Monday, January 6, 2014

Fear and Self Loathing

There comes a time in every mom's life that despite your best pep talk you just can't pull through it. You have to throw that pitty party and let yourself get down just a little bit. You begin to compare yourself to the mom next door and it just adds salt to the already painful wound you have begin. Inept, a total feeling of not being capable of doing your best and failing your family because you strive for perfection at every turn. At what point do you break the cycle and tell yourself you are just as good if not better as the mom next door? At what point are you ready to except yourself as the best as it can be?

I have been in a funk and realized my responsibilities are spiraling out of control. The laundry, the dishes, the house work, the home cooked meals all just sort of took a hiatus. It seemed like I honed in on any and every excuse to avoid the responsibilities I needed to do to be the best mom I can be. Can't reheat leftovers because the microwave caught fire Christmas Eve and I have been to lazy to get the replacement from a friend of mines house. Why not use the oven? Well ever since that stint of overcooked meals and setting off the smoke detector I have been a bit gun shy about giving the oven a whirl to see if the maintenance man actually fixed it, that and I recall my teenager saying the guy mentioned something about lowering the temp x amount to ensure that I was not over cooking but I have yet to get the official word on it. Laundry, I have pretty much just washed what I need for the week all in one load and let the rest of the stuff pile up. I have things from Thanksgiving I believe that still have yet to be hung up or possibly washed. Let's not even get started on the bedroom. Its the catch all now, you name it its made its way to any possible shelf or basket made available in my room. One might think a teenager took residence in here while my teenage son's room likes surprisingly organized.

I was about to leave the house tonight to go see Chris and I hopped on FB to see what I had missed. I came across a post on a page I am on about fearing CPS investigating because the biological mom to her step daughter decided to flip the investigation on her around to them and she wanted a checklist to ensure that she met CPS' standards. The responses to this was quiet an eye opener. I swear if this stuff was accurate I am screwed! My floors have not been moped in lord knows how long, laundry scattered all over, food is upstairs down stairs and anywhere in between ( H likes to take food and hide with it), dust covers a majority of the items however this is mostly in part because we live in West Texas and the wind and dirt blowing is insane! Stained carpets from the pets and the children, and the busted up door frame from a very angry child who thought it would be awesome to pull an Incredible Hulk stunt on my front door! I started thinking of what might happen had someone snuck a peek in my house. It made me shudder. Would my parental capabilities really come down to the overall appearance of my home?? What would they think when they see my three year old standing on the fridge with cereal bar laughing hysterically at his accomplishment?

It was at this point I realized it's time to snap out of this! I needed to sit down and devise a plan with my teenager and conquer this mess. I need to get over my laziness and put my inadequacies aside and take on this house head on. I can't and won't upkeep this home on my own. There is not enough time and energy for one person in this day to do so. If that is the case might as well call me Cinderella! My list making in my head was growing while I was driving and I had no possible way to jot it down. I figured that it was important and once home and settled for the evening it would all come back to me. Well here I am and I am drawing a blank on just what it was I wanted to accomplish and how. My motivation and drive stalled out.

When I was thinking about this I was thinking that my situation is far more different than Jane Doe down the street. Sure her husband is deployed and she has a son around the same age and she works, she also doesn't have the same situation by far that I do. She doesn't have a child who has special needs that is completely destructive and goes non stop, she doesn't work the hours I do and doesn't have the extras in the evening that I do. I tell myself I am doing good if I can get just the living room and kitchen clean in a three day span along with a load of laundry and dishes out of the sink. The kitchen table has three spaces cleared for eating while the rest of my essentials bogart the rest of the free space. My kids are happy, they are loved and are tended to. They might not shine and sparkle but by god they are fed, clothed and  provided for, I would have said bathed but H is still sort of hit and miss on the bathing thing. It's an act of god and a whole heck of a lot of bribing to get him in that shower. The rest however is done daily without a second thought.

Sean made a comment while at his dad and stepmom's house over the break. It was a Friday night and apparently the house was a party house. Sean said it was just like being back home and when asked why it's because mom or in this case step mom was doing it all. Making dinner, cleaning the house, and making sure everyone was tended to and happy. He said he was glad he wasn't a woman because apparently being a woman sucks. When she said that his dad works hard he said not nearly as hard as we do.  As I was feeling down tonight and that I just plain sucked at this job I thought about that and realized he is right. Our job does suck but we do it and we do it well so we should be proud. I probably would have felt even more proud coming home tonight to a clean downstairs and not a Thomas the Train ridden living room.

After dinner I started cleaning and without much coaxing and prompting my oldest joined in and started picking out all the junk that had collected over the course of a few days. It was a vast improvement, not a CPS, white clove improvement but an improvement none the less. I need to stop riding myself and being so dang critical of how things are going. My kids are so supportive and know I do my absolute very best. They are my biggest fans and supporters right now. I think parents of special needs children ride themselves just a little bit harder than those who have typical children. There is like a standard we feel we must reach to feel self worth and accomplished compared to those mom's. Like we have even more to prove because our children are already " less than perfect" so if our lives are "less than perfect" we are the reason our children are the way they are. I however believe each and every one of my children are the perfection that they should be. I don't let their imperfections dictate how, I myself as a mom, feel I am doing.

I will admit when I start going down the list of things: Child who climbs and hides, breaks the door frames because he is so out of hand, pours out beverages on the carpet just so he can stomp in it, the dog who barks incessantly because apparently we are not training her well, the pet stains our dog leaves because she thinks its a fun game for me to tend to while running late in the morning, the clothes all over the bedroom because H is out of control because of routine changes. It does start to bring me down. However I do realize I don't need to justify myself to anyone. If they want to question my abilities I would, in return like to challenge them to fill my shoes for a day and see if they can do any better. It's not to be snarky, but more of a see it's not so easy and I do the very best I can.

I think the new list of rules and responsibilities for all of us in the house will be a better way to hold not only my son accountable but myself also. Then we truly have a way to hold our self  accountable and not fear the things that make us feel so poorly about our self. Living in fear and hating yourself is not a way to be. We have to learn to be more proud of what we do and who we are and where we come from. Everyone has a different story. Some are more simple than others while others are so complex its mind blowing to figure out how they even get up and go every day.

I don't make New Years Resolutions but maybe a goal of mine for this year to to find the good in me and what I do instead of riding myself for the things I haven't done and have yet to accomplish. Maybe this will help me stay more focused and driven to become the parent, mom and person I want to be.