Clearing My Head

I want to post but what shall I say?

I have been too busy.  I often think of things I want to blog about it.  By the time I’m able to sit down at the computer though – it’s like my mind is blank.  I feel rushed all day long.  I think that is the main problem.  I’m not even giving my brain down time.  If I do have some time to sit and browse the internet mindlessly, I feel guilty the entire time because I should be doing XYZ.  Whatever that may be.

I really need to clear my head. The problem right now is that it is the end of the month and I have too many work projects with January 31st deadlines.  So it will slow down soon. 2 days left – ack!

Work is busy.  So busy I am staying up too late and not getting enough sleep.

What else? This is week #3 of me getting up earlier in the morning.  My goal is to be up before the kids so I can have some quiet time.  Most mornings this has worked.  I’m pretty proud of this, especially since I have been working late too.  And I need my sleep!  I am not usually a morning person.  Well I used to be.  I haven’t been for a while though.  I’m trying to change that.  If you are interested, here is a little motivation for getting up earlier in the mornings:  Maximize Your Mornings

Morning quiet time has been awesome though.  I am reading through a daily devotional by Joyce Myers.  It works through the Bible app on my ipod touch.  (Link here:  http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/promises-for-your-everyday-life)

I haven’t read my bible daily in years so I’m feeling good about this.  The devotions are short and take just a few minutes, which is probably why it works for me.

I have also been attempting to do meal planning for the week.  This has been interesting because we are also doing our own version of  the “Pantry Challenge” right now too!  Info on the Pantry Challenge idea can be found here:  http://goodcheapeats.com/2011/12/join-me-for-a-pantry-challenge/

Our freezer was overflowing – as in I had to put paint cans on top of it to keep it closed – and who knows what was way down deep in there.  So we are trying to eat out of there as much as possible and avoid grocery shopping as much as possible. I still shop weekly though I’ve found.  Fruit and veggies, milk, eggs, etc.  But I can close the freezer now without the help of the paint cans so that is a plus.  The main thing in my freezer?  Shredded Zucchini!  I do that every year with the garden surplus.  It’s great for bread, muffins, crab cakes.  Yesterday I found a package marked 2004 though!  Ick.  Anyway, it’s been interesting.

Oh – and a great accomplishment that I set up about 2 weeks ago!  We now have a “command center” in our home.  Sounds hokey I know but that is what the organized internet world calls it :)  It is great!  We always have piles all over the kitchen counter – mail, school papers, magazines, etc.  Drove me nuts.  And I constantly lose things in that pile!  So I rearranged my office some and put a desk, filing box, & bulletin board in one corner.  It is beautiful and organized.  I did take before pics of the counter and of the new space.  If I remember to get those off the camera soon, I will post them.

Basketball is still in full swing for Kid3.  Lots of practices, games, and scrimmages for me to attend and hope that the exposure therapy works in my battle against anxiety & panic attacks.

Hubby?  He’s still good.  Most days :)

Hopefully this post broke the ice, or writer’s block, or whatever my problem was and I will get back to my blogging therapy.

Happy Monday all.

Motherhood is a Thankless Job

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Don’t have much time lately.  I try to slow down.  And I guess my kid’s activities have.  Now I guess it’s my activities.  Some days I just feel like I may drown.  Work, Work, Work – Can’t catch up.  Clutter everywhere and no one else with a desire to clean it up.  I have to tell them to and then they moan and complain.  So I let it go.  So I don’t have to deal with it.  So I don’t have to hear “None of my friends have chores!”  And of course all of their friends get like $20/week in allowance?!?!  Really, can this be?  No chores and huge allowances?  Are these other parents insane?  Or just rich with tons of $ for allowances and maids to do all the chores?  I know that is not the case.  Or are my kids delusional?   So I let it go.  Until I can’t stand it anymore and then I rant and rave.  Ugh.  Not proud of that pattern.

Kids complain and whine.  Hubby all too often takes their side.  Apparently he agrees they shouldn’t have to help clean this house.  I tell him that he can do their chores for them then.  I have had enough.

