Single Mom’s Mother’s Day

screaming-womanMother’s day when you are a single Mom blows. Am I right?

In years past I admit to feeling jealous of the other mother’s whose husbands would take their kids out and get/make presents for their Mom. Maybe even out to dinner! OoOoO! Suffice it to say, it’s not my favorite holiday.

The burden of taking care of these kids was ALL MINE.  I was performing a job that was meant to be done with two people and a village. To say it’s exhausting is like saying a hurricane is a bit windy.  I will get a cute present that the kids make with all their heart. And I won’t say I don’t LOVE those, because I do. But there were times when I would swear about the day because for me, it was just another day.

  • Get woken up Get up
  • Become a short-order cook Make breakfast
  • Do my slave work Entertain children, cook, clean, laundry…

However, things are changing. My kids are older. My daughter often makes breakfast on weekends because she LIKES to. And it’s very edible, to boot! I am trying to take better care of myself so I don’t feel like a victim or a martyr as often. But best of all, my fiancé says this to me the other day:

So this Sunday is Mother’s Day. The kids and I should probably do something for you. At the very least let you relax as much as possible.

That’s progress people. I like it!

Violence

Funny-Animals-funny-animals-fun-animals-bears-pics-3_largeLately the subject of violence has been front and center here. I was picked on a lot as a kid. I was small, had glasses, and was a tom-boy. I was also pretty fiesty if needs be. I guess I could say being the youngest in my family trained me to tolerate teasing—to a point.

But when it comes to your own kids, you want them to stick up for themselves. You want them to have the self-esteem to know teasing is wrong and people shouldn’t be allowed to do it. You want them to defend themselves or friends to bullies because little bullies usually turn into big bullies.

My daughter has been picked on or bullied several times in the last week, by different people. My response upon hearing this was to protect her, take care of her, fight FOR her. However, I wasn’t always there for all the events.

Situation #1 was at the baseball field at her brother’s practice. I love playing baseball so I had been volunteering to help the boys here and there. A boy came over to the playground and announced the game the girls were playing was stupid and they were stupid. My daughter told him it wasn’t stupid and they went back and forth until she tackled him. I had seen her do this before to other boys—and all was consensual wrestling. I assumed the same thing.

In the second situation we were at the baseball field again. My daughter came up to me and tells me this story:

Mom, I was playing in the sandbox with the sand toys I brought. A little girl came up to me and we were sharing my toys. But then she demanded to have the shovel—the ONLY shovel—and I said no. I was using it. She stood up, called me “stupid” and tried to grab the shovel out of my hand. I took my toys and went to the other sandbox. I saw her kick over my old sand castle.
Once I was done with the new sand castle, I came over to tell you what happened and she kicked over THAT sand castle.

Later on she asked me to talk to the Dad. This was one mean-looking somenabitch—complete with missing teeth. But Mama Bear I went up to him, told him what his daughter had done and I asked if he could speak to her. He glared at me, told me MY daughter had bent her finger back and NO he wasn’t going to talk to her. She was only 4 years old. Okie dokie then…

Situation #3 was at the YMCA. I left her in the childcare room and 2 hours later I came back and she had been silent and pouting almost the whole time, according to the staff. No, I don’t know why I wasn’t told sooner. That’s another issue. Some boys wanted to use the foam blocks she was using to build a fort. There were MILLIONS of blocks. The boys were just being pests, except when they wouldn’t STOP trying to steal her blocks. She yelled at them and a staff member came over and told her not to speak to other kids like that. Instead of telling the teacher about the ridiculous boys, she went and pouted.

I finally sat down and talked to her about the teasing and bullying. I had wanted her to use her voice more, to defend herself better. I explained that you should always use your words first. If someone puts their hands on you go get an adult. In a real pinch defend yourself using as little force as necessary.

So we went through each situation and I listened to her rationalize her reactions. I was astonished at how carefully she thought things through. I thought she was being meek. Her words:

Well Mom, with the boy, I knew him and he was the same size as me. He made me really mad. I know I shouldn’t have tackled him but we do that sometimes at school. He was laughing the whole thing.
With the little girl…well…she was little. I told her No and that’s when she tried to grab the shovel out of my hand (which bent her finger back). I knew I couldn’t do anything else, because she was little. So I just left.
And with the boys at the YMCA, they just wanted some blocks eventhough there were a ton around them. They weren’t hitting me or calling me names. I didn’t think the staff would listen to me because I was told not to yell at them. They weren’t even paying attention. So I just hid in my fort until they went away.

