Tuesday, May 6, 2014

evil teens or a bad mother?

I don't know where I got the notion I was a good kid when I was 15...  because I think there is a special evil in every 15 year old that is out to get their parents.

Ok.  Maybe I just said that because I'm so tired.  I've been struggling with small things for months now.  I'm exhausted.  I thank God we're not dealing with teen pregnancy, doing drugs, robbing from family members....   but none the less, I still have to be on my A game as a parent.   I still have to instill my rules, values, and consequences when necessary.

My oldest has been grounded since February.  They decided not to do school work and I allowed them to flounder on their own for about a month in hopes they would make the right decision...  but unfortunately they never buckled down to do what needs to be done.  I had to intervene.

My child says they don't understand the point in grounding.  They don't see how taking something they like will motivate them to make better decisions.  Long story short- since about the end of Feb I've had an extra phone and computer.

The only prerequisites to getting the stuff back was A.) Bring your grades up to a C or better and  B.) give me your passwords to your devices.

Side note: I might brag that almost every assignment turned in is like A+'s and B's. One of the teachers advised I should prepare for summer school, but I think we're in the clear.

For the most part I respect my children's privacy.  As long as they are being responsible and give me no problems I won't be all up in their business. However, if you're making bad decisions and need disciplined or I am worried I WILL nose in your life and see what's up.  Especially if you're not talking with me.

This child didn't want to cough up the passwords.  They don't think I should be invading their privacy.  The only thing that keeps running through my mind was me when I was 15, and all my friends.   Most of my friends at that age needed their parents more than their parents realized.  I'm sure I did, too.  In fact...  I KNOW I did!  In general I wasn't bad, but I made some pretty poor decisions from time to time. 

So in my minds eye- if you don't want to be honest and communicative with your parents then you're hiding something.  More than likely whatever this child of mine is hiding is probably not a big concern.  But the fact is- I don't know. 

I got some passwords recently, but they were wrong.  So now we're back to square one.  I want to give up.  I'm tired of butting heads.  I'm tired of making them hate me.  I'm tired of being the bad guy.

But I can't stop being a mom no matter how much I wish I could.  I can't treat one child different.  I can't enforce rules on one child and not on the others because they don't "feel" like it.  My children, I love more than I could ever describe, are my responsibility.  God saw fit to allow me to be mom to these kids and I have to do what I feel is in their best interest.  Even if they don't like it.  Even if it makes them mad at me and want to go live with their dad.  I have to be the grown up.

It really stinks.  I don't want to ground them!  Don't they know it's punishment for me, too?  I hate making them unhappy!  Discipline makes me feel like I'm a billion miles away while my child sits next to me.  Discipline makes walls grow.

I never realized being a parent would zap the fun and life out of me.  I feel like all I do is hound, complain, nag, and lecture (or as they say "yell" even though I rarely raise my voice).  I hate being this way.  I pray every day I make the right decisions for my children.  I know I can't be their friend because I'm their mom.  I just didn't know how hard it would be!  I never realized how much my children would break my heart and hurt me and they don't even know.  I wish they knew that I am the way I am because I love them.  Maybe someday they will?

Ugh teenagers.... and I've just begun, haven't I? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Can I be nice JUST this once?

This is about my ex.  I try not to think about him, but no matter where I go or what I do he'll be a part of my life.  Because we share two very important people.  Our children.

I'm not really disappointed in you so much as I am in myself.   It infuriates me that you still know what buttons to press to make me feel bad.  You say to me "Can't you just be nice this once" because something that affects us both doesn't benefit you... 

Why am I always made to be the bad guy?  What do I do, exactly that isn't nice?  I don't hound you about certain things.  I don't incessantly complain.  I don't go out of my way to make things difficult for you.

I think you only want me to feel bad because that is the only way you can manipulate me anymore.

The last few years I thought we had come to a mutual understanding.  Our last significant argument I can remember was back in 2009.  We went to court this fall and even though it wasn't for anything "fun" we chatted the entire wait and you walked me half way to my car when it was over.  I thought we had a pleasant conversation about the kids and all that.  

I try to be nice to you.  I respect you as a father and I still love your family as if they were my own.  I never ask you for anything.  I don't expect your help.  I'm willing to sacrifice my time so you can have more.  I refrain from complaint (well I guess right now I'm not).  I refrain most of the time. 

