Monday, April 21, 2014

The Parenting Game

Everything is different when you actually have kids. You can be around kids your entire life, and you will think you know everything there is to know about them. It is only when you are responsible for that tiny little being that you really get it. When their very existence, and whether or not they become amazing adults, depends on you, and the choices you make for them and their life. Every little thing can have a very big impact. It is only after you become a parent that you realize how incredibly hard parenting is.

Before your child is born, you already think you know it all. You hear the horror stories. You hear all of the success stories. You hear some people say research is key, and you hear others say that all of the research is bunk. Half of your family members say one thing, the other half another. Then you get pregnant and get even more advice, but from strangers. You better vaccinate. You'd better avoid vaccines. Better yet, avoid doctors in general. Formula is poison, if you feed that to your child, you don't love them. Breastfeeding is gross and sexual...

Then your baby is born. Hopefully by now you have had the chance to do research on your own and decided, on your own whether or not to vaccinate. If the baby is a boy, I hope you were able to make the choice that you thought was best in that area as well. Here is where things get more complicated. People are constantly judging you now. Everywhere you go, people are giving you unsolicited advice. Your baby is always wearing too many clothes, or not enough. You should not have your baby in that type of carrier, ever. You should wrap your baby. You should put your baby in a stroller. Your baby's chest clip is in the wrong place. Did you seriously think that your baby was your business? You were wrong.

Feeding your baby is always done incorrectly. It does not matter how and what you feed your child, you are doing it wrong, I promise. Can you nor breastfeed? You are just lazy. Are you breastfeeding? You are gross, cover up or pump and give that baby a bottle. Are you seriously thinking about starting your baby on solids at six months? You are going to make your baby fat! Why have you not started solids yet? Do you really want to starve your baby?! I sure hope that you are not buying brand name baby food! That stuff is full of gmos and will kill your baby. You should be grinding your baby's food yourself. 

Are you thinking about going back to work after baby? You are a horrible, uncaring mother. Do you plan on staying home with baby? You are a lazy leach living off welfare. Are you still with baby's father? You are going to let that baby ruin your relationship. Are you a single mom? No matter the reason, you are a whore. Do you drink now? Ever? You are a terrible parent and do not deserve kids. Do you have date nights without baby? Horrible! You should always be at little one's side! Did you seriously bring your baby out to dinner? Goodness, hire a babysitter so I don't have to be subjected to your child.

This is only the beginning, mind you. Being a parent is hard. Letting everyone get to you makes it harder. Either you will go crazy tying to please everyone else and make your child miserable in the process, or you will become that sanctimonious witch that everyone cannot stand. Things actually get easier, I promise. But then they get harder. Then they get impossible. But I will get into that later...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oh really now?

So it is "Easter"Sunday, and my kids tend to make a bit of a big deal about it. This is especially true of my older daughter. She is always big on ow important it is to spend time with family. Well, today she decided to slightly deviate from this to go to her friend's house and show her the Easter goodies she found this morning. This was decided on last night. My son's father though, is going to lunch with his friends, and will be away a significantly longer period of time. This upset my daughter, very much, because she actually thought that we, especially his son, might matter more to him than that.

I got a shitty text message just after he left about how horrible my daughter is for insisting that if he was going to go out to lunch on a holiday, it should be with the family. When I mentioned the fact that she was most upset because he was not here with his son, he said "well, I have spent more time with him today than she has". Um, she is his sister, you are his father. She spends more time with him on a daily basis than you do in a week. It does not matter that she spends less time with him today than you do, she is not his parent and his entire self worth will not take a hit like it may if your habits do not improve.

That being said, it is a shocker that he willingly spend about 45 minutes playing with the baby without being told to. Oh, wait, he had been told to so that I could put my contacts in undisturbed. I then found a few other things to waste time on just so he would pay attention to the child that is also his. When I went into the living room, he was not really spending time with him, not so much as he was reorganizing the couch cushions. That's some quality time right there. He also makes sure to shove in my face how generous he is and how ungrateful we are.  

I think it is sad that we have become a society that does things merely for recognition of our generosity, however small. When I do things for my children, I do those things because I love them and love seeing them happy. I do not do them so I can tell them any time they misbehave or say something I do not like, that I am so generous so they should be grateful for every bit of attention and never be unhappy with anything I do. Oh, and getting kids Easter baskets that they don't know are from you and then being outraged that someone has an opinion on your behavior after your artificial generosity is pretty stupid.

I do know, and it is more clear now than ever, that he does not really care for my kids. He merely tolerates them. All of them, even the one that he helped create. I don't know what world he lives in, but if the intent is to keep me around, he has to do more than obviously tolerate them. In fact, to put on a good show of actually caring, that might have done the trick. I am really done with this relationship. Funny thing, my girls' dad made it painfully clear that even though Liam is not his son, he would be treated no differently. Why, because he is mine. If the little guy's father cannot show him the same courtesy, he does not need to be around. When the father acts like a cold step parent and the vice versa, maybe the latter is the best option. 

I had decided even before I came back here though, that this was a temporary return. I feel nothing for this person anymore. What I had felt was lost soon after I learned I was pregnant and he became cold and distant. I would stay for love of his parents, but not at the cost of the children's happiness. I am miserable, my kids are miserable. The sooner we are out of here, the better off we will be...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fuck. Fuck that. Fuck off.

So this morning I was informed, not so politely, that I am not allowed to let my children sleep in the bed I sleep in if they have a nightmare. Yes, I share the bed with my son's father, but these are MY children. My daughters, not his. I am supposed to talk to them and MAYBE give them a hug and send them on their way. He even said he will take them in and toss them (yes toss) back on their beds if they climb in "his" bed.

