Thursday, October 13, 2011
It is amazing to me the spill over effect one small change can make.
Recently I purged my Littles' clothes. I have a couple of large bags of clothes ready to be given away. The Littles now each have seven outfits plus three pairs of pyjamas. That's it. All of their clothes fit into one load of laundry. This has simplified my life so much! One load - if every piece of clothes they own is dirty! I'm contemplating reducing even further, down to four outfits each since they tend to pick the same clothes over and over anyway.
I purged my dishes as well. I now have 4 dinner plates, 7 lunch plates and 7 bowls plus glasses and utensils. I got rid of my ancient, Teflon-flaking pots and bought a set of pots. They all fit together nicely in the cupboard. I purged my appliances and only kept what I use. As a result we can actually get a pot or appliance out of the cupboard without risking a bruise or broken toe.
Two small actions. One huge result. Because all of the laundry can fit into one load I am staying on top of laundry. Because I'm staying on top of laundry I have more time. Because the dishes *have* to be done after every meal if we want plates to eat off of for the next meal then my dishes are done most of the time. No more overwhelming pile of crusted on dishes greet me in the morning. Because I'm staying on top of the dishes I have more time. More time to battle the clutter that life brings in, more time to spend with my kids and my friends, more time to read, more time to spend building a future, more time getting healthier.
This time is such a gift to me.
My entire parenting career has been marred by an overwhelming "need" for more hours in a day. I have realized I don't need more time. I need balance.
Balance is what I am striving for. I have never been good at balance. I have always been "all or nothing" about everything. There is no half-way. I go all out, give more than 100% and then, more often than not, I burn out and fail. This cycle sends me spiraling downward in depression. I have had enough of that. I want balance.
My new plan is 75%. If I can accomplish 75% of what I want, achieving 75% toward perfection, 75% of the time then that is good enough.
One small change, the purging of some kid clothes, has spilled over into other choices that have improved my life so much. It has help bring balance and perspective. It's amazing what a choice can do.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
You are fat.
You are ugly.
You are worthless because you don't have a job.
You are such a statistic of the good for nothing teenage mom 16 years later.
You aren't good enough.
You are too lazy. Your house is such a mess your kids should be taken away.
You are too lazy. You should be at the gym running 10km every day.
You are a terrible mother - no wonder one of the kids moved out and two others only live with you half the time.
You fail at life.
You need to be perfect and you are so far from it you couldn't see perfect if it hit you in the face.
You fail at love. It's your fault you are single. If you were "better" he never would have left you.
You don't deserve to be treated kindly - you deserve every bit of garbage that people throw at you.
You should drop off the face of the earth, no one would miss you and the world would be a better place for it.
If I saw or heard someone treating my friends, family or even an acquaintance so poorly I would be livid. I would step in, I would defend them.
So why is it okay I keep hearing this? I keep listening to it and believing it.
I am my own worst enemy the vast majority of the time. This has really become clear here lately.
I will find a way to give back. No, right now I can't hold a job but I can volunteer somewhere I'm sure.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I have been putting a lot of effort into changing my behaviour, changing my patterns and choosing better. What a difference that makes!
Day to day life is essentially the same: I am still a single mama of five kids, I am often overwhelmed by the weight that is on my shoulders, there are still money problems, the house is often a mess... I could go on and on. Instead of letting it defeat me I have been making a concerted effort not to let it crush me.
What a difference choices and attitude make!
The Littles are loving the new arrangement of more equal time between Daddy and Mommy's houses. Accepting that I am not SuperWoman and I don't have to be has empowered me to enjoy the time I have with the Littles and enjoy the time when they are with Daddy. Jaron loves school. Yesterday halfway to school he looked at me and said "Do you see my smile getting bigger? That is because the excitement grows inside me as we get closer to school!" What a difference a few months makes!
I think the most significant change in the last few weeks has been in the way I have decided to let people treat me. I have made a conscious decision to put myself "behind glass" as explained in a Facebook status I stole:
It took me about 35 years but I finally see that I am the one who decides how people get to treat me. I am the one who will make the choices in my life. I am strong enough to weather whatever life throws at me (and no God, that is not a challenge thank you very much!!) I have the strength to work through trials, I have the strength to walk away from anyone who doesn't treat me like the amazing person I am. I am capable of thinking things through and making decisions. I am worth it all darnit! At times I get lost in a swirl of "Look at all the pain I've allowed, look at all the time I wasted!" but I stop the thoughts and accept I cannot change the past but I can change the present and the future!
Onward and upward!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Life is changing in our family. I hope it will be a positive change. I'm experiencing some guilt but I am sure this change will be better.
The Littles' dad and I have agreed to a more equal custody arrangement. I never thought I'd be okay with not being the 100%, full-time parent - but it actually was me that requested the change. Me. I asked for my babies to be away from me almost half the time.
