27 May 2014

I Feel Like I'm Failing as a Parent

I work really hard to make sure I don't allow Eriks to get under my skin.  I know some of his behavior is due to his Asperger's and other autism spectrum issues.  Some of it is just being a kid and annoying the hell out of their parents and some of it is fighting for attention because he has a little sister that showed up 5 1/2 years into his life.  I think he really hates having to share our attention with her.  As long as she's not around, he behaves OK.  As soon as she appears, he does a complete 180 degree turn and goes out of his way to hurt her, annoy her or make her cry or scream.   But, I'm beginning to suspect that the largest majority of this is because he's super pissed off at his birthparents for placing him for adoption and not being the ones to raise him.  As far as he is concerned right now, Lane and I are NOT his parents and he doesn't have to listen to a damn thing we say.  He has told us repeatedly that he should be living with his birthmother and not with us.

Right now he is going out of his way to be disrespectful and constantly argues with us.  And by constantly, I mean CONSTANTLY! You tell him it's time for dinner and he needs to stop what he's doing - there's an argument about it.  You tell him he needs to take a shower and he argues about it.  You get my point.  And when you explain to him why the rules are the way they are, here are his responses, "You're an idiot", "You're stupid", "I hate you", "You're not my real mom.  You can't tell me what to do", "You're a dumbass.  Go away", "I wish you were never my mother because you're a horrible mother."  All of this takes its toll on a person.  Especially when you hear it every - single - day for several years.  From my perspective it seems very abusive.  I'll admit, I haven't been a perfect parent and have said some things a few times that I should've bit my tongue on.  But most, if not all parents have said things to their kids they wish they hadn't.  Lane and I try to be very fair to him, but we are not here to be his friends.  We are here to be his parents and raise him with morals, self-discipline and respect not only to himself, but others.

He's in counseling with us but I don't think he listens to a thing she says about what he needs to be doing.  I'm not sure where to go from here or what's going to get him to change his behavior.  I'm seriously afraid that this child will end up spending his life behind bars if the light doesn't go on.

His end of the year school program and 8th grade graduation is this Friday.  As of right now, I have no plans to go for the following reasons:

A) It's my birthday and this program fell on my birthday last year.  I do not want to spend my birthday 2 years in a row going to this program.  Who the hell has an end of the year school program on a Friday night?

B) They do the same program EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  Nothing about this program changes.  It has been the same for the 3 years that we have been with the school.  Also, I think it's completely ridiculous that they combine the school program with 8th grade graduation.  So I end up losing at least 3 hours of my life that I will never get back by choosing to combine them.  When my kids are in 8th grade, I'm not going to care if the whole school is there for it or not.  The school I went to had 8th grade graduation as a completely separate function from everything else.  No one else in the school was obligated to attend unless they had a sibling in that grade.

C) With the way that my son has been treating me, I don't want him ruining my birthday with his behavior.  Because he's going to act the way he always does and then I have to go to his school program on top of that?  No thanks.  I know that may sound selfish but when you live with this daily and your kids manages to ruin every single birthday and holiday every year it gets really old - FAST.  I'd like to spend one day a year not being called stupid, being told I'm the worst mother ever, or being yelled at by a 10 year old at the top of his lungs about something.  We can't even have a Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc. without him ruining it with his behavior or his mouth.

In all my years being alive, I have never seen a kid behave like this.  To be so spiteful to his parents and disrespectful to many adults (not necessarily to their faces - it's often behind their backs).

It feels like we are drowning as a family because of this.  I want to fix this because I love that kid so damn much.

23 May 2014

Law School Graduation

I'm sorry it's taken me 2 weeks to post these photos.  I just haven't really been in the mood to blog.  I'm frustrated with myself.  Frustrated with kids.  Frustrated that Lane's having a hard time finding a job after working his butt off for 3 years.  But, enough about that.  I'm thrilled that he accomplished it without incurring any student loans.  So if you're reading this and you know a lawyer, especially an Intellectual Property lawyer pass on the following:

2014 Robert H. McKinney Law School at Indiana University graduate. Dean's List several times.  In top 20-25% of his class.  Hard-working.  Air Force Veteran.  Seeking job in Intellectual Property Law.  Externship at Roche Diagnostics.  Resume available by emailing me, the blogger.

