Judgy McJudgertons

I’m annoyed.  Actually, that’s probably not quite coming close to describing it. Figured I’d work through it here.

judging

Why do people feel the need to judge or speak up and say something if they don’t have a damn clue as to what they’re really talking about?  Unless you walk in my shoes.. perhaps you should just keep those thoughts to yourself.  I’m not perfect.  I recognize and admit that 100 percent of the time.  I reserve the right to get smarter.  And typically – I do.  When I make a mistake, I learn from it.

The hardest job I have, is to be a parent.  And to be honest, there are things I do well, and things I don’t do as well. I know where my shortcomings lie… hell, they became more apparent to me when I became a single parent.  There is a hell of a lot of WORK involved.  There’s a lot of joy too.  I love my kids.  I’d do anything for them.  That doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes frustrate the hell out of me though.  I’d say that’s allowed.

I have my children on a 50/50 time schedule with the ex husband.  He loves his kids, and while he may occasionally make a decision that I wouldn’t, and I may not support his methods of handling his anger – he’s a pretty dang good father to them.  I’m happy that he puts the efforts he does.

Being a single mom is strange.

The times I don’t have my kids, I spend either catching up on chores and doing the things I don’t enjoy doing with my 3 year old (grocery shopping and laundry are my big ones), or working late, or trying to have a love life, or spending time with friends.  And the thing about being a parent, it makes you more flexible than you ever were before.  Last weekend was supposed to be a kid-free weekend.  The ex had an event that he needed to attend with his girlfriend, so I took the kids for 1 of the weekend days/nights so they could do that.  This weekend was my kid weekend, and had an thanksgiving dinner to attend at the bestie’s house, so the ex took my little one so that I could attend, as it was a kid-free kind of party.  Things always even out.  And ultimately, either way, my kids are surrounded by those who love them.  With the coming vacation, I feel a little guilty to be going away for the time I’ll be away. But it always balances out.

People who don’t have kids, are often jumping in with their thoughts and opinions on how kids should be raised, or how parents should act or feel about their kids.  I’ve had a few single friends go on and on for a lengthy conversation where they bash people who have children, then realize their error and quickly back peddle to make me an exception.  Most of the time, I let it all roll off my back.  They don’t get it.  No matter how much they protest or debate, even if they have good intentions; They won’t understand until they become parents themselves. And even then, every child is a little different.

So to those who think they know.. tell me this… Can you relate to following situations?  No?  Then shut the hell up.

1. My kids have all been early risers, they awaken with the sun and immediately want potty, juice, cereal, cartoons, “Mommy read a book”, “Mommy can you check for monsters under the bed or in the closet.”  There is no sleeping in. Ever.  BUT, most mornings include early morning snuggles.  My kids and I have seen many a pretty sunrise, and have been the first to experience a freshly fallen snow.

2. Getting ready to leave in the morning involves soooo much.  Not only do I have to get myself ready and presentable…. but I also have to negotiate with my toddler… potty, pull up, that gets only pulled up part of the way because the little man has to do it by himself.  Which results in me chasing him downstairs as I try and get close enough to pull them up and adjust them so they fit right., pants…”No, I want batman pants.”  Shirt.  Experience meltdown if you can’t find the green robot shirt.  Socks – get kicked a few times, distract with dinosaur toy and a silly dance – yay.  one sock down – Take another 5 minutes to get the second sock on.  Find shoes.  Can’t find second shoe.  Look frantically for 10 minutes to discover it lodged between a couch cushion.  Get breakfast in front of toddler while I go check on preteen to make sure she’s ready to go.  Discover she’s still in pj’s, looking like she just got up.  Nag her to pick up the pace while I spend a few minutes trying to find the red cup because the blue one is suddenly not ok to use.  Have to check on the preteen again to remind her NOT to use my hairclips without asking me first, and to put layers on as it’s cold and , hmm I think there’s a boy she’s interested in since she’s trying to let her go to school in a pretty summer dress, when it’s 30 degrees outside.

Go to work. put in a full, exhausting day.

Come home.  Check homework.  Help with any projects, get the skinny on what’s going on in the life of my preteen.  Get a load of laundry in, sweep the kitchen floor.  Sometimes I’ll cook dinner, sometimes, I’ll be tired, and will order something.  Sneak in a snuggle with the toddler.  End up giggling running around the house.  Phone rings, try and talk to the person on the other line without exposing them to the loudness that is your home.  One or both children will interrupt every 2-3 minutes.  Get dinner served.  Depending on what it is, and toddlers mood, may or may not be cleaning up dinner from floor.  Or tray, or hair.  We sit at the table, so I get to hear about everyone’s day, share snippets from my own. (I love this part of my day)

Depending on the time, my energy level or the mess… I spend the remainder of the time before they go to bed either reading books with them, playing a game with them, snuggling and watching curious George or Mulan, The preteen is into her phone right now, so we found a mobile game we could play together that doesn’t require a TON of attention to play.  If there’s a big mess, I may set them down to watch a movie so I can do dishes or get another load of laundry in.  Clean a bathroom, or unpack a box.  If I’m really lucky, I may get the chance to pay a bill, or return an email.

