So last year I made a poor resolution. To resolve to “do _____ every day” unless it’s to breathe or sleep is probably not going to happen. I resolved to blog every day, and to write more on FB than I did here.
Well, if I count my work posts and the posts I made with homeschooling my kids for the first half of 2014, I probably rocked it actually, since we use internal blogs to communicate. But posts to my personal blogs? Eh, not so much.
As I was saying goodnight to Ethan, we were chatting a little bit about family — kids, my parents, his grandparents, my grandparents, his future kids, etc. Suddenly he gave me a tight hug and said, “Don’t worry. You’ll be happily married someday.”
Oy. We’re still trying to rebuild from Hurricane Clay. Ethan’s always joking about me finding my match someday (hands me a box of matches) or saying, “I see you’ve found your sole mate!” when I bought insoles to help me deal with a heel injury.
But this time, when we stopped hugging and I looked in his eyes, I could tell he was serious.
So I dismissed the idea with a smile. “No way… I’m happy just being your mom. And besides, I’m getting older. I don’t know if I could trust anyone that much again. And there aren’t even that many single men who would be good for me, and those that could be have their choice of awesome single women. I don’t even want to try dating again. I mean what are the chances?”
He didn’t miss a beat. “Well, what are the chances the Earth would just happen to form and life would appear here?”
“That wasn’t just chance though. That was planned.”
“Exactly. God’s got a plan for you, too, Mama.”
I’ve debated whether I have anything worth posting. But how often can one really justify everything they say as being truly necessary and super amazing? So I might as well be real.
I did want to let you know I’m still here. I’m doing alright. I have happy moments pretty often. For a while there I was busting out with long walks, and jogging even! Plus healthy eating, home organization, spending time with friends, etc. AND SWIM LESSONS! WOO!
But I’ve been kind of not okay, too. I’m coming to grips with the fact that I was seriously betrayed, and that hurts. I keep trying to forget about it, distract myself, whatever, but that isn’t making it better. “Feel what you feel; decide what you’ll do” was my mantra for so long. I need to remember to keep up that practice, even when it’s hard.
I think I’ll add to that, though, that healing also requires taking good care of myself, not just staying busy. So I’ll be more consistent with appropriate exercise. I’ll rest more, try to tame my to-do list, drink lots of water. Eat my veggies. All the good things. Plus scriptures & a whole lot of prayer too. I’ll also try to remember that my friends love me even when I am a bit of a sad sack, so to get out and spend time with them, and just try not to overwhelm any one person.
I’m also going to give affirmations a try.
Frankly I’ve always thought affirmations are pretty cheesy … “ask the universe” kind of stuff. But then I read somewhere that the trick is to say that cheesy affirmation, and then listen up for the nasty little thoughts that try to prove that affirmation wrong. Because they’re always there in the background, and saying that affirmation just gives them a chance to show themselves. And when they do? You listen. You recognize their fallacies, and then you fight right back.
At risk of sounding like I’ve got multiple personalities or something, I’ll give you an example.
“I am loveable.”
Before I can even say it out loud, here comes that nasty little thought: “Yeah right. Not loveable enough for him.”
Zing! Oh, that thought has been lurking in the shadows all along, but now I’ve provoked it. And yeah, it hurts worse than when I’m just ignoring it. But while that feeling is front and center, I respond!
“Actually, I am lovable. My friends, my neighbors, my kids … they love me. A lot. God loves me a lot. And I know it. I’m a loveable person. Some dude’s problems don’t change who I am. I have lots of long-standing, strong, healthy relationships. I AM loveable.”
So that nasty little thought adds “… well… It’s not like you’re perfect.”
Response: “So what? I don’t have to be perfect — no one else does. I just have to keep doing my best, making corrections when I’m wrong, and keep being the real me, because guess what?? I am LOVEABLE!”
See what I did there? It’s kind of like, oh… I don’t know… scaring that fly out of the kitchen and out the door. Or hollering at that lying, nasty Cardassian who’s been trying to slowly drive you mad: “THERE ARE … FOUR LIGHTS!” You know? Well, if you don’t know, watch this. (Best. TNG. Ever.)
