Beginnings and Endings

I’m getting divorced.

That’s a fun sentence to type, and to say. It carries a weight to it, a faint bitterness that sits on the tongue after the words are out. I’m thirty-two, with three kids, and I’m separated. That’s not how it’s supposed to go. I’ve also come to realize it’s the look on other people’s faces, the slight pitying grimace they give then you tell them. I have news, this doesn’t make me a failure, it doesn’t make us failures. It makes us human.

I’ve considered starting this post multiple times over the last months, but it never seemed the right time. Then I began to wonder if it wasn’t the right time, or was I letting fear hold me back?

There have been too many instances where I find myself worrying about what other people think. I’m done with that. I went into 2018 with a set goal, I would put myself first. Raise myself from the pit I had fallen into, and improve my life. As the adage goes “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” That’s a quote I keep in my head. Because that was exactly what I was doing, and my kids? They were sucking up the dredges. That was all I had left. I no longer liked the person I was.

It’s a daunting thing, pledging to improve. To look at the dark, hidden recesses of your self and pull all those shadows out into the light. It’s a long and arduous process, and when you come to realizations that are almost too painful to bear, it’s tempting to shove them back where they came from and close the lid. The problem is, the things we try to hide have a way of crawling out, even when you to contain them.

Very quickly it became clear to me where a lot of the problems in my life lay. I will not point fingers or lay blame. It was never any one person’s fault. Sometimes, no matter how much we believe something is right, it isn’t.

I count myself lucky in a lot of ways. My marriage wasn’t abusive, or bad. It was just two decent people, who care about each other, trying to make something work that wasn’t meant to be. It could have been so much worse, and at the same time, it wasn’t right.

Coming to the decision was the hardest thing I’ve had to do, but when it was done, I felt an incredible sense of freedom. I took on an instant lightness, and I do not mean this to sound cruel or harsh. It wasn’t the impending freedom from him, the prospect of the pain I was going to cause was still crushing me, but it was the weight of a huge, life changing decision being lifted. I’d faced it and made a choice.

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Five Years In

I started this blog when my boys weren’t even one year old. In the time since, I’ve made a sum total of 11 posts. Even with every intention I had to post regularly, and even with the love I have for writing, I made eleven posts in five years. If that isn’t a testament to motherhood, than I am not sure what is.

This was supposed to be a place where I could spill my thoughts, and garner support, understanding, and hopefully a few laughs, from other mothers. After all, we are sisters, are we not? We were supposed to be able to bond over tears and spills, and potty training ect. Who am I kidding, I barely manage to do that with the women who live a block from me.

I would like to make big promises of how I am going to start keeping this up, and maybe I will, maybe the next time I have a funny story, I will share it. Maybe the next time I shed tears over the futility of it all, I’ll share it! Time, fickle fleeting thing that it is, will tell, won’t it!

 

Here’s the boys and I, year five and official preschool graduates. Twin mommas out there, we got this.

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Why I have been a shitty friend

Here are some reasons why I have been a shitty friend, sister, daughter and probably even fiancé for the last 2..well almost 3, years.

1. I have 3 children, 2 are boys who are the exact same age. They are always, ALWAYS into something, spilling dog food everywhere, dumping laundry baskets, milk, food and pantry contents. Pulling every pot and pan out of the cupboard, pulling the vent covers off, pulling chairs down on top of themselves, pulling their sister’s hair, pulling the dog’s hair, pulling the cat’s hair. Putting things down the vents, putting things in their mouths, putting things in the dog’s mouth. Fighting with each other, fighting with me, fighting with their sister. If you have never known the frustration of having two toddlers hanging off your legs, fighting over you and pushing you, while you try to cook, clean or do generally anything, then please don’t judge me. Also remember, they cause this much destruction in our own home, a home that has been baby proofed as much as it can be, so forget going to someone else’s house. The rare occasion we have to enter someone else’s home, I can feel a grey hair sprout from my scalp with every breakable they seize, ever cupboard they open, ever stair they threaten to tumble down.