If anything- I think I go out of my way to be a "good" ex... as far as ex's can be.  By all means, I'm not perfect.  I've made my post divorce mistakes.  But- so have you... as far as that stuff goes.  I do, honestly, try to be good as I can toward you. 

The point is, when it comes to things like our yearly taxes, I'm doing what I think is the right thing.  I'm following the rules set before me.  Sometimes what you've "always" done isn't the right thing.

I can't go back and forth with you every year when it comes to taxes because of the child tax credit.  You have the same papers I have.  They are very clear of what each of us has to do. 

The point is... I shouldn't be made to feel inferior because of your decisions.  I'm not vindictive just because the choices I've made aren't the same as you.  I'm not a mean person because I disagree with you.  I do not think I'm better than anyone.  I'm definitely better than I used to be, though.

I have my perceived assumptions about you, but I honestly don't know the first thing about your situation. I'm sorry if it's not a good as you wish it were.  I'm sorry if you think it's not better than mine.  I'm sorry if you really are having a hard time. 

Just because I follow the rules does not make me "mean."  Just because my current situation happens to appear better than your situation doesn't make me a bad person.  So I can't let you make me feel like a substandard person.  You can't have that control over me. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

mistaken identity

So...  I'm a regular at our local Meijer and through the last few years I've ran into the occasional employee that I think I know.

One was this nice lady named Brenda that I used to work with at Undersea Sensor Systems Inc.  We were friendly enough.  She even gave me my banana bread recipe.

Kirby, Gwyneth, and I had a cart full of grocers at our local Meijer when we're searching for a line to check out.  Shopping on Saturday??  The worst.

I say, "Lets go in this line!  I know the lady.  Her name is Brenda and she gave me my famous banana bread recipe!"

I fully intend to ask how she is and when did she start Meijer and I looove her recipe.... when I see her name badge clearly says "Nancy"

I'm so glad I saw that before I started talking to her like I knew her.  Because I totally would have.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thanks For Passing Through My Life

When you're writing sometimes you need a character to enter in the storyline for a specific purpose and then be on their merry way.

That is like life, too.

I was thinking about a face book post one of my friends made the other day.  It was one of those general posts that I hate because you really don't have any idea what they're trying to convey.  I think they were referring to someone they missed, probably an ex.   

It got me thinking, though.  Sometimes, even those that you're sure are going to be in your life for the long haul, just. simply. wont.

It's hard to wrap your head around.

Even a new born, how many people have already come and gone in a babe's small life the first few weeks?  Much less your life as an adult... I'm not referring to death, but those that simply move on in a different direction than you.  Some are in our lives for a fleeting moment, and some for a season.  Some people flit in, ruffle things up, and vanish before you even realize they're there.  Or perhaps there are those who come at just the moment we need them, to help pull us through something, and then like that- they're gone.

I've come to learn some people are only meant to be in your life for a short time, while others are for a lifetime. 

I don't believe in destiny, but I do believe there is a reason and a purpose some people are in our lives and some aren't.  I do believe in God’s will.  We have free will to make our own decisions.  Each decision we (or someone else makes that affects us) is still an intricate part of the web of life and something more. 

I believe people are in our life to serve a purpose.  They come in when we least expect- to make a difference, to help, or to teach us something.  They invoke humanism, put things in perspective, let us love, and sometimes leave to force us to grow. 

Sometimes you're the one in their life.  Sometimes it’s your path crossing theirs, and while you may walk with them for a period, you’re not meant to stay in their life.  You're the one that's supposed to touch them. 

That’s the hard part.  When the season in your lives together is waning and it's time to part ways... sometimes it hurts. 

I think of those I’m blessed to have in my life now.  I only hope that I do the right things for those who’s lives I’m in.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Changing Perspectives

As you know from a previous blog I'm writing about my divorce.  Here is a skeleton I had to let go recently.  My anger for someone that tried to comfort both my ex and myself in the best way they knew how.....

For so many years I was so angry with you for a particular letter you wrote that I read when I wasn't supposed to.  You probably remember that.  It's funny how even after years have gone by you remember a few particular details and not much else.  It’s those things that can sculpt and transform your memories and continue to draw conclusions to this day.

A while ago I ran into this woman who spoke to me for probably twenty minutes and she knew all about me, the kids, Kirby, and even my divorce.  It was a pleasant conversation, but through it I just couldn't place her.  After she left I asked Kirby who she was. When he uttered her name it rang a bell and I was like “I don’t like her! Why did you let me talk to her for so long?”  Obviously I didn’t mind her very much because we had a quite wonderful little conversation.

