Basically Rambling


I am finally relaxing.  As I posted earlier, we bought a new (to us) washer, and of course I had to wash every little bit of clothes I owned.  Haha, let me just nominate myself for the lame-adult-of-the-year award.  The kid and I colored with some chalk, and after her bath, we made a pizza.  Thursday nights we usually do a one on one dinner, which she gets a kick out of.  Always nice to actually get some alone time with the kid and talk with her.  She’s a really bright kid, and the conversations we have always amaze me.  We talked today about money (and how things cost money so we have to save for bigger purchases) and about camp and what she likes about it so far.  I’m pretty impressed with my little one.

It’s almost Friday thank God.  It’s been a long couple of weeks.  Work has just been crazy, with the exception of today, and with the fight with my family member, it’s been pretty high stress.  Now that everything is over, my anxiety has calmed down.

I’m finally getting caught up on some work that I fell behind on with my day off on Tuesday, and I feel like I actually got something accomplished.  I’m very numbers driven, so being able to see what I’ve done each day really helps.  Hopefully things continue to calm down at work, I’m starting to feel a bit burnt out with everything.  I just keep reminding myself that it’s the season… as a coworker says, it seems like everything implodes in the summertime.

As for the fight with my family member.  I was able to text what I really wanted to say, (once I wasn’t so angry, just hurt) and for once I wasn’t interrupted.  I hope that she read it and took it to heart.  I haven’t heard from her since and I noticed that she blocked me on Facebook.  That’s fine I guess.  After talking with my Dad, and then with the boyfriend, I’ve definitely made the decision to cut ties.  If she hadn’t said certain things I might have let it blown over, but unfortunately once words leave your mouth, it can’t be unsaid.  Frankly, even if I did change my mind, I don’t think the boyfriend will… from what I understand his family is pretty upset too.  It looks like with a couple of hurtful comments, a wedge may have been driven between the two families.  Sad.  Like I was saying, I’m glad it’s over.  I’m slightly upset still, but mostly relieved.  I was able to say what I’ve been wanting to say for months, and I found out how she really feels about my disease/job/family/life.  So not only did I get what I needed to off my chest, but I was able to inadvertently find out who is toxic to me and who I need to keep away from my kiddo.   It’s odd, I feel in a way… lighter.

Beyond all that, I’m just doing the thing.  I’ve been feeling pretty run down lately, but I honestly think it’s mostly stress (which hopefully should lessen now) and oddly enough, dehydration.  It’s been pretty warm here, and with being sick, I get pretty dehydrated pretty fast.  So water and tea it is!  It looks like the weather should be cooling down here soon, so forest preserve trips are coming and I think I’m going to finally sign up for a yoga class or something.  I haven’t decided which one, but I think it would be a good (natural) way to bring down my anxiety.  Plus the benefits!  The only other thing that’s on my “personal-for-me-to-do-list” is looking into a bicycle.  I really want a beach cruiser and have for years, but you know how it goes, there’s always another place that money could go.  So I’m going to start saving up a portion of my savings (haha) to put down on a bike, since the kid has learned how to ride her bike good now, I want to be able to go on bike rides with her.  So wish me luck!

 

Anyway, this turned into more of a journal post than I wanted, but I didn’t feel like writing in my physical journal.  My kiddo has fallen asleep on her chapter book, so it’s time to get her in bed.  Happy Friday everyone!

Work Ethic


Some days I have a real hard time in the mornings.  For whatever reason, since I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease 6 years ago, mornings are really rough for me.  Even when I’m in remission, I still spend more time in the bathroom than I’d like to. 

Either way, today was one of those rough days.  I was totally feeling like shit (no pun intended) and wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed.  Instead, I didn’t want to leave my girls to the wolves (also known as the Monday Craziness) so I got moving.  Sometimes it takes all I have to keep a smile on my face until 5pm.  That’s just how it is with a Chronic Illness. 

Sometimes I get bitter though.  I wish I didn’t have so much pride in my job.  I am very proud of myself for supporting my family and doing what I have to.  It’s hard watching my generation flake out when I’m doing my best to muster through a bad day. 

For instance, my sister quit her job just because she didn’t like it.  That’s her prerogative, how she’s handling it after the fact is another story though.  So when I’m hauling my butt to work, and others just quit because they don’t like what they’re doing, I get bitter.  It’s almost jealousy, but not quite.  I could never sit at home depending on someone else again, my marriage taught me that. Some days its just rough is all.

