Pit & Peak – Goodbye 2016

I sat down to write a “Goodbye 2016” blog and I came up with two different versions – one that was ridiculous and sarcastic, and another that was serious and (I think) heartfelt. I won’t be posting either. I can’t pretend to understand the level of loss that many of you experienced, or be so callous as to say “its all going to be ok” or “it will get better”… and I can’t brush it all under the rug by bitching about life with the kids and pretending like nothing happened worth being grateful for.

This year was a year of life, proving to us that it will go on whether we are ready for it to or not – whether we want it to or not, and it certainly didn’t care if we were all aboard before it kept moving. There was great loss and lots to be thankful for, I am humbled by both sides of it.

Every night at dinner my family goes around the table and we first tell each other the worst part of our day, and end it with the best part of our day. The pit and peak. It opens up some pretty interesting discussions and allows us as a family to solve problems and celebrate small victories.

This year I lost a friendship that was very important to me. It was my fault.

That is my pit of 2016.

This year we were able to give our kiddos the summer of a lifetime, one that was all ours and required them to do nothing but act their age, get dirty and sit around bonfires. Even if they are too young to remember our summer – it will go down as some of the best times of my life.

They are my peak of 2016.

 I hope your pits are shallow and your peaks are high, best of luck in 2017 <3

Thanks for visiting MadStella!! <3

Getting my kids off to school…

It was one of those mornings where I turned the coffee maker on and then stood there in my pink bathrobe and stared at it the entire time it brewed. Slippers on my feet, hair in my face, empty mug in my hand…just staring, waiting for some hot liquid help.

Like every other morning, the kids woke up with the energy of Christmas elves on crack. Running around, chasing dogs, shooting my back with Nerf darts and doing everything but eating their God damned breakfast.

I always start the school year out with blueberry pancakes, French toast, waffles or some other hot breakfast to get them ready for the day.

December? They get fruit and grain cereal bars or cereal.

Our mornings have a routine, an order…a system. It should take 30 minutes tops and it goes as follows….

  1. Eat Breakfast
  2. Brush Teeth
  3. Get Dressed
  4. Hair
  5. Boots, gloves, coat
  6. Wait for Bus

So why does it take us a full two hours to get ready for school?

Because this is how my kids interpret the routine…

  1. Eat Breakfast = Don’t eat breakfast. Fight with my sibling. Complain that his cup is bigger, her bowl has more cereal in it. Spill my bowl of cereal. Dump my cup of milk on my library book. Play tug of war with the spoons. Go under the table, bump my head…cry. Bring toys to the table and play with them instead of eating my breakfast. Open my mouth and show my sister my half chewed food to gross her out. Sing Christmas songs. Put the puppy on my lap. Get up and leave the table completely to play with Legos in my room. Complain my cereal is too soggy.

 

  1. Brush Teeth = Use entire tube of toothpaste, get as little as you can on the brush. Travel around the house brushing my teeth. Get yelled at for running with a toothbrush in my mouth. Brush my teeth as close to my brother as possible, spit in the sink at the same exact time. Fight with my sister because there isn’t enough room. Yell for my mom because my sister just spit her toothpaste all over my hand. Push and shove each other until someone falls and gets hurt. Do not get any spit in the sink, cover as much surface area as possible – aim for mirror.

 

  1. Get Dressed = Put on clothes as if I’ve never put on clothes before. Put my head through my shirt sleeve. Try to put pants on two legs at a time. Lay on the floor and scream because I’ve hogtied myself in my clothing. Don’t put on clothes mommy laid out for me, the princess costume is better. Storm trooper costume is cooler. Stand in my room naked and pouting when I realize mommy put out jeans instead of comfy pants. Stomp feet and cry “Why do I have to wear this?” Watch cartoons instead.

 

  1. Hair = When mommy gets out the hairbrush, run. Scream when my hair is being brushed, even if its not tangled, just scream. Cry if I can. Walk around the house while mommy is trying to put my hair in a pony tail. Do not…I repeat…DO NOT sit still. Complain my pony tail is too tight. Take hair out of pony tail…run. Repeat until mommy has to tackle me to the ground.

