parenting

All posts tagged parenting

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?

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For the Moon

Published September 16, 2016 by insufficient mums

full-moon-crazy

Each month the Moon calls me
to walk the Earth
Yet here I sit
and walk my hearth
There are things out here that will keep you alive
See! I’ve put them here for you
Let go of the security
that keeps you bound
Show up!
Let the path lay bare before you
I can see
people breathing
in far off spaces
I’ve never met them
I never will
I have my children
So, I raise them
I love them
I do for them
I do with them
I teach them
And each month, another Moon
Up stakes and go
Here you will feel you will see you will be
You will do more than just survive
LIVE this life
But I’m here
Where I clean
And I struggle
And do my best
so my children may one day see the Moon
Yet every month the Moon calls me
to walk the Earth
And here I sit
and walk my hearth

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.

Drowning. Slowly.

Published November 28, 2014 by insufficient mums

I’ve been drowning for a long long time.slowly

The struggle against being pulled under is as hard as it ever was on day one. Harder, truth be told, now that I’m trying to stop three other humans from going under. And I’m the only one who can.

I’ve called for help. Against my will. Because it’s the right thing to do.

I’ve called for a lifesaver – any sort of floatation device. Just to help me when I’m too tired to swim anymore. In response I’ve been thrown plans to build a boat. But I’d have to stop swimming to read the plans, buy the materials, and build the fekking boat. My children would drown.

I have received advice to stop swimming. Float and enjoy the air.
But the current gets mighty strong, and it pulls us all under if I don’t keep swimming.
I did stop treading water for a while, before I had the children in tow. I went under, and when I managed to struggle back to the surface I set off in a different direction. A more promising direction. But the tide is the tide, and the current is strong everywhere.

I just get so tired.

I don’t want anybody to save me. After all, I chose to get in the water.

And I’ve had people offer to save me. Or at least swim beside me. Always they got tired quicker than me, and I had to save them too – or let them drown. Some even tried to pull me under.

From the shore occasional voices have called to me. That my swimsuit is outdated. Or I should be slimmer if I’m going to swim.
Or even congratulations and support, cos I’m doing a really good job of swimming…

The current is coming at me from all directions at the moment. Has been for a while. At some point it becomes impossible to parent lovingly when you constantly have to swim so hard.
These small humans don’t cling to me while I save them. They thrash about endlessly, in joy or panic. And they’re older now, so they now have luggage – not packed in nice floaty suitcases, but floating loose while they try to keep track of all their bits and pieces, while insisting I should. Because I’m the adult. I’m the responsible one.

And every time I get my head up, I can see endless storms brewing, bringing crashing waves – forever…

Today I decided to get out of the water.

I sat on the shore for a while – trying to decide if I really wanted to continue trying to swim. Or just walk away.
I’ve watched everything I care about float away.
I know what I should do.

But diving back in…? I’m so bloody tired. Even if I can save the little ones, they’ll still grow up with the scars of a lifetime of drowning slowly.

If I stay on the shore, evaporating in the dry air…
I feel numb. The pounding in my head from endless waves crashing down on it has gone. The waves that battered me about for years and years and years, while everybody said “Keep swimming. It’s worth it in the end”.

There is no end.

Move along. There’s nothing to see here.

Published August 27, 2014 by insufficient mums

Keep CalmTonight. I lost it.
Too hard. Too much. Too many. Not enough.
For too long.

It would however seem that I have finally reached the status of ‘too damn low, too damn often”. I would apologise, but this is my life, and I will share it as I see fit.
(Sharing this shit saves my arse)

When you’re a special needs parent, there’s a place you get to where everybody around you really needs you to start ‘doing better’.
And when you don’t… cos there is no end to this… well, folk get a bit tired of you, don’t they…?
It’s like my friends who cope with chronic pain. There’s an expectation that by day 995 you’ll have got used to it.
People don’t understand that it’s just as hard today and everyday as it was on day one.
And I will not withdraw in shame. I will continue to share the load with you poor bastards. Because I have made strong friends and alliances with other parents who have given up sharing. 
And I am a loud and ignorant bastard.

And the other thing that I find myself continuously sucking up with respect to those who ‘mean well’…
fekkg gratitude. And fekg gratitude lists.
“Hello Madam. I see you have a spear shoved up your arse. I hear that it’s gradually working it’s way through your internal organs and into your brain. May I suggest looking on the bright side? At least you don’t also have a javelin in your eye. There are people out there who do. Oh, and at least you’re not getting up and working in a mine every day. And there are starving people in Africa. Don’t forget about them. You should really make a gratitude list.”
Here’s the thing. My online life is as much my gratitude list as it is my ‘share the load’ list. If you actually look at what I post, there’s masses of gratitude and things I am grateful for. That will not stop me acknowledging the hills as much as the valleys. There is light and dark.
Look, if you don’t like it, scroll on by. Maybe its not for you. Maybe I’m not for you.
But if you really need to exercise your superiority by suggesting I look on the bright side, let me tell you, this is the view from the bright side. From here I can see the whole terrain. And I will share the entire map with those who journey with me.

It’s not that I don’t need you. I do. I need all of you who love me, and those of you who tolerate me. Not to solve. Just to listen. Or even pretend to listen.
But do be warned. This shit ain’t ending anytime soon. So, if you’re on my crew, buckle up.
And if you’re not – move along. There’s nothing to see here.

Boudicca Attacks

Published June 18, 2013 by insufficient mums

Boudicca_by_ChrisRawlins
Last night Depression attacked. And she was merciless.

I had heard her creeping around, staking us out. I knew she was coming.

She burst into our home, the embodiment of thunder, to the cries of the wailing bean sidhe. Seizing my head she began to suffocate me. My struggle only lasted as long as my energy.

I know Depression well now. She only attacks until she’s had her way and left me discarded and spent to deal with her wake.

And so I tried to get up this morning, as if everything was normal. I have three children to get to school.

And no-one else can see Depression. No-one else can understand that I’m late because oxygen is not yet running through my body. My brain is heavy. My muscles are aching. My bones are sore.

I wake up knowing that I need to shake it off and get on with my day.

But I know she’s coming back. She always stays for a while.

I wake up knowing that I’m going to get mugged again. And nothing, none of the ordinary everyday practicalities seem important. I’m trying to get my dishes done while I anticipate being beaten again. Priorities change under conditions of war.

I have spent enough years with Depression’s visits to know that she doesn’t stay long. To know that I need to take action. I need to put things into my life that are happy, joyous and free.
But take a moment to imagine how difficult and unrealistic those tasks become when you’re trying to parent, alone, in a warzone.

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