for a bit, wait until my son goes to bed, veg out watching tv, wait to go to bed, toss and turn, get up tomorrow and do it all again.

I exist. That's it.

I have been a lawyer for ten years. The past several years, I have really done nothing. I started out good, people thought I was going somewhere, my name would be known, you'd read about me. I think I started out on the right path but somewhere went left instead of right. Or maybe even took a u-turn. I earn less money now then my first year out of law school, have less responsibility, I exist. My name is not known, no one cares. I'm the one that shows up and everyone says who are you.

I saw a job opening recently, not that I am looking, but it was a great opportunity. I didn't even bother. I am simply not qualified. There is nothing I can point to recently that would impress anyone, least of all me.

After ten years, other lawyers have gone on to partnership, trials, things that they really enjoy. My cousin who is a year older is a judge, another cousin, a year younger, a partner in a large law firm. Me, I exist.

After the accident, in 2004, I learned to live with pain. It's not so bad now, still there. But I went from being in the best shape of my life, to the worst. Baby weight that won't go away, extra pounds from when I quit smoking, probably a few extra pounds from those few glasses of wine.

I have almost no friends IRL; I don't call those I do have because why would they want to hear from me? They have lives, exciting things, my life is boring.

I have almost no money in savings, owe debts up the wayhoo and my balance on my student loans is increasing, I haven't made a dent while most of my peers probably have paid theirs back completely.

This isn't how it was supposed to be. I had goals, aspirations, dreams. I was going to accomplish something. Somewhere along the road, I let a few bumps hold me back. I took the safe way, not the hard way. I learned to exist.

My husband is ten times the parent I am. He is ten times the spouse.

I am not the lawyer, the wife, the mother I wanted to be.

I exist.

And I'm not happy.

And you know what? It's my own damn fault.

The only person who can change this is me.

I need to decide, do I want to be happy, or just be.

In a month, it will be 2011. A new year, a new start. I need to decide how I am going to change, what are my goals and how am I going to reach them. I need to stop thinking of what could have been and look to what is, and what will be. It's not too late to change, it's not too late to make me into who I want to be.

It's not too late to be happy.

So its my time, 2011 is my year. I am going to use this month to decide how and what I'm going to change, who I want to be, where I want to go.

I don't actually think anyone reads this blog J LOL, who would, after all who am I? But I am going to try to use this as my log of my attempts. We will see. If anyone does read this, feel free to chime in, I need all the help I can get.

I just want to be happy again.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591
More Thoughts December 1, 2010 pt 2

December 1, 2010, part two

So I've thought a lot about my earlier post. I need to make changes; I need to be who I want to be, I need to find who that person is. I think the first thing I need to identify is what areas of my life I want to change, what I am doing that I want to change, where I want to be, and how I'm going to get there. I have a dear friend who has fallen on hard times as of late. I am always asking him where does he want to be, how is he going to get there. It's one thing to make a goal, it's another to set forth the steps necessary to meet it. And, before you make a goal, you need to know what you want to change.

So here, generally, are the areas of my life—sorta the compartments. I will add to these and narrow them down over the next bit. I will also analyze each and try to decide what I don't like, and what I do, and how I can fix it. These are not in any order, though honestly, I guess maybe they are.

Family
Relationships with my girls
Relationship with my son
Relationship with my husband
Relationships with others

Career
Am I doing what I love?
Am I doing the best I can?
What paths lay in front of me
How do I balance being the breadwinner, desire for career, and being a mommy and
wife?

Financial
Debt
Student Loans
Savings/Retirement
Spending

Home
Organization
Things like cooking/food issues (complicated will explain later)
Hubby wants to buy a house, I'm not as sure

Spiritual

Health/Fitness

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Spirituality

December 2, 2010

I don't know why that's the first thing that comes to mind, the first part of my life I want to tackle. Maybe it's the season, maybe something weighing on my mind.

I'm Catholic. Well sorta, I mean, I am Catholic, I went through RCIA and everything. Let me see if I can explain.

My religious upbringing was, well, scattered. My mom was raised Baptist (I think) and my dad was from a very strong German Lutheran family. They went to a Methodist college in rural Missouri. I was baptized something, not sure what, and don't remember going to church much at all as a child.

My brother and I went to a Lutheran summer camp for years as children, not because it was Lutheran but because it was one of the few sleep away camps that had programs for special needs children like my brother.

I remember candlelight services Christmas eve when I was a child, they were beautiful. We went to some church, lit candles and stood outside in a circle singing songs. Easter was about the Easter bunny and getting a pretty new dress. I don't remember church, though it was possible.

I do remember going to a Lutheran Church once, might have been Easter? It was interesting but once they started the communion part, my mom got upset and made us walk out.

As a pre-teen, my mom decided I needed to start going to church. Or more precisely Sunday School. So my dad would wake me up, make me get dressed, drop me off at Sunday school, and pick me up before Church. I remember this screaming fight with my mom on whether or not I was going to wear a mini skirt (my first) to Sunday School..> I was 12, the skirt barely was above my knees. (Umm my mom would roll over in her grave if she saw the length of the skirt my daughter wore to Catholic school) But I digress. I was confirmed Methodist sometime around then.

I spent a year at an Episcopal boarding school in 9th grade – again not because it was Episcopalian but rather in spite of it.

Flash forward a few years, I was almost 18 living with a pseudo foster family in the deep deep south. They were Pentecostal…sorta. They were deeply religious…sorta. (there's that word again!) They belonged to this church lead by "Brother Ted". From what I understood, the church wasn't a part of any organization, wasn't sanctioned or overseen by any governing body.

Having never been around this type of church, it was so very odd. Services started at 9:00 a.m. Sunday and went to past 1:00 p.m. Then you had to be back at 5:00 and that service went into the late night. Wednesday night too! The services started out okay, about an hour or so of singing, but then it was hour after hour of this man SCREAMING at the top of his lungs into a microphone, fire, brimstone, everyone was going to Hell. Women would fall down, speaking in tongues they said, it was all quiet a circus.

That wasn't the problem.

The problem was the people.

The women would come and preach against anger, violence, of docility and love…and go home and beat their children black and blue.

The men of this church would talk about fidelity, family, God and country, and stop off at the bar on the way home, and then their girlfriends.

The pastor spoke about the need to give, you weren't a real Christian unless you tithed, gave more than you had, your children went without food so the money would go in the offering ….to buy Brother Ted a new house, pay for his brand new Cadillac.

The church preached about love, forgiveness, how everyone was a brother..as long as you weren't black, weren't Jewish, weren't anything other than one of them.

God forbid I said anything. Judge not lest you be judged. I couldn't question. You know, that's fine. That was their way. That was what they wanted, I guess.

But they judged me. These men, with women on the side, their own family beaten into submission, had the audacity to judge me. This young street kid who dared to wear jeans and wanted to go to college, who wasn't looking for a husband or wanting to settled down (my foster sister had her first child at 15) ..I was evil incarnate. Their goal was to force me to submit, make me see the error of my ways; make me into one of them. Mmmmmm Not. They lectured me, at least two full sermons (screaming for hours into a microphone) were directed right at me…wicked children become wicked women and are the entire reason for evil in this world, Satan and Eve musta been my best friends. (Oh and don't get me started on their stance on women in general!) They prayed for me, prayed over me, prayed behind my back. I was never quite sure if they were praying for my deliverance or for me to get hit by a car!

