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Mending a Broken Heart

Another emotional week is coming to a close for my threefold. ALL three are home. Hopefully for a long time! It’s been up and down around here. I’m just trying to ride the waves of emotion and be the support my threefold needs me to be. It is a hard job, this mom thing. I will be tending to broken hearts and broken promises for the foreseeable future. Being a teenage girl is hard too.

#1 experienced her first big love over the past year. Her boyfriend {we’ll call him ‘J’} and #1 have been together for about 16 months or so. This is her first long relationship. Many of her firsts happened with ‘J’. She has been in love and it’s been beautiful to watch that young love. I actually really like ‘J’ and know he has been a good support for #1 through a very tumultuous year.

Tonight though, ‘J’ called it quits with #1. Her devastation and complete breakdown was heartbreaking for me to witness. I watched and tried to calm my sweet little girl as she hyperventilated and cried uncontrollably. I wanted to hold her, but during panic attacks she has increased sensitivity to touch. instead I sat on the cold floor with her hushing calmly and telling her that she would be ok, even if she wasn’t ok in that moment, she would be. I felt helpless I wanted to fix it, but there are no magic words to mend a broken heart. Instead, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I tried to calm her insecurities and her feelings of worthlessness.

Instead of sitting on the floor we drove to the gas station down the road. We have chocolate. We have funny tv shows and movies and we have a little heartbreak hotel set up. My newly appointed adult daughter will be sleeping in her mom’s room tonight. She will be comforted with chocolate and inappropriate humor. We will ride the wave.

As I sit writing this little dramatic comedy in the making, I am stealing away my moment to cry knowing this pain will linger with her for a while. I know that the first love and the first heartbreak that usually comes with it will be forever etched in her memory. She is tough. My stick of dynamite in a tiny 4’10” body. She has grown so much and has a bright future ahead that is bound to include more love and more heartbreak. This love will be the beautiful high school story she tells one day to her own child when they experience that first love…and the heartbreak that will break hers to watch. I’m loving her through this one knowing that life goes on and that she won’t allow the heartbreak to break her completely. I’m staying positive because I know she’s got this. I’ve got her…and I’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Adulting {ish}

Today is #1’s 18th birthday. It’s been a weekend full of partying, celebrating and more reality checks than I wanted to face. Today, my oldest is legally an adult {ish} heavy on the ish. When they say time flies and in a blink of an eye they grow up, it’s true. I barely remember sleepless nights anymore, but it still seems like it wasn’t 18 years ago that this tiny, red headed child was coming into the world. It’s crazy how fast it went by, and even though it’s not like it’s over it’s like grieving a loss. She isn’t a child, she’s an adult, a grown woman capable of making decisions that could change her life. I’m just a bystander, an onlooker, and a resource that she can choose to listen to…or not. That’s scary as hell!

I’m confident that she has been raised to know herself and her path. I’m proud of her for a million reasons. I’m not worried about her, I’m worried about the world around her. She is loving, giving, accepting, inclusive and people pleasing. People take advantage of the nice ones sometimes. They walk on people like #1 then call them naive for seeing the best in people. She is scared to let others see her as someone who has an opinion. She is hard on herself and she thinks perfection is an attainable goal. #1 hates conflict and doesn’t want to disappoint others. Her inner voice is very much her biggest obstacle. I believe in her, but now she has to believe in herself.

My girl, is a strong person who has overcome challenges. She doesn’t see that side of her. She has had trauma, but still has a bright light that she shines on those around her. So much has been stolen from #1, but still she gives without hesitation. She is full of love and a genuine sweetness. That innocence and faith of a child that has never been hurt, but she has been hurt. That amazes me. She hasn’t allowed that past hurt to make her cynical or bitter. She is warm and endearing. She chooses her attitude. She isn’t perfect, and never will be, but I want her to be her. Regardless of who that is I will love her unconditionally.

