Trying too hard

So it has come to this… my kids are torn, they want to see their dad, but they don’t want to see him too. Why you ask? Because my Ex and his girlfriend are forcing the boys to bond as a family. The girlfriend is pushing herself into every aspect of their relationship with their dad and bringing her daughter along for the ride as well. Now don’t get me wrong they love their dad and want to be with him (something I encourage them to do), but they want to be in his apartment not forced to spend 100% of their weekend (including sleeping) at the girlfriend’s house.

It is now to the point where my kids are begging me NOT to tell their dad about their events/activities because they don’t want her to come along. My 9yr old actually cried last night begging me not to tell his dad about something that is happening in a few weeks. I told him it would be hard to not tell dad as the event takes place on a night they are supposed to go to dad. He then begged me to make an excuse that we had something else to do and would have to go to him late. He said he did not mind if his dad came but that he did not want the girlfriend and her daughter there. (Apparently he also begged them not to go to an event earlier this week, but they came anyway).

My 8 yr old and 6yr old are upset as well. They miss having one-on-one quality time with their dad. While the girlfriend swears they get that at her place they really don’t. They are very upset that they alway have to stay at the girlfriend’s house. My 8yr old is so torn. He is debating if it is even worthwhile to go to dad at all. I find this very sad. My 6yr old cries at least 2-3 nights a week over this. Telling me he hates it there, that he never gets to talk with daddy because daddy is always talking to the girlfriend.

While I am very sad about this and have tried to facilitate the discussion with both the Ex and the girlfriend it has gotten no where. My kids are beside themselves and I am upset for them. What I don’t get is why are they trying too hard to force the issue? Don’t they understand that for the sake of the kids you need to go slow and let things develop naturally? Why don’t they listen to the kids when they kids clearly say what they want? (And yes I have heard them say exactly what they want to their dad and he blows them off).

My kids are struggling with loving their dad, wanting to be with him, yet hating him for how he wants to be with them and not wanting to see him at all. But then the thought of not seeing him hurts them so bad they cry. But then the thought of another weekend at the girlfriend’s house also makes them cry.

So what it comes down to is this… the kids are slowly turing their frustrations with the situation into genuine hatred for the girlfriend and her daughter (who has an obvious crush on my 9yr old though the Ex and the girlfriend deny it). Eventually this will all come to a head where they will state that they hate the girlfriend and her daughter and don’t want to see their dad if they have to see him there.

Sad part is that this could all have been avoided if they just listened to the kids and stopped forcing the issue. Taking things slow would have helped. Now it’s too late, the ball is rolling toward a massive explosive end. The Ex and the girlfriend could still stop it and save they day, but they won’t. They think they know what is best, they think the kids are happy, they are delusional and live in their own world.

So I will do what I always do for my kids. I’ll be there to pick up the pieces. To hold them and tell them how much I love them and care for them. to explain to them yet again that their dad loves them, he just can’t show it in the way they want. But most of all, I will be there to listen and acknowledge their feelings cause that’s what a loving caring parent does.

 

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My kids are upset I can’t fix it

My kids are upset and I can’t fix it. As a mom that is the most frustratingly painful thing you can go through. your instinct is to hug them, kiss them and make everything better, but sometimes you are helpless. Nothing you do can help make things better for them. Things are out of your hands and in the hands of your Ex. That man that you were once married to, that man who fathered your children, and who left you all behind. That man who does not listen to his kids and does not care what they feel or what they want. And you as a mom can only let your kids know that you understand how they feel and that you wish you could make things better for them but all you can do is be there for them and try to get them to accept what is going on.

In my case, my Ex has a new girlfriend – the 4th one this year he has introduced the kids to. This one has a daughter who is a year or so older than our boys but whom seems a bit less mature than they are. (At least that was my impression when I finally got to meet her and her mom the other week months after my boys met them).