I realized in each instance she used a different tactic specific to the situation. She wasn’t being meek and she was using her voice when people were picking on her.

I was pretty proud.

Pain

Pain is one of the things that truly brings me to my lowest point. It is a nasty bitch that tears away my strength, my self-worth, my confidence, and my motivation.

I have been in pain for months now. I can’t tell if it’s getting worse or if my resolve has worn down so much—I have no defenses left. Either way, I have hit a very low point.

It’s my knees. We aren’t sure if it’s due to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Could be that RA damaged the joints which led to early onset osteoarthritis. So my Rheumatologist (Dr. P) took xrays—about 3 weeks ago. Xrays are all digital now and can be looked at and emailed back to the doctor within the same day. And yet, it’s been 3 weeks.
We knew xrays were necessary because insurance won’t pay for an MRI without xray first. MRI’s are a much better way to see what is happening to the soft tissue.
I’ve been hounding my Rheummy for xray results and my MRI appointment. They didn’t call back until the other day. They haven’t even put in the request to the insurance company—which could take days—to give me a MRI appointment, and they will only do 1 knee. Once the MRI is done who knows how long this Rheummy will wait to give them results. I am furious.

In the meantime they cannot give me anything for pain. All non-steroid-anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs like ibuprofen) kill my ulcer—which was caused by too many NSAIDs. The irony. Narcotics can at least help a little. But apparently doctors now don’t prescribe narcotics for this situation. Even my primary doctor.

I went to my primary doc (Dr. S) today and told him everything. He cannot give me anything for the pain. But he did give me a second opinion rheummy if I wanted it. They might agree 100% with the course of action I’m already using, or maybe they won’t.

Only thing I can try is prednisone, which hasn’t worked in the past. And it gives me severe oral thrush. So severe I am unable to talk, eat or drink for weeks. No exaggeration. So when Dr. P suggested prednisone, I told him he’d better prescribe an anti-fungal at the same time. The anti-fungal can help prevent a thrush outbreak. He said he hasn’t written me a script for that before. I told him he was right. It was my primary Dr. S that did it before. So Dr. P told me to get the anti-fungal from him. SERIOUSLY!? WTF?

I’ve been complaining of knee pain for MONTHS. Now it’s becoming really distracting. I have Vicodin from an old injury that isn’t expired but it’s pretty strong. I can cut it in half but I still wouldn’t want to be alone with the kids on it or drive with it.

I’m sitting at my computer, trying to concentrate on work. The prednisone has revved my system like staying up all night drinking coffee and red bull would. Now I’m distracted, in pain, buzzing on steroids that don’t work. I’m depressed. I just want to cry. And sleep. And disappear.

What am I going to do with my kids?

Sweet P

This has been a tough week for my daughter. MotherAndBabyGiraffe1

When we moved here almost 2 years ago we didn’t know very many people. She was enrolled in a summer day camp program but didn’t specifically make any friends. When she started in her new school she came home saying she made a friend! I was bursting with joy. The road for my daughter had been bumpy the last few years and it was great that school started on a high note.

When I met this little girl I was surprised my daughter hadn’t mentioned she was in a wheelchair. But it was JUST LIKE her to look past something as silly as this, and focus on the person sitting in the chair. That is one of my daughter’s special talents. Every day I would hear more funny stories about the two kids pal-ing around.

But just as suddenly as the friendship started—it ended. My daughter’s friend was born with MD (muscular dystrophy). It can affect arms and leg muscles, and it can also affect heart and lungs. This little girl passed away one weekend quite suddenly.

Having to break this news to my little girl was devastating. The following events (wake, funeral, school assemblies) were almost too much for her to bear. She did a pretty good job at trying to forget it ever happened. Until she would see another child in a wheelchair, or until another group would have a memorial for her, or something planted in her name. The community outpouring of love for this girl was beautiful.

This week was the anniversary of her birthday and the school was going to ask kids to wear her favorite color and create a poem to be read during the school announcements. My daughter said she wanted to skip school that day. I didn’t blame her. But I also told her I would think about it.