I’m sad and happy today. I’m sad to know my baby, the first of my threefold has officially graduated into adulthood. I’m happy because I know this means she is going to embark on the adventure she chooses for herself. She is a beautiful person, inside and out. Her light will guide her on this path forward into her future. Mommin’ ain’t easy, but I have to pay myself on the back today too and say I’ve reached a milestone as well. I’m the mom of an adult {ish}. One down, two to go! Stay positive! I’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Domino Effect

I never liked dominoes. I never was interested in playing the game. I would just line them up, stand them up on their ends and push the first one causing the rest to fall over as I watched with amusement. I would create twists and turns with the rows of upended dominoes to see how far it would continue on after the first push. It was entertaining for me. Much more so than the game itself was. This is what it feels like is happening in my life, but I’m not amused with watching as everything falls apart around me.

It’s March 1st. I should be writing a February Goal Getter recap and a March Goal Getter Guide. I should be spouting off about everything we have accomplished and how we do it. I should be writing a congratulatory letter to myself as I get to say this week I will have successfully raised one of my threefold to adulthood. #1 of my threefold turns 18 in only a few days. I should be planning a 18th birthday party and car shopping. I should have a promotion and a raise in my sights. What I shouldn’t have is two daughters in crisis mode leaving mom to manage the onslaughts of stress, financial worries, emotional turmoil, and trying to figure out where I went wrong. Yet here I am mommin’ mental illness and trying to manage my own. It’s been the domino effect of triggered responses.

It was a week to the day I discharged #3 from her psychiatric facility for acute care. It was that same day that we discharged #3 that #2 was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for her crisis management. Today, I was back with #3 for another admission for acute crisis management. Yes. That’s right. I have two of my threefold admitted for psychiatric care simultaneously now. As much as I don’t want to be the mom who says that, I am. I’m completely lost in my own emotional overwhelm and exhaustion from the past several weeks that I can’t worry about what that sounds like or how that makes me look. All I care about is that they get the help they need. Everything else is inconsequential at this point. My dominoes are lined up and life has begun to watch in amusement as each of us falls into the darkness of depression.

These admissions weren’t by my choice or even my recommendation. With # 2 hers was initiated by her outpatient therapist. With #2’s history I was pretty much guaranteed admission as soon as I said she had been inpatient for 17 weeks during 2021. With #3 the school has requested evaluation and assessment for mental illness and trauma treatment since her first out burst three weeks ago. #3 returned to school and now here we are with another outburst, more trauma disclosures and another referral from the school for assessment. I’m back to inpatient and trauma momma in the position of chaos coordinator and crisis management. Not the promotion I had hoped for this year. I didn’t ask for the domino free fall, however the pieces are left for me to put back in place. I’m trying to stop the falls, but they are being knocked down before I can even pick up the previous fallen pieces. I’m not sure how to stop the continued cause and effect from the initial piece falling into the one after.

I’m trying to figure it out. I’m trying to muddle through the whole situation. I’m flailing, but I can’t fail. This domino effect will hit a spot where the fall can’t continue and the progression will end. I’m not going to let my threefold down. They won’t be left to fight this alone. They need to stand up and I’m going to make sure they stay balanced whatever it takes. I need a break, but mommin’ mental illness is a full time job with no pay and no benefits. I’m broken and they are too. All I can do is work towards finding them the right care and keeping my sanity so I can manage this crisis as it comes. I’m scared. I’m sad. They’re scared and sad. I’m not sure how the next part of this story of ours will go, but I know that it’s going to be a hard one to write until they are home with me where they belong. In the meantime, all I can say is I’m trying to be positive. I might need some help along the way, but I’ve got this. ☮️❤️😊~M

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Learning to Let Go

Yes, I know, hard to believe. Nonetheless, here I am at a loss for words. I’ve been quiet this week. I’ve been trying to figure out how to let go. I’ve been trying to find a way to teach my threefold to let go. Yet, I’m finding the actual process of letting go is hard, however it’s critical to find healing and to move forward. I’m writing this still unsure how to proceed. It’s imperative that we find a way to let go of the past so we can move forward into the future.

It’s been a long and emotionally exhausting week, yet again. I was excited for things to get better as I was discharging #3 from the hospital and signed my final marital dissolution agreement after two long years. I just knew that was going to take so much of the weight of worry off of my life and off of my threefold. I was right, it did. I however wasn’t expecting that weight to be thrown back on me mere hours later. I was speechless.