Which got me thinking.  What happened to my generations work ethic?  I grew up in a working class home, my father worked on cars.  I watched him bust ass to care for us, even though his job pissed him off.  I’m proud to have grown up with such a great father with an awesome work ethic.  It’s what fuels me through my bad days, and what I use for an example.  Hell, my mother worked an office job, similar to the position I started in… and worked it through cancer.  Pretty damned impressive if you ask me.

So while my generation may be lacking in the pride in a hard day’s work, or hell, not even working at all… or even in my sister’s case, looking down on someone who works a working class job (like both her parents and now myself do) while they have no employment of their own. I’ll take pride in the industry I work in (and love) and I only can hope that that I instill the same pride in my daughter.  I hope that by setting a good example, even if some days I’m sick and don’t particularly want to, I’ll teach her to take pride in whatever she chooses to do.  I hope I teach her to have a good work ethic and do something she enjoys as well… whether or not she has a college degree to back it up. 

I guess the moral of the story is take pride in what you do, and do it well.  If you’re lucky like me and get a job doing something you love, take it and run with it and be proud!

Depression: This and That


It’s been a long couple of weeks, it really has been.  It seems like it’s all come crashing down on my shoulders today, I’m not sure why today, but here I am.  I am in a deep funk.  I’ve been telling myself for the past few days that I just need to make it to Friday.  Friday, the beginning of the weekend… I was sure that when I walked out of work tonight, I’d feel much better (at least mood wise anyway).  Well, that was a lie.  Maybe it has to do with all the stress from work over the past couple of (hell) weeks, maybe it was the crushing realization that I’m going to have to work tomorrow morning anyway.  Either way, getting in my car after work and heading to pick up the short one from camp, I had the sudden urge just to bawl.

I’m not talking about a couple of cute, mascara streaked tears running down my face.  I felt like I wanted to scream and rail against the world, like if I went all crazy girl in my car, I’d feel all better and the world would keep turning.  Well, unfortunately for my head, I didn’t.  I drove to pick up the short one, no tears in sight, and diligently turned in the check for her childcare.  I packed her up in the car and stopped for a quick treat at the 7-eleven (Friday tradition anyone?) and headed home.  I sat out in the backyard writing, watching my child run around with her “peg leg” (a walking stick the boyfriend made her, which magically morphs into whatever play thing she wants at the moment.  Thank god for imagination!), smacking random things that she deemed a monster.  I sat there and smiled.  The boyfriend came home, we talked about our days while I drank my iced coffee.  You know what?  I still want to bawl.

I know a big portion of it is just the prednisone prescription.  I have mild depression and anxiety normally, but for some reason the prednisone really brings it out.  It’s pretty common from what I understand if you’re on it long term, and I dealt with it before so I knew it was coming.  A big portion of this funk is because I feel like crap.  My Crohns is far from controlled right now, and the physical side effects from prednisone are popping up.  Along with the stomach cramping and my “normal” fatigue, I have joint pain, what I call “skin pain” and I feel like I haven’t slept.  I’m not even going to talk about the “moon face” I’m rocking now.  It was confirmed by a coworker yesterday.  As anyone with a chronic illness knows, (especially someone in a flare or with consistently active disease) after a while, the pain and discomfort just wear you down.

For whatever reason, work has just been hell lately.  I mean, it’s enough to wear my healthy counter parts down, and dealing with it on top of pain and fatigue is just ruining whatever small happy moods I do have with a quickness.  Usually I can deal with work stress pretty well, but with already being at the mental-crying-like-a-grounded-teenager point due to pain… it takes very little to set me over the edge.  Thankfully my co-workers are understanding (to a point), but shit man, I’d rather not have to run outside to get my emotions under control.  Crying at work is not fun for anyone, and when I cry, I make it all awkward for all who witness it.

There’s a lot going on in my personal life.  Some financial stuff, ranging from the new hospital bills, to the increased summer tuition for childcare (no child support here remember), to trying to stay afloat with no extra income coming in to make up for the gap.  Along with finances comes the regular stuff.  I have to turn in supplies for summer camp and register the kid for 2nd grade (I already missed the deadline… thank god pretty much everyone does.) and the boyfriends kids money stuffs too.  It’s just a lot, and while doable, is very overwhelming when I’m already not at the top of my game.  Then of course just every day stuff, you know, keeping up with chores (thank god for the helpful boyfriend) and the garden and getting repairs on my car completed.  I about cried when I realized I have to do laundry this weekend.  That’s how stressed out I am.

