I’m too much for me.

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I’m not sure what to share or what to write about today.
I could tell you how I blew my top this weekend and crossed a line and caused a lot of trouble. but it’s all smoothed over, so I won’t.
I could tell you how I’ve begged and pleaded for help dealing with a 13 year old and haven’t had any relief yet.
I could tell you how we put on a graduation party all by ourselves last week, with little to no help and I almost lost my mind, but it’s done, so why would I?

So today I guess I’ll just tell you that I’m too much.
I want my husband to love me too much.
I want my kids to hug me or to wave goodbye when they leave.
I want my kids to know to hang their clothes up when I put them on their bed, not just go to sleep underneath them.
I want my dogs to stop running off and for Lyla to stop losing weight.
I want to be the best at everything I do. Even though I’m usually the worst.
I’m too much emotion, too much everything. My mind wanders and my emotions follow. When I started taking birth control 2ish years ago, I all of a sudden started crying when babies were born and people got married and if my husband looked at me too sternly. And now I’m a ball of emotion and I can’t hold back tears.
My mind does what it wants, not what I want it to. I lost control of my mind about 5 years ago and I can’t help it when it makes me crack.
I can’t help that I get overwhelmed or that loud noises scare me or that I am now easily startled.
I can’t help that I am anxiety prone and for the last 5 years it has felt like one big anxiety attack.
I can’t help that my love language is quality time and that I require hugs from my husband when I can’t keep it all together.
I am too much because I require a lot.
I sort of have special needs. Like silence and time away, but not too much time because I don’t like to be alone. I need to feel loved and validated. and I like gifts and surprises and I like extra hugs and hand holds, and I like being boasted up and special love notes. I like it all and I require it all to have a full love tank.
I’m too much because it’s not just one thing that I require.
I’m too much because I have hardly any friends and definitely none who get it.
I’m too much because I love my dad and wish I could hug him to fix his broken heart.
I’m too much because I can’t handle other people’s issues right now, because mine are enough on their own.
I’m just too much for anybody right now and that is tough.

4th of July Bliss

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I’ve been scarce lately and it’s because we are incredibly busy. And I don’t need to apologize for that ūüôā

We spent four days on the other side of the state at a conference and came home late Saturday night, gathering the kiddos early Sunday morning before church.
Which for me, was exhausting. There are struggles each week to get to church- one of them hates it and it’s evident, but he goes anyway. This weekend, their mom let them stay up until about 5:00AM Sunday morning and then came to our house at 8:30AM for church. So both of them fell asleep during service and in the car and on the way home and everywhere else and I was furious. And they wore basketball shorts because 13 won’t do their laundry.
So i was grumpy and mad because I had just spent 4 days with 2500+ people and then was awoken by 2 snotty kids at 8:30am, while we should have been away for one more day (we came home early). I was unhappy.
13 had a ‘tude all day long and i couldn’t handle being in the same room as him. and that makes my Prince upset and he gets angry and cold toward me.
17 came over for the day. and the next day. and the next day.

a lot of kids.

But yesterday, the fourth of July. We woke up before 9am (20 mins before we were supposed to leave because my alarm didn’t go off!) and headed to the beach. We packed lunches and sunscreen and headed out. We got there and the beach was practically empty (10:30AM, it’s to be expected). The kids all played. Hard. They built a huge sand sea turtle (see below). People stopped and took pictures of it, took pictures with it, put their kids on it. eventually they let their kids climb on it and stab the turtle’s head, which i thought was pretty rude haha.

Image may contain: one or more people, beach, outdoor and nature

We all left after we were sufficiently fried. More than fried. We were all red and crispy. And we only have one bottle of Aloe Vera.

We drove home and tried to sneak into a couple ice cream shops- one was rude when my husband asked to use a restroom, they did the Pretty Woman thing where they sort of told him he was too garbage to use their bathroom, so we chose to eat ice cream elsewhere. Then we found the second shop and they’d closed! So we finally drove the long way around town, almost home, and found ice cream.
The kids started craving Pizza. Real bad. And we told them no 500 times. but when we walked into the restaurant, I pulled my prince aside and said “come on babe, lets just get some pizza and then have ice cream later.” and he smiled and sat at a table. He’s starting to enjoy tricking them, too. We didn’t let them look at menus, we just waited to see how long they could stand it before we ordered.

and it was good. it was doughy and saucy and fresh from the oven. and the ice cream was perfect. and we got it all for about $35 which is pretty neat, since there’s 5 of us.

And 13 said that he had just had the best fourth of july he can ever remember. and there weren’t even fireworks yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Days off.