Bedtime arrives.  Sometimes it is fine, easy as pie, and sometimes, it takes extra hugs, or a stern reminder that perhaps not everyone in the house WANTS to give EVERY stuffed toy a hug AND a kiss and convince the toddler that perhaps the toys only needed a hug from him anyway.  After many hugs and kisses, and I love you’s all around, my kids drift off to dreamland.

Sometimes, I do laundry, sometimes, I read, or watch a movie, sometimes, I’ll play a game.  And sometimes, I look at it all and say F THAT and go pass out.

passedout

So you see, my house gets cleaned in odd spurts, and rarely all at once.  I may get frazzled when I’ve spent the day cleaning and re-cleaning the same area 3 times or hearing the same songs in the car on repeat for 40 minute trips.  I look at the way the other two children I raised have so far, turned out… I remember that the early years are a messy time.  It gets better.  So what if the living room couch has no cushions on it because there is a fort built out of them?

I don’t like to be judged.  I spend time with my kids.  I make time with them.  When they aren’t in my care, I make time for everything else.  Sometimes it’s a juggle.  Sometimes, things come up, but in the end, it all balances itself.  Me taking a vacation will result in a more rested, happier mom.  And with xmas season being here now, it means more family traditions and more quality time.  Life balances things.

Ugh.  Thanks for letting me vent Neverland.  Love ya.  Need to run as someone had a nightmare.

UGH!!

despair

My god, what was I thinking?!  Seriously??  I know what I was thinking.  And at the time, it was right.

What am I talking about?  The ex; choosing to have Ben against all the odds; the debt that now hangs squarely over my shoulders and mine alone.  And that’s really the kicker.  Alone.  I never thought this would be only on me.  I’d never have thought to think that far ahead.  I’d have never dreamed I’d be a single mom, trying to make it in this big bad world alone.  Alone.  God that word just pisses me off.  And it shouldn’t.  I have no qualms with being alone.  I crave my alone time just as much as the next person.  But to shoulder the responsibility of a choice.  A choice I made WITH someone else.  To tally up the money I’ve put towards paying off that enormous debt put me in a bit of shock yesterday.  So far, thanks to several garnishments, I’ve paid just over $30,000.  Holy CRAP!  And then to tally up what the ex has contributed.  $0.00.  How much has he contributed to the kids?  Same amount.  His was fairly easy to tally up, what can I say?

I got my bonus today.  I should be jumping up and down and excited as all hell.  But when I do the math, 75% of bonus was taken from me, either by the tax man or the garnishment man for Ben’s debts.  Seventy Five Percent!!!!!!!!!!  That pisses me off to no end.  I worked so hard for this.  To hit where I am, to make what I do; to have earned this bonus makes me so proud – and to not even see it, is frustrating.  It would be one thing, if the ex has helping.  If I could look at the debt and know that it doesn’t sit solely on me.  But it does.  He’ll never pay it.  I know this.  Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand exactly how selfish and uncaring he is.  He showed it plenty this weekend.

Logan was over this weekend.  Just for an overnight.  I’ve missed him, and we had a lot of fun hanging out.  But he shared some things with me that were concerning.  He wanted advice on how to approach the ex.  Apparently he’s tried to talk to him about it previously, but it backfired in his face.  I was torn.  Of course I want to help him.  But I knew that by speaking up, it would put me squarely in the enemy seat.  Not a place I like to be in with him.  I trust him as far as I could throw him.  Not very.  😛  But for Logan, I did it.  I don’t regret it, but it definitely took a massive toll on me.  Emotionally, physically… I was a wreck afterwards.  He said a lot.  Refused to hear what Logan was saying.  Got defensive.  Got angry.  Told Logan to talk to the ex’s new girlfriend about this stuff instead.  How can I explain that Logan wanted to talk to people who’ve been in his life longer than 5 months?  He wanted his father to hear him, and even I couldn’t get him to see or understand that.  Of course, it quickly derailed, he flipped it and made it all about what it wasn’t.  It took all that I had to keep the conversation on a mature level.  The ex would raise his voice, goad me into raising mine.  I only slipped up once and when I realized what I’d done, I apologized for raising my voice and simmered instead.  The man threw everything at me.  My vacations.  Ben.  My wages.  Every button he could push, he did.  Every crack or weakness or insecurity he could dig or poke at, he did.  Because Logan was watching from in the car, I held it together as best I could.  I walked straight into my room, laid on my bed and screamed into my pillow.  Cried from a dark horrible place I haven’t done before.  I don’t typically have issues with anger or frustration like that.  I’d almost qualify this as angry despair.  How does someone justify that kind of selfishness?  How can you stand there and break your son’s heart for no good reason?  How can you erase (or try) the son you had that passed away?  Did it all mean nothing to you?  Ever?  Did I?  That’s just it…. I didn’t.  Will I ever to someone?  Is or was it me?  Maybe I’m not meant to have a partnership?  Who’d want to anyway?  For dating, sure… but long term?  I’m not convinced.  What’s funny, I walked into the kitchen afterwards, and the bro had a drink poured.  It was 11 am.  And me, not being a drinker, happily took it and gulped it down…grateful for the burn that scorched it’s way down my throat.

