Posted on 1 Comment

What I Wish My Kids Knew Now

What I wish my kids knew? Phew. A LOADED question for most moms, I think. Mommin’ ain’t easy and my crazy train is on the bipolar express, which makes our lives extra complicated. I’ve got a list, so I figured I share it with my tribe. Ready or not. Here are all the things I wish my kids knew about me, their momma.

My Wishlist

  1. I’m only human. I make mistakes. I mess up. I forget important stuff. I lose track of time. I am just a regular person who is imperfect like they are.
  2. I am inspired, motivated, and intrigued by them. I am in awe of the masterpieces of these little creations.
  3. They hurt my feelings. The mean words, the hurtful actions, or disrespectful behavior genuinely hurts me. They cut me the deepest.
  4. I want to protect them. Sometimes from others, but sometimes from themselves. I hurt when they hurt.
  5. I cry for them, I worry for them, and I obsess over every single decision that will affect them.
  6. All of them are my favorite. Some days it’s my oldest, other days my middle or my youngest. Some days it’s all three. They all hung the moon in my eyes, so there are no trophies for “favorite”.
  7. They make me better. I wouldn’t be who I am without them, individually or collectively. They have changed me in ways they will never recognize.
  8. They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. I struggle with mental illness and I admit I have had many times where I wanted to give up. I’ve always fought through because of them.
  9. I have trauma, too. I have a messy and complicated history. I’m damaged, broken, and haunted by my past. My struggle is just as difficult for me, however, I’m healing.
  10. My life doesn’t revolve around being a mom. I am more than just that title. It’s not always about them. It can’t be.
  11. My frustration is not their burden to carry.
  12. Being the primary parent who is responsible for every aspect of three human lives is extremely difficult. I may not be “single”, but I am the main source of support emotionally, financially and physically.
  13. I pray everyday for them.
  14. I believe in them more than they will ever know. I don’t want to see them struggle. I try to ease that struggle each day.
  15. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right there for every moment until the day I die. Beyond that…it will be in the music.
  16. I always love them, but sometimes I really don’t like them.
  17. I’m sorry for every minute of pain, hurt, trauma, and horror they ever lived. My mom guilt is heavy, and I swear to never allow them to experience any more of that pain.

In My Feelings

I’m not crying! You’re crying! Shut up. <sniffle> Don’t look at me! My experience, their lives, and our family gets me in my feelings sometimes. Not to mention, this momma is exhausted in every way imaginable. Between hospital admissions for 2 and now 3. To the new baby on the way. My vehicle deciding that she has had enough of us, and working all the damn time, it gets very hard.

One day, when these babies have babies they’ll get that we weren’t joking when we said mommin’ ain’t easy! I’m sure you have a few to add to the list! Feel free to share your thoughts on what I missed or missed the mark on! In the meantime, we’ve got this, all of us! Because, that’s what we do! ☮️❤️😊~M

Posted on 4 Comments

Stop the Insanity

I’m screaming. Why am I screaming? I know it’s not going to help. However, nothing I’ve done to this point has helped either. Here we are again. I’m sitting reading and re-reading the suicide note from my 14 year old daughter. Asking myself again, how we got here, what did I miss, and why she doesn’t want to be in this world anymore. I just want to stop the insanity.

Missing the Signs

I missed the Signs? AGAIN. She didn’t confide in me. AGAIN. I’m calling the crisis hot line.https://www.samhsa.gov › find-help
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline | SAMHSA I’m calling the psychiatrist. I’m calling out at work. She is bleeding. Inside and out. She is hoarding medication. Planning her suicide. AGAIN. She is deciphering if jumping off a cliff or overdosing would be a quicker way to end her existence. I’m lost. I’m confused. I’m angry.

Blame Game

I’m so incredibly angry. I’m not sure where to place my anger. Who can I blame? Why is this happening to her? To us? I choose to place blame on everyone, especially myself. I blame her, too, which isn’t fair. I bought the act. I handed her the weapon. I chose, yet again, to believe the pretty picture she had painted to cover her pain. I wanted so much to believe it. However, I should’ve known. Why didn’t I know? We’ve been through this before.

I Should’ve Known

I should’ve learned how to catch on quicker to the cover up. The first hospitalization in 2020 taught me to take it more seriously. The hospitalization in 2021, that lasted 18 weeks, should’ve been enough for me to understand the gravity of it all. After the hospitalizations earlier this year, I should’ve known that she would hide the hurt until it was nearly too late. Now, here I sit asking myself, what are we going to do this time?

