parenting

All posts tagged parenting

Why You Suck As A Father Part II

Published August 14, 2015 by Angela

Yes, I am going to be that Mom-Ex for a minute.

Okay, for a few weeks, more than likely. In case if you missed my first rant of why the dad-who-disappeared is stressing me out, you can read that here: Why an Absentee Father Should Disappear Again

So, you may have read it, or you didn’t. But I will fill you in on some backstory.

I got divorced nearly 9 years ago. For the past 7 years, the ex has picked up our girls for one week a year; at Christmas. He doesn’t pay child support. He doesn’t call them on their birthdays. He does not try to contact them except to let me know he is getting them over Christmas break.

So suddenly, he moves back into town.

And when I say back into town, I mean he is living at a local campground in a tent.

So although my 10 and 14 year old are more than able to go spend weekends with him, my 17-year-old senior in high school is not. Why not? Because she is the Drum Major for the marching band. She is on the Varsity Volleyball team. She has a job. And she is working on scholarship applications already because she knows I am very limited on how I can pay her tuition.

So what does he do? He ignores her.

When I get home from working 10 hours today to have my 14 year old say to me “Dad is picking us up tomorrow before he goes to work. For a surprise. But we don’t know what is going on. He will drop us back off before he goes to work.”

ME: “Is 17-year-old part of this surprise?”

14-year-old: “I don’t think so.”

Who does this? What kind of “father” punishes his daughter for trying to be the best person she can be? If you have not read that post I linked to above yet, you should probably read it now.

I am so beyond upset and stressed because he is back disrupting our lives, but I do know it will not be for long. I told him a long time ago……”When your kids get older, they will not have time for you…just like you do not have time for them now.”

The More Things Change…

Published April 22, 2015 by Angela

…the more they really do stay the same. Such as parenting. In my case; single parenting. I have been a single parent longer than I haven’t, so it really is the only way of life I know.

As each child grows up and sets new goals, and reaches new milestones, it seems there is another coming right behind them and I get the re-runs of what the first (or second, or third!) one did, with the next one doing the same exact things, only with their own style and flair.

My fourth daughter will never, EVER be able to get anything past me. Not only have her 3 older sisters done and said it all, I remember I basically did the same things myself to my parents when I was growing up.

They do grow up, and move out, and get jobs, but they are still every bit as important to me, and I do not worry one bit less about them as they go from being my little girl to being an adult.

I would be lying if I said I was not anxious to have my kids grown and out of the house. And I try not to lie. Does that make me a bad mom? I know some who think that it does. But when your entire life revolves around your children; their wants, their needs, their achievements, and their failures, you do start to forget what it was you were supposed to be doing with your life. When you do it as a single parent (a single parent who has children that do not visit their father for more than 5 days over Christmas each year), you do sometimes feel like you are drowning in what everyone else wants and needs.

What were the goals I had when I was their ages? I honestly do not remember anymore.

When was the last day that I did not have to take someone somewhere, pick someone up, or have extra kids in my house? It has been so long, I don’t remember that either.

I know I need to take time for myself, and it is not like I don’t try to do just that. But by the time I get done taking care of the responsibilities I have as a parent, there is no time left for me.

Do I love my girls? More than anything! Do I regret having children? Not for a second. But that does not make me a bad person or mother because I am anxiously awaiting my empty nest 🙂

I also get told all the time that I will look back on this time and regret wishing my girls would grow up. Honestly, they are spaced 13 years apart from oldest to youngest, so mathematically, by the time the youngest one is out of the house, I will be well beyond ready for my empty nest.

My oldest is graduating from college in 3 days; I love her, and she was honestly the best behaved out of my four girls, but that certainly does not mean I wish she was 6 years old again. Or 12, or 15.

Thanks, but no thanks. That’s what memories are for; and I will have a heart full to think about, in my empty nest, all peaceful and quiet.

The Things That Used To Frustrate Me The Most…

Published November 3, 2014 by Angela

…now bring a smile to my face  🙂 Yes, just like that, but bigger.

