Sunday, April 26, 2015

Oh my Aspi!

I am the worst kind of mom. I have 4 children. All of whom have different personalities and cleaning styles. Today was clean your room day, and as a mother I failed.
Some of you know that my son, josh, is an aspi. I know this. I struggle with it. I struggle to parent him the way his diagnosis requires. Take today for example.
I sent him to clean his room. He started out great. I helped show him how to do it. I worked with him. But not long. After awhile he started getting really upset. He refuses to eat lunch or dinner because to him he was on a time crunch. He only had so much time before bed.
Instead of instructing him better and getting to his level, all I did was offer words of encouragement. My child was hurting, and I ignored the signs. Until I finally got him to eat and noticed he was shaking and years were running down his face as he looked at the clock.
This is when I said enough. I was putting too much pressure on this 8 year old. Yes, he is one of my children, but I can not accept the same things from him as I do his siblings. Right now, hes happy, playing computer with his brother. Im making a goal for myself to learn how to better help him and bring myself UP to his level. I say up because he is smarter than I am. Braver than I will ever be. And so very precious to everyone who knows him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Visions of Tomorrow

In all honesty, I just want to know what in the hell is going on with this world? People are passing around images like baseball cards these days. No, I'm not talking selfies, or nudes, that is a conversation for another day. What I am talking about is those videos of a child being beat, of someone being shot, pictures of animals who are beyond salvation because they have been neglected or beaten to within an inch of their life. 
I see these all over my facebook, instagram, and twitter feed, the image will say something about "stop this from happening, repost this image" or some such. Trading these disgusting photos does not help anyone. I would like someone to show me some proof that because they posted an image of a dead baby, or a dying animal, it helped someone else.
The truth is that society has become so extremely voyeuristic that we just don't realize these things are happening in the real world. We pass these images around in hopes that someone, somewhere, will see it and do something about it, instead why don't you get off your butt and do something about it yourself. 
First step, stop propagating the demise of another. Seriously, if that was you or someone you knew, would you want those images being spread around. Just recently it was a police shooting that made head lines, how do you think the family felt watching their loved one be shot down in cold blood? 
Second step, adopt a pet from the pound. Help out at your local aspca. Volunteer for a women's shelter. Offer aid to someone in need. 
Now is your time, act, stop watching the world fall apart around you, instead do something about it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Leave That Apple Alone!

Being Bipolar.
There is a lot of talk about what being bipolar is. A lot of people assume it's like schizophrenia or some type of psychosis. They would be wrong. Bipolar is where you have mood swings, that are very dramatic. For me I would be in a deep depression for days, not want to get out of bed. Cry, a lot, about how awful my life was. Then without a moments notice I'm suddenly super happy, charging through my day. This is usually the start of what is called a manic episode. The could last days, just like my depressive ones. I would live on little sleep, do things I wouldn't normally do, like drinking or trying drugs, even promiscuity. Not knowing I was bipolar and living with it, did a lot of damage. 

Getting Medicated.
When I was 21 I had a friend tell me they thought I was bipolar. There was a lot of stigma attached to such a diagnosis (and still is), and I denied, denied, denied. When my marriage started to decline, I went to see a counselor. What did she say? Well...everything was my mothers fault, and I was bipolar. After the first statement, you can probably guess I didn't have much faith in her. In all honesty, it took me another year and a half before I actually got a doctor to tell me that I was bipolar before I believed it. I was then placed on lithium and Paxil.

Staying Away from the Meds.
When I heard the side effects of the lithium, I refused to take it. Yeah, I lied, I told my doctor I was. The paxil on the other hand, I did take. It didnt take long for people to start asking what was wrong with me. I wasn't my normal self and it showed, even on the inside. My brain was foggy. It was hard to get a complete thought out. I used to be very creative, I wrote, liked to draw and read, on the meds I had a total block. Nothing seemed enjoyable any more. I was even more empty medicated than I was in my worst depressive state.
I tried other drugs. Quite a few of them actually. I found one that worked really well for me, alas it had a lifetime for me. After 5 years, it no longer worked for me. Then came the cymbalta. There was nothing wrong with that one, except for the debilitating nausea and vertigo that came if I missed a dose by just a few hours. It affected my work, I missed days, or chunks of time at my job if I forgot to take my drug. 

