Thursday, July 29, 2010

who are these people and why are they calling me mom

Careful, this is not a well thought out or written post... it's pretty much straight brain to keyboard freeflow with no filters, logic or forethought. I might not even publish it. I just needed to talk [type] outloud for a minute.

Because I don't have a clue what I'm doing.
I don't even like my kids right now.
And it breaks my heart because I love them so much.

And also?
Who's fault is it that they're turning into examples of exactly the kind of kids I don't want them to be?

I'm feeling really defeated on the parenting front lately.
I feel like these are the make it or break it years we're in right now and I'm just not making it.
I'm so overwhelmed right now because I don't know why or what this all is or how to go about fixing it.
I don't know how much of it is just because of me and my shortcomings as a mom,
I'm not sure if it's because of the stress of moving, of the unknown,
I don't know if it's because their dad is gone 90% of the time,
I don't know if this is normal, they'd-be-behaving-like-this-anyway stuff but I don't have the energy to deal with it correctly and it's getting worse.
I feel so like I'm missing the mark on shaping these little people. I feel like I'm missing the whole point of all of this and am letting it bring out the worst in all of us instead of using it to make these little people better people.
These are the years that are making up such a part of who they will be and I hate that this whole year is in chaos like this... not only physically as we've been in between cities, but emotionally -as it's turning out is worse.
It's killing me that I'm letting this whole year be in chaos... isn't it my job to even it all out for my kids; to be the consistent in their unsure world right now?
I don't know how to do that job.

My kids can be mean, so mean to each other. They're so ugly to each other sometimes I just can't even believe it. They don't listen to me, they suddenly have no self control, they're impatient, demanding, disrespectful, disobedient, sassy and just plain bratty.
And it makes me want to cry.

The truth of it is, they're probably okay.
Sometimes, all it takes is spending a few intimate days with some other families and certain kids our ages to see that hey, ours are pretty okay.
It's like a sigh of relief when we come away from other families and think, and we thought ours were bad...
Where we leave vowing we will never take our kids for granted and we pat ourselves on the back a little for a job actually very well done.

But then I examine a week -like this week, cooped up in close quarters all together- with my kids... and I see too many things that may fly under the radar when we're with other people. I see that yes, comparatively, our kids are obedient and polite and play well with others... but I fear that we're nearing our expiration date with that. I feel like I'm taking the easy road way too many times as of late. I'm feeling like stuff is simmering here and all these little undesirable behaviors are growing and growing and before we know it it's going to be out of control.
I feel SJ shutting down and becoming more of a stranger to me.
I can see Sawyer becoming angry and resentful.
It's like I can see things happening and I get a feel for how it can all snowball in the exact opposite direction that I want, but I feel like I'm just sitting back watching it all in slow motion and am powerless to do anything about it.

I don't know whether it's depression that has me paralyzed, whether it's just me too focused on my own emotions through all of this transition stuff,, or whether it's just laziness because I don't have the energy to do the tough work real parenting is at this point.
Because I really feel like I don't have that energy.

What I thought would be a few months transition is starting to look like becoming a year.
A year of living in between... telling the kids and preparing them for leaving everything... just to hurry up and wait. Telling them we're not going to return to schools... but then maybe returning. Telling them we only have so much time left for some things... and then sticking around. A year of not really living in our house because we have to be ready to show it all the time. A year of not getting involved in activities because they cost money and we might need to pull out and leave at any time. A year of only seeing their dad on weekends. Of randomly spending time in Nashville but not being able to get plugged in. Not yet. It's just all Not Yet.
We've been in this mindset since January. January.
And we're really no further today than we were then.

Except that daddy works far away.

Sawyer asks all the time if today's the day we're finally moving.
SJ's stressed out about school starting... mostly because she doesn't know where yet.

I don't know how to guide my kids through this anymore.
I don't know how to get us through this positively.

I knew this would be hard, but I envisioned nothing but us all coming out better, stronger, and a closer family in the end.

Turns out that outcome is a lot harder to come by than I imagined.


Mary said...

I jsut read this and all I can think of is that I just want to give you a big hug. And I know I don't really know. Your kids are adorable and I think you do a fantastic job with them though. I think you nailed everything that may have them being a little "off" right now. Praying that things will settle for you all soon and you will be together as one family soon!

Erin said...

I walk through this a little bit every month with Ella. Give me a call and we can talk. The odds are good it's the stress on them of living in two places, sort of, but not really. Ella deals with it all the time. At almost 2 years into the "not yet" with her, perhaps I can help? No promises because every kid is different and their situations are different, but maybe.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel. My 3 year old son was diagnosed with autism in January and it has forever altered our lives. Some days I do ok, but there are other days that I just feel like I am drowning. There are so many decisions to be made concerning therapies, school, diet, etc, etc and we have two other children (6 and 1) that need my attention too. My 6 yr old daughter has become very emotional and has exhibited some of the behaviors you mention and it that worries me. I know my frustrations, tears, anxiety,and anger are rubbing off on her and it's the last thing in the world I want to happen. I know I have to find a way to pull it together, but I don't know how. There are more good days now than in the beginning so I hope and pray that it will get easier. Hang in there. It will work out, maybe not as soon as you'd like, but I believe it will all be ok in the end.

Annie Schilperoort Photography said...

Oh Heather, I know you do a wonderful job with your kids and I think we all have days when we don't like our kids! :) I truly hope you can get down to Nashville soon one way or another. You and Ryan need each other and the kids need BOTH of you! I think you've been carrying so much of the parenting and I know Ryan is a very hands-on dad so this has probably just been so very stressful on all of you even under the surface of all the other obvious reasons for stress. Love you and praying for you!

Julie C said...

I'll pray for all of you Heather. I have always thought you were a great mom with awesome kids and I'm sure that hasn't changed. I'm sure it's a combination of all the things you mentioned. Give them some extra hugs even if they don't seem huggable right now and hang in there! Praying!

Janelle said...

I read this and got tears in my eyes for you. I think you are a great mom. I can't tell you how many times Beth and I have used the "being a yes mom" (that you shared about last year) in our own lives.... This is pretty much how I felt when we were in this situation but couldn't put into words as eloquently as you have. Of course my kids were younger, and we didn't have the tough choices of what to do about school... but it was the height of Nevaeh's autism diagnosis, so I was ULTRA distracted. We'd go places and Elliana would just go up and start pulling some kid's hair. It's funny how kids react when things are out of place and dad's not there, and they can sense our stress and heartache. This too shall pass for you... and when its all over and your all together again, you guys WILL be stronger and better as a family unit. Hang in there Heather!!! thinking of you and praying for ya'll...

Stephanie said...

I get it. I totally get it. I don't know you and you don't know me......but it sounds like we're in the same boat.

Hang in there!

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