T and I have spent the day cooking with the kids.  We both need to save money and stop eating out so much, so in order to motivate ourselves to do that, he brought groceries over and we both spent the day cooking meals we could freeze for later.  2 Lasagnas, 2 pot roasts, Beef Stew, Seafood chowder, and thai peanut chicken were all on the menu.  The house smells so good and it was a blast to shop, and cook together.  We’ve danced and played with the kids, made faces at each other, had a ton of fun actually. His presence has been a welcome uplift; a vacation away from yesterday’s drama and my stress over my bonus.  I’m so grateful to have him in my life.

I’m scared to rely on anyone.  I’m very much an all or nothing kind of girl, what’s mine is yours kind of thing but it seems that relationships these days don’t work that way.  There seem to be so many rules that I either don’t know, or don’t understand.  it’s an auto reflex for me to treat my relationships as I’ve always done.  Apparently tho, that’s not how these things work.  The person who cares the least, holds the power.  How much is too much to spend time together?  I’d hate to scare someone away when for me, I am just doing what feels right to me.  When do you know to move things forward to the next level?  Or do you?  My answer to that is to let others pave that path so to speak, they can set the pace, but that hurts a little at times too, when the pace isn’t quite what you’d set for yourself.  Sigh.  I’m feeling a bit lost.  It’s an odd learning curve, one that I’m really struggling to master.

I don’t know what the right way forward is for me right now.  I do know that I will figure it out, I always do.  I’m independent, will take care of my own.  I will learn to stop wanting a partnership and just do for myself.  I do anyway – not a stretch to turn the heart off and stop trying to save everyone all the time.  The problem is, I am not convinced that doing that is the right thing either.  Guess we’ll find out.  Much love Neverland.  XXO!

Fuzzy brained…

Fuzzy Brained

I have a head cold. A miserable one.  My youngest had it first, then my daughter..and now me.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had a cold completely knock me down. Not sure how I’ll make it through tomorrow at work, but there is no way around it. On top of the cold, I’ve once again got a kidney infection. Sigh. I’ve had an annoying back side ache, but thought nothing of it until wham…friday night I was hurting. I have an extremely high threshold for pain. And frankly I fear hospitals a little now. So the fact that I drove my unhappy ass down to the ER says a lot and didn’t come home till 2am. Honestly, I was surprised at the fear that hit me as I walked in.  I’m surprised I’m confessing it here.  There was a brief moment where I pictured myself turning and fleeing for the hills, but I knew I needed help.  Why did I feel that way?  It hit me, HARD.  I’d understand it if it were Swedish Hospital on capitol hill, but the local hospital over here?  I got annoyed with myself and stubbornly plowed forward. I was annoyed that I was reacting that way. My blood pressure was thru the roof. But I took a deep breath and put up my walls and got through it.  I’m on the mend, I can feel a shift. I still feel like absolute garbage, but I can see the light lol.

Can’t sleep

Image

It’s late.  I should be in bed.  But instead I’m writing here.  Worry.  It’s an interesting thing.  Is it even a thing?  What is worry?  Why do we put ourselves in a position to do it?  I have a few worries on the brain tonight.  Just little ones, nagging away.  I thought maybe if I let them out here, they’ll go to sleep so that I can get a little rest myself. 

