Posted on Leave a comment

Meanagers

Original painting by #2 of my threefold.

Am I the only mom that thinks her kids are total a$$holes sometimes? Honestly. I need to know if it’s me being a bad mom to think that or if it’s actually a normal thing that none of us talk about. If it’s the latter, can we please just normalize it already so we can express our feelings. We have to have an outlet. We need some moms in our tribe that think like we do and don’t sit in judgment over everything you say, how you parent or how our little rays of sunshine and hope behave sometimes. I have up to 5 meanagers in my house at any given time and a 9 year old. With 4 girls running around you better believe we have all the drama of a daytime soap opera.

I need to be able to vent to someone out there that the crotch goblins are acting like complete punk a$$ heathens without having to say in the next breath “their my world and I love them so much!” Is that not a given? I mean what other relationship in your life would you allow the b!tching, moaning, complaining, moodiness, blaming, screaming, constant worry and anxiety, berating and tantrum throwing to be displayed and still sit there and validate their feelings and experiences. Consoling them, trying to teach them, love them through it and accept every apology without a second thought. That’s what moms do. They get disrespected and unappreciated on the regular, but they keep giving that unconditional love and forgiveness without hesitation. It’s an unbreakable bond. One minute you could squeeze their sweet cheeks and the next you’re so annoyed you could scream (and sometimes do). The ultimate emotional roller coaster is raising kids. Your feelings and mood can shift in an instant. The confused looks of “what did I do” and the smirks amongst your very serious reprimand can hit the wrong button on a mom and send her into the lecture they don’t want to hear for the hundredth time (probably millionth, truthfully) about being a family, respecting boundaries, doing chores or something else we always preach to the little miracles of our wombs non-listening ears.

So I bet you’re wondering what wonderful thing my meanagers had in store for me for me to say they are acting like a$$holes. In this house it’s 17, 15, 13 and 9 for the girls that live here. We have some add on kids occasionally, the boyfriend of the oldest and the person for my 13 year old. Anyways, with that said the older girls get along beautifully. Unfortunately that leaves the youngest of the defcon 4 bunch as the odd girl out. My meanagers act like everything 3 does is the worst ever. She gets sh!t from all of them. No one except me greets her with hugs when she walks in. No one says “oh did you have fun?” except me. No one asks her to tell them about school or her day or weekend away except me. She gets eye rolls. She gets attitude. She gets the blame for everything. Granted she does a lot of it, but we can buy more soap and food and soda. We can find your shorts and your t-shirt in the mountain of laundry. We can buy paint and clean it up. Should she respect boundaries, absolutely! Do hers get respected, nope. You want her to knock and not go through your things but bam who has whose shorts and t-shirt now? You don’t want her to get your things or go in your room if you aren’t there but whose charger did you just grab and demand the use of because you didn’t want to go upstairs for your own? I’m just saying. You can’t hold a 9 year old to a higher standard than you even hold yourself to. That’s just plain hypocritical. I don’t like anyone talking sh!t about the other people that reside in this home or visit it. It’s a hard limit for me. Everyone deserves the same right to a safe place to call home free of hostility. Everyone should feel loved and comfortable to be themselves. I don’t ask a lot of my kids, but I hate fighting, name calling, physical altercations, and blatant rudeness towards one another.

Now I know that as a meanager no one wants to hang out with the youngest. They aren’t old enough and definitely aren’t “swag” enough (or whatever the replacement word is for cool nowadays). And I get it! She is “annoying” sometimes, mainly because she wants attention FROM them, the big kids. She doesn’t have regard for personal boundaries, but neither did they at 9…or don’t they remember? She makes messes, eats their favorite snacks, steals their clothes, chargers, paint, soap, and whatever else you leave laying out for her idling hands to find. Again all things they did at that age too. She just wants be them, it’s really high praise, but they’ll never see that attention-seeking behavior. She wants be a part of the sisterhood that the others tend to have created between them, but she is unable to express it as well.