Anyway. On top of the affirmations thing, another friend reminded me of the concept of power posing. Standing like I think I’m Wonder Woman herself, and who am I not to be? “I … AM … LOVEABLE!” And then I leap to the top of a tall emotional building in a single bound.
Well. Not quite. But I do take the stairs, at least. And I am going up.
I signed papers on Friday, which means at most I’ve got 90 days left of my very short-lived marriage.
I’ve tried thinking of a 5/7/5 answer to give when people ask where Clay is, to keep myself from strong tendencies to ramble or cry or overshare or gossip. Yes all of this hurts. Yes, I loved him and I thought he loved me. Yes, fools rush in, and I definitely played the fool.
But suffice it to say, I had a good life before all this. Things got sketchy pretty darn quickly, but I’ve got peace knowing I tried everything I could to make it work.
People have their ideas about a double divorcée, and a story won’t change that. And my friends don’t have to hear it all to know I did my best. They know me. Meanwhile, when I do catch myself venting it all out, I just feel worse. How can I be dwelling in Sadlandia when I’ve got that good life to put back together? My kids are doing better than ever; soon I will be too.
So I’m thinking I’ve got my haiku now:
Telling this story
Does not alter its ending.
Back to better books.
This tip for growing tomatoes seems like it might work well for our dry climate… basically make a watering bucket and plant them around that. I’m not ready to plant tomatoes yet. Saving the link for later.
By the way, sharing an item on your FB wall doesn’t really help you save it for later, because you can’t come back to find it. My blog, on the other hand, is searchable and tagable, making articles like this easy to find when I need them.
Please said it aint so: More than 90% of American parents spank their toddlers three times a week.
I think this calls for a little bit of a brainstorm. When is spanking the best way to teach a child how to behave?
Personally, my answer is never. But if you’ve got a situation where spanking seems like the best idea, perhaps we can come up with some awesome alternatives. No one really enjoys spanking their kids, right? I hope?
Over the past few days I’ve seen several articles about a proposed Kansas law that allows parents, caregivers, and teachers to not only hit a child, but to also bruise them. (It failed, thank goodness.)
This isn’t the only mind-bogglingly bad idea I’ve heard of from Kansas recently. So what floored me is how many people actually support this idea, saying that parents can’t raise good children without smacking them around some.
What does a spanking teach that other disciplinary measures cannot? Seriously, come up with a situation that warrants a spanking (something your child has actually done, so not “murdering all the neighbors” or anything like that), and let’s see if we can come up with another alternative. If you want to send anonymously, drop a comment through the form and I’ll post for you (assuming you’re not trolling) using just one initial or the identifier of your choice.
As for me, people who know my kids often ooh and ahh about how good they are.* And I always tell them it’s just their factory presets. I really do believe kids want to be good by default. I have never spanked either of mine. Not even once.
But I did once intentionally hurt Ethan. He was just beginning to get some teeth, and somehow he got it in his noggin that it was funny to bite me while breastfeeding. He’d bite, I’d yelp in pain, and he would laugh. So I took my problem to a group of friends, and several recommended “one weird old trick” … just flick him on the cheek if he bites.
So I did. One time. And that little baby just stared right into my soul with the saddest look of confusion and broken trust I have ever seen, then broke into inconsolable sobs. At that moment, I promised myself and him that I would never do anything like that again.
I found a great book on Positive Discipline, and I prayed for help. I decided that anytime he bit me, I’d simply close up shop and that would be the end of that breastfeeding session. I could pump, and while I took care of that he could have a bottle of cold breastmilk from the fridge. It didn’t even took him three times to catch the idea and stop biting me. And mind you, I stopped breastfeeding him when I found I was pregnant with Mary, so he was definitely younger than 5 months old.
Jane Nelson, author of “Positive Discipline,” teaches a handful of important concepts (you can find many listed here.) One of these concepts is that discipline is not synonymous with punishment. It’s about teaching your child. In a sense you’re teaching them to follow your example, or to become your disciple, if you will. So — how will you lead them?
I think I’ve said enough here for now, so I’ll just leave you with this to chew on:
*Disclaimer: I can think of three friends who have only seen the more emotional side of Mary. She’s emotional about many things, though, including how much she loves her family. And she generally chooses the right in the end. So I’m not going to stifle her feelings.