Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A million different directions.

Ok, well maybe not a million. But I have felt lately like we have so much going on right now that my mind is being pulled in that many ways. 

Here's a snapshot of my current workload:

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays I get to both work at the store and homeschool. B has tae kwon do at 4:30 on Monday and Wednesday and 5:30 on Thursday. Z has tae kwon do at 5 on Thursday. Z has dance at 3:50 on Mondays. B & Z both have gymnastics on Tuesdays at 5 and 5:45 an hour and a half away. J & I have tae kwon do at 6:30 on Monday and Wednesday. We have multiple meetings every week bc we need to build a new store. Meetings with builders, realtors, the corporate powers that be to try to figure that out. We also are trying to buy the two stores from my in-laws. This means meetings with corporate over approval, business plans, financial plans, assessments, psychological and personality assessments, etc. Fights and negotiations with my in-laws. Trying to coordinate a huge sale to sell off enough furniture in order to demo our building. Lastly, home life: suppers, walking the dog, feeding the cats. Oh, and my cat is peeing all over my house. Finding time for health when we get home at 9 at night. Oh and I almost forgot, I'm homescooling and Jason is running two businesses. ANNNDDD, I have my Etsy shop with 10 orders in queue. Oh and isn't it xmas?!? My kids are outright pissed because we haven't done the tree yet. 

I know my kids are in a lot but honestly B needs something outside of himself and us, a goal to help him control his emotions. And Z is the most alive when she's at gymnastics. I can't explain but it's something all her own. J & I need at least some push toward something to keep us at least moving and something to relieve stress and not create it. Tkd is better for us then chilling in front of the tv every night. My Etsy shop is the one way I get to explore my creativity. I've turned it off multiple times and as my creativity goes dormant so do many parts of me. 

However, my day today was too much. Just honestly too much. Got up, got ready, fed kids, went to work, did math with kids while juggling work, did reading with kids, started a big merchandising project, helped customers and broke up kid fights, juggled the three till noon, ate, went to bank to drop off deposits, went to Walmart for decorations for the store, got back to the store and fought with kids, helped customers, got calls from J about very stressful financial news for our building project, started to put up store decorations, rushed out of doors for tae kwon do, rushed home to let out dog and pick up J. Went back to tae kwon do, ate supper at Arby's, got home at 9 with cranky kids and a stomach ache to find I forgot over holding Thanksgiving and cooking for everyone by myself (with J's help a bit) that I had 4 Etsy orders that needed to go out today. 

And tonight J talks all exasperated about how we can't keep going out to eat, about how the house is a mess, about how this project for the store is escalating out of control because we have us juggling corporate, the business and his parents, about what I did and didn't get done today. I'm juggling all aspects of work, school, family, business and home life. He is too. But he gets to go to work without two little helpers. I go with them, I need to school them. I need to juggle customer calls and tugs on my arm to go potty at the same time. I chose this. I know it. I chose to help him at work. But that's because the biz needs it. It can't survive without someone else there to help him and we can't afford to pay someone to do it. So I'm trying to step in. Pro bono per se at the moment. Because the stores aren't ours. We are just trying to keep them afloat. But wow, how the hell... Just how the hell am I going to do this?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A bit different

Sometimes...I'm just so tired of being me. I look in the mirror and simultaneously want to cry and punch it all at the same time. I do so well sometimes, focusing on my blessings, breathing in and out and noticing the wonder about me. But I'm never happy as me. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of lying to myself and forcing the negative away. I try so hard not to let it get a hold of me but at every turn there is only disappointment in myself. I can go months, almost a whole year telling myself that I've overcome it. I can find good things about myself and try to focus on those. But in the end it always comes back. Even now I cannot explain what I truly feel. The words coming out are not at all what I mean to say. The words reflect whining, evoke feelings of watching a little girl lament about her privileged life. But really, what I'm trying to convey is utter exhaustion. 

I don't want to have the urge to claw at my legs with my nails till my legs are magically sculpted bloody as that may be. I don't want to exercise until I feel like vomiting, giving myself affirmations--"fuck you, fuck fuck you." I don't want to hold my chin taunt anymore and only see the waggle of my neck skin every time I take a photo with my child. I don't want to talk to my husband and hear him mention someone is nice looking and want to hurl myself off a bridge. I don't want to feel guilty for eating a meal, any meal. I don't want to feel the ultimate goal is the ability to not eat and beat myself up for the inability to reach that goal. I don't want to mourn for my children that they have me as a mother. I don't want to measure my self worth by how "on top of things" I am. I don't want to wonder any longer what purpose and good I am serving in this life. 

