By the time four p.m. rolls around, I am usually hanging on by a wing and a prayer over here – something my children can keenly sense. Knowing full-well that Mummy is rapidly making her downward descent, they either turn into animals or emotional basket cases, depending on if they have napped that day and if so, for how long. It’s my least favorite time of the day; I feel my energy, patience and wherewithal quickly draining from my body (and mind) and I cling to the knowledge that soon, my husband will be home. Soon, I won’t be the only one who is having the stamina sucked out of them by two small children.
With getting my car back, I was determined to join two things. One, a toddler tumbling class for Caitlin; two, a mommy-and-me playgroup for me.
I found a couple of mommy-and-me groups, but they were either too expensive or not accepting new members, so I dejectedly told Chris that it looks like that hope was squashed.
Once I don’t find results, if it’s not a life or death situation, I usually retire googling for the night and mope around that I still have nothing. Chris is used to this, so he took matters into his own hands. He found two Stroller Strides type groups and one forum for local moms to chat and talk and meet for play dates and adventures to museums and story times. Best of all? It’s free.
I love marketing. I love being on newsletter lists for other marketers who give me great content and talk to me like I’m a human with a brain. But I fucking hate getting those shitty, spammy emails from half-assed marketers who think I give a shit.
THESE ARE (I SHIT YOU NOT) ACTUAL EMAIL SUBJECTS LINES I RECEIVED JUST TODAY:
“how little Jonny made BIG money on these here intronets” “I make thousands of dollars a month trading on the forex market in my boxershorts. Do you?”
. . . Um . . . Seriously, guys? Only one of these I actually signed up to received (I am now unsubscribed btw). But come on. This is what they’re giving me? I don’t know these people from Adam. What makes them think they can talk to me this way and have me respond in a positive and relationship building way?
It’s been more than four weeks now since I began my life without a fallback plan, and it’s been a pretty intense learning experience. Being on your own and working for yourself can be a lot more complicated than one might expect. I thought in the beginning – “this will be great! I’m doing what I love and I get to make my own schedule and do whatever I want!”
Ha. How naive I was.
Well, I said that I would use this blog to hold myself accountable to document both my successes and my struggles, so here they are. Remember the list of goals that I made in that first post that outlined what I would strive to do every day? Remember that I said I wanted to earn my GED and follow online GED classes offered by MyCareerTools? Well, here’s my self-progress report for the first four weeks:
1. Follow the Map – C
Although I begin every day with a list of things to get finished for the day, there have only been one or two days where I follow and actually complete that list. I do a much better job of distracting myself following my path. Because of this, I’ve gotten a little behind, especially with my attempts to score a GED diploma.
I don’t think I really understood the full extent of the words “anger management” until I became a mother. I understood the words separately (trust me, I really understood anger growing up in a family where all emotions were on the table all the time) but I didn’t understand them together or more precisely the importance of having them together when you have children.
One of the downsides of having children (oh yes, there are downsides and anyone that tells you there aren’t either doesn’t have children or is lying) is that you have to give up the freedom to express your anger any way you damn well please. Oh no, when you have children you have to learn an entire new way to deal with anger (at least in front of them). Children, especially small children, don’t understand your anger and interpret it only one way, directed at them. SO when your toddler won’t stop screaming no matter what you do and you’re at a breaking point where anger is rapidly building up like a fiery volcano in your throat, you have to take a deep breath and figure out a way to stop yourself from exploding. It’s not easy. Well, it might be easy for some but God knows it’s not easy for me. And I have enough experience. But being a mom is even more difficult when it comes to being polite when you are just angry.
At that moment when my ear drums are vibrating from the constant crying and my nerves are completely shot, ALL I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs and run as fast as possible out of the house. At that moment, instead of doing what all my muscles and nerves tell me to do, I have to take a breath and fight my anger and fight it hard. I have to swallow the huge lump in my throat and wait for the feeling to go away.
I read the other night an interview with Angelina Jolie and something she said rang a chord with me. When asked about her polarizing persona, she said “I think anybody that makes a decision about where they stand is going to cause strong opinions about them. But I think that’s what you should be hoping for in life, so I take that as a very good sign. That some people support me and some people really don’t like me tells me that I’m making decisions and I’m standing strong for something I believe in. I’m making choices in life. And that’s the right thing to do.”
I was never a baby (or even a child) person. I rarely saw children when I was single and on the rare occasion that I would encounter one, I felt no real connection or desire to spend any time with them. I never knew how to talk to children. What do you say? How do you act? They would look at me with their big eyes and stare at my giant hair (yup…it’s the hair issue again) and sometimes even burst into tears at the very sight of me. That wasn’t exactly a great sign pointing me to motherhood.
Today I was thinking back to day of the passing of Tim Russert, it shook many of us. He was so young and full of life. I knew him as most people did, through his shows and his books about fatherhood. After his passing, I watched a lot of the discussions of his life and what amazed me was the passion he had for his life and everything in it. His passion for his job, his passion for his family, even the passion for sports. That’s A LOT of passion.
It made me think, is that attainable for the rest of us? Should that be our goal so that we can also live such a full life? Not necessarily. I mean, I’m not opposed to living your life with such passion…if you can do it, all the power to you. And I’m sure some people are lucky enough to feel that powerful energy for everything in their lives. But I think it’s something that most of us can’t imagine attaining for all the areas of our lives. And maybe that’s OK.
I love e-mail candy! I savor it and only open it when I can’t stand to wait any longer to consume it. I look forward to getting it and when I see it all beautiful and bold, my heart skips a quick beat knowing that it has finally arrived. And I know the best part is not even here yet. When I can’t wait any longer, I open it and hope that it meets (or even…if possible…exceeds) my expectations. Then I consume it slowly making sure to savor each piece. And when I’m done, I usually have a smile on my face with the memory of it.
It was another night of sleep. Almost. You see, Violet has learned how to open doors. I am proud of her. I thought it seemed to be taking her a little longer than needed to do this, and I wanted her to be able to open the bathroom door, etc on her own; a little more independence. Really, I don’t know that it was ‘her’ fault she didn’t know. I’m so used to her making me look good and just figuring out how to do things on her own that I didn’t take the time to show her. So I decided to ensure she learned this and within a few days (seriously), it happened. She opens doors.