Overall the weekend was super busy but nice.  Lane's graduation happened to fall on our 17th wedding anniversary.  Go figure.  I knew it was just going to be my luck that law school was going to overshadow some other important event in our lives.  But I'm glad that I was giving it up for a good cause.  There were over 300 graduates which Lane told me was if not the biggest, but one of the biggest classes the law school had seen in a long time.  My kids were amazingly well behaved during the approximately 2 hour ceremony.  This completely floored me because we can't even get though 1 hour of church every Sunday.  I was so worried I was going to have whiny, complaining kids on my hands and I wasn't going to get to enjoy it.  I was wrong!  We did have one kiddo that needed a bathroom break 1/2 way through but that I could handle.

After Lane's graduation we headed off to another celebration.  My SIL's mom's 70th birthday had occurred the day before and her 4 kids planned a surprise party in her honor.  It was a nice way to wind down after the hectic day rather than head back to our house to entertain people.  We did have a party for Lane on Mother's Day which was nice, but I didn't any time to relax due to cooking food and keeping our guests happy.  It was OK.  I'll get a do-over sometime soon.  I'm hoping next weekend since last weekend we had a busy weekend and this weekend it's the same scenario.

06 May 2014

Follow Up Post to Paging Poppins

I was really angry when I wrote my last post.  I also felt very used...maybe even abused by my family with rarely a 'thank you' to be found.  I started working outside of the home at the beginning of December part-time to make our lives a little more comfortable while Lane wraps up Law School and continues to hunt for a job.  Ever since he retired from the Air Force and has been in school, money has been tight.  It's a life we chose so that Lane could do something he was passionate about, but it has been really hard adjusting to a different lifestyle.  Now with me working, I can't do it all.  I never was, never claimed to be and never wanted to be "Supermom".  I have never envied moms who can do it all.  But my OCD self wants my house clean 24/7.  I don't necessarily want one of those perfect houses you see on display in Better Homes & Gardens but I believe everything has a place and it should be in its place.  When you're done using something, put it away!!  If you take off your shoes, you put them in the closet where you found them.  You get my point here.

For years I have talked about decluttering our lives and trying to enjoy more of what we do have than what we don't have.  I look back at all the crap that I've amassed.  For what?  Just so that I can have it in case I need it?  Now I will admit, I stopped buying most things unnecessarily years ago.  We didn't even upgrade to a flat screen TV until 2010.  We had a 27" bubble front TV until then and were perfectly fine with it but it was 13 years old, not always turning off when you turned it off.  Sometimes it would turn itself on when you weren't even near it.  Probably an issue with the remote but it was time for the TV to go.  When you're in the military and moving every 3 years or so, you'll never know what you'll need in the next house so you just hang on to most things just in case.  Now we have no more excuses for all this stuff that sits around going unused.

My kids are cursed because of when their birthdays fall...Eriks just a week before Christmas and Emi's just about 6 weeks after Christmas.  The kids always get way more than they need and many things often go unplayed with.  And I've been trying to come up with ways to deal with what I call the 'Birthday Blues'.  It's when in my head I'm strategically trying to plan where I'm going to put all the stuff they get between their birthdays and Christmas.  Would their be a kind way to tell people not to buy my kids anything so I didn't have to deal with it?   I get highly stressed out and overwhelmed between the kids' birthdays and Christmas.  Mostly because I don't want all the stuff in my house.  We don't need it.  It's not that it's not appreciated, it's just that it often goes ignored.

When I posted on my Facebook page that I had blogged, my cousin posted a link to another blog/website about a mom who had had enough with all of her kids' *STUFF* and she was going to get rid of it.  At least most of it.  Her article was the lightbulb that I needed.  It was my 'ah-ha' moment.  If she can do it with her family, then surely I could do it with mine, right?

I figured I'd link the article because I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way about all the stuff that their kids have and don't need.


So, come the weekend after Memorial Day, we are having a HUGE yard sale to get rid of all the stuff sitting in cabinet, closets, basement, garage, etc. that we don't need.  Some of my nicer stuff will go to a consignment shop - designer clothes that are too big because of the weight I lost, a few designer purses that I no longer use, shoes that I bought and wore once or NEVER, etc.

