Monday, August 23, 2010

Laying It All Out There.

Lately it has come to my attention that I am not at all well liked or received by members of my family, be they by birth or marriage. There has been a lot of critique about how I do things around my house, the choices I've made regarding my children's education, whether I work outside the home, how I spend the money we do have, and other assorted things along that same path. So I've decided to lay it all out there for ya. After all, no one can really know anything until you know the full story, right?

Let me start off with my schedule for this week. Keep in mind that Jason works full time 3rd shift. So that means he has to sleep at some point during the day. We have it set up that he goes to bed between 1 and 2 in the afternoon on the days he works. On the days he has off, that can be pushed back to 4 or 5 if absolutely necessary. He gets about as much sleep a day as I do, which is between 6 and 7 hours. However he has to do it while the kids are at home. He's not a heavy sleeper like I am so it can get a bit wearing. On his nights off, I have him go to bed as soon as he can and then he sleeps through the night until I go to bed around 1 in the morning. He deserves it.

This week I had Monday free, which was nice, but rather unusual. Honestly, the only day a week I get free is Sunday, and on occasions it's Saturday. Though if James gets the scholarship for the art class he wants to take, there goes Saturday mornings. Oh wait, Jason goes to donate plasma twice a week, Wed and Sat mornings. He does that to help bridge the gap with his income STILL being $1.20 less than what he was making before he was laid off almost 2 years ago. The only way he was able to get full time was to go to 3rd shift, which also meant an immediate $1 extra an hour for shift premium, or the gap would be more like $2.20 an hour. While 3rd shift sucks, it made financial sense for our family to do it that way.

This week I have nothing on Tuesday morning until 11:30 which is Jayden's tutoring. Because of the severity of her phonological disorder, she needs a specialized tutor. We get a reduced rate for her tutoring, however it still costs us $30 a week out of pocket. When dealing with a budget as tight as ours is, $30 is a lot of money. We are lucky if we get child support from my ex each week to help cover that. Tuesday afternoon James has therapy at 3. Jason has Tuesday off so after James' therapy, he'll go to bed. I may ask him to stay awake long enough for me to cook him fried chicken (something he and I have been craving) before sending him off to bed for the night until 1 or 2 in the morning (at the earliest). Keep in mind I need to drive to both of these appointments and they both last for an hour and I can not take any of the other kids with me.

In the middle of the 2 appointments we have Bette, who is a parent aide and comes once a week, at 1:30. She'll be here for an hour. She frequently spends her hour here with one on one time playing with Izzy so that I can take that time to do some housework in a different room.

On Wednesday morning at 10 we have a developmental eval for the twins. It is taking place here at home. Because of the special needs of the others, it was highly recommended that we do this, so we are, just to set minds at ease all around. Jayden again has tutoring at 11:30. Because I think the eval and the tutoring will overlap a little, I believe that Jason will have to finish up the eval while I take Jayden to tutoring. Jason will go to donate around 8:30 or 9 in the morning so he can be home in time for me to leave to take Jayden where she needs to be.

On Thursday morning Izzy has the first part of his eval done. I have to take him to the school to do it. It will easily take 2-3 hours. There will be a couple of follow up visits to the house within the next couple of weeks to watch him in his home environment. Then it will take at least a couple more weeks (if not longer) to put it all together and come to a final conclusion and diagnosis. Jason works Thursday night and will head to bed as soon as I get home from that. Usually Thursday mornings are spent at OT with Jayden and Izzy, but it was cancelled because of the eval this week. Next week we'll go back to OT for the two of them at 10, which lasts for an hour.

At noon on Friday Jayden has therapy. As part of her diagnosis it was found that she has quite a bit of depression going on. I also wanted her to work with someone who has experience with working with siblings of kids who are on the autism spectrum, as we know James is and believe Izzy to be. Therapy will last for an hour and again, I have to drive her there and can't bring any of the other kids with me. Jason works Friday night and will go to bed as soon as I get home.

On the nights that Jason works, I wake him up between 7 and 8 so he can get up and take a shower and have some dinner and spend some time with us as a family before he leaves for work shortly after 9. He gets to work about 30-40 minutes early, but he has said that it gives him time to get in to the "work frame of mind". I can appreciate that.