After awhile, I got wiser. My foster family realized they weren't going to change me. I made a deal. I understood that I was required to go to Church, but I wanted to go to a Church of my choosing, something closer to what I believed (or was comfortable embracing). They finally agreed. As long as I was in Church, attending however many services were required/expected. Hence my introduction to Catholicism. In and out sometimes in 45 minutes, once a week, you're done. Since I was not Catholic, attending Catholic Church meant I didn't get roped into any major commitments. Besides, I don't remember there being a Lutheran Church anywhere I think I didn't like the Episcopal one for some reason.

More importantly, Catholic was as far opposite as the Pentecostal church as I could get.

When I left my foster family, I can't say I went to church much after that. A few times, with friends or on the holidays I might but really not.

Flash ahead to my daughter. Tiff's biologicals were Catholic, sorta. She really hadn't been to church much until she went into foster care. Her foster mom before me was apparently a rather extreme Baptist or Penacolstal…Tiff wasn't allowed to watch the Lion King because (to the foster mom) the scene depicting the baby lion being held up and the other animals bowing was blasphemy because there was only one true God and kneeling to anything else was sacrilege. So she was happy to get away from that.

My best friend felt that Tiff should be exposed to religion and started taking her to church. Jeannine was Episcopalian then, now I think she's Atheist, but the closest church was Lutheran. I had Tiff baptized in that Church.

When we moved across country after Tiff was adopted, for a lot of complicated reasons Tiff was going into private school. As this was mostly pre websites, I had researched and found a private Lutheran School and enrolled Tiff. She stayed there two years.

After that, I wanted to find a new church for her. She was starting 6th grade, an age when many churches really stop having good youth programs, except Catholics. I found a great church near our home with amazing people. This was our home for many years. Tiff even had a year of Catholic school. I went through the RCIA program, was confirmed and we made it to church most Sundays (course it helped that Church was a half block away.)

Then Tiff got older, I loved sleeping in, church became not so important.

I believe in God, I just don't know that I believe in religion. That said, I love the traditions and the rituals of Catholicism, they give me peace and structure far more than the chaos of other churches.

I did have Z baptized after he was born. But he's only been in church a few times other than that.

He's two now.

I want him raised in Church, I just haven't made it a priority. Yet. We've also moved, I need
to find a new church. The parish we are in is a very very Asian area and the Church has over half their services in Vietnamese or Spanish. I don't know why that worries me, except there are not as many services. I worry the best family service will be not in English. There are other chuches sorta nearby too. I need to start going each week and trying a service. Maybe we will be lucky and find a new home.

Charley thinks it too early. Z is not anywhere close to sitting quietly an hour. But if we don't start now, when will he learn?

But why do I feel the strong need for Z to be raised in Church when I don't feel the strong need to go if it's just me.

Maybe I just want to give him something that I was not given? Maybe I want him to have faith.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

No blog, no brilliance for the moment, just a whine.

As a lawyer, you survive on billable hours. Its how we calculate our "worth"...and how our boss calculates it. For some cases, its how the firm generates income. And its one of the WORST parts of my job.

Every month, at the first, we have to get all our time in for the last month, account for every minute of every day. Some months recently, I would be pretty good at inputting my time daily...(it has to go into a specific billing computer program) this month, no so much.

We got a reprieve as our office manager is on vacation this week....but GRRRR, I have to have it in today. SO, of course, doing the reasonable thing... lurking around on the Internet and doing everything BUT what I have to do.

Okay, enough wasting time, back to work (SOMEONE PLEASE SAVE ME!!!!)

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

DONE! Thank God. Now I gotta actually do some work!

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

December 13, 2010

No words of wisdom, no thoughtful evaluation of changes to make --and no happiness to be found. This week (and yes its only Tuesday) is the epidemy of everything wrong with my life. Each issue --in and of itself --not so bad but collectively I feel like I am floundering. My life revolves around making everyone else happy but you know what, no one cares about who is making me happy. Oh but who cares, I'm just mom/daughter/wife/employee.

And since no one wants to hear me whine, I'm here....perhaps the only place I can be honest about how I feel -- least until someone tells me to shut up!

I don't have the time -- or the energy -- to explain all these issues that feel like they are crashing down on me but I do think it would be cathartic to list them. Its not like anyone is listening or even cares....

My dream Christmas isn't going to happen. . .
DH can't manage to reserve a place
DSD1 wants to bring BF which while itself isn't an issue is a guarantee for later arguments with DD T to bring her loser of the day to any and all family events.
DH's ex has to come
DH's ex's dog has to come
My dad (who is paying for this cabin we don't have yet hates dogs so hes whining to me but wont tell the girls because if no dog-no ex, no ex- no girls
DSD 2 is mad cause her work means she won't get there (assuming we even go) until xmas eve and is mad cause she needs to drive mom and she has a small car and god forbid it snows.
DD doesn't even know we are going I don't think meaning she will be mad cause she will want to see her DD if the adoptive parents allow it and will want to hang with her friends.
Its not even guaranteed to snow
DH wants to take our two year old sledding which sounds dangerous to me

I want to say screw it, lets just stay home which means everyone will get mad at me even though no one will get off their butts to get anything done.

the only thing DSD1 wants for Xmas is a $650 blender
DSD2 wont even give me an idea and I have none
DD just sent me a list of junk which would total over 1,000 --including a new camera costing 200 which is BS cause we (collectively) have bought her I think 3 or 4 cameras in the last few years and she keeps breaking them or losing them.

I've done no xmas shopping and have no ideas of what to get, and honestly don't care right now.

We don't have any money for Christmas shopping.

(here's a big one)
Speaking of money -- yesterday we got in the first part of the inheritance from Charley's dad. Its enough to pay off all our bills (except my student loans) and still have soooo much left over. DH won't use ti to pay off our bills because he wants to invest it in some IPO stocks hes been reading about on the Internet to "guarantee" that he will earn enough to pay off the debt without having to use principle (which will all be lost since he is gambling on some random stocks)

I can't afford to make the payments on our debts this month, and buy x-mas and pay off medical bills that have to be paid by the end of the month and am mad cause DH doesn't get it and has no idea where we are financially adn doesnt really care since for some stupid reason thats all my job.

He wants to take the money Z got to invest in some scheme too which is NOT going to happen because thats going into a college savings account.

He gets mad a me for wanting to put it in a college savings account becaseu then Z won't be eligble for financial aid --really? maybe you haven't noticed that DD is not eliglbe for financial aid because our income is too high...do you think thats going to be different in 18 years?

DH decided to deposit the check in his account (we have a joint which is mostly mine, and each have a checking account) which I told him was a problem cause I don't have his account set up to pay bills (which was where we started with the comments that we aren't apparently paying our bills)

That account still has his ex wifes name on it (after being divorced almsot 20 years) cause DH has been too freaking lazy to change it.

That account also doesn't ahve a savings account so if he just puts it in checking there wont be any interest.

DH is an idiot.

I didn't sleep last night because I was ticked off and annoyed so too much on my mind.

Oh and btw, he forgot to take the check anyway today so it didn't get deposited and guaranteed will have a ten day hold on it.

We still have to figure out how to get DD home from school --dad was supposed to go get her but she kept stalling to get us dates then came up wtih this bs that she wanted to leave Sunday -- Z has no school next week so gramps needs to be here to watch him.

