Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wrung Out

That is how I feel today.  Like a wrung out, twisted, spent washcloth.

I feel like all of the responsibility and all of the blame for anything and everything that isn't going well right now has been placed squarely on my shoulders.

I know that I need to change.  I know I have some work to do to make things better.  But I'm overwhelmed mostly because I feel that I have to do it all myself, with no support.

God give me strength.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


That's how I feel today.  Overwhelmed.

Just a few of the things swimming around in my head:
  • Should I push for T to stop sucking his thumb?  Will he outgrow it on his own, quicker, if we ignore that he does it?  Or should we make an effort to stop it?
  • J's behavior.  Why is it so pronounced in that class on Tuesdays?  Is it a personality clash?  Is it the nature of the activity?  What about the other boys?  How is their behavior?  What is the continuum of frequency of certain behaviors, to put J's into context?  Is the teacher singling him out because he hasn't been taking classes from her and, in fact, took them from a competing program, since he was a baby?  What will B have to say about it?
  • I'm a little tired of feeling like all of this behavior crap is my fault.  First my mother tells me that I'm way harder on 1 than I am on 2.  Yeah, I know that.  He's just like me, which doesn't help things, either.  I have made a continued effort to either lighten up on 1 or be tougher on 2 and I think I've gotten better, but that comment stung.  Oh, and then she told me that 1 was so hungry last night.  Yeah, because he chose not to eat his dinner.  So then I get a comment about how maybe I should give him something different to eat.  That really pissed me off - so where is the line?  I let 1 choose what he wants to eat, and then 2 won't want to eat what I make.  How is that fair?  And why should I become a short order cook?  If 1 is that hungry, he should eat what I make.  Then mom backpedals a little and suggests that I let 1 help choose what I make during the week.  I already do that.  This was one of the nights when 1 didn't get to choose.  So he got pissy and didn't eat.  And it would also be really helpful if the Hubster was a little more supportive of me and how much I do instead of give me crap about how I'm so hard on 1, I'm taking the teacher's side over our kid, what, so the my personal therapist is going to call the teacher to discuss 1?  I just want to tell everyone to either support me and offer some constructive advice or just fuck off.
  • All of that water coming into the house today...  will adding on alleviate it, or aggravate it?  If we add on, will we end up with a flooded garage?  What does a curtain drain do?  Can we just dig a trench and install a pipe to route the water to the sewer drain?
Needless to say, bullet points 2 and 3 are taking up major cranial real estate and it's making me sick.  Blech.

Monday, March 29, 2010

You Get What You Get

I guess I always just assumed that my kids would have a family experience that was similar to mine when I was growing up - lots of extended family living nearby, all of the cousins sitting at the kids' table for Christmas...

Yeah, well, life didn't really work out like that.  Fortunately my parents live the same town we do, and the other grandparents live about an hour away, but it would be nice if the boys had cousins.  At the rate our siblings are going, our kids will be in high school by the time they have cousins, if that happens at all.  R is happily single.  He was dating a nice woman who has a boy one year younger than J that he and T got along very well with, but unfortunately the relationship didn't work out.  N is, how shall I say? not into the ladies.  I have absolutely no problem with that, but the likelihood of him becoming a parent is very small.  I don't really know what's going on with C.  I haven't heard anything about her dating life, so I doubt anyone is in the picture.  Kinda hard to have a family without a partner.

So yeah, I kind of thought that my kids might have a cousin or two by now, but that's not looking good (and, for purely selfish reasons, it would be nice to have the spotlight turned from us and onto C and her kids, but again, not likely).

To quote that old preschool gem:  You get what you get, and you don't get upset.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One Down, Nine Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-Nine to Go

So I'm currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.  It's an exploration of those who achieve greatness in life - rock stars, athletes, inventors, writers, and so on.  The author tries to explain the factors beyond pure luck that help these people reach their elevated positions.

One of the elements that distinguish high achievers from the rest of us is the amount of time spent practicing a given task.  Scientists have determined that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness - whether playing a sport, an instrument, writing, it doesn't matter as long as the time invested is there.

This 10,000 hour threshhold got me thinking:  What on earth have I done for 10,000 hours?  In what area am I even approaching that amount?  Will I ever be an expert at anything?  Motherhood, yes.  And that is wonderful, but I also want to achieve the 10,000 hour level in something else.  Writing, perhaps.  And so here I am.  One hour down...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You Are Not Your Child. Your Child Is Not You.

J's music teacher thinks there's something going on with him that needs to be evaluated.  That's never an easy thing to hear, that someone thinks there is something *up* with your child (I don't think something is wrong, but something is definitely going on).

I am slowly starting to realize that this is not a direct reflection of me as a person or a parent.  He is his own person, and makes many of his own choices without me, and a lot of them are good choices.  Realizing this, and accepting that there might be something more than deliberately poor choices at play was actually a kind of freedom.  I've thought long and hard and tried so many things in an effort to redirect his behavior, and felt like *I* failed when they didn't work.

So tomorrow, I take the first step to have him evaluated.  God help me, I need His strength for this one.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yeah, Right.

Call the waaaaaambulance.

I was feeling really sorry for myself last week.  On top of PMS and some other things that I'd rather not get into, I found out that the wife of one of Hub's friends is pregnant with her third child.  She has two sons, so of course she's having a girl.  For some reason, this revelation sent me into a mini tailspin.

Don't get me wrong.  I adore my boys.  If God came down from Heaven and told me that, if I asked, he would change one of the boys into the daughter I always wanted, I could not do it.  I would not want to do anything that would change any part of those boys.  I love them for who they are, because they are who they are.  But I do feel like I'm missing out on the experience of having a girl.  Now if I could get a 100% guarantee that our fourth child will be a girl, then I'd sign on the dotted line.

Here's the thing, well, things, that piss me off about being a Boy Mom.  (notice that said Things have nothing to do with my Boys themselves)
  1. The look I get when someone, usually female, finds out that I have three children and they're all boys.  If it's a woman who has boys, the look usually says, "Wow.  Yeah, I completely understand what it's like to have a son, but times three?  Wow."  I can usually tell which women have only daughters, or prefer their daughters, because then the look is more like, "Pity you poor thing.  How tragic that you can only imagine the joy of mother/daughter pedicures and birthday trips to American Girl.  Better you than me."  If it's a mom who also has three boys, the look kind of feels like finding a long lost relative.  Because our tribe is small and members are hard to find, trust me.
  2. That often quoted but never cited piece of research that says that each time you have a boy, the odds that your next child will be a boy increase exponentially.  I call bullshit.  If that is true, why do I only know of *one* other person in my age group whose three children are all boys?  (I just thought of another woman, but this is after five days of obsessing about this)  In that case, the two boys/one girl (in that order) family configuration should be rare, not the norm, as it seems to be.
Okay.  I feel better now.  Tell the paramedics to take me for a mani/pedi and I'll be fine.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Been Gone Too Long

I haven't been back here in awhile.  I've had lots of ideas for posts, but the moment passed before I was able to get online and type one up.  I'll have to start using my iPhone.  But anyway...

I wanted to share my New Year's resolution.  I have decided to be true to myself.  To speak the truth (with tenderness).  Not to bite my tongue if I can find a way to express myself without hurting another.  To ask for what I want and not back down if it's important to me.

So far, it's going fairly well.  I still get stressed and frustrated, but I have been finding ways to express how I feel and what's bothering me.  And although they might not get the results I would like, or have anticipated, that knot in my stomach is loosening.  Some days, it's almost completely untied. 

This is good.