James will be starting OT of his own. The OT that we use is getting the authorization from the kids' insurance so they can set up his first appointment. She has a group in mind for him to come with and hopefully that time will work with our already busy schedule.

James' sensory stuff has been very out of whack lately. He isn't sleeping well, he's overly and very easily annoyed with common every day things. He finds Jayden to be extremely annoying and regularly tells her to "shut the fuck up" and that he will "kill her if she doesn't shut up already". Each time he tells Jayden to be quiet or to shut up, he loses a day of video game time. He is still expected to do his chores, however there is no reward for the day. Jayden processes by talking her way through it and it isn't fair to her to expect her to be quiet for the sake of James. Unfortunately, he will have plenty of times in his life where the stimuli around him will annoy him and he needs to learn to cope. Learning to cope with his little sister talking seems like a good place to start. OT will hopefully help him figure that out.

Are you tired yet looking at my schedule for the week? In what I see as an ironic twist, this week is relatively calm. Next week has even more in it, and the kids' therapies haven't been scheduled yet. Add in a med check with the psychologist, therapy for me, and the unscheduled as of yet therapy for the kids and it's just chock full. Throw in the occasional check up for one of the kids with their regular ped or a doc check up for me and it's almost insane.

Are you looking at it and wondering when I get a chance to run errands? I fit what I can in when I am already out for appointments for the kids. If I need to bring a kid that isn't the appointment, like needing someone to try on shoes or clothes or get glasses fit, I make a trip home and trade out kids. I try to set aside a morning to go grocery shopping on my own. I have Jason pick up things while he's at work already, like milk and bread and dish and laundry soaps.

Our afternoons are spent mostly at home. That doesn't mean we sit around and do nothing, sadly that is far from the truth. We have 2 case managers that come at least once a month. There is also the weekly parent aide. We are looking in to being able to get a cleaning aide to come 2-3 times a week to help me keep up on the housework. I know that our aides will increase once Izzy is in the specialized program.

What? I need help with the housework? Don't I have ALL afternoon to dedicate to that? Yes, and no. With the way the house is laid out, doing any work in the kitchen is very disturbing to Jason, who is trying to sleep in the very room attached to the kitchen, so dishes are out. It's why I wake him BEFORE I start cooking dinner each night. I don't usually cook during the day. That doesn't mean that the kids don't eat, it just means I'm not making hot meals for them. The older ones know how to use the microwave and are allowed in the kitchen one at a time to make their meals. The one at a time rule keeps arguments and the noise level down. Did I mention that Jason usually sleeps with ear plugs in?

Jack and Abbey still, thankfully, nap in the middle of the afternoon. While they do that, I have the kids help me pick up the living and dining rooms. Sadly, almost as soon as it is cleaned up, Izzy comes along and takes things back out and throws them all over. It's not unheard of for him to take things from downstairs and throw them around upstairs or vice versa. Izzy has no real concept of "play" and how to interact with things. He also has no patience to sit there to learn. I can take some time in the afternoon to work with him, but it's not enough unfortunately. It's another reason why I feel a specialized program is the right fit for him.

Oh, and Izzy is almost completely non-verbal. Meaning he has about 3 words he says, but only when he REALLY wants them. His signs that he knows are mostly used only after prompting. A lot of his time is spent crying and throwing tantrums because he simply can't make himself understood or he wants to do things that we stop him from doing, like taking all of the books off of the shelves or throwing things out the window. We had to box up all of the DVD's and get them out of the living room because he would constantly throw them around the downstairs. It seems that the more noise it makes while he does it, the more he enjoys it. He loves to throw his rescue heros across the dining room table simply because they are hard plastic and it's a wood table. It's things like this that also keep Jason from sleeping well.

Jack and Abbey are now at the age where they are not happy being contained in their pack n play or crib. They don't spend a majority of their day sleeping. They want to be out crawling and walking (which Jack is getting better at every day) around. We block off the doorway to the front hallway and the doorway that leads to the back part of the house and let them have free range roam over the living and dining rooms. This requires direct supervision by me. It means I can't be off cleaning the office or using the computer (even to do ChaCha which earns us some extra money) or in the kitchen cleaning or even taking laundry to the basement. It requires that we keep the living and dining room floors very picked up and clean. They have started climbing and have discovered how to get to the books on the shelf and love to take them out and throw them around. Climbing on the tuner and changing it from what is on is fun for them because it gets a reaction out of everyone in the room. We already have the windows usually closed because of Izzy, but with them crawling around also means that fans are not going. Unless we have the individual a/c units in the windows (and it's getting too chilly to do that) it is very stifling in these rooms because of the lack of air flow.