That's what anti-depressants are. Don't be fooled by the fact that a doctor told you to take it, anything that alters your body's chemicals, is a drug. Anything that you put in your body can have an adverse effect. Getting off of drugs, has probably been the hardest thing I have ever done, but the truth is, I feel better than ever. I have a great relationship with my fiance, I have the energy to keep up with my 4 kids. I exercise and take vitamins to help me through the roughest withdrawal symptoms (that still continue almost a month later).

I know the natural way isn't for everyone, but just feeling good about life and having something to look forward to, has definitely changed me. I still, and will forever, sit with the diagnosis that I am bipolar, but I question whether or not I am. I mean, we all go a little crazy sometimes. Maybe I was just trying to find an excuse for my kind of crazy.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Where is my glass slipper?

I swear I should be getting paid for this. Im not talking in hugs and cuddles, yes those are valuable, and I adore every single one I receive, but cash money would be so nice. 
Think about it, from a stay at home parent point of view. All of you working parents out there get to go to work everyday, maybe see some people you can't stand, but you also get to socialize with your friends and co-workers. You get to leave the sounds of a house filled with children behind and not have to think about it again until you get home, and by then all the hard work is done.
I am mom. Mom is not a name, it is a title, like Queen. 
A mom (at least in my house), is naysayer, accountant, handy chick. I am maid, chef, garbage collector, butt wiper, cleaner of runny noses, dry cleaner, rocking chair, space ship, carousel, tutor, mover. Today alone I am dealing with a broken dishwasher (no I won't call the landlord, my daddy taught me to handle my own problems), having to rearrange my bedroom (again) because the vent is above my head. I'm not sure if you've ever tried, but it is close to impossible to breathe with hot air blowing in your face. I have to clean laundry, make beds, clean dishes (whether the dishwasher gets fixed or not), and I hate to say it, but I still have boxes to unpack. I know, I have been here since February. You would think I would have it altogether, but I do not. All of this has to be achieved while entertaining a 2 year old daredevil.
Don't take this as complaining, because I am absolutely not. I like my life. I am (for the most part) happy where I am. I say for the most part because we all have moments when we would rather be anywhere other than where we are. YES WORLD! Even mom's feel that way sometimes. What I am trying to say here, is that if you aren't the stay at home parent, the doer of all that needs doing, show some appreciation. Take your significant other out to dinner, just the two of you. Get dressed up. Go to a movie. Bring home dinner one night so they don't have to cook. Even something as small as loading the dishwasher before you leave for work can go a long way to show you notice what they do for you every day and you are thankful for it. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

In Which the Villain is Introduced

Let's get real for a moment. As a parent, our children will always see us as the villain. We are the dream crusher, the want hater, the mood killer. It is instinctively our job to not give into our child's every whim. 
Here's the problem I've been having. As I said previously, McKayla, my daughter, is a very strong willed human being, and most of the time I love that about her. Just not when it is against me. To give you the full idea as to what I have been dealing with, we need to go back in time a few days.

It's Saturday, and I am in my bedroom folding laundry, McKayla comes in and asks for a few dollars to go to a garage sale with her friend. Now normally I would have no problem, the issue is that her bedroom, is 3/4 of the way still in boxes in our hallway because she has so much stuff that she just won't part with. (*I blame my mother, but we will get to that later.) This little girl, takes it upon herself to go into the kitchen and start emptying her 2 year old brothers piggy bank. Enter JR who catches her and asks what she is doing, she gives the normal teenage response of "I don't know," and leaves the house. Once I am told about this, I chase her down and send her to her room. I am ashamed that I have raised a daughter that would steal, and then lie to me when I questioned her about it. Her punishment? She was my slave for the day. I told her if she wanted to take something from someone else, I was going to take from her, I took her time. She spent the day helping me clean the house. 