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I always feel like a monster when I tell people that I’m not excited for the kids to come back over yet. There’s a part of me that misses their smiles and their creativity, their energy. But there’s a bigger part that has not recouped from the last week long visit, and she’s not ready for more chaos.

I teeter on the line of being an introvert and an extrover, I’m what they call an ambivert. I really enjoy coming home to an empty house- but only for about 35 minutes and then I start getting anxious from being alone. I start to miss my husband. I don’t like the quiet. I don’t like the solitude. I get lonesome. I need to be surrounded.¬† But being surrounded by my husband is much different than being surrounded by kids.

Tonight, we are getting ready to have some Nigerian friends over. They’re amazing people. We’re on night 3 of our week off, except they were there on Monday when I got home- which is okay, but it’s not really quite like coming home to silence. And tonight they’ll be with us. And i’m not ready.

I’m not ready to entertain¬† and i’m not ready to hear the kids whine and complain about being there, we’re confident that 13 is going to cheat the rules we set for his grounding and do all the things he’s grounded from while his mom is at work.¬† i’m not ready to have them up after their regular bed time and to hear 9 cry if he stubs his toe. i’m just not ready.

i’m not sure how else to convey this to my Prince. I’ve told him time and time again that I think one of us is going to lose it if we do this week on/week off thing. I’m drained. HE spent most of the week with them, but i am still drained. When they nag at him and pull on him and irritate him, he gets weighed down and then that is put on me. Not intentionally of course, but that”s how it naturally goes.

i need recoup days. i need to have monday nights with no work. a night with my husband and me and thats it. but instead

Monday night I came home to kids lighting fireworks and my indoor candles being burned outside. I told them 17 times to clean their room and wash/fold/put away their clothes on Monday and my Prince gave them other chores, so i came home to a dirty room with no laundry done- except what was in the washer and what would be left for me to do. i was irritated. yes, they cleaned the countertops and behind all of the junk on the counter, they did the dishes and they cleaned the bathroom but there was a reason i wanted their rooms cleaned and it didn’t happen.

When they left, i walked in the house and there was a pile of boxed up goods. which meant we were going to the storage unit (a good thing but.. no relaxation). So we don’t get¬†¬† home until after 8:00 and then finally sit down to watch my husband’s favorite show.¬† i fall asleep after 1 episode and can’t tell you what happened.

Tuesday, I came home and worked on my photos/videos from a wedding in May that needs to be sent out, washed the boys’ clothes, did the dishes, cleaned the counters, made our bed and tidied up the living room. a lot can happen in one night. i sat down to do more wedding work and my husband came home and started giving me chores to do. so i cleaned the entire living room area. it was a lot. i made us breakfast for dinner and then we left to go to his parents’ house to drop some stuff off. then we went to the store and didnt get home until 10:00. the night was over.

tonight, we’ll have 6 or 8 people in our home. my husband will rush around like a mad man until we are all sitting down to eat. the kids will be irritated that we aren’t spending time with them, though we have international guests here to see US and its a privilege for them to be in our home.

there is no break time. there is no down time. this is not a week off.

i’m starting to really feel like i’m not cut out for this kid life. how do i do it?

Teeter Totter summer update 2. [the one that you should read.]

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Okay my posts aren’t always going to be about a teeter totter summer, but this week it is because its week 1 and everything is upside down.

Last night was …dun dun duuuun.. report card night.
9’s is almost glowing, it’s so good. he has 2 areas he can improve on, but the teacher even said “I think he’ll figure it out. He’s a leader in our class. He is an example. He works well with others, etc.” Everything a parent wants to read about their kid. He is GIDDY with his end of year grades and the positive report his teacher gave him.

13 has had this impending doom hanging above his head for the entire last trimester- he’s known it was coming. Long story short, he barely passed his year at school and we’re searching for summer school as a sort of bonus punishment. He’s lost privileges like television, tablets, cell phones, video games- all of it. very strictly for 3 weeks.

We came to this agreement about 6 minutes after we got the letter in the mail. The kids’ mom came over and my Prince kept saying, before she arrived, that “We would all discuss this and figure it out.” and i questioned him- “You keep saying we. does that mean i get to be a part of this?”
“Unless she outright won’t meet and talk about this if you’re here, yes. I want you to be a part of this.”
*huge internal smile*
Immediately after, she arrives. We all gather on the porch and she even says hi to me before i get on the porch. that’s strange.
we have our discussion and she actually listens to my input, which i am mindful to not add unless i think its very important, since this is the first time i’ve been tolerated. this is going well…

she admits a lot of her own faults in why 13 didnt succeed this year. she admits to a lot and basically reaches her hands out asking for help.
Eventually the conversation is wrapped up. I sent the boys in the house to find a book that they¬† were playing with the other day, it was their mom’s and her sisters from when they were kids- we gave it back to her and she smiled so big! she said she really appreciated it and held it close. and then the¬† boys go off to swim.
She doesn’t run off the porch.
Instead she thanks me.