Aside from Jayden's tutoring and the shows that I have the kids watch on Netflix, we aren't doing any schooling right now. The shows they watch are History Channel specials and things like Mythbusters and Extreme Engineering. Jayden has taken a liking to Sid the Science Kid and the one with the reading team kids, I can't think of the name. We will start "normal" schooling once Izzy starts school. With him gone for a good chunk of the day, we'll be able to spend our afternoons with fewer distractions and interruptions from the work at hand. I'm already working out history and geography lessons, how I want to teach them both so it's at their individual level and yet doing the teaching at the same time. I've started prepping James so he knows that part of his reading time will be spent either reading to Jayden, or having her work on reading to him. I'm developing the best way to teach spelling and handwriting without it being a fight. I know James' focus in math this year will be multiplication, division, and fractions. Jayden will work on addition and subtraction. I want to use life lessons that teach science and math and reading, but I also want to do specific science experiments and work on the scientific process. I think we'll focus on natural science, but also touch on chemical science with chemical reactions like Mentos and Diet Coke. This will be the first year that James will be expected to complete a book report. They will both be working on their creative writing skills. They are anxious to learn and to a point, I'm going to let them lead the way. I'll offer the topics and see where they can go with it.

Izzy really likes Blues Clues and has learned to say clue. He interacts with the program. I am uncomfortable having the t.v. on all of the time. Unfortunately, Izzy has gotten destructive to the point that if we don't keep him directly occupied with either a movie or t.v show he really likes or direct interaction with an adult, he "entertains" himself by tossing, throwing, and destroying anything he can get his hands on. This especially includes throwing things at the twins and he has a pretty accurate aim.

Because of the things that have been said, it has greatly affected how Jason and I are planning to spend our holidays. Things that we would normally do, like host Thanksgiving dinner, just are not going to happen this year. Jason will probably have to work that night and I'll probably go to my mom's. At least at her place, while she may not understand the why's and how's of everything we do, she is always supportive and caring. She and I may have our differences, but I know that when it boils down to it my mom is ALWAYS there and it's NEVER conditional, even if she doesn't like who I'm married to, and I know that first hand from my previous marriage.

Our lives may not be ideal by anyone's standards. They may not fit the mold that was set out in front of us as to how it's "supposed" to go, but it is OUR life. We are doing the absolute best that we can with what we are handed on a daily basis. It would seem that would be the best that you could hope for, but it seems to not be enough. I guess the part that pisses me off the most is the fact that it upsets me that so many negative things have been said about me and it actually does bother me. It reinforces the faults that I already see within myself and the people doing the saying have no first hand knowledge of what it's like to be here, where Jason and I are, living our lives on a day to day basis.

I think I have covered it all from A-Z. I am certain I've stirred a pot, but honestly, it's beyond the point of making a difference any more.

Prayers and blessings everyone, even to those that don't like me.

18 comments:

the cat said...

Oh no. I got to the end of the first sentence and was angry for you. Fuck them, honey, really. You don't need to justify what you do or how you do it to anybody.

Ugh. How could they? How could they possibly? Jesus. Your judgmental relatives should go to hell. I'd take you for a sister, cousin, neighbor any day, and brag on my connection to you every day after.

Todd said...

Wow, you are very, very busy! It's amazing you get it all done. I agree with The Cat, your relatives have NO RIGHT to judge you, your hubby, your kids, are anything about your life unless they've lived it, and it doesn't sound like they have. Best of luck! Personally, I think you're awesome and I only e-know you. *hugs*

Qtswede said...

I like you! But, then I have a very strong "fuck off if you don't like what I do" attitude. :) Love to you guys - no one can understand what you go through unless they do it themselves, which, they would probably never be able to do.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have a friend who has 4 children--3 on very specialized PKU diets and 1 who is very special needs. Her life is CRAZY.

You are right that people who are not living your life should not judge how you handle it.

Anonymous said...

