Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Help, on both sides, and a village

Im a giver. Its who I am. I love to help, to gift, to give. No strings attached. No thanks needed. Even if I dont know you. If I see/hear you are in need and I am able I will give. In fact some times it gets me in trouble. For example when a friend needs gas/grocery money on the 23rd of the month....and I have it sitting in my car payment account....Guess which bill is getting paid a little late??? Lol. It also means I have a tendency to give away almost as much as I sell each month. Not the most successful business plan but it works for me.
The flip side? Im not very good at ACCEPTING help, not to mention the anguish it causes me to ASK for it. Im learning to be better. Especially at this point in my health when we need soooooo much help it seems. I've gotten good at asking a group for help. It still takes a LOT for me to approach an individual and ask. So here's the thing. Please, please, PLEASE do not offer to help if its not sincere. If you say "Anything you need, just ask." "Anytime you need me, I'm here." "If you ever need help with the kids, just ask." I will. It will take a lot, and I may exhaust all other options and ways of DIY first but eventually you will pop up on my ask list. And when I approach you multiple times and here, "not this week" "I'm really tired today" "Sorry there's a sale I want to hit" I will try not to, but I will be offended. I may find my self hitting the 'unfriend' option. :hide: And even worse, NEVER volunteer someone else. Chances are I've already asked them. Its ok not to volunteer to help. I wont be offended.
It takes a village. At this point I find myself needing a large village. But you arent drafted, it's volunteers only. You can still be friends and not be in 'that' village. Its ok. Everyone isnt up to dealing with extra kids, or chauffeuring me to appointments or cooking meals. But I'm VERY thankful for those who are. The ones who sacrifice sleep, and sanity, to care for my children when I'm stuck in a hospital bed. So I can focus on healing and health and not worry myself sick about my family. Or worry how we will be able to pay our bills with DH missing so much work to try and do everything. The friends who I never imagined being the ones to step up and help. The school who surprises me by making sure my children are safe and fed, even during the summer. The neighbors who make sure our yard doesn't become an eyesore or a reason for code enforcement to fine us.
So bottom line.  If you offer, eventually I will ask. Please only offer if you are sincere.

Friday, May 20, 2016

When no one wins...does everyone loose???

My oldest had field day today and i was soooooo happy to feel well enough to go. Now it was modified and inside due to rain but ive been several times. Now if you dont have kids i know what you are picturing. Hot day, water bottles, sunburn, being outside ALL day at school. Classes competing against each other, cheering on team mates, tug of war, three legged race, ribbons and awards at the end of the day. Well thats how WE did field day, but unfortunately its no longer anything like that:(
There were no teams, winners, pries, ribbons or even keeping score. Volleyball, 4 square, jump rope, hula hoop.....normal gym activities, nothing *special*. No one wins. No one even sweats. Did the kids have fun, sure. Did it build character, teach them about team work, not a chance. It was very uninspiring. And it made me think, when we raise a generation where no one wins, does everyone by default loose???
With common core, and weird grading (that i DESPISE) the kids dont strive to win, do get 100 or an A+. My heart broke a little the day my  year old came home and told me excitedly that she could miss "x" words on her spelling test and "still get a 3". Are we teaching our children to aim for the minimum??? To not be the best they can be?? I was that child who HAD to get 100, A+, 4.2 GPA. I wanted to be THE BEST and i aimed for it. What do our children have to aim for? Mediocrity??? Ugh

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bucket list

Bucket lists were all the rage several years ago. I always found them slightly morbid, even if they were the "30 things to do before 30" type. Even though i tend to plan to the extreme (because our family trip to Strawberry Festival" would be completely RUINED if i couldnt track down the kids coordinating strawberry outfits lol). But now im in that place in my life where im beginning to see the benefit. And making a bucket list, and accomplishing those set goals is a much easier way to 'get my affairs in order' than the alternatives.
So what goes on a bucket list??? Back packing across Europe or seeing Australia or the Alps would be awesome but its not attainable unless i could somehow figure out how to drag my doctor along. And theres no cheating on the bucket list. I cant say "watch my kids grow up and get married and in 80 years die of old age, peacefully in my sleep. here begins the practical bucket list journey, heavy on the crafty stuff lol.

1) Take the kids to the beach. Location of said beach is not important. The experience on the other hand is.

2) go camping :gulp: the kids have been begging to go for years, but sleeping outside just isnt my cut of tea. But i can do one night...I think.

3) make 'mommy' quilts and memory bears for the kids and michael. That way they will always have something to hold on to and snuggle.
*open to advice on said quilts as besides tshirt quilts and baby blankets i have very little experience.

4) Make and preserve 'life event' items for the kids. Baby blankets for their future children, cloth pad starter sets for the girls for when they need them, wedding day lingerie. Im praying the doctors are wrong and i have a looooooong life ahead of me. And if thats the case not only will i be ecstatic but those items will be needed one day anyways, even if its years down the line.

5)Write notes for Michael and the kids for birthdays, life events, holidays. Im not great with words but im praying God provides me with the correct ones.

6) Get the children involved in some activities that do not revolve around mommys doctors visits and holiday stays. Girl scouts, cub scouts, sports, etc

Thats all for now........

Kids are resilient and making friends

Kids are resilient. In every aspect. They bounce back from broken bones, heart breaks and anything else life throws their way. My nine year old comes home one day in tears bc her beast friend said they "werent BFFs anymore", 12 hours later its all forgotten and they are planning a sleepover lol. As an adult, and a mom, that does not baffle me one bit. Its completely normal. But not for moms. Especially stay at home moms. We no longer *have* to deal with people daily (outside of our family that is). There are no classmates, co workers, casual acquaintances that you would allow to put you through the seesaw drama that tweens experience daily. If a friend slighted us in any way, like so many other things in life these days, they are replaceable. Now dont get me wrong, Ive seen some actions from *adults* that definitely are the international  cue to RUN. For the same reason. We no longer HAVE to deal with them, so we dont. But this makes it very hard to make and keep friends. We can look into the future and see the "what ifs" and weigh the consequences of putting up with toxic people. And some times its not worth it......But how many potential friends have we passed over because someone was just having a bad day???
Some of my closest friends and trust me, most weeks im a borderline hermit lol, are the ones i met by chance. The one i met because she locked herself out of her car and was stranded. Being the night owl i am, i was up to see her cry for help on a local page and drove to her rescue. That was our first meeting. Yes, in retrospect it could have gone horribly wrong but instead i made a good friend.
At this point in my life when im dealing with bucket lists and phrases like 'quality of life' being tossed around, I wish I had more friends. I wish my 'village' were bigger and at any point in time i could reach out and instantly have someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. Im hoping that yearning will surpass my natural tendencies to avoid potentially awkward situations and the risk of being tossed back into the "mean girls" high school mind frame that has overtaken many mommy groups.