Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I REALLY try to not judge.

I do. I promise. WARNING: Judging ahead.

I took Rylee to her first concert last night. We sang, we danced, we payed $5 for a bottle of water and had a good time.

There was this group sitting in front of us. Must have been a group of cheerleaders (because of the unnecessarily giant bow on this subject's head), if I had to guess. They were about Rylee's age (9-10). I notice this one girl frantically tapping her mom's arm (one of my pet peeves, but it doesn't bother some). Mom bends down, says something in her daughter's ear, and the daughter pushes mom away. My jaw dropped.

This happened 3-4 more times, and again. I try not to judge. This may just be their relationship.

It gets worse. Little princess starts begging her mom for something, mom says no. Princess contorts her face, trying to make herself cry. Starts stomping and throwing an all out toddler fit. At the age of 9. Okay, no big deal, shit happens, kids get pissy needing their way, I get it. This interaction goes on for, I shit you not, TEN minutes. The mom pushing, the begging, the fit throwing, the crossing arms and just being a little brat. Mom is trying to drink her beer, and chat with the other cheer moms. Princess is making a fool of herself.

About 5 minutes in, I hear "NO! I NEED YOUR CREDIT CARD!!" Umm... what? No. Just... what?! Mom is trying to ignore her littler terror child at this point.

Rylee turns to me and says "Do you see that girl? the one in the bow?"
"Yes, I've been watching."
"She's being really bad."
"If that were you I'd..."
"Oh I know!"

We would have left long before this point. My daughter knows this. My job is done. *takes a bow*

After 10 mintues, same sequence, MOM GIVES PRINCESS MONEY!!!!!!

THIS is where this bugs me. For one thing. You've already said no, way more than you should. You've put up with her throwing a tantrum over nothing. You've ignored her. AND THEN YOU GIVE HER MONEY?!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU????

This is why kids these days feel entitled. Because they ARE. No should have been the end of it. If it wasn't, you take your little princess and let her know what happens if she keeps up this bullshit. Next time, you LEAVE! YOU DON'T GIVE HER MONEY!!!!!


All in all, concert was fun. We saw bands, we left for one band. Rylee loved seeing Ellie, danced to a few of her songs, and we cut out early because she was up WAY past her bed time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Free Range" Parenting

There's this new wave thing. "free range" children. (You know, like chickens?) Here's why I have a problem with it.

I had my kids early for anyone at 17 and 20, 11 and 8 years ago respectively. Before pinterest parties were a thing, before gender reveal parties, before the stressors of being a perfect parent to all of your fake friends on facebook, and let me tell you... it was awesome. I'm SO glad I had kids in the time that I did before social media could get to me in ways that it would now.

My son was raised drinking out of the water hose as it filled up the big, probably dirty, plastic pool he was to spend his day in. He ran around naked A LOT. He would hunt for insects and lizards, eat dirt, run and fall, brush it off and do it again the next day. I potty trained him using M&Ms as an incentive. He got in trouble for things he did wrong and spent a LOT of time watching Finding Nemo and The Incredibles on repeat while eating oreos.

I have a STRONG feeling about half the people that read that last paragraph will be grasping their pearls as they wince and fall to the floor. Calm down... my kid is fine, I swear!

But this whole... movement... I guess of "Free Range" ( I hate that) parenting is just so mind boggling. Helicopter parenting is a thing. You know the type (and you might BE the type). The kid can't do anything out of fear of getting hurt or sick, in addition there is zero discipline, so the kids is able to run around free to do whatever (while being watched like a hawk). It just doesn't make sense to my feeble free range mind. I honestly try not to judge. You do you, boo.

My brother and I were what is now considered "Free Range" children. We were to spend the entire day outside, we knew where the "boundaries" were (and often broke them), and we knew to be home before the streetlights came on. We'd climb a huge magnolia tree in our neighborhood and shake the shit out of it until one of us fell... all the way to the bottom. We'd collect bugs and make them fight. One time we made a "perfume" which I'm sure would have made us millions, that's main ingredient was tabasco sauce.

