Balance

All posts tagged Balance

Maybe I’ll Leave

Published September 26, 2016 by insufficient mums

maybe-ill-leave
Sometimes Teen Elder is so convincing in her belief that I am a bad parent, that I need to take pause and look at it.

Sometimes I’m sure she bounces vilifications off teen younger, so they can present a united hateful front.
With their father’s projection of evilness onto me as a backdrop for their worldview, I become the source of every problem, and the one responsible for every solution.
And I’m tired.

Perhaps if I wasn’t doing anything else with my life? If I was just sitting at home on my bum being evil…

But no – I got this life thing that occupies most of my time. And it is somewhat challenging in and of itself.
This week has been particularly shit.

But then, I say that about a lot of weeks, as they pile one atop the other in an epic monument to just how shitty life can get.

However, this week has been the frosting on the top.

I find the urge to pack the car and go becoming increasingly strong. After all, who would miss me?

My own life is reduced to the tiny shreds of time I can commit to friends and pursuits that keep me alive.

The life I give to my children has no value. I pick the things up, clean the dirt up, and get in the way of what they want to do. They’re convinced they’d be better off without me, and treat me in appropriateness to this desire.
So why the hell am I here?

Parenting is hard. Holding my ground – keeping the line. Not under-reacting too often. Not overreacting too often.

Trying to maintain some sort of life of my own is hard. But if I do nothing that feeds me, I have nothing left to give. Too tired to go out. Too tired to stay in.

Everything financial is hard. I take consolation in the fact that it used to be harder. I don’t look at the future.

I am a ‘good enough’ parent. With better supports and better finances I would be a better parent.
Why do I refuse to do all the things for my children? While accused by my ex-husband of laissez faire parenting, and of some sort of abuse/neglect/unfair distillation by my kids. Because they need to learn to expect to do some of the things themselves.

Why do I hold the line during emotional manipulation that would bring a Saint to tears? Because I want to teach them that emotional manipulation doesn’t work. Ever.

Why do I teach them to do school subject that they love, while letting go of the ones they show talent in but are not passionate about? So their lives form around things they love.

Why do I focus on their social skills and navigating the choices they make in life above school grades and academic results? Because that is what this set of children need.
Why do I do these time-consuming, exhausting and challenging things for them, when they resent me for existing, at best?

Good question.

I would like to run away. To somewhere where I could sleep and sleep and sleep until I finally wasn’t tired anymore.

And once I wasn’t tired, I would write and draw and paint and read.

And voluntarily share time with friends, because I wouldn’t be struggling to find genuine time for them.

Trying to work out why I’m writing all this is like trying to work out why I’m still here.
There’s a lot of glib statements and affirmations that would tidy this up nicely, and make it look like a cohesive piece of writing.

But that’s just not how life is.

There’s a part of me that just wants to leap off a cliff, cos I’m not 100% convinced that I wont fly. ‘Reality’ has never been completely convincing to me.

And if I fall, would I even notice?

Here’s how it works.

Published June 19, 2016 by insufficient mums

If I work for you, you pay me. Or you work for me.
Unless I am fundraising for you. Which is something I volunteer to do. Because I get to decide who gets my energy in any energy exchange.what's best for me

If I fundraise for you, I am not part of your clean up crew, set up crew, or decision making crew. If I fundraise for you, I will show up in the capacity discussed, work to a high standard, and go home. And I will not be filling in your forms. You can fill in your own damn forms.

If I am working for you, I do not represent you. Unless I have accepted a job as a representative. In the same way that by hiring me, you do not represent me. You do not advocate for my fairer pay, better hours, or more successful work/life balance.
I don’t represent you in how I look, dress, or speak. I offer my work. You offer your pay. The relationship ends there.
I will not be attending your social functions, retreats, team building exercises, or awards functions. Unless you pay me to attend.

I will not be attending because I have other unpaid things to do that require my attention.

If this is a problem, please approach me about buying more of my hours.

If I am paying you for a necessary service in my life, I do not expect to have to perform any of that service for you. I may support what you are doing by fundraising for you, but if I am paying you I will not be filling in your paperwork, replying to notices, or filling in where there is a need. You will be responsible for providing the services I am paying for, and where there is a discrepancy, you will be responsible for sorting it from your own reserves. The only reason I am paying you is because this is something I can’t do myself. So if I hire you, I don’t want to be part of doing this myself. Not any of it. Not forms, applications, notes, sausage sizzles. None of it.