While you have a busy schedule, who chose to continue to have these children? Why are the children made to suffer the sins of the parents? You lay blame strictly on your relatives, yet say nothing of your hurtful, mean, and spiteful actions towards them. Could that have anything to do with why they feel so strongly about you? You may have your friends fooled, however, your family, both by blood and marriage, know the truth. No one ever questions your schedule, only behaviors you exhibit. Children learn by example, therefore, it can only be equated that you have taught some of the adverse behaviors of your children. There are two sides to every story and yet you tend to forget that. Your husband and children suffer and yet it is all about you. Wonder why that is? You feel that your relatives have formed opinions that are false, yet you have done nothing to prove them wrong. Quite the opposite. You state that no one is willing to help, yet when help is offered, you turn away and point negative fingers at everyone else. Your relatives are only good enough for you when you need something. Mostly money. You feel that you are the only one allowed to have opinions, when any one of your family, both blood and marriage, state their opinion, you shun them and belittle them, only not to them directly. You bad mouth in this medium so that you don't have to face the reality of the situtation. You and your family are on your own by your choice, not the choice of your relatives. Why don't you reread some of the things you have written about your mother. Bless her heart, she has had to face your wrath for far too long. Finally you have accepted her. I guess a few years of not really communicating has worked for your relationship. Maybe she is afraid of your wrath as well. Do not expect everyone to agree with you or your choices. That is ok, but it is not ok to treat others disrespectfully because they don't agree with you. If you want people to understand what you are going through, then you need to let people in on the whole situation, not just Jamie's perspective. Your blogs only serve one purpose, "Please feel sorry for Jamie". The only people we feel sorry for is your children. They deserve so much more than you are capable of giving. Work on yourself in therapy, then try to be a good parent. You have finally learned that being a parent means making mistakes and hope that your children will forgive you. Have you forgiven your mother for her mistakes? For maybe not teaching you the things that she should have? People who tell you that you should "fuck" your family aren't really there for you. They only feed your need for attention and it is time the attention came off of you and on to where it really needs to be, your children. They didn't choose to be born, let alone be born with special needs. You chose to continue to having children, you have to own that. One last thing, Jason didn't ask to loose his job. Life happens. He is trying his best to be everything you and your children need, yet, the things you say about him sometimes are just as hurtful as the things you say about his family. You don't stop to think that attacking his family is just as wrong as his family attacking you.

the cat said...

Hello, nasty relative! Jamie wrote about herself. You wrote about her too. You proved her point.

Anonymous said...

The fact that she deleted our comment proves our point! Can't handle the truth Jamie? You all are in need of some serious therapy! Your just fuck them attitude is exactly what Jamie doesn't need right now! With relatives like you Jamie, who needs enemies? No wonder you siblings want nothing to do with you and your children. Where were they for your twins' birthday party? Get over yourself and get a fucking life! You wanted all of the kids, so deal with it!

Anonymous said...

How about a little less criticism, and a lot more help?

Oh forgot, some people just like hear themselves talk. (insert eye-rolling smiley)

Serial Mommy said...

I had a long response typed up but I decided not to bother. I figure if you want to confront me directly, then you'll do it. If you want to stand behind annonymous labels then so be it. By the way, I didn't delete the comment. I got 3 copies of it in my email and I will gladly repost the hate and anger if you so desire. As far as my siblings, well considering I only invited two of them and one did show and it was the birthday of the wife of the other, it seemed to me that was just fine.

I didn't put this post up to call names or tell anyone to get bent or anything like that. If I wanted to say that, I would. Hell, if Jason were OK with it, I'd pick up the phone and say it that way. I put it up to explain just what it is that I do every day as it seems that has been called in to question.

As far as having more kids, I was done with Jayden. I left the choice up to Jason. He decided that he would like to try to have children of our own. I agreed because I felt that it wasn't fair to him to ask him to be a father to my kids and not be willing to share that with children of his own.

I would like to ask when any of you have actually asked Jason why he chose me, why he chooses to be here? Do you even really care? Personally, I don't think so. After all, that might mean you can't just spew hate and anger out at everyone like you accuse me of doing.

If Jason had a blog, I am rather certain that it would be as full of frustration and anger with me and our children as mine is. I am also certain that it would be filled with as much joy and happiness too.

The whole point was to simply say "Don't critique unless you know the full story" and considering no one bothered to actually ask what it was, I thought I'd fill in that blank.

