I Tell Her Stories But I Do Not Lead By Example

I can remember it plain as day, laying in my pretty white day bed, the one with rose globes, pink ruffled bed skirt hanging down. My daddy would come in and tuck me in careful to make it just right. “Snug as a bug in a rug” he would say; he’d kiss me goodnight but before he’d go he’d tell me a story. Stories of princes and princess’s, men riding in gallantly on white horses, women with mops and terrible chores, horrible step mothers, fairy God-mothers, but mostly Prince Charming on his big white horse. He was only just Prince Charming though, no characteristics given he was just always the saving grace for the maiden. He rescued her from whatever rotten circumstances she faced and brought her home to become his Queen, where she would bare children and most likely resume her role at mopping and scrubbing only now those chores included diaper duty as well. Daddy always left that part out.

I guess I’ve become very cynical over the years. You see I tell my daughter stories too, but I don’t tell her the magical fairy tales that consumed my childhood. I don’t want to lead her on. Life isn’t that fairy tale that I bought into so long ago.

I tell my daughter stories of suitcase toting power woman. Woman who can hold their own, woman who make their own choices, take their own path, woman who marry when they are truly ready. I tell her all the characteristics that I wish I had heard. Prince Charming is a fraud. Look not for the handsome man who can be “your savior?” Be your own. Look for a man who will not just call you his queen but treat you as one. Look for a man who will build you up rather then tear you down. The man who always uses kind words, and kind hands, he needs to be a Godly man, and will not be afraid to take the reigns lead his family in worship and prayer. A hard working man, but not so hard working that he can’t see past the over time, a man who puts GOD first, FAMILY second, and all else comes next.

But the most important thing I tell her is get an education. Don’t stop at high school and marry the first man you meet who treats you decent. That’s what I did. Good enough isn’t good enough. And most importantly you want and need to be INDEPENDENT. Don’t trap yourself in a situation you can’t escape from. A situation identical to my own, three children, a terrible marriage, no education beyond the 1 year of college I completed before becoming pregnant with my second child and deciding school with two children was near impossible; especially with a husband who wouldn’t help with the care of his own children, and a family who wasn’t much help either.
I don’t expect her to wait around until her ovaries have had their last hoorah, but I sure hope she gets her ducks in a row and never depends on a man.

You see I tell my daughter stories, but I do not lead by example, and for that I can’t forgive myself

I tell her she is valuable, her worth is like no other, and unless the man knows this he isn’t good enough for her. I tell her she must be respected, and loved in a way that our Father in heaven would see fit. I tell her she’s beautiful, all of her inside and out, but most importantly inside. I tell her she is smart, and that she can do anything. ANYTHING. I tell her I will always be there. ALWAYS. And I will do my best not to let her down..

I tell her all the things I wish someone had told me.. . ..

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Unhappily Ever After.

June 25, 2005. . . So young, so naive, so full of life, butterflies, wonder. I had so many things built up in my mind. We’d had a near perfect dating experience. For the last 3 years we’d rarely fought, and when we did it was a silly bicker-fest that we quickly put behind us.
Greg was perfect for me in all the imaginable ways… I’d thought this through over and over again. He was hard working, he didn’t talk to me like Princess but who didn’t call their wife or girlfriend a bitch every now and again? Greg was safe. . . I knew he loved me. He must; he treated me just as I had seen my mother treated all those years ago. Besides who else would want me?

I got ready that morning, butterflies full affect. Sick to my stomach with question and concern. At 1:30 I was walked up the stairs of the church where my daddy waited and grabbed my arm; I almost fell off my heels. “Last chance to run for the door my daddy said”. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a glimmer of thought run through my mind. How embarrassing that would have been. Everyone was gathered for this big day for me, everyone was waiting. All that money, all that hard work, and besides how far would I make it running in heels; and my car? Where was my car? I couldn’t even escape to it.
I grabbed my daddy’s arm and whispered please don’t let me fall. . .
I said I do…
Flash forward 9 years. I sit here on my Anniversary and wow… Things sure weren’t what I’d expected. No rainbows, no butterflies, no roses just to say I love you, no “hey I’ll get those dishes for you take a second for yourself”. 9 years later all I can think is YOU SHOULD HAVE RAN. Why didn’t I run? I could have. People would have understood. We were so young. I was just barely 20. I hadn’t had but a glimmer of a moment of life to live.
I wouldn’t have these 3 beautiful gorgeous children that keep me waking up in the morning, yet then again I wouldn’t have known better either.
I think about leaving but then again the same old thoughts come rushing back “who will have me? Where will I go? Do I even deserve better?”
And so I am pulled back to real life I have nothing, no one to turn to, so I’ll spend the rest of my life unhappily married.

