Decency and favors. Love and Life Lessons. (Plus a realization)

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(I’ve refrained from writing about this on my public blog for two weeks now. Mostly keeping my comments to my private Facebook. However, I’ve neglected writing for some time now, and writing is how I heal. Sometimes journaling is not enough. So here we go. I’m taking back the things I care about, and my blog is one of them)

So I was informed today that I am not a decent person. Apparently because I got myself couches and moved my exes couch outside and asked him to pick it up.

I was informed that he was doing me a favor by letting me “keep the couch so you had a place to sit”.

Right. Because not putting it on the curb, along with the motorcycle and all the other shit in the shed isn’t decent. Because watching the dog that’s not mine until he finds a place to live isn’t decent. Because I didn’t do him a favor by standing by him for 4 years even though it put my family at risk. I didn’t do any favors supporting him financially and emotionally, through the toughest time in his life. Because it’s obviously my fault that he walked out, and can’t fathom that I’m not going to rearrange my plans so it’s convenient for him.

He did ME a favor by cheating, moving out and leaving us with next to nothing, just in time for Christmas? Taking all of not only his stuff, but stuff we bought together and things of mine? Just to put them in storage? He’s the decent person because he let me borrow a couch?

Right.

You know what? He did do me a favor. He taught me what love is, and what it isn’t. He taught me that I should never be dependant on someone else. He taught me that real men don’t cheat on someone they promised to love forever. He taught me that real men don’t break a child’s heart, then take even the toothpaste out of the cabinet on their way out. He taught me that I can do this all on my own, that I deserve better than all of that.

He DID indeed help me out, but it wasn’t letting me borrow his couch. It was teaching me that there are people will help us if we need it. People who love us and stepped in to give us a happy holiday. It was teaching me what commitment and devotion is. It was teaching me that someone who loves me won’t sleep around behind my back, putting my health at risk. It was teaching me what I want, how much more I deserve, and that there are good people in the world, in my world.. He taught me that he didn’t deserve to be part of it.

I hope on his quest for happiness, he finds what he’s looking for. I do. I just hope he stops hurting everyone who loves him along the way.

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Is it Summer yet?

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I am home from the hospital, and currently relaxing on the couch with my two mutts, little one all tucked in for the night. I missed her quite a bit, even though I was only technically in the hospital for 3 days… she on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed her vacation from Mommy.  Usually if I have to go into the hospital she either goes with my Dad (where she is spoiled rotten) or she goes to one of her old teacher’s houses (a friend of mine who works at her daycare… who also spoils her rotten I’m convinced). When I got home I warned my friend, we’re chopped liver when she’s around, and to have fun prying her out of your house. Sure enough, she was a bit upset that her fun was over, but I got a super big hug and a kiss when she walked in the door.

Oddly enough, this little hospitalization timed itself perfectly as the munchkin’s got a bit of a head-cold and wouldn’t have been able to go to daycare anyway (spring break up here in the mid-west. So we got to spend the day lounging together and relaxing, with both of us asking each other how we’re feeling and if we the other needed anything.  Honestly, it was quite cute.  I don’t know what I’d do without my little minion, she’s one of a handful of things that keeps me moving, even when I don’t feel well or am down in the dumps.  Between her, the boyfriend, and all the pets, I get cuddles whenever I want and love, more than I can handle.

Sometimes though, it’s hard not to get down in the dumps. Especially in the winter, well, I guess now “Spring”. Lately in the mid-west, Spring has been colder than usual, so if you’re someone like me who gets the so-called “Winter Blues”, this time of year is wretched. Where we’ll get one warm day and then snow.  For instance, we already broke 70 degrees, and then it snowed about a week later. I’m definitely counting down until it starts to warm up. Hopefully my mood will improve on it’s own then.

Definitely looking forward to late Spring and Summer this year. We have a lot planned, from trips to the lake house, to farmer’s markets and such. The last few years were really busy, last summer especially with my working insane amounts of hours, both in the office and out. I feel like I missed out on a year, so I’m making sure that doesn’t happen again. The Short One has already been able to go roller skating outside and to ride her bike (she’s still doing great on it, although she still takes the occasional spill – the boyfriend taught her last summer) so pretty much anytime it’s warm enough to unzip your jacket just a tiiiiny bit, she’s asking to go outside. We can’t wait.

I know I’m probably looking at some health issues this summer, but hopefully we’ll be able to plan them out (surgery?) since Grandpa wants to take her if I do go in so they can do something fun together. To be completely honest though? I’m just looking forward to the kids all playing in the backyard and relaxing on the deck. Come on Summer! Get here already!

Strawberry Ale

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Saturday night, day one of a much needed three day weekend.  Monday, I am off work… initially it was out of necessity.  It’s Columbus Day (aka: lets-celebrate-genocide-day), so the kid doesn’t have school… and on the major school holidays, daycare is closed.  So I requested the day off, because being myself, I don’t have many other options for childcare.

Either way, as the days counted down to this weekend, work got more and more stressful.  Each day that inched by, the more depressed I got.  The more anxious, the more upset.  It’s just been… hellish, especially after working late nights for god knows how long.  Friday, I lost it.  I finally found out what burnt out feels like, I thought I had experienced it before, but quite honestly I hadn’t.  Every little thing was setting me off into tears, I felt like I was on the borderline of an anxiety attack all day.  (Hello, new prescription.)  It was one of those days where I had to go outside, and solidly convince myself that deep down I *do* like my job, and that while my paycheck is no longer 100% needed, I like having that income.