I was sitting in the therapist’s office for my threefold and waiting for the discussion about #2’s relapse. I could see the anxiety in my daughter’s face as the therapist and I looked at her wondering why we had been called to meet. I was sick. My stomach was in my throat as my body tensed. #2 had been having increased intense thoughts of suicide, with a plan, and the means to complete the plan. I couldn’t breathe. It was only a couple of hours before that I had picked up #3 after her 2 week hospitalization. #2 hadn’t said anything to me. Why didn’t she tell me? Sooner?! I was unsure of what to do. I knew that her being suicidal and with a recent self harm relapse, I was most likely going to have to seek a higher level of care for her. That’s not anything like how I thought this day would go. I was stunned.

I’m not sure why we didn’t follow the safety plan. I did my part, I thought I was doing everything right. I locked up the meds, I gave her support, we talked and checked in often, I was doing skin checks, she was never without supervision for longer than a few hours, but never left alone. I couldn’t figure it out. We were doing good. She was doing so good. Why. Why?! I got angry and I was scared. I was scared for her, for my threefold and also for myself. Why wouldn’t she have talked to me.

My anger met fear, and my hurt saw her pain. I couldn’t understand in that moment, but I understand much more than I care to admit now. It’s not weakness, it’s not attention, or a pity party for ourselves. It’s the past scaring us out of our future. Over the next few days, my own thoughts would betray me. I too am vulnerable to my own darkness. I wanted to quit. I wanted to stop fighting my own battle. I hate to say that I thought about it, I thought about it too much. What if it was all my fault. I needed to blame someone and that person needed to be me, because I couldn’t blame her. She is only a child with an illness and more pain than is fair. She was my responsibility therefore I was to blame.

It’s hard enough managing mental illness in yourself as an adult. I can’t fathom what it’s like to have the trauma, stress, and all of your darkness swirling at the same time and during such a pivotal time in their lives. I truly wish I could take their pain and destroy it or give it back to myself. They don’t deserve to have life be this hard, this young.

I’ve found we all are still allowing our past lives to hold so much power over us. We’ve suffered from that pain. When will we let it go and move into a future that isn’t controlled by our past experiences? I know that’s the only way we find our way forward. It’s so much easier said than done. I’ve been trying to let go of the past, but I know it’s so much more difficult when the other people in your life are working on healing too. We can trigger and influence each other. We validate the past, but when can it stop taking our future?

This is my journey, this is our journey. I’m not perfect and some days I’m barely holding on. Some weeks I question everything. I am just as damaged as my threefold or anyone else in the world. We’ve all been damaged, but some of us can’t find our way to fix it. I want to fix it. I want to fix it for my threefold. Now I must figure out how. This process may take time, but it’s time to move on.

I’ll figure it out. We’ll find a way. We always do. For now, I wait for the #2’s discharge. I distract myself from my guilt and fear. I keep running away from my own darkness. I keep fighting. For all of us. Even when they stop, I won’t. As scared as I am that my threefold and I will let the past steal our future, I know we have the strength to overcome the fear and move forward. I will be hopeful and lead us to a future that frees us from that past. We can do this. I’m positive. We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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This is YOUR Journey!

I’ve seen the mommy blogs with the cute craft projects and the vegan recipes. I’ve read the posts about connecting with your kids and loving them through bad behavior. I’ve read books about how to be a better parent and even paid for a parenting coach. I’m not one of those moms who can pretend that that mom life is easy. It’s not easy. We’ve established that. There wasn’t a rule book handed to us when we peed on the stick and found out that two lines means two people. Basically, we are all out here raising tiny humans hoping that we don’t screw them up completely. All we do is the best we can.

I definitely don’t have all the answers. I’ve got teenagers and preteens. I’m amazed that I’ve survived this far. With #1 about to turn 18 and graduate high school, I’m realizing I’ve successfully raised one kid to adulthood somehow. Hell, she’s even going to a fancy university with scholarship money and a future goal for life. That’s more than I had at 18, I was not that kid. I must’ve done something right, though I’m not sure what that something was. Ive got two more kids to get there and honestly, I’m not sure how the first one has gotten here. It’s been a hell of a ride. One I won’t be getting off of anytime soon.