2. I work, for awhile it was at 2 different jobs, and I do photography, all in an attempt to help my family make ends meet.

3. Just about every moment that I am not working, I am with my kids, fighting a futile fight on laundry and house work and trying to keep 5 humans fed and clean. If I am lucky, 3 times a week or so, I actually take a couple of these moments to shower..and if I am going really crazy, to brush my hair

4. I live in a perpetual state of exhaustion, I haven’t slept through a night in 2.5 years. Haven’t slept past 7am in 6 years, well..maybe on a very rare occasion in the 4 years prior to the twins arrival. It may not be healthy but I admit, I drink way to much coffee, rely on a glass of wine to help un-coil my nerves at the end of the day, and don’t eat nearly enough or as well as I should. Yes I lost weight…no it isn’t because I had time to exercise, it was because on an average day of work I walk about 8 km… I wore a step counter, I know. It was because, in an average meal I spend at least half the time putting children back in their chair, fetching milk and cleaning up spills. By the time I get to my own food, it is usually cold and I have lost my appetite. It is because, just to take my daughter to school, I have to dress and wrangle 3 kids out the door and into the van by 7:50am, this is a feat that leaves me sweating.

Ahh, I am sure the list probably could go on, but the kids are in the dog food again.

I don’t write any of this for sympathy, or the want of help. I do get plenty from family and I appreciate it infinitely. I know there are people with much harder lives then mine, I don’t write this to complain even. I only hope to give you a glimpse of my days, so you can understand. This is my life, I love my kids and I am happy. I wish I could return the help, and one day I will. One day I will be a good friend again, please don’t give up on me, that day will come. There will be no more diapers and baby sitters and crying and owies to kiss. I will have my freedom to once again be there for the other people I love when they need me. But while my children are young, I will do everything I can to be there for them, to be strong and help them grown to be the best people they can. So don’t give up, just understand, for now, to be a good mom, I have to be a shitty friend.

They Almost Beat Me..

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This is a warning. A warning to anyone whose children have those adorable couches, you know the ones the perfect size for their cute little butts and fold into a little bed where they may or probably won’t nap once and awhile. Whether the couch is princess, Dora, Ninja Turtle or Mickey Mouse or any other member of the vast cartoon selection, one thing is certain; the cover will be the most awful fabric you could imagine. It will stick to your hands when your skin is dry, ever crumb on the floor will adhere to it and if your cat and dog love them as much as mine do, that cute Sofia the First print will look like it’s turning into Chewbacca.

This is when you will get that idea. The seemingly innocent thought of “wow I better wash these!” And without knowing better you will unzip that Diego cover and begin to peel it away from the vile, sticky foam underneath. If you’re like me your skin will crawl at the touch of it, but you’re a tough woman, you’re a mother, so you continue on, digging out the little sections that make up the fold out bed. It won’t mean much to you now that they are not attached but after… oh God after when it comes time to put them back together..

Into the wash goes that filthy Thomas cover and you dust off your hands, thinking you’re one step closer to a clean and tidy house. (Yea right… you have kids remember) You go about your business, whatever that may be the list of mom jobs could go on for eternity so we will leave it at that, and an hour later you switch the load of laundry to the dryer. Again, an act that you are going to live to regret, you’ll see. Oh you poor woman.

Buzz. Dryer is done. You skip to the washer and think “perfect, I’ll just put these together and then turn on the new season of Paw Patrol and get a few minutes of peace.” Oh.. how wrong you are. You grab the foam, with a quick shudder of revulsion and open the dryer door. Wtf… everything you put in the load with the Tigger fabric is clinging to it as though their lives depended on it. You peel off 5 pairs of undies, 3 socks, some face towels and a teddy bear. Finally you have it free and begin to stuff the foam into it’s Doc McStuffins prison. “This won’t take long. Almost got it.” Hahaha… that’s funny, you poor sap you. You’re starting to sweat. What. The. Fuck. How does this thing fit in here? It’s like getting a tent back into the bag after you use it for the first time. The clingy foam stick to the clingy fabric and both in turn stick to your skin like the static touch of the Grim Reeper. At last the main couch part is in and though it looks nothing like it did originally it’s sit-able.