 

  1. Boots, Coat & Gloves = Pretend we don’t know what any of these things are. Watch mommy look for matching gloves and boots, and remember to stuff them in random places when I get home from school so we can watch her search the next day too. Try not to let mommy notice that I didn’t put my underwear on until my boots are on. Lay down while mommy tries to put my coat on me. Ask questions about heaven but pay no attention to the reply, just ask again later. Complain that I’m too hot in my coat. Run away with one boot on. Remind mommy it’s my snack day while she zips my coat. Ask why “shit” is a swear word but “poop” isnt. Try to figure out how one watches ones mouth. Once all my snow gear is on, begin to remove different articles at random.

Pretend mommy is speaking a foreign language when she says things like “C’mon!! The bus is going to be here any second!!”, “Stand up”, “Sit down”, “Stop moving”, “Get back here”, “Oh my God, I’m going to lose it”, “Put your socks back on!!”, “Ew! Don’t wipe that on your sister!!”, “What’s in your pocket?”, “No…no! no!!!”

  1. Wait for bus = When we hear the bus coming down the road – announce I have to pee really, really bad. Throw snowballs at my sister, aim for her face. Step in dog poop. Tackle my brother to the ground. Make a snow angel. Trip on the way to the bus. Cry. Watch as mommy runs down the snowy driveway in her bathrobe and slippers to pick me up off the ground because I’ve forgotten how to use my legs. Let her console me while the line of traffic builds up behind the bus. Try to talk her into driving us to school. Ask her if I can bring a toy to school. Tell her she shouldn’t wear slippers in the snow.

 Give her big hugs before I get on the bus. As the bus drives away and mommy waves goodbye – remove hat, coat and gloves so my teachers think I was sent to school in just a t-shirt. When the bus is almost out of site, make a mental note to teach mommy how to wave with five fingers instead of one.

Thanks for visiting MadStella!!! <3

 

 

PTSD, Anxiety and Autism (Guest Blogger)

Living with PTSD, Anxiety and Autism.

By: Anonymous

So where to begin. I love my husband, my kids, my dogs and my Job. But I hate some of the things that come with it. All everyone ever wants is happy healthy kids.  Enough money to pay their bills and to wake up every day with the ones they love.

I’ve woken up some days not knowing when I would talk to my husband again. I wake up now to him having cold sweats and bad nightmares. I wake up to him grabbing my arm and sobbing. I’ve seen my husband wake up, grab a gun and walk around our house outside because he thought he saw someone. My husband has PTSD and is waiting on back surgery, and one of my children has been diagnosed with Autism.

My nights consist of waking up to a child that I love that doesn’t sleep. My child was just diagnosed with autism and not everyone in the family believes it. They think he’s fine and he will grow out of it. How is a child supposed to grow out of it? That comment always baffles me.

Three times a week he has therapy. I take my four-year-old to preschool. Some days I take my step-son and his brother to school. Most days I run on 3-4 hours of sleep. I work 46 hours a week and my husband works 40+ hours a week. He deals with the VA, and I deal with well…EVERYTHING. Some days it feels like too much to bare and other days I feel like I can carry the weight of the world.

I’ve always been the strong one, the funny one, the happy one, the one who’s always there for everyone. Well this is how I see it. On a day to day basis I have to be the strong one. I sleep three maybe four hours a night – and certainly not all in a row.

My son was recently diagnosed with autism. I know I’ve already said that, but it doesn’t matter how many times I say it – or how many times I don’t say it, it’s still my reality. It’s still something that needs to be said. It means something to me, it means something to us. Before his diagnosis, autism was just a word…now it’s my life.

