I’m OK, You’re OK

Somedays that’s all we need to know

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

 

How Much is Too Much? February 24, 2009

Filed under: politics,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 7:09 pm
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I was listening to the Today show play in the background on TV as I was getting ready for the day this morning.

The subject: Nadya Suleman and her mother. Apparently, the two of them had a televised conversation which became heated and uncomfortable. Nadya’s mother was trying to express to her daughter that having 8 babies at once on top of the 6 that are already at home, maybe wasn’t the best decision.

Nadya’s response to her mom was that she needed to “learn to let it go”. Wow. Really? Ummmm…..where are those first 6 children currently living? That would be At. Her. Mother’s House!

If Nadya was going to expect her mother and father to help raise her children….shouldn’t she have felt it necessary to request the option of adding 8 more? 1 more even?

Truthfully, I’m not sure who holds the original responsibility in this situation. Some are pointing fingers at the doctor that planted the maximum legally allowed embryos. I can understand that, to an extent. Some are pointing their fingers at Nadya. I can understand that completely! Personally, however, I’m kinda wondering what parent allows this kind of dependency to develop between them and their children in the first place?

Isn’t it our responsibility as parents to raise our children to be independent, contributing adults? Clearly there is an environment that has been nurtured in this situation that allowed Nadya to believe it would be okay to impose upon her parents in such an amazingly intrusive and overwhelmingly life changing capacity.

I look at today’s society and I see parents that love their children and want to give them what was not available during their own upbringings. We want our kids to play on Select Soccer teams and compete at state wide gymnastics in a way that was nonexistent 15 years ago. I know girls that The Daughter attended elementary school with who in 4th and 5th grade were taking vocal coaching because they like to sing. Uh….whatever happened to school/church choir?

I see 10 year olds with iPhones and Seven jeans. There are TVs and video game consoles in their bedrooms. Ski trips in February and Hawaii in spring.

I guess it’s all wonderful if you are affluent and can give that to your kids, but I wonder if we are teaching a level of expectancy that is unreasonable and unhealthy.

Somewhere along the way, spanking became horrific….it never was utilized much in my household, but boy oh boy….knowing that was a possibility kept us kids in line! (most of the time) It was a consequence. Oh, and things had to be earned. And big-time vacations were usually for mom and dad only….when the family took a vacation it was in a tent!

I think we need to really think about what we are teaching our children about their contributions to society and about their own responsibility.

Now, I’m not saying that there are no kids out there that are appreciative or responsible. The Nadya Suleman case is clearly the extreme. I just wonder what the generations that are currently coming of age will understand their legacy to be. So far, I don’t know that my generation is showing them the best example of how to do that.

Stepping off soapbox in 3…2….1

-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

 

Get Your Red On! February 6, 2009

Filed under: health,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 12:39 am
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Tomorrow is National Wear Red Day. Heart disease is one of the biggest killer of women. When we think of heart disease we usually imagine the cast of SNL sitting around a table making jokes about Da’ Bears.

Instead, we should think of our mothers, our sisters, our aunts, ourselves.

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Wear Red tomorrow……and take care of your heart.

❤ The Mom