I know we'll be happier with out all this nonsense and maybe my kids will enjoy what they do have more than what they don't have if I get rid of all the stuff they don't touch anymore.  Who knows, we might just use that money to take a family vacation to explore somewhere and learn something.

I really want to experiment and see if we can live a simpler life.  Maybe getting rid of all this stuff will help my kids get along better because they're going to have to find ways to play with less stuff.

03 May 2014

Paging Mary Poppins

I am completely exhausted right now.  I am trying to get my house decent for next weekend which is going to be completely chaotic with activity - mostly Lane's graduation from law school.  It's also our wedding anniversary which I doubt we'll really be able to enjoy or celebrate thanks to graduation and other activities.  So I assume it'll just be kind of swept under the rug this year and at this point I don't care.

Why is it children can't clean their stuff up?  Really?  I know, I wasn't perfect and neither was my room often.  I shoved stuff under the bed and in the closet.  But when my mom told me to pick up and put away my stuff, I usually did.  I'll give them warnings that it's time to clean up because dinner will be ready in 5 minutes.  They totally ignore me and go on their way.  They come inside from school or wherever they've been and just drop their stuff on the floor for me to trip over.  This morning alone I think I told them 5 times to pick their jackets up off the kitchen floor and put them away.  Did they do it?  Nope.  Maybe if I had Mary Poppins' magic powers of snapping her fingers in the nursery scene and everything just starts flying up off the floor and into the toy box or closet, etc, my kids would love it and want to do it too.  Real life doesn't work that way.

Unfortunately as much as I love my husband, he's no great example for the kids.  The office that we're supposed to share and I never enter anymore is completely trashed with stuff all over the floor and desk. And other areas of the house that he has stuff in, he's not great at organizing.  I'm just frustrated that the 2 or 3 minutes it would take to do something, not a single one of my family members takes the time to do it.  They're just so in the mindset of, "Mom will do it."  I'm ready to go on strike again I am so pissed off about this.  You make a food on the counter and spill something you wipe it up.  It's not that hard!

I told my kids this morning after the jacket incident that I'm giving them until the end of the day to clean their stuff up.  If there's anything of theirs out at the end of the day that shouldn't be, then it will be sold on Ebay that I will put towards a vacation fund for me, myself and I because dammit, mom's deserve some alone time.

I am tired of cleaning up a room and an hour later it's completely trashed again.  I did not sign up to be a 24-hour a day maid service.  I understand it's my job as a mom and wife to take care of my house and my family, but this is beyond what I expected.  I'm about to lose my sanity because I have no time to myself or take care of my needs.  There are times that I wonder what it would be like to just walk away from it all and put what I want ahead of everyone else.  I know I haven't put myself 1st since before I got married.  After Lane and I married we had to answer to the government and what they wanted of him.

Maybe that's why I'm so resentful of my husband and kids right now.  For the 3 of them it's all about, "Me, me, me."  Lane's focused on school and looking for a job.  And the kids...well, we all know kids are just selfish and most of the time don't care about what anyone else needs or wants except for themselves.  But just occasionally it would be nice if one day the 3 of them came to me and said, "Don't worry, we'll clean the house, we'll make all the meals today.  You just sit back and relax and do nothing."  Wishful thinking, but a girl can dream can't she?

I warned you my posts weren't always going to pretty.  This is one of them.  Back to taking care of everyone else because I guess that's what I'm expected to do.  Be the doting wife and mom.  Now I see why alcoholism is becoming a huge problem among young moms.  Saw this story covered by one of the big national news channels...NBC, CBS, ABC...one of them.  Women get together and drink while their kids play because there is so much pressure on them to be the perfect wife and mother that has it all together.  They talked to several moms that at the end of the day after the kids were in bed, they'd uncork the wine and by the time they went to bed, they'd drink the entire bottle.  Sometimes more.  It became their way to deal with the stress of motherhood and life.  I don't drink much because I don't like the way it makes me feel if I drink to much.  I have enough other problems to deal with and I know my health issues wouldn't tolerate it well.  But if I didn't have to worry about that, who knows, maybe I'd become one of those moms.  I definitely feel the pressure of having to keep my house clean, meals made every day, etc.  It sucks.

So what do you think?  Are we as a society putting unrealistic goals on women today to be perfect wives and mothers?

Related Posts with Thumbnails