SHE THANKED ME.
and she apologized for the way the last two years have been and blamed it on “momma bear.” and i just told her i understood and i thanked her.
and i told her how much i love those boys. and how much i care for them and just want the best for them. and she just said “Stepmomma, i know. they love you. and care for you. and i’m just grateful to have a support system for them. Thank you for all that you do for them and all you have done. i think things are going to be a lot better from here on out.”

WHAT!

and once she left, i walked right out to the pool and told my prince what she said, and he hopped out like “Should we talk somewhere else?” like the boys shouldn’t hear. and i said no. i intentionally came here for them to hear that their mom came to me and apologized. there was a tangible tension between us the last two years and they have openly talked about her disdain for me. I think it’d be good for them to hear that things are better. and he just smiled, like “You’re right.”

And then we took the boys to Taco Bell as a little surprise, but also because it was hot and we didn’t want to cook.

and then we took them to play tennis and 13, the one who hates all physical activity and outdoors, LOVED IT. he had fun. he smiled and laughed and ran around and then i smoked him in a real game of tennis (PS it was his first day ever of tennis, but still i won.) and then i crushed my Prince in another game of tennis that he tried, so hard, to get me to redo, but i scored on him in all 3 redo rounds. and i won again.

we all giggled and we all smiled hugely and came home feeling good.

this was my favorite day in a very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s my mid-week update on life with summer kids.

Not as terrible as expected, definitely not great.

I get mad at my husband the first night because he has energy to entertain and hang out with the kids, but not me. 13 is sick, 9 gets slurpees.

The second night ended in me crying, 13 crying, and my prince being real irritated. 13 asked me if he can ever do anything right in my eyes. and well, that sucked. he’s been ticking me and both his mom and dad off so much lately that no, it’s hard to see anything good come from him. He’s crabby, he’s being lazy, he doesn’t care, and he doesn’t even try to respond if we talk to him. He’s doing poorly in school and gets mad if we try to check in. He gets mad if we try to have a spiritual check up with him. There’s a lot of anger and we don’t know how to deal with it because he won’t give us any idea of where he is at.

It gets to a point where the kids are messing around on the ground. Our house has an immediate rule that if there is rough housing, the dogs get in their crate immediately. If you want to play, i don’t care- play. but put the dogs away. They get hyper, they get excited and then they jump and try to protect and end up scratching or jumping on a person. Their nails are sharp and they are very protective. The dogs aren’t doing anything wrong, they just can’t really handle hyper situations.

So the kids mess around and i hear the dogs start to tap their toes. I start intervening and I make them put the dogs away. They want to play, they need to be responsible. It takes 15 minutes before I finally grab the dogs by their collar, after they’ve stepped on 13’s face and start howling. I put the dogs in their crate and end the horse play. It’s 10:00pm. Dad wants to watch a show. The dogs are wound up. The kids are pissed. HUFF.
HUGE HUFF.

HUFF SO BIG THAT 2/3 OF US CRY.

Huff so annoying it lasted til midnight.

Huff so much it makes me want to yell “I told you so!” in my Prince’s face.

I got to a point where I didn’t know what to do. I was crying and asking for help from my prince and i didn’t know what to do. i’m at my limit. so we eventually had a long talk with 13 and I reminded him that I’m a person and I’m a freaking wreck right now and can’t tell the days apart since my step dad died and i’m real broken. so i might be off. i might act different. i’m a person too. and it’s not okay to disrespect me. it’s not okay to blatantly ignore me. it’s not okay to hear my questions and stare at his dad instead of answering me. it’s not okay to walk away when we’re talking, even if you think that will keep you out of trouble. it’s not okay. i am an authority figure in our house and to these kids and the way i am treated is not okay. and i told him i was tired. and that his MOM has even been at wits end. she can’t do it anymore. she calls his dad for help and Lord knows that that never happens. she’s never admitted defeat or that my husband is a good dad. ever. so for her to call in reinforcements is very unlikely.

the angry responses we get hurt us, we tell him. when he punches walls because its time to wake up or screams at his brother for moving a fan. when he takes 45 minutes to put away 3 clothing items or pawns them off on his brother because he’s too lazy. it’s hurting him and that hurts us. and that we love him. and are sad that something is clearly happening with him and he feels like he can’t talk to any one of us. and he cried but didn’t say anything.

how do i keep doing this? i don’t know how to be a teenager parent. i just don’t know.