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Stay Together For The Kids??? What?

I know it’s Father’s Day and I should be confessing my love without end amen for my daddy, but honestly I can’t help but feel hurt and jipped. Don’t get me wrong. I love my dad. He’s a great man, he provided sufficient enough, he loved just enough, he was there just enough. Equal to my mother who did just enough to get by.
I’ll tell you what has my bowels all up in an uproar here.
Friday night I drove around half the evening in my car pissed off with nowhere to go, no one to turn to. I had a heated blow up with my husband, and decided it would be best to go have some time to myself.
As a drove around for hours. HOURS.
I realized I have no “Home”. Nowhere for me to always come home to. No safe haven. That doesn’t exist for me. I suspect this is something fairly common in people from my generation.
You see I come from the “stay together for the children generation”. My parents did the “just enough” until they felt their children were grown, and then they flew the coop. My mom ultimately made the decision, she cheated on my father. It’s something I struggled with for many years. I blamed her for everything that ever went wrong in life and childhood for a very long time; then one day I grew up and I got over it.
This isn’t what this is about though. I’m not trying to finger point and call out names.
My point in this idea of stay together is beyond ridiculous, and though you may think it is better because then the idea of split/shared custody is out the window; ultimately it leaves the “adult grown or near adult grown child” feeling homeless and lost.
My dad and mom both went on to remarry. Both live with their new spouses in different homes then I grew up in, and I just don’t feel like I have a place.
My mom and dad both I’m sure would welcome me with open arms, but not growing up with their new significant others I honestly don’t feel welcome on their parts. Not that my step parents aren’t great.. ok my moms husband not so much… But the point is if my parents had split up early, my childhood would have been much different. My adult life would be much different, but maybe when I’m pissed off at my husband, and driving around at 1am I might feel like I had a place to go, a place to lay my head, arms to hug me, hold me, tell me he’s a jerk, it will be ok tomorrow, then give me a swift kick in my ass and get me on my way.
Don’t stay together for the children and do just enough to get by; stay together and REALLY REALLY work at it.

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I’m Tired

I’m tired of always feeling like a single parent, I’m tired of never having any emotional support from my husband. I’m tired of
him feeling like the only thing he has to do is financially support us.
I’m tired of being over ruled on disciplining my children. I’m tired of my husband pinning my oldest child against me.
I feel my relationship with Caiden slipping through the cracks . . . I’m just tired, and heartbroken, and lost.

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Advocating For Your Babies

I’ve always felt like I’ve been the best advocate that I could possibly be for my children. Imagine my surprise when I was hit with the news not even a week ago I in fact had not been.

