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.

Advertisements
 

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.

 

What a Slap in the Face March 22, 2013

I was finally starting to feel little bit better.

I got caught up on my homework, caught up on the laundry, spring cleaned the girls room, stocked up on groceries, and made it to everyone’s therapy session this week. I was looking forward to spending the weekend drafting proposals for my last two courses of graduate school. But there’s always something to keep things from being perfect.

Today, I have mastitis. It feels horrible. Have you ever been in so much pain that you wanted to tear off a body part? Well, if what they say about the Amazon warriors is true I would get rid of the pain and throw a wicked javelin for doing so.

It feels like there is an anvil hanging off my breast. My body aches, I have a migraine, I keep getting chills. My stomach hurts so badly I do not want to eat, my stomach hurts because I haven’t eaten. I cannot win for losing. Am I complaining? Maybe I am. I don’t remember mastitis  ever being a this bad.

I’ve gotten mastitis four times now in my 48 month nursing career. I’ve taken antibiotics before, but I would really like to avoid taking antibiotics while Nohra is so young, and even if I wanted to fill a prescription, my primary care doctor is out on sick leave, for cancer. I called her office today, since it’s Friday, just in case the pain intensifies over the weekend (if that’s even possible), but they will not give me a prescription without coming in. The office is over an hour away, it’s closed on the weekends, and we have trouble making it to places 20 minutes away unscathed. I would just switch primary care providers, but my doctor referred me to my cardiologists, and finding a new provider could back up my appointments with my cardiologist. Sigh.

I’m putting hot compresses on it, massaging it although it feels like masochism. I’m still nursing from it, and trying to save as much energy as I can. I really don’t want this to get me down. I was feeling so good about being caught up and being able to get ahead this weekend. Two steps forward, three steps back. But I’m still committed this journey, and I’ll get where I want to be eventually.

Related Article

http://leakyboob.blogspot.com/2010/10/red-eyed-breastfeeding-monster-mastitis.html

 

I Should Feel Fine March 1, 2013

So far I am keeping it together…mostly.

I wouldn’t quite call it baby blues or postpartum depression.

I am just…slightly…less happy today. I also felt this way yesterday…and the night before.

The day before last I made my first true attempt to start back on my coursework for the Directed Study I’m taking this semester. I couldn’t find the time to read more than twenty words of my textbook. I felt like such a failure. I was so overwhelmed.

I’m doing wonderfully with the housework, and with keeping the girls on their daily homeschooling schedule, I’ve stayed caught up with the bills (which I’m paying primarily with my school loans, though we did eventually qualify for some government aid and, though my politics disagree with welfare on the whole, we would be a lot worse off without at the moment).

Things are okay. Quite honestly. I should be happy. There aren’t any dishes in my sink. I only have one load of cloth diapers waiting for me to fold. Nohra was NINE POUNDS at her one week checkup! My milk is so abundant that next week I’m going to start donating it to women who have lower supplies. I should feel fine!

20130227_135210

But I don’t. I’m feeling kind of low.

I’ve tried not to think about my husband…my…I don’t know what else to call him. I mean, he is still my husband, for the time being. Although I haven’t seen or spoken to him since May, and although I filed for divorce in August, and although he’s being charged with a felony for what he did to me, I still call him my husband. He will probably keep that title indefinitely.

I’ve tried to stay in good cheer and not spend too much time considering the things I haven’t been able to accomplish. My midwife tells me to go easy on myself. She says to keep in mind that it has only been a bit over one week since I gave birth and the fact that I’m even keeping up with the girls’ schedule is amazing. She says that most women find caring for three children difficult even when they have a partner’s assistance, so I shouldn’t get upset with myself for not being able to do everything so soon after the birth.

I am upset with myself though. I’m upset for not being able to find the time to accomplish more coursework before the birth. I’m upset that I’m not finding the time and energy to accomplish everything now. I am not upset at my babies; not one of the three. They are everything wonderful to me. I am upset that I cannot spend more time and energy on them exclusively.

Being upset doesn’t help anything really. It motivates me somewhat to do better the next day, but ultimately it just highlights everything I haven’t done. My midwife says to try focusing on the things I have been able to do, and to try to feel good about that. I’m trying, but it isn’t easy to disregard the growing mound of additional obligations.

I know that I will get through this. I know that I will be strong. I just wish the days were ten more hours long.

 

Just A Tad Bit Overwhelmed October 3, 2012

I should be balancing my checkbook.

I should be doing my reading for my Column Writing course.

I should be writing my paper for Teaching College Composition that’s due on Friday.

I should be reading the 300 pages worth of material that I need to have read by Friday for Teaching College Composition.

I should be writing the Blog Post that was due on Tuesday for Teaching College Composition.