Serial Mommy said...

Here is the comment that was "deleted". Reposted in all it's hateful glory.

While you have a busy schedule, who chose to continue to have these children? Why are the children made to suffer the sins of the parents? You lay blame strictly on your relatives, yet say nothing of your hurtful, mean, and spiteful actions towards them. Could that have anything to do with why they feel so strongly about you? You may have your friends fooled, however, your family, both by blood and marriage, know the truth. No one ever questions your schedule, only behaviors you exhibit. Children learn by example, therefore, it can only be equated that you have taught some of the adverse behaviors of your children. There are two sides to every story and yet you tend to forget that. Your husband and children suffer and yet it is all about you. Wonder why that is? You feel that your relatives have formed opinions that are false, yet you have done nothing to prove them wrong. Quite the opposite. You state that no one is willing to help, yet when help is offered, you turn away and point negative fingers at everyone else. Your relatives are only good enough for you when you need something. Mostly money. You feel that you are the only one allowed to have opinions, when any one of your family, both blood and marriage, state their opinion, you shun them and belittle them, only not to them directly. You bad mouth in this medium so that you don't have to face the reality of the situtation. You and your family are on your own by your choice, not the choice of your relatives. Why don't you reread some of the things you have written about your mother. Bless her heart, she has had to face your wrath for far too long. Finally you have accepted her. I guess a few years of not really communicating has worked for your relationship. Maybe she is afraid of your wrath as well. Do not expect everyone to agree with you or your choices. That is ok, but it is not ok to treat others disrespectfully because they don't agree with you. If you want people to understand what you are going through, then you need to let people in on the whole situation, not just Jamie's perspective. Your blogs only serve one purpose, "Please feel sorry for Jamie". The only people we feel sorry for is your children. They deserve so much more than you are capable of giving. Work on yourself in therapy, then try to be a good parent. You have finally learned that being a parent means making mistakes and hope that your children will forgive you. Have you forgiven your mother for her mistakes? For maybe not teaching you the things that she should have? People who tell you that you should "fuck" your family aren't really there for you. They only feed your need for attention and it is time the attention came off of you and on to where it really needs to be, your children. They didn't choose to be born, let alone be born with special needs. You chose to continue to having children, you have to own that. One last thing, Jason didn't ask to loose his job. Life happens. He is trying his best to be everything you and your children need, yet, the things you say about him sometimes are just as hurtful as the things you say about his family. You don't stop to think that attacking his family is just as wrong as his family attacking you.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that the "evil relatives" are in reality just looking out for the welfare of your kids, and not just on a Jaime witch hunt? Did it ever occur to you that they may just trying to offer constructive criticism and you're just taking it so personally that you completely shut them out? Any shot to our abilities as a mom and wife is hard to hear...hard to digest...and even harder to actually take into consideration. But sometimes we just need to be "told about ourselves" for lack of a better expression. No one lives in your shoes Jaime, no one can ever fully understand all that you go through with 3 special needs kids and a set of twins at home. But it's also very unlikely that everyone in the entire world is AGAINST you-just hoping to see you fail and reveling in the suffering of your children as you take a downward spiral. This blog only tells on side of the story, and honestly, it's not the side that makes me say poor Jaime. It's the side that makes me see that you are overwhelmed and your kids are absorbing the brunt of that. You made the decision to home school your kids and to be a stay-at-home-mom. Those are both full time jobs, and need to be tended to accordingly. It wouldn’t be acceptable for your children to watch TV all day in a traditional school setting, why is acceptable in your home? The dishes will be there when the kids go to bed, so will facebook, your blog, ChaCha, etc…. You only get one shot to raise and educate your kids properly, don’t waste it. Take more time to interact with your kids individually. Include the older ones in the care of the others, but don’t shove their care off on them. Include the little ones in the education of the older ones, give them a head start. Do less yelling, less facebooking, less ChaChaing, and do more parenting, teaching, loving,and problem solving.. That all may sound harsh, or mean, or what have you, but it’s true, and it’s not sugar coated with “Fuck them, do what you want” You CAN’T do what YOU want. Once you brought children into this world, what YOU want went out of it. Now, with all that said, the likelihood of you taking this to heart is probably small but you never know….There’s a lot of people rooting for you Jaime, and a lot less forging a war against you, But people on both sides want what’s best for all of your children.

