Sustainably Single Parenting

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

Blogging Hiatus June 21, 2013

I love this blog.

A little less than one year ago Sustainably Single Parenting (SSP) began. My goal was to be candid about my life as things progressed; from the end of my relationship with my abusive husband to whatever lied ahead for me and my kids. I was pregnant, in school full time, broke, and terrified. I wasn’t sure if I’d be homeless by the end of my pregnancy, I wasn’t sure how I’d manage to pay for things. I lived on two-four hours of sleep almost every night. But three nights a week I’d write.

I’d write about what I was feeling, how I missed him, how I grieved. I’d write about the children, their transition, and counseling. I’d write about my terror, and my methods for finding peace. I’d write about the disappointment of losing a dream. And through everything, people listened. People read, and reached out, and responded, and gave advice. People showed genuine empathy, told their stories, gave encouragement, and helped me to revitalize my self-confidence.

This blog has been a lifeline, a therapeutic outlet for me. It has been a chance for me to come forward about my situation, and hopefully, to inspire other victims to find the strength to leave their abusers. This blog has been a way for me to connect with amazing people, read heartwarming and heart-wrenching stories, and stand strong as a survivor who is certain of her ability to thrive.

I do not plan to give up blogging. I will return to SSP. But for awhile, I’ll have to take a break to work on other things. I’m in my last semester of graduate school, and though I only blog two days each week, finding the time and energy to keep on that schedule while single parenting three babies and taking two classes and maintaining a household is proving much too stressful. I want to keep telling my story, keep connecting with readers and meeting new people, keep on helping the DV community in some small way.

My plan is to come back once I graduate (August 2013) or sooner if I can manage to find more balance before I finish my Master’s degree. Until then, you can stay updated on our journey via Twitter. I hate to have to leave, but I have to sacrifice some things if I want to graduate without repeating my last semester. I’ve come this far…I have to do what is necessary for me to finish.

I know you all will understand. I will miss you until I blog again 🙂

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Great Expectations May 31, 2013

Some terribly unrealistic force of optimism cursed me during my pregnancy. This mystical force convinced me that I’d be capable of achieving everything I set my mind to accomplishing. I was so certain of this power being mine that it confuses me every time I’m forced to accept reality. My reality these days is quite bleak.

I wake up early to get going before my girls get out of bed.

I have energy and big plans for getting through my to-do list.

But… the baby wakes up as I’m doing my morning chores and I spend 30 minutes or more nursing her back to sleep.

Then, just as I’m leaving the baby, my middle daughter wakes up with the energy of five elephants trapped  in a room full of mice, and wakes the baby.

I calm the baby, play with my preschooler, and go about doing my morning chores with “help” from my second born.

My oldest daughter wakes up, typically in a bad mood with a bad attitude, and gets things moving downhill at an accelerated rate.

They eat breakfast, and I keep cleaning, and somehow through it all I still believe I’m going to get a lot done.

Then, before I’ve had the chance to catch a breath, it’s time for lunch.

I create, serve, and clean up lunch, and then I try to get some homework done, but alas…my big girls need rest and cannot play without fighting.

They also refuse to rest.

This makes my outlook on the rest of our day take a nosedive.

Two hours later, after many failed attempts to get them to do anything together without fighting, I realize that my attempts have been in vain because all they want to do is play with me.

I play. I enjoy their company. I play for as long as I can without having to leave to feed the baby or work on something.

But it is already nearing dinner time, and I am running out of energy fast.

I yawn through dinner. I clean their plates.

We do bedtime business and I promise myself I’ll stay up after they’re in bed to get my work done.

I am too tired throughout the day to stay up late to finish things.

I realize that this is my reality.

I am too tired to freak out, but if I weren’t I’d be screaming, “How the hell am I going to pass two graduate courses on top of all this?!”

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

Nobody Said This Was Going To Be Easy March 15, 2013

I am incredibly overwhelmed.

I put off my coursework to care for my kids.

I do my housework since I’m not doing coursework.

I put off my housework to do my coursework.

While doing my coursework my kids wreck the house.

The baby will not let me put her down.

I am constantly nursing, changing diapers, leaking milk, burping, soothing, being spit up on, peed on, pooped on.

I am constantly serving meals, washing dishes, pre-washing cloth diapers, grooming my children, educating my children, feeling guilty that I cannot find the time for educating myself, running errands, running myself into the ground.

I want to cry like my baby. Her cry is so committed, wholeheartedly unabashed.

I want someone to hold me, to rock me, to love me, to shhhhhhhh in my ear while I cry.

I want so badly for things to be alright.

 

 

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!

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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.

 

New Posting Schedule January 21, 2013

Filed under: Mama Moments — Jet @ 11:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

PlannerSince I began this blog I’ve maintained a posting schedule that I’ve been fairly proud of. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday one could rely on their being new content available. The blog has been both difficult to maintain and an avenue for growth and healing. My situation is consuming, and I rarely sleep, but I enjoy what I do here and I hope I am helping others, even if it’s in a very small way.

However, I have come to terms with my inability to maintain my three day/week posting schedule for the time being. With baby coming in three weeks and my nesting frenzy, my graduate courses continuing, my other two daughters needing constant care, affection, and education, and the endless onslaught of chores, I will not be able to continue producing quality content as often as I have been.

This will be my last week of posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until things calm down a bit for me. I imagine it will get easier a few weeks after the baby is earth-side, and that I will not forever be burdened by the stress of court cases. Maybe my insomnia will even be cured soon?! Well…one step at a time I suppose.

I plan to only reduce my posting schedule by one day per week, but at this moment I am not sure which two days I’ll be posting. I will put this information on my About Page once I’ve made a decision. I look forward to maintaining this blog and the connections I’ve made through it in the blogging world. There is still so much to share and discover.

Our journey has just begun.