So I realize I have to revamp my perspective on things.  I have to let go of invisible chains (perhaps chains I didn’t even know I clutched so tightly) and draw new, more realistic, conclusions.

I know when my first marriage dissolved I felt betrayed by the family and friends of his I had been a part of and loved for so many years.  I felt they "took" his side (And now I see it was rightly so).  I think that was probably one of the hardest things I ever endured.  I lost the man I committed my life to, I lost my closest friend (who was the true betrayer), and I lost a family that took me in and practically helped raise me. And for a time I thought I lost my God.   

In hindsight, I can say if it were one of my children that made a mistake, no matter how abhorrent, I would still pick their side and support them.  I had a lot more support than I realized (sometimes it’s hard to see when you’re blinded by so much hurt) and I know back then (and even now) my ex needs his family and support. I know that you, and everyone else, did what you felt was the best thing you could do, given your knowledge of the situation.

I can’t imagine how hard it was for friends and family to eventually “pick” sides.  I can’t imagine balancing my love for my child and my love for their (future) spouse when things get rough.  I hope not, but I know some day I may be in the predicament. 

So anyway- the point I’m making in writing to you today is because I read one of the comments you made on my old blog.  The few that are left from that dark time of my life.

I know there were things I participated in that were mishandled and in my pain I was misguided in my part.  I felt the victim, to which I still believe for the most part I was, but I know that I wasn’t completely blameless in the outcome of everything.  I did what I felt was the best I could do at the time.  Of course there are things that pop into my head every so often and a wave of embarrassment washes over me.  But I can’t do anything about the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s now.  

So anyway I want to thank you for supporting me as best you could and for the kind words you did leave for my benefit.  The words I chose not to clearly see in that difficult time.  

Gwyneth asks what I think of her (dad's) family and I can honestly say I still love them.  I told her I miss being a part of it, but it is what it is.  I’m no longer a part of that side of the family, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care.  

...and now she has another family that adores her.  A family that took me, and my children, in with open arms.  I think my children are pretty lucky in that perspective.  Something bad happened to me and as a result they are loved even more.   

Bad things happen.  But let's not dwell on that but focus on the good things that have happened.  I love deeper than I ever imagined I was capable of.  I recovered my struggling faith and as a result it is unwavering. 

So I hope you aren’t angry with me for writing, but I just wanted to tell you how I feel after reading one of the comments you made on my old blog.  Perhaps it sank in after seeing it with new eyes.

Vacation Day

So this is an older one (just a month-ish), but I chuckle to myself every time I think of it.

My work you use your vacation or lose it.  So I had a half day left and it was toward the end of the year.  I looked on the calendar to see who all had the day  I wanted off.  I saw "H" written in the calendar.  I didn't know who "H" was (maybe Harper?) so it must not be any office person.

So I write up my request and turn it in requesting half of Christmas Eve off.  I thought it would be nice to get off a little early.  Tom (my boss) looks at me funny.  "If you really want it I'll give you the entire day."

"I only have half a day"

Looks at me funny.  "You do know we're off that day?  It's a Holiday."

"Oh...  so that's who 'H' is!"


Sometimes I don't know about myself. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Where has the time gone?

Have you ever written a book?  Part of the reason I haven't been on my blog much is because I have.  I completed my first novel, approx 95,000 words about this time last year.  I am currently waiting on editing to be completed.  Instead of going through a professional editing service (that would cost approx $1250-$4000) a couple friends are assisting me. 

It's taking forever.  I'm so anxious to get it finished.  I wonder if I might have a shot at getting it published.

Mean while, my blog continues to lack because I am currently working on my 2nd and 3rd books.  

One of them is a true account of my divorce.  Obviously from my perspective.  Although I would be interested in the other parties views, that would require me talking to them about it... I'm sure my exhub would give me some feedback as we communicate pretty well for the most part..., I'm not sure about seeking the ex friend.  I know she works with one of my aunts and a cousin, but I have no intent to contact her.

It is actually very hard to write, despite the years gone by.  I'm facing a lot of old demons.  I'm dragging things out of the closet that have been wadded up in a corner for years.  I'm amazed at my strength.  Some things still affect and bother me to this day, but I'm stronger and better than those. 

Honestly, I think my story could help people.  Those who are going through a lot of hurt and pain.  At least that is my intent.

Of course if you're wondering all names and identifying characteristics will be changed to protect those involved.