I know a lot of it is prednisone related because I *know* that most of this stuff doesn’t bother me on a normal day.  Which having that thought just irritates me even more!  I am so incredibly overwhelmed I want to just make some coffee and pour my head out to someone, but I’m feeling quite alone at the moment.  The boyfriend has to listen to me rant and rave everyday, so I don’t want to unload on him anymore than I already do.  My parents have a lot to deal with the other children, so I don’t want to unload on them either.  They are super stressed out, why add to it and then add guilt to my list of woe-is-me’s.  I don’t have a whole lot of friends who do the coffee date anymore, and the ones who do (which I love dearly) are too far to do in-person-coffee dates.  (Luckily I have one via phone tomorrow).  Regardless, between putting on the happy-fun-lets-do-a-bunch-of-fun-stuff mom face and the lack of people to talk to… it’s hard to get my brain out of this funk.

 

I don’t know.  I have to work tomorrow, then the kid and I are out to roam around for some one on one time.  I’m hoping that that and the good weather will cheer me up.  In the mean time?  Whiskey and cokes on my porch after the kiddo falls asleep.  I’ll count not having to watch frozen again as a victory and count my blessings.

 

Happy night all.  Hope your moods are better than mine.

Actions, not words


People expect you to put a lot of stock into the words that come out of their mouths.  If you say it, I’m supposed to believe it with out a doubt… even if your actions prove otherwise? 

Let me just clarify that for the internet.

Nope.

I’ll listen to what you have to say, but ultimately?  I’m going to judge you by what you do, how you act and the pride you take in said actions. 

If you take the time to explain to me that I shouldn’t think you’re a douche, that your priorities are in good order and that you give a shit about your family… you should probably act like it. 

A bit more than a week ago, someone freaked out on me because I suggested that maybe they had handled themselves wrong in a situation.  (It involved drinking, fighting, calling parents drunk, getting mad and putting said parents through hell, then dropping a bomb on said parents and asking them to pay bills for them.  Then going on a tangent about what horrible parents they are when the reaction received wasn’t getting money thrown at them.)

I was informed that they were completely sober, weren’t scumbags, and how they were offended that I’d rather my daughter spend time with my neighbors than them. 

Sidenote: wasn’t true, is now.

Whatever.  My daughter’s birthday was coming up and as some of you know, I’m changing medications for my Crohns Disease as it is acting up.  I have a lot on my plate and dealing with that chaos is not on my to-do list. 

On Monday, my family came over for my kids birthday party.  This person told me she was coming, along with her boyfriend.  Let’s just say, thank god I had enough sense not to tell my daughter that they were going to be there.  Of course, for a child’s birthday party, a child that she told me she loves to death, she blows off, with out a call, text, birthday card, nothing.

So here we are, a week later, and I still haven’t heard anything.  My daughter thankfully hasn’t asked, but it’s quite telling that her scumbag bio dad sent a gift but a member of her own family completely blew her off. 

I’m very lucky that I have such a wonderful family, my life has gone through some tough times and I’ve needed support badly.  Each and every time my family has been there, except one… Only when it’s convenient for her.  I’m not even upset about that though, I’m used to it after a decade.  Apparently after dragging all of us through hell and back when things aren’t picture perfect in her life, I can’t even expect her to show up for my child’s birthday party, much less even call to say happy birthday. 

I guess the emotion I’m more or less feeling is disappointment.  I can ignore being treated badly, I can pretend it doesn’t bother me when someone doesn’t care about anyone but themselves.  However when it extends to my child from someone she loves, I have to put my foot down.  Thanks to my ex husband, my daughter understands that some people are just self absorbed, but that doesn’t mean I need to expose her to them.  Family is more than blood and she deserves love. 

So after a week of waiting for a phone call, I’m ok with walking away from that portion of my life.  I have been making great strides to give my daughter a happy and healthy home, and in order to do that, sometimes you have to cut out the negative.

Adios, you may think it’s okay to treat your family like something you stepped on walking the city streets, but that doesn’t mean I have to put up with it forever.

Monkey See, Monkey Get Felony


Kids.  You know, the little tiny innocent squirmy things that you bring into this world?  Accident or planned, they still depend on you, not only to take care of them but to show them how to act, how to be a decent human being once they’re out in the real world.  Kids.  Those same little boogers that pooped on your carpet during potty training, those little ones watch you and learn from you as they get older.  A child’s parent is the first person they learn from, and it takes years to unlearn what you have learned through though your parents.