Now my boys (ages 6, 8, & 9) are not upset that Daddy has a girlfriend. (And I actually like this one as my kids like her and she seems to take good care of them). What upsets them is that EVERY time they see their dad he takes them to this woman’s house and has them sleep there too. They miss having their dad to themselves, they miss having one-on-one time with their dad, they miss just being in his apartment. They dislike having to be at her house all the time, they dislike not having a say, they dislike nobody listening to what they want – which is to be in dad’s apartment with their stuff and real beds to sleep in rather than sofas and air mattresses and no door to close.

My Ex does not seem to care what our kids want or need from him. His girlfriend is forcing the one big family concept on them regardless of how they feel and the boys don’t know how to get their wishes heard. Yes, they have fun playing Minecraft and other computer games at the girlfriend’s house. Yes, they get along with her daughter. Yes, they like the woman. All good things as far as I’m concerned. But they Ex and the girlfriend take advantage of these feelings and assume the kids are fine with staying there… something they cry over here… asking me why doesn’t daddy listen? Why can’t he let us stay in the apartment? We miss his place. Why must we always go over there? Do we have to go to daddy?

So it’s up to me to say, yes you have to go to daddy. Sorry he is not listening to what you want. All I can tell you is to keep making your wishes known and that maybe they will listen. Stand up for what you want and make your voice heard – just like you do here.  But know this, despite everything you feel your dad does really love you and care for you. It may not be in the way you want him to but he does. And I want you to know that you are luckier than some other kids of divorce. Some of them don’t get to see their dad at all or only during the summer or vacations. So in a way you are very lucky, you have a dad who cares and wants to spend time with you. It may not be the way you want him to spend time with you but at least he’s doing it.

And for the record I have tried to tell my Ex how our kids feel and yes he ignored me too. And yes I tried to talk mom-to-mom with the girlfriend when we finally met the other week and yes she ignored me too. Her desire to form one big happy family will fail miserably because of it.

While I would love to see this relationship last – not for the sake of my Ex but for my kids sake as this girlfriend is a nice one – I already see the writing on the wall. I know that the two of them will try to make the relationship last longer than it should just to try to prove me wrong but it is doomed. I already see the signs of my Ex’s wandering eye and the kids are starting to resent her for her pushiness and her not allowing them to have alone time with their dad.

So while there is nothing I can do for my kids to make things better all I can do is tell them that I understand how they feel, acknowledge their right to feel it, explain to them that they are better off than other kids in this situation, remind them that they like this girlfriend, and let them know that I am there for them and always will be there for them.

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Abuse takes many forms

Typically when one talks of an abusive relationship their mind jumps directly to physical abuse. While physical abuse is absolutely horrendous, needs to be stopped in it’s tracks and should never occur to anyone another form (and probably more common form) of abuse is mental abuse. This is the category I am extremely familiar with and have some thoughts I want to share with you about in the hopes that you will see the signs and get help (or help someone else get help).

Until the day my ex walked out to go live with his Mistress I did not realize the degree of mental abuse I was living with. At first when he left I was hurt and sad, but then I quickly came to realize that a weight I did not even know was there was lifted. I could finally breath again, I could finally not live with the anxiousness of not knowing which version of him was going to walk in the door that night or wake up that morning. Would it be the loving happy friendly helpful husband and father or the moody temperamental unhelpful husband and father? I no longer had to worry about it because he was gone and with him so was the oppression I never realized I was living with.

S0 how did I get to this point? How did I get to such a state where I was walking on eggshells and never realized it? The answer is slowly, over time he exerted his control (a control he still tries to maintain today in all our interactions and fails at because now I realize what is going on and I fight back in my own way but that’s a story for another time).

For me it started with him making comments about some of my friends and and saying he did not like them, then he did not want then around when he was there because they were “annoying”. This progressed to him not even wanting me to go out to see them or do anything with them. Because I loved him and wanted him to be happy I cut back ties with people I should not have cut out of my life. I lost myself in him and his needs. So instead of seeing my friends we spent all our time either together, with our families or with his friends. My friends got tired of waiting for me and they moved on. Good friends stuck by me and we saw each other and talked on the phone when possible. Of course once he left we were able to work on rebuilding our friendships but things were not the same. So eventually, I had lost most of my friends and was distant from my good friends.

