Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Boundries are a funny thing.  Like fences - some are short, with openings where you can see in, others solid - tall and protective.  Some are just simple - drawn in the sand or invisible, your own personal bubble of space that others aren't supposed to invade.

Is it instinct that we protect our 2x2 space in this world and all in it -whether it be cave, flock, home, child? We are constantly told and reminded about personal boundries: create a work/life balence, 'Joey don't stand so close to people, no one wants you in their space',  lock your doors, open your heart and mind..... Where exactly do you draw those lines?

I suppose that is what so many of us are trying to figure out.  How do I draw a line with my work versus home life?  Not just time, but sharing personal stories, venting, who do I let in when, where?  Finding that balance - when do I close the laptop, knowing i have a deadline. but also knowing my husband is getting ready to head out on travel and just wanting to spend my time snuggling with him instead.

Work versus life seems easiest to figure out - at some point while I do need my paycheck, my family is ultimately my priority and I can only do so much.  But what about those other boundries we face - friends.... with exes/children/stepkids, with social media... it can get very muddled very fast... If only it was as easy as tying a string across your room or drawing a line in the sand....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What doesn't kill you....

Interesting saying right?  It's been a while since my last post, things have been a little hectic. I would dare to say more than hectic.  In fact what hasn't killed us... well you how the saying goes.

Raising kids is tough work - power to the single parents truly doing this alone.  Raising step-kids I still think tougher than dealing with your own.  The past two years have been a true test.  A test from teenagers struggling to find their way, to our youngest realizing some ugly truths, a test of marriage and commitment, of love and respect and ultimately of strength and patience.

I thought we had a pretty good family unit for a while - we are a blended family and one who always operated pretty well.  Without knowing if it is due to true teen angst, suppressed hatred or anger or 'rumblings' amongst households, we have had quite a show of drama.  Some typical, some not.  I ask myself 'is this what I put my parents through?'.  I know it isn't - maybe a slight version but not the ugliness we have had.  

All I can say is the grace and patience my husband has shown through the disrespect, the slaps in the face, the boldface lies, sleepless nights is that of Jobe.  He has held me as I shake and say "I just cannot do this", has put up with my frustration, has stood strong, has buckled, has had his own moments of jerkdom but has held it together more than not and most of all has shown love every step of the way.  Of course not everyone sees it that way....Maybe one day...

So here I am, back to my virtual diary and the therapy it brings.  Hoping that we have turned a bit of a corner in our personal little space in this world. Stay tuned.  

From a stronger me

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Love = Trust, Don't think so...

Whomever said that to love someone completely you need to trust them never had a teenage child.....

Here I am.  A mother, a stepmother and a wife.  I am watching a slow decline in both trust of our son/step son; my husband and our family unit.  Don't get me wrong... I love my husband and trust him implicently from our relationship standpoint.  However I am not sure I trust his reaction to our/his son (my step son) in recent discinpline issues. 

Our situation is complicated.  Not any moreso than any other divorced family.  We consider our family ALL of us.   HIs ex manages the kids and herself but doesn't involve her husband, myself or actually my husband.  She shoots off about commentary but then folds.  My husbands is left wondering does he uphold what they agreed to, fold to her rules despite prior agreements or just create rules of our own because she doesn't uphold anything she even says herself?

So here I am with some rather serious teenage issues to battle.  I watch my husband suffer through the hate from our boy and the excuses from his ex.  I am mad because he goes against his word to me, but is trying to find a compromise so our son doesn't hate coming here.  I get even madder because that compromise goes against all initial agreements (with the BM included) as well as our core beliefs.  To me it shows our other boys hypocrisy. 

The mom - I used to semi-respect her.  The boys are good; however she does not respect my husband, their dad.  I am biased I know, but he deserves it.  She even says he does.  But he is treated like crap.  So am I.  How do we fix this??? 

This whole situation sucks.  It could be worse of course - but every professional and parent we have talked to says consistancy is key.  We try so hard - even typing up rules to follow at each house, family meetings etc and they are all thrown out....

I love our boy... but I don't trust him.  I love my husband but I don't trust he will stand strong.  What do I do??

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A real 'toy story'.

My son mentioned to me that his father told him he had sold his toys. He thought his dad was joking but hesitated. I encouraged him to ask him father and hopefully clear up what was looking to be a really bad joke. As my son was talking with me, he was reminiscing on old toys he used to play with and things that he missed. He mentioned that he really hoped certain ones weren't sold.

