Monthly Archives: November 2014
As I sat alone on the floor of my master bath, in my too big for two people beautiful house, waiting, as this three minute eternity crept by, one thought echoed through my head: “Two lines will mean the destruction of my life!” In the first four years of my marriage I would see these two pink lines a total of three times. Three years later, I would find these three beautiful monsters and I physically, emotionally, and financially abandoned I had no degree or experience, an empty bank account and just enough food to last a few weeks – or a month if I ate less. I found a job, learned to juggle bills and struggled to turn a little in to just enough. Therefore, from one single mom who had to learn very quickly here are a few of the things I have learned:
1. The importance of personal space and self-care!
o Doors: Locking and Knocking: Not only do you need your space but also children should be learning this early on. If you are in the bathroom, they will be too and if it is a public bathroom, they will shout “Yay, Mommy! You are a big girl!”
o Quiet Time: Time without noise is essential to keep your head from exploding! I personally send the kids to their rooms for 30 minutes a day if they come out the time starts over for everyone; I also take batteries out of annoying toys!
The difference between needs and wants :
Baby Wipes: I do not care how old your child is ALWAYS have baby wipes because they remover EVERYTHING! Permanent marker, make up, blood or whatever the case.
Books, Toys, or other distractions: These items are wonderful for quiet time. Just do not forget to remove batteries from any toy loud and obnoxious.
Nice clothes, Shoes, etc.…: They will get ruined so your best bet for at least the first 10 years is to think “comfortable grunge”
ANYTHING that is not for the kids: Your wants and needs will always come second to their wants because in truth if they are happy you are happy! Self-Control:
o Knowing when to laugh or yell is something I had some difficulty learning. So always keep this in mind:
Laughing: It may be cute now, but will it drive you nuts later? A cute bossy toddler turns into a teenager with an attitude problem!
Yelling: Is it that big of a deal or could you possible just need quiet time? Humor and Quick Wit:
o The older they get the smarter they get the more of a smart ass they become!
From the Mouth of Babes:
o Some things they say will make you stop and think:
I struggle every day to maintain my sanity while sacrificing everything I can for those beautiful little monsters. But during quiet time, behind locked doors I thank God for the chaos they bring, for it was their invasion of my body; the destruction of my physical appearance and the material things I had worked so hard for that reminded me of my strength and brought me back to the basics.
What I thought was the destruction of my life was in reality the rebirth of my soul and through these sanity survival tactics I began to remember the importance of myself, of my personal privacy, and of the beauty of silence. I learned the difference between need and want as I struggled to feed their bellies. Laughter now comes a lot easier and anger a little less because I finally accepted that they were made this way. Designed with tender hearts, smart mouths and occasional random wisdom having a single purpose for the first 18 years of their lives: To drive me crazy enough to always remember who I am, who I love and what I’m capable of.
Do you hear that?
That’s the sound of my heart breaking.
My son has always loved the ocean. His eyes are the color of the sea, changing from blue to green with the swell of the tide. And my love for him is an ocean, an overwhelming force which is sometimes calm and steady, and other times full of conflict.
A mother’s love is like the continuous miracle of the sea. It begins in the ocean of your womb – but there is something unsettling about the way your baby kicks. So fiercely you feel bruised on the inside.
There is something willful and stubborn about his refusal to come out. He arrives weeks late, and even then – after almost 40 hours of labor.
Your baby is overwhelming and mysterious and brutal, like the ocean. He screams uncontrollably for hours a day, every day. And you bring him to…
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25 September 2014
Surviving Abuse: Nurture vs. Nature
I recently had a conversation with my daughter that started with 1 sentence and brought back too many horrid memories. She is a daydreamer just like I was and when questioned came up with the same excuse. She had a lot on her mind. I remember the reply my teacher gave when I had 1st said those words. “What could you possibly have on your mind?” she said in a shrill and angry voice. “At 9years old your head is still empty that’s why you’re sitting at that desk! The only thing on your mind is Barbie’s and playing house!” For most 9yr old girls this would be true. I, however, was not your average 9yr old nor had I had the upbringing of a normal well-adjusted child.