Additionally, things that I liked to do were pushed aside as unimportant and told “why spend the money on that” activity. Yet everything he wanted we did. Simple everyday things such as eating out in restaurants he liked were ok, ones with the spicy foods that I liked were not. Any time I expressed an interest in something or hinted that I’d like something he ignored it, yet when he wanted something he got it (or more likely I got it for him).

So yes, I know I played a role in all this, but still I didn’t deserve the treatment I got and when I tried to stand up for myself and get what I wanted or needed in the relationship I was mostly ignored, sometimes humored for a bit or made to feel bad because I wanted something for myself (be it dinner out, to go to a movie or a show, or simply a small gift for my birthday or even flowers).

NOBODY deserves to have someone control their lives and I simply let him because I loved him. Even when he hurt me or cut me off from people I loved him. But I’m beginning to wonder if he was capable of real love… does someone try to control others because they love them? I think not. I think someone tries to control others because they are scared of love. They are scared to share their heart and be there, really be there, for someone else. I think they do it because it makes them feel good to have someone under their control who is there for them when ever they want.

As for me, I’m glad I’m out of that kind of relationship and I will never go back to that kind life again. Nor will I allow my kids to head down that path ever. As they grow older and start dating I am going to make them aware that when they date someone who tries to change them and not allow them to be who they are then that maybe a warning sign of trouble. I’m planning on teaching my boys not to control their girlfriends, to allow them to be who they are and love them for who they are and if they can’t then to do the right thing and break up with them.

So if someone you know starts a new relationship and suddenly you don’t hear from them don’t just assume it’s because ether time is taken up by their new love. Yes a new relationship is a time suck, but friends will always find the time to get together (or at the very least talk on the phone). If your friend keeps making lame excuses not to meet, try to find out why and be there for them. If you leave and give up on them eventually (like in my case) they will have no-one to turn to when they realize what is going on and need help.

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Today’s Litigious Society is Killing Our Common Sense Abilities

Anyone else out there feel that today’s litigious society is ruining the survival of the fittest evolutionary trend and making us a weaker overall? Lets face it some people need to let their blood lines die out rather than reproduce.

If you are too stupid to realize what is a danger and what is not then you deserve what you get… common sense guys… use it or lose it. We are a society that is losing all our common sense because we don’y know how to think for ourselves anymore. We have labels on everything and people telling us how to live our lives like we are brainless sheep being herded along mindlessly. (I have news for you sheep are smarter than some adults in this country).

A perfect example of this is the warming label on coffee cups telling you that it is hot and to take precautions.  If you don’t know coffee is hot then get burned… you’ll learn. Those of us with a brain and common sense know coffee is hot and take the proper precautions.

Another example is the warning on plastic bags telling you not to put them over your head. Really?? Do you not know this can be dangerous? Do you not know to keep them away from your kids or to teach you kids not to put them over their heads? I say if you are too dumb to know that then you deserve what you get. (Mean but true, and lets face it most of you – those with a brain know this and agree with me despite it not being the politically correct thing to say).

So now I bring myself to the reason behind today’s rant… IKEA and their new policy that any dresser higher than 30″ needs to be anchored… really IKEA?? One parent is too stupid to keep their kid from climbing on one of your dressers and sues you and instead of giving people the option to have the dressers anchored or sign a waiver you go overboard and force all of us that use your home delivery and installation services to have anything over 30″ anchored. Get over yourselves… you are over correcting for something that is beyond stupid. Most people and kids know not to climb on things that are unstable. And if a parent is too dumb to teach their kids and their kids climb up and hurt themselves yes it is very sad but it is also expected and the way society as a whole learns and gains common sense (though that seems like common sense to me in the first place).  It is not your job to self impose rules on us, it is the parent that failed in that case not baby proofing their house. Please don’t make us all suffer for one stupid person’s mistake.

Your policy to remove from my house an item I paid for and had delivered just because I don’t want it anchored is beyond asinine and goes against all standards of fairness… I paid for the dressers, I paid for their delivery and if I have them put them together but refuse to allow the installers to anchor them you would have them remove my property from my house because of you fears. That is totally ignorant behavior and is basically saying that you condone stealing my property. Yes IKEA… once it was paid for and delivered it is now my property and to take it away is tantamount to stealing. (And FYI… I look forward to reading about that lawsuit when it makes it’s way through the court system… can’t you just see the headlines… IKEA STEALS FURNITURE OUT OF CUSTOMER’S HOUSE).

So what may you ask are my options according to IKEA? (1) I can allow the installers to build them and anchor them to the walls because they are 31 1/2 inches tall and IKEA makes them do this with anything over 30″ tall. Even though we do not know the final placement of things and still have outlets and other things behind the dressers that we need access to. (2) I can allow them to take the dressers back to the store and go there tomorrow to repurchase them, lug them home myself, and then get them put together myself – what IKEA is trying to get them to do. (3) Get the installers to leave the dresser boxes here and then get the dressers put together by someone else tomorrow, minus the stupid anchors. If you can’t guess, I’m going with option #3. (Though I am livid about it!)

I think that companies like IKEA are helping to promote the stupidity and the loss of common sense in today’s society. People of America and the world,  let’s stop suing companies over our own stupid actions and free up the courts time to deal with more pressing matters while allowing survival of the fittest to flourish again.

 

 

 

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Apparently the world is coming to and end… at least according to my kids

So I have news for you all… if I dare to sit and rest for even 1 minute the world will apparently come to an end… at least according to my boys and here are the reasons why:

  1. Baby brother played a ranked battle in Splatoon on the wiiU rather than a regular battle and his team lost! But hey, when you play and your team looses it’s ok right?
  2. iPad is “missing” – claim one of your brothers threw it somewhere… reality, you left it by the toaster oven when you grabbed a bottle of water from he fridge 5 minutes ago and apparently mommy is the only one who can spot it there with her super mommy vision powers!
  3. Minecraft interrupted by brother who wants to share new game features – on who knows or cares what game – that he just found after watching his zillionth youtube video of this morning. Yes, your anger is justified, but please don’t hit him… and you, please stop bugging your brother as he honestly does not give a s**t about it and you are disturbing his Minecraft playing which is a huge travesty as we all know.
  4. Repeat step 1.
  5. Too tired (at 8:30am after a full night’s sleep) to fill the dogs water bowl so they’ll stop barking and then let them out because apparently playing video games since 7am is exhausting so just go ahead and let them bark disturbing mommy who is finally sitting down trying to respond to important emails that have been in her inbox for 24-48 hrs. Don’t worry, I’ll go take care of it, not like those emails were important anyway right?
  6. Repeat step 3
  7. Repeat step 1 – but this time change it up and complain about the weapon he choose to change to in the game…like this really matters?? You’re not playing now anyway and when it’s your turn you can change the weapon and is this really something you NEED to involve me in???
  8. Argue that your brother has played on the wiiU ALL morning… when it is only 8:40 and the wii U has only been on since 8:15… and you have not had your turn – like allowing him a few more minutes to play and finish his games will kill you and you will die a horrible death. Really? You’ll get your turn kiddo,give me a break!
  9. Loud TV… remote 1 foot away from you… too hard to turn volume down! Lets just keep disturbing the whole house and make mommy get up, come over and lower the volume! Oh no, she accidentally turned off the TV… the world is ending… ahhhh!

And all this tragedy occurred this morning between the hours of 7:30am and 9am… I wonder as I attempt to write this and hear them repeating the steps above what would occur if I just sit here and not move for even a 1/2 hr… will the world really end?? 

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One day…

One day… people will finally learn what I have to deal with on a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis.

One day… people will be shocked

One day… people will be amazed

One day… people will wonder how I manage

One day… people will applaud me

One day… people will wonder how I raised such great kids with everything I have to deal with

One day… people will reach out and sincerely offer to help

One day… people will feel bad for ignoring

One day… people will feel bad for not lifting a finger

One day… I will be thanked

One day… I will be helped

One day… I will feel cared for again

One day... I will find love again

But todaytoday I have my kids and all that matters is their happiness and well being. The sacrifices I make daily are for them and their future. One day everyone will know what these wonderful young boys know now… Mommy is always there for them no matter what.

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Why Raynaud’s Sucks!

Raynaud’s is a disease that is signified by reduced blood flow to fingers, toes and sometime other areas too causing them to get very cold and discolored. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raynaud’s_phenomenon for more details.) In my case it is mainly my feet that are affected and at times my fingers and hands get cold too. As I just started developing symptoms at the end of last winter season and was just diagnosed last spring this has only been part of my life for a year or so now and I have come to realize how things have changed so much in 1 year.  Below is a list of reason why suffering from Raynaud’s sucks!!

– first and foremost the COLDbeing so cold that your bones feel like they are made of ice is painful and annoying.

– literally feeling like you are freezing from the inside out.

– feeling like I have an ice cube permanently inside the middle of my left foot sucks – just imagine being warm all over then having 1 spot frozen and no matter what you do it won’t warm up for more than a minute or two.

– sometimes I get so cold that my body literally shakes and my teeth chatter.

there are times it hurts so much all you want to do is to cry and maybe crawl into a fire to heat up.

– having to wear socks and layers of clothing sucks for some one used to being barefoot all the time and hot almost all the time. I used to be the person that people asked “Aren’t you cold dressed like that?” Now I’m the one who is wearing many layers and shivering.

– last year during the winter months my house was a cosy 71 degrees. We’d raise it to 72-73 degrees when a storm was headed our way incase the power went out so during the storm and I’d be sweating and hot wearing shorts and t-shirts – no socks!  This winter, I am a frozen popsicle wearing extra layers of clothes and socks all the time and the temperature in the house is set to 74-78 degrees. (And yes, all the floors have radiant heat too.) My kids are walking around in shorts and I am all bundled up – extremely frustrating!

– in the past I’d wash my hair whenever I felt like it… now I have to plan it out making sure  I am warm enough, making sure the weather is not too cold and that I don’t need to be near any open doors when it is still wet as I let it air dry.

– speaking of open doors – just the simple act of letting the dogs out can freeze me for hours at a time… last year I could stand in the doorway and call the dogs to come in dressed in shorts. This year, I am all bundled up and waving treats to make them run in faster.

– last year I’d tuck my kids into bed with a hug and a kiss… this year I also place my hands on their backs so I can use their body warmth to warm up my hands. (They also offer up their backs and their breath to blow on my hands when they are cold).

– last year I could stick my hands in the freezer and not have them feel like they were frozen solid, this year they freeze every time I open the freezer and on bad days the refrigerator too.  (The only good thing is that once in awhile it saves me from buying food that might not be cool enough – as one of the supermarkets I frequent sometimes has issues with their freezers and if my hands don’t get cold it is more likely that the food in that freezer has freezer burn so I don’t buy it).

– just imagine… every time you touch something cold that that cold transfers to you and freezes you down to the bones – kind of like Elsa freezing things in the movie Frozen.

– last year I could play in snow in the backyard with my boys, this year I could not. Though I did manage to take them sledding today as I was having a good day and the sun was very strong today.

– last year I’d know right away when I got a cut on my foot or hands… now I don’t realize I hurt myself until I see blood and look for where it came from.

– last year I’d heal quickly when cut or bruised… this year it seems to take much longer to heal.

These are just a few ways in which my life has changed in the last year due to the disease… I know others with this disease suffer much more than I do and for that I am grateful that so far I have not had it as bad as they do, but I also know that will change and that I can be in their shoes at any time.  I know my inaugural winter with Raynaud’s has been an unusually harsh one and so I hope that next year will be better and that spring will come soon. But that has not stopped me from thinking about moving to a warmer climate in search of some relief if this keeps up.

 

 

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