I remember when I got my first pair of roller blades. I was like 11. I strapped on my training bra with nothing over it, those 90's videos were super convincing, eh? Headed out with NO pads or any protection and... I'd fall. Over. And over. And over. And one more time. My butt would be bruised, I'd have scratches on my legs and I'm pretty sure I jammed a couple fingers. And MOST people will tell you I turned out fine.

Is that the way EVERY parent should parent their child? No. It's not. But the beauty of parenting your own little person is you get to do it how you want! The SUPER cool thing about that is... so does everyone else.

THEY'RE KIDS! Let them get hurt, let them eat dirt, let them discover the world for themselves.

Or don't.... It's up to you.

Just like my "free range" parenting is up to me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Parenting is weird.

You know what's weird? Being a parent. I mean, besides the having a human grow inside of you (if you're a lady) cleaning up another person's poop, feeding them with a spoon, making sure to catch all their first moments on film. BESIDES all that. I mean... later.

My oldest is 11, going on 20. He's stuck in this weird place of not being a kid, but not being a teenager. And I feel, the further and further I get into this whole parenting thing. Parenting... is mostly about making it up as you go.

Yep, there you have it folks. There's no book on parenting because there's really no right way to do it. They say "every person is different" which is true, but if you break it down, it's insane the things that differ from person to person, even when they share blood.

My son is really concerned with what people think. He is a natural pleaser, always has been. What does this mean in terms of being a kid? Well... I'm probably going to get a call (maybe sooner than later) about my son being in trouble because of something another kid wanted him to do. Seems silly, right? Every kid is like that... right? Wrong.

My daughter, who's 8, is the opposite. She'll be the one telling the other kid to do something and getting them in trouble. She won't be doing something simply because someone told her to. She doesn't care what anyone thinks of her, what she wears, what she likes, etc. "You like your thing, I like mine, we're still friends, and that's perfectly fine!" She's different than her brother.

I'm getting off track. There's no clear defining age at which you start letting go of the grasp a bit and granting a little freedom. Sure, there are things like trust, accountability, doing what you should be, etc. But... there's a blur in there, a little window that likes to move around. When is it okay to just leave the house to go hang out with your friends? ESPECIALLY when you're a heavily influenced child? When do you just let your kid get into the trouble you know is going to be a result of an outing? What is even the punishment for these things? If it's funny, do I laugh? Do I stifle the laugh to reprimand?

I have no idea!!! The thought terrifies me that one day... I'm going to be at a complete loss. I wasn't a bad kid. I didn't do things (or get caught doing things) that got me in trouble. That was my brother. I think the same thing is going to happen with my kids. Conner is going to get in trouble, Rylee is going to smarten up, and by the time it's Sora's turn, we'll have it all figured out. Don't burst my bubble... The first child is your learning child... right?

So here's the thing:

1. Never stop being fun. Yes you're a parent but whether you agree or not, you're your child's first friend. Why does life have to stop being fun?! It doesn't... ever.

2. Never stop learning! Kids can teach you a lot! Listen to them, really listen.

3. Make it up. Fake it til you make it. Whichever way you flip it, do your thing, if it doesn't work... try something else!

4. Remind yourself that you're being watched. Those little fun suckers are watching you ALL the time. Would you want them doing what you're doing?

Okay, I totally made that list up, but it sounds good.

There will come a day when my son will get freedom, utter freedom. What he chooses to do with that is all on him. The consequences are still undetermined. Parenting is bullshitting. If you have older kids, you know this! If you're new to the parenting game, you'll figure it out. (I'm sure you're probably rolling your eyes thinking "I'll ALWAYS know" yea, right.

As I navigate (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) through this parenting thing, I'm learning and evolving too. And it's hard. It's a very weird realization when you notice yourself changing and adapting. I like myself as a parent. I'm pretty sure I was born to do it. But sometimes... sometimes, I am completely making it up as I go and I'm assuming those days are going to start becoming more frequent, and that's okay.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's not fun

You know what isn’t talked about enough? Domestic abuse. Not just the violence, the real hard damage even emotional abuse does. The cycle of abuse, from what I’ve learned, is alarming. The alarming part is how sneaky it is. You don’t even KNOW it’s abuse, until it’s too late.
Being told you’re unlovable because you’re a young mother with 2 children and stretch marks doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. When you’re in a relationship with someone that has torn you down for years, and has planted these seeds of self-hate it turns into a big deal. Being unlovable is like the lowest of low feelings, any way you look at it. Being unwanted by anyone is a hard pill to swallow.