No one is perfect, we all make mistakes in parenting.  I know I’ve made plenty, but I try to do the best I can.  My daughter is the biggest reason why I straightened up my life after my divorce.  I was heading down a dark path straight into the bottom of the bottle, and it was realizing this and knowing  my daughter would grow up thinking my actions were okay, were normal that made me turn myself around.  Now, thankfully, all I have to worry about is the short one taking my very tasteless jokes to school… or quoting horrible comedy.  Quite possibly making a off-colored comment about boys in skinny jeans.  I’m trying, but somethings I can’t help haha.

So then you have those parents who have doomed their children.  You know exactly who I’m talking about.  For instance… I watched COPS last night after buddha butt was in bed, as I occasionally do for kicks.  This was something along the line of “Stupidest Criminals Pt 5″.  It included two couples who were literally coming to blows over who owned a car.  It was quite humorous, 3 rather large females screaming at each other and this one scrawny white boy trying to not get killed in the white trash crossfire.  I was laughing my ass off when one of the females opened her bag and accidentally showed the officer her “bag o’ green” and was promptly arrested.  I stopped laughing when one of the other females pulled a toddler out of the car.  So she’s running around, trying to swing at the other women and scrawny man with a kid on her hip.  I turned off the tv.  Why the fuck do people do that?  Why do they put their kids in the middle of that shit?

Your kids grow up thinking what they see at home, or with their parents is acceptable behaviour!  That is reason NUMBER ONE why I divorced my ex-husband.  I didn’t want her growing up thinking that two people that hated each other, violence and emotional abuse was a normal marriage.  What your kids see, is what they are going emulate when they grow older!

Another instance.  Buying, selling, and doing pills in front of your toddler.  Getting drunk, fighting with your husband, until one of you ends up in jail, in front of your toddler.  Yelling “I hate you! Stupid mother fucker!!” in front of your toddler.  When your 3 year old, turns around and says “I hate you mother fucker!” to his daddy, don’t you dare act all surprised.  When your 3 year old doesn’t blink at one of you being put into a cop car, that says something.  When your 3 year old, thinks jacking another kid in the face is okay because “mommy does it”, you have a problem.

What you do, is what your kids will turn to.  Why do that to your children?  Yeah yeah yeah, insert miscellaneous reason here: Poverty, Abuse, Drugs, Etc Etc Etc.  You know, there’s only so many excuses you can make.  Get a job, get a divorce, get in rehab or fuck up your kid.  I took one look at my child, and made a path out of my marriage.  I took one look at my child and turned my life around.  Better late than never… but christ people.  Raise your children, give them stability, and be a good parent!  The rest of us have to deal with your kids when they grow up, so please raise them right!

A Balancing Act


So after the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past few years.  It’s been a pretty hectic ride, went from miserable wife, to single mom, to single mom working multiple jobs to a long-term relationship working one full time job.  The one thing I have to admit is that I’m horrible at finding that balance between mom, girlfriend and employee.

I’ve always had a hard time trying to spread myself out equally among each aspect of my life.  Honestly though, now that I found an industry I’d like to build a career in, I’m having the most difficult time yet.  When I was freshly-divorced, I was working 2 and sometimes 3 jobs with an odd (and often revolving) mixture of full-time and part-time.  I had to learn how to go from a Stay at Home Mom to a single mom busting ass with no child support.  For some odd reason, I didn’t have a problem at all back then.  It might have been because those jobs were all quick blow through jobs.  You know, shitty jobs that I didn’t care about.  That I didn’t dwell on once I left after my shift.  I could go and drop my kiddo off at childcare, go to job A, finish and go to job B and finish my shift.  Then Work-Me was switched off, and I was back to Mom-Me.  I didn’t let work related stress react with the way I was parenting (I tried my best with financial stress, but sometimes that leaked through. Now that I’m older and have “mom friends” I realize that this is normal).

Now, I’m having a hard time balancing.  I can’t seem to lock out the stress from the office from my home-life.  I can’t seem to balance all the different aspects of me.  Work-me stays stressed out far past when I should be in Mom-me-mode.  And girlfriend me?  Well… girlfriend me shows up eventually. Girlfriend-me comes in last here, with working full-time, I try and overcompensate and smoosh as many activities into the time I do have with my daughter to make up for the time I miss with her at work.  It seems like I can’t win sometimes. 

Thankfully, my boyfriend knows what has been bugging me at the office and he also knows how much it bothers me that I’m not able to be at home with my daughter.  He’s heard my rampages regarding how I wanted my family to work and how I feel like shit that I have to work.  (And yes, even when I’m pissed like this… the divorce was totally worth it!!)  So he understands, most definitely, and knows I’m making an attempt to spend time with him too.