Case-in-point:

I announced in the living room on Thursday, while all of my girls were in there and I had their attention; that their clothes hamper was starting to overflow (it is located in the hall outside of our 3 bedroom doors) and someone should probably think about starting laundry before they run out of something they need.

I told them the same thing Friday, and I also told them Saturday.  They were looking at me, so I knew they heard me; they just didn’t care at the time.

Fast-Forward to Monday morning, 6:05am, I am about to head out the door to work, and 16 year old is getting in the shower.

“Ugh. Why are there no bath towels in the closet?”

Me: “Probably because none of you girls took it upon yourselves to do the laundry after I had warned you 3 times.” And I left for work.

I have no idea what she used to dry herself off with, but I am about 98% sure that there will be laundry getting done tonight. I wash all of my clothes by themselves (i.e. not with my kids laundry) and I do 1 or 2 loads of laundry every Sunday. I have clothes and bath towels for the week, and whether or not they do is not my issue.

See, I used to feel responsible for making sure they had clean clothes, but all that happened was that I was always doing their chores and they were not learning any responsibility. So a few days of no bath towels or clean bras usually gets them back on task.

Honestly, if you can drive a car, kiss a boy, or swear at your sisters, you can start the washer and dryer.

How Would You Like Me To Reward Your Bad Behavior?

Published October 26, 2014 by Angela

A $75.00 gift card to Amazon?

What?

I was almost speechless, but only for about 2 seconds. My dear 13 year old had an attitude yesterday morning when I told her she needed to get ready to go to her younger sister’s first basketball game. She did not want to go. I explained to her that she needed to go to support her sister, and that her sister would be very upset and hurt to look up in the stands and see everyone there but her. Well, her Dad also, but I think she has pretty much written him off anyhow.

Basketball in hoop

So she was intentionally doing everything in her power to make us late, thinking I would finally give in and just let her stay home. I also was not leaving the house without her, no matter how late we ended up getting to the game.

I think she realized this, as she was at least getting dressed, however slowly. She finally made it to the front door and said “I need to brush my hair.”

“No, you don’t. It looks fine.” More angry-face-crappy-attitude-stomping-of-feet all the way to the car. Did I mention she is 13 years old?

So now I am slowly drinking my coffee, waiting for the 8am mark so I can go get her up to go to her confirmation classes, which she has missed for the last two weeks. I told her yesterday if she did not get up and go to her confirmation classes, and I did not care if she was throwing up all over herself (yeah, I said that. This girl plays the “sick” card like it is her profession), she would not have the laptop left in the mornings to do her homeschooling, and she would spend every evening at the kitchen table with me doing her homework while I do mine.

So here’s to a beautiful Sunday, full of sunshine and Blessings!

Still holding on through the cold weather!

Still holding on through the cold weather!

Smooth Moves and Switching Over

Published September 25, 2014 by Angela

I Hope This Goes Better Than I Am Expecting! Probably not what you expected either, from the title!

I am moving my blogs to a self-hosted website, so I can have more control over how my pages look, as well as what add-ins are displayed. I am hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. So, I will be absolutely devastated if my followers don’t get redirected to my new website as it states it will do.

I know several of you are following two of my blogs, and one of you is following all 3 ( J ). I do not know how long this transition may take, but I will definitely keep them open where they are at until I know I can export everything over.

So, if I disappear for a while, I apologize, I will just be sitting in front of my laptop, crying because I messed something up!

Questioning Life Changes, Does it Never End?

Published September 21, 2014 by Angela

I always seem to have a difficult time making very important decisions; never being able to stop asking myself, “but what if I did …”. The past year has been full of life changes for me. All for the positive, but never without stress and worry. I will be the first to admit that I overthink everything. Every single thing. At 42 years old, with a great career, family life, and good health, I still stress over making decisions.

Sometimes I wish I could be a kid again, when someone else would make the decisions for me. Then I wouldn’t be the one responsible when it didn’t work out. I have made some bad decisions; some real whoppers! But I do always own up to them, hopefully apologizing when necessary, and definitely learning from my bad choices.