It was easier for 1 and 2 growing up. They had each other! 1 and 2 were inseparable from ages 2-10, they played together constantly and 1 would be the boss and make sure 2 was always the student when they played school. Oh the simplicity of the little years! They made their own videos “Two Awesome Sisters” and made up crafts, sang, danced, and told stories. 1 was the only person on the planet who could help when we didn’t understand what 2 was saying. 2 had a sever speech impediment and was sometimes very difficult to communicate with, but 1 could. It was an amazing bond. Like expected their four year age gap ended up separating them once 1 reached a certain age. 1 eventually got “too grown” to play the games, the barbies, the make-believe, and to make videos on YouTube with 2. 2 desperately wanted be a “big kid”. Her older sister started began doing her own thing leaving 2 in the dust of 1’s impending adolescence. It’s natural, that progression. There is no blame or fault in becoming an individual, having friends your own age, and changing interests and hobbies. While 1 was allowed to go about finding her own identity, 2 found a new playmate to entertain her. She could now be the teacher, because she had 3 to fall back on. Yet here we are again in the crossroads of the age gap. With a little short of 3 1/2 years separating 2 from 3 and a whopping 7 1/2 years between 1 and 3, the oldest two rekindled that bond they had several years prior. They are amazingly close and I am so thankful that they don’t fight and fuss like typical teenage girls. They share some similar interests and have many shared experiences. They have reconnected in the most beautiful way. My point is 1 and 2 always had options. 3 isn’t ready for the independence that those pre-teen and teenage years have to offer. She is still very much into make believe and story telling. 3 doesn’t have that younger sibling to fall back on like 2 did. (And this momma’s baby making machine is on permanent disability)! She didn’t get the many years of bonding with her older siblings. She is out of the loop. She is lonely and wants to be a “big kid” but isn’t ready do more than pretend to be one. The picking fights and taking things is very much 3’s way of getting their attention. She is desperately seeking their approval and if she doesn’t have that then she will get their attention one way or another. Positive or negative. Attention is attention.

Sometimes I wish that DEFCON 4 (I am liking that!) could see the forever friendships they will have in each other if they nurture and grow the relationship with one another instead of pushing away. I hate to admit that one day it will just be them. I will not be here forever to help them bridge their gaps. It will be up to them to be there for each other when life is sh!tty and all they want is to quit. 1 will always be the nurturer, the one forced to grow up and help raise those kids while I worked. She is the one that huh them while they cry, tell them everything will be okay and give them a million ways that they are deserving of happiness. They will reach for her first if they need comfort and support. 2 will be the one to give you her opinion and tell you how to change it. She will be the one they go to if they want the truth and not sugar coated lies. She will give them honesty, be their sounding board, and be the voice that offers advice (even if you don’t ask out right!) The one with the tough love, but big love. I’m not quite sure what role 3 will play in the DEFCON 4/threefold dynamic yet. For now, I am seeing she will be the silly one, looking to lighten the mood, the legs go have fun, go shopping, go out to eat, dance it out. She is a ham and loves being out, having fun and loves to shop. She will be the one they call if they want to escape the present and just get out, if they need retail therapy or a night on the town. 3 will be the one they call to make them laugh through the pain and remember life is meant to enjoy. Bonus Kid isn’t mine but I can only hope she will be someone that they can call in the many years ahead. I hope she gives them the favorite parts of her dad. She will be the one to offer endless positivity. She will be the one they call when they need someone to tell them how amazing they are and that things are never as bad as their head tells them. She will be a cheering them on and making them see all the good things life has in store for them. It will be beautiful if they remember that their ties are forever. Their sisters for life. Their each one another’s emotional support person in one way or another. Two Awesome Sisters Squared!

Posted on Leave a comment

Can’t Hide my Pride! 🌈

For my threefold! Your inclusiveness astounds me. Your love knows no limit! I am proud to be your momma.