What caused this? My seven year old had a nightmare. She was crying and needed comfort. I pulled her in ed and cuddled her back to sleep. Well, he can have HIS bed. I think I will, from now on, "accidentally fall asleep with them when I read their bedtime stories. I don't like sleeping with him anyway. There is always an attempt to force or guilt me into unwanted intimacy, and I am tired of it. What is worse, he is doing all of this while I am going through another pretty deep depression.

It is bad enough when he is jealous of my girls, and I have to basically beg him to spend time with our son, but this is ridiculous. It has gotten to the point that I will get up with the baby at 7 or so and the four year old will be asleep downstairs on the couch because she had a nightmare but she did not want to come in and wake me because she is afraid of him. 

I remember being seven. I had a total of three nightmares. That's all. Just the three. I just had those same three nearly every night. If my dad had just told me to either sleep on the floor or go back to bed, I think I would have been scarred for life. I am supposed to tell them to get over it. Really? What happened to parents trying to comfort a child when they are going through unnecessary fear?

That's okay. I guess I coddle them too much. Tomorrow, I am going to take the seven year old out and make her get a job, because feeding them is too expensive too, as per his complaints.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Computer Seems to Hate Me

Everything feels like it is trying to build up to an unpleasant climax. It is like there is some joke that every in my life is in on, but me. It isn't just the people in my life either, it is the things. It seems that I can not have all of the things I own working in harmony. Many times, when I need them most, they refuse to work properly, or at all.

Today, as my beautiful seven year old child was trying to do her schoolwork, my computer decided to start acting funny. The mouse would not respond, the buttons on the built in keyboard were pressing themselves, it was as if it were possessed. The computer said the keyboard was working properly. If pressing its own buttons is proper, maybe it should write my blog for me too?

I restarted my computer several times and got the same result do I decided to just uninstall the darned thing since we have been working using a USB keyboard anyway. All hell broke loose. Restarting my system left it screaming at me, time and again. I ran the start up diagnostic, and it said that although it would not start up, it was in perfect operating condition.

Well, it seems to be working fine now. It, against my wishes, reinstalled the built in keyboard, but it is no longer trying to type on its own (thank goodness, since it couldn't spell worth a damn), and the mouse is functioning properly. This all happened just in time for her to not have time for her school work, since we have to be out the door in about an hour for my appointment. I am assuming the doctor did not just decide to leave an hour into the day since I did not get a call. I also did not get a call yesterday, when the doctor bailed. 

I guess I just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope that I will actually be able to see by the end of the day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I was accused of poor shaming today...

Anyone that knows me knows that I have had to go without growing up. sometimes that meant food, sometimes it meant a lot more than food. My dad worked hard just to keep a roof over our heads, and even with assistance, there were large gaps in the month where we had next to nothing. Even today, I am poor. I go without, more often than not, just so the kids do not have to. posted an article about how IQ and SAT scores actually can help predict how well a person might do in college. Many of the commenters said something to the effect of wealth being the only way a person can have a high IQ or SAT scares, which I found to be insulting to me and every single poor person in this country. 

I stated that I do not believe that IQ comes from wealth. If that were the case, we would have no one that lives in poverty that has a measured IQ over 85. I aso do not believe that SAT scores are entire related to wealth either. I believe that if at least one parent is able to take time to read to the child, and be involved completely in their education, there would be fewer low test scores among the poverty stricken.

I got called a poor shamer and told that I must have never gone hungry. If I had, I would not say such things. How arrogant of me to shame those poor people. I sure showed them by telling them that money isn't what makes a person intelligent. Wait, what?

I refuse to believe that money is what makes people intelligent. I believe it is insulting to all of the poor people that are scrimping and saving every penny they have for their children to have opportunity. I believe it is insulting to every person that pulled themselves out of poverty by fighting with all they have to get those scholarships. I am angry that people refuse to believe that poor people are intelligent, and you should be too.

Statistics show that nearly half of our country lives in extreme poverty. Most of the extremely poor are children. Many of them hear things like this, and they give up. They do not realize that they could change this country, and the world. They do not think that they can be intelligent, simply because some article says so. But it is not true.

This breaks my heart and infuriates me more than I can truly express in type. Nearly everyone in this country (as well as the rest of the world) has the ability to get those higher scores. The difference between the rich and the poor is time. Rich people may not take time, but they pay someone else to. They pay a nanny or daycare to read to them, to work with them on numbers, shapes, colors, and later, tutors for homework. The poor do not have that luxury, and do not have a lot of time.

There is a little known secret about time. Time works for you, not against you. Every minute can be something. My dad...he hardly had time to get enough sleep before getting up for work. He almost never had a day off. He worked the most insane amount of hours I have ever seen, and I thought it would kill him. He also read to us every night. He also helped us with our homework. He also made time to explain things we did not understand.

If we, as the poor, were all able to find a way to manage our time so that our kids did have all of that, we would change the dynamic of this country. No, it has nothing to do with being lazy. It has to do with ability, I know that better than anyone. I am not poor shaming, but putting out an idea that I know would make a difference. I have read the studies and I have the experience that correlates. I know it is hard when you only have 5 hours to sleep between shifts. I know it is hard when you are stressed about the next meal. I know it is hard to focus when all you can think about is keeping enough gas in your car to keep your job. If you cannot make that time, you can't. You are doing your best as a parent, and sometimes our best is work/sleep/work. Sometimes though, we have time we didn't even know we had...