Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Back in the Groove June 3, 2013

Maybe it was the hours spent with an old friend or the visit from my great Aunt and third cousin.

Maybe it was the immense creative effort put out toward my Master’s Project over the last few days. I completely changed what I’d planned on doing and had to start from scratch, but I’m much more excited for what I’m doing now, and almost caught up to where I should have been with the other idea.

Maybe it was the fact that I’d been feeling so low there was nowhere else to go but higher. I don’t know.

Whatever it was and for however long it lasts I am happy.

I’m trying to battle my perfectionism. I just got off the Getting-Your-Groove-Backphone with a friend who helped me to consider ways I can do things more habitually and focus less on doing them perfectly.

Like with my writing…I tend to wait until the deadline before I get anything done, but it’d be better for me to just write for little bits at a time than waiting for the big epiphany to come. My friend suggested relying on a timer, and it makes perfect sense to do so. I felt a weight lift from my shoulders once I’d created a schedule for myself to go along with my daughters’ homeschooling schedule, but after Nohra was born I didn’t actually follow it anymore. I should start back again. I cannot just wake up and rattle off the things that need to be done and then be okay with not accomplishing them. I need an action plan.

I would be much more satisfied to know that, no, I didn’t get my entire novel written today, but I worked on it for 45 minutes, cleaned for a total of 2 hours, exercised for 30 minutes, spent 45 minutes folding laundry, etc.

Maybe it’s how freaking adorable my baby is when she smiles at me, or when she rolls over and gets her arm stuck beneath her chubby belly.

Maybe it’s the unbelievably optimistic force that plagued me during my pregnancy…but if it is I see why I believed it. Everything will be alright. All I needed was a little coffee creamer, some good times with dear friends, and an egg timer.

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My Last Semester May 20, 2013

Filed under: Mama Moments — Jet @ 10:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

Today was the first day of classes for my last semester of graduate school. I’m so excited! I always get giddy on the first day of class. Yes. I was that girl. The one who couldn’t wait to get her assigned reading list and textbooks. The one who’d work on assignments weeks in advance and turn them in the first day that the rest of the class got the guidelines. The one who would read history textbooks like YA fiction, and play “school” in her free time. Yes. That was me!

This time I’m not necessarily itching with anticipation for the upcoming educational quest. I am certainly excited for the work that I’ll produce and the skills that I’ll obtain, but to know that I am close to the end of my graduate school career is what makes it so phenomenal.

JetNohraTree

This will be the easiest and most challenging semester combined. The easiest because, at the back of my mind, and on the final read-through for all of my assignments I’ll be chanting, almost done! The most challenging because…well…where do I begin? I’m single-parenting three children, one of which is just 12 weeks old; I’m going to have to take these courses and job-hunt simultaneously, because once school is done I have absolutely no money to live off of; I’m slowly overcoming the trauma that was my marriage (and still technically is my marriage as I’m not yet divorced); and so much more.

But I’m going to make it. I’m almost done, and in three months I’m going to look back on my accomplishment with so much pride. One day my daughters will understand what it meant for me to finish, what it took for me to stick with this commitment, and how it improved our lives. One day, even I might say, how the  hell did I get through that? Someone told me that I was born with perseverance; she said either you have it or you don’t. I don’t know if it’s impossible to attain, but she was right about me – I’ve been determined to succeed for as long as I can remember.

I’m almost finished! I could bounce off of the walls right now if they weren’t so thin and I wasn’t risking waking the neighbors 🙂

 

Tough Week May 10, 2013

This has been a really tough week for me. I tried to relax and enjoy the fact that I’d have two full weeks between semesters. I tried to take it easy and just work slowly, calmly through my to-do list. I tried to keep up on self-care and CBT and even toyed with the idea of doing some guided meditations. But none of those things happened.

TheKillerSpeaksAfter a few days of cleaning I wound up freaking out that I was running out of time to get things done. I had that horrible nightmare (I mentioned it in my last post) and sleep has been impossible ever since (I’m not staying awake all night, but committing to sleep isn’t easy. Once I am asleep I have intense, violent, and exhausting dreams). I got an A in my class (yay!), but the joy faded quickly. I saw myself in a friend’s mirror, and within hours I was picking apart the image I’d seen. I’ve been watching The Killer Speaks way too frequently. It frightens me. The killers’ personalities are eerily similar to my husband’s.