I’m getting better at it though.  The stress from work is still following me home, but it’s quickly chased away with iced coffee (or wine) out on the back deck while my kid plays.  Ry and I have taken to spending half an hour together after work and before dinner to just vent about our days or talk in general.  It’s like taking half an hour to shake off the stress.  Usually during this time, the kid is either playing outside or working on her homework (since when do 1st graders have homework 4 out of 5 nights?!) so she gets her stuff done.

I’ve learned no work talk during the weekends.  None.  Absolutely none.  Not even during our morning coffee.  It creates a mini-vacation.  We’ve also been making it a point to go somewhere each weekend, even if it’s just to the forest preserve or to wander around some downtown area each weekend.  If I’m busy, Work-Me takes a hike and I can focus on my family, instead of the 20 voicemails I’ll be walking into on Monday.  These new rules for the weekend are one of the many reasons I try to not work Saturdays.  I’m away from my house on average 50 hours a week.  It doesn’t sound like much to most people, but to a former Stay at Home Mom, that’s a lot.  My weekends are mine.

I honestly think the biggest improvement I’ve made?  I sit down and help my daughter with her homework or read a book (I have a big time reader thank god!) every night.  I put the chores off and sit down and do it.  Working with her, reading her stories, or even going outside to play puts the work-stress right out of my head.  (And I most definitely would put off folding laundry to read a Dr. Seuss book any day of the week!)

I’m not perfect, and I’m most definitely still learning the art of balancing.  I do have to say though… being a stay at home mom was hard.  It was HARD, I know a lot of people don’t think it is.  I know with staying at home I felt like I lost my identity and almost lost myself.  Being a Stay at Home Mom is most definitely a trying and a full time 24/7 job.  However, being a working mother?  It’s a whole different set of hard.  I don’t think it’s more difficult than staying at home, but I do think that it’s a whole different kind of difficult.  Even after, what, almost 4 years or so?  I still don’t have the hang of it.  That’s okay though, I’ll figure it out one day… until then, wish me luck!

Damn Growing Up


I’m feeling old.

Well kind of.  We all know that I’m pretty much 11 years old mentally.

I still laugh when people say boobs.  Or penis.  Or pretty much any kind of word relating to genetalia.

However, getting my daughter ready for school is kicking my ass back to reality.  She starts 1st grade in 2 weeks… and it’s public school this time so it’s a brand new ball game.  I’ve started school supply shopping and finished taking her to her school physical and dental appointment.  Her bus route is all set to pick up and drop off and “daycare”.  It’s just odd.  Kindergarten didn’t have the same effect on me, she was lucky enough to go to the same school that she went to preschool in, so a lot of this stuff was different.  I guess, just grade school is freaking me out.

She’s excited, and I’m excited for her.  I think she’ll do fine, although I am a bit sad that I won’t be able to wait with her at a bus stop or anything of the sort.  Such is the plight of a working mother.  However, I know all of her teachers at her daycare will see her off.  I’m hoping that she likes her teacher, and thrives.

It’s just like FUCK man!  I know my kid is getting older… I’m well aware, she shot up another 4 inches over the past 6 months.  I think it was looking over the school supply list that did it.  I still remember shopping for school supplies with my mom (in grade school) and my Dad after that.  It occurred to me that, HOLY SHIT, I’m…. I’m…. basically my parents!

It’s surprising the little things that remind me that I’m not 16 anymore.  It’s not paying the (goddamned) mortgage, or my insurance.  Fuck, it’s not even looking over my retirement fund.  It’s not managing my Infusions and doctor’s appointments, nor is it working on the yard.   It’s the school supplies.  It’s the “No you can’t wear my undies on your head… and you most certainly can’t do it to school” moments with my daughter.

Eh.  I feel like…. my mother.  Haha.  Whatever.  Maybe I’ll just give myself a mohawk or something.

$4 and a smile


Sometimes just the simple things and some time is what creates memories in your child’s mind. 

I remember being little and my Dad taking me and my little sister to see a small natural spring.  It was nothing spectacular, just a tiny spring on the edge of a field.  I remember that day clearly because as simple as it was, it was spending time with my Dad that I liked. 
Memories like that stick out a lot more clearly than any vacation we took or any birthday party my parents threw.  I remember flying our homemade rockets in the back of the neighborhood more than I remember big things. Those are the memories that mean the most to me. 

For mother’s day, Noodle’s school had her make “flowers”. It was a popsicle stick with “Mom” written on a paper circle for the middle of the flower and strips of paper for the petals.  On each petal they had the kids write things their mom had done for them or with  them. 