I have been flattened this year. No, I've been flattened by the last few years. This last year has just put me over the edge. I've always been able to look after everyone and keep myself together. Now I'm finding myself too tired, too broken, too weak to keep doing it. With what feels like no hope of my life changing I have to do this in order to just survive.
I'm not sure why I feel like I'll have a scarlet letter on my chest for doing this. The Littles are going to be with their other parent, I'm not selling them on e-bay or dropping them on the doorstep of a church. I know I'm not less of a parent because of this but I wonder if other people will see it that way. Will it look to the world that I'm abandoning my kids half the time?
I need to plan out the time that the Littles are away. I need to use this time to get myself to a place where I can make it through the day without feeling that it'd be better if I just hadn't woken up. I need to use this time. I need to use this time to spend time looking after myself both physically and emotionally. I need to use this time to spend time with my girls who have suffered from me being so broken. I need to use this time to spend time with friends and maybe laugh a little. I need to use this time to get stronger. It sounds so selfish when I see it all typed out.
It's going to be so strange around here when the Littles are gone so much. But I'm sure it'll be for the better.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
2. Having my family living in two separate homes is annoying. Going back and forth almost daily is wearing. Having kids making a mess in two separate places is more than I care to deal with. It will be nice to have us all under the same roof. That being said, having siblings who tend to rival frequently in two separate homes has been a nice break for them and for us.
3. I call my mom a lot. I thought we spoke often but it turns out it's about 2-3 times a day. I miss her. I miss her a lot more than I thought I would.
4. Keeping up a uncluttered home is a lot easier than trying to keep up my own disaster pile. Must work on that when we are back home! It feels like I am always decluttering, I guess I need to kick it into high gear. Heard a quote on The Big Bang Theory that sums up my house: "This isn't anyone's 'home'. This is a swirling vortex of entropy." Mom's house is decluttered but not stark. Not quite minimalist but way closer than mine is.
5. House-sitting is much more pleasant than dog-sitting. I always dreaded Mom going away because I thought house-sitting was terrible. Turns out it was just the dog that makes it terrible.
6. Did I mention I miss my mom? I really do.
7. I often feel spoiled because we have 1.5 baths at home. Here with two full baths it's heavenly.
8. Having the playground a five minute walk away means we are outside a lot more. The Littles sleep a lot better when we hit the playground to burn off the last of their energy after supper.
9. Central air is a gift to me directly from God. I truly believe this. Other than having two full bathrooms I will miss central air the most.
10. The Littles do not need nearly the amount of clothes that they own. I packed each of them five outfits and two pairs of pjs for the two weeks. They wear the same three outfits over and over. The only thing I would change would be to have a third pair of pjs in case of a bedtime snack spill or pee accident when the first pair is in the wash.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday marks the beginning of a very difficult time for me.
It begins with Father's Day. I tend to hide myself away for Father's Day. I avoid church, the barbecues, the parties, the celebration and lock myself in my house - usually in my room. I have that option because my children always go to their dads' that weekend.
I miss my dad. I miss him every day. The ache of missing him turns into gut splitting agony on the day everyone shows their dad how much they love and appreciate him. I would do anything for just one more Father's Day. One more minute even. I love my dad. I miss him.
A short four days after Father's Day comes Daddy's birthday. This year he would have been 66 years old. Would have been...
We'll have a cake. Probably lemon since Dad loved lemon. I probably get my love of lemon cake from him.
Two days after that my mom has her birthday. I am thankful every day that Mom is still around - even the days we disagree and she frustrates me to no end. But even Mom's birthday makes me sad now. You can see in her eyes, in her voice, in her expressions that her life is incomplete without Dad at her side.
July 4th was my parents' anniversary. They married July 4, 1969 and this year they would have been married 42 years.
The hardest of all the days come a month later. On August 6th, 2006 I received the phone call that would change my life. It was Mom telling me Dad was on the way to the hospital via amubulance, that they had restarted his heart but he was unconcious.
Less than 24 agonzing hours later Dad died on August 7, 2006.
I don't know how I will spend that day. Maybe I'll make a trip to his grave site. I've only been there twice: the day we buried him and at Thanksgiving that same year. I just can't bring myself to go. It makes it feel too real.
I guess often I live in a fantasy world. I will think "conversations" with my dad, asking his advice, imagining what he'd say. It's been a long time since I picked up the phone ready to call him then remembering he isn't there to answer the phone.
The place in the world I felt safest was sitting on the couch beside Dad. Because of his heart condition you could almost always find him there. He'd lift his arm up and say "come here Anna-babes" and I'd sit beside him, as close as I could get and we'd just sit and watch tv and talk. I'd drive him crazy watching movies, trying to figure out what other shows and movies the characters were in. I guess he'd really appreciate my discovery of imdb.com eh?
I miss my Dad.