Time to stick in the flat little sections that make up the bed part. Hmm does the slanted part go against the straight part? But which way? Or would it be slanted parts to slanted parts? Holy shit they won’t go in with the back part already in!? Damn you Toy Story cover damn you I say!! You pull the cover away from the flimsy foam seat once more, the terrible feel of it making disgust go slithering down your spin. At this point you have begun to mutter under your breath like a mental patient, every curse phrase you have ever heard makes it’s way to your lips.

You furiously jam the flat pieces into the pouch like section of the cover, AH! At last it is in a relatively flat…. but wait! How the F is this going to fold up to make a couch like it’s supposed to? Maybe the slanted section was supposed to go against the flat section? Vice a Versa? What in the name of Zeus!! What will your friends and family say when they hear the thing that finaly sent you over the edge was a child’s seat!

That’s it! This job needs to be lubricated with a glass of wine… or a bottle (don’t all jobs?) You fling that evil foam pile and it’s smirking stupid Elmo face  down the hall and stomp away. Maybe you’ll do it later when the kids are asleep and you can drink til you forget the polyester touch, maybe you’ll do it in 6 months, or maybe you’ll decide your kids don’t need those adorable little couches from hell.. What are they to good to sit on the normal couches like the rest of us?

I only hope that it’s not too late for others, as this warning is written from painful personal experience, heed my words mothers (fathers too if any actually exist that would wash a couch cover.) Take a cloth to them, the vacuum or maybe some lysol. But whatever you do.. do NOT remove that Tinkerbell cover just because the dog hair is making her look more like Jack Sparrow.

You may have gotten me down little couches but I will not be beat. My children will sit their cute little hineys on you once more.

Why I have been a shitty friend

Here are some reasons why I have been a shitty friend, sister, daughter and probably even fiancé for the last 2..well almost 3, years.

1. I have 3 children, 2 are boys who are the exact same age. They are always, ALWAYS into something, spilling dog food everywhere, dumping laundry baskets, milk, food and pantry contents. Pulling every pot and pan out of the cupboard, pulling the vent covers off, pulling chairs down on top of themselves, pulling their sister’s hair, pulling the dog’s hair, pulling the cat’s hair. Putting things down the vents, putting things in their mouths, putting things in the dog’s mouth. Fighting with each other, fighting with me, fighting with their sister. If you have never known the frustration of having two toddlers hanging off your legs, fighting over you and pushing you, while you try to cook, clean or do generally anything, then please don’t judge me. Also remember, they cause this much destruction in our own home, a home that has been baby proofed as much as it can be, so forget going to someone else’s house. The rare occasion we have to enter someone else’s home, I can feel a grey hair sprout from my scalp with every breakable they seize, ever cupboard they open, ever stair they threaten to tumble down.

2. I work, for awhile it was at 2 different jobs, and I do photography, all in an attempt to help my family make ends meet.

3. Just about every moment that I am not working, I am with my kids, fighting a futile fight on laundry and house work and trying to keep 5 humans fed and clean. If I am lucky, 3 times a week or so, I actually take a couple of these moments to shower..and if I am going really crazy, to brush my hair 

4. I live in a perpetual state of exhaustion, I haven’t slept through a night in 2.5 years. Haven’t slept past 7am in 6 years, well..maybe on a very rare occasion in the 4 years prior to the twins arrival. It may not be healthy but I admit, I drink way to much coffee, rely on a glass of wine to help un-coil my nerves at the end of the day, and don’t eat nearly enough or as well as I should. Yes I lost weight…no it isn’t because I had time to exercise,  it was because on an average day of work I walk about 8 km… I wore a step counter, I know. It was because,  in an average meal I spend at least half the time putting children back in their chair, fetching milk and cleaning up spills. By the time I get to my own food, it is usually cold and I have lost my appetite. It is because,  just to take my daughter to school, I have to dress and wrangle 3 kids out the door and into the van by 7:50am, this is a feat that leaves me sweating.