Before I get on to the next part, I need to go back to this Summer. You see McKayla had a bunny, and had left it in my care while she was at her dad's house. Unfortunately I was extremely unskilled in the ways of bunny misting, and she overheated and died under my watch. I promised McKayla that our dog Baxter, would then become her dog Baxter.

Now on to Monday. McKayla has a friend that offers to sell her a bunny for $10 and lend her a bunny cage until she can buy one. Of course she rushes home to tell me. My answer was a resounding N-O! She is leaving to her dad's for the summer again in just under 2 months, and I honestly do not want to have to deal with another animal right now. We are already breaking our lease by having our Baxter. A screaming match between her and I ensued. Doors were slammed, glass broken, she ran away at one point. Her punishment this time? None. (See this is where I am noticing that I am failing as a parent. I am not consistant in my discipline, and I just hate breaking their little hearts. )

Today, the screaming started. I am not the type of parent that spanks, grounding doesn't seem to work, and I just honestly break down. I take, and take, and take, until I blow. After having to repeat myself over, and over, and over (I'm sure a lot of you parents will feel me a little here), I just break. I start screaming. Yelling. I get the whole red in the face, cheeks blown out, steam coming out the ears look about me. This is when I really see myself as the villain. I try so hard to keep my kids happy and not hurt them, that I wind up an even worse parent in the end. 

What I say to you parents out there, is don't be like me. Don't be the villain. Stay firm in your discipline. Set ground rules early on so that they know, no matter what, if A happens, B will be the punishment. Structure is such a big thing for kids, and the fact that I don't give my children that, in discipline, I am doing them a terrible disservice. 

That's not all though. As I am sitting here typing this, I hear Kai. He is yelling. I see his puffed out cheeks, and little wisps of steam. His brothers and sisters aren't listening so he is following mommy's lead. That is exactly what our children do. Where we lead, they follow. I don't want my children to become the parent I have made myself to be because I feared turning out like my own mother. The truth is, my mom did a pretty damn good job with me. At least I think so. She taught me to have morals, and to value every life, not to judge a book by its cover, to share with others even if I didn't have to share. My mom taught me, that being a mom is the greatest, most award winning job there it, as long as you don't make yourself the villain in the process of trying to gain that prestigious award. 

*I blame my mother for teaching my daughter to repurpose, reuse, and upcycle any item she finds so she is never willing to give anything up on the chance she may be able to make something with it some day.

Where we meet the cast

Parenting. We have all had experience at it, whether as the parent, or the child. Growing up, I always thought I would never be the same kind of parent that I had. I thought I would be better, I would know more about parenting because I just knew my parents were doing it all wrong. 
Now I'm all grown up, with a family of my own. My kids definitely keep me on my toes. I look at my childhood and think, man my parents had it easy with me. My daughter, she's 12 (a tween, but i don't get that name), is so much stronger and more vocal than I was as a child. I hope she never loses those qualities, they will do her a lot of good in life, will show her as a real leader. Then there are my boys. There are 3 of them, ages 10, 8, and 2. I would love to lump them together and say they're just boys, but the truth is they each (yes, even the 2 year old) have their own personality. Gabe, (the 10 year old) is such an electronics whiz. You can put him in front of any console, or game, and he will know exactly how to play it within 5 minutes. He's not really an active sort, but we're working on that. Josh, he's 8 and an aspi. Does that define him? Absolutely not! Josh is smart, he already plans to be a doctor when he grows up, something he has been saying since he was 3 years old. He loves telling the corniest jokes (although they're not corny to him), of course everyone laughs, because the way he tells them is so funny. He has a ton of friends and is so kind to everyone he meets. Kai is 2. He's a real boy. I don't mean that demeaning to my other sons, just that he is daring and adventurous. He eats dirt and throws rocks. He laughs hysterically when someone farts and will beat you without apology if he can't have his way. We will just call him a wip (work in progress). 
The cast celebrating grandmas birthday.

This Blog is about my many follies as a parent (because what is parenting without mistakes?), our daily goings on in life, and how my children survived having me as a parent.