My middle child, my sweet biddy boy Caleb started Kindergarten this past August. After a year of preschool and working with at home he was still lacking a bit on knowing letters, and numbers but I had complete confidence in our district that they would do what was right for my child along with myself advocating for him as well.
From August until November I watched my child regress. I watched him go from a confident, sweet, always smiling child to very closed off, unhappy, and his confidence had taken a huge hit. As much as we worked with him at home I could see a disconnect. The nights were on, the wheels were turning, but he just couldn’t process.
I asked for testing to be done through our school. An ETR (evaluation team report) was administered, test results were briefly brushed over, and an IEP was “set in place”. I admit fully to the responsibility of not asking enough questions, not pushing for more answers. I was promised my child would receive 3 days individualized services, 2 days of group. He would also begin receiving speech services as well.
The year went on and I noticed no change. Caleb was not picking up, when I would work with him at home he identify 1 out of 3 letters half of the time. I hit a level of frustration wondering what was I doing wrong? How could I do more? What could I do to help his teachers? So much limited progress pushed me to have yet another meeting with his education team. I was assured that he was receiving his services, and that “they just didn’t know what else we could do”.
I had the discussion then of possibly retaining Caleb. Another year just to mature might do wonders for him? I still had not made up my mind yet.
I continued to work with him at home. I saw some progress but very little.
In May I received through the mail a letter for retention. The letter stated that we “had already had a meeting determining retention was best”. No such meeting had occurred so I refused to sign.
In the midst of all of this we recently moved; we now have a choice of 3 districts my husband urged to send to his home school, as I battled the decision of leaving my boys where they were already going, or send them to a new school the following year. After hearing several times from Caleb that he wasn’t going to his “special class I decided not a week ago I would schedule an appointment with the guidance counselor to see how his IEP would be handled there. She asked for a copy of his IEP and ETR to review.
I asked our current district for the copy, and they were very hesitant to giving me this copy.
Once at the new district I watch the guidance counselors body lau gage and find that maybe something is up with this IEP and ETR.
The guidance counselor closes the meeting by saying “I know for a fact we can do better then this”.
Cue scratching of my head in bewilderment.
After 5 reviews of 5 special education background individuals I find that this individualized education plan had in fact been a copy and pasted document that midway through they left the other child’s name “Christian” will be given the Woodcock to assess his annual progress yearly in areas of basic reading skills. Caleb will need the following interventions. . .
And it goes on.
I also find the my child’s IQ score was incredibly low. They chose not to disclose this with me more then likely because they knew this test was NOT administered correctly.
I was told he tested at 4 years and 6 months on his testing which put him behind only 6 months, yet IQ score barely had him at a functioning level.
I learned that my child had not received a second of intervention time, no time spent with a special education teacher, and rarely received speech services. I learned many things.
I’m heart broken. I feel like the highest failure a parent could possibly be. I failed my child miserably, our current district failed him; but Momma is the one person you should always be able to count on to be in your back corner advocating for you, and I didn’t. I trusted our district to do what was right. A district who had done so well with Caiden, a child who thrives.
I’ve learned a lot about trusting someone else to do right for your children.
We’ve made the decision to send to the other district, I’ve learned to NEVER EVER again sign for such a paper on the same day. Caleb is now receiving tutoring throughout the summer to hopefully get him at a level of a starting Kindergartener. He’s receiving speech services outside of the home, and this mommy plans to be in contact with the OHIO BOARD OF EDUCATION this week. It won’t help my child, but how many others have they done this to?

Advocate for your children, trust no one else to do what is right for their education because when it comes down to it no one is more concerned about doing what’s right then Mommas.

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Life Ain’t Always Beautiful . . .

It’s been awhile. . .
The last time I had a successful daily/weekly blog was back when Xanga was in in all it’s glory of a hay day.
I’m not even sure where to begin. Do I give a back story, a brief history about myself, or do I jump straight to the heart of it, what’s bothering me and really got me wanting to write again.
I’m not sure. . .

I’m the mother of 3 amazing children. Caiden (8), Caleb (6), and Chloe (4). They are my greatest blessings in this life. They drive me completely insane on some days, but every day you can absolutely count on the fact that I love them beyond measure so much some times that it scares me. I never knew I had the capability to love this way until they came into my life.
My marriage is not a fairy tale, we were high school sweethearts, we married after dating for almost 3 years and then became pregnant with our first child almost immediately. We have had plenty of “rough patches” so to speak and I’m certain we will have plenty more. Often times I bury myself in a book, an episode of Greys, a project, Facebook, what have you rather then talk or deal with the fact that my marriage is probably doomed and I don’t have the strength or sometimes want to fight for it. He doesn’t either so what’s that saying. For those young ones who have not experienced this yet I hope you don’t. Some wonder how I can say I love him yet say we have a loveless marriage. . . It happens more then you think. . .
On with the next subject since I’m just attempting a brief run down here.

I suffer from bipolar disorder, PMDD and diabetes. They all have a hand in my ups and downs. They used to be VERY frequent but after a very long time of being unmedicated and constantly raging I sought help and FINALLY found a medication that works. Thank the good Lord for that.

The last three years of my life by far have been the worst for me. We have had so many trials.
From splitting up with my husband, reuniting with him, buying the home of my dreams, giving that home up because it was infested with bedbugs, buying another home to find that the neighbors could have been modern day Charlie Mansons, going completely off of medication, falling off my rocker and spending a night in jail that will haunt me for the rest of my life. . . Many many trials.
We made it through though and in a way I suppose I’m stronger for it, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me bitter. It has.

I guess I hope to make this my diary of finding myself, finding my joy, my reason. I want to be more, do more, love more, care more and live well.

I guess I’d sum this brief life summary with saying what some great country singer said . . .

“Life Ain’t Always Beautiful But It’s a Beautiful Ride.” Or at least I hope to turn it into one.

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