I am feeling all out of sorts. Things are just swimming through my head. There’s so much to accomplish, but I have so little energy, and so little desire. Everything I do with my three young daughters takes an entire day. Every trip to the grocery store, every support group, every karate class, every therapy session; I only plan to do one big thing each day, if at all, because the simplest things take us five hours.

Even when we stay at home we’re busy from breakfast to bedtime business. It’s insane, and I’m completely drained. I would never really, but I wish I could just run away and do absolutely nothing for a couple of days. I need to rejuvenate. I want to rest. But that’s waaaay too much to ask. It’s tough to think that this will be my life, more or less, for another two decades.

jet_family2

Okay, maybe I’m being dramatic. Maybe it will get easier over time. No. Not maybe. It will. I  am just very overwhelmed with right now. And to be completely honest, right now is not all that bad. I get to be at home with my daughters. Yes, the housework is endless, and everyday presents new challenges, but everyday I’m presented with their smiles and bright eyes, everyday I get to kiss chubby baby thighs, and when I do finally manage to get some sleep at night it is in a safe place.

There are people who care about me and my daughters. I am two courses shy of finishing my Master’s degree. No matter how hideous I feel there are people who reassure me of my beauty. I know that I still have the potential to go after my dreams. This week has been tough for me. I’ve been feeling low, but this week is just one more hurdle. I refuse to drop out of the race.

 

Break Time May 3, 2013

This has been an awfully busy week for me. I had to go to court on Monday for my divorce (a frivolous pretrial hearing, let’s just say I’m still married), and my final project for my eMarketing class was due today. I’m low on sleep, my house is a disaster, and my to-do list steadily grows…

Tomorrow we’re going to get our pictures taken by a professional photographer friend, and on Sunday our town has a Kids Festival, but starting Monday I have two more weeks before the start of my next two (last two) classes, and I am elated for the break. Sure, it’s only two weeks before I dive back into my last 8 credit hours of study, but two weeks is all I need.

IceCreamI’m going to clean like crazy, and I’ll try to not complain because I don’t have homework to complete on top of housework for awhile. I’m going to get back on my schedule, stop eating Häagen-Dazs, start exercising, spend a few hours watching TV since I cannot afford to keep the cable on (our promo ends next week), and soak up as much sunshine as my body will allow.

I’m going to spend time cuddled up with each of my babies. I’m going to work on making my natural hair behave. I might take a bubble bath and play with makeup, just for kicks. Two weeks without classes?! I’m going to love this!

I have so many things that I need to accomplish, but for these next two weeks I’m going to try to focus on rejuvenating. I’m still going to get the necessary things done, but being frantic is going to take a backseat to me spending time with nature, laughing as much as I can,  and calling a few old friends.

Boy, am I going to enjoy this! Two whole weeks. TWO WHOLE WEEKS!!!

 

 

Incredibly Close April 26, 2013

I’m proud of myself. I’ve managed to stay in graduate school throughout this ordeal and I am almost finished. I will have my Master’s degree in Publishing and Writing this summer. Getting my MA from Emerson College has been a dream of mine for quite some time, and within a few months I will have accomplished my goal.Goals

Moving to the Boston area was difficult enough. I knew around 2006, when I graduated with my BA in English, that I wanted to attend Emerson. Five years, two children, and a wicked roller-coaster of co-dependency and manipulation later I finally made it to my first semester as an Emerson student. It was magnificent. I was meeting people in the industry, I was learning the history, I was witnessing and mastering the revolutionary technology affecting publishing. As the president of an organization I hosted events and ran meetings, I attended readings and collaborated on projects with my talented classmates. Graduate school was everything I’d hoped it would be.

Then…The Big Incident changed everything. It’s not as though my marriage had been peaches and cream before that night. No. Far from it. But after that night, after his arrest, after the restraining order, it has been a different type of hard. Finding a way to pay for things, staying healthy during the pregnancy, dealing with the insomnia and the court cases and the uncertainty, dealing with the loneliness, the embarrassment, and the grief. Finding support and regaining my strength. Working constantly to become a better mother, and doing my best to help my babies transition smoothly.

Igoals2t has been very difficult, but very rewarding. So when I look at the mountain of coursework in front of me, as it is finals week…and as I look at the massive amount of assignments I still have yet to complete before I graduate…I try to think back on everything that I’ve already accomplished. I look back and remember how incredibly impossible it all seemed. Then I cannot help but to feel proud of me, because I’ve already done such amazing things, and I know that I will get through these next two courses because I am too close to finishing to stop fighting.

