children

12 Months is a Long Time

And I’m already losing my mind about it.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband has been attending college for the last two years after releasing from the military. These last two years have been a struggle, both financially and emotionally for a variety of reasons.

Finally, it appears as though there is light at the end of the tunnel! On August 1st he starts a job with a really good company as a work experience student! Provided he passes the placement (which he should) and gets hired on in November, the company offers really good benefits, competitive wages and a whole host of other awesomeness.

Ah, now Sarah, where’s the catch? You all know me so well.

Of course, things can’t be that smooth. The major catch is that this amazing job is in another city approximately 2.5 hours away from where we currently live. This isn’t a commuting kind of deal.

He’s found a room to rent, sadly with strangers because we just couldn’t find someone through a mutual friend, and he’ll try to come home on weekends. We will not be able to relocate to this place for at least a year due to educational commitments on my end and with our son attending programs to help with his behavioural issues.

So this means, for the next 12 months (at least), I will be carrying the emotional burden of a single parent. Yes, I will be receiving his income, but all of the day-to-day duties will fall upon my shoulders.

Needless to say, my friends, I am going to be stressed to shit for the next year. I’ve already been less than sympathetic and understanding to others lately and people really shouldn’t expect that to change. Simply put: I have too much shit going on to care.

At this point, all I can do is hope that my boys are able to cope with their missing father as best as they can. That the fights, the yelling and the taunting each other diminishes at least a bit. I’ve got a lot of shows queued up on Netflix, I’ve got some video games to play and I’ve got the desk ready for my homework. I’ve got some workout exercises ready to go because I’m going to have far too much time.

Unless you’re my wife or my sister, don’t expect me to have too much time for you. The only real exception is my son’s former JK teacher.

I haven’t even been able to write on here as frequently as I wanted, although that’s a whole new ball of wax.

Who knows? Perhaps I will have more time to write on here because I’m just so goddamn efficient at getting everything else done.

I can be pretty amazing.

Just sit back, world, and watch me rock this show.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Born From a Tree, Like Most Nuts

Children just keep getting older. And with that age comes more questions. Some of the questions are difficult to answer, like my son asking me about my parents.

He’s going to be seven in 3 months. It’s only natural that after being exposed to his grandparents on his father’s side and the other family on that side that he’d wonder about mine. He’s asked before, but I’ve managed to successfully dodge answering it.

Simply telling him that I do not have parents seems to have worked so far. He asks about my grandparents and to that question I will reply. But I have no parents.

No parents worth talking about.

Why tell my young child about the man who comes in and out of my life like a ghost? The one who I have made the decision to disconnect from because it caused me too much heartache to watch him father other children? He has not been a father to me for longer than he has been a father. He has a new family now and I want to be happy for him and support him. I fear that my constant need for validation would only cause him pain, so to him I have bid good-bye.

Why tell him about the woman who teeters dangerously on the edge of sanity? The woman who had been a great mother until something inside her snapped and everything disintegrated around us? This is not a person who would be a good role model for him: she has nothing to teach him. From her mouth spew lies and suffering. I will not subject him to that.

So I tell my child that I was born from a tree, like most nuts. He’s too young to quite understand how that is funny but it seems to satisfy him when he asks.

I want to tell him of my family; of his heritage. How his great-grandparents grew up in British ruled India and went to boarding school. How we are Anglo-Indian and that’s why we look so white. Of the reason his mother loves rice and parathas. How his grandparents flew from India to England, and then took a boat from England to Canada. How his great-grandparents on the paternal side of me weren’t really in the picture, but seemed to have an awkward kindness about them. How disconnected I have always been from that side of my life. How he has an uncle who would probably spoil him to pieces although that uncle probably doesn’t even know he exists because of poor decisions on everyone’s part.

These things I can tell him once he grows; once he is ready to listen and perhaps understand.

grow

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Did Someone Order a Headless Chicken?

It’s been far too long since I just wrote a post about myself. I’ve been keeping up with the mindful musings but I haven’t had time to talk about me.

I’m sure you’ve all suspected that TAK has fallen by the wayside again. Indeed, it has. I’ve been quite stuck with it and have been considering rewriting the last few chapters I wrote previously as they just weren’t inspiring me.

Well, on to the life update!

I currently have two jobs. I’m a casual Crisis Counsellor at the women’s shelter where I live. Since I have personal experience with domestic abuse on various levels and I have this desire to help others I wanted to get out there and do more. Also, my husband is in his last year of school and after the debacle with him working last year it was agreed that I would be the one to have a second job.

The busy-ness doesn’t stop there! I have two freelance clients I do odd work for now and then for pocket change. It’s not much, but $20 here and there does add up and can make quite a dent on the credit card.

I am also taking two courses through Memorial University this term. Looking at the weight of the courses I should have only signed up for one but it’s too late now. I’ll work my hardest to get good grades to hopefully increase the chances of getting into my MEd program.