Jason aka the cereal dad said...

The original post wasn't placed here as a complaint or a cry for sympathy. It was a description of a typical week in the life of this family. My wife is under the impression that some people think she does nothing but sit on the couch and eat bon bons. This is not the case.

I'm not exactly clear on why my wife and mother do not get along. Both are very opinionated and head strong. I believe it is generation conflict, as to core values, in part.

I don't believe any woman I ever chose to be with would have met my mothers standards. I will also admit that logic does not dictate matters of the heart.

I do know that the two most important women in my life are completely at odds with each other. I feel like the baby that king soloman ordered to be cut in half. Only neither side is giving in. For the childrens sake this argument must cease.

I'm not exactly sure what about our parenting is so wrong. Is it the number of children? 5 in a family is alot but not so impossible. It was a mutual decision to continue having children, yes. I decision I do not regret at all. I don't want to imagine a world with out Issac, Jack, and Abbey. It seems like a sad, empty world.

Have we had to make alot of compromises? You bet. Does our house look like a disaster site? Most of the time. Money? What is that anyways? Am I complaining? Not at all.

I feel somewhat responsible because in the past I have complained about certain situations or incidents concerning my wife to my family. I don't feel this gives them the right to blame everything going on just on her, although that is the impression I'm getting.

This needs to quit. I can't even feel comfortable in the same room with my family members. I'm sorry if you think I did not choose the right spouse. You are setting a poor example for my children (ALL OF YOU!) and making all my hair turn grey and fall out.

I don't like wasting my time sitting here and arguing with you. Yes, we are going to continue to home school. Yes one of the tools we utilize for education is the television. It certainly is not the only one. No we do not believe in Santa or the tooth fairy. We do not lie to our children, and while those are pleasing fantasies we would prefer that our children trust the information we provide them with as being as close to the possible truth we can supply. This covers religion as well. We will support any lifestyle or religious decisions our children make, and we expect them to make those decisions free of propaganda or early age conditioning. My personal experiences concerning religion tell me that when you have to decide for yourself what to believe, you will place more care in choosing what to place your faith in.

We care deeply about our children. We are not intent on making them slovenly or base, although if we wanted to accomplish that I think we could trust the public school system.

Nobody is perfect. You are both right. You are both wrong. I really don't care. I just want to be able to have family holidays again. Why is this so hard? Jamie is my wife. We are not getting a divorce. We are raising the children they way we are raising them. Could we improve our techniques? Absolutely. Our children will never be average...I would be disappointed if they were. Like everyone they have their flaws, and we have alot of challenges to deal with. Jamie and I have challenges to deal with. I humbly request that any criticisms directed towards us and our parenting style have a positive spin. Not just "do this more, do this less" but real advice as how to deal with situations.

Here is some advice as old as it is useful: If you can't say something nice....do I need to finish this statement???

Increase the love!

Jason

Meanie said...

I always knew Jaime rocked, but now I think Jason rocks, too.

Todd said...

Thank you for your side, Jason. You seem cool to me.

JennBenn said...

OMG! Jamie and I have been friends for a long time and I have seen the strugles she goes thru everyday trying to deal with the life she has. No matter what happens or how crazy it gets she does her best.

But telling someone that her children deserve more than she is capable of giving is one of the meanest, most spiteful things I have ever read.

We understand that you do not agree with the way she is raising her children or dealing with her life but it is HER life and she gets to do it the best way she knows how. She loves her husband and children unconditionally. She is frustrated and angry and beat up about the hand that she has been dealt but she does the best she can do.

I get it..You don't like her and she doesn't really like you, but you both love Jason. You have to find a medium ground. If that ground is you both need to "shut up" than so be it. But don't act like you know what she goes thru in a day unless you live in her shoes. I can guarentee you that the way the children act when they are with you at family functions are not the way they act at home. I have been there and seen the meltdown and the anger. I don't know how she does it either but everyday she does.

Serial Mommy said...

I just want to sum this up by saying this is my blog. It's me writing it. It's about my life, my perspective on my life, and everything in my life.