The petals on my flowers made me smile.  There was “paints my nails”, “bought me a kitten”, to “reads me stories”. Minus the kitten they were all little things.  Nothing major minus the cat.  All things that just took time.  So I decided to do more of those simple little things with her. 

Today while running errands we stopped and got ice cream cones even though it’s kind of chilly. I had a few extra bucks so why not? So we sat there eating our ice cream and talked for a little while.  When we were finished and
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Long Distance Part Time “Dad”


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Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a lose-lose situation with my ex-husband.  It’s so incredibly frustrating it literally enrages me, no matter which choice I make, I lose, I look like the bad guy in the end.  It all comes down to protecting my daughter, and either way she ends up getting hurt.

I can’t say “I wish I never met him” because then I wouldn’t have that spunky mini-me in my life.  I’ll never regret her, but christ, couldn’t this shit be a little easier?  Parenting in and of itself is rewarding, even when the little one decided that she likes Asparagus as her favorite food and still will not try a freaking cheeseburger off the grill.  There are tons of little battles in parenting, and it’s become easier as she has gotten older to realize that “this too shall pass” and we’ll be back to normal.

I can however wish that he would get some sense in his head and stop.  Or drive his truck off a bridge, whatever is easiest.  His bullheaded, “parent-when-I-want” is hurting my daughter, and it doesn’t seem like there is a good option for me to prevent it.  That is by far the worst part, is that I don’t have too much control over it.

So it’s been 2 months since we got a phone call from the bio-dad.  The calls before that usually had a couple of weeks between them.  Noodle has pretty much stop caring, to be completely honest.  She rarely gets upset now, and usually it’s only when he calls.  Usually after he calls she asks a couple of questions, now that shes a little bit older (and has some friends who have scum-bags in the place of Dads) she’s understanding a bit more so I can stop lying to her.

“Why did he move?” – Because he wanted to, he thought he had work and wanted to move in with his girlfriend.

“Why did he lie?” – Because he thought it was the best thing to do at the time.  Not everyone tells the truth honey, especially if the truth makes them look bad. (Regarding coming back and calling all the time.)

“Is he coming back to visit?” – I don’t know honey, I don’t think so, Daddy has to get his life straightened out. (This was regarding both him “only going to Colorado for a couple of weeks”, and then again coming to visit.)

“I don’t want to talk on the phone” – Are you sure? If you don’t want to, you don’t have to.

Then around mothers day, Noodle and I were looking at cards to get for my step-ma.  She was telling me about the cards and presents she made for me at school (because the child doesn’t know the meaning of surprise apparently, haha).  Then she pops out with this?

“When’s Father’s Day?  I want to buy Ryan a present.  Can we pick out a card?”

I was sitting on my heels reading cards and I about fell over.

-Sure baby, if you want to we can get him a card, and one for grandpa.

“Okay, I wanna pick out a good present! [Insert rambling of stupid shit she wants to buy Ryan lol]“

-Anyone else you want to buy a Father’s Day card for?

“Nope! Just Ryan!”

It was cute.  I almost cried, and I didn’t push it.  That was just the beginning of that.  Since then we’ve had a couple of conversations about Dads.

When Ryan and I first started dating, it was right after Tim moved.  Noodle had called Ryan Dad right away, and we sat down with her and talked about it.  Ry had told her that while he wasn’t her Dad, that he could definitely do Dad stuff with her, and that he’ll be there for her anyway.  She accepted that and they’ve been buddies ever since.

The “Dad Talks” have happened a few times lately, and usually they’re out of nowhere.  The one that stuck in my mind (and completely blew me away coming from a child) was “What’s a Dad?” Conversation.

It started by talking about the stuff her and Ryan had done over the course of the weekend.  They have several activities that I have dubbed “Ryan Noodle Time”, mostly stuff that he enjoys doing with her, whereas I prefer to do by myself.  So they had cooked, gardened, and played all day, and she had apparently decided that that was “Daddy stuff” and asked me why Ry did Daddy stuff with her when he wasn’t her real Dad.

I started really slow.  I explained to her that Ryan loves her just like Mommy does, that Ryan likes doing stuff with her, just like how Dads do.  I asked her if she knew how long Ryan had been in our lives, I got “2 summers” as the answer.  I explained that two years is more than enough time to love someone.  I asked her if she liked him, if she said good night and I love you every night before bedtime, and I asked her if she liked when he fixes her owwies.  She nodded, and I asked her if she was happy doing so called “Daddy Stuff” with Ryan and she laughed and “Duuuuuuuh”.

