I’m worn out today. I wanted to write about it. I have a few blogs, but what I wanted to write didn’t really fit in any of them. I considered starting a new one, but it would likely meet the same fate as the others – a few posts, then abandoned. So I’m giving up the facade that I started this blog with. Oh, it’s all still true, but I’m much less angry and wound up about that part of my life now. I’m just not going to put so much effort into maintaining the stage names I gave everyone to start with. If they happen to find their way here and don’t like reading about themselves, oh well.
A quick recap on the last six months (it’s January 2017, so that would bring us back to June 2016):
Stephen and I took the kids camping together for a week in July. It was alot of fun and we made some great memories as a family. Chris (my kids’ father) and Danielle (his now-former) girlfriend and their baby (Hunter) got evicted from their house and moved in with aunt (the one he moved with when he first left my house). In October, they moved into a different apartment in another town. Also in October, Stephen admitted to seeing other women for the last few months so that relationship was over in a heartbeat. (Cheating is not something I tolerate, at all.) I was blindsided by this; I had no indication that anything was wrong between us. That situation has caused me alot of heartache over the last few months – I wish I didn’t, but I still think of him daily. My feelings are shifting a bit though, and I’m just shaking my head about his lack of respect for me lately, and (right or wrong) hoping that he misses me and that he’s sorry for the way he treated me. Don’t misinterpret that – I wouldn’t take him back even if he came begging, but it still hurts deeply that he destroyed everything that we built, between us and with our kids.
Chris and Danielle broke up near the end of November if I remember correctly. There’s always drama there – first the story was that he was filing for custody of Hunter and needed to get out of the house for a couple days while the shit hit the fan. Then she broke up with him but he had nowhere to go so he was still living there til he found a place. Then he had a sob story about how she’s been physically, emotionally, and verbally abusing him for the last year and a half. In lieu of getting a job, he started a GoFundMe page for himself to raise money for an apartment and bills and a car. Then she apparently came home at 4am with her new boyfriend saying that she is pregnant with the new boyfriend’s kid and that Chris needed to leave. So that was the second time in less than a month that he begged me to let him sleep on my couch. (I didn’t let him.) Eventually, he took Hunter and went to live with his other aunt (the one he lived with right before he moved in with Danielle). He now lives 25 minutes away from me and I won’t drive the girls there multiple times a week. Due to circumstances there, it’s not really possible for him to have them on weekends, and I’ve taken away any overnight visits until he gets his shit together. Twice now he’s claimed he is starting a job “next week”. I give up; I don’t listen to him anymore. Anything he tells me could be, and likely is, at least partially a lie.
So that’s the skinny on the drama in my life. As a result of the above *crap*, I have few occasions where I don’t have kids home with me.
Which leads us back to the whole reason I wanted to get on here and write and vent.
It’s Sunday afternoon. Yesterday, I took the girls to see Sing, a movie they really really wanted to see. Then I had to run in to a store for 5 minutes and they were asked explicitly not to touch anything. All I did while scrambling to find the things I needed was repeat the mantra of “don’t touch, don’t touch, pleeeeease don’t touch”. By the time I was at the register I was at my wit’s end and raised my voice, to which the clerk looked at me like I was evil. I didn’t care. She should be glad I didn’t let them tear the place down, which they could have and would have done in 3 minutes flat, given all the breakables and “cool” shiny stuff there.
Then we had to go to the grocery store. I shop at Aldi so it doesn’t take long – maybe 45 minutes when they are with me. We go through the door; the whining commences. “Held me pick out some things for your lunch box.” “I don’t like any of these things.” (In an aisle full of cookies, snacks, crackers, fruit cups, pudding cups, candy and other diabetes inducing joys.) “Then what do you want in your lunch?” “I want to go to Wal-Mart. They have stuff I like there.” They have the same. damn. things. here. “Honey, they have the same things here, just different brands. If you don’t choose some things, you won’t have anything for your lunch.” “Then what will I eat?” “You’ll have to buy your lunch.” “But I haaaaaaate school food!” “Then pick out some snacks!”
The rest of the shopping trip was some variation of this, plus “stop running”, “put that down”, “don’t climb on that”, “stop spinning in circles”, and “we’re not getting toys here”. Plus that bathrooms were out of order and V had to pee, so I was trying to move at hyperspeed so we could get somewhere else with working plumbing.
K has a book report due Tuesday. Her procrastination skills are superbly honed for being only nine years old. She chose the shortest biography she could find – Mark McGwire. This child could couldn’t play baseball if you stuck her in left field with a mitt on each hand, let alone follow the game or care about a retired player. She swears that the book doesn’t have enough information to fulfill the requirements of her project, so she has had to google. Repeatedly. Which leads to watching YouTube and playing Roblox. Redirect, redirect, redirect. She requires a break every 30 minutes for relaxation and snacks that she hated in the grocery store yesterday. There are three parts to the project. One of them is finished. The second is started. The third might never be.
They scream at each other. These children don’t have a normal volume – everything is playground level. My throat and my ears hurt today. It hurts me to talk, let alone raise my voice. I hid in my room just to get two minutes of quiet.
K insists on watching “live” ghosthunter videos on YouTube. This led to “creepy dolls that move”. This, in turn, led to V getting scared and wanting to play with her dollhouse instead (ironic). K decided she wanted to play too; I had already told her to go finish her book project. After much protesting and full-volume arguing, both children were banished to their rooms so I could get three minutes of relative peace.
I’m worn out. Mentally, emotionally, physically. It is a hard job to be a parent 24/7. I’ve been a married parent; I understand that there are many relationships where one parent does the majority of the work (because I was in one). But now there is NO ONE to settle an argument, no one to do the yelling when my throat hurts, no one to make me a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner because I don’t feel like cooking but don’t want to go out into the arctic for takeout. (And I’m too cheap to pay for delivery very often.) I have to be the nurturer, the disciplinarian, the teacher, the cook, the maid, the chauffer, the bank, the handyman, the doctor, the vet, the comforter – the good guy and the bad guy, all day every day. I’m not complaining about that and I’m not saying that I don’t feel appreciated for it. I am glad that I can do all these things and that I’ve shown myself and everyone else that I can support and manage the family that I’ve created, by myself. People tell me that they’re proud of me, and that makes me feel good. Even though my kids rarely express it or even act like it, I know that they appreciate at least some of what I do, and years down the road they will understand it even more. I am mostly content where I am now – raising my kids, working on making my house mine, and building relationships with friends. I like being the sole adult in the house – most of the time – not having to consult with anyone before I spend money or change the decor in a room or spontaneously decide that we’re getting a pizza.
But I’m still worn out. I want fifteen minutes to read or take a power nap or just stare at the ceiling without wondering where the next outburst will come from, who will be tattling on whom for what, what the next crisis will come from. I’m sick of constantly telling people to pick this up, put that away, clean that up. Sunday’s chore is cleaning the bathroom – one for each kid. It takes five minutes – it’s just a surface clean – but it will take 30 minutes because I will have to stand there cajoling and coaching and prodding and reminding that allowances depend on this. I just don’t feel like it today. But I know that I have to, to teach them that responsibility, that work is tied to pay and that we are responsible for pitching in and helping others. I’m counting the hours until bedtime (5 minus 8 minutes, I’m bad at math). I desperately want a glass of wine then, but I think my sore throat will indicate otherwise (although alcohol kills germs, right?). I need to vacuum, and get their stuff ready for a day at Grandma and Grandpa’s tomorrow (holiday, but I work). I just don’t wanna. I want to whine and complain – it’s my turn.
Time to go make that grilled cheese sandwich now.