DD finally cops to the fact that she wants to stay for parties and I am a horrible mom for not accomodating her (oh yeah and her grades are going to suck this term because of too many parties already)

Z has a performance Friday and the class is to dress like teddy bears --a friend actually had a teddy bear costume instead of us going to buy pants and a shirt and DH is now not happy cause he will be the only one in a bear costume so maybe we should go buy the sweats (with teh money we don't have)

The car seat from my car is in grandpa's car since he picked z up yesturday -- I asked DH four times last night to put in back in my car, he didn't. this mornign he said shoot but dad hadn't woken up yet to get the keys so Im driving DH's truck and now have to use my lunch hour going down to his work to trade cars so he can pick up Z

The girls talked their dad into family sushi night --tonight --but Im not in the mood, I don't like sushi --its expensive, DH will insist on paying instead of letting my dad pay but we don't have the money so he will put in on a credit card that I cannot afford to make the payment on that he won't let me pay off.

Just got a new case in at work where my boss said I have to burn the midnight oil to get up to speed on a case that has no upcoming dates and deadlines but I needed to count on working late the entire rest of the month --while he goes on vacation for three weeks --for the umptenth time this year, while I get two weeks vacation that I have to use for anything but a vacation.

So generally, I'm overwhelmed, frustrated, ticked off and really tired of feeling like I have to make everyone else happy because taht is my goal in life apparently.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

As the day goes on, I just feel grumpier and madder (are those words?) I love my kids, I love my family, I love my husband...but there is a time I just feel so taken advantage of. I know its not any one thing, its not this or that but its just frustration at all this hitting me like a ton of bricks.

Everyone means well but seriously? Each person is thinking of themselves, not the family as a whole. Even DH will always look out for his kids before he will consider the whole --or even consider me.

So yeah, not happy. Sad

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

ARRRGGGGG LOL Smile

So my office is on this weird road where, to get into my driveway, you have to go down and make a U turn at the dead end at the bottom . . . .which floods....badly... in rain. Now, technically, you can drive down the wrong way of our road and get into our driveway without getting near the flooded areas. Sadly, some very silly members of the police department have no clue. Flood at end of road? Hey lets block it off and block access to four large office buildings with nearly a thousand different employees. Yeah good idea!!

So last night, I layed awake the night listening to the pouring rain, knowing I was going to have trouble getting to work. Left early hoping to beat that really nice officer (the one that sits in his car and yells at your through his bullhorn like a moron) but no...he was out there apparently at 6:15. So, instead of letting all the normal people through, he decided to tell everyone to GO HOME cause that's what they were saying on the news (side note, San Diego has NO idea what to do in rain!)

Since my boss was not nice enough to let us all stay home, I had to drive to the next closest parking lot (almost a mile up the road) and walk through a very heavy rain --including having to walk through several small rivers of flood waters --to get to my office SOAKED from head to toe.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Been awhile since I’ve posted here. I have made some positive steps though on moving toward happiness.

I have worked on the financial issues and this month (January and now February) I have been working on the physical issues I have.

I said before, Charley got some money in from his father’s estate, the first portion was $100k. Wow. I was FURIOUS with him because he did some research on the internet and decided he wanted to invest it in some IPOs and make a million out of the 100k. If it was that easy, why would anyone work? Gesh. Then he deposited the money in his own checking account and didn’t want to let me pay off our 30k+ in credit cards. The ones that I pay out of my salary – the ones we both have.

Anyway, after about a week of that, Charley said there were no new IPOs that he was interested in and I could pay off bills – HURRAY!! I can finally say that with a few exceptions, we are out of debt. Well Credit card debt –lets not talk about the 150k in student loans that I will never make a dent in. Sigh.

He took 50k of the money and opened a stock account which he engages in random day trading. So far I think he is only down by 2k so I guess thats not too bad?

Then today I took care of one thing on my financial list. I got a life insurance policy for 500k. That is something that has been bugging me a lot, if something happened to me, Charley would be lost. He simply doesn’t earn enough money for Zayden to be anywhere close to the level I want. He wouldn’t be able to pay the private school tuition, or have a house, or anything. I am not saying all that is required to be happy but....I just worry a lot about that. I know my dad would help, but I also know Charley wouldn’t ask my dad for help. I would like to get a policy for around 1 million, which if invested right, could replace a lot of my salary for Zayden’s childhood. But all that requires health checks. I am pretty healthy but have a few things to work on before I do that. So I might get one more policy for 1m before I turn 40 in June but for now, I feel a lot better with some protection.

Oh and then randomly, Charley finally decided he wanted to get a joint account? So once he has his direct deposit set up, he is going to finally close the account he has that has ex’s name on it!

This last month I have been working a lot on physical things. I am watching what I eat so I can drop about 15 lbs to get back to a weight I feel more comfortable at. I joined a dance class (kinda a mix of ballet, pilates, and yoga) Wow, I didn’t realize that I was so outta shape. I went Saturday but haven’t gone back (and its Thursday) because I got sick Sad

I am going to make an appointment in a week to get my hair done and highlights fixed. I have been more diligent on self-care – putting lotion on my face and eye cream – I was all sad when I looked in the mirror a few days ago and saw the beginnings of wrinkles.

The coolest news is my teeth – I knocked out all my front teeth when I was a kid, had a false tooth for years, then braces. I got a crown on my front tooth back in college but it wasn’t put on right so there is a big black line. The dentist has been after me to put crowns on four front teeth to make it better but I wanted to first get my teeth whitened so it looks better. I got a Groupon for a teeth whitening and so went in to get my teeth cleaned and check for cavities first. My dentist said he wanted to work with me with the whitening to coordinate it with the crowns – and gave me the dentist whitening for FREE!! So I got trays made –since I have been sick I haven’t started it. I am going to see if these work (my groupon is for the in dentist office whitening with a light) if the trays do work, I’ll give my groupon to ashley, otherwise I go do them. With my new insurance, my crowns are free so hopefully within the next month or so I will have that fixed!

So I have been working down my list of things I want to change. Not there yet but at least I am working toward my goals and that makes things happier.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

I'm still here, and Im still thinking about what changes I need to make to be happy. I am still trying to analyze why I'm not happy. Haven't been posting much but these thoughts are still on my mind.

I have made some changes, some positive. I need to make others.

More later though, don't mean to post and run but need to work on this deadline.

Just popping in to say HI

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

It is time to make some changes.

I come back here from time to time and review my list of things I want to change. I have tackled some of the “easier” things to change. Recently I have worked more on my own image and physical things to change. Thanks to DH, I did Lasik two weeks ago and while I am not thrilled with the results (having some issues with side effects, etc) I am glad I did. Next week I have an appointment for teeth whitening and, as soon as that is done, I am going to the dentist. I need my four front teeth crowned (after effect of an accident when I was eight) When they told me the crowns needed to be replaced, I didn’t want to do that until I had whitened my very yellow teeth (after effect of smoking, red wine, and coffee) I joined a gym I really like (which of course, the next day blew out my shoulder and haven’t been able to go GRRRR) am watching what I eat, and have worked hard on limiting wine to one glass a day (which went great until last night when I got so frustrated I wound up downing over half a bottle – but I will get to the reasons for that soon) I have finally gotten good at regular hair appointments with a stylist instead of running to supercuts once a year. One of the things I wasn’t happy with was the person looking back at me in the mirror. I have worked on the surface things; I guess they are the easiest!