(One important side note is that my son rarely goes to his father's home anymore. Things have changed with his visitation and so my son had no idea what is still there at his dad's home or not. But regardless, these are things he still considered his, in 'his room' at his dad's home).

Then the big question finally asked over a phone call. 'Dad, did you really get rid of my stuff'? The answer.... 'Yes'.

Compounding this, is the fact that his father is moving; moving in with his fiancé who has another child and they are expecting one together. He is in a new home, where there is a room full of toys, but they are for someone else. My son has been there a few times. So... as a parent, do you say anything or not?

My head and heart were just exploding. I was so torn on what to do.  This isn't the first issue and it won't be the last.  At face value, it may even sound silly to be so upset over something like this.  But, it is the principle.  And anyone with children knows, there are some toys that are more than just plastic.  More than just a stuffed bear.  Plus what about just having something that was 'his' in the new place for when he does go there.

When my son hung up that phone and looked at me, his eyes looked sad and let down. Specifically there were two items he wanted, that meant something to him. Perhaps more but two he remembered. They were now gone, with no regard and no way to get them back.

I will confess that I gave in.  As much as I wanted to allow this to remain between the two of them, I later reached out and asked why these things were given away without asking. I wanted him to see or very least sense the disappointment. The sad look of my son fighting back being let down (again). How much he struggled to look me in the eye and go 'oh well, it really isn't a big deal mom' and then quickly look away so he wouldn't break down. But no matter what I say, those looks will never be viewed by his dad. My son plays strong for him. Doesn't want to hurt his feelings. Doesn't want to disappoint him.

The conversation only confirmed a few things for me. It did not do anything for my son. At least not yet. Perhaps his father will think twice now about any similar decisions he makes in the future. I want to fight this and many other battles for my son. I want to ease his broken heart. Especially when it is being broken by someone so close. I want to protect his precious and kind soul. I know I can't save him from the world around us, but that isn’t what is letting him down. It is also a lesson about 'things'.  They are just that and can be lost at any time.  I only hope that my hugs, tickle fights and snuggle time will provide temporary comfort for him.  He will get over this.  He won't harbor ill feelings.  He will see this is just one small piece of what may come his way.  And yes, people you love may let you down, in small or big ways.  But son, there’s a whole gang of us who have your back.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It takes a village...

The phrase it takes a village to raise a child has always fascinated me.  Through my journey of adulthood and parenthood, I have realized how true this is.  It isn't because we can't raise our own children, but because there are so many factors outside of your home that will ultimately impact you and your children. 

Over the past few years as our children get older and are becoming more social and independent, it has interested me how the parents communicate (or don't) with each other.  When I was younger, I was not allowed to go to any one's house unless my parents had spoken with theirs.  Of course there were no cell phones so when  you called someones home, you knew they were there.  There was no texting, no email.  You had to speak with someone if you wanted information.

There are days now where I feel it is almost a losing battle to get to know the parents of who my children are hanging out with, socializing with, dating.  Becoming Facebook friends with them does not count.  I don't need to know them intimately but I would like to be able to recognize them in a room.  I would like to have a conversation without feeling as though I am intruding when I ask if they will be home or what time we should arrange a pick-up/drop off.  It is almost as though with our cell phones and text and oh-so important lives now, we are relying on our kids to arrange all the details parents used to.  With that, comes the non-socialization of parents and our kids controlling factors we should be with curfews, where they will be, etc..  I can't even count how many times our children have tried to negotiate arrangements on our behalf and details are either not true or were so much simpler when we directly speak with the other parent.

Additionally, when something does happen when our children are with another child and their parents suspect wrong doing, it is our responsibility to speak with each other.  If we choose to ignore the 'village' support we have and instead use that to spread gossip, untrue accounts, suspicions, etc... it can have disastrous effects.  It is a shame, especially coming from adults that this path is chosen. 

It does take a village, including the good and the bad of it. For those that choose to chatter vs. confirm, I can only hope my "village" will see it for what it is. And while I will embrace the benefits of technology, I am still going to trust and use old-fashioned parent to parent communication.

