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 ) 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:
Family and Home, Financial/Career, Spiritual/Ethical, Physical/ Health, Social/Cultural, Mental/Educational
A lot of these categories mix with the areas I wanted to improve on my first post.
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.
Family and Home -- I will spend 15 minutes a day going through papers and/or boxes to get my house in order.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 and the whole engine needed to be rebuilt cost = 3k 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!
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.
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 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Ryan and Rachael
Parents to Chase, Abby, Hunter, Rachel, Caleb, Hannah & Nate
~Remembering sweet baby Oliver, born to Heaven October 20, 2009, & keeping Carole in our prayers~