We had our first family outing to a pride event this past weekend. The perky positivity peddler bought front row seats to a soccer game downtown and had a large pride event incorporated into it for all of us. It was a great way for the older girls to bond and enjoy something that the PPP loves, soccer, but also let them express their individuality and allowed them to be supported as they navigate different aspects of gender identity and sexual preferences. These kids are so much more inclusive than I was. Sure I had friends who were openly gay or bi, but we never had events to attend or fundraiser for support. Being gay or bi as female was definitely more socially acceptable and increased a woman’s sex appeal. It wasn’t as accepted to be a man that identified as anything other than straight. We were the era of “the dl”, “that’s so gay”, “All homosexuals have AIDS” and closeted friends scared to tell their truth. That definitely was a time for pride for any of us. I’m happy to be a part of a new era that gives loves freely and rights are shared among all. It’s beautiful. There is still hate, stigma, and insults but the LGBTQ+ community has grown in both people that are out and those who struggle, along with a major shift of support from their heterosexual allies. I say you do you boo. Live your life and love whoever the f^€k you want!

You may have noticed I refer to #2 of my threefold, as having a “person” instead of boyfriend/girlfriend type label. 2 is openly into the same sex/non-binary people, but recently she is also showing interest in boys again. Her preference is strongly more towards a person biologically the same sex as her. #1 of my threefold prefers the they/them pronoun and has renamed themself a more gender fluid name than their birth name. They are comfortable with being partnered with any lgbtq+ person and is more into personality and connection than gender or sexual orientation labels. My bonus kid, also is similar to 1. in these beliefs. However, BK and 1 currently have partners of the opposite sex.

#1 of my threefold, tried telling me a million times that they were struggling with how to identify and who their people were going to be. They fluctuated from gay to bi to straight and back around again. This made it difficult for me to accept as a truth, even though now I realize it wasn’t that it was not spoken in truth when they said it, it was more of a sliding scale that I honestly did not understand. I will be forthright in saying it took #2 coming out to me and my always feeling she may be from a young age for me to truly come around to the ideas of all things lgbtq+. That wasn’t fair to 1. I’m not sure if I was being told by my peers that it was “a phase” or that “all kids feel a need to have a label” or my own personal stubbornness and feelings to accept what 1 was telling me. I’m forever sorry for not allowing her to truly express themselves. I am extremely proud of DEFCON 4 for feeling allowed to be their authentic selves in my presence without fear of persecution or judgment. I hope they always know they have my unconditional love and support regardless of how they identify.

I won’t lie, I struggle I have a hard time referring to 1 as something other than the name I gave them. I say she/her because I’ve had 17 years of practice at both. Changing any repeated behaviors after that long is going to be difficult for anyone. I struggle with 2’s person as well . I often say she/her, because it is difficult to transition back and forth. I do call them by their chosen name though because that’s how I was introduced to them. The first time I met their father and he repeated their birth name I honestly didn’t know who they were talking about! I had to retrain my brain to refer to them as they/them, and now he is saying she/her. Then I could only assume they weren’t comfortable coming out to their father or he was having a hard time like me changing a habit of 14 years to fit the identity they are now.

There was a time when gay people did not have the same rights as the rest of the people.

-Our future grandchildren-

I’ve learned so many things from DEFCON 4 (as I want to be inclusive of my BK when it regards her as well) I’ve learned more about sexuality and expression. I’ve learned about identity and being fluid. I’ve learned that we all have the right to be loved and accepted as we are regardless of any label, race, sexual orientation, ethnic back ground, religious beliefs, or gender identity. They have taught me to be more inclusive and accepting. They have taught me the meaning of love. A million times over I am grateful for their lessons.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hidden Super Powers