I have PTSD from an abusive relationship.

Have you ever seen “Gone Girl”? I haven’t. I tried watching it, and I watched a few chapters in before it became too much for me to handle. There’s a part where the wife says something like “you have no idea what it’s like to be afraid of your husband (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t remember the exact verbiage) “ at that point in the movie, I lost it. Uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t stop them . My husband (who is not the one that caused this pain) turned the movie off, told me we weren’t watching it, and held me as I cried. We still haven’t seen the movie.

I guess this was the moment I truly realized I had PTSD. Something as simple as an actor, playing a character, portraying that she was afraid of her fake husband, who was also an actor, made me lose it.
The pain is real. It doesn’t leave. It doesn’t die. My situation was not near as bad as it could have been, or as bad as many other situations I’ve heard of. But my situation was real, and it was terrifying. The day I left that marriage, I cried for hours while driving across the country. I cried because I was walking away from my marriage and I was tearing my family apart. I cried because of how my ex-husband would feel. How he’d miss us, how he’d miss me. I almost turned around several times, but there was this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to keep going. And I did. As I think back on leaveing, I think about how stupid I was to be caring about HIM instead of my health, Instead of my children growing up in a loving home. I cared about his feelings, even after he put his hands on me.

Abuse looks like a lot of different things. It’s not just obvious bruises on a person’s body. Emotional scaring is just as real as physical. Being told your worthless only to turn around a day later and be showered with love and affection only to then turn around in a week and have someone yelling in your face about how ugly you are. That’s abuse. Someone threatening to end their life if you don’t stay in a relationship is abuse. Pushing you into a door frame, blacking out your eye and denying it, making YOU feel like the crazy one… is abuse. It’s mind twisting torture. I can’t tell you how many times I questioned my sanity simply because my story was denied by my abuser.  Do you know how scary it is to question your sanity? “Did he push me? Did I actually trip?”

People say abused women are weak. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Abused women are brainwashed into thinking they’re worthless and useless without their abuser by their side. Therefore, they do everything they can to prove their love, over and over and over.

I had a breaking point, and I was lucky. A lot of women don’t get to be lucky. My breaking point was a fist to my left cheek. By this point, I’d been yelled at, spit on, pushed, slapped, shoved, poked, choked, but never punched. And I didn’t see it as abuse, any of it, until a fist struck my face. I was lucky, and I left shortly after.

I’m damaged. My emotions are fragile at times, I have unexpected triggers that I don’t know exist until they happen. Abuse is abuse and it doesn’t always look like abuse. Especially when you’re in the situation seeing everything through rose colored glasses.

Talk about it. You never know who may be in a situation similar that they don’t view as abuse. Abuse can take an ugly turn, or it can continue to wear a person down to where they’re a shell of the vibrant person they once were. I wouldn’t want my daughter in the same situation, I’m sure you wouldn’t either. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mom Moments

As a seasoned mom, as a friend of mine so delicately puts it, mom moments seems to be few and far between at this stage in mine and my children's lives. You may know what I'm talking about... you may not. The first moment I had, one of those unforgettable "I'm a mom" moments, happened in the hospital. Conner was born at 7:35 am after 10 hours of labor. They took him out of my delivery room, at my request because it was freezing in there. I was wheeled into my post labor room, and I promptly fell asleep. At around 10, I was awaken by a cry. This tiny whaling cry... I immediately tried to get out of bed.

There was one problem. My legs still weren't working. My epidural was turned up too high, and the feeling had not returned to my legs. So instead of getting up, I crashed onto the floor. My maternal instinct kicked in, besides my body's inability to function properly. I had a huge bruise on my hip for weeks.

There are moments you have here and there, from when they're tiny little babies to when they're 11. (That's as far as I've gotten, I'll keep you posted) When Rylee was born, they placed her on my chest. She started SNIFFING to find my milk. Have you ever seen human instinct, like... for real?! Because it's nothing short of amazing. That is probably one of my favorite moments, simply because it was an incredible thing to witness.

