Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not a Wicked Step Mother

Where do you draw the lines in your life versus your child's. I as a divorced and remarried parent am bent in all directions the old normal family would never have thought about. I have a step daughter whom lives with her Mother and Grandmother half the time, and my own daughter whom lives with her Dad and his girlfriend just less than half the time.

My heart has always told me to put my child first. For the most part I try to do that. I try to find the good in everyone but I'm also human and my feelings get hurt and causes pain seen or unseen from time to time.

As an example I am not a big fan of my husbands ex. I think she's kind of strange and we have bad blood between us. She wants to make my life with her child as hard as possible. I can say I'm not friendly to her in return. However I get along with her mother and time to time when Tanner is not with us she wants to have a play date with her siblings. That's fine with me. My kids are her family and I'm happy to make play dates. Her grandma is a grandma and has opinions and I do a lot of respectful smiling and nodding when we are together. The kids have fun then I want to go home. Here is a challenge of mine. Tanner asks if her brother Joey can come to her Mom's house and play. I have issues with that. I don't want him there period. It's hard for me to justify sending my child I am 100% responsible for over to my husbands ex-wife's house if she's there or not and be OK with it. However sometimes I wonder if I'm over reacting or not?

Another challenge I have a lot of trouble with is my ex-husbands girl friend living with him. Not because she's a woman and he's moving on, or another mother figure is in my daughters life. They have a one bedroom apartment the three of them live in and I think a young girl needs space of her own or at least her own bed not a pull out sofa bed. I brought this up with him and apparently he believes my frustrations with this situation is his girlfriend whom was a good friend of mine for many years crossed over to the dark-side.  I'm sure I have voiced my concern over the awkwardness of this combo. I can't waist energy focused on his relationships. I feel in the right focusing on my daughter needing space in her own home. Once again with all the messy conversations and relationships here my daughter needs to be first. I hug the girl friend and invite her in to see our chickens for my daughter.  Am I over reacting wanting more for my daughter or am I out of line since I don't live there?

Now I know a lot of my friends are divorced and all the situations are different. I know some that are open and friends with there ex spouses and some that exchange their children in parking lots to keep things neutral. For me I struggle with my feelings of being a Mother, an individual and a hypocrite. I like to think I treat people how I want to be treated as a rule. I just have a lot of trouble in my blended family letting go of my feelings and looking at my daughters and always knowing what is the right thing to do for them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Little things make us who we are

Have you ever looked at something and said to your self this is probably why I am who I am? Here's my little rant. I clean and water my chickens every morning with our garden hose. Today there is a full bucket of water sitting next to the faucet. I knew it was there before I went out because my son asked if he could dump it. My natural response was no we can water the plants. This morning sitting there looking at the bucket I remembered the buckets we kept in our shower as a kid growing up.
I moved to the Bay Area when I was 1 from Southern California. My earliest memory was a drought when I was very young. Not flushing the toilet unless number two, timers in the bathroom to limit the shower time, dried grass in every yard on the street. The drought didn't last for ever but our behaviors did. My parents collected shower water to water our lawn. We had three five gallon buckets in the shower. We never ran major appliances like the washer, dryer or dishwasher until after 7pm or before 6am. We walked to the grocery store even though we had a car. My mom used cloth even when disposable diapers were available. We patched holes in our clothes.We reused containers like butter tubs and glass mayonnaise jars. This was all normal for me growing up.

I look around my house now and think about how I could live a little cheaper. Well I'm not doing nearly what my parents did when I was growing up. I hardly walk any where. I don't reuse water for plants, I run the appliances all the time. I'm not nearly are Green as they were without ever knowing it.

One of my goals this year was to reduce. I'm failing miserably at it. I read a very inspiring article on a blog I follow called The Zero Waste Home. It was about living Zero waste as an artist and getting rid of things that aren't used inspiring more creativity. We'll my hubs complains all the time about how he can't work at home because it's always a mess. My excuse was always that we have five kids. When in reality I could be a little more ambitious with my goals and get rid of things we never use. OK a lot more ambitious. Five kids in a three bedroom home really is junk busting at the seams. So today I'm feeling a Craiglist giveaway of stuff. It's long over due and time.

Who knows I may just set up a  rain barrel and throw a bucket of two in my shower.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

It always amazes me how Father's day poops me out like Thanksgiving or Christmas does. My kids seem to have the same excitement in giving their Dad their cards and gifts as they do waiting to open gifts under the tree. I'm not sure if it's the genuine pleasure my husband shares with them when he opens each item or the idea that they made his gift and can't wait to share there pride with him.

Today was a good Father's Day. I think Warren feels like it's Christmas too. He got up way before 7am and the kids slept in until close to 9am. Not exactly sure what he does when he gets up so early but I found written of papers and open books laying around. Being the wife of a future famous writer I feel safe assuming he was working on his novel.

After Tanner was delivered to us we choose IHOP for breakfast and ended up walking across the street to Nations hamburgers. Not so busy and they were serving breakfast and lunch. We ate up some of the greasiest grub I've had in a long time. When we got home we all napped. Yes every member of the family. That never happens. I guess that was a Happy Father's day to me as well. Yay me!

I loaded up the Minivan and we spent the afternoon at the YMCA pool. OK Warren spent the afternoon on the treadmill. This man is in shape naturally and keeps getting better looking. It's so weird to me since my body has caught up with my age. I look and feel like 40 is knocking at the door, watching every bit I eat to make sure it;s not going to add some extra somewhere on my body that will take years to get rid of if ever.

After to pool the kids played in the sprinkler while I watched my dog outside. With the addition of the chickens in the yard he can not be trusted. Marysa called around 5 and asked me to bring her Stepping Stone she made to her Dad's for her.I loaded up Tanner, Joey and Declan for the 10 mile drive. Much to my surprise Joey and Declan both fell asleep. That was nap two. I guess I really pooped them out.

Now Declan is asleep and Warren is in our room with the other kids watching the best kung fu movie of all time. The Flying Guillotine.  I'm happy today is over and was such a great day.

Happy Father's Day to all of you.