Being a SAHM is my job, my very much full time job. And like anyone else I sometimes complain about my job. Everyone does it. However it seems that when a SAHM does it, she is criticised and belittled for not "putting her children first" and other such nonsense. Can anyone explain to me how being a SAHM isn't putting her children first? There are days when I wonder what the hell I'm doing. There are other days when I absolutely love what I'm doing and couldn't imagine doing anything else.

I know it's not all of my family, either by blood or marriage, who is being angry and mean and spiteful. I can see the difference. I talk with the members of my family that will talk with me about all that is going on. I listen to their suggestions. I take them to heart because I know they are spoken out of love. When the tone is obviously a one sided attack, when words like "You are doing this wrong" and "You have screwed up your children and aren't thinking of them" come out of that person's mouth, then it's no longer a conversation, it's an attack. When it comes from a woman who is never happy with anything or anyone at all, when every word coming from her mouth is a complaint, when she says that she doesn't like it before even trying it (be it food or theatre or anything else) it seems pretty obvious as to what it is.

My mother and I have a tumultuous relationship. I've owned up to that. I'm also not claiming perfection or that I'm not at fault for it. I understand that every relationship takes two people. Between my mother and I, we work through it. Between my mother in law and I, we don't. It's that simple.

As Jason said, we are both strong willed and vocal women. Honestly, I think one of the reasons that he is with me is because I remind him of his mother in that way. I also know that one of the reasons he is with me is because I can find the joy in just about any situation, that I know we will get through it, and I always point out that it could be worse so be thankful for what you have.

To say to a woman that her children need so much more than she could ever provide is hitting way way below the belt and honestly, you should be ashamed of yourself for doing that. It is easy to find fault in others, but have you ever stopped to think about the fault within yourself? I have, I do regularly. I have my doubts and fears about myself and how I parent my children.

I am honest about the fact that I go to therapy. My therapist pushes where I don't want to be pushed, where I need to be pushed. She challenges me to stop and think and relearn.

I have never claimed perfection. I am far from there. I know that everyone else is also far from there.

Life is a journey, one where you have many adventures. Some of them go really well and some just don't go well at all. It's what you make of all of it that really matters in the end.

I do want to say one final thing. I have no expectations for my children when they become adults. They can grow to become who they want to be, to do what they want to do, to think how they want to think. There isn't anything I can do to change any of that. My job as their parent is not to tell them who to be, but to give them the lessons to be the best them that they can be. I ask that they support themselves, have a place of their own to live, and be content and happy with their lot in life. That's it. I think that is the best thing that I can do for them and if you find fault in that, well....that says a whole lot more about you than it does me.

Captain Blakfut said...

What a crazy busy life you have. I know things get out of whack here if just one of us has an appointment, it's amazing that you are able to figure out how to juggle constant, numerous appointments for so many people.

What I'm seeing in this whole exchange of words is "I am very busy, I am sometimes overwhelmed by all that I have to do and it's frustrating sometimes, to figure out how to get things done in a way that everyone can remain as sane as possible, hopefully improve in many ways, and do it all within the limitations of time, funds, and scheduling that I have. I feel judged by certain people, I need encouragement and support. I do NOT need judgment and criticism. I've been dealt enough pain/difficulty already, please don't dish out any more."

And then I see the other side coming in and saying, "You aren't doing things MY way, you aren't interested in doing things MY way, and until you decide to do things MY way you are going to suffer and your family will suffer and it's ALL YOUR FAULT." The 'other side' doesn't seem to be hearing what you are saying at all. Frequently people are so caught up in their own minds that they just aren't capable of seeing things from a different POV- they aren't capable of hearing what is actually being said and they are too quick to jump up and defend themselves at all costs. That is just not productive.

People, there are plenty of ways to be supportive to others that don't involve money. Even if you disagree with them, you can still support them, or at the very least you can just NOT discourage them. If you have some complaints about the way they do things, keep it to yourself. If you have an idea to offer them, do so without criticism- when you are already depressed and at the bottom of the hole having people come in and tell you just HOW much of a failure you are is NOT helpful. That's like handing a guy about to jump off a building a loaded pistol instead.

Ugh. This is very frustrating for me to read, I can just imagine how endlessly frustrating and hopeless it is to deal with everyday.

(((((((((Jamie)))))))))

Jenn
P.S. if this isn't helpful just delete it

Serial Mommy said...

Jenn you very much hit it on the head there. And I love your analogy of the guy jumping, it made me laugh.