My threefold is my heart and soul. Theses girls all are so uniquely different and they all need different things from me as their mom. I’m just winging it. Sometimes I hit it out of the park. On those days I feel like I’m super mom and that no one can top my momma magic. Other days, I’ve been told ‘I hate you and wish you weren’t my mom’ or ‘you are just like dad!’ Those days make me feel like I’m a momster. Kids can make us aim to be our best and they can also bring out our worst. It’s a balancing act.

I have learned a few things from the moms who have it all together. I have implemented a few plays from my parenting coach that have won the day. I also gained a little insight from the books and posts that I found helpful in my mom journey. I’ll save you the money you would spend and give you my informal reviews of some of those that stuck with me through the years.

  1. “You can’t pour from an empty cup”
    • My interpretation: take care of yourself. Self care is NOT going to the Walmart alone to get groceries, stop acting like it is!
  2. “Even the best parents lie to their kids”
    • This is so true! Telling your child your food is spicy because you don’t want to share is a lie. We all lie to our kids to save our sanity, at least a little bit.
  3. “You’re the boss”
    • We wrap our worlds around the needs of little people. At the end sometimes we forget who runs the show. Hold your ground. Don’t negotiate with tiny terrorists.
  4. “Maybe in mom language is ‘no’, but for kids it’s ‘yes’. Don’t get that twisted.”
    • We’ll see and maybe almost always means no or a lack of decision for a parent. Kids however, turn that maybe into a blood oath. They will take that maybe as a way to pester you to the yes they want. Kids know how to manipulate you. It’s better to just say no if you don’t want the harassment.
  5. “Master the art of blackmail and bribery”
    • I can already hear the comments of how little Timmy doesn’t have to be bribed and how we shouldn’t be bribing our kids to get them to do what we want. It’s consequences and rewards. Simple as that blackmail=consequence and bribe=rewards. If little Timmy doesn’t clean his room he doesn’t get ‘x’ if he does clean his room he gets ‘y’. It’s just the sugarcoated version of that. Learn what works to motivate your kids and use it.
  6. “Presence trumps presents”
    • When your child grows up and is looking back at their childhood what do you think will stick out more? The parent who bought them (fill in the blank) or the parent who played barbies on the floor? There are few things that I remember that stand out in the gift department, but I remember the Wednesday night ritual consisted of takeout, watching ‘Survivor’ with my dad just hanging out and laughing.
  7. “Perception is reality. Validation required”
    • Feelings are feelings. They may not be based in truth, but they are uniquely the interpretation of an experience. Being a parent means being understanding and compassionate of a child’s feelings an perspective even when it’s hard to see how they got there, they did. Accept it and help them navigate through their feelings. They can’t be changed just because you disagree.
  8. “You are their advocate and their voice”
    • Speak up and standup for your kids. Sometimes they aren’t able to do it themselves. Show them it’s important to stand firm in what you feel is right. You fight their fights with them.
  9. “You can be their parent and their friend”
    • This one is so controversial. I remember seeing this and it went against everything I had ever heard or thought about parenting. You have to parent them, not placate them. Then I thought about my real friends. The ones who stood by me in the thick of it. They didn’t just coddle me and hold my hand. They told me the truth. Even when I didn’t want to hear it. They smacked sense into me when required. True friends don’t tell you you are right and make you feel better all the time. Sometimes friends make us see how we’ve contributed to our own mess. If you’re a true friend to your child you can parent and be their trusted friend too.
  10. “Every great mom thinks they are screwing it up!”
    • If you are thinking about screwing it up, chances are you’re doing pretty damn good. The fact that you’re worried you aren’t doing well shows you are a good mom who wants to be great. Keep going!

Whether or not my threefold make millions of dollars, become the first woman president, marry a king, or become a famous TikTok influencer means nothing in the way of success. Not to me. I just want my threefold to grow into strong, confident, brave women who know their worth in this great big world. To me, that’s successful parenting. It’s a journey. Last piece of advice…stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M