So I asked her what she thought a Dad was, what she thought mattered most.  I got a bunch of answers ranging from spending time together to buying ice cream (too funnny) and I told her that it doesn’t matter sometimes who you’re related to.  I told her that it matters who is there for you and who loves you.  I talked about her Grandma, and how even though Grandma isn’t my real mom, I still love her all the same.  I talked about my (step) Grandpa, and told her how I still did Grandpa stuff with him even though we weren’t blood-related, how he raised my mom and did Daddy Stuff with her even though he wasn’t her real Dad.  I reminded her of her aunts and uncles, who are reality not blood-related, and how they all love her and spend time with her even though they aren’t my real sisters and brothers.

“So even though Ryan’s not my real daddy, he can be like my Daddy?”  -Yes babe, sometimes you get to make your own family out of the people you love, and that’s what matters.

She went to bed smiling that night.

So we haven’t heard from her Bio-Dad in about 2 months.  He just fell off the face of the planet, which is cool with me.  Noodle hasn’t asked about him and has been fine, and I was glad to not have to deal with it as mean as that is.  Her birthday came around and she got a gift from my ex-mother-in-law (wonderful lady) and the day before we got a package from him too.  My temper flared sooo bad I considered “Return-To-Sender” and I about threw it away after reading the card.

He had wrote in it some sob story about not having a phone for 2 months, and *that’s* why he didn’t call.  His phone has been off.  He promised to tell me as soon as he had one again.

Deep Breath. 

That is the biggest bullshit excuse I have ever heard.  I’m sorry, if I didn’t have the phone, I think it would take all of 3 days to find one.  Ask a neighbor, give them a few bucks for the bill, use any of the free apps for phone calls via internet.  Payphones.  Work phones.  SOMETHING.  Send an email, letter, tell your mother to call or write.  Having your phone shut off of 2 months is NOT an excuse for not talking to your kids.

Deep Breath

When he decided to resurface after a year and a half of no contact, I told him it was his last chance.  He had destroyed my daughter’s heart and its taken her a long time to get back to normal.  He wasn’t the one who had to listen to her cry at night because she missed him for the first couple of months.  I told him it was his last chance, that I’d give him one more chance to do things right and that was it.  The only reason I was giving him that chance is so that when Nood grows up and looks back, she’ll know that I didn’t keep him away, even though he did horrible things during our marriage and then abandoned her when she was little, I still gave him the opportunity to fix it.

I gave him a break with child support.  When he dropped off the face of the planet, I didn’t file.  I figured, good, if he wants to stay gone, I don’t need his money.  I’m completely content with Noodle growing up and finding out that her dad couldn’t even contribute financially.  When he popped back up, I asked him if since he was going to be around if he was going to pay his support, he said he needed time, I gave it to him.  Since our divorce, I have paid for *every-single-fucking-thing*, weekly tuition for daycare and school, clothes, food, toys, doctors, and now school supplies and registration.  So 6 months after him popping back up… still nothing.

I gave him a break when he started calling every 3-4 weeks.  I told him he needed to call more, and left it at that.  When he stopped calling, I didn’t harass him, I let him be.  I let him make his own choices, and focused on making my family stronger.  I figured if he wanted to be gone, fine, as long as he stayed gone and stopped hurting my daughter, that was fine.  It’s way better than having a long-distance dad who calls when he feels like it.  I figured, I didn’t need child support anyway, if he’s not there, no big deal.

Deep Breath

I’m tired of playing games.  We have a stable loving family, with everything Noodle could want and or need (besides *another* ice cream from the ice cream truck).  I’m tired of Tim deciding that he wants to be a Dad every couple of months and calling and turning Noodle’s happiness upside down.  She’s a well-adjusted, happy child until her Dad calls… and I’m tired of it.  If you’re not going to call for 2 months, 6 months or a year and a half, just stay gone and stop hurting her.  She has a Dad as far as we’re concerned, one who has raised her since her bio-dad ran away.  We don’t need a part-time-long-distance “dad” too.

So I’m not giving an inch anymore.  I am following my court documents, and sticking to my guns.  If he wants to run away then fine, go away and stop coming back.  If he wants to play this pop-up game, then fine, he’s going to follow the rules.  The next time I hear from him, I’m turning all of his info into child support enforcement (thank god I saved his ssn, DL#, addy and birthdate.  Hell, I even have a recent picture of him.)  I’m tired.  If we have to deal with him disrupting Noodle’s happiness, he’s going to pay his fair share and he’s going to follow the rules.

