Monday, November 20, 2017

Oh Deer.

Let me tell you a little story....


It was a Friday night, in November. It was dark, foggy and spitting rain. Interstate 35. I had just got done meeting Jacob's grandparents so Jacob could spend the weekend in Des Moines with the family.


I was cruising right along. Listening to my audiobook, anxious to get back to Mankato for a hockey game. I was driving in the right hand lane when suddenly, there was a deer. It looked like it was just walking across the road, but because of the fog, it appeared before me quickly.


I managed to hit my breaks and brace myself for impact. Is that what you're suppose to do? Brace yourself? Tense up? Anyway, that's what I did. I hit the deer full on. The impact caused my airbag to go off, which I remember only briefly brushing against my face. The car skidded and jerked to a stop but I had no idea where my car was - on the road? Near the ditch? I didn't think I had gone in the ditch.


Everything was dark and silent. I struggled to remember where my flashers were, finally grabbing my phone to light up the dash. I found the button but when I hit it, nothing happened. The entire car was dead. I had no lights, no nothing.


It was about then that I noticed all the lights in my rearview mirror. The lights of the fast oncoming cars, headed right at me. Headed right at me and unable to see me. Hitting the deer was no big deal. Sitting in a dead car with vehicles approaching from behind, unable to see me, terrifying. I thought for sure I was going to get hit. I was waiting for the impact.


I was literally talking out loud to myself. I was trying to call 911 on my phone but it wasn't working. (Side note: has anyone else had this problem trying to call 911 on a cell phone???) I kept asking myself if I should get out of the car or stay put. I was buckling and unbuckling my seat beat. I was telling myself a car was going to hit me. I was questioning why no cars seemed to be stopping to help me.


I opened the driver door, as much as I could from the impact anyway, when I finally saw a gentleman coming to me. He asked if I was alright, if anyone was else was in the car and told me I need to get out of the car right away. He ran me to the middle of the ditch. I was shaking. I couldn't catch my breath. I had thought for sure I was going to get hit by another car and couldn't even imagine what might have happened then.


Once I was out and away from the car, I could see where my car was. In the left hand lane. I was not near the side of the road. I was near the center of the interstate. I knew then it was a miracle that I wasn't hit from behind.


The two gentlemen started to direct traffic into the one lane the best they could with flashlights, while we waiting for highway patrol to come. I was still shaking. Walking in small paces around in the ditch, trying to slow my breathing. I noticed the hood of my car was peeled back and laying on my windshield. That was why I couldn't see where in the road I was, not because I didn't have my lights on.


Apparently, the accident had been reported as a three car accident and soon after highway patrol arrived, a firetruck pulled up. There was another on the way along with two ambulances. Luckily, they sent those back. The gentleman that came to my car later told me he was driving behind me and saw me hit the deer. He was able to swerve, driving in the ditch, to avoid hitting me, but clipped the deer. Once his truck stopped, he came back to help me.


I was taken to the firetruck for some questions and to get out of the rain. I declined any medical treatment. The firefighter told me that I had hit the deer in the area they called the Bermuda Triangle, because there are so many accidents that happen along this stretch of highway.


After a while, another firefighter came back to the truck to inform me that I had hit a 16 point deer. Well, at least I had something to be proud of.


I had called my parents as soon as I was out of the car. I told them roughly where I was and they said they would come to get me. And here's the thing. They had been in Rochester, my dad was getting a small procedure done. It was scheduled to take place Friday morning but had been delayed, causing my parents to remain in Rochester long after they wanted to. So when I called at 6pm to let them know I had hit a deer, they were only an hour away.


Finally, they got the road cleaned up of all the pieces of my car I had lost. They had loaded the deer up to take away (I later heard in the patrol car that someone was given permission to take it... I should have thought of that), and the tow truck came and loaded up my car. The officer was going to drop me off at the Welcome Center, where my parents were waiting for me. We drove to the tow place to clean out my car.


It was only then that I really got a good look at the damage. And it looked bad. We spent the next 20 minutes or so, trying to clean out my car by flashlight, unable to open the back door, all while I was on the phone filing my claim with Progressive and making sure they were covering this tow.