Events have happened this last week that is forcing me to look at one of the harder things for me to work on – my career. I have a job I pretty much hate. I have a boss I have grown to resent and cannot stand –which is sad because he used to be great and I really cared about him. I have a dead end job, which will never go anywhere (umm Amy, that’s the definition of a dead end job?) The list of things I cannot stand grows almost daily.

· We have to dress up, not suits but business dressy (slacks, skirts, etc) while my boss comes in daily in shorts and a t-shirt. He started that a few years back, hey he’s the boss and pays our salary so he can dress however he wants. I got a review once (that he didn’t do but pretended he did) that marked me down for not dressing “professionally” I looked at this guy dressed for the beach and was like WTF? I get really annoyed when he calls me late at night to tell me a client’s coming in so I need to dress appropriately, and he shows up in jeans. I really hate double standards, even if it is the boss.

· He made all these promises when we started this firm, to be fair, to take care of us…now everything is about what is best for HIM and he doesn’t care about the employees.

· No raise for five years…he told us that he didn’t want to do raises to keep his cash flow steady but instead would give bonuses based on payment in cases. I have gotten three (small) bonuses in eight years.

· No additional vacation time. Two weeks, still. Most jobs by now I would have three or more. We were talking about going to three at year five (many years ago) then the economy tanked. I asked the office manager what gives and she said bosses theory is we are dang lucky to have jobs so we should be thankful for that. So no more benefits cause having a job we should be thanking boss every day for. Umm, maybe but the problem with treating your employees like they have no options, is when they do finally have options, see ya!

· His manner has just gotten too much. He will come in and yell and act like a real jerk. He never asks have we done, what do you think about…..he will say why haven’t we done x. Cause it makes no sense? Too expensive? If I did that you would have said why do that? He claims to hate micro managing but that’s all he does!!!!

I could go on but why bother. Why am I still here? Cause I can be lazy. Sorry [FONT=Wingdings]L[/FONT] But I can. I can come in at 8, get my work done, spend time on here, communicate with friends, and 80% of the time, leave at 5. I don’t have to wear a suit, I don’t have to work 15 hour days, I get to go home at the end of the day and see my son. I rarely take work home. While I am not getting raises, I am paid okay—enough to mostly meet our bills. So yeah, I’m lazy and settling.

But this is not what I busted my butt for through law school. And it sucks cause when I do get home at five, I am not happy. When I get up, I hate the idea of going to work. I look forward to lunch just to get the he!! out of here. I guess that stinks.

What has changed in the last week? A lot. We have two paralegals and three associate attorneys. Last week, our lead paralegal (who also has been here since day one) gave notice. She is leaving for another job (I don’t blame her, she just finished up working on a case in trial and worked 16 + hour days including being here till midnight one night –just cause that is the way the boss is) I don’t think they are planning on replacing her. We have all been working on learning the trial programs she uses, I am the next best person who knows tech, the only other person who knows power point and excel and see the writing on the wall that all this crap is going to be stuck on me. Plus, without a second paralegal, we won’t have as much support staff….so the attorneys have to take on more.

I was talking to DH about moving on after that, maybe it’s time to think about it. He supported the idea, after all its probably a matter of time until one of the other two attorneys might think about it too.

Then last night, one of the other attorneys gave two weeks notice.

Even if we did hire a new attorney, which I doubt, his case load will have to be moved to the remaining two. My case load will double, in addition to paralegal duties, in addition to secretarial duties, with no increase in pay and still being treated like crap.

No thanks

But then I told DH that I didn’t feel right about it since if I left too, it could tear apart the firm (we are a really small firm and two attorneys leaving would cause major issues) His comment? Its bosses own fault and not my concern. Sounds cold, but true?

DH has wanted me to look for another job for some time.

So I have emailed out a few resumes, I need to spend some time updating and working on mine. I need to work on cover letters etc. I need to dry clean my suits, and maybe buy a new one or two.

I hate change though. And a new job will dictate a lot of change, not just work but also personal. A new firm will be many hours work, less time at home, more stress. But maybe more enjoyment too?

More later, I guess I should work now because I have a few things to review.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Two weeks from today I turn 40. I know, not a big deal. Forty isn’t that old. But a new decade in life seems to be a time to reevaluate where you are, where you have been, and where you are going.

On the bright side, I have a husband I love, a child I adore. I have three adult children who are slowly making their way into adulthood. I am proud of what I did and the contributions I made to their lives, I am proud of where my son’s life is going. But it wasn’t without sacrifice and its not without regrets.

I know everything I did to help DD was worth it. I know that every time I hear tales of her bio sis – dropped out of Jr. High, whoring herself for drugs, no future, no life. That would have been Tiff. I know it was so worth it for DSD. But for me, DH would never have stood up and taken custody. They would have stayed in a drug infested trailer park in Washington, Ash would have failed 8th grade, probably gotten in major trouble, who knows. Instead, I got Age into one of the top public hs in the US, Ash graduated salutatorian from her private hs.

The sacrifice? My first year law school I was in the top 10%. That means guaranteed admission to any law school in the country. Harvard, Yale....the schools that you graduate from with a salary as a first year in excess of 150k. I will probably never earn that in my life. Transferring schools meant uprooting a family, or more likely leaving one behind. I don’t regret that. Much. I don’t regret those choices, I don’t regret staying with DH (then bf) and every time I look at my dear sweet boy, I know the sacrifice was worth it.

I guess what makes me sad is I am the only person who sees the sacrifices. No one says thank you. As much as I love him, not once in our relationship has DH said thank you for everything you did for my girls. Not once has DSDs acknowledged that I did anything for them. No thank yous. No I know you gave up something for me and thank you for it. Tiff does sometimes, but then that is usually followed by mom I need money. I know parenting is a thankless job but really?

Instead of partner in some exclusive law firm earning over 500k, I am stuck in a dead end job that often I wake up dreading to go to. I am unappreciated, micro managed, and have no change of ever meeting my potential. A peer is off this week to better adventures and a better life, I am afraid to make a jump because I have a family to support. I come to work and watch the clock to noon so I can leave, come back at one, wait desperately to five. My cousin, who is one year older, is a federal judge. Another cousin, who is younger, is a partner in a swanky Kansas law firm. Do I want those jobs? Would I have liked the cat eat dog world of a big firm with their 80 hour weeks? I don’t know? Probably not. But maybe, or at least maybe then it would have been my choice. I didn’t get that choice, instead of clerking between my first and second year of law school, I was spreading out my first year into three trimesters, so I could be there to pick Tiff up from school. Instead of clerking for a law firm between 2L and 3L –when my peers were getting those cushy job offers after grad, I was home schooling a defiant and thankless teenager who resented my relationship with her dad and hated that I was doing my best to help her pass 8th grade.

Twenty years ago, I was told over and over I would not live to be twenty one. I was a street kid trying to survive. I wanted a future but living through the day was often too much. I had dreams and visions but when tragedy struck, those dreams disappeared. It was raw strength and support of a few that are gone, and the love of a few that gave their own lives for me, that I stand here today. For that I thank God every day. And for that I curse myself. For a friend gave his life for me because he felt I could make something of myself. I feel like I let him down. The pain and heartache of twenty years ago still haunts me to this day. I survived; is that enough?

