Friday, March 29, 2013

A Blessed Good Friday

Imagine how happy I was to learn that my work was giving us Good Friday and the Monday following Easter off from work! My mind immediately filled the empty time with things that I can check off my to do list and countless errands that have been waiting for me.

So far today, after dropping my 7 year old chickadee off at school, I've been to the mechanic, the pediatrician, the auto tint shop and now Costco. I will also fill the time by going to my daughter's school for the 'Pick a Book Picnic' event for families to sit down for lunch with their child and read a book together. I'm really looking forward to participating in this. After that, I will get on the computer for several hours and try to be productive with online tasks. But that tends to be a huge time suck, so that might not be the best idea. I wish I could go on a bike ride on the trail near our house. If I could only allow myself that little bit of leisure, I know I would really enjoy it.

You know what they say, "all work and no play makes mommy a disgruntled chick."

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I'd much rather be riding my beach cruiser than crossing things off my to-do list.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Most Beautiful, Evil Mommy in the World

One of the best moments of this week was when I was tucking in my little chickadee (5) for bed and she told me, "You're the most beautiful mommy in the whole world. I've seen other moms and they aren't as pretty as you. I like your golden hair; it's like Rapunzel."

Even better was that my husband was right there and he got a chuckle out of it too. My heart and ego soared  to epic proportions and melted away my anger and irritation from the busy week.

She has been so sweet and good-natured lately; a real joy to parent. She doesn't have power struggles nearly as much as she used to and tries hard to do what I ask without quarreling. She often makes me smile and giggle with the antics she does and the clever things she says.

On the other hand, the big chickadee (7) has continued to be aggressive, disrespectful, sullen and mouthy with Daddy-O and I. Logically I understand she is seeking our attention and needs more encouragement and I try to 'feed her with goodness' but sometimes it just doesn't get her to change her behavior. Just this week when I asked her what was bothering her and if she was mad at me, she said, "You're evil. You're a monster." (Because I lost my temper with her when she shoved her sister when they were walking down the stairs.)

I'm making a conscious effort to stop being so negative with her and compliment her for her good deeds. I hope she snaps out of this funk she's in! She takes her anger and frustration out on everyone in the family - and she's not even a teenager. I shudder to think of our future if it continues!

My friend recommended I read Raising Your Spirited Child when I told her my 7 year old woes. Her twins are only 18 months old, so she's yet to experience the melodrama of her daughter yet.

So, the consensus from the chickadees this week: I'm the most beautiful and evil mommy in the world! I kinda like the sound of it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Self Loathing Sunday

This weekend I'm feeling sullen. Another friend from back home is in town visiting - however, not visiting me. Everyone has their own circumstances and agenda, and Disneyland and Legoland is not something I'm going to do anyway, but I feel like a loser who no one wants to hang out with.

Then I start thinking: woe is me, what is my life? How fun am I to hang out with anyway? All I do is work, commute, nag children, do laundry, write to do lists, complain about things that don't go perfectly, etc. Who are my true friends? Am I being a good friend? What is it about me that people don't want to make me a priority?

I don't walk around in public life as a victim or total complainer. To other people I am usually positive, upbeat and enthusiastic. When I'm lost in thought however, I dwell on negative loops thinking I'm unlovable, boring and an outcast. Not even my own family makes it a priority to visit me or keep up to date with me and the family. (With the exception of my older sister.) I've lived with this hollow, lonely feeling forever it seems.

I see other people's families and extended families and all the gushing they do about each others' lives and children and accomplishments, and I get a tad envious, angry and bitter. I wouldn't do well with an over-involved family or being helicoptered; I do believe in leaving and cleaving; but I do crave more affection and interest.

In spite of feeling like I'm disconnected from my old life back home and my treasured long-time friends, I'm thankful that I've met several wonderful chicks here in Southern California that I consider friends and that I speak to on a regular basis. They are working moms too coincidentally.

Sometimes I just feel so alone. I'm married with three kids, two pets, a full time job surrounded by lots of dynamic people, but I still feel alone and isolated. Lately I start welling up with tears starting to cry for no obvious reason. I feel powerless to my circumstances. I try to create a life of fulfillment and fun, but so much of my life is task oriented. I always told myself that I would never become a woman like this, but here I am.

If my mental diagnosis is depression, bipolar, manic depressive, whatever, I don't have the time or money for counseling. I also don't want to be on medicine. I just have to keep on keeping on and trying natural remedies (vitamins, exercise, sunshine, activities, friends, meditate, sex/intimacy, comedy, prayer, church.) 

I REALLY wish I could hire a personal assistant and house keeper. If I had someone to help me out with some of my home responsibilities, it would be so much easier. And I wish I could get rid of some of my kid's toys and clutter. Everything is piling up and taking over the house. No attempts at cleaning it up is working. I'm so discouraged about the disarray of the house. Even when I try to make it look pretty, the kids ruin it anyway. For example, the couch and its throw pillows - footprints, food, markers and who knows what else. I swear, if something is not mounted to the wall, it disappears or gets destroyed. And we're mostly out of house all week long!!

I haven't been able read blogs much lately or keep up with my own, but a friend shared this with me this week and immediately I fell in love with this blog: Crappy Pictures - "Parenting I Quit". Amber Dusick is so spot on with this one; it completely resonated with me. Here is just the intro before her 'crappy pictures' (which aren't that crappy after all.)
Photo Credit: Amber Dusick,
You know what the best part of having jobs always was for me? Quitting them. Sure, I had a couple jobs I actually liked, the best being an indie video store in college (Bongo Video in Madison, WI – now closed, sadly) but I had plenty of really crappy ones. Glory was found in quitting.

One of my first jobs as a teenager was so horrible and demeaning that I pissed on the uniform* and then returned it in a grocery bag. When I handed the bag over I said, “This job sucks. I quit.”

It was that bad.

So now I’m a parent. People have long compared parenting to having a job. You hear quotes all the time like “the hardest job you’ll ever love” and stuff like that.
Well you know what? Parenting isn’t just hard.
This job sucks. I quit.

Ahhh, there’s the rub. You can’t quit. Ever.
Oh but I daydream about it sometimes. Don’t you?

When I’m at the bottom of the pit of despair (otherwise known as circling the drain) I daydream about quitting. I envision myself walking out the front door, down the front steps and onto the street. From there I hitchhike and somehow wind up backpacking across Spain. There are wildflowers and country villas and all kinds of lovely things. Complete freedom. Alone.
Actually, I daydream about quitting ALL THE TIME. Quitting work, quitting my home, quitting Southern California, quitting the USA, quitting marriage, quitting parenting, quitting responsibilities. I daydream about being a vagabond. But alas, I keep doing it, day after day. *sigh*

I smell a poopy diaper and hear my l'il chicken hawk scavenging in the pantry - I better get to it!