As my kids get older, my mom moments seems fewer and further between. That doesn't mean they don't stop me in my tracks when they happen. My son, who'll be 11 in 11 days, was in my bathroom fussing over his hair. I was laying my my bed (after just getting home from work and wanting to just relax for a minute before I tackled dinner or anything else), and he turned and looked at me... my heart, it stopped beating. Who the hell was this kid?! This blonde haired, blue eyed, mirror image of myself standing in my bathroom.

Now, don't get me wrong. I see my son almost every day. I'm not sure what caused this moment of sheer "holy shit!" to happen. He just looked... old. Suddenly flashbacks of him as an infant, me putting him in the car on our drive home from the hospital, scared to DEATH something would happen. Him going to kindergarten, and me bawling my eyes out in the parking lot after walking him to class... It's so hard to explain without sounding like a complete moron.

In that moment, when I looked and didn't recognize my own child, he was a person. He was a grown person. He doesn't need me much anymore, he does a lot of things himself. I said to him "Stop growing. You're going to middle school next year, then high school, and then college... just stop". He looked me in the eye and said "Don't worry mom, that won't be for a long time" Nothing makes your heart swell as much as your child comforting you in a silly moment you're having.

He let me have my moment, we took a bunch of pictures, and he left... and I cried.

My baby is not a baby. He never will be again. He's changing into a handsome young man right before my eyes, and there's nothing I can do but hide my tears, and help him change. Pretty soon he'll hate me, which I'm not prepared for.

Cherish your mom moments, or your dad moments... The moments when your whole world stops and it's just you and that other soul for a split second that feels like an eternity.

I don't know who this post is for. It's not really my best blog, but it's something I felt like I needed to write about. :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Broken bones

The hardest thing I've had to deal with, in the long running experience of 10 years as a parent... was a broken bone... or... 2 broken bones, technically.

Tuesday, I left and went to go grab my older 2 from the karate dojo they are members of. I did like I always do, walked in, greeted everyone, walked past the giant window and waved to Conner. Went to the back, got Rylee's attention, rolled my eyes at the look of disappointment on her face when she realized her time with friends was up. I walked back to the giant window to get Conner to come get his things, and he said "Wait! I want to show you this! Watch!"

He was so so excited, all the kids in the class were chanting his name and he got psyched up to jump over the stack of mats in front of him. He ran, jumped, grazed one of the pads, and disappeared to the other side... and didn't get up right away. I heard his wail, and thought, "Oh man, he hurt himself" thinking it would be no big deal... until he started walking out of the dojo, tears streaming down his face. "His arm is broken" said the assistant. umm... what? Can't be. Not MY kid.

His arm was unnaturally twisted into a "Z". This is when my brain went crazy. We have to go to the hospital, I have to get their things, we need to get them in the car, I have to call my husband, I have to call my kids' dad... Shit. I didn't know what to do first, so I started sort of jogging back to the rooms to get their things. It dawned on me we had to go NOW. Shock hadn't quite got a hold of me yet, but my brain was firing in all directions. I had to take 3 kids... to the ER... alone.

Somehow I got them all in the truck, fastened Conner's seat belt, and started driving. I called my husband, who was working a double, and as soon as he answered the phone "You need to take off right now, Conner broke his wrist"

The drive was a bit of a blur beyond that. I know I couldn't get a hold of Conner's dad, our phones just wouldn't connect. We get to the ER and I park like a total jackass, I have no idea what I'm doing.
When we got to the receptionist, I said "My son broke his arm" the thing is, it was so much worse looking than a broken arm. I'd never seen a broken bone in person, but this looked bad.

She called a nurse over, said "I have this boy, his arm is deformed"... deformed. It wasn't broken, it was deformed. He was seen right away, and that is when I lost the "strong mom" face I had. I started crying, then Conner started apologizing. Rylee started crying. Sora... asked what was wrong with Conner. We get to the back, and my god. Rylee and Sora were nothing short of perfect. They sat outside of Conner's room, coloring and playing on my phone. They were... Perfect. I was a mess.