 

As sad as it is, I just want him to stop screwing with Noodle’s head and stay gone this time.

 

 

A Working Mom’s Exasperation


You asked why I don’t like you, but really you should ask why I don’t respect you.

I just got home, 12 hours after I left my house this morning.  I have to pull some over time because we lost a girl at the office.  That’s okay with me, extra cash on my paycheck never hurts, and I’m still home by dinner.  I guess me and the kid are going to head into the office tomorrow so I can finish up some stuff, that way I won’t have to spend that much extra time there next week.  I miss my kid during the week while she’s at school, I don’t like missing her any longer.  So we have plans to hang out with her aunt tomorrow and some fun activities for Sunday as well.

I work hard at my job because I pride myself in being successful.  I love my “grown-up” job because it allows me to make enough money to pay for my daughter’s school, clothes, and of course the basics.  I make enough now, that with some budgeting, I can afford fun stuff and vacations.  I work this hard because I like caring for my family and knowing I can provide for them, and I want to set a good example for my girl.  I love my “grown-up” job because I work during her school hours and a tad bit before and after.  That way she’s home with me as much as possible and we can spend time together.

I take pride in my home and in my family.  The majority of my actions are involving them.  I make decisions that will benefit not just me but my entire family.  I believe that raising your child is supposed to be the most important job of a mother.  I do my best to raise her right and be a good mother.  To provide a loving, stable home in which she can thrive despite life’s obstacles.

I have worked long and hard to fix my life after I divorced my ex-husband.  I worked all sorts of jobs until I found one that allowed me to spend more time with her and afford my bills at the same time.  I learned how to deal with the fact that she is in school now, and I miss her dearly when she’s there.  I bought and fixed up a house, and do my best to have a family dinner every night.  Call me traditional, but it’s good enough for me.  I went from a stay at home mom in an abusive relationship to a working mother who has found a career and is thriving.

You wonder why I don’t like you.  You stand for everything I strive not to be.  You are the stereotypical welfare mom.  You defraud the government for more welfare by claiming people you shouldn’t and by working for cash.  You work at a bar, and hang out there when you’re not working, all the while insisting that you can’t get a new job because there’s nothing out there.  Right.  Um retail.  You really don’t have any bills since you don’t pay for food, childcare, or medical.  I don’t even think you pay rent.  Get a day job.  You’ve been working that shit hole bar for 3 years.  Time to move on.  I don’t respect you because you are a poor excuse for a mom.  You choose your friends and your bar-job over your son.  You say “Oh he’s only with me 1 day this week” like it’s no big deal, when by friday, I miss my daughter so much by the time I pick her up from school that I want nothing more than to hug her, and I still see her every day. Your son will grow up to remember that you were not there when he needed you most.  You complain when the government finally catches you ripping off welfare and blame everyone but yourself.  Because obviously, since you’re a single mom, the world owes you something.  You shouldn’t have to work hard to take care of your children.  You shouldn’t have to work at all!  You shouldn’t have to spend time with your kids, because hey, that’s what your parents are for!  God forbid you use the money you *do* earn to buy your child food, when the government pays you for FREE.

So moral of the story here?  Don’t tell me you know how hard it is, when you clearly don’t know.  You haven’t had to raise your own child in 3 years, nor do you even pay your own bills.  Once you grow up and realise that you actually have to BE there for your child, that your child ranks far over your social life, once you get a job that provides for yourself and your child, or hell even SHOW interest or LOOK…. then I might respect you.

Everyone has their low points, hell, in the past 10 years I’ve been on a got-damned rollercoaster.  But you know what?  I picked myself up off the ground and improved myself and my life to benefit my children.  There’s nothing wrong with working at a bar, as long as you make decent money and spend time with your child.  But once a week, is not it.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going out and having fun, but if your fun DIRECTLY IMPACTS YOUR CHILD, it’s time to stop.  Everyone hits a financial hard point, and some of us (myself included) have needed state aid.  But it’s there for emergencies, until you improve your situation, it’s not a way of life.  It’s there to help you up when you need a hand, and that’s it.  When you’ve been at the same rock-bottom-point of your life for 3 years, and you don’t see a problem with it, it’s time to grow up.  It’s not about you anymore, it’s about your child.

[I apologize to anyone if I offended them, this is my own personal opinion after being on both sides of the fence.  I do not have respect for someone who lives on welfare for years.  Nor do I have respect for parents who don't see their children on their own choice.  I don't have respect for people who are in a shit situation but refuse to fix their lives, even worse expect other people to fix it for them.  Sorry.]