That is why I am paying you.
If funding is a problem you may approach me for fundraising. Only.

I hope that clears that up. These things are called boundaries. They are very useful, and in fact essential for single parents with three children.
You do not have to wait until you are a single parent with 3 children to learn them and apply them.
I will not be teaching them to you. Unless you hire me to.

 

Work Life Balance…

Published August 7, 2015 by insufficient mums

Just a wee bit crappy. Maybe a wee bit sicky. Certainly tired.

Just crappy enough to know that seeing a Suzuki Swift just irritates me. Nothing wrong with the car, but the people who choose to buy them seem to be the same people who just need a kick up the backside in general.

Temper is also short with the non-compliant minions…

It’s been a long season. Courts, and death, and funeral… and some of the women I treasure the most have been through hell, just this season.

I am exhausted, but attempting to restart my life in small ways now.

Physically, I’m attending to my Green Prescription, and quite shocked at how unfit I’ve become so quickly now I’m older. Mainly joints and ligaments… anything that stretches or clicks, and probably shouldn’t.

Energetically, I’m sleeping. A lot. I figure I should trust my body.

Emotionally, I’m shifting away from some of the causes I pursue, because they bring me low. Even on my wee political page, I’ve always tried to post not only about the problems, but also about potential and practical solutions. But Cecil nearly finished me. I gotta recharge.

Environmentally, I’m just concentrating on home and hearth. Still decluttering while I struggle to maintain Flylady cleaning in the face of daily (and unreasonable) opposition.

Politically, I’m looking further into Socialism, as the New Zealand movement seems as deeply environmentally focused as it is socially. Their main focus seems to be combating injustice on all levels. And that suits me just fine.

Creatively, I’m hoping that my tiny bit of blogging, maintenance of my pages, and my wee tarot business are taking care of that. I know I need to be writing and even drawing more. But hell, I’m finding I just cant do everything.

Academically, I’m still learning about tarot, Jung, and archetypes – and likely will be forever. I read across a wide range of material every day – political, social, and spiritual.

Spiritually, I’m more in contact with the Moon and the seasons than I ever have been. I run my life to that clock. And that keeps me in constant communion with my Gods. Just being of the Earth.

And sexually, I’m being treated just fine! Thanks for asking.

Socially – that’s the big one for an introvert like me – I got out last night for a couple of hours for a meetup with my local Pagan group. It was bloody hard to get out of this house of small wild dependants by 5pm, but do it I did. And I will do so again every month. I love socialising, but need time to recharge after interacting with people. So as a friend I can be problematic. “Come here, I like you. Now go away for a month.” Not everyone’s cup of companionship.

So, there it is. My recovery programme.

I have come to replace the word ‘balance’ with ‘inclusivity’. These areas of my life are never in balance – they can’t possibly be. There are to many of them. But I include a little of each in my schedule – more of some as the Moon waxes, less of some as the Moon wanes. It’s not a balanced diet, because I can’t eat that much. But my intention for living as busy and as well as I do is that, over time, no nutrient is completely left out.

What y’all doing that I’m not doing…?

Published June 13, 2013 by insufficient mums

I honestly, seriously do not understand how other parents do what they do. I don’t understand it. Somewhere along the line I must have missed a lesson.

I have worked out that if I spend all day, every day, cleaning my house, I can maintain it as a lovely home for my children.

I do not spend all day every day cleaning my house.

I do other things. A bit of writing. A bit of socialising. A bit of income earning. A bit of ensuring that I maintain some contact with some friends. A bit of shopping. A bit of bill paying. A bit of attending children’s appointments. No more or less than any other parent.

As a result, my house looks as if a single mother with three children lives in it. And she hasn’t been doing much…

And the yard? Well, I barely get that maintained at all. Getting these hedges cut back is a ridiculously huge mission for me, let alone anything less obvious.

So, I’ve been sick for a week and a half. I’ve probably been going at half speed. Just trying to maintain and keep the plates spinning.

I dread checking the mail box, because there’s always more to do. Appointments to attend. Bills to pay.