But I am turning forty. My daughter is not out *****ing on the streets, Ash did not drop out of hs, Age did not run away to a commune. They have (or are working on) become beautiful, caring adults. Perhaps their lives will touch others, perhaps they will be the ones to make a difference. They may never say thank you, or even understand the sacrifices I made or the difference I was in their lives, but at least I know.

You know what’s making me the saddest? My birthday. My actual birthday. I wanted a party. I rarely have a party; I wanted one. Yet no one in my family would even think to have one. I will never in my life have that great surprise party with friends and family. I just wont. So I am hosting my own. I guess that is a disappointment to me. No one in my family had a baby shower for me. We had one at work, and my office manager told me she was sad because she hadn’t got an invite to the one my girls were throwing. She was shocked when I told them I didn’t have one. They just wouldn’t think about it.

So I am throwing my own party dam* it. For me. I will buy my own favorite food and make my own cake and make sure my house is clean. But then who to invite. Oh yeah, I have few friends. Least IRL. So I invite my workmates, a few other people (few of whom can actually come), Age’s in-laws, DH’s ex. How completely sad is that. And how sad is it that I feel so rejected when someone RSPV’s no, even when I know they can’t come.

My actual friends, both IRL and online are too far away to come.

Despite all the people in my life, despite all I have done, how come I still feel unloved, unworthy and unappreciated.

My actual birthday I am going away. I am going on vacation for a four day weekend to treat ME. Just DH and Z and me. DH said well if we go away on a Thursday, how will the girls come? They can’t, cause on my birthday I am not paying everyone elses way. Just mine. For once.

How come I am so sad?

Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 826

I hope you don't mind me posting here, but I have to ask you one question. What's stopping you from pursuing your dream of being a lawyer? Were it not for the need to support your family, what is stopping you? I see a beautiful, amazing woman here. No one but a mom can understand the sacrifices that we make for our kids... until our kids become parents. Then they get it. A dead-end job isn't for you. And 40 is a HUGE DEAL!! Smile You go and have a getaway and celebrate that you're wiser an even more beautiful!

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

I don't mind at all! Questions sometimes focus my mind and make me think (or rethink) things so they are great.

I am an attorney. I did get my license. I guess what makes me sad is I wanted to go to law school to make a difference. My secondary goal was to be the best I could be, make money, have security, enough to buy a house, provide for my kids etc.

I have done neither. I'm still paycheck to paycheck, haven't touched my student loans (after 10 years) and just exist. The only difference my practice of law makes is in my boss' bank account.

Thank you for the kind words. I don't mind the sacrifices, you're right, they are what a mother does. I just get sad that I am the only person who sees the sacrifices Sad

Either that or Im just feeling sorry for myself which is a very likely possibility!

Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 826

Okay. So you're working in a law firm that you hate?

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

"ShiningLight" wrote:

Okay. So you're working in a law firm that you hate?

yes. I used to really like it but now I dread going to work everyday. No raises, no bonueses, no extra vacation time but long hours and lots of stress just to make our boss rich. He can be a real jerk at times so its just old. I know I am cynical but just tired of it.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

I have several things floating through my head -- stresses, ideas, worries. But I have something I have been meaning to post.

I ask myself a lot, why am I not happy. I am luckier than most. We are not homeless, I have a nice home to live in. I have a healthy and beautiful little boy, three daughters I love. I married the best person I have ever met and adore him.

I have friends, both here and IRL, who have none of that. I see people struggle daily and yet they find comfort in God, in themselves, in life and they are happy. I know others who are not happy but they have ever reason to be. They struggle daily against all kinds of obstacles.

I am not miserable, I am not depressed. I just look in the mirror and wonder if this is it? My life is not what I planned and it is not everything it could be. I have demons from the past that will follow me to my grave. There is a sadness that will always be there. Even that knowledge makes me sad.

I know I need to make changes in my life but I have become complacent. And, as I will write about in a bit, other people want to make changes which means I may not be able to make my changes.

I really am grateful for what I have. It should be enough. I just am not sure why it isn't?

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Haven’t slept for two days. First night (Monday) was DH’s fault. He is on call and got a call at midnight and had to go to work until 3 a.m. I never sleep well when he is gone. Last night – well its his fault too but for different reasons.

Last night I lay awake tossing and turning, thinking and stressing.

Charley wants to quit his job. He wants to become a day trader. He spends his down time researching stocks, IPOs – things I consider "get rich quick" schemes. He considers them valid and great ways to earn money. He could be right, he could be wrong.

Little back story– DH’s dad died last March and left DH, the girls and Z some money. Estate got split in 3rds – 1/3 for DH, 1/3 for his sister and the remaining 1/3 in trust for the four grand kids (DH’s nephew, DSDs and Z) We still haven’t seen all the money but in December DH got a check for 100k. Nice. We went back and forth on it but eventually he let me pay off all our credit cards (over 30k worth) we gave Age 10k for her wedding and paid off some bills etc. DH took 50k and put it in a stock account and started "playing". We should get the rest in a few months, probably a little over 150 k. That is a lot of money! He wants to put it in his stock account to again have capital to play with. And he wants to quit his job to manage this money all day because he is limited with the day trading he can do on his phone.

We have run our credit cards up to about another 13k now (much of it from Age’s wedding and related travel expenses as well some vet bills etc.) I want to take 100k of what he gets as a down payment on a house –my dad previously offered to help us with that too.

DH has always wanted to be a SAHD, and I don’t blame him. But I am stressing over all this.

DH also has pretty bad tendinitis in his arm and I know it hurts him a lot. He has a very physical job and its not fair he is in pain. He has gone to the workers comp doctors but they can’t really help him cause he doesn’t want to keep doing Physical therapy (didn’t help) or the cortisone shots (also no help)

He has ever increasingly talked about his two-week notice. A few weeks ago told me he was definitely quitting by September. He has all this planned on how much he needs to make to make up for his salary and how easy it will be for him. He is almost offended when I cast doubt on that and talk about not being able to make it on my salary.

Course I checked his (our) trading account today. His 50k is now a little over 20.

But Im not going to be able to talk him out of this. He really has his mind set on it. Even last night he told me that his boss was going out for surgery but he (maybe jokingly) told him to wait until he put in his two weeks notice.

If I mention that I don’t think this is a great job cause he has lost money he says quiet strongly he has lost money because he isn’t home working on this but has to work so doesn’t get to stay on the computer. He hears about these IPOs and wants to sink money into them and then sell immediately. He told me thats how he was going to get money to help buy me a new car.

So I think I’ll be driving my old car for awhile.

I did tell him I wanted him to pay Zayden’s tuition up front as soon as we had the money so I didn’t have to worry about that . . .I could not pay our rent and the tuition on my paycheck. I would like to buy a cheep house so at least we have some asset if it all goes to hell in a hat basket.

This is his money so its hard for me to say no. He helped support me and Tiff when I was in law school. I just need to start watching money carefully and budget as if it were all on me. I foresee many many more sleepless nights.

Oh, and if he is really considering quitting --which I know he is -- any hopes of me finding a new job are gone. I need the stability of this job more than the happiness of a new one.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

He did at least send me a text to tell me he lost 8k today alone. I am sure he will tell me later that if he had been home, he could have made 8k instead of losing it.

Ever heard of a spoiler alert? Here is a major selfish whine alert. I am busy feeling sorry for myself, sorry about that.