It was around 9pm by the time we got home. I decided I wasn't leaving the house and instead put on my PJs, took some Tylenol, got the heating pad and watched a movie. My weekend plans to relax, do nothing and worry about nothing were pretty much gone. While I did get some relaxing in, I'm also dealing and waiting on the insurance claim, waiting to hear that my car is indeed totaled, waiting for them to tell me they have no money to give me after paying the car off, and starting the annoying search for another car. I am mourning the fact that I haven't even had that car for a full year...


However. I am thankful. I am incredibly blessed. I am so so so thankful Jacob was not in the car with me. Every time I think about hitting the deer, I thank God Jacob was not there. I thank God that I was not hit by another car. I thank God that I was not hurt. I thank God that no one was hurt. I thank God my parents were close by. I thank God for watching over me. Because he was obviously doing just that. God is good.


My first view of the car

This is where my car ended up

Coming off the tow truck



My airbag went off

Unbelievable


My poor car...

Friday, November 3, 2017

Jacob's Anecdotes vol. 2

I love this kid.


***

After waking up one morning after a really good sleep, Jacob sat up groggily and slowly lifted up one hand. With a confused look on his face, he says to me, "My hand is buzzy" I LOVE his creative way of telling me about his hand falling asleep/waking up, since he doesn't understand that yet! 


***

This isn't necessarily just one story, but Jacob has started to become very.... confident? Ha! More than once he's been asked "Who's in charge here?" when he isn't listening to what was being told/asked of him. His response? "I am." Or I'll say, "Jacob, you're being a little bossy." And he says, "Yes, I am." Another... "Jacob, are you going to be a pill tonight?" "Yes, I'm going to be a pill." Oy. He's only four!?! 


***

Jacob has always been a fan of the "Pigeon" books. If you haven't read them, check them out. His current favorite is where the Pigeon finds a hot dog! At one point in the book, frustrated with the Duckling, the Pigeon says "Oh for Pete's sake!" This has become Jacob's new catch phrase! He'll say it as an answer to anything and even roll his eyes with it! It's pretty adorable.  


***

Jacob and Nana were saying bedtime prayers the other night and were doing "God Bless..." God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy... etc. And Jacob said to my mom, "Everybody loves Jacob because I'm cute!"



***



While talking to Jacob on the phone (a regular phone call), he'll often try to tell you or show you what he's doing or playing with. Tonight on the phone, Jacob said to me, "Watch this! Oh wait! You can't see!" Hahaha


***

The other Sunday at church, Pastor Patrick invited all of the kids to come up for the children's sermon to listen to a story. Jacob went quickly and excitedly, something he doesn't always do. The story was read without too much interruption... only towards the end did Jacob realize he could see himself on the big screens up front and had to point that out. On his way back to his seat, once he got a little closer to me, he said (in not a whisper), "That was a good story." :)



***

The other night, Jacob and I were having some conversation that included him asking me a bunch of questions I don't really know the answer to, so typical parenting. And then this happened... Jacob: "Mommy, why are bugs so small?" Me: "I don't know, I guess because God made them that way." Jacob: "Yeah! And God made my butt!" Yup. That too. LOL

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The first Un-Anniversary

I've been thinking about this day a lot. Watching it come closer... for close to two months. If were you were to ask me back then how I thought I might feel about this day, I wouldn't be able to tell you. I think it was probably a mixture of mourning, regret, sadness... 

I never thought this would be my life. I never imagined myself divorced. I feel comfortable saying the divorce was what needed to happen. But it still pains me to think back over the past 10 years and remember what use to be. 


There definitely was a lot of love. A lot of great memories. And best of all, our amazing  and incredible son. 


Now I have these moments... moments that are both pleasant and unpleasant. Moments when I see a funny meme on Facebook or something and you'd normally be the first person I'd send it to. Or I'll make some 'Friends' reference only to remember that you're not there to appreciate it. I'll find something I know you'll like but realize it's not my place anymore to get it for you. A song will trigger some old memory of some great experience we had and I'll wish that we could do something similar again before understanding we can't. 


It's those sorts of things that sometimes hurt the most. The little, normal every day things. It's those types of thoughts and feelings I have that make me wonder how many years they'll continue to happen. I wonder if you have those moments too.


Then there are those more obvious signs... an expiration date on my bag of chips that is our wedding date. A bible verse from our wedding, beautifully written on a lovely floral fall print. Wedding pictures showing up on social media's time-vault apps. 