 

Nothing Went As Planned Today April 15, 2013

Thankfully, we hadn’t planned to attend the Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

I’d planned to do my homework. I’m nearly one week behind on turning in my assignments. I’m trying to keep from being stressed out about it, but there are only two weeks before the end of the semester and I’m not ready to do my final project, nor am I ready to dive into my next (my last) two courses.

PlanningI’d planned to wake up and get to reading my lessons. I wound up waking up and getting some laundry started, made breakfast and straightened my kitchen, then contacted my lawyer, led the girls through their learning assignments, took the girls on a walk past a pond (where we saw seven sunbathing turtles) to a playground (where I learned that pushing them on the swings while wearing two pound wrist weights is a great arm workout), and then back home where we played Candy Land and Barbies after lunch, then I cleaned the condo some more and had Mommy and Me time with each of them before dinner and Bedtime Business.

Things didn’t go as I’d planned for them to go today. Around lunch time though, I gave up on getting any homework done before the girls went to bed, and although I was disappointed it became easier to accept. I admitted to myself that what I’d wanted wouldn’t be happening, and slowly but surely I felt the tug of self-defeat loosening. Every activity then became a valued experience instead of another nuisance task keeping me from my studies.

Sometimes things just don’t turn out the way I hope, but the more flexible I become in dealing with whatever I’m thrown without freaking out the more capable I feel about controlling the only thing I really have the power to control, myself. I truly believe in leading by example, and I want my daughters to know me as the mother I’ve always wanted to be. Lately I’ve been making a lot of progress, and although nothing went as planned today, I am pleased.

 

If only… April 5, 2013

If only I could get more sleep. Nohra tends to have her most alert time period between 9pm and Midnight. I feel like I’m neglecting her because I should be engaging her during that time. I should be showing her contrasting colors and talking and reading and listening to classical music…something. But I’m often nodding in and out of sleep, holding her and nursing her while silently flipping the channels on my television and eating ice cream, trying desperately to stay awake.

If only I could sleep peacefully. I still have nightmares, and they’re not just about him. Last night I was being hunted. It was like The Hunger Games meets The Ghost and the Darkness. Dying in my dream would have been more relaxing. I woke up after less than five hours in a twisted position, exhausted from all the running and mental exhaustion from being in constant fear for my life. I didn’t even attempt to fall back to sleep.

If only I could stop eating ice cream bars and poptarts. I don’t even really like them when I’m eating them, but they’re sweet and easy. I am constantly running around and there’s so much to get done and I hardly find the chance to sit and eat. If I sit and eat I miss out on doing something else that I could’ve done while I had the chance. I know, I should stock up on fruit and veggies and easy to eat healthy things. And I will…when our money for food comes in. But then, of course, I have to find the time to brave a shopping trip with three little kids.TimeRunning

If only I could stay on schedule with my Directed Study this semester, and finish my proposals for my last two courses, and turn them in and get them approved.

If only I could start exercising again. I feel so flabby. I know, I know, I had my third baby six weeks ago, and to the outside world I look fine, great even, but I feel fat. And I’m not being my old teenaged delusional self who was really skinny but said she was fat; I’m really out of shape. I haven’t worked out regularly since I had my first daughter, and she’s almost six. I swore that I’d work out during my pregnancy, but I really didn’t do much. I even purchased a Postpartum Yoga with Baby DVD, and I haven’t even opened it. Ugh. I know that I’d feel better if I could start exercising, but I can barely fit in time to breathe.

If only I could stop stressing about these court cases. If only they were all wrapped up and in the past already.

If only I could push past these automatic thoughts/distorted thinking habits. I’ve been doing some work with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy…I’m trying. I’m trying so hard to better myself in various facets. I know that thinking of myself as a failure is one of the feelings/thoughts I must combat. I know that all is not lost because I’m two days late on my homework. Deep down I know these things, but it is not yet habitual for me to change my way of reacting.

If only I could spend a few hours shopping (and not have to worry about my big girls or the fact that I don’t have any money).

If only I could be out in nature awhile. Go hiking or fishing or running. Hell, go rub my hands in the dirt and jump in a puddle.

If only I could have ten minutes to just be, completely alone, without any worries or responsibilities.

If only…if only.