I hate my birthday. Not because of getting older or milestones past. I just hate when it is -June 23.

I have been planning for four months now my birthday. I wanted a party but then on my actual birthday, next Thursday, wanted to go away for the weekend, to Catalina Island, soak up some sun, have some downtime.

Mothers Day kicks off a busy time for us. Its always the first of many celebrations. I like Mother’s Day but (selfishly) its not about me. I share it with DH’s ex and now DSD, in-laws. Thats okay. Take this Mother’s Day, instead of a me day, I was shamed into going to a bbq with SILs family and DH’s ex. Thats okay. The girls lavished their mom with gifts, I wasn’t forgotten, I got a Visa gift card and flowers and this nice frame of me and Age at her wedding. My own daughter didn’t even send a card cause she claims to not know how to use a stamp. DH (as an after thought) got a groupon for a card for 50% off services at a spa I could not afford even if 50% off.

Then on May 12 its Age’s b-day. We got her $150 in gift cards and paid for everyone (our family, DH’s ex, SIL and his family) to eat out for dinner. $300.

May 23rd its Tiff’s birthday. She didn’t come home so I sent her gifts plus money for a bbq for her.

June 19 is Ash’s b-day. Again, gifts plus eating out. Plus Father’s Day (which this time is same day so at least I only pay for one dinner out but still lots of money)

My birthday is the left over. Everyone is always broke, celebrated out. Don’t get me wrong, they try sometimes. One year I had a really nice bbq at home – cause we couldn’t afford to eat out. They tried and it was nice.

I am throwing myself a party this year because no one else would. I still want to go so bad to Catalina, but DH never made reservations. He looked, he said he wanted to get me a suite. But it would have to go on a credit card I know and I am not even sure we have one that would work. Besides, if he really is going to quit, I need to save every dime.

What irritates me is that it will be seen that even if I don’t get to go to Catalina, at least I got a nice party. Cause I am throwing my on Freaking party. Cause it wouldn’t happen otherwise. I am planning it, cleaning for it, buying food, cooking for my own party. And yet I know if I get sad later cause I didn’t get to do other stuff, I will be told but you had a great 40th cause of this party.

My birthday is the only day that is my day . . I don’t have to share it. But it will never really be that. Motherhood is about sacrifices. Just sometimes I get tired of being the only one who seems to makes all the sacrifices for the family. I guess I feel like I am sacrificing my own happiness sometimes.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

I spend a lot of time (at least here) ticked off, not happy, woe is me, but not enough time trying to make it better.

I know what the issues are, I know why I get sad, I know I am stressed. I know that I get terrified my amazing husband will up and leave me for someone better, not because he would ever do that, but because sometimes I don't think I am worthy of being loved as much as he loves me. I worry about everyone being better, faster, smarter, I feel sorry for myself, yet I do nothing about it.

I made this journal, not just to analyze why I am not always happy but to search for happiness, I.e. get off my BUTT and do something about it.

So I am, Im going to stop whining (well somewhat Wink ) and start making some changes. I cannot change everyone else, and I cannot change a lot of the circumstances, but I can make changes for myself.

Some time ago, when faced with challenges, I used to create goals. . . as long as I had a goal -- I was okay --the world could really suck but my goals and dreams kept me going. I would make weekly, monthly, 1 year and 5 year goals in each of the following categories:

[SIZE=2]Family and Home, Financial/Career, Spiritual/Ethical, Physical/ Health, Social/Cultural, Mental/Educational[/SIZE]

A lot of these categories mix with the areas I wanted to improve on my first post.
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]I don't have time today to do those in each category for each time period but here are my goals for next next week.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Family and Home -- I will spend 15 minutes a day going through papers and/or boxes to get my house in order. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Financial/Career -- I will make a list of each debt we have (credit cards etc) so that when DHs estate money come in this month we can pay off our credit cards. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Spiritual/Ethical -- I need to start calling around to churches to find one that has a good toddler program so we can make a list and start trying out churches.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Physical/ Health-- I will cut down a lot on processed foods and alcohol this week. I will track what I am eating each day on MFP so I have a log to verify.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
Social/Cultural-- hmm will have to think on that one?

Mental/Educational -- will pick two classes for ongoing education at community college in time to register next week. Will make sure the classes do something to further my career or learn something I want to learn.
[SIZE=2]
[/SIZE]

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

SmileBiggrin :o

I did great yesterday. I have not had any alcohol for two days. I had a salad for lunch yesterday and then had to go to the chiro after work so I stopped at Kiehl's' salad bar and got another salad. Came home and made a healthy olive oil and lemon juice dressing (with freshly squeezed lemon!!)

When Z went to bed, I spent 30 minutes going through papers --I am horrible with stuff, just stick it in a box. I have this goal to go through things, sort for keepsakes, shred, toss and bills/save. Those that I need to save, I want to go to work one weekend, scan them all electronically, then SHRED!. I have maybe 8 boxes I need to go through in my room though! YIKES. So 30 minutes wasn't bad!

Course that will make up for the 15 minutes I won't do tonight!!! I have a groupon for a really nice dinner in the Gaslamp that has to be used this week so DSD Ashley is coming over after work to get Z, she is going to take him down to the beach and DH and I will get a date night! I will have a yummy glass of wine tonight!

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

This week just keeps getting better and better! NOT. So my poor little car blew up last Wed, I had just picked Z up and it started clacking and clacking...drove it to the closest repair shop, not the one we usually go to but one that Liz has gone to and its supposed to be okay and cheep. Well they didn't get back to me until Friday afternoon to tell me that the car needed a valve job cause one of the heads blew up (okay so he said something a lot more technical than that) Cost =$1100. We hemmed and hawed, my car is a 99 Mustang that I have needed to replace since Z was born but since we want to buy a house in the next 3-6 months, I don't want to buy a car right now. So Sat I called them back and said go for it.

Then yesterday they called -- as they took apart the engine they found major damage Sad and the whole engine needed to be rebuilt cost = 3k :eek: or they could get a salvage engine from a wrecking yard = 1800 but no guarantees the engine would be okay. So we agonized over this, I just don't want to put the money in the car knowing I gotta replace it (car seat barely fits) but in the end I called them and told them to rebuild the dang thing. Other option was to take the 3k and go buy a cheep car but then we have no idea if that car will work for 6 months or not. Sigh.

On the bright side, my niece and nephew are visiting so that has been fun. My nephew Ronnie (16) has been having a lot of problems at home and at school so he is BEGGING to live with us, plus California is a lot more fun for a kid then South Georgia. Course there is a lot more trouble one can get into too! But its been fun having them here even though I can't do much with them cause we are down to one car!

Haven't done much with my goals though. We did get the estate money in so I have scheduled the pay off of our credit cards for tomorrow when the funds should clear our bank. At least that is something!

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591
The most difficult part of being a mother.

The most difficult part of motherhood is the letting go and letting God part. Its knowing you have done everything you can to teach values and responsibility, to let them learn and yet know they are safe and loved, to help them find their way - and then let go and let them fall.

The most difficult part of being a mother is seeing your children make life changing mistakes and having to shut your mouth and let them make their choices. Its realizing that you cannot make their choices for them, that they want to do it their way. Maybe ask for your advice, but then make their choice to listen or ignore you.

The most difficult part of being a mother is watching them make mistakes, and not telling them that they are making mistakes.