Through a blur of signatures, telling me steps they were going to take, and people asking me stupid questions, my husband walked through the double doors. Tears... I needed him there with me, because I'm a big baby apparently, but I needed him to take the little ones away from the ER. He hugged, let me go pee (which I'd been holding since I left work 1.5 hours ago), and then he left with the younger 2. I could breathe a little... but not really.

Conner was put under what's called conscious sedation. His mind was awake, but he was asleep. He could answer questions, his body could feel pain, but he wouldn't remember... He wouldn't remember... this was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. As his was drifting off, he said "good night Momma". I sat in the corner while they did what had to be done. They had to pull his hand and wrist up and over to reset the bones. Typing that, it doesn't sound that bad... but it was horrible. While "he wouldn't remember" my mom wires were firing because he could FEEL it.

I was thankful when the xray tech walked in and I had to step out. I couldn't take it anymore. I had tears streaming down my face. I was heart broken, and I wasn't even the one in REAL pain. After some more tugging and pulling, they got his bones realigned. Almost perfectly.

About 30 minutes later, Conner was coming off his meds. He kept calling for me, "Mom! Are you there?" It was hard to hide the tears in my voice. I stroked his forehead. "I can't see you!! Mom!!" His eyes were darting back and forth. The nurse informed me that his vision was probably very blurry and spotted. After about 10 minutes of "I am so sorry, I love you so much, I'm so so sorry, you're the best mom in the world, I love you so much" And me crying the entire time, his eye locked on to mine, and he smiled. "I can see you again. I love you."

Ugh. You little shit. Making my cry... making me worry... I wanted to wrap him up in a hug like he was 2, but he was wired to so many machines, I couldn't. A few hours later, we were released. He was the one in pain with broken bones, poked, prodded, and scared... and I was in agony.

Even as I typed this, I had to stop a few times. The images of his arm twisted about, the pain on his face, and him crying out for me are permanently burned into my brain. My 10 year old warrior needed his mommy.

Being a parent isn't easy, and sometime it isn't fun... This was by far the hardest thing I've had to endure in my time as a mom and even my entire life.

I don't even want to reread this... if there are mistakes, sorry not sorry.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day

"When was the last time you told your significant other just how much they mean to you? Do it this Valentine's Day, with  Hallmark"

Stores are filled with red, pink, and white, hearts and cupids. The strawberries are deliciously dipped in creamy chocolate. There's candy everywhere. And lonely people are discussing how stupid it is to be in a relationship... Wait, What?!

Relationships are not stupid. Know what's stupid? Valentine's Day. The day when mostly men are emptying their pockets to "surprise" their woman with jewelry, candy, balloons, and flowers. Women are pining for attention over who's man got them the best "gift". It is so forced, and it's far from special. You know what's special? Getting flowers on March 10th, August 16th, June 30th.... know what's special about those days? Nothing. Nothing at all. On these days, you're not getting flowers rush delivered like every other woman in the world... You're getting flowers delivered just for you. Or your getting a special dinner made for two.

My husband and I have a mutual distaste for the "holiday", not because anything went wrong on that day, just because, in our opinions... it's just not special. There are so many expectations set by jewelers, flower and card companies. "Spend $2,000 to show her YOU care this Valentine's day!" But the thing is, it's not happening because he cares. It's happening because he HAS to. Because good lord, the wrath he will feel if he doesn't, is indescribable.

Now before you come pounding on my door with burning stakes and pitch forks. Do your thing. But think about it for a second. Don't get mad, or upset because your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend forgot to send flowers to your office, or they "only" got you a card, or did nothing at all... Showing love for someone on a day that EVERYONE ELSE gets shown love, isn't really all that special in my opinion.

I get mad when people get mad at their significant others for not living up to expectations of Valentine's Day. What about the other 364 days of the year? Is love shown? Are there small acts of kindness and generosity? Are there massages, little gifts, dinner made, whatever on any of THOSE days? If not, then Valentine's Day shouldn't be some sort of saving grace.

Show your love every day. BE the love every day. Don't wait around for once a year when everyone else is getting spoiled to show how much you really care.