I want to KNOW with my soul. I want to feel that imperfection is ok and my imperfections are not going to cause the world, more importantly my family, to cast me aside. I know with my brain that these are illogical feelings. I can tell you with my brain it doesn't make sense. I can tell you I love my mother no matter her size. I can tell you a child with a caring mother that puts her children's best interests first is always going to be the best mom ever. I can tell you that a messy house pales in comparison to children that feel loved. I can tell you that our purpose in this life is about the people we touch, those that we love and help. I can tell you that and I can logically believe it. Because it's true. But I just can't feel it. I hate me. I hate the system. I hate whatever this is. I hate being inadequate for myself. 

**This post is about me being fed up with this shit. I am not suicidal and do know, to the core of me, that my children and family love me so very much. I do not ever think ending my life is a good idea. On the contrary, it would fuck up my children, husband, parents and brother forever. The world is not better with me gone because that's just stupid. The world, besides my family, truthfully does not give a shit if I'm here or not. Plus, since I don't contribute harm to the world and am a caring mother it wouldn't make sense for me to even say the world is better without me. 

So please don't take this to mean that. Please. Because it doesn't. I don't know what this is. A form of depression, simple self hate? I call it self disappointment. I'm not sure if I can ever live up to the goals rattling around inside me. I just wanted to say I'm sick of trying. The same way I'm sick of doing the dishes every night. The same way one is exhuasted when the baby cries at 2 a.m. But we all still do the dishes day after day. And we always roll out of bed to soothe or feed our little ones. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Who have I become?

Sitting here today and reflecting on things I couldn't help but finally give in to the nagging thought in my brain that something is off lately. It's me. I'm off. I feel that I have let go so many things that are important to me. Whether it be due to outside pressure or the fact that I'm busy, I honestly feel that I have lost a part of me. 

I am more than happy to be homeschooling my kids. But starting with a stressful situation last year, I have spiraled into someone that does not have the control I once did. My fuse is far too short, I've gained 30 lbs, I'm eating poultry when I swore I would never eat meat again, and I don't take the care I once did when it comes to many things. I never read for me any more. It's a rare day when I find time to craft, and the importance of not allowing my children to become addicted to sugar and additives is out the window. We ate at MCDONALDS today. 

What happened to me last year and why can't I get me back? 

I can do better than that...but no one cares

Sometimes I am truly upset about being in the field I'm in. I craft items and sell them online and at a few local shows. I have scaled down the amount of shows in the past few years and really don't show up to many. It's a lot of work and I don't have a lot of help to set things up because my husband usually has to work. 

However, after touring a large local show today I am just truly frustrated with this business. I make hair bows, tutus, headbands, etc. and while it doesn't seem awesome like some of those recycled metal sculptures and such, it keeps me busy and is actually a lot of work. I spend (or at least did spend when I was really going at it) many hours with my sewing machine, locked up in my craft room at 2 in the morning, imaging the happy little girl that gets to twirl around in my tutus feeling like a princess. Or the family pictures that look just so with my headband adorning the family's three little girls. It seems silly, and it is, but I find that I just get so frustrated when I go out into the world and see what my competition has to offer. 

After doing this for four years, I have a pretty good line on suppliers and such and I have found that increasingly over the years they have started to offer more and more pre made items. Stuff made in China, cheaply, all sold ready-made so that your lazy ass can buy it and peddle it off as something you made at a show. Or, if you want to have a conscience, you can buy pre made bows and use a hot glue gun to glue it to your pre lined clips, and at least you had to break out the glue gun. And here I am, folding all my ribbons, lining my clips myself, clipping, sewing, heat sealing, with a certain standard. No gloppy glues poking out everywhere. No fraying ribbons, no wonky clips that would never stay in even the thickest hair, etc. And yet, no one seems to care. No one does. When a booth lines up their walls and bins with crap that took them seconds to make (or just a quick order to the online supplier), and people are eating it up, it frustrates me. I wish there were some integrity. I mean in a all handmade, juried show to make one or two of your items and to buy the rest is just frustrating to me. 

Yep, I'm ranting, and who am I to criticize? If I'm so upset why don't I just do the same? I have to say many times I think I should just quit and do the same. What difference does it make? But for some reason I can't. I just can't bring myself to do it. Good luck to them because I know they are kicking my ass in sales. They make much more than me because for some reason the China-made items are cheaper ready-made than what I can even buy my ribbons for. And there is no labor time involved. Whatever, I'm in this for me, right?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Updates on things

It's been a bit since the last blog and so I figured I'd write and update. I'm still composing on my phone which is not the easiest or fastest media to use. However, being as my only time alone consists of a hot bath in the wee hours of the night, this will have to do. 

The kids and I are getting along nicely with our honeschool. I am finding that the curriculum, save for our typing program, that I have chosen are working out nicely. I am just so darn proud of these kids. I can't imagine all that I'd be missing if I hadn't chosen to take this route in our lives. 

B, who previously had a great disdain for reading, is finding a great love in literature. He is getting along nicely reading books and while I don't push it, I'm so glad to see him plowing through three letter words. I'm proud to see that he's proud of his accomplishments. We have been driving an hour and a half, one way, to bring Z to gymnastics once a week and on the drive have been listening to audio books. I find it so amazing what B comprehends, even as he's making noise and playing, he knows exactly what is going on. He adores these car rides and says he can't wait for Tuesdays. 

Z is moving along nicely also. She is writing letters, adding simple numbers, and learning letter sounds. I rejoice in this as I was incredibly worried about her academically. She has never seemed to have the passion and drive for learning that her brother has. And yet, here she is, doing her required work and trying hard to find joy in it. I have yet to find her true interest and spark her undivided attention. But, after seeing her progress and that we are at least getting through things with no tears or whining leaves me just crazy excited to see what she can do. I mean, this is a girl that I was told probably is "slow".  Meeting Z you'd never think that. She's as sharp as a tack, but she simply is interested in something different and I can't wait to until I crack the code. She does NOT enjoy our audio book car rides. But sits quiet to allow her brother his joys. 

I have probably taken on too much with their extra curricular activities but I figure why not? We have the time and if I start them early they can have the opportunity to drop whatever they don't like in the future. We just finished up soccer, which I like but I was sick of the schedule. My family seems to have issues getting out of the house in the mornings and soccer games were just a burden. However, I have enrolled Z in both gymnastics, as previously stated, and dance. She adores  both but I'm not sure how I'll feel about the three hour round trip drive to gymnastics this winter. B is currently enrolled in the local martial arts academy which is taking up 3 nights a week right now. However he has also expressed interest in gymnastics and so I think I may enroll him as his class would be right before Z's on the same nights. We are hoping to start up swimming lessons, and J & I have been talking about just enrolling the whole family in the martial arts academy. I've opened up my Etsy shop again and am working hard on inventory for my upcoming craft shows. Baseball will start in the spring and we'll see where life takes us. 5 out of 7 nights we are running around like crazy people. Plus J's professional commitments right now are just crazy. So many mornings and afternoons I'm going along with him to meetings. It's crazy how much schooling and running around we fit into a week. 

Our life never seems to slow down, and yet, I love that no two days are ever the same. Even when we have no time we still have much more time then if I had not chosen to start this venture. We start school  at nine and are done anywhere from 1-2. No homework to get done for the night. I wonder if we'll still be going strong a few months from now? 😀

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Guilt, and the pledge to do better

I screamed at my daughter today. I mean screamed. 

While this happens other days, today was different. If she's flopping the cat's head on the floor, or dumping chocolate milk on the carpet, or purposely tormenting her brother, that's one thing. I don't feel that I can be the type of parent that promises not to yell at my children. Not only is it not in me, but I feel the real world does not consist of people kindly and gently speaking all the time. One day they will get yelled at in their profession. One day they will have a screaming match with a friend or significant other. And so, me screaming at them from time to time, while not pleasant for either of us, isn't going to hurt their psyche for life. Granted, it does not teach them total self control when I'm bellowing, but we are not all perfect. 

But today was different. And I can't do it again. 

Today Z was working on math. The goal was to draw a line for each item in one box to another box and draw an x for each item. Zahra could not, for the life of her, understand an x. Not at all. We went through it 50 times (no really, I counted and it was over 50). And yet she drew straight horizontal lines from one end of her paper to the other. Over and over and over, until that paper was a matted mess of horizontals and she was at a loss as to what the activity was all about. 

So, we started over. With me gently (straining) explaining that we start at the top of our paper, not the middle.

 "The top Z. Where do we start?" 
"The top!"

A vertical line at least would have been an improvement. She confidently nodded, said "ok" and proceeded to draw a horizontal line starting in the middle of her sheet. 

The middle. 

All my patience over the past year with her and learning just evaporated away. This is the same child that after two years of having the same garbage cans, one plain and one with HUGE red recycle arrows all over it, still asks me every time she throws something away which is the garbage. Thus, I exploded, "THE TOP Z! THE GD TOP! THE TOP Z!" All while stabbing a pencil angrily at the top of her paper. 

She melted and cried, a lot. I apologized, a lot.

But this is learning here. This is something I want her to be excited about because I KNOW she struggles. I KNOW this is hard for her. I can see it. And I took all her fears and made them a reality. I told her that her efforts were not enough. Shame on me. Seriously. 