What Now?

Another hospitalization, more medication changes, intensive therapy, inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient, or something else? There is no cure, that’s what she told me just last week. I know. I wish there was. In conclusion, I’m lost, but I’m thankful that I haven’t lost her to this battle.

Keep Fighting

Regardless, what the statistics say, I won’t stop fighting. No amount of money or time is going to stop me from finding her the treatment she needs. I’ll keep fighting her demons, and my own, for as long as I live. I’m not giving up. I’m never going to surrender even while I scream how unfair this is for us. My pain is no match to the pain she is living with. Pray for us all. Pray for #2. Pray for my threefold. Pray for this mom who is trying to mom mental illness. Together, we’ve got this. ☮️❤️😊~M

Posted on 2 Comments

Summer Break? Part 1

I’m only a week overdue for posting the update I promised! Summer has come and nearly gone, but the moms out there trying to mom mental illness, mom it solo or even semi-solo, mom through it all, no matter what. We’ll ALL moms know breaks are for everyone else, but you rarely catch one. For me breaks are few and far between. Sometimes, you would consider a psychotic break comforting. After all, it means disassociation, detachment from reality, some sleep, and three meals per day where YOU didn’t have to think about it. Then there is that whole meds, people wondering when the next episode is, and everything that would be left undone. Nope, not worth it!

Summer Breakdown?

I am proud to say that, no, my threefold and I, nor ‘E’ or my bonus kid have suffered from any major breakdown nor has there been setbacks. That’s right! It’s been a rough summer for my threefold. More difficult than I had hoped for, however they have progressed in ways I never thought I would see. I couldn’t be more proud and relieved to know that we hit a very bad time, but we were able to see it through to a path that didn’t involve inpatient or injury to self, property or some major crisis. However, that hard time was the closure of a chapter for all.

Summer Bucketlist

I wanted a Disney movie wonderful summer of family fun and kids enjoying marking items off of bucket lists. I wanted us to enjoy our lives after I had watched my aunt bury 2 of her sons at 33 and 29, my cousins, 2/3 brothers, the kids I grew up with and people who hadn’t even had the chance to have their own family yet. We needed to remember that while we still have life. We needed to live it.

I wanted my threefold and I to spend some quality time together without the stress of the previous school year. I needed to have those memories and I thought that’s what they needed too. I had hoped for vacation time and for all of my family to reconnect on a level that said “this is the good life.” As a response, life said my plans were not the same as life’s. Apparently we needed something else to overcome. {eye roll}

Summer Broke

This summer was hell and I don’t mean just the heat, these demon bugs we call mosquitoes, or the fires that were sparked by my anger, anxiety or my agitated mood. I had too much going on and my focus was not in the home. It was definitely not on me. It was not on ‘E’. BOTH of our vehicles broke down. Financially we were still trying to recover from February and March’s medical bills of the over 10 weeks of inpatient and partial hospitalization we have already had between #2 and #3 of my threefold this year. Not to mention the 17 weeks we were still working on from the previous. As it always seemed to be we were struggling.

I was stressed to the point I wanted to snap. I was impatient with my threefold, sitting and scheduling my life away from them while home, and so out of my depths. My focus was frazzled, fried, and finally furious at the circumstances I was in. I felt I was being oblivious to an obvious problem, overworked, overwhelmed, overlooked and finally I was OVER IT!

Summer Burn

I was ready to say “I’m done!” As my workload increased to that of a person expected to wear every hat of each position like a seasoned executive who wrote the rule book. I was trying to do the job of my superior, my support staff, be my own assistant, trainer, lead designer, sales superstar, the best, and I suddenly hit a wall. I decided to resign.

I had a staff who was overworked and overwhelmed. I had great people. In addition, they were trying to help . I asked myself why was this becoming such a nightmare. and it hit me. I was trying to save a boat that was sinking and everyone was about to jump ship. Why?

We have had high turnover for a minute now. My people didn’t quit. They grinder it out. They liked me…right? Well, I am likable, funny, driven, and have the memory of a person that will never forget about things that are really important. I’m just trying to hard or doing something wrong. I was trying to make people happy. It wasn’t the job. It wasn’t even me. It was the chaos that had come over the castle. I was merely coordinating chaos, and not correcting the issues causing it. Maybe, if I resigned it would be the white flag of surender saying I can’t manage the mess.