And then there’s the children, Spawn and Hatchling. Spawn has definitely had some behaviour issues that were really excessive in the last few years. It got bad enough in the last six months that I took him for an intake session for behaviour. Now I’m waiting to get a full assessment so I can hopefully figure out how to help him. While we wait, we’re actively going to the Y twice a week. Spawn is involved in 2 programs and I work out on the machines while he participates. I’ve realized, too late, that I have forgotten my iPod at home, however, so  I’m a tad upset about it.

It’s been a bit hard, emotionally, as well. It was my grandmother’s birthday at the beginning of the month and I’ve been getting actively harassed by losers who won’t leave me alone. It seems that ignoring them won’t work and I’d rather not engage their destructive behaviour.

Open to thoughts on that. What have you done to banish ne’er dowells back into the darkness?

nope

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 5 comments

Mindful Musings #175

Mindful Musings

You’re growing up, child.

Your hand slips away from mine

And your loud, boisterous voice

Carries you away.

Every day, every year

You become more of a person

Than when you were the tiny bundle

That would only sleep in my arms.

Bittersweet emotions wash over me

As the joy of watching you grow up

Mingles with the sadness of you leaving.

We’ve still got many years ahead

Of embarrassing Mum episodes

And teenage rebellion.

I’ll cherish these moments

When I’m still your number one.

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Musings, 0 comments

A Day in the Life

It’s been one of those days where I can’t wait for it to be over, and yet I feel like there isn’t enough time left in the day.

Some news, since I’ve been absent, is that I have a second job! This is on top of the free-lance writing I do, which has gotten me another client. I also work in a casual capacity as a Crisis Counsellor at my local women’s shelter. It’s been a learning experience, that’s for sure, but I’ve been able to use past experience when working with our clients.

Between the, four, jobs I have I am also starting two classes this term. These are prerequisite courses for the Masters in Education in Counselling Psychology that I hope to get into when I’m done. I have 5 courses in total so after these 2 I’ll have 3 left. It doesn’t look like I have any exams, yet, so that makes me happy.

The husband is starting his final year of college this fall as well. Our eldest is going to be in grade 1 and our youngest will be 3. It’s a bit crazy at my place right now.

Because it’s crazy, and I honestly have no other excuse, I haven’t touched TAK in months. When I get home from one of my jobs all I want to do is lay on the couch and veg. I don’t want to sit at a desk or with my tablet on my lap and attempt to flesh out more of TAK. It’s a horrible feeling; knowing that there’s this story inside that I can’t do anything about.

Also, not that you can tell, but I’m having a massive issue typing today. I have hit the backspace key so many times! What the hell! I’ve trimmed my nails so that’s not the issue. But honestly, it’s getting irritating.

Things are going well, otherwise. I took my eldest to see the Weird Al concert when it came through my province this summer. My husband took a few days off work and we made a family trip out of it. We went to a children’s museum and the zoo. Went to the park. My in-laws came out on the second day and we all went to the zoo together. It was fun! My eldest had HUGE attitude issues, though. But we’re also working on that.

He’s all registered for 2 programs at the local YMCA that will hopefully help with all the energy he’s got. He’s exhausting. But cute. I think I’ll keep him.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Give Me Freedom

Parenting is hard.

It’s true that every generation faces their own hurdles that they need to overcome to align with what society says is ‘good parenting’.

I’m finding it difficult to allow myself to allow my kids to have fun without being judged.

Thanks to social media and the ability to spread news farther and faster than ever before it sounds like a horrible world out there. Gratefully my kids are 6 and 2.5 so we’re kind of okay right now. But there are things I would have done as a child that I’ll be damned I let my kids do now for fear of getting arrested or something.

When I was growing up you played outside. You went off and were told to be back by a certain time. I lived pretty rurally in my childhood so what really happened is we were tossed outside and told to go play until you hear someone yelling your name.

And we did.

I explored forests, went on loooong walks, played in burned out buildings (a barn had burned down. Obviously I only went in long after the fire was done), played in an abandoned house and discovered nature. Trees, animals, plants, all kinds of things were in my domain. Came back to the house for meals and then was off.

Granted I don’t remember these times in my life too well because there was a lot of stress and trauma happening at the same time. But I do remember the freedom.

If I were to let my 6 year old play in my fenced, relatively danger-free backyard, alone, I’d probably get arrested.

Which sucks.

I also live in town which is weird for me. I don’t know what to do with kids when you live in town. I didn’t live in a town until I was in my early teens so to have a 6 year old who is just begging to be released into the wilds and run around fields and having no place to do that is a task I’m dealing with.

Kids don’t come with manuals and we have to go by what our parents showed us as kids. If you didn’t have great parents or if there were things about your childhood you hated and you want to change, parenting is even that much more foreign to you.

But I can be taught. There are places I can take my kid and let him roam. There are activities he can do and enjoy the outdoors as much as I did.

outside

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 6 comments

The Small Victories

Phew. Had kickboxing today  seriously kicked my own ass but I love it. It’s my main source of exercise (aside from chasing kids) and it’s a great way to maintain self-care.

Today is towel day for laundry and I had two baskets of clean clothes I didn’t fold yet.

