How to keep your sanity, when reality just won’t quit!!

Already, 12 days into the month of March, I want to give up. I want to throw in the towel. I don’t want to worry about disciplining the kids anymore and dealing with the arguments. I choose not to clean the house. I refuse to make breakfast, lunch and dinner on anyone’s schedule, other then my own. In other words, I feel like a whining, spoiled, bratty teenager, that isn’t getting her own way (just like the one in New Jersey, who’s suing her parents. Same concept). Why, you may ask? Because my reality is far more challenging, stressful and ridiculously eventful, then I had bargained for. We can all say, that at some point and time in our lives, we have come across a person, a situation, a particular challenge, that makes us give the “turn tail and run” method a fair shot into making it into our first choice of reactions list.

Personally, I can tell you the first time I felt the need to run away from a stressful situation, was when I was in school and wasn’t exactly the most popular girl in class. To be honest, I was a lanky, skinny, hyper child with no self-esteem, what-so-ever. The fact that the other kids were mean, rich, sure-of-themselves snobs didn’t help much. So I started doing poorly in school and convinced my parents to homeschool me, in order to get away from the other kids. Hindsight (which, yes, it is a b$%*@), shows me that what I really needed was some social skills and a self-esteem booster in the form of a club or other organized activity that I would have enjoyed or exceled at. The latest challenge has come in the form of a certified mailing of court papers for joint custody of my 8 year old son (which, I am happy to update, has been “withdrawn due to insufficient stability in which to raise and take care of the minor child”). Thank God for small miracles.

But why do we feel this way at all? What is the meaning of having all of this drama and stress in our lives (in or out of our control)? Why does our brain say that we should freak out about things? Granted, some people are a bit “public” about their personal freak outs. Technically, I suppose a blog could be a bit “public” as well, although it is not meant to be aired as “dirty laundry”. It simply is a conundrum that I want to decipher, so that I can help myself, and maybe others, to deal with the life in a more effective manor. Since I have yet to figure any of these things out, I will just share what makes me feel better and hope that it may be useful to someone, somewhere. And also, feel free to share what helps you get through the tough times as well!!

1. Wine and friends. They go together. Just saying.

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I put this sign up and tell the kids that Mommy needs a time out. I get left alone pretty quickly…occasionally my kitchen or living room is mysteriously cleaned. 🙂

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I pick up one of the books in my favorite series and escape my reality. It usually works pretty well. If the photo above does not accurately depict my favorite series, I will clarify.: Diana Gabaldon is the Author. It is her famous Outlander series that will be a TV series on Starz this summer. Just saying.

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When I am calm enough to think rationally, I immerse myself in my Faith. That might be by reading the Bible, finding bible verses online, burning sage, going outside, etc. There are a ton of ways to find a spiritual path in amidst all this technology. SO whatever yours is, find it and follow it.

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This is very true, and when things come into focus for me, I can look at my particular problem with clear eyes. I try to look at all things from different points of view, so that I can make better sense of things, or even to understand someone else’s reasoning. It’s not always easy, but to realize that the problem will end and life will go on is a great silver lining to look forward to.

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When a problem is close to resolved, I always look for self improvement. I am the first one to admit that I am not perfect. In any way, shape, form, idea…you get the point. But I will try to fix an “Me Problem”. The fact that I detest the act of hanging up and putting away the laundry is a form of being seriously lazy. I realize this, so I will try and push through it and honestly. it doesn’t take as long as I always think it will and I realy do feel a sense of accomplishment once its finished. Here is a list of Self-Improvement things I have hanging up in my room that I like to remind myself to work at 🙂

6. Bestie

When all else fails, I call/message/text my best friend. She is over 2,000 miles away and I miss her every day, but she saves me from the darkest depths of my mind. I know if I need her, all I have to do is call and she knows the same goes for her. ❤

SO that is all I have for what works for me. Here's to hoping that life gets a little calmer and a bit more tolerable as each day passes. Or atleast the bottles of wine stay full 🙂

When life hands you stress, drink wine :)

Have you ever been handed the biggest crock of s@#t and your just not sure if this it is real or some sort of practical joke? That thought came to me last weekend, when I was asked to sign for a certified letter that contained court paperwork, ordering me to appear before a Conciliator to determine the need for 50/50 custody of my 8 year old son. Seriously? So the guy that after 7 years of marriage and infidelity on his part, walked out of my apartment door and never bothered to even say goodbye to his son, has seen his son on and off for the past 4 years and was generally too busy with women and friends to pay much attention to any visitation we agreed too, now has had a change of heart and wants equal time with his son? Let’s break this down, shall we?

To be honest, the court proceedings are not actually what’s bothering me. Nor is the fact that my ex-husband is trying to take more for time with his son (I actually want him to be around for his son more.). It’s the fact that my son’s Father has no idea what his son is going through on a daily basis. He doesn’t care about my son’s special needs (he actually laughs it off and tells me that our son is completely fine and I just don’t know how to “handle” him), that our son has an aversion to ANY change in his schedule and that yes we moved to a new house in December but that my son has been a lot better behaviorally and emotionally since the move. No, he wants, what he wants, when he wants it. I could absolutely speculate on why this sudden change of heart, when it comes to spending time with his son.

First, there is the “New Girl”. She is the latest in a long line of women-friends in the last 6 months. Except this one has had the unfortunate thought of agreeing to let my ex move in with her and her 2 children. I don’t really have anything bad to say about her. She is very lovely (the one time I met her through a car window), and her kids seem very nice as well (also through the car window). I more or less feel bad for her. She has no idea what she is getting into. At any rate, they have been together for the last month and he moved in 3 weeks ago. She has custody of her kids. She seems to be a very caring Mother. So now my ex has to step up the “woo-ing”. He needs to impress her with his parenting skills.

Secondly, he got a new job last month. A full-time, well paying, union job. He does pay child support and has no arrears at all. Never has. However, all the child support was based off of the part-time, low paying job he previously held and the fact that I’m really not interested in his money. Never have been. But my son has interests in extra curricular activities that we have not been able to sign him up for and other programs that he would be eligible for due to his medical diagnosis, but we cannot afford it. SO would I go back to court in order to raise the child support, so my son could get involved in things he is interested in? Absolutely. I don’t like money exchanging hands without some sort of guarantee and paper trail. It’s not good for either party. But I do know that my ex is worried about it. Why? Because when he tells me that he wants 50/50 custody because it will give him “12-14 days a month and I will be happy with that”, clues me into the fact that he is counting how many overnights he will have with his son and THAT is how child support is calculated.

All in all, I guess you can tell by now that it’s not those reasons that bother me at all. It’s the fact that he doesn’t care about spending the time with his son. He has never once called the therapist or the Medical Management doctor to see when his appointments are or how he is progressing. He hasn’t called the Pediatrician to see when his next physical is. He hasn’t even called the school to meet his teacher or see what the new evaluation (He went to one parent-teacher conference in 1st grade and his Kindergarten graduation.) He has never attended any of his son’s cub scout events. I don’t see how anyone who says they “care” for their child can use such excuses as
“I can’t get off work. Ever. Don’t bother me with this stuff.”-verbatim from text message
or
“I have class that night. If you can’t make appointments to fit my schedule, then I can’t come.”- verbatim from text message
And just so we are on the level, no I do not feel like it’s my responsibility to “hold his hand” and notify him of each and every appointment and to make sure he is able to come when I schedule everything. However I do tell him what has changed, if anything, after each medical appointment, and if my son ever has any extra curricular activities going on, he is notified.

So now, in amidst of my older son having some trouble keeping his head on straight with this new fascination of girls and pimples, my 8 year old son having a change in his medication, my 1 1/2 year old daughter starting to hit the terrible tantrum stage and my husband has so much work (thank God), that he has no time for home (the life of a farmer’s wife, is comparable to a single Mother.). And now we need to come up with lawyer fees and babysitter fees, all so I can go to court. I even sucked it up and tried to explain the process to my ex, to tell him what the conciliator looks for in both parents for him to rule in favor of 50/50 custody. That way we could both save the legal fees and time. His lack of interest in his son’s life prior to now, his swing shift work schedule, the lack of respect for his son’s medical diagnosis and the fact he doesn’t even live in the same school district as his son, does not qualify him for 50/50 custody (per PA custody guidelines for Joint Custody). But of course, I was just “being a ::BEEEEEEEEEEEP::”. So, that didn’t do anything either. What more does he want from me?!?! I have no problems agreeing to 3 weekends a month, 3 weeks during the summer and split holidays (which he already had). But in no way will I agree to a any visitation during the school week. A disruption to my son’s weekly life and school life, is not in my son’s best interest. Especially when he is finally caught up to other students and excelling! Well, apparently that’s not good enough for my ex. So off to court we go.

I guess the moral of this drama filled event, is that no matter how nice, well-intentioned or selfless you are, you won’t win. So just hold onto your Faith that He will bring you through whatever he leads you to. As a Mother (or Father), look out for the best interest of your child, special needs or not, so that your child is always put first, with his/her best interest in mind. Because that really is what it is all about. Whether you are together, separated or divorced, your children are a gift from God and should be treated as such.

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The hard to face truth of life

I know I haven’t posted in awhile and there is a reason for that…her name is Mother Nature. I live in the Northeast of the USA and we have been getting slammed with snow storms and Ice storms and stomach viruses and the Flu, getting served with court papers (a story for another day, I assure you) and kids missing too much school….you get the idea. Today, however, I got slapped in the face by a something that is too much to handle on my own.

There was a fatal car accident on a well known highway today. A car slammed into a concrete bridge post. The reason why or how the driver lost control of her vehicle is absolutely irrelevant. She lost her life and now her family is in mourning. Her friends are grieving. She had passed upon impact. That is far from any consolation that they might take comfort in right now, but eventually, some might find that a tender thought. Others will be angry for a long time. It is a disturbing and real fact of life. Accidents, fatal accidents, happen all the time on that stretch of highway. I always say a prayer for the victim and the family and go about my day. But not this time. Because this time, I knew the woman that died. And I feel guilty for grieving.

Now your probably asking, “Why in the world would you feel guilty?!”. Well, because we were not friends. More like acquaintances. We grew up together. Junior High, High School, when I came home from the Army I played softball against her team in the adult co-ed league. I even saw her not too long ago at the store. Not a word was said to each other, but a smile was shared. She was one of the “popular” girls. The popular girls always picked on a girl like me. I didn’t buy my clothes at the mall, or put on makeup everyday (hell, I wasn’t even allowed to own makeup until I was 17). I wasn’t ridiculously pretty and to be quiet honest I was (and still am in a way) freakishly lanky and not at all graceful. But when the other girls would make fun of my too short pants or my “kmart kickers”, she never took part. She always made a point to come to me and apologize and make sure I was ok. I always remembered and was thankful to her for that.

So that’s my extent of “knowing” her. We had conversations here and there, but we never hung out or anything of that nature. And yet I feel a loss. Here was a woman who is gone. I remember her when we were gawky teenagers and the stupid things our teachers would say that we would laugh at. She was part of my graduating class. We ended up having the same friends and hanging around in the same circles as adults. But what it really does is make me realize how short life really is. Its not about who you know, or how well you know someone. Its about being a community and letting each other know that its ok to feel a loss. Yes, we all graduated and went our separate ways 14 years ago, but we really need to stick together sometimes. This is one of those times. We need to say hey, life is too short to be risking everything. Don’t be stupid. Be responsible so we can all get together for the next reunion (which I might actually go to this time…maybe). On the same note, take that trip you always wanted to go on. Go out with the girls (or boys). Spend a little extra for dinner. I mean seriously, wherever we end up, I am sure currency has no value.

So hug your kids a little tighter. Kiss your spouse/significant other/partner a little more. Call that cousin or friend you’ve been meaning to call and just haven’t gotten around to it. You never really know when it will end.