It’s been one of THOSE months, weeks, days! You know the ones I am talking about! The ones where you start off on a high note. You’re positive, you’re feeling yourself, you’re living in gratitude, and all happily living your best “live,laugh,love” life. Then *BOOM* the world comes crashing in on you and throwing the punches to remind you just how out of control you really are! Well, honestly it’s been that kind of MONTH at my house. A total whirlwind of emotional whiplash that has left me begging for July to come and melt away the stress. (It’s hot AF here in the summer, it’s the south y’all!) I would think I was making headway and being more positive and then something else would pile on top of me to make me feel like the universe was against me and I was never going to crawl out from under the pile of sh!t that I felt was actively being thrown at me. I was losing my sh!t and was ready to piss and moan until the universe decided to play fair and nice again. OH. Ok, so you got jokes? Hmm, well let’s see how the universe responds when I stop reacting, I decide to get my sh!t together, stay strong and stay positive despite its attempt to send me into whatever karmic catastrophe it had planned for me during next week’s episode of “THREEFOLD: my crazy chaotic catastrophe filled life”! Quit playing with me, you play too much! I ain’t got time for your bullish!t anymore, I am ready for the fight! If only I could stop allowing negativity to be the kryptonite that kills my super power of positive thinking!

I started the month off on a bad foot. I was arguing with the perky positivity peddler aka the man in my life. Work related issues carrying over into personal issues. Blah. Blah. Blah. I had recently found out that #2 of my threefold was resorting to self-harm behaviors to cope with “having too many feelings” or “not being able to feel anything” again. (This has been an ongoing battle for 8 months) This up and down continued for a week trying to decide what to do and the constant worry of if she was going to be okay. My co-house manager Mr. Positivity Personified aka the man in my life, had to leave town for work AGAIN amongst all of the chaos. I hate being a b!tch about him working out of town, but it always seems to happen at some of the worst times. I guess it’s the universe testing my mental stability and making sure I’m still as strong as I claim to be. The universe has a way with making sure I remember I can always handle things alone if I have to, even when I don’t want to. As I rolled into week 2, it was like a bomb went off in our lives and I was scurrying around trying to pick up the pieces from the aftermath and put things back together again. After some deliberation and consulting with our mental health team we decided I was to admit my daughter to an inpatient psychiatric facility for self-harm and suicidal ideation. Every mother’s fear. My failures, my guilt, my anger, my own trauma, my anxiety, my world came flying at me full speed and didn’t stop it’s brutal assault on my way of life for weeks. Soon I was consumed with dealing with all of the ins and outs of having a kid in the hospital, getting kids back and forth to school, finding out 2/3 kids are probably going to need summer school, the ceiling falling in, doctors, therapists, assessments, trauma evaluations, family sessions, dealing with the Exhole day after day, CPS and abuse allegations (against the father), no contact orders and court preparation, insurance coverage and coordination of benefits, #3 trying to adjust to a new schedule and less time with her dad, coordinating partial hospitalization aftercare, losing a friend I thought would always be here for me, cutting hours at work, not sleeping, not eating, my dryer going out, #1 of my threefold getting sick and needing a bunch of tests and follow up care (pending final diagnosis *fingers crossed*), sweeping bedrooms, cleaning house and generally just losing my sh!t from the stress and emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. I couldn’t focus on anything. It has been one of the hardest months I’ve had in a really long time, and believe me I’ve had some hard months. I was literally running on caffeine, chaos, cuss words, and courage.

As I was witnessing everything seemingly falling apart I started seeing how moody, irritable, closed off, anxious and down right exhausted I was becoming. I was constantly between a laugh and a cry. I was holding on to my last bit of strength and after picking another fight with the person I want to share the rest of my life with I began to hear what he was saying to me. He wasn’t pissy and fighting back. He wasn’t calling me a b!tch or telling me I was making everyone miserable (even if I was being a b!tch and most likely making everyone miserable) He was worried, but his worry was surrounding me. Of course he was worried about the kids as well but he saw me struggling and he saw that it was a self-inflicted struggle. He saw the tired, worn down, running on empty, half beaten, half hopeless person I was and my desperate need to cling on to the last bit of strength buried in my bones and keep fighting for what I felt was survival. What good is life if we are just surviving? He looked me in the eye and with all the love, concern, and frustration he could convey he said “You. ARE. Exhausted! You can’t control any of this! You are KILLING yourself with worry! What GOOD is it doing to worry about everything when you cant change ANY of it?” I will now say the three words every man loves to hear, but so rarely does. In black and white for the world to see. He IS RIGHT. I was mad. How was my anger, anxiety, pain, fear, and constant worry serving anyone in my home most of all how was it serving me? As I sat there and resigned myself to the fact that I was not in control of anything that was happening. I couldn’t change the past and I certainly can’t predict the future. I realized I wanted to control everything. The more I fought to hold onto that control the more of it I was losing. I wasn’t focusing on the now, what I could do in that moment or how I should be displaying a positive attitude and being who my threefold needed me to be. I needed an attitude adjustment, a change of perspective, a vacation (hopefully eventually), and some damn sleep! I finished that thought and went to bed to submit to the sleep that I desperately needed.