Summer School

My fairytale summer was shattered with my DIY crash course that I called “combat training”. I was battling the war at work and not only just promoted to a role as assistant manager in March, but I hadn’t been trained on how the processes to correctly handle the job. I had no idea that I was making things worse by constantly covering for my missing commander and chief. My loyalty and love for him and my livelihood depended on me finding the fix to any problem and showing my people I was the company woman who could handle anything. Even if I was I second guessing my every move. I knew my confidence would see us to calmer coexistence we all needed. I lied.

Summer Cold

My stress was making me sick. I had lost another ten pounds. I was not eating, not sleeping well as my mind raced at night wondering what did you forget. In addition, my usual routines all halted. Self care was non existent and my tolerance for other people’s problems went to the bottom of the list. However, I kept pushing. Something was going to have to give.

I decided to part ways. I was ready to resign. It was obvious that I was allowing yet another person take advantage of me. I wanted to give back what I was given, but I was becoming someone I didn’t like. I was becoming an angry person who hated coming to work because I was going to have another day of covering for someone else I cared for, covering for the man lying to everyone, and someone refusing to admit there was a problem. I was watching my past repeat in a work environment. I couldn’t allow myself to be broken and to become cold living in a hell I could escape from. I needed to stop the insanity. I was at peace with that.

Summer Escape

I had come to terms with my decision and turned in my resignation letter with a final lie. My lie said I had found employment that would allow me to be home more and present for my threefold. It is the only lie I felt believable enough that they wouldn’t put up the fight for me to stay. My tears had poured out of me writing that letter. I was devastated that it was a chapter that I never thought would end. At least until I funded my life as a freelance writer, designer, marketing guru, Facebook money mogul in the blogosphere of moms or whatever other dream that will one day create independence from a standard 8-5 job.

I loved this job. It was my break from my personal issues outside of there. I am awesome at this job. I am too good, actually. I am overqualified and I’m beyond grateful for that. I loved everything about my job. That was until I took the place of the man who walked out of this position before me. Red flag, maybe, but I saw my opportunity to step up. In that opportunity I sacrificed the thing I said I would not overlook again with a promise of more and a hope for the future we deserve. My threefold.

Summer Stolen

I had worked my butt off, literally, for this company. I felt I owed them after they moved mountains for me last summer to make it where I could be a mom and also have the place I could put that part away just for a bit and do something I loved. I was ashamed of my behavior. I was saying we needed more money than my own family needed me. A struggle any single mom knows.

Instead of staying with #2 at the hospital and going to the inpatient facility where I was needing to admit her again, I left her room in tears as she said “mom, it’s ok, you can go. You have to.” Did I? Well I needed to be in two places actually three, but I needed to not lose a promotion due to my personal life, because money had to become a larger factor.

We all need this to happen. I convinced myself I was doing the right thing. I know now she will always tell me what she thinks I need to hear in moments she thinks could be a burden. I was just blinded by a loyalty to a person who would use me and then replace me to save themself but I had no idea. As I was leaving I thought if I don’t get this promotion this will be enough to make me leave. I’m sacrificing more than I ever would, but hoped it would be better if I could have more control of the chaos. I could calm it as I could change the climate and bring the commander of my crew back.

Summer Storms

I got the promotion. The promises of change once our mid year inventory was over and the crisis at work calming down were as empty as any promise before. After deciding not to get blindsided by the brother who was thriving at this company, the man I fell in love with at this company and a few coworkers who had weathered this long hard season with me I was ready to make the move. My boss put up no fight or said any words of why I should stay. Instead, I was left thinking maybe he wanted me to leave. It was easy and unemotional. I was a mess about this, but me maybe I was just “replaceable”. I promised to help the next person as much as I could before the end of my notice in two weeks and was relieved. July would be the month that made our family reconnect and we could have some real quality time as a family. Again another storm brewed and I wouldn’t allow us to chase it anymore.