I have a lot to learn and patience is my biggest lesson. Things don't click for her now, but so what? She's only four. Fricken four. What was so important about that x? Why couldn't I have told her since x was hard she could draw a circle or a dot?! SHE'S FOUR! Why didn't I let her use stickers instead? What is the matter with me? 

If things end up being difficult for her with school it is my job to help her, not yell and tell her that her efforts are not enough. 

We are always in school, the learning does not end just because we graduate. I have a lot of patience to learn. I'm so glad I get another day to practice it. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


So I have decided to venture into the crazy land of homeschool. I am not quite sure how our adventure will go. I'm sure some days will be smooth and others will be quite rocky. However, I am super excited to start nonetheless.

One of the most common questions I get when people find out we are going to homeschool is, "Are you going to go all the way through high school?!?" Wow, I don't even know if I am going to go all the way through this month! When I was first toying with the idea of homeschooling B and Z, I was nervous about that myself. Was I going to homeschool all the way through high school? How was that going to work? Blah blah. But I have come to realize that this isn't an all or nothing venture. I don't have to have it all figured out right this second. Maybe it'll work out well for one child but not another. Maybe we'll do homeschool this year, public next year and homeschool the next. I do not feel that popping them in and out of homeschool will affect them negatively because in life we all need to be versatile. How many children these days aren't able to accept when something doesn't go their way? How many adults have a hard time with that concept, and with change, for that matter? I feel that we will take this as it comes and we will do what is best for us at the time. After all, what more can I do? I cannot predict the future. I cannot see the outcomes for the way I am raising my children until it happens.

I know that there are a few family members that are against this decision and I hope that over time I can show them that my children will not be weird, they will learn something, and that they will be able to function just fine as adults. These are not my objections against homeschool, but rather, some I have heard in the past few months.

The other question I hear the most is "Why?" Well, there are a lot of factors. The most important being my childrens' individuality. B is simultaneously the most mature and the most immature 6 year old I have ever met. I had the opportunity this past year of hanging out with quite a few 4-6 year olds in a private school setting and it just amazes me how different and unique they all are. They have many similarities, but our differences as people really does start right away. I love it. B got into a lot of trouble this past year for simply being himself. Many times when he was in trouble it was fully his fault. I, by no means, feel that my child is a saint. In fact, truth be told, he's an asshole much of the time. However, he sees the world in black and white. There is no grey area in his mind. This leads him to be overly serious and emotional much of the time. Thus, since his birthday is just a few days from the cutoff, we decided to hold him back to 4K instead of putting him in Kindergarten this past year. I feel that academically that was a mistake. When I assess him now, he is very much in first grade material much of the time. He understands concepts that are far beyond that level. His one lack of understanding is with reading.  So, where to put him? When he's doing simple multiplication at age 6 but cannot read cat?

Zahra is a wildcard. She learns nothing but knows much more then we are ever privy to. Doing her math with her the other day she rattled off her numbers, counted and even did simple addition. This is a far cry from working with her last week when she couldn't even point out the number 1. She knows things when she wants to, and doesn't when she doesn't. I am over the moon excited to see what she can do this year. We don't give her credit for enough.

Our family situation also is a bit different then most. J has to work weekends, and has days off in the middle of the week. The regular school week just doesn't let us be together as a family. That is one thing that is so very important to us. J and I can rarely ever be apart. Most of our jobs throughout life have been together! We feel the same way about each other as we do the kids. Family time, us together, is very important.

Lastly, I felt I was losing B last year in public school. My child runs around wearing ties and fedoras. He looks at the world in a different way. He spends his time filling obligations he puts upon himself. He is my little helper. He would rather weed the garden than play. He would rather craft and create something out of cardboard than drive cars. I just can't explain it, but I saw him losing that last year. I saw the happiness floating out of him. He was depressed. He was always told to stop helping and worry about himself and what he was told to do. He told me he was different then the other kids and he was always in trouble for it. He just lost his light. I mean he really did. Some kids don't lose their light. Others, like my brother, like my husband, like me, Do.

Anyway, what this post was really inspired by is that I FINALLY have narrowed down all my curriculum! I. am. so. excited! I had originally planned to do it all myself. To piece together my whole program and after 2 weeks of testing it out, I just can't. I don't have the willpower. Or the awesomeness, or whatever it is. So...YAY!! Here's to getting my curriculum next week and getting started with the year! I'm sure I'll post about what we are using and how it's going. I cannot explain how excited and nervous I am to start this adventure with my children. I know we are all ramping up for the school year, public, private, homeschool, whatever. So here's to a new year!!