My son.  He’s almost 3.  He’s … amazing.  So handsome.  So happy.  But I work.  I date occasionally.  I travel occasionally.  I go out and see friends or stay a little late with a coworker.  All that time away.  Then the weekends he spends with this dad.  More time away.  I’m jealous of the people who get more time with him.  He’s my miracle.  And I spend so much time away from him.  Does that make me a bad mom?  Am I neglecting my kids when I’m working or trying to figure out life?  Here’s a confession.  I’m struggling to get him to bed at night.  He doesn’t want me to leave the room.  He’ll let Chris put him to bed with no fuss.  Me?  It takes me easily an hour.  I hate the struggle every night.  I hate the tears.  I treasure every moment I do have.  We dance, and sing, and cuddle and read.  We pretend to be dinosaurs and stomp round the house.  We eat dinner every night.  He runs to me when I come home with lots of Mommy!’s and kisses and hugs.  But is it enough?  Maybe everyone questions this about themselves? 

I look at Alayna, my daughter, and see a little girl who’s not so little anymore.  She’s 11 going on 20.  The more she blossoms, the more proud I am of the young woman I see her becoming.  She’s clumsy still, shy, doesn’t know what she is yet, but I can see it.. she has spirit and heart and depth.  It’s like my roses.  There’s always many beautiful blooms, but sometimes you’ll see a bud that hasn’t blossomed yet, and you know that it’s going to be the most beautiful of all, it just hasn’t opened yet.  She told me recently that she’s an observer of people.  Her words, not mine.  I was a bit dumbfounded actually.  I’ve always felt that way about myself.  Odd, here’s another confession…that would be the exact definition of me.  But i’ve NEVER thought to word it that way or even to put it to words. 

I am fascinated by people.  It’s why I started my degree in psychology.  I loved it, thrived on understanding why and how people think and act the way they do.  Who are they behind all their masks?  What’s deep down inside?  What I didn’t like about psychology was that it always had a tendency to delve into the dark, or pain side of things.  I also wanted to understand the bright lights of the world.  The successful, the creative, the various different people of the world from all their cultures.  Who were they inside?  What made them who they are?  What drives them or motivates them?  I suppose that’s why I’m good at my job.  I get paid to get inside a group of people’s pyschy’s, figure out what they want and work to make it happen.  But I do it everywhere in life.  Anyone who I let into my circle can tell you that I will get to know them on a personal level.  People share with me.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know if it’s something that I do or say.  It doesn’t typically take long for people to open up with me.  I love it, truly connecting with people.  I’ve met some truly amazing people.  some crazy and twisted characters, some diamonds in the rough, some amazingly bright lights and more.  I cherish them all for who they are, at their core.  And I can say, not many people are willing to let you in to see that side of themselves.  But I worry that maybe there’s something wrong with me? 

I was talking to my grandfather about how sometimes I feel like I climb inside someone’s head or heart and learn all I can.  And he got a little upset with me.  Ok so it’s not the best analogy.  But still.  He said “Jenny, you just can’t do that to people.  They can’t handle it.”  I didn’t fully understand, but I dropped it.  It wasn’t the time for that type of conversation.  We as humans, don’t want to feel alone.  Instinctively even, we group, even if only for mate purposes (hehe).  When we put on masks, and we put up walls to guard ourselves, people don’t get to know the full “you”.  Why wouldn’t you want to share that with someone; To connect with someone on a deeper level?  Maybe it is too much.  It’s not that I do it with EVERYONE.  Only the select few who make it into my circle of friends… or relationships… or people who fascinate me lol. Am I in the wrong?  Should I only stay in shallow waters and not connect with others at deeper levels?  That sounds so unsatisfying and empty.

What if I connect with people because I long for someone to connect with me?  For someone to see past my masks and tear down my walls slowly so it’s not painful, and get to know me.  Not because they want anything other than just to be around me.  I’ve met a couple of people in my life who’ve been able to read me.  It’s rare.  I’ve got a good “firewall”.  hehe – sorry, what can I say, I’m a bit of a geek.  Every now and then, it’ll crack and an emotion I don’t mean to share will show.  Whatever it may be.  Could be anger, sadness, surprise, love, worry …. whatever.  Heck, being kind of stressed over surprise garnishments had me in such a spin I cried at work today. All it took was a “Are you OK?” from the person.  She reads me well, always has and is a friend outside of work, so it was OK, but STILL.  I see crying as a weakness, and I do my best to not show weakness.  This of course doesn’t mean I don’t share my emotions, believe me I do.  I am actually quite full of them.  I think that’s why I try and suppress them a bit.  I worry that I’m overly emotional.  And quite frankly, I’ve never wanted to be one of THOSE women.  And thankfully, I achieve that goal most of the time.  But where is the balance?  Would love to know what you all think about any of this. 🙂

I know I’m getting tired, so I suppose I’ll end this ramble and hit post before I rethink it.  Goodnight all.  Sleep well.