I’m OK, You’re OK

Somedays that’s all we need to know

Still here and other stuff May 5, 2009

Filed under: family,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 6:54 pm
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I know, I know and I’m sorry….I’ve been neglectful as of late.

Sometimes life just needs to take center stage and blogging needs to wait patiently off to the side.

There has been a lot going on at work…good news in the IT Staffing world!  I have a great sense of pride that the work that I do, right now in this day and age, not only helps my clients and the people I find for them, but it also helps my country.  I love getting people off the unemployment lines and back to work!

The Littlest scored her first soccer goal on Saturday….big fun for her!

Is anybody else over the Swine flue hysteria?  A week from Thursday I am flying down to Cabo San Lucas sans ninos! (without kids – in two different languages no less).  Can I just tell you that right now there are 0 reported cases of Swine Flu on the whole Baja Peninsula.  None. Zip. NADA. Therefore, I should be a lot more scared walking around the state of Washington then I should chillin on the beach in Cabo.  Not to mention that I think the constant intake of smallish quantities of tequila will be a very effective method for killing off any possible bugs.  I’m over the hysteria of the media.  It just kills me.  But hey, I guess it is nice to have everybody stressed about something other than the economy.  So there is that, I suppose.

Here is my biggest news….ready….drum roll…. The week before last I had total vindication in family court!  Can I just tell you that it has taken 2 years and I don’t even want to think about how many dollars worth of legal fees to finally have the court tell the X that dads have to pay child support and all the shenanigans he has pulled over the last 2 years in efforts to avoid that obligation aren’t fooling AN.Y.ONE!

My favorite part of the commissioner’s judgment was when she said to him “your ex wife has built a career for herself, with no previous work experience, with no advanced degree (I have a BA but he has a graduate degree), all the while being the primary parent for the children and without the parental support that you, sir, clearly have and yet you are here to tell me that you want me to assign the wage the court uses for the average 40 year old man in the state of Washington with undocumented income?”  (it is a very low number).  Oh it was wonderful.  Even if I never get paid.  The X and his parents had to listen to the commissioner validate little ole me and rake his sorry behind all over the courtroom.  No, I’m not bitter, just validated.  And oh, it feels so good!

Glad to finally see daylight hours extending past 5:00 in these parts.  Welcome Spring!

All in all, life is still good.  And Me and Mine are still OK.

-The Mom



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To Be or Not To Be March 26, 2009

Filed under: family,health,ponderings — meandmom @ 10:22 pm
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Angry that is.   My shrink is trying to convince me to stop being angry at the ex.  The ex that isn’t contributing to the finances right now….or for the past year.  The ex that didn’t show up to our family counseling session.  The ex that has yet to give The Daughter a birthday present.  The ex that tries to play all high and mighty with me regarding his visitation with the girls.  The ex that allows his girlfriend to discipline the girls when they are in his home.  The ex that closed down his business so he could file for support modification.  The ex that is costing me huge amounts of money in legal fees.

But I am angry.  I am angry that he continues to try to control me through the girls.  I am angry that he has the audacity to talk down to me and yell at me when I’m the one that keeps the girls clothed and fed and housed.  I am angry that he hurts them by his selfishness.  I am angry that he leaves me to care for their financial needs all by myself.

I don’t dwell in my anger.  But if I have to think about it or discuss it, it rises to the surface very quickly.   To be really honest, I feel like if I let go of my anger, it will be letting him get away with his behavior.  I want him held accountable.  I don’t know how to walk away from that need.

I realize that my children shouldn’t see my anger and I really try hard to not put any focus on it.  The reality of the situation is that they have a crumb of a dad.  They know it.  I know it.  I try not to stand in the way of their relationship with their dad, but I also struggle with the idea that they might be developing unhealthy ideas about what love is.  I don’t want them to think that they have to accept his bad behavior just because they share his DNA.

For more than 20 years I tried to figure out how to have a relationship with my dad who also financially abandoned me.  I don’t count on him for financial support now, but the same selfish choices that led him to ignore my financial needs as a kid are the one that cause him to emotionally abandon me now.  Oh how I would love to shield my girls from a lifetime of banging their heads against a wall.  I don’t suppose I can though.

That makes me angry too.

-The Mom

 

Make Me Laugh Monday – Mammograms March 16, 2009

Not that Mammograms are particularly funny in and of themselves….BUT….

My mom and I were discussing mine while she visited from Cali this past weekend.  We were gathered around the kitchen island and the girls and the SO were hangin’ with us.   This is a snippet of the conversation:

Littlest: Mama, why do they call it a Mammogram?

S.O.: (completely serious) Because women are called Ma’am.

WHAT? Oh yes he did!

Now….pop on over to Jenny on the Spot for more Monday laughter!

-The Mom

 

I’m Not Ready Yet! March 12, 2009

Filed under: family,love,ponderings,ZombieMom — meandmom @ 5:32 pm
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The Daughter is 12.  She has been 12 for 1 whole month.  That’s it.  One. Month.  And already everything is different.  Ever.y.thing!