I watch my girls go through the very same thing. Struggling to make decisions. I can see the look on their face when they are hoping I can and will give them the answer. But I can’t. There are some decisions that they have to make for themselves, to learn and grow from. Even when I know that there will be crying later. Broken hearts. Anger. I have to let them own that. They have to take that road that they choose and decide for themselves if they made the right decision.

My outlook as of late has been to take a positive from a negative, and focus on that. Now if I could just teach that to my girls 🙂

Waking up To Silence…

Published June 17, 2014 by Angela

…there is nothing better. There are no words. I cannot recall the last time that I actually had the house to myself. With my oldest daughter (FINALLY) home after 6 weeks in South Africa, she has a week off from work to get back on the United States schedule 🙂

So she picked up her 3 younger sisters, took them to the beach for the day, to both of her Grandma’s houses, McDonald’s, and peace and quiet for Mom.

They are walking in the door right now, and the silence is no more.

But it was amazing having a couple of hours of no talking, no television, to fighting, and no asking me for anything.

Thanks Jess, you are the best! And can we do this again tomorrow?

Happy Father’s Day…

Published June 16, 2014 by Angela

…to me!

Yes, I am serious. I told my girls they should be getting me something for Father’s Day, since I have been both Mother and Father for the past 8 years. They must have thought I was joking. I was not joking.

Just to let you know, before anyone thinks I am disrespecting any Single or divorced dads, I am not. My ex does not come to see his children. Ever. He does not buy them birthday gifts. He does not call them on their birthdays. Or Christmas. Easter? Never. He actually saw them 2 Easters ago when I was going out of state for a week. I told him 3 months ahead of time that he would have to get them their Easter stuff. And I kept reminding him. Again, and again. And again.

When I picked them up, after Easter was over, (yes, I had to drop them off and pick them up), they let me know they got nothing for Easter. What did he tell them? The house was too crowded with them there so the Easter bunny did not have room to leave their Easter baskets.

Let me be clear on the fact that 2 of these girls are long past believing in the Easter bunny. So what could they have possibly thought, and worse yet, how horrible could that have made them feel?

So yes, I am the Father to them.

And on that note, I am wishing my father a wonderful day; I tried calling several times and he was either gone or the phone was busy (he does not live near me).

And I wish all of the Fathers out there who are really truly fathers a wonderful day as well. It is not easy being a parent. Whether you are the mother, or the father.

It certainly is not easy having to be both 😦

When There Is Not Enough Time In Your Day

Published May 1, 2014 by Angela

I saw an interesting post yesterday, about how if you do not have enough time to do whatever it is you are doing, you are likely doing the wrong thing, or at least doing it in the wrong way. I have been feeling this for the past couple of weeks. Church activities have wound down now that Easter is over, but I have been busier than ever. My 16 year old is just about done with drivers training, thank goodness, because this is 4 days a week that I have to get up earlier than normal. So I am more tired than normal. I have worked two 12 hour days in a row due to a supervisor being on vacation, so I feel like nothing at home is getting done. And, I have a class winding down, so I am working on a graduate research paper, instead of procrastinating like I normally do and waiting until the last minute.

So could I be doing things differently to have more time? Probably not this week, or the next. But I do have a tendency to get myself involved in more things than my schedule allows, and I need to learn how to say no.

Case in point? I got a phone call yesterday to remind me to have my 9 year old at church at 5:30pm today to practice singing for the Mother’s Day church service. So I got up early, got ready for the day, dropped off 16 year old at drivers training, and went home. I went back and got daughter at 7pm, walked in the door, and realized I completely forgot about the practice tonight. I feel terrible because I know they were counting on her being there. I haven’t even called yet to explain my forgetfulness because I really don’t know what to say.

I need to prioritize, write things on my calendar, and take some time every day to relax, for my well-being and sanity!

How do you tend to overwhelm yourself, and what do you do to correct it?