The most difficult part of being a mother is watching them make choices that are not the choices I would make --but realizing that what may be a mistake to me, may not be a mistake to them. And if it is, it is theirs to learn from.

I made plenty of choices that my parents, and others around me that helped to guide me, felt were mistakes. What the hell was I doing being a foster mom at 23; what was I thinking when I adopted a nine year old special needs kid at 25. My mother very much disagreed with my choice of mate -- at least until she met him- I had an advanced degree, he didn't finish college. He would never be able to support the family, support me in the fashion I wanted -that's okay mom, I will support the family. He had the "baggage" of two teenage girls" girls that I have come to love as if they were my own -girls my dad calls his grandchildren, girls who my dad is the only real grandparent they ever have known.

I look back at that and try to remember that I made choices that were not my parents' choices, choices others felt were mistakes, that are great and important parts of my life. What was a mistake to them, was a blessing to me.

The hardest part of being a mother is to accept the choices that my children make, even if I think they are wrong, to let them learn and let them grow. To let them have different values and different lifestyles then those I have, to let them find their way in the world. To be there for them while letting them fall, to not rescue them when they need it, and to accept that maybe they don't really need to be rescued. To grieve for the pain they feel while letting them feel the pain deeply.

Perhaps what I see as a mistake may be their greatest blessings. I love my children but I cannot live their lives for them. After being a hands on parent for years, I must sit back and let them go.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

My poor baby boy. I haven't had a chance to update but there is something to share that scared the crap out of me. Last week we spent an entire week in TN with family. My brother --and all our girls --came with us.

I have a big brother who is the world to me. He is such an amazing sweet gentle soul-- he has Downs Syndrome and I am his conservator. Drew has the functional ability of maybe a 3 or 4 year old? He was probably higher functioning earlier in life but has definitely gone down hill in the last decade. Drew lives about 90 minutes from us. I try to go see him as much as I can -- but its been so much harder since Zayden has been born.

We have noticed though that as Drew ages, he has gotten a little grumpier and short tempered. We have had one very minor issue before with him and Zayden where Zayden was getting way hyper and threw a ball and hit Drew in the face and Drew got mad and threw it back a little too rough. So we have watched it carefully.

Last Sunday, my Aunt had this great "girls night out" planned for us and so she and I left and left the boys alone. My aunt had these two tennis balls hanging in the garage and they FACINATED Zayden -- you know the type that people hang so that they know when to stop their cars when they drive into their garage?

Jump ahead several hours and my aunt and I come home after a great night. Zayden runs to me and gives me a big hug --and I see these horrible scratches all over the right side of his neck.

I looked at Charley and said WTH happened!!! He pulls me aside to tell me that Zayden was screwing around throwing the tennis ball --which means Charley was holding him and letting him throw it. I guess my brother (who also has a fascination with garages) came out. Zayden threw the tennis ball --hard -- at him and before Charley could even react, Drew had lunged at Zayden, both hands around his neck, shaking him and screaming. Charley immediately pulled Drew off and got them separated --which probably is what caused the scratches. Drew was yelling at Zayden and apparently Zayden was shaking and cried for over an hour Sad My dad came out and started screaming at Drew for yelling at Zayden and Charley did not even tell him what happened. He was worried --and probably right -- that our dad would totally go off on Drew and would just not forgive him ever. (my dad has zero patience with my brother which is why I am the conservator).

I was seriously devestated--and still am. I could not even look at Drew the rest of that night. By the next day everyone calmed down a bit but honestly I had a hard time the rest of the trip -- I know that he didn't mean it and probably has no understanding of what he did but all I can think of is that he could have seriously hurt Z. Sad But on the other hand, we are all Drew has so we cannot abandon him.

The first day or so Z was very cautious around Drew but after a few days he was back to normal --hi Uncle Drew. Drew was sweet to him after that too. But we kept a very careful eye and pretty much made sure one of us was between the two of them at all times.

The scariest part is I told Charley that it will be a long time till I would be comfortable with the two of them around if it was just me. Drew is very strong -- much stronger than me --and if he attacked, I would have a hard time stopping it.

I don't know if Drew maybe recognizes that we don't see him as much since Z was born and is jealous or if it was just a reaction to being hit in the face with a tennis ball. In 45 years I don't think Drew has ever physically attacked someone like that at least to my knowledge. He gets mad, yells, and once in a blue moon his home has told us he hit someone but that was so rare.

I am not even sure why I am writing this, its not like there really is any advice on this subject --obviously we have to protect Zayden above all else and will have to watch the situations very very closely if the two are together. I may start just going to see Drew by myself more often to see if that helps, but then I feel sad cause I get so little Z time to start with and its a full day trip up there, hang out a while and and head back. I feel like I have to choose between my brother and son both of whom I love more than anythign and yes, I know I have to choose my son becaues he is three.

I also don't want my son growing up being afraid of or hating his uncle. Sad

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591
Balancing work and life

I have been having a difficult time balancing career and mommyhood and I hate it. I love my career (not always my job but my career) I love the intellectual stimulation and challenges, I worked so hard to go to law school, overcame many obstacles, busted my butt in school. Last night I was at a monthly meeting for a professional association I am a part of and just loved the stimulation, conversations, etc. I would love to do more trials even though that means more work and more time away -- love them though.

But then I have that mommy guilt. I am having dinner, sitting and talking with a judge about new electronic filing protocols and budget crisis and how the legal professional will handle that, and I keep looking at my watch thinking I need to go tuck my boy in. Yesterday I had to leave a very stimulating meeting to rush to Z's school and BARELY make it to see him perform on stage.

I miss so much of Z's life already, its hard to find time for everything. I want to be there and be with him. Don't get me wrong, I could never be a SAHM, I do not have the personality or patience! I would much rather face a hot headed opposing counsel then a room full of toddlers. Besides, I have no choices, I am the primary --soon to be only--bread winner.

I just hate having to make choices and whatever I do I feel guilty. Sad

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Its been awhile since I have updated. I've been having a rough time, so far no happiness in sight. Sigh.

Hubby quit his job a few months ago, right after we bought our house. He decided to "earn" money with a risky venture --day trading. I told him no, told him I didn't agree, told him all the reasons this was not a good choice for our family. He did it anyway. I told him daily, what happens if you don't earn X,Y or Z, I will. What if you don't...dont be a worry wart.

Well, two months into this, no money in sight, we have lost money.

I am trying to be supportive. I know he is trying, he spends hours, late at night, researching, studying, he is up at the crack of dawn. But its a risky venture that we have no business being involved in.

We also aren't able to make ends meet on my salary alone. Don't get me wrong, I earn decent money, and DH did not earn a lot BUT he had the insurance. The COBRA of 1k per month to cover him, my daughter and son and brother is KILLING me.

And, when sacrifices need to be made, guess who gets to make them.

I am starting to seriously look for a part time job for weekends and nights. Once Z is out of preschool for the summer and starts at a YMCA near us for camp, I will start taking the train and walking a mile each way to work to save gas money. I gave up eating out (which I needed to do anyway) gave up my nightly bath (LOVE my soaker tub) to take quick showers. I am going to cancel the landscapers and start mowing myself (DH won't do it even if he promises he will)

I have no idea how to pay tuition for preschool next year, DH cannot watch Z during the week this summer while he is "focusing" on his trading so we have no choice but daycare.