For me, it comes in waves. And seemingly out of nowhere. The absolute feeling of loss and sorrow comes crashing over me. Sometimes it feels like I might drown.


The time we were together, absolutely every thing was intertwined. Everything was connected. There are no memories that don't include you. And we'll never be able to go back to that. At least not in the same way. And that... hurts deep. I mourn the loss of our life together. I mourn the loss of our relationship. I mourn the loss of what could have been. 

We both made mistakes. I'm sure we both have regrets. I know I do.


I feel like October 24th is going to always be a weird sort of day. It will always have a place in my heart. A day to remember all the good. All the things I wouldn't change. All the love we had for each other. But I feel like it will be a day to mourn as well.

I read this quote from another article and it states exactly what I feel:
"I always wonder what to do that day. Clearly there isn’t an anniversary to celebrate, but it seems somehow wrong to just let the day go by without any acknowledgement of what that day represents."

Since this will be the first "Un-Anniversary", I can't tell you yet how the day went, what I did or what I felt. But the writer of that article goes on to write about what her "Un-Anniversaries" have been like...
"For me, the day represents a loss of many hopes and dreams, plans that were never made, adventures that will never be gone on, and a life that turned out differently than I had expected. My un-anniversary is not a happy day, but a day that fills me with sadness and regret."

Those absolutely hit home. I feel like the day could be both filled with celebration and  mourning. Celebrate what once what and what it brought us and mourn what no longer is and what the future will not be.

As the days inch closer, that feeling of loss grows stronger. I find myself dwelling on the loss. I think about that beautiful stained glass hanging and wonder if it will ever see sunlight again. I think about the wedding scrapbook I started but will probably never finish now. 

I'm mourning. Grieving. Lamenting. It's a strange sort of loss to experience. I've lost something and someone that was so much a part of me, who I loved incredibly much. But in the physical sense, you're still here. I still see you, talk to you. Sometimes it feels like my grief will be like a wound, reopening every time I interact with you, never able to completely heal. 

In addition to mourning the loss of our relationship, I ache over the loss of other relationships that have faded after the divorce. Relationships with your family. With people I loved as my own family. I haven't stopped loving your family. Just as you and I are in this awkward stage of maneuvering this new relationship, the same goes to your family I think. And I get it. They're your family. There are sides to these things. But I've really been feeling that loss lately. I don't know what's appropriate to say or do. 

I feel like I'm starting to ramble... Every day it seems there is some sort of new feeling, new decision to be made, new reaction to what we've done. I don't know what our lives look like going forward. But I know that if we can maybe just take things day by day, things will start to feel like a new normal.

But until then, I'll raise a glass. To the first Un-Anniversary.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Busy Busy

I'm officially a month into the new job. It feels both like I've been here forever and for no time at all. I'm enjoying all the work so far although there is a huge learning curve and that will only get better with time. But so far, I think this was the right move to make.


I don't think I could tell you where the past month went....


Jacob started preschool and his first day did not start out like I expected. He had been asking to go to school for months! So excited to ride the bus! When we pulled up to the school that first day, Jacob said to me "I want to go to Amber's". Broke my heart. The poor kid did not want to get out of the car, he was so nervous! Which isn't like him at all! We finally got him into the school and once he was in his classroom, he was good to go! He saw the dinosaurs and was ready to play! On his second day, he said to me in the car, "I'm not scared to go to school today, Mom." :)


He's been enjoying school every since! He gets dropped off in the mornings by either myself or his Grandpa or most likely his Grandma... there was some adventure there on whether or not Jacob was old enough* to ride the bus to school in the morning. (*Grandparents not being ready for this! ha!) He rides a smaller bus and gets dropped off right at Amber's door before lunch. He wouldn't really share too much about school at first but he's slowly opening up more and telling us things. He's always excited to share when he gets to be a helper with something - the carpet squares, weather, bell ringer, etc.


He can spell his own name and gets very excited every time he sees the letter "J"! I had him trace his name on a card the other day and he was saying things like "Down, around, curve around..." It was so cute! I love watching him learn new things and grow! He'll also come home singing different songs which of course, is adorable. He went on a field trip to the apple orchard a couple of weeks back and came home and told us how you "grab and twist" to pull down the apples.