It was bound to happen.  I knew it was coming, and quite frankly, I’m surprised it came with tears instead of screaming and storming out.  Friday straight up blew.  However though, when I’m stressed I tend to say what I mean, instead of sugar coating it, so I got some of my thoughts off my chest.  Despite the tears, at the end of the day, I actually felt better.  On the drive home, I thought about what I wanted out of life, out of work and out of my home.  I put some priorities in order, and let me just tell you this: my family comes first.  Hearing my boyfriends views on it, and knowing I have his support regardless of what I do with work helps.

Cue: Weight off my shoulders.

So, this weekend, I’m taking for my family.  This Monday is a Noodle+Me day.  I’m enjoying every minute of it.  I know that I have some work I really should get to, especially with corporate coming in next week.  This weekend though?  I’m not doing it.  I’m not checking emails, faxes, lates or anything.  I need this, and I need time.

Today wasn’t quite fun filled with the morning dentist appointment, but watching scary movies with the short one this afternoon was nice.  Right now, I’m relaxing with a Strawberry Ale (mighty tasty I might add) and writing.. while fending off complaints from the child that she lost her charger for her tablet.  Tomorrow?  I don’t know what’s going on, but I know I’m spending my morning in bed until I feel ready to get up… and the day?  Relaxing.  Monday?  I think a bike ride with the kid, and lunch out.

Moral of the last week (year)… family and self comes first.

Society and it’s high expectations – aka: You’re not a bad parent.

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There’s a constant mental war going on inside my head.  I believe every mother (and father) deals with it at one point, but for me, it seems like it’s waging every day.  A rifle shot sounds as soon as I drop my daughter off at school, I mean come on, I must be a bad mother for working?  Especially when I made a promise to stay at home with her when I was pregnant.  On that note, another rifle shot sounds and I don’t know if a blended family is right for her.

Hot damn.  The enemy line is approaching, when I yelled at her yesterday for sassing me when I asked her to clean her room?  I must have wasted precious weekend time fighting with her.  Hell, when I made her go to school when she was upset that other morning… that surely was the wrong choice.  Explosion.  Telling her we’d play outside tomorrow when she wanted to ride bikes and I was exhausted from work.  More wasted time.

Yup.  That’s it right there.  That, is just a small portion of the mommy-guilt-war that wages inside my head.  Being a parent is tough sometimes, I know for me that I feel a lot of guilt for what we *don’t* do, despite all of the fun stuff we actually *do* do.  I think that no matter what we mothers do, how we act, or which decision we make, there is always the lurking thought when things settle down that maybe we could have done better.  Maybe we could have made our child(ren) happier, or maybe we could have handled a melt down a better way.  Parenting is not easy folks, at least not for me.

Growing up, my parents made it seem way easier than it is.  My mother cooked dinner more nights than not, and my Dad never seemed to complain about work.  Despite being booted out the door to go play as soon as we got annoying, I still held my parents’ .. well… parenting at top notch.  Being children, we don’t realize that our parents were struggling too.  Now that I’ve gotten older, and have heard some of the stories, chuckles, and tears about raising my sister and I, I realize that we just didn’t know.  However, that doesn’t mean that the parents I was lucky enough to grow up with didn’t set some impossibly high standard for my own life.

For example, society has brainwashed us that a happy, healthy family eats together every night.  That home-cooked meals create healthy, happy children.  I know I’m speaking for more than myself here, but I know after a 14 hour day when I finally get home, just glancing at the ingredients to make dinner makes my brain hurt.  So we’ll order something and eat something in our respective places.  Later on that evening, when I’m back to work at my own desk, that guilt kicks in.  I should have made dinner, we should have eaten at the table together.  Despite the fact that we do more often than not, I will feel guilty for taking the easy route.

Of course I don’t remember the nights when we were kids that we got Wendy’s for dinner (one had just opened up by our house) because my parents were too exhausted to cook.  Nope, I remember my mother’s home made chili going for hours and the corn bread from scratch.  Instead of realizing that it’s okay to be lazy once in a while, it’s okay to be tired, I hold myself to that latter standard.  My parents did it, with a lot more on their plate than myself, so why can’t I?

The end point of all of this, is that I, as well as too many other parents, might be being too hard on ourselves.  With social media, technology as a whole we have too much to compare ourselves too.  If that’s not enough, we have endless articles on what, who, how we are damaging our children.  So we go about our days, pushing ourselves to line, and if we don’t accomplish what society has set up for us, we beat ourselves up.  We double think what we are doing, and instead of enjoying the little moments, the happy moments, the good we *do* accomplish we are left feeling inadequate and lost.

No parent is perfect, and no childhood is perfect.  As long as our kids are happy (despite having to clean their rooms, eat their dinner, do their homework and not be little miniature assholes) and healthy (as can be), we’re doing a good job.  I’m not a bad mom for working my ass off or creating a blended family.  You’re not a bad mom for not buying the latest gadget, and you over there?  You’re not a bad dad for yelling at your kid for talking back.  Go ahead, take a break, just because your kids aren’t eating dinner 7 days a week at the kitchen table doesn’t mean you’ve ruined them.

Now if society and social media could just let parents know that once in a while, I think we’d all breathe a bit easier.

Basically Rambling

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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

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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!

Actions, not words

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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.