(I’m having to post date this…I thought I had posted it back on September 9th…but I didn’t. LOL!)
I don’t mean I’m just tired or worn out; I’m physically and mentally exhausted. I’ve felt this way a long time, but I finally snapped. Unfortunately, the recipients were my children, which I find very hard for me to forgive myself for (even though they long have).
By snapped, I don’t mean I totally lost it – just close. A little over a week ago, I came into the kitchen to find this ninja mask with the strings cut. I kindly asked my three kids who did it. No one would step forward and all they kept saying over and over again was “Not me, I didn’t do it”. I gave them every opportunity to ‘fess up, even telling them that it wasn’t a big deal and there would be no punishment handed out (which was how I felt – I just wanted to talk to the kid that did it and make them realize that they aren’t allowed to destroy property like that, no matter how minor). Then, something came over me. I’ve never felt so enraged – I didn’t even feel like myself.
I lost it.
I started screaming, a few cuss words even came out of my mouth, I was completely enraged in an adult tantrum. Why? I didn’t give two cents about the actual act of cutting the mask, it was the lying to me straight faced that got to me. It was that, after 2 years of working full time and going to school…raising 3 kids pretty much on my own (with the only real help coming from my mom when she would watch them to give me relief, and a child support check, which is pretty much the most support EX gives)…traveling back and forth on the weekends to see MOD (meaning either 8 hours round trip on a train, or planning my Friday night and what to do with the kids when I have to drive over to pick up MOD late from the train station)…and just generally having very little time for friends or myself.
I.Kicked.A.Suitcase. Yep, not only that, but I kicked my daughter’s suitcase so hard, it damaged the bottom of a wall. This was the first time my kids have ever looked at me with that kind of fear in their eyes. After I had dropped them off at school, I realized where I had seen that look before…pre-divorce, when EX would get mad and come after them. It was when I saw that look that I would leap up and jump after him to get between him and the kids to stop him from doing anything. But they always looked scared. Even knowing mommy was there to stop it, it was the look of “what if it doesn’t stop?”
Something had to give. I needed to re-prioritize. I still need to find a way to cut down on my stress and clutter in my life more, but I’ve taken the first step. After reflecting more, I know I need to change something else. So here are the time busters in my life (in no certain order):
- MOD (Traveling and late night phone calls)
My number one priority is my kids. I can lose everything else on that list and would it be easy – no. They are my number one job though. They are my reason for anything else.
My number two priority – it has to be my job. I need to be able to support myself and teach my kids a good work ethic and show them what success can be. I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for any other position right now. It give me not only financial security, but I draw a great deal of self confidence from it as well. There is nothing I can change there and still be able to do what I want to do for my kids and myself.
My number 3 priority – MOD. He calms me, he brings me a great deal of happiness. I am really in love with him in a way I’ve never been before.
My number 4 priority – school. This is more of a want than a need. I have my bachelors degree and have been working in the industry for 13 years (clearly, quite happily). There is a goal I have in mind, but I know I will get there eventually – it just may take a little longer than I want.
So…I have dropped my class for this semester so I can regroup, refocus, and get back to the happy “Singlemom78″ that I know I truly am.
But, I’m still stuck with the travel. I’m stuck longing to go back to school and having the time to do all that but not wanting to leave MOD behind. Which is frustrating. I explained all this to MOD and he seemed completely oblivious to it. He admitted he hadn’t thought about how much more stressful it is for me to travel than it is for him. For him, it’s a minor inconvenience. For me though, it means I get no time to myself, no time for my friends, and very little time without the kids to be able to work around the house and get just everyday chores done (let alone enjoy any hobbies). Usually he’s perceptive, but I think when it comes to him being in the same situation as someone else (as opposed to when he’s just thinking about a situation that he’s not in, but someone else is) he is unable to think about how someone else is affected – only himself. I was surprised by that. He was very sincere and very, very good about recognizing that he hadn’t really looked at what a long distance relationship does to my life (with 3 kids, house, and school) and seemed very thoughtful about it, after I brought that to his attention.
The thing is, I want to do this. I want to maintain this. I feel like my needs are being met in so many ways – except my need for consideration and understanding about how hectic my life is. I don’t feel like he appreciates what a sacrifice it has been for me to keep up with the travel and only weekends thing. Not like I’ve appreciated it with him – I know his laundry schedule has been shifted to during the week, I know he doesn’t get his cycling time (he’s an avid cyclist) in like he’d like to…but he at least has the opportunity to adjust those things. Quite honestly, with three kids, I don’t. I can’t adjust my needs and wants to fit during the week, so I have to let them go. I miss that part of my life. I’ve also sacrificed things with my kids. The distance is hard on them and there have been many times that they have been at their dad’s on his weekend and they’ve had stuff going on that I’ve missed. I’ll never have that time back.
We’ve talked about him moving for a year now. It probably only has been completely serious (as in “we are doing this”) for a little over 6 months. I don’t expect this to happen overnight. There are a lot of things he has to do to pull this off. I have tried to support and encourage him. We’ve gone through the steps he needs to take dozens of times. That’s as far as I can help on this end. He needs to take the next step – and it’s as simple as calling a repairman just to get quotes so he can figure out how much he’ll have to save to fix a few things in his place before he can rent it out. He’s procrastinating. The longer he procrastinates, the more and more bitter I get about the things I’ve had to drop and give up, just to maintain this. He still gets to go out with his friends, he still has time to do the necessary chores and shopping he needs to get done. He’s had to alter his schedule, but he can do it. I cannot. I have given up having any “me” time and given up friend time to make this work – HAPPILY given it up and I’d do it all over again, if I had to. But I won’t do it forever. I’m finding myself more and more bitter about him saying things like “I want this” (Which I totally believe he does, no question) “but please keep in mind how much I’m giving up and why that’s so hard.” I try to not get mad, I try to keep it in, but all I want to do is yell “I’ve been giving up a lot for us since day 1.”