I should be drafting the 6 page Idea Generation Assignment that I have to complete for Column Writing by next week.

I should be writing the paper that is due for Teaching College Composition on Friday, October 12th, because between October 6-11 I will be busy with a four-step peer review process during which I will complete four mini-papers and will not have time to start a new one.

I should be comprising an email to the people who hosted the Printing Facility Tour field trip for the organization I’m President of, to tell them how much we appreciated them and enjoyed it.

I should be emailing the chair of the department to see if he’ll override the restriction to do more than two Directed Studies.

I should be filling out my Master’s Project proposal.

I should be filling out my applications for for my MFA and my PhD for fall 2013

I should be filling out my attorney log (my spreadsheet of times we’ve talked, emailed, or texted so that I can have a detailed record of it, so that when I get her bills I can compare everything).

I should be folding my laundry. I should be washing more laundry. I should be drying more laundry. I should be making more laundry detergent because I’m dipping into my stash.

I should be cleaning the gerbil cage…again. It always stinks to me, even though I clean it twice each week.

I should be running another load of dishes. I have to make more dishwasher detergent first. I should be doing that.

I should be planning the girls’ outfits and lunches for school tomorrow.

I should be contacting the people I plan to interview for my next column which is due in a few weeks.

I should be ordering a few boxes of checks.

I should be working on my Master’s Project now to make less work for after I deliver Baby # 3

I should be more active with blogging. Reading other people’s posts. Commenting when things intrigue me.

I should be cleaning the bills, homework, papers from the girls’ school, and whatnot off of my kitchen table.

I should be resting, because I am under the weather, and my throat is hoarse.

But I do not have time to rest, because there’s too much that I should be need to be doing.

I should get going…

 

 

[Insert popular lyrics from classic rock song about school here] September 17, 2012

Lately I wonder if sending them to school is actually more consuming than keeping them home. I no longer have the option to keep them home, as life goes, but I think now about all of the people with the financial stability to stay at home, but still choose to send their little ones off to school. True, it gives you a few hours to tidy up the house and prep for dinner. You may even be able to get some shopping done, or blogging, or have the chance to contact that long forgotten friend, exercise!

Still. I hold tight to the pride of educating my children, I miss homeschooling them (and I sincerely miss sleeping in)!

Getting ready for school entails:

Having the girls bathed, hair braided, and in bed by no later than 10pm: I wish I could get them to bed by 8pm, but that just doesn’t happen around here yet. I have to be awake by 5am and I typically wait until 6am to wake them. Back when we stayed at home they’d sleep a good 10-12 hours straight, but those were the old days. I have to braid their hair because if I fail to we all suffer in the mornings. The girls do not like having their curls detangled and I don’t like the hassle. If it has been braided I simply have to undo the braids and give them a headband or redo the braids with hair ties and barrettes.

Having their lunches packed (and sometimes breakfast, and sometimes snack – depending on what their school is serving): My daughters don’t have allergies, but they’ve been on a fairly strict diet since they were babies and I don’t intend to let their school attendance ruin that. Every week the chef makes me a copy of the upcoming week’s lunch schedule. I look it over and decide which items they will be allowed to eat and which items I will be substituting. I try not to be too picky, but we do not eat much gluten, we limit sugar, and we stay away from nitrates in our home. We eat organic and local foods whenever possible, and I don’t want school to become associated with juice boxes, high fructose corn syrup, and starchy noodles.

I cannot simply plan their breakfast, lunch, and snack, but I have to prepare for dinner as well. If I’m allowing them to have gluten for breakfast that means they will not be having it for lunch or snack or dinner. I do this with my own packed school lunch as well. It is consuming, but I am satisfied in knowing that I’m sending them to school with healthy choices.

Having their homework done: Don’t teachers know that sending a three and five year old home with an assignment means the parents are being given an assignment? As if I don’t have enough homework of my own to do. I know, I know, it’s teaching them responsibility, and goodness forbid we don’t get a sticker on the homework chart!

Having their backpacks packed: Packing backpacks is simple enough, but I have to make sure to wash the linen every weekend so that their washed fitted sheets and blankets are ready to be taken (in labeled, plastic storage bags, of course). I put their backpacks in the trunk before waking them.

Having their clothes picked out: It’s bad enough that one of them is going to scream and cry no matter what reassurances I give her about possible upcoming enjoyment. If clothes are not laid out on the couch in the correct order of wearing (underwear, shirt, pants, socks, accessories) we are going to be late and I am going to miss my train to MY school. So far so good. I have the girls pick out their school clothes right after they brush their teeth the night before we need them. If they refuse to do so then I get to choose everything they’re wearing the next day, and they aren’t allowed to complain.

Having a mother who has had enough sleep to get up in the morning and make the magic happen again: We’re working on that…good night!