Summer Breakthrough

Little did I realize it was only the end of June and the chaos was fixing to get uncovered and everything was about blow up. I couldn’t have a summer break, I couldn’t afford a summer breakdown, we weren’t going to get a summer vacation that involved connecting and making the good memories of a life we were building and we had sacrificed for. This wouldn’t be the summer we deserved. It would be the summer that I found a way to breakthrough our barriers. It was the beginning of the new life. First we just needed to commit to weathering this summer storm and that was hitting us right at home.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Posted on Leave a comment

To the Narcissistic Father of My Children:

To the Narcissist who fathered my three girls:

It’s been a while since we have spoken. However, today we did and I listened as you complained about how I have withheld visitation from you. I heard you as you spoke about my inability to communicate in a healthy way. I was forced to hear you blaming me for everything that our children are going through. I saw you roll your eyes when you saw the diagnosis of ‘trauma disorder’ listed on the paperwork. I saw the look of disgust on your face as I talked about recommendations for medication given by the doctors. I saw your eyes as they lit up as you listened to the way our daughter terrorized the household and felt the need to defend your every move.

#1 is the conformer of the group. She is the one that doesn’t rock the boat. She abides by the rules. I hear the constant apologies and the overwhelming guilt. She feels like if she makes herself small that she will stay safe.

#2 is the rebellious one. She spoke up so all of this is her fault. She is the scapegoat, the black sheep who started this all. You blame her for everything. You tried to shun her for being honest about your abuse. The abuse is ongoing. The fact is, she never stopped loving you only herself. She cut her body to shreds and tore her skin open, yet you still don’t see the pain you’ve caused. How are you so blind?

#3 is the golden child who does nothing wrong. She hasn’t seen the abuse the way her sisters have. The psychological torment you have inflicted is what she struggles with most. She is too young to understand, but she will. She is your last ally. You ply her with treats and gifts. Nonetheless, she still sees you as the super hero that does no wrong. You are the good guy. Your lies and manipulation are always forced onto her as truth. As a result, you have turned her against her sisters and I. She is your last hope, but you’ll hurt her too.

Then there is me. The ex wife who is crazy and tries to keep you from your kids. I am the only one that knows you and the monster inside. The marks on my face you once called love. The scars that are still left behind from the past remind me of that monster everyday.

Yet, I’m still standing. I’m still cleaning up the messes you leave behind. I work twice as hard now to protect these girls. I work even harder to provide for them. While you try to buy their love and affection, I earn it with my presence and consistency. I’m not the perfect person, and definitely not the perfect mom. However, I try my best every day, for them.

I will keep going and I will keep getting better. They are worth it. I hope one day you will appreciate their love for you and all the chances they give you to change. Maybe one day you’ll take the opportunity. However many times they choose to forgive you is a choice they make. Even if you hurt them every time, somehow, they are the ones that always take the first step to fix it.

I just hope that you don’t take the last pieces of them and destroy them completely. Although, I’m terrified that you will. I’m never going to keep them from you. In all honesty, I wish you would go away. Maybe then, they would have a chance to love themselves as I love them. I pray one day they will see themselves through a different lens than the one you created. Until then, I’ll be the mom they need me to be and work twice as hard to help them heal.

In case you didn’t know. I’ve got this.

~M

Posted on Leave a comment

Parenting Hacks for Raising Teenagers

In case, I haven’t said it recently, mommin’ ain’t easy! If I’m the judge I think I would take the stinky diapers, tantrums, and baby proofing my whole home over raising teenagers! This level is hard! However, as a mom to my threefold <my three daughters> and the bonus mom to another, I have a few parenting hacks for raising teenagers. Yes. That’s right! Honestly, I’ve probably been lucky so far, but I have my days. In fact, there are days when I am screaming my head off while pulling out my hair!

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

If you have a teenager you know! The truth is, raising Teenagers is hard work! If you have a rocky relationship with your teenager I know how you feel. On the other hand, if you have an awesome relationship with your teenager, I also know how you feel. Furthermore, if you have a relationship that could go either way from one day to the next, I’ve been that mom too. That’s the curse and the blessing of having four girls. Honestly, if one acts one way the other two act differently and with girls there is always drama! If I’m not in the middle of it, the cause of it, or have to fix it then that’s my idea of a good day!

The Mommin’ Manual

If you know me, you’ll know, I’m the mom who repeats ‘I love my kids. I love my kids. I love my kids!’ Obviously, I do, but this is my mantra as when I am increasingly irritated and want to fly off the edge of patience into momster mode. I didn’t get a mommy manual. Furthermore, the mom/daughter dynamics we hear about and see seem to be made-for-tv BFF bullshit or rivalry and rebellion. There is rarely an in between.

Real talk. We all have our own parenting styles and that’s ok. I’m more of the overly involved, anxious, pushover but with rules. In the end, I want my kids to come to me if they have a problem, not be scared. However, am I right in being that way? Hell if I know. I’m winging my mom life, remember?