Autism. It’s something a parent fears. We fear it because it’s different, it’s not something that’s programed in us to know how to deal with it. For me, Autism means giving up control. I am a bit of a control freak and that’s something I have just come to terms with. If I can’t control a situation – I panic. My mind begins to race with the what if’s. Though my son babbles, I worry he won’t ever learn to speak. He is two and says no words as of yet.

I worry that my son will be that kid that gets picked on at school. I worry that my son will never really get to experience life. It’s something I think we as parents always fear for our children but when something unexpected happens it scares the living hell out of you. But on top of that you also have to face the reality of your husband having PTSD as well, you’re relied on to be the “strong” one. The one who isn’t scared of anything.

Well I’m here to tell you that’s not true.

My family is my EVERYTHING and I would do anything for them. I gave up my dream of becoming a cop. Some people may say that’s insane, but try having the stress of your loved one being in a war zone for a year not knowing if he will come home. I could never in my life do that to him. To have him sit at home every night wondering if the mother of his children, his wife will make it home that night. If that kiss every morning is his last. My husband is truly my world.

He fought for me and won. He fought to give me a life we’ve always wanted and I really do love my life. But some days are way harder than others. My husband is my rock. He is the ying to my yang. When I am stressed out he knows to tread lightly and how to calm me down. When he is stressed out I know how to calm him down.

Most days I love coming home. That’s all I can ever think about, but there’s always that 1% of the time I just want to sit in my van and cry, or take a nap, or just enjoy the silence. I NEVER know what I’m going to be walking into when I come home. I never know if my husband is in the right state of mind and if the little one is just going to be chill or a raging asshole (Yeah I said it, and I know you have too).

Life at home can be stressful, especially when your child doesn’t talk and screams at the top of his lungs because you don’t know what he wants. When you try to stay on trying to teach him sign language but he doesn’t have the patience to try to learn. When all he wants to do is rock in the recliner or lay on the floor with his trucks. When your child is so picky all he will eat is Pop-tarts, Graham crackers, puffs yogurt bites and baby food, it’s a struggle.

When he fights you on everyday things you tend to stay inside and become a hermit. It’s not easy to go places when your son throws a fit no matter where you go. My husband and I have to take turns on who gets to go to the store and who stays home. We NEVER go to other people’s houses with the kids because let’s face it – I can’t handle the stress of my kids possibly fucking something up in someone’s home, nor can I take the fact that I won’t be able to just relax. It’s hard for people to understand the struggle of day to day life when you go to work and come home.

When you choose to stay home because you know how difficult your child can be. You know that not everyone can handle it. I’m not sure how many people my son has scared away because he is a lot of work. Sometimes all we want to do is just go to the store together but can’t. We rely solely on one person to watch our kids during the day and that said person is the only one we can look to if we want a night out. It’s just too much to put on one person. So, we choose to stay in.

Adults should be able to get away guilt free and have time together at least once a month to just breathe. But sometimes not everyone gets that or believes in that.

Since our youngest was born – my husband and I have never been able to sleep in our bed alone. Well, besides the week he was in the NICU, but that doesn’t count because lord knows neither of us could sleep. Life definitely took a turn the moment our youngest finally came home. My kids have never been easy. Neither have ever slept through the night. The oldest started when he turned two but that was when the youngest was born. So, for four years I haven’t slept a full night’s sleep. Side note, some days I feel like a 50’s housewife. Like I’m supposed to do everything when it comes to cooking and cleaning and taking care of every need of the kids and my husband but also working a full-time job. I can’t do everything on my own. I’m not super mom.

I just want people to know I feel the stares. I feel you looking while I’m trying to stay calm as my husband has a freak out because there’s too many people in a store while my son screams at the top of his lungs because he can’t run away from us. I feel the dirty looks I get because my son has my phone or his tablet when we do go into a store because it’s the only way he will stay calm. He gets too over stimulated and just freaks out. I see the dirty looks and confusion, I see you looking at my child when he doesn’t speak and only sounds come out. I hear the remarks that you make when my husband has a panic attack.

All I simply want people to know is that you truly never know what is going on in someone’s life. Behind someone’s smile is pain. Behind that pain is a parent who just wants the best for their children. Someone who just wants to see the good.