I am frustrated beyond belief, making myself sick over this.

But any conversation with DH ends with me being a worry wart and no changes. Oh, and surely we have plenty says the guy who has no idea about our family finances (and doesn't want to know).

Sad that my last post on here was about missing out on time with my son, now I get to miss even more in my attempt to be supportive and not lose my marriage.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

My husband and I had a fight last night. Its actually very rare for us but we did. The stresses I talked about in my last post came to a head, Zayden's tuition is due next month, our bank account is low, and I have no idea how to pay the bills. I told DH I was thinking about getting a second job and that he may need to do more with Zayden. His response? What's the difference, you don't do much with Zayden anyway. He is growing up, three and a half, and your so busy with work and stress you don't notice.

My response? I started crying.

Here's what I should have said.

How dare you. How dare you judge me for my parenting time, or what you perceive as a lack of parenting time. You quit your job, put our financial situation and our family's future at risk so you could chase down a dream and pick your son up at 3:00 instead of 5:00. I work, I get up every single day to go to a job that many days I hate so that I can pay the bills and keep a home for our family.

You're right, I don't spend hours sitting in front of the computer with my son in my lap playing computer games or ABCmouse.com. I spend hours researching the best options for him, what he needs to be doing, where he needs to be going. Every single major decision we have made for our son, from his doctor, his dentist, his school, his daycare, how and when to start potty training etc was made by me. Every decision, Every.single.one.

The preschool he goes to? The one we both love? Yes, we agreed to it, I got the application, I spent hours agonizing over the language, I fill out the mountain of paperwork, I pay the tuition, both in terms of earning the money and simply actually paying it. I volunteered to sit on the PTA board, I spend time each week dealing with people that can be really annoying, I go to meetings with the headmaster. You came to one meeting, and watching your phone for updated sports scores. Why do I do this? Trust me, its not for the fun of it. Its so we have a presence at the school, its so between now and when Zayden gets a little older and a little more sense, that when they deal with behavior issues their first instinct is not to kick him out. Cause his mom is involved. Its so I AM on campus some, so I do know whats going on, its so the administration knows and respects me. I do it for him. But to you, that doesn't count, does it.

Because I am not laying down with him on the couch playing Angry Birds on the iPad.

The couch in the home we just purchased. That 99.9% of the HOURS and HOURS and HOURS of time spent dealing with financial people, submitting applications, follow up on over and over and over was done by me. You probably don't even know what our mortgage payment is, or where/how to pay it. Because all the bills are paid by me, not just money but TIME I spend each and every month watching the budget, paying the bills, tracking interest rates to transfer balances. You have no idea. I know you know what our water bill was last month, cause I have told you several times that our irrigation system needs work since our water bill was INSANE. Yes, you finally fixed two sprinkler heads this weekend, congratulations, sorry if that took your valuable time away from siting down playing angry birds with your son. But then all the time I spend with finances, making sure we have money for the apps like angry birds, doesn't count as doing anything for my son.

Your right, I am not the person sitting down building elaborate marble formations with our son. I am too busy doing laundry, cleaning the house, mopping the floors. As far as I know you have never even done a load of laundry? You've gotten it out of the dryer a few times, thanks for that. If I am lucky, you will help put some stuff away, at least your stuff.

I pick out 99% of Zayden's clothes, you don't even know what size he wears unless I tell you. You don't know if he needs new stuff until I tell you. You have never marked a single item of his clothes, you don't even know what the stickers are for that go on his tags, or how long they last, or how to iron on the name tags for those items that don't have stickers. You don't know what setting to wash his clothes on or what temperature. I do ALL that. But that doesn't count for doing anything for my son.

You sit at home in front of a computer everyday yet --despite several requests --never looked up a dentist for our son. I finally did, and made the appointment. You haven't made the appointment for his 4 year doctor, I will do that. You will pick him up and take him, thanks. I will meet you there.

The camps he is going to this summer, I did the research, I filled out the paperwork, I did it all. You stopped at the doctors to get the one form filled out. I even had to find his immunization card. I decided what camps, when etc. I looked into all the options for a three year old and decided on what was best.

I am not out playing baseball with our son in the evening. You are. Because many nights, I am busy trying to get dinner on the table. You only cook if I don't, and you wait a little longer to see if I will do it. And the dinner table, the research I did about the importance of that, the books I read that made me decide that yes, it was important for us to sit down at the dinner table as a family. Despite your comments that he really does eat better if he eats in front of the TV.

And discipline, lets see, who is responsible for that? Who read several books, who has attended ALL the meetings with the school, who is the only one who promotes discipline in our home. Zayden does something wrong, you tell him that mommy is gong to put you in time out. Even the school has said that this is not appropriate. But still, I have to be the bad guy.

But that doesn't count, does it.

How dare you. Yes, Zayden is growing up too fast, yes he is no longer the baby, yes you are the one who puts him to bed, you are the one who reads him his story, you are the one that wakes him up in the morning, you are the one who gets down on the floor and plays with him.

You are so busy doing that, there are all the other things that you don't do. I cant get you to fix the door, the dishwasher, the cracked sink, the rest of the landscaping, the multitude of things that I have asked, even nagged, for you to do. But you are too busy playing angry birds, or baseball.

So I do those things I can do. If I didn't, they would not be done. I spend hours researching the right choices for our child, the best programs, the right discipline, the best advantages. You are right, maybe that's not as important as sitting down playing with him, but it still counts as something.

And besides, I can't sit down and play, you are too busy doing it yourself to notice that I want to play too.

Joined: 08/03/07
Posts: 3247

:bigarmhug:

My mouth dropped when I read his response, that's so unfair to you and you don't deserve that. You do so much it makes me feel like I have a ton of free time! It's not easy having the weight of the world on your shoulders and you shouldn't have to take it all on. I hope you share what you posted with him so he can hopefully see and appreciate all that you do. You're a good mommy and don't ever forget it.

Cindy

Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 826

My thoughts, hon, is that you and DH need to have a heart to heart, but be respectful in how you say it. I know you're angry and you have the responsibility to be. His response was less than stellar there. He needs to work to provide for his family. However, he hit you right where he knows it will push every button. But I saw something else in his response after reading through what you had to say. I think it's time you let go of control and made a new list of priorities. I have seven kids. We can't afford to send them to daycare if my husband isn't working, so there's an idea for you. Let him stay home with dad. My kids don't often get to go to summer camps or have a lot of extravagant things, but they're still happy, and they get to spend time with both parents. And on the working too much to take care of things... I have a husband that has a very hard time keeping a job for more than three months. So I enabled this behavior and worked my butt off, getting little to no sleep, and I was cranky and very unhappy trying to pay our bills. So he wasn't very motivated to look for a job. Why do you have to work a job that makes you unhappy rather than trying to find one that you love? Why are you on the PTA board? Why do you spend endless hours researching things instead of just hanging out with your son? Yes, I know housework has to be done. Play with your son and get him on board with helping you. We make a huge game out of housecleaning because it's never done around here, and my kids love racing to see who can wash their load of dishes the fastest, or who can make the best germs dying noises when we clean the bathroom. We get in quality time and have fun and they don't mind doing housework so much. So perhaps a respectful heart-to-heart with DH is in order, and a good long look at your priorities and the fear that drives you to do so much when you really don't need to is also in order. I'm rooting for you, girl. (HUGS)