My only problem with school is that Jacob does get pretty tired in the morning and will generally take a really good nap at daycare. By the time bedtime rolls around, the kid has all of his energy back!! Maybe he was ready for a full day of school! :)


Jacob also started swimming lessons again. I think he misses the lessons when parents would go in the pool to because he keeps asking both me and his dad, "Are you coming in?" :) Also, Jacob is definitely that kid that won't do anything the teacher is asking and instead stands back a little ways, looks around for us and waves with a big smile on his face! haha I also have to say that this class (why only this class, I have no idea) is giving me mini-heart attacks! HA! There's just two teachers and a handful of four year olds. They move themselves along the wall of the pool into the deeper section and sit on the edge. Jacob's sat on the edge of the pool no problem before but there are a couple of other kids who like to jump or slide off the edge when they're not suppose to - i.e. no one is there to catch them! It's terrifying and I'm just waiting for Jacob to decide to do that as well! I am no okay with this! I swear, Jacob better not be any good at sports (his parents' histories help here...) because I do not think I'm going to be the type of mom who can just watch things happen without freaking out! Seriously!


Jacob also got to enjoy some time at a temporary daycare, literally just down the street from Amber's while Amber had her baby! He did really well with this transition! As we kept getting closer to him going back to Amber's, I would ask if he was excited to see and play with the new baby. And his response would be, "Yes, I'm going to play with the little Frank the Combine" hahaha Jacob is obsessed with Frank the Combine from the movie Cars. He has a Frank toy, but at Amber's there is a smaller one. He kept telling us that he wanted to get a smaller one and that we should go buy one. Finally I said maybe for Christmas or Easter he could get it.


And speaking of Frank the Combine, this is what Jacob will be going as for Halloween.... as soon as I finish the costume. He super excited. He also said that mommy has to be Lightning McQueen and daddy is Tow-Mater. So, AJ and I both have t-shirts to wear so Jacob can chase us. Then he said that Nana and Papa were going to be the tractors that tip over! This kid.


Jumping in at Eide Bailly and learning as much as I can, as quickly as I can, things have stayed very busy. There is definitely plenty of work to do and it does get a little bit easier every day. What's nice about the job though is that it's very easy to leave everything at work when I'm done for the day. And I love that. Everyone has been very welcoming so far and I've also realized that I'm probably going to gain a bunch of weight while working here. Almost every day it seems like there are some sort of treats or desserts or snacks in the lunch room! I've got to work up my self-control!


I also started at Fun.com again and am really enjoying that. It's pretty easy money, doing customer service via chat and email. And because it feels so easy, I keep wanting to put myself down to work more hours... forgetting of course that my parents can only handle so much of Jacob on top of everything else and that I need sleep. My mom (well and a lot of other people) kept telling me to slow down. But I'm so close to paying off my last credit card and I was racing towards that finish line. But my body decided it needed to remind me slow down and I got a cold that just knocked me out. I basically slept for two days and while I still don't have much of a voice, I am feeling better. And ready to jump back into things... :) I just have to make it to November......


It's funny but I've come to think of October as the one month out of the year that I want to both go by incredibly fast and take as long as possible. Totally doable, right? I love working at Fun but sometimes wish that time away, ready to relax in November. But October is also my favorite month and I don't want that time to just fly by. I love the weather and the activities. There's not enough time for both! Maybe one year, I'll just have one job in October. :)


One of those two days of sleeping was my birthday, so it was pretty low-key. My parents and Jacob sang to me in the morning, Jacob showed me the brownies he and my mom made and gave me a present that he picked out - a lovely smelling candle! Then my mom said to Jacob, "Jacob, what did you want to get mommy for her birthday?" And Jacob said "A small Frank the Combine!" hahaha Sadly, they were out of those at the store.


Jacob got to spend the other weekend down in Iowa with his Zaruba Nana and Papa and his favorite cousin Evie! He had an absolute blast! We also went to a Vehicle Fair and Harvest Festival at the Children's Museum, visited another Fall Festival out at Terrace View golf course, went to a Fall Festival at the elementary school and harvested grapes. It's been a pretty busy fall! And of course, Papa and Mark have finally been able to get into the fields so Jacob has had a couple of combine rides. And he is still in heaven. He took a ride with mark the other day and basically talked nonstop the entire time! Mark had a phone call and the guy on the phone even asked "Who's in the combine with you?!" HA!