For as long as I could remember I had been the most responsible person in our home. My mother, a drug addict, had moved us in with a repulsive man who gave her drugs in return for pretending not to notice how much he liked little girls. To this day just thinking of the smell of his cologne mixed with alcohol and tobacco on his breathe is enough to cause nausea. But that was my life. I woke up every morning loaded and administered my mother’s syringe for her, then it was breakfast, shower, get little sister ready, walk her to sitter’s house and then finally head towards school only to make excuses for the bruises, dark circles, stuttering and constant fidgeting. When the bell rang I would stay as long as I could just to keep my sister away from that man a little while longer.
This particular day my daughter had been in trouble during science class. They were learning the concept of Nurture vs nature. Which in my eyes is not a valid concept. It’s silly to accept that something or someone is responsible for your actions.
“Nature versus nurture” is a psychology term related to whether heredity or the environment most impacts human psychological development (behavior, habits, intelligence, personality, sexuality, aggressive tendencies, and so on). http://www.cliffsnotes.com/…/what-does-nature-versus-nurture-mean
I asked for an explanation in her word. She looked at me with these big ocean blue eyes that seemed too old to be hers and said, I remember Mom! I remember the cord around your neck and the hate in his voice as he called you those names. I remember you begging for him to just let you go, that you would behave from now on.” “I remember talking daddy into taking me for ice cream and him telling me that I had probably saved your life.” In that very moment I realized I was my mother. In allowing this man to torture me day in and day out with verbal and physical violence I had allowed damage to come to my children. I was a product of nurture; destined to repeat what I had been born into.
While each child is born with his or her own distinct genetic potential for physical, social, emotional and cognitive development, the possibilities for reaching that potential remain tied to early life experiences and the parent-child relationship within the family.
Yet as I looked at my daughter who had been brought up in a world full of cruelty and hatred I realized maybe the nurture vs nature conundrum wasn’t something we had to live with. Maybe it was just our choices! After all she had witnessed in her short life she still made a choice on what she would give to the world. Raised by both an abuser and a victim she had chosen to be both strong and kind. It would have been just as easy to choose to be a bully and always get her way. I was so proud that I had struggle to keep from tearing up as I softly whispered to her how proud I was to which she replied; “Mommy I’m proud of you too!” I can only imagine the look of disbelief on my face as I mumbled a quick why to her statement. As she offered her last explanation I could no longer hold back the tears “Mom you chose to leave and make a better life for us! Daddy was scary when he was mad at you but you chose a different life for us than what you had. For that I am proud!”
Maybe it isn’t as easy as nurture vs nature! Yes some people have advantages that others don’t; but even with all the head start in the world if you chose to take the wrong path. You may grow up in a beautiful gated community and have the financial backing to pursue any kind of education you want but if you choose to spend more time partying and screwing around then it will get you nowhere! In the same sense you can be born with a slight learning disability like dyslexia or Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a high functioning autism disorder, and still be whatever it is you want as long as you work hard.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer. I am only 30 years old and I am angry! I started chemo 7 weeks ago one pill once a week thought I could do it all by myself… I was wrong! between work, being in college and my children there’s no time to take care of myself and as the weeks went on I got sicker. the first person I told was my boyfriend week 4 I think that was only because he’s coming to see me I was losing weight and he would have noticed something! Then I told my sisters… who have been strong amazing and supportive. finally during week 6 when I could could no longer hide the dizziness and fatigue the vomiting and the pain I told my parents. Seeing my dad try to stay strong as he hugged me and then going to sit in his desk chair across the room and turn around so I didn’t see him cry hurt me more than anything in this world. today in week 7 day 2 I feel horrid I think I’ve had a fever for at least a week and a half I’m exhausted starving and my head hurts so bad… I’m not sure that I have the strength to fight thisthat’s something we won’t know until it’s over but I do know that the only thing keeping me going is my family, my boyfriend and the five little monsters that we have between us! I just want them all to know how much I love them!