And I see other mums. They do things like ‘invite me for coffee’. I had a lovely friend this week call in to see me at 7pm. (7pm?) And I just couldn’t stop. With dinner and bathing and bedtimes…

How? How do they do it??? I can’t work it out.

Honestly, I do the bare minimum. I try to have a bite of the balancing things in life (they tell me that’s good for me). But I do lose friends. I just don’t seem to be able to create the amount of socialising time required.

My feet hit the floor in the morning and I’ve already got a houseful. At the end of the day, I’ve got a houseful. In between, I work.

What y’all doing that I’m not doing…?Image

It’s Not Working

Published January 23, 2013 by insufficient mums

2012 XmasI think I’m not going to take the job.

Well…, not yet.

I’ve been considering it strongly. Since it was offered. Since I’ve met with the Manager, and discussed options.

In the midst of the long summer holiday, my first priority had become escaping my home environment. I have a tweenager with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, a compulsive art and craft habit, and burgeoning attitude.

I have a little boy, 5 going on 6, exceptionally bright, energetic, and exhausting.

My middle daughter is bright, pretty and creative, and has an ASD diagnosis. Every day is challenging, sun up through sundown. This particular week she had broken the large lounge window, and run out in front of traffic. Twice.

I miss the strokes of working. I was good at it. Sell ice to Eskimos. I could stand up within my work environment and get the best possible result for my client regardless of structure and hierarchy. Nine out of ten clients told me I was awesome (the other one out of ten hated me with a passion). But I loved being good at my job, being told so, being valued. I loved suiting up with a full make-up, stepping out the door and looking like a viable human being, and if anyone interrupted that process, at least they weren’t covered in peanut butter.

The money aspect would be more problematic. While the pay in this role is reasonable for a woman in Dunedin, its not a huge amount for a family of four to live on. My income adjusted rent would rise substantially. I’d have to pay for after school care and holiday care for three children. Petrol costs, parking costs, even the cost of maintaining my hairstyle in a corporate manner would hugely effect my budget. Worst case scenario, I would work 40 hours a week and break even.

Family life would be stifled. We wouldn’t have time for messing about. It would be routine and go go go. But I would have eight hours a day where I felt more in control of that routine. Where no-one was pouring crap all over my house too quickly for me to keep up. We’d still have weekends. Maybe. I could use those for cleaning.

Stress levels would increase. For my kids also. They would like us to have a couple extra dollars in the family pocket, and the holiday programmes do sound varied and wonderful. But I gotta wonder where downtime is. When do my kids get to get bored. To become self-sufficient in creating their own interests, making their days full, creating lives they enjoy? Also, my middle child is likely to get expelled from school holiday programmes. I do not want her in the local special needs day programmes, for a variety of reasons. I also don’t want to spend school holidays feeling guilty for being late to work driving kids all over town because they are in separate programmes. Too stressful.

2012 Xmas 047I would be offering my employer a good, productive employee, for sure. But what about the weeks when my middle child freaks out. And I can’t get out the door to work. Or the school phones me to bring her home?

Then there’s beneficiary guilt. When my marriage ended I continued to try to keep working. My employers wanted me, but all the above factors kicked in making me feel perpetually stressed and guilty. Welfare supported me to come home and parent. Child health services for my daughter have encouraged me to stay there. But now I’m here, the other arm of welfare manages my case. They see that my youngest child is six now. All are in school all day. What can I possibly be doing with my time? Apparently I need to be out working. They’ll pay someone to look after my daughter. Just not me.

And we have a Paula Bennett lead welfare system…

Complicating this, I have just got to the stage in my life where I am beginning to write again. Successfully. I am also beginning to draw again. Successfully. I also work with divination – tarot, runes, palmistry, and am regaining competence in these areas. All of which could come together to provide income for what may never be a stable home environment. If I do go back to work, I may never have the opportunity to do these things.

I am two papers away from completing my university degree. If I return to the workforce, I will never have the opportunity to study again. Because I’m 44. Not 33, or 22. This is it. I’m the adult.

I want to go back to work more than I want to stay at home.

But I think the timing is wrong.

I believe that when the sun rises tomorrow I will phone that Manager, and thank him for the opportunity. And graciously decline.