I think that's about it for an update for us right now. I'm sure they'll be more again soon!



Sunday, September 17, 2017

From PAH to EB

And just like that, it's all different. 

Last Wednesday was my last day at Partners for Affordable Housing. It honestly didn't really hit me until about 4:45pm that I wouldn't be coming back the next morning. Looking back over the past two years, I am so thankful for the experience I had and gained at PAH. 

PAH brought me back to the community I grew up in. It helped increase my self-worth and self-confidence. It gave me a chance for my creativity to grow and shine. It introduced me to some amazing and incredible people. PAH brought to attention a huge need in our community and a desire to help fight for that cause. It even helped strengthen my muscles with all the furniture moving. :) 

My time at PAH was exactly what I needed, when I needed it. It's crazy to look back and be able to see how that happens. (But God always knows what He's doing!)  I needed to be involved with a type of work that provided purpose and meaning. I needed the chance to really let my wings grow. I needed to have those people in my life, both personally and professionally.  

Deciding to leave PAH was a hard choice. So incredibly hard. I realized that this is the first time in my career that I decided to leave a job that I really love on my own terms. I obviously have reasons why I was looking elsewhere, but that did not make having to tell my team I was leaving any easier. It's a strange feeling. 

To my PAH family: I'm not even sure what I can say about the past two years. Thank you. Thank you for the fun and crazy work experiences. Thank you for being such a supportive group. Thank you for your friendships that have grown over the past two years. Thank you for your humor and your jokes. Thank you for your huge and caring hearts. Thank you for the work that you do for our community. There is truly nothing else like being a part of the PAH family. And I'm glad that we keep the family growing and that we can't get rid of each other. :) I am excited to continue to work with you all in this new capacity. And I'm excited that our friendships will be able to continue to grow. #PAHlife forever!! 

And then, it was Thursday morning. My first day at Eide Bailly. My first day at EB was.... one for the books. It also had me reflecting on my first week with PAH... Within a couple days of starting, I was already in paint clothes, painting an upstairs apartment with my new co-workers, in the summer heat with no AC. My first day at EB did not quite include that much hard labor! :) 

I arrived at Eide Bailly at 8:30. I received a very quick (and partial) office tour, I was out the door by 8:45 and headed to St. Peter for a recruiting fair for accounting students at Gustavus. I spent the morning learning about what EB has to offer accounting students for their internship options and probably could have given the spiel myself before the morning ended. I was back at the office around 12:30 and had lunch with the Office Coordinator. I spent the next couple of hours going over the new hire paperwork. I finally had a chance to get back to my desk around 2:45 and had some time to read through all that paperwork and explore some of the training information online. I realized I should open my email and see if there was anything and there were 30 emails waiting for me. Then at 3:45 I was headed downtown for an Estate Planners event where I spent the rest of my day acting as bartender. 

Everyone kept promising me that every day was not like this. I'm not sure if I should believe them. :) But honestly, it was a great way to start a new job. Jumping right in, getting a feel for things. There is a huge learning curve as I start to learn as much as I can about this new industry and how to market it. It was nice to know that I can still jump in and do some things right away! And to everyone's credit, Friday was a much more relaxed day. I had a chance to work on some projects, continuing reviewing the training information but also familiarizing myself with the different tools that I'll be using and learning that new information. 

I also had a chance to go out to lunch with my new Marketing team. I can honestly say that I think this is going to be a good fit. They're a great group of people, eager for me to start doing more and more than willing to help me understand everything. It will also be a chance for me to grow professionally with some of the things I'll be doing. My position is a newly created position and I'll be working between three different areas. So it will be interesting to see how the job grows as I learn to manage my time between these areas and learn how to prioritize between them. But if there's one thing I like, it's a challenge. 

It is going to take some time to adjust back into the corporate world setting. Going from a small nonprofit with seven full time employees to a company with 29 offices in 13 states and close to 80 people just in our office... it makes things interesting! But that's all part of the fun. Everyone I have met so far has been super nice. 