Parenting Hacks for Raising Teenagers

No, I don’t have a mommy manual and yes, I’m winging it as I go. However, winging it has helped be successful even it hasn’t gotten me any mom of the year awards. As a momma to three girls and a bonus daughter, who all range in age from 10-18, I’ve had to learn a few parenting hacks to save my sanity and my relationships with these four girls.

Hacks and Hand Me Downs

  1. To start, my number one hack when I need to figure out how to handle my teens is to remember to be the mom I needed when I was their age.
  2. Next, I remember what being a teenage girl was like for me. Even though, it was over 20 years ago!
  3. Another way, I parent is that I listen before I react or respond. 9/10 a thoughtful response goes further than a screaming match ever will.
  4. Wifi passwords can change. I have fallen in love with the app that controls our wifi that I can pause from wherever. I can assign devices and the kid who hasn’t acted right can have their service suspended, Meanwhile, the others can continue living with the luxury of access. Best invention ever!
  5. I gave my kids prepaid phones, no contract. That phone has become the best and worst thing in our lives. It is a wonderful tool if needed. Yes, I resort to bribes when necessary.
  6. In addition, if you miss school you do not have a social life. Don’t say you are sick and then ask if boyfriend or bestie can come by. No.
  7. If my kids want something from me, then they better be willing to work for it. I’m not rich, if they want me to flip the bill for their movie night with their friends or birthday gifts, then they need to do their part. After all, nothing in life is free.
  8. In my opinion, one thing has helped us connect is my threefold and Ione on one time. We do what they are into. Since I have three, I usually aim for one day each per month and one family day all together.
  9. Something else we’ve done is family dinner. Sometimes, this ends in frustration and irritation. Mostly, it end with laughs and communication about the highs and lows of each child’s day.
  10. Like most teenagers, my threefold need to hear the good things about them. Do they make faces and huff when they don’t want to do something, absolutely. However, I do too!
  11. Cut them a little slack. No they can’t get away with skipping school or failing grades. But, hey, if they get a C or even a D on a test, it happens! If they say they need ‘a day off’ and that’s not a regular request, let them. It’s not the end of the world!
  12. Stop holding kids to standards you as an adult can’t reach! If I was graded for my job, I definitely wouldn’t have straight A’s. My attitude is sketchy sometimes. I don’t want to get up in the morning either. I don’t clean my plate. I don’t watch my mouth. I’m not going to make my child feel like perfection is attainable. It’s not.
  13. Finally, let them be themselves. If they can’t be comfortable at home then where are they supposed to be? Honestly, don’t allow your short sidedness hinder them feeling able to be exactly who they are. In addition, know that as a teen that identity will change multiple times.

How My Mom Skills have Helped Me

#1

I know nearly everything my 18 year old does, not because I read her messages or track her phone location, but because she tells me. In fact, I would say she overshares with me at times! When she knew her and her boyfriend of 2 years were headed towards the main event when she was 17, she came to me. We talked about it and took the necessary actions.

#2

My 14 year old has always lacked a filter, but at least she is honest {mostly}. However, as she has begun to mature, her communication got better. For example, when she came out and said she was attracted to other girls, I was able to process the information. This led to more inclusivity of her friends and others. In addition, as a family we were able to support her and boost her confidence in sharing her once secret with others in her life.

#3

This child of mine, she is still young , at only 10. Not all of my methods work for her yet, because she still has less independence. However, I do know that my patience and consistency are key to her feeling heard when she expresses herself. In addition, validation and not feeling like perfection is necessary to please me allows her to feel more comfortable to be herself.

#Bonus

As for my bonus daughter who is 16, I feel my not being overly critical has made us closer. If I have an issue, I will address it mostly with her dad before her. However, we have some heart to heart conversations as well. I don’t try to be her parent, but I try to treat her like my own. That’s a hard balance. In a way, I’m not overstepping but I’m making sure that she is invited and involved in family days, outings, and our routines when she is with us.

Hacks for raising Teenagers

No Method is Perfect

My methods have worked out for me in many ways on this journey. It’s far from perfect and I screw up sometimes, too. I’m going to keep doing me, and you can do you! There isn’t a one size fits all parenting style.

My teenagers test me with their smart ass mouths {that sound just like mine} and quick comebacks quite often. At the end of the day, I know that my threefold isn’t afraid to talk to me. That’s the beauty of it. As always, stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M psss: follow My Threefold on Facebook