Ahh, I am sure the list probably could go on, but the kids are in the dog food again.

I don’t write any of this for sympathy, or the want of help. I do get plenty from family and I appreciate it infinitely. I know there are people with much harder lives then mine, I don’t write this to complain even. I only hope to give you a glimpse of my days, so you can understand. This is my life,  I love my kids and I am happy.  I wish I could return the help, and one day I will. One day I will be a good friend again,  please  don’t give up on me, that day will come. There will be no more diapers and baby sitters and crying and owies to kiss. I will have my freedom to once again be there for the other people I love when they need me. But while my children are young, I will do everything I can to be there for them, to be strong and help them grown to be the best people they can. So don’t give up, just understand,  for now, to be a good mom, I have to be a shitty friend.

If I had Time

When I started this blog in the spring, I set a goal to myself that once a week I would post..Post one blog entry a week…that doesn’t seem so hard. Only it has been approx 8 or so months and I have posted..hmmm about 4 times. Wohoo…oh wait, no that is terrible.

I see all these cool and hilarious blogs done by other, people, mothers are the ones especially that I follow, http://www.scarymommy.com,  www.chicagonow.com/baby-sideburns,  www.chicagonow.com/moms-who-drink-and-swear. To be perfectly honest..I only get a chance to read those one in a blue moon as well.

3 kids, 2 of which are toddlers who are almost 2. Work, school, activities…trying to keep these little hellions from eating us out of house and home and stopping them on their paths that always seem to be set on destruction. Sometimes I fantasize about all the things I would do if I just had TIME. I would have a clean and organized house, the laundry would be done, I would bake and eat every serving of fruit and vegetables I am supposed to, instead of sneaking tidbits off of the kids plates as I run around getting more milk, wiping up said milk because there is never a single chance that it is going to stay in their cups, putting kids back in their chairs (because sitting in their boosters is DEFINITELY the end of the world).

I would sit and read, read all the books I haven’t had a chance to read! I LOVE to read, before children I could easily spend a whole day reading, becoming lost in the world someone else has created. I also love to write, I have secretly (not so secretly now I suppose) always dreamed of being a writer. Putting down words on a page and molding them into a story, a story that would do what books do for me and transport others to a life away from their own. A world that they could get lost in for a time.

I would like to spend time with my fiancee, not arguing about money, or talking about the kids, but just being us and remembering that before twins, there was us and the reasons we are us. I would like to think about and organize things for our wedding, and not worry about how we are going to pay for it, not think about the fact that time is ticking by and sooner then we know it, it will be time and all we can do is hope that we will find the time to finish the planning.

However, before I sound resentful of the life I have, I must say. I love it. Sure I don’t love never sleeping, listening to whining and fighting 40% of everyday and all the other numerous, not so glorious sides of motherhood, but still, I wouldn’t change it. I love seeing their happy little faces when I get them out of bed, maybe I don’t love having to have the “you have to get ready for school” fight with the daughter every morning, but I love seeing her face as she tells me about her day, and seeing her excelling in school. I know in a blink of an eye I will be having that fight with the twins, 3 years and my babies will be in school. Time flies so fast when you have children, so I have sworn to try, just try, to not think to often what IF I had time. Because one day I will, one day in the not to distant future, they will be off, doing their own things. Jobs and lives outside their mother and father, and we will have time again. So for now I have to live in every moment, stress filled, tear stained, giggles ringing in my ears, little arms around my neck moment before they pass me by. I may not always have time, but I will always be a mother, and that is more important then anything else.