I woke up after 6 hours of sleep straight through and felt more like myself and less like the basket case I had been the past few days. When you are consistently sleeping only 2-4 hours per night for nearly 3 weeks straight you don’t realize how much havoc it is wreaking on your body and on your mood. 6 hours is magical at that point. I did my positive affirmations (because live,laugh,love) the next morning, listened to my “Living Fearless” videos, and tried to remind myself that I couldn’t control any of it. The universe tried to continue bullying me, kicking my ass and taking my lunch money. I had anxiety creeping in when #2 admitted after 10 days home after 7 days inpatient and now going to a new partial hospitalization program during the day, that she was struggling with feelings of wanting to self harm and was worried she would “hurt herself or worse.” In that moment I had to remember to breathe. In 2 seconds I decided I need to be positive, for me and for her. I had to think about how to spin this and make it a positive. Where was my hidden superpower? I remembered that not long ago she wouldn’t admit this, she wouldn’t call me, she didn’t want to “bother or burden me” or anyone else with her feelings and problems. This was a positive step. I spoke to the nurse when I checked her in. I remembered she was going to a program where she would be safe and supervised, that my worry wasn’t useful, because she was safe. I went to work and distracted myself, in between phone calls with the treatment center as they were assessing 2. As I felt the tension I would repeat to myself “she is safe” “I am safe” “my worry isn’t serving me or her” “I am getting her the help she needs.” “This is not in my control” “I am a good mom”. As the day went on and I stopped to breathe when getting anxious and I forcibly made myself let go of the building tension in the muscles of my neck and back I noticed I was more conscious of my own self talk and self sabotage. I had been repeatedly doing to myself the exact thing I tell my kids not to do. My thoughts were beyond negative, they were abusive and blatantly catastrophic. These thoughts started becoming words as I spoke life into them and gave them room to intrude on my attitude towards everything and everyone. It was time for me to counteract those thoughts and words by spinning them into positives. Regardless of almost any situation you can spin a thought or a reaction to a positive. It’s about perspective and the willingness to not give in to the first instinct. Like anything else in life being more positive is a habit and is a choice. You make a decision in less than 2 seconds after having a thought as to your reaction. You can choose negativity or you can choose positivity. Allowing yourself to choose negativity will breed more negativity. The opposite is just as true, thinking positively with lead to more positive thinking. Both will have an effect on our attitude and our emotions. It’s harder to pull yourself out of that negative mind set once you allow yourself to go there. I know I have days where I set up shop and start selling it by the bushel load to the people around me. When deciding to be positive it is a proactive approach versus the reactive approach of being negative. Positivity allows us to take our power back. Choose positivity. It is something I have to strive for daily. I know that breaking patterns of behavior is difficult. I also know if I want different results that means taking different actions. I have to break the cycle of toxic negativity in my head and start countering my initial reactions with light and positivity. I can’t control what is happening around me, but with time and effort I can control my attitude and reaction to it. It takes less than 2 seconds. 2 seconds can make the day or break it. 2 seconds when the decision is all mine. 2 seconds doesn’t seem to be that much time but in those 2 seconds we decide if we are going to be positive or negative. Those 2 seconds can build into the next and then the next. Do I choose to use the hidden super power with in me, or do I choose to destroy my light with the kryptonite of negativity? I want to build a foundation of happiness and I believe that it all starts with what I do in those 2 seconds. It all starts with me.

Original threefold content-M