OK, I know that is not true.  He believes they should help also.  I think he just takes their side when I turn into psycho mom who has lost her cool and yells about the dirty socks all over the living room floor and the lego ramps that have been scattered about all week.  It is so frustrating that I need to tell someone to empty the bathroom garbage instead of someone just emptying it.  “See how it is overflowing and when you put something in it, it falls on the floor??  That means it needs to be emptied.” See, I don’t think I should have to tell people that.  I think that even my 8 year old can understand that logic.  But they don’t do it.  Not unless I tell them to.  And then it is never just a cheerful ok.  Oh no, it is complaining that they did it last time and it is not fair cuz it should be so-and-so’s turn.  And blah blah blah.  They really think they did it “last time”.  Ummm, no – I have emptied it 17 times since that “last time”.  Thank you very much!

Some days it gets to you. – the ungratefulness.  Motherhood is a thankless job.  Nothing has ever been more true.

We have a chore chart.  They get paid for jobs they do that I believe they should do just because they are part of this family.  But I was trying to motivate them – so now they get paid.  And they usually still complain about their chores and don’t do them until they are told.  That makes me a nag.   At one point the rule was that if I had to TELL them to do it, they don’t get paid for doing it.  That turned into a never-ending debate about “Well I was going to do it but you told me before I got to it!”.

Today it is getting to me.  Kid3 is home from school today.  Fever and puking.  I have been up several times a night with him for the past 2 nights.  Not used to that anymore I guess.  Perhaps sleep deprivation is putting me over the edge.  Hard to be patient when you are exhausted.

O Gosh.  The oil truck just pulled in.  How much is that gonna cost us?!   Is it bed time yet??

Today’s Goal:  Go to bed by 10pm.

THANK YOU LORD for my comfy warm bed.

Saying No to Disney

On the topic of SLOWING DOWN….

I recently told my Dad “No Thank You.”  He wanted our family to go to Disney together in October.

He called and said we won an all-expense-paid trip to Disney for 3 days.  Ha.  I wish I could say I was thrilled.  I felt exhausted just thinking about it.

When we were growing up, we went to Disney for winter vacations probably 3 times?  We would go for a week, Dad would create this crazy schedule for us to be sure we got to see and do absolutely everything.  I have good memories of those vacations.  Also some not so good ones.  Mom & Dad fought a lot.  (And are now divorced.) They fought a lot all the time, not just on vacation.  But everyone knows that vacations like Disney are not relaxing, especially when you have 4 little kids and a controlling Dad with a schedule :)

My Dad spends his winters in Florida now.  About 3 hours from Disney.  2 years ago we visited him and made a pit stop at Disney on the way home.  Just one day.  Ugh.  I should have known better.  My kids had never been there and I just couldn’t resist.  I figured this was the closest they had ever been, how could we not go??  Well one day at Disney is just silly.  There is no way you can do even 1/4 of the things you want to do there.  It was my BFF & me  and our 5 kids.  Of course they all wanted to do different things.  And it was SO crowded.  We made a rule that anything you could do at an amusement park close to our home, we were not going to stand in line and do there.  Of course that started a big debate at every single ride we came to.  lol

When we were leaving the park at the end of the day we were all holding hands and trying to get on the train things that take you back to the parking lots.  These people just broke through our chain.  We were holding onto kids, and them holding onto other kids, trying not to lose anyone and these very rude people just pushed right through and broke apart the kid’s hands.  Not sure if I explained that well.  But that is crazy.  There is no way that they didn’t know we were doing that so we didn’t lose our kids.  And we weren’t all spread out either.  We were in this moving huddle trying to make our way with the mass of people onto the train.  Guess I got sidetracked here but that was miserable.  We were leaving the park and planned to drive as far as we could stand toward home before stopping at a hotel for the night.  Otherwise we would have completely avoided the mad rush to the parking lot.

I did OK with the panic attacks on that trip.  I did manage some of the days by when I was taking the next dose of ativan.  I hate to say that, but some were really like that.  Not all.  Not the days we hung out at the beach.  But the zoo (Oh! there was this boat ride at the zoo!) and some of the other places we went required planning ahead :)  One time I bailed, I just couldn’t do it.  We were at Mickey or Minnie’s House in Disney.  I can’t remember which one.  But there was a long line to have your picture taken with Mickey & Minnie.  It was an outside line that weaved through their fake backyards with big fake tomatoes.  That was pretty good distraction so I was doing OK.  Then, when I thought we were actually there and it was our turn, we opened the door and there was a huge room with one of those long winding lines going back & forth all over the place.  I kinda freaked.  And remember that my kids don’t know I have this problem.  As soon as I saw that though I think I turned white.  I started saying that no one wanted to wait in that long line (even tho we had already waited like 1/2 an hour) and we should just go do something else.  I couldn’t talk those kids out of it.  They were determined to see Mickey.  lol  My BFF helped me out and said she would wait with them and that she could tell I didn’t feel good, why don’t I go get something to drink, find a bench, & wait for them.  I love my BFF :)

