When I started this blog, I actually intended it to be a bit of a diary of the life of a single mother. I wanted other mother's single or married, to be able to come here and see that life as a mother is not always easy. That there are good days and bad.
Lately, I have been sidetracked with the fun events of this time of year. I also have been a little leery of sharing too much as I am a Libra and hate to offend. When I think of challenges with my ex husband for instance, I catch myself worrying if he ever caught sight of this site, would he feel hurt that this is one sided? or my children, when we have struggles, will they feel bad when I share it with the world? My parents, Friends, how can I blog of experiences without spilling my guts about them?
But then, that too is one of my challenges, albeit an internal challenge.
Last night was a rough one. My youngest and most forthright of my three, is falling behind on her school work, literally not doing it! She claims to be too tired, too stressed, and even too lazy. However, when it comes time for 'fun' activities, birthdays (her own 16th is in two weeks), or time for friends, somehow energy presents itself.
I admit, I have been a little lax in recent years with the kids. In part, out of exhaustion. After working a full 8-hour day, night school 3-4 nights a week and then hours upon hours of my own homework, there was not always enough of me left to 'enforce' the rules, as much as I should have.
Not that my kids run wild, I was there, I was a parent, Just not as good as maybe I could have been, had I had a little less on my plate.
I have been extremely lucky in the fact that my kids generally have really great self-discipline, and seem to keep themselves on track pretty well with little supervision. Of course their rooms look like Hiroshima AFTER the bombs and there have been some moments when I have had to really come down on them, but for the most part, I am/have been lucky.
Last night, was one of the 'other' moments. The night started out well enough. I left work early to take them to the orthodontist, there was talk about the possibility of braces removal... however that is not to be- yet. Rachel possibly will get hers off in January-Chantel maybe February.
We stopped on the way home for a snack as I had missed lunch. Then we hurried home to get cleaned up. My youngest had work, and my older daughter had an awards ceremony for her color guard/ marching band.
The ceremonies were great, a lot of fun and I even saw an old high school classmate of mine. Her son attends the same school. That was fun.
Then we got home...laying sprawled out on the couch, was my younger daughter, (the one who is about a million assignments behind) the one who had every excuse in the book why there was not enough time for all of her responsibilities... She had been let off work early due to slow business.
The fact that she had extra time, and wasn't using it to catch up, after all the excuses I had already heard the past few weeks. It hit a nerve! I walked down the hall to drop off some things in my room, passing both her room and her sisters! Again, looking like aftermath of some forgotten war! Her sister was in her own room, a disaster also, and sending a text message to a friend...This has been an issue with my older girl... averaging 8,000-10,000 text messages a MONTH! We are on a plan that allows free unlimited text. There is a reason we are on that plan. Because I could not afford it otherwise... But how do you stop the madness that seems so prevalent? It reminds me of that old shampoo commercial from the 80's? 'So I told two friends, and she told two friends and so on , and so on'.... remember that? Well, that is what a teenage with a cell phone and 30 friends can amount to.
The state of their rooms, the lack of completed assignments, the improper prioritization in the house--- and I lost it! I am sure to my daughters I seemed like the anti-Christ! I'm sure my head was spinning in circles, my skin may have changed shades... and I WENT there..
Where? To the place where parents sometimes go- then regret. Letting loose feelings of frustration, telling them they are not acting their age, that they are no longer kids, they are young adults and should be acting like it. It became a silent anger with my older daughter, to her mothers wrath. It became a screaming match with my younger daughter. Even comparisons with friends who would have run away from home by now. My head hurt, my throat was raw, I'm sure the neighbors had already called child services...from the screaming.
I spun on my heels, walked to my room, alone, and cried. Crocodile tears, cried. This is a defense mechanism that is common (I think) with mothers. Being mothers and becoming the demons we must be sometimes to instill responsibility in our children, hurts us so much more than it hurts them.
My head hurt worse, I let out tears of so many frustrations, not just the kids, not just messy rooms. Struggles with Finances, Holiday stress, Work stress, Busy schedules. And sometimes, it has to release, in its own way.
I figured I would have a good cry, step back out, and speak a little more civilly and apologize for my outburst. But I couldn't stop, the tears flowed freely. Then, before I could gain control myself, my oldest peeked her head in, I could see the empathy on her face. How do I tell her the tears are not her doing? Then my youngest, who by this time had stomped to her room slamming the door behind her, opened up her door and came in my room. She climbed onto my bed alongside me and held me, apologizing for yelling and being obtrusive. I felt horrible. How could they think that all these tears and frustration were their doing? Sure life gives us struggles, challenges, but my children are gifts.
We talked a lot, held each other, but it was late, we were tired, I am sure hormones and estrogen were playing a bit part, and well, again this is a stressful time of year.
But I am glad to say that today is another day. It may sound strange but a good cry did me some good. We were joking and laughing again this morning. The house is filled with love. And--- I think some homework just might get done and rooms cleaned up. Only time will tell. I'll keep you posted.