Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Reserves Are All Used Up

For the last 6 days, we've been on vacation.  I took the kids to San Diego Friday after school, and returned yesterday.  It was our annual trek to visit Uncle Matt, Aunt Amy, and Garrett.  We go with another family who happen to have relatively quiet, well mannered, EASY kids who get along.  We always go to Legoland, but this time hit the SD zoo and Sea World while we were at it.  I mean, who wouldn't when kids are free, right?  OK.  We're a bit crazy, but that's not my point here.

To my amazement, there were no meltdowns.  The whining was not at its usual level, easy bed times, minimal complaining.  Say what?  It was, well, wonderful.  It made it a whole lot easier to get those 5 a day hugs in when I actually enjoyed the time we were having together!  And last year my son was a wreck from lack of sleep and was a big cranky pants.  This year, the boy didn't even complain his back was hurting during the drive.

This is a WOW moment.

Now we're home, and today we are doing pretty much nothing.  Laundry, playing outside in this beautiful cool weather, cleaning up.  Ya know, the fun stuff.

Aaaaaaaand the good behavior is over.

It gives me pause and I realize maybe they are just running on empty.  They were running on all four cylinders for four days straight at theme parks, then two travel days; so how could I possibly expect them to still have any get-along-gas in their tanks?

And why do we expect our children to get along in the first place?  When I make a list of all the people I like after even a few days of being stuck together it looks pretty bleak.  But we expect these little people to just accept one another and be pals and play together and share and LIKE IT ALL THE TIME?  Yikes.  Not even on my best day could I rise to that occasion....... and yet with all the constant bickering and tattling and whacking each other I want to yell:


I believe we all have some challenge-able expectations of our kids, and I KNOW we have some of ourselves.  It's unrealistic to expect that my kids will have these great big personalities but only let them free when it's "appropriate".  Or that they have a parent who speaks her mind but then balks when they do.  Or that Mommy Cranky Pants is hiding out in the office right this very minute hoping empty-tanked kids aren't doing anything massively destructive.

So I'm taking a breathe, reminding myself in the midst of the resumed chaos that a little miracle happened this trip.  My kids got along.  We had fun.  We were family.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

You Positive About That?

I have started to realize I am not the fun person I used to be.  And that just further pisses me off.
I can't remember ever being a glass half full kinda girl.  No overt optimism, but not really pessimism, either.  Just mism.  It is what it is.

These days I realize I am becoming more and more of a pessimist.  I actually catch myself wondering what annoying/rule breaking/argumentative/what the hell were you thinking thing my daughter will do next.  Seriously?  I'm mentally plotting my irritation? 
 I am planning out my mism?

I realize how sad that must be for her.  Then I get all in my own head with the internal debate of Popeye voice "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam" vs " Don't be your mother, don't be your mother, don't be your Mother".

On the one hand, I will never be the queen of nurture.  I have found some peace realizing I am better at structure and boundaries both with myself and others.  I then realize I may be using that as a crutch - a way to justify my constant redirecting of my daughter.       *And yes, I also realize this is all linked to her while my son is getting my hugs and kisses (although I find a little justification in the fact he actually returns them and has never tried to assault me..... but that's a whole other cup o' worms).  

When it comes to my mother, I CLEARLY remember feeling like she hated me and I could never do anything right.  My brother did enough rights for the entire world, so after a while you kinda just say f-it and start emotionally preserving yourself.  And my current fear overwhelms me when I realize I am perpetuating this in my own daughter.  The amount of times I have to tell her to knock something off SEVERELY outweighs the amount of times I provide anything positive........ other then I'm positive you shouldn't be doing/saying/acting like that.

So how do I change the mism.  How do I take years and years of practice accepting half-fullness, justifying self preservation, and let's face it, the need to be right all the time, and morph it into something healthier?  Not just for her sake, but to stop these facial wrinkles from continuing until I look pissed off all the time no matter what cream I slather on.  How do I get back to being fun me while maintaining Mom me and squashing my mom me.

Christine Moers keep a log of hugs.  A log.  She's got a few more kids then I do so I thought I don't need no steenking log!  But I can't actually keep track of the number of times I hug my daughter and the log will keep me accountable.  So that's starting.  I am setting a goal of 5 a day.  Good hugs.  I mean it hugs.  I will not be my mother hugs.  I am going to hug the shit outta you even though you may not enjoy it hugs...... at least 5 times a day.

I am starting a fun jar of dumb and silly things to do - dance party, hokey pokey, jump in the pool with your clothes on, play a game, etc.  Ideas on other stuff would be greatly appreciated.

I am also posting a link to this blog on my FB page.  Now, you may be wondering how in the world this has anything to do with ANYTHING.  I guess it's just my way of putting myself back out there.  Just me.  Maybe the vulnerability will do me some good, maybe someone else some good.  When I think back I realize that writing was always an outlet for me.  It allowed me a place to be myself and express my honest thoughts, no matter what.  I wasn't trying to impress anyone or speak to anyone, I just needed the moment to verbalize the garbage in my head so I could sort it out.  If you're reading this, now it's your garbage, too!  HAHA. Sukkkkuuuuuuuuu.

October is now positive month for me.  I am not changing my mism, but tweaking it a little at a time to better myself.  So if you know me, feel free to flick me in the arm when you hear me harping on my kids.  I may punch you in the face, but hey, I'll start a hug log for you and make it up.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Starting Again........ Again.

This has got to be the most sporadic blog ever.  How long can one go between blog thoughts?  Apparently a long time.  Not that the thoughts weren't there, those darn things never leave, but the time and drive to write are definitely hit and miss.  Obviously.

Right now I am in a Masters in Counseling program.  For the first year, I feel like I learned nothing.  It was a review of ethics, child development, and sexuality.  My class consists of 8 people, most of us have been together since Day 1.  We know each other too well and our stories and viewpoints are getting old even to us.  We just began a new class, Marriage and Family Counseling.  FINALLY.  The good stuff.

Most days I battle my own thoughts of failure.  Turns out my daughter is still a struggle for me, and now my son has issues with emotional regulation.  They are both too loud, to quick to anger, and constantly arguing or ignoring me.  I wonder why I think I am going to be a therapist when my own house is in disarray - then I remember, those who can't do, teach!  My my how I hate that saying, but in this case I will use it to my advantage because it is partially true.  An excuse to be sure, but a verifiable one I will mold to my needs.

Originally this blog was about my journey through infertility and I connected with some pretty amazing people.  It was a source of support, inspiration, friendship, and peace I so desperately needed during that time in my life.  I cherished every comment and spent hours reading what everyone was doing and hoping I could provide some level of feedback and support to those far away friends.

I have adopted two children and have the family I thought I wanted.  Not that I don't want it, it's just not the one I had ever imagined having.  I can't say I have overcome infertility - there are still many moments I allow myself a pity party for my broken parts, wallowing in the what ifs, sending silent wishes for a miracle.  Still.

My days now are spent looking for solutions for our daily chaos.  I have some new friends who have therapeutic children and provide inspiration the way my infertility bloggers did years ago.  Maybe that's why I thought about this page and decided to visit it again.  I considered starting a new blog, with a new name and new ideas, but I find it too difficult to just cut off my past.  I had some amazing thoughts over the years!  Ha!

My goal is to write once a week.  Not for you, if there is a you, but for ME.  I want to find ways to step out of my snarky comfort zone complaining about all the things that haven't gone according to plan and instead find gratitude for what has landed in my lap.  My kids are beautiful.  I mean, model quality watch out, I'm screwed attractive kids.  I could have ugly AND problematic kids, so thanks powers that be for this gift.  How's that for a start?