Over the course of the week, I had her talk to her teacher, her psychologist, and me. Her school was so supportive about my daughter’s feelings they offered a variety of ways to help her through the school day. In the end she spent much of her morning with the Kindergarten teacher, helping with the little kids. This teacher was also very close to the family and was in need of support. The two of them helped each other that morning. Later on I got a wonderful phone call from that teacher, telling me how great it was to have my daughter in class due to her own sorrow.

As her mother my knee-jerk reaction to my children’s pain is to try to do everything to get rid of it. I have to fix them, to make them happy again. But I do them a disservice when I intrude sometimes. What a beautiful teaching moment this was for my daughter. I wasn’t suppose to have the answers for her. It was God’s plan to have her learn this lesson from another. Therefore 2 lives were made better.

In loving memory of ♥

Single-White-Female Seeking…a Friend

What is it about females that has flummoxed me for my whole life?tee18

I get into a room of women and all the spit disappears from my mouth. The hairs on the back of my neck go up. Then the panic sets in…

I have been burned by more women friends than a girl scout cookies has calories. I have done my very best to avoid women at all costs. But in these last few years that has been very hard.

See…I got divorced. Then the Ex moved out-of-state and I had custody of my children 24/7. And he didn’t have a job, so no child support. This means I needed HELP! During the first 2 years I actually found TWO friends! But, wouldn’t you know it, those relationships crashed and burned just like all the others due to deceit and trickery.

So I would skulk around the playground, watching my kids, wondering who I could ask to be my friend. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it because most of the parents were women. And if I approached a man, everyone would think I was hitting on them!

Don’t get me wrong. I am a very friendly person. In fact, some might liken me to a doormat. In order to branch out I would over-offer help to other people—thinking maybe they would reciprocate. Then we would develop a friendship where I could call said people in a pinch to watch my kids so I could run to the pharmacy. What actually happens is these people will take all the help I offer and give me nothing in return, leaving me feeling empty, drained, and resentful.

You know what they say about expectations? They are just future resentments.

So where is this post going…I need friends. Real women who are mature and hate drama. I need a girlfriend who I can occasionally vent to, who will help me when I am overwhelmed with life. Someone who won’t bat an eye if I ask to drop off my kids for one-hour-of-silence to get rid of a migraine.

The women I tend to meet are narcissistic witches, who try to come off as sympathetic and supportive but who actually drain the life out of you, very very slowly.

So I’m doing something very scary. I am going to try and approach some people I know, and ask them to be my friend. To have coffee with me. To sit with me at the lunch table.

Run a Marathon Without Standing Up!

Are you here because you want to know how to run a marathon without standing up?

You can’t.

But while you’re here, let me say I feel like I ran a marathon. Why so weary? Simple. I went to the YMCA with kids last night. I walked a quarter-mile around the track—with frequent stops to peer down into the basketball court while my son played with other kids. Then, my foot started acting up.

I have a bone spur (bunion) and it really bothers me. I have custom shoe inserts. I wear them faithfully. If I do any length of walking, my foot hurts. Even with cortizone shots. Only options left is surgery.

The rest of the evening I read my book while the kids went up and down the climbing wall. SUPER strenuous, I know. Yet, today, bone weary.

Well…I’m also doing a lot of over-time at work. 2 hours a day to be exact. So on top of all the other things this Momma (and every other Momma) has to do in a day—I also work at my job for 10-hours. That might be a part of it.

But I’m not complaining about working. I want to work. It’s good money, and I need money. The kids Dad still has no job, which means no child support. I make ends meet but not without some serious budgeting and prioritizing. And my rent is going up. And the kids need clothes (thank God for Goodwill) and they need food (thank God for Aldi’s)…and yadda yadda. Oh, and I haven’t actually been able to contribute financially to this big party coming up in October—the wedding.

Apparently the pity wagon made a stop at my house! Well…those boot straps won’t pull themselves up…time to make dinner.

Thank you!

liebster-awardI was just nominated for a Liebster award!
Thank you simple.ijustdo!

However, now I need to do some work revolving around it and I was just asked to do a lot of overtime at work.
SOOO…I promise I will get to it. Really!

Why the award? I think it’s like a chain letter—a blogger to blogger award given to someone with less than 200 readers. I think I have -2 readers so I definitely qualify. But after accepting it, there are rules and such. Which, as mentioned before, I will get to.