Friday, December 2, 2011

100 Days of Thanks

I am challenging myself.  After a rough few weeks, if not months of feeling insane, angry, resentment, sadness and just well all over the place, I decided I needed to really try to focus to get myself out of this.  So I took the week prior to Thanksgiving to start my week countdown of what I am thankful for.  First thing in the morning, I pick one item and write it down.  After putting together my 7 days of thanks, I have decided why not make it my way to start each day.  What a way to begin each day in a positive manner and remember that despite no matter what may be going on there is something to be thankful for.  So here it goes:

  1. for my amazing husband who stands by me no matter how crazy things (or I) get.
  2. for my friends, old and new. I have the best ones on earth. always there when I need them. thanks for lifting me up, holding me through, making me laugh, showing me my mistakes and just making me a better person
  3. For our amazing kids - each unique and so special. So proud and so crazy loved.
  4. for my family - all my crazy relatives, incredible parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles cousins. All so supportive and so fun. I am lucky to have so much love.
  5. today is an old friends birthday. One no longer with us and someone who helped change my life. Today I am especially thankful for knowing him and will be forever grateful for all he has done for our family.
  6. for my home, I am lucky to have the house we have but most of all that's it home. It may not be the cleanest, most modern and needs a lot of TLC - but no matter our zip code we always try to keep it full of warmth, love laughter and fun.
  7. for my freedoms and safe community. Easy to take for granted but very thankful for it and those who serve to protect them both.
  8. Today, I will dare to say I am thankful for the heartache, the past, the worst days that all built me stronger and that ultimately brought me to the place I am now.
Happy Thanksgiving.... and looking forward to making each day a day of thanks.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys...

    Control freak cont. (or just crazy)
    I continue to think about this 'control' assignment and am really still at a loss.  I have recognized some smaller day to day things and feel as though I have let 'go' of them as they come up.  I don't feel like I am trying to ‘control the world’.  But then again I never really felt I did – maybe I do?  Who knows.  I can admit that the one huge item weighing on me, I just cannot let go of. I cannot put it in God's hands, I cannot put it in a stranger's hands and in my opinion, there will not be reliable resources for a few years down the road. Every time I begin to think of the what-ifs I lose my emotions. 'Letting go' or not having control of this is not an option.

    I contemplate about what else there is and where I can free up some of the mind bogging items.  But I feel so saturated that I don't even know where to start or what to feel about anything. I know I am trying to have really good, positive days. But I just seem to go from ok, to crying to angry/frustrated.

    Then, it almost seems just to test me, my husband learned his ex has been discussing (his) kids with his mother (my mil). There are no boundaries it seems. The two of them discuss items, then before we know it, my husband's entire family knows our business without him knowing or until they ask him about it and he had no idea.  It is one thing to discuss little things, i.e. a grade in school but this is not the case.  My husband confronted her asking that this stop, it is his place and his business to share this sort of information with his family.  But then went on, and didn't care if they discussed him/us, just the kids should be kept private. Bingo, a prime example of do I speak up, or not. Is this something I can control? 

    I know that I cannot control what anyone else chooses to share even if I wanted. However, I don't want our business, her frustrations with myself or my husband shared with my mother in law by his ex-wife. We are trying to mend a relationship there and while I am not 100% that we are a topic of discussion, I don't need it being one. So, I relayed that to my husband. Should I have let this be?  Not spoken up?  I don't know, but either way, I can't control the actual outcome. 

    Once upon a time, I wouldn't have cared. If anyone felt the need to discuss me or my family or if anyone else felt the need to choose sides or share information that isn't theirs, then well that is between them and so be it. However my confidence is so shot and I feel so, so beaten, I don't want to even have to think about if someone else, especially an ex and a member of my family believe they have the okay to discuss issues of our children or venting of what we have/haven't done. I am not so vain to think my life or behavior is a topic of discussion, but it has happened in the past based on passing comments that at times we indeed are.  I just don’t need it.  Not now, not ever.

    This leaves me feeling a bit crazy again. I don't feel like I have any control over these situations and while I know I can control my reaction to them, I have no confidence to feel stronger about my reaction.  The only thing I feel sure of is how much I hate feeling this way.  And that begets the vicious cycle of then feeling so selfish for feeling this way; so silly and pathetic.  After all, I am lucky to have all I do. I just am having a hard time seeing it through the cloud in my head right now.  I don't remember giving them away, but I want the keys back.  Now.