Hubby has no desire to go to Disney right now either.  Maybe he would have ended up going.  Maybe he wouldn’t have.  But I was looking at flights and needed an answer he wasn’t ready to give.  And at that point, I didn’t want him to go anyway.  And panic attacks.  O my.  Yea, let’s start the vacation with a panic attack on the airplane.  What else do I have trouble with?  Closed in places? Crowds?  Long lines?   Yea, Disney would be fun.   Truly I could do it.  I know I could.  I did it two years ago.  And I am better now than I was then!  I may be medicated for a good part of the trip but I know I could do it.  Another part of anxiety/panic attacks though is the anticipation of things.  I seriously would have had myself nuts over this by the time October even got here.

I need a break.  I have been overwhelmed by my life lately.  I know he was trying to be nice.  But my Dad does not like to be told no.  I said no more than once.  He has given me so much guilt.  He even wrote on our Christmas card (after I had already told him No several times) that he really wants to spend more time with his grand-kids and get to know them better and that is why I should reconsider.  I am not depriving my kids of Disney World.  I expect that we will go another year.  Just not this year.  And heaven forbid if I completely fail them and never take them back…  they can go when they are grownups and take themselves.  (I do want to go back to Epcot though – that’s my favorite ;)

So I finally got through to him, we are not going in October but thank you so much for the offer.  So now he is planning it for next year.  Yep.

My point?  I need a vacation that is actually a vacation.  We all do.  Outer Banks?  Yes please.  I asked my kids….  Beach or Disney?  They all yelled beach.  Awesome.

My ideal life?

My ideal life?  I CAN have it, right?  Flylady says yes.

I have been a flybaby for years.  I am definitely off the wagon at the moment.  Have been for way too long.  But I am still a fan.  Marla is an awesome lady with a big heart who has helped so many people.  Some of us just need a push in the right direction and some guidance.  Before I got pregnant with Kid3, I had it all figured out.  I had the card file, the weekly routine, all the routines actually.  I had a control journal.  It was easier then. My schedule included preschool, story hour at the library, errand day with Grammy….   And little people love to help clean & declutter.  They would stand up on the kitchen counter, empty a cupboard, we would declutter it and put it back.  They loved it.  And we didn’t have a million different places to be.  I did not work at the time either.  My job was to be a mom & homemaker.  And I was pretty good at it :)

Now, geesh.  We are so busy.  Kids are so busy.  Right now it is basketball, basketball, basketball.  And Girl Scouts too.  But basketball is insane.  2 kids in the sport.  2 different teams, 2 different leagues, 2 different practice schedules.  It is rare that we have a night that no one has to go anywhere.  And when it happens we are all so excited!  lol   And of course the kids always want to be going somewhere with their friends, or inviting their friends over.  We say yes as often as possible.  I like being the hang-out house.  It is sometimes an inconvenience, and it costs more cuz wow can these kids eat!  But at least I know where my kids are & who their friends are.

I’ll have to try to come up with a weekly plan again.  But it will have to be much more flexible.  Practice & game schedules change constantly.  Soon basketball will be over and baseball will start.   Last year all 3 played softball & baseball.  This year only Kid3 wants to play.  Awesome.  That will help.

So the number one step on the way to my ideal life?

SLOW DOWN.

Now I’m not sure exactly how that will work.  Truly there isn’t much that can be changed right now.  Or that I would want to change either I guess.  Contradiction?  Yes.  I guess I need to just deal with it better and be careful about what we say yes to in the future.

Last summer wasn’t so great.  Softball, Baseball, Swim Team, & Crossroads. A lot of fun activities.  But there were no LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER here.  And we all felt it.  It was hectic & fast and I had work guilt.  Not enough hours for my paycheck or to make my boss happy.  Too many hours according to my kids & hubby.

So I am going to try to slow us down.  And I am going to go back to Flylady.net and be inspired to get my home organized again.  And that’s a good start.

There is a quote about kids helping that I love.  Don’t know where I heard it.  But it’s true!

“Kids love to help, until they can.”

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.