I'm excited for this new step. I'm excited to see what it will bring. I'm excited to continue to meet more new people. I'm just excited. :) 

To close, #EideLike to say that I'm thankful for this new opportunity. Let's go! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Hesitant Welcome to Fall

For maybe the first time ever, I am hesitant for the start of fall. 

Fall has always been my absolute favorite time of the year. The cooler weather. The beautiful colors. Open windows and warm drinks. Hay rides, apple orchards and pumpkins. Bonfires and football. Sweatshirts and boots. A fall rain. Birthdays and anniversaries. The start of a new school year and new school supplies. Homecomings and Outfly. Halloween and candy corn. The season of harvest and combine rides.

While my love of fall has not diminished, I must admit that I'm welcoming this fall season with a touch of hesitancy and melancholy.

This fall season will be my first since the divorce. I'm not sure I understand how to handle that.

How do I reflect on that fateful September weekend? How do I handle the memories of wedding planning or the pictures that show up on social media? Should I expect my birthday to feel different? How do I acknowledge the date of our wedding?

I don't know how to feel about these. I don't know if there should be a specific emotion. It doesn't feel right to just let it all slip by but it also doesn't feel right to make a big fuss.

In addition to all of that, Jacob is starting preschool. And while logically this has to happen and kids grow up, there is still some gut punching feeling of sending your baby off to school. Proud, yet nervous. Excited, yet scared. Happy, yet sad.

His first year of school. A new phase of his life. A new start. A new adventure. A new beginning. It's a bit terrifying. 

We had orientation night the last week of the month and Jacob of course was in heaven, playing with the dinosaurs. And earlier this week, Jacob had his first "conference" where we had a chance to meet his teacher one and one (Jacob played with the dinosaurs) and got his picture taken! 

And in case you've missed the news, I'm starting a new job.

I'll be working as a Marketing Assistant at Eide Bailly. I'm excited and nervous. I'm anxious and trying to stay confident. I'll have a lot to learn as this is a new industry for me, but that's part of the challenge I enjoy. Eide Bailly is a CPA and consulting firm. I think it's going to be a great next step as I continue my career.

I am incredibly sad to be leaving PAH and the amazing team I work with. But part of what I loved about getting a job at Eide Bailly is their willingness to give back to the community. I'm excited to continue supporting PAH, just in a different capacity. 

Fall seems to demand these new and fresh starts. I found this quote on pinterest and it really seems to fit my life. 


Looking back at the month of August, I would say we had a successful last month of summer. Jacob got to spend some time in Iowa at the beginning of the month - something he ALWAYS looks forward to! :) We did manage to freeze some corn this summer. We didn't do any last summer because the crop wasn't great. Let me tell you, freezing corn is not as much fun when there are only three people working! Ha! But we managed! 

We made it to another Tractor Pull as well, but Jacob didn't last as long as I thought he would! Jacob and I also went camping in the backyard on night! This was Jacob's first time in a tent and he was super excited! He was a great helper too when it came to pitching the tent and taking it down. And we also made it to a "On the Move" event where Jacob could go exploring different vehicles like a dump truck, school bus, firetruck, etc. He loved it. 

We took a week vacation and headed north. We had a small cottage on the lake at a resort near Meg's. The weather was a little chillier than we were hoping for, but we still managed to have some boat time out on the lake and Jacob even did a bit of swimming. We visited different parks for some hikes and even drove up to International Falls one day! It was as relaxing as a vacation can be with a four year old. :) 

We also got a State Fair visit in! Jacob was a big fan of the food and really wanted to try out all the rides. Unfortunately time limited us there but we did make it down the big slide once! Megan and I stuck around the cities and went back to the State Fair that night for the Pentatonix concert!! Megan got tickets for her birthday and invited me along. It was amazing! Such a great concert, I wish it would have lasted a lot longer!!  

Looking forward to the next couple of months, things will pick up and be extremely busy as we apparently like to be during this fall season. Jacob will be doing swimming again, which will start at the end of September. There are a couple of fall festivals that we plan on attending around the area and hopefully another visit to Iowa for Jacob! 