****

If you have a story you’d like published, e-mail me at madstella04@yahoo.com and we’ll talk about it 🙂

Thank you for visiting MadStella <3

 

Broken (Guest Blogger)

Broken Relationships, Broken Home, and Broken Child – It doesn’t have to be!

By: “Wicked”

Where did it all go wrong, the relationship ends, the homes are separate and there is a child/children in the middle of it all – WRONG!!!

Let’s start at the beginning, you meet someone, date, fall in love, have a relationship, get married, or maybe not but you do have a child.  That child is now your entire world for of both you and you do all you can to take care of the child. 

Until……the relationship ends, you hate each other, you don’t want to be together, you can’t even stand to look at each other and that is where it all goes downhill.  It doesn’t matter what the child’s age is, baby, toddler, young child, teen, young adult or even older.  They are still your child and how you behave affects them one way or another. But now you have conditions:

·         You want the child on specific days.

·         You won’t change your schedule for the other parent

·         You’re not paying child support

·         You’re not paying for health insurance

·         You’re not paying for activities the child wants to be a part of

·         You don’t want the child to be around your ex’s new partner

·         The new partner can’t attend the child’s events

·         You won’t allow your ex to have the child on holidays

·         You won’t make any changes for the betterment of the child

·         And the list goes on and on

When the hell did that child that you love so much become all about you and what you want?   I’ll tell you when, when you realized that it takes two to make a relationship work and two to make it fail. In your eyes your ex made it fail, you did nothing wrong and therefore you are bitter.  In reality its both your fault as IT TAKES TWO!!  Either way your bitterness is now being taken out on the child that you love so much and it’s apparent that the child is not your priority of love – but now your WEAPON of HATE!!

Do you think you are hurting your ex – hell no you are hurting the child.  You have put your child in the middle of your feud because your relationship ended for whatever reason.  You make it difficult for your child to do anything with the other parent without being drilled when they get home.  What did they do, who went, where, when did you get back and so on.  WHY – WHY – WHY would you do that to your child?  Who cares who was there, what they were doing or where they went.  And when you’re all done drilling your child and have put them off to bed you’re sure to start texting your ex to tell them how you feel about what they did with “your” child.  I guess you forgot it is their child as well and they as the other parent can decide what they can and can’t do and who they will socialize with. 

What you should be concerned about is did your child had a good time with the other parent and they want to share with you what they did without being worried they are going to be made to feel bad because they did have fun.  That is what you need to worry about and your child’s own emotions during this difficult time that they are not feeling at fault for anything.  That they should not have to choose one parent over the other.

All of the above whether it is one parent or both – your both hurting that child and they are going to remember that for the rest of their lives.  I am not expecting anyone to be perfect during a difficult time in their own emotional roller coaster but I am expecting that as you gather your wits you put your feelings towards your ex on the back burner when it comes to your child.

You also need to stop and think about how your actions are going to affect future events for your child as they grow up.  Both parents are going to move on in whatever form works best for them.  They may remarry, have a life partner or maybe not have anyone at all.  Either way it happens it is not the child’s fault and should never factor into life events.  You as both parents should be adult enough to get over your own insecurities and be a part of your child’s life.  Accept or at least be polite to those in your ex’s life.  Don’t tell your child who can and cannot attend their events, it’s not up to you to design the guest list.  If they have an issue with your ex or your ex’s life style or friends, keep your mouth shut.  And NEVER NEVER allow your child to speak disrespectfully of the other parent.

Bottom line your relationship is over and you are moving on and so is your ex, for the sake of your child no matter the age, drop your drama at the door.  You can certainly pick it back up when you leave and carry on with it away from your child if that is what makes you happy. 

A huge thank-you to my first guest blogger, “Wicked”!! If anyone else is interested in writing for MadStella, please feel free to e-mail me at madstella04@yahoo.com

Thank-you for visiting MadStella!!