Apparently, I was the only mom in the entire school district who didn’t let their 6th grader wear makeup.  And I was.  All of my friends have buckled to this campaign of breaking down the last bit of tween innocence.  I was holding down the no makeup zone all by myself.  So, I did what every proud role model does.  I caved.  I gave up.  I gave in.  I bought The Daughter makeup for her 12th birthday.  She doesn’t need it.  She’s the kind of gorgeous that you can’t even hate.  She looks like she came straight from Cleopatra via Kim Kardashian.  But sweeter.  And more innocent.  It makes me a little sad everytime she wears it.  Which, of course, is everyday.  But it makes her feel good.  She belongs again.

This has been the year of belonging.  Requirements:  Uggs, a Juicy Couture hoody, a cell phone, make up, 7 jeans.  Thank God for grandparents and Nordstrom Rack!  The Daughter now has one of each.  Not so much that she’s spoiled….oh no, she is a long way off from being spoiled.  Just enough so that she feels like she belongs.

I hate this part of growing up.  This belonging part.  But I remember wanting the same thing.  I remember that my mom, the ultimate rebel, didn’t want to make it a priority and it hurt my feelings.  So we save our money.  We go in halvsies.  We put things on our Christmas and Birthday lists.  We belong.

Only now there is a new requirment.  Facebook.  Once again, all my friends are starting to surrender.  One by one.  I worry about the ability for kids to hurt each other on FB.  I worry about how much faster and easier bad rumors spread.  I worry about how fragile reputations can easily be tarnished.  I worry about the in group/out group mentality of teens that was hard enough to deal with before the likes of texting and Facebook accounts.

So, what’s a mom to do?  This mom tossed and turned all last night.  Until finally I got out of my bed and went to hers.  She slept with me every single night for the first 3 years of her life.  It was the only way she would sleep.  I haven’t slept in the same bed as her since.    I curled up next to her and wept.  I’m not ready.  I’m not ready for her to be her own woman.  I’m not ready for her to encounter heart break and peer pressure.  I’m not ready to let her fight the battles that only she can fight.  Here’s my big problem though…..She is.  She is VERY ready.

So.  Again.  I ask.   What is a mom to do?  Anybody have any answers?  When did you or will you let your kids get a FB account?  How do you discern, as a parent, where the line is drawn between OK kind of belonging (clothes, curfew) and NOT OK kind of belonging (drinking, sex)?

Help a mom out……Hey! Is that a wrinkle hiding there behind the gray hair??

-The Mom

 

Ludye Mae Duncan Shields Moore aka Magic in Human Form. February 27, 2009

Filed under: family,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 12:15 am
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I can remember almost running to keep up with her long, quick stride as we swept down the busy sidewalk of Chicago. She was always impeccably presented with her raven black hair and distinctive red lipstick. Her neck was long and elegant, just like her gams. She was friendly and warm….a southern belle to the core. She lived on the 28th floor of a poshy apartment building in the city called Lake Point Towers with a wonderful view of the Lake. I loved spending the weekend with her there. We would regularly visit the animals in the zoo, especially in winter because nobody went in winter and the animals were surely cold and lonely.

There was a doorman, Mr. Gray. And a garage attendant, Mr. Peanut Butter sandwich. She would bring him sandwiches every time she got her car from him. Thus, his name. She drove a green towncar with seats that moved by pushing a button.

There was a huge koi pond that we would play by and a swimming pool. At night I loved to watch the lights off the cars as they came down the waterfront. One side of her apartment was huge windows above a radiator that she loaded up with baby cacti. In my room at her house was a fold out couch with a black and white houndstooth pattern. Black and White silhouette portraits of my sister and I hung on the wall.

She gave me my piano and a cat named Catten who only loved her and would scratch anyone else. She made wonderful Shingle Cookies…basically graham crackers coated with a soft version of peanut brittle. She always had a peice of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum to share….but only half a piece at a time.

When I was still in elementary school she moved back to her beloved south. Again, at the water’s edge in Myrtle Beach. She cut her hair short and let it go gray. She was still elegant in a casual, beachy way. She traded city sidewalks for sandy beaches yet her stride was still long, fast, and graceful.

She volunteered with Helping Hand and the American Heart Association. She was utterly devoted to her ailing husband. She was an equally devoted church goer and loved when we would stay for the summer and sing in her church’s choir.

I lost her 9 years ago. Alzheimers. I don’t know if she could ever keep in her memory that she had a great-granddaughter that was honored with her middle name. She would have loved her great-granddaughters so very much. Just liked she loved me.

I miss her.

-The Mom

 

A New Day February 18, 2009

Filed under: family,ponderings — meandmom @ 6:56 pm
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Well now, after the heaviness of my last post, I need to take in a deep breath and just have a big ole belly laugh!   BWAAHHHBWAAAHH!

Much better!  I told you….there are some heavy thoughts running circles in my little pea brain (not much room in there I guess).  When I started this blog it was for my daughter and I to communicate some of those things that divorced families go through.  We haven’t done a TON of that because, although I think it is good for us to do, The Daughter and I are still careful about what we share.  FYI….anything I share here is something that she and I have already discussed in some fashion.

There are tons of families out there that face the hardships of making a new identity for themselves after a divorce.  I would like this to be a place where kids or moms or dads could know that they are not suffering through their process by themselves. And that everyone in the family has their own perspective and their own hurts, worries, concerns.

People sometimes raise their eyebrows at me over the fact that I include The Daughter in this discussion.  Here’s the thing, when I was 14 my parents divorced.  My mom and dad were very tight lipped about everything, just like they were told to be.  I understand the need for a lot of that, I do.  However, It was also very confusing to us kids as to why there was so much tension and frustration and why our parents couldn’t even tolerate being in the same room anymore and on and on and on.

I’ve chosen a more open, but careful, dialogue with The Daughter.  Part of that is based on my experience, part of that is based on her overly mature personality.  It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is working for us.  It’s important for kids to understand that their parents are people too.  And you know what?  Divorce hurts.  It hurts everyone.  Even Mommy.  Even Daddy.  And you know what?  It’s okay to hurt.  It’s not fun, but it’s part of life and we need to learn how to get through it.  It would have been helpful to me to understand that when I was going through it as a kid.

That being said…part of being ok is not dwelling on the tough stuff all the time.  So sometimes I want this to be a space just to talk about life, show pictures and silly videos,  and meet and communicate with new friends.

In that vain…..

The other day I finished my taxes and got them filed….yeah for me and for tax returns!  My own little economic stimulus package!  I also filed away all of the end of the year paperwork.  There is something very satisfying for me in that.  I love tidy little piles and things buttoned up tight and clean.  I feel that the hardships of 2008 are behind me and the goodness of 2009 is only waiting to happen.

Enjoy the DAY!

-The Mom

 

He’s Just Not That Into You February 17, 2009

Filed under: family,love,ponderings — meandmom @ 9:00 pm
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I loved having an extra day tagged onto the weekend for President’s Day…Thanks Abe and George!  The S.O. and I decided to go to the movies with the Drama Queen.  Guess what we saw?  I was totally expecting a fun chick flick.  Oh, and by the way, can I just say the chemistry between Jen and Ben….not so much.  What I did not expect was how emotional I would get during this movie.

I mean, you don’t go to a movie like that thinking you are going to be exposed to the feelings that you rather not think about.  The first thing that caught me off guard was how marriage was introduced between Jen and Ben.  I’m sitting in a similar place….long term relationship….not a ton of talk of the future.  It’s not that the deep commitment isn’t there, we just don’t talk about it.  Most of the time I’m ok with that…..sometimes though I really, really want that life long commitment that is announced to the world, not just understood by the two parties involved.  There are complications in my situation that heavily influence what happens next for us.  Anyway, I didn’t expect that part of the movie and it really struck a touchy chord for me.

Second was the guy that was cheating.  I don’t want to give anything away, but this part of the movie really bothered me.  My ex didn’t cheat on me with another woman but he did give his heart to something other than me.  I denied it and allowed excuses I knew better than to allow.  Watching a bit of that on screen….bigger than life….was a painful mirror to look into.

There were tons of funny parts to this show and I highly recommend it.  I just didn’t expect to loose myself in a sea of tears.  I definitely would not go see this on a date in a new relationship or in a troubled one or one where there were any questions about the future.  It was a little uncomfortable for me sitting next to S.O. as it was the subject of a recent conversation.

The hard part for me is this…..the thing I hate most about my divorce is not grieving the loss of love.  It is grieving the loss of family.  It is very hard the second time around to establish that kind of feeling.  At the end of the day, my kids have a dad that they see on a regular basis.  So, S.O. is very careful about his involvement with my girls.  It is hard for him as a man to know how to go about connecting with them in a way that feels comfortable for all of them.  Plus, he is very reserved with things like hugs and playful physicality.  We have taken their relationship very, very, very slowly.  I’m proud of us for that.  It’s just hard having the knowledge that it is always disjointed.  It is not ever quite the same feeling of parenting and family unit as existed in my marriage.  A good friend of mine that has been remarried for almost the entire life of one of her children, advised me that it will never be the same as the original family.  Ouch.

What I’m realizing is that I do really, really want to be married again.  I want that fortified commitment that comes with a ring and a ceremony.  I want to feel blessed by God and supported by family in my relationship.  I want that blessing and support to be formalized and public.  I’m worried that the complications that exist…which I can’t discuss here….will prevent marriage from happening.  Then I need to ask myself….should I expect him to marry me anyway?  Or, should I pay attention to the message of the movie?

It will be a telling year…….

-The Mom