I will once again be working part time at Fun.com and might be even crazier for doing that this year on top of a brand new job. But I'm going to give it a shot. And so, if you're willing and able to watch Jacob, let me know. I'll probably take you up on the offer! :) 

Jacob has been asking if it was fall yet for a while. He's been so excited to start school, to ride the combine and to dress up as Frank the Combine (Disney's Cars) for Halloween! :) And speaking of which... I should probably get started on that costume... 

Welcome, Fall. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our Current Struggles

Some days, the struggle is so much harder. I mean, it's never easy. But then there are those days where it kicks you in the ass. 

It seems I've been having more of those really tough struggle days lately. I wish I knew why these are happening. But do we ever really know? 

I hate "playing this card", but being a single mom is hard. I hate playing that card because I still question whether I can call myself a single mom when I live with my parents. But for the most part, taking care of Jacob falls solely on my shoulders.

Jacob has taken on some very difficult personality traits lately. Luckily, this is not 24/7 but it's enough to be draining. He will openly ignore me when I'm asking him not to do something naughty. He has been demanding of the things he wants rather than asking nicely for them as he was taught. And then he gets super upset when he doesn't get what he wants. He's been refusing to get dressed or pick up his toys, claiming he can't do it when he's perfectly capable. 

And I get it. He's four. He's so little and is dealing with big emotions. I understand that, I do. But as a single parent, you take 100% of the blunt force of these emotions. And I can't quite explain how emotionally draining that is for you, as the parent. 

But what's really been a struggle... bedtime. Jacob has become very persistent about wanting to "sleep with mommy in the tall bed". (aka, Mommy's bed) And I mean super persistent. He'll cry and scream and throw a fit. He won't stay in his own bed, continuing to make the trip to my room over and over. Climbing into my bed. I'll put him in the crib (yes, I still have the crib set up - no he hasn't tried climbing out of it), but then the bloody murder screams will start. Some nights I try to out last him. But the kid is stubborn. And he normally wins. One, I hate the fact that his screams keep my parents up (their bedroom right above his) and two, with school starting school, I know that trying to get him to go to bed earlier rather than later is pretty important. 

And then the knife twist happens... through all of this, all the screaming, the tears, are the words he'll say to me. 
"I want to cuddle with mommy because I love you. I love cuddling with mommy. I love you mommy. Cuddling with you is fun. Please, mommy. I want to cuddle." 
He knows how to pull at the heartstrings. And this is where I struggle. This is where I go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth again. 

He's only little once. There will come a day where he'll want nothing to do with me, much less want to cuddle in my bed. Soon he will be too big for all of that. Soon he'll think he won't need me anymore. Soon it might not be so easy to get the words "I love you" out of him. 

And so after a full day of maneuvering big emotions from a little person, being asked a thousand questions, each a hundred times, being climbed on by someone who doesn't understand personal space and always needing to be present and paying attention to this little person, I am tired. 

I am in desperate need of some 'me time'. I just want to catch up on social media. I want to read my book. I want to watch an adult-only show. I want to spend some time in the quiet, reflecting. I want to lay on the bed with no one kicking me or pushing me. I want to eat some ice cream without sharing. 

But often, I lose this fight. I hear his words and they cut deep. I hear his desperate want to be near me. Sometimes I feel like I can hear some fear in his cries. 

Because this is where else we're struggling. We're struggling with finding a consistent routine for Jacob to see his dad. Between end of summer vacations and crazy work schedules, those visits have been less than normal. And its when that happens, when it's been longer than "normal" since he's seen his dad, I can see a change a home. 

Jacob acts like he has to constantly be in my sight. He always wants me paying attention. If I wander downstairs, I'll hear him yelling for me "Mommy where did you go?" If Nana picks him up from daycare and I'm not home when they get home, "Where is my mommy?" Even in the morning when I get out of bed to shower, "where are you going mommy?" It's enduring, but exhausting. I guess I can't tell you 100% that these reactions are a result of him seeing less of his dad, but it certainly feels that way.

Also, I have to say here, I'm not placing blame on anyone. We're still trying to figure out this whole co-parenting thing. I'm also not looking for advice. Yes, I should stop this habit before it gets out of control. Yes, I should just cuddle him while he's still little. I'll figure it out. Or I won't, and we'll just move on to the next thing. Sometimes I just need to write out my thoughts and feelings to help me process them. To make sense of them. Maybe this last paragraph should be my disclaimer on all blog posts. Haha!