Here are my victories:
The littlest is in bed – only one kid to chase
Apparently my eldest LOVES folding pants and his own underwear. I get in trouble now if I try to fold them.
Someone showed my kid that “What Does the Fox Say” video. He loves it! The victory here is he dances like a crazy person (totally didn’t get that from me….>.>)
I have a coffee date on the 2nd!
After today my Christmas shopping will be 99% done! HA! EAT THAT! You know you’re jealous 😉

I’m enjoying my victories today! I’m not thinking that tomorrow is a work day. If I ignore it that means it won’t happen, right? 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Confessions of a Working Parent: Lack of Time

There is never enough time in a day.

We get up at 6:30am, well, really get up at 6:45am but who’s paying attention.

Hurry hurry. Shower, dry hair. Get dressed. Feed kids. Wait, did we get both of them up? Could you eat any faster? No, we don’t have time for your meltdown over the fact that your sandwich is only in 2 triangles and not 17 billion.

Moving faster and faster. Inhale that cereal/oatmeal/milk/whatever the hell we gave you.

I don’t eat breakfast.

Are you done? Good. It’s time for shoes. Stop pushing your brother. Stop trying to smack each other in the head. Get your boots on. Get your coat on. Where are your mitts? Did you grab your bag? Don’t forget your lunch!

Out the door. Let’s hurry to the car/truck. Get in! Get in! Hold still while I buckle you. Yes, your bag is in the back. No, your brother is going with Dad like he has been every day for the past two months.

Through the inane jabbering, the stupid noises, the crazy parenting we make it out the door. Rush to the daycare. Basically throw the kid into the fray. No, I do not have time to sit and watch as you move slowly like molasses to take your outdoor stuff off and put your indoor stuff on. I have to go to work. Now.

Hurry back to the truck. Get to work to sit at a computer all day. Worry about money. Worry about school and kids and supper! What the hell are we eating tonight?!

Here comes 4:30pm. Rush out the door. Rush to the daycare to be greeted by a meltdown because he doesn’t want to go home. Screaming and crying now. Please just get your bag. We need to go home. There is supper to be made/eaten. Baths to be had.

Roll up to the house and unceremoniously dump everything outside the truck and rush inside. Please hurry up and take your boots off already. Grab your lunch bag. It needs washing.

Hurry up and eat. Hurry up and put your dishes away.

Hurry up.

One kid goes to bed and the other demands all attention. Still no rest. Finally, big one goes to bed. There is now 2 hours left before parents need to go to bed.

Where is the time?   Where is the ease? It’s rush, rush, rush. I am so mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted. There is no ‘me’ time. There is no ‘parent’ time.

A babysitter? Have you heard how much those things cost?

It’ll get better. it has to. Time management may need to be revisited.

But honestly. Make my workday just 2 hours shorter and life would be so much easier.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Confessions of a Working Parent: Guilt

I work full time. I always have. When I met my husband 7 years ago I was working full time at a clothing store. I then landed a job with the Government which I held for almost a year before moving to a different section of the Government. I worked there for a year before I became pregnant with my first child. I took 9 months of leave and my husband took 3. It was wonderful!

But when those 9 months were up I went back to work. Full time. I worked for the Government for a bit longer until I found a less stressful job with a community college as an advisor. I worked there for a year and a half before we moved. 4 months after moving I had my second child. 2 months after that I started working as an ESL instructor in the evenings and on the weekend. That was my fist ‘part-time’ job in years.

I’ve always worked. Sometimes I’ve had more than one job at a time. When my second child was 9 months I also went back to work full time and taught part time in the evenings. We work so hard to give our kids the lives we never had, or to give them the life we did have and want to share. In my case it’s the former.

Right now my husband has made a career change and is in school full time and works part time in the evening. I work full time at a new job I’ve only been in since August. In the last two weeks I’ve had to take almost an entire week off work.

And I feel guilty.

I feel guilty to my new workplace. They haven’t made me feel this way, it’s an internal thing I always do.

I feel guilty to my children because I just want them to hurry up and get better; not so I can play with them and so they feel better but because I can’t keep taking time off.

I felt guilty this morning when I took my son to day care. He just wanted to hug me all day. He said he was tired and wanted to sleep and cuddle on the couch like we did yesterday and watch America’s Funniest Videos. I couldn’t even cuddle him yesterday because I had to make sure I was alert and able to cover for my co-worker. I’m lucky in that some aspects of my job are online and I can do this in these situations. This way I don’t have to eat up all my sick time.

But I feel guilty. I’m sure many working parents, men and women, feel this way. This world is not the same as it was. Mums or Dads don’t stay home all day with the kids unless it’s crazy feasible; which is often not the case. It is so hard to support a family of 4, I’m finding. Grandparents aren’t available because they either live too far away, they also work and don’t have the time or because they are too old or unhealthy to do it.

We all work. I know I will probably work until I’m dead. I have educational dreams and desires but I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve them. They cost money and time which I don’t  have.

I hate feeling guilty. I’m told I shouldn’t feel guilty but this is how society makes me feel. They make me feel that if I’m not at my Day Job every day then I’m doing something wrong.

It needs to stop. I’m tired of feeling guilty.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments