Archive for the ‘childhood’ Tag

Don’t call your daughter the “c” word. *Warning-not nice words listed here.   4 comments

Today I gave my toddler a bath. Like most toddlers, he loves bath time. He would stay in the tub until his entire little body turned into a prune. While I was pregnant with him, one of the things I looked forward to was bath time with my little fella.  This led me to register for all the bath toys I could find…and our friends and family delivered. We have more bath toys than the bath toy aisle at Babies R Us. I have put most of them in the bath tub with him and there’s barely room for him. He could loves it. He plays with the little boats, arranges the Sesame Street characters along the side of the tub, and sticks his ABCs and 123s on the wall. I can’t even mention the word bath in this house without him freaking out with excitement. And, you best believe if we mention the word bath, we had best be preparing his water or holy hell will break loose.

Today was no different from any normal bath day for him. He was excitedly playing with all of his toys, trying to drink the water, and talking a mile a minute to his toys and me. I had my little baby in a bouncy chair out in the hallway so I could keep my eye on him. Halfway through my son’s bath, my little baby woke up and was ready to nurse…ahead of schedule (seems to be a theme lately – this kid must be HUNGRY). I turned around to grab my little baby out of his seat so I could sit on the toilet and nurse him while watching my older son play. As I was removing him from his seat, my back and legs became wet. I turn around and my toddler was laughing hysterically and has one of his little boat toys dipped in the water ready for another shot at mommy. He throws another round of water at me and it gets me and the little man wet. Instead of laughing, I got pissed. I raised my voice at my toddler and told him to stop it. Before I could grab the boat from him, he did it again, soaking the bathroom floor and a basket of towels and extra bath toys I have in there. I was honestly mad. I took the boat from him and told him it was time to get out of the bath and yelled that he was a bad boy. He then grabbed the wash cloth that was full of water and started flinging it around adding more water to the bathroom floor and my feet. I raised my voice even louder and told him to stop. Then, I realized, OMG, I sound like my parents. WTF is wrong with me? It’s a bathroom and it’s just water. He’s having the time of his life and I’m yelling at him before it.

So, I quickly apologized to him and gave him a kiss. Luckily, I do not think he was phased by me yelling at him…thank you God. I sat down on the wet toilet and nursed my son and let my toddler continue his bath time fun. I analyzed my actions. I cried just a little. What had caused me to freak out? I mean, I was really yelling at this kid for the most stupid thing. Then, I realized, this is something I’m going to battle my entire lifetime as a mother. I’ve unfortunately inherited a bad temper and the ability to freak out on a moment’s notice about nothing. Thank you Mom and Dad. Awesome.

Today is another day where I struggled between choosing the loving, kind, optimistic version of myself standing on one shoulder versus my parents who are standing on the other. In this situation, I acted like my parents used to when I was little. I flipped out on my precious little boy for nothing. It hurt and I didn’t like it one bit. It brought back a flood of memories that I don’t think I wanted to deal with today.

When I was growing up (between the ages of 5 and 16 or so), I have vivid memories of my parents screaming at me, beating me, screaming and beating each other, and cussing like sailors. I was beat for things that my little toddler did today. One time, my mom had my brother and I in the bath together (I was around 7 and he was about 2) and I threw a bath toy at him. I have no idea if I did it on purpose, but even so, I did not deserve what I got for it. My mom yelled at me and slapped me and I came back at her and told her to stop (you have to understand she did this on a daily basis and even my 7 year old self was tired of it and knew it was wrong). My dad heard what was going on, came in the bathroom, removed my brother from the tub, took off his belt, and beat me…naked. All the while my little brother was watching, crying. I had belt marks on me for days.

One time, I wet my pants in the middle of my bedroom floor, and was beat with the buckle side of the belt for that. Ouch. My mom threw shoes at me, and my dad chased me behind the bed and into corners and beat me with the belt. I can still picture the corner of my room and can still remember crouching down into the tightest position I could get to minimize the parts of my body that would be hit.  Now, I realize that many people believe in spanking children…to each his own. But, I was beat people. I was made to wear long sleeve shirts even when it was warm out to cover up the welts. In my book, this was not punishment, it was abuse.

Not only was I beat with the belt and hit with shoes, I remember a few instances of being pinched and having my hair pulled by my parents. And, one time, when I was 16 years old, I stayed after work and talked to some friends in the parking lot for 30 minutes and got home later than my dad expected me to, and I was dragged up a flight of 6 carpeted stairs so hard that the skin was ripped away from my kneecap. I was then dragged down the hall of my house and thrown into my bedroom….at 16 years old! I understand I was home later than I should have been, but I wasn’t doing drugs or drinking or any of the like. I was talking to some friends. My dad had even called my job and they told him I was in the parking lot talking to friends because they could see me. I did not deserve what I got. The next day we had family portraits with my dad’s new wife’s family, and I had picked out a shirt and skirt to wear. I still wore it and wore white hose with the skirt, and you could see the huge bandage on my knee. My step-grandparents asked me what happened, and my dad had already threatened that if I told anyone I would get it worse, so I told them I fell at work. I hated lying. I hated covering up my bruises. For years I wanted to tell what was happening to me, but I was always threatened by my parents that if I told, I would be beat within an “inch of my life.”  To this day, I still have no idea what that means, but at the time, it sounded awful and I believed them.

In addition to the physical hurt my parents bestowed on me, I was also hurt verbally. For as long as I can remember, my dad called me a cunt.  I can’t believe I even just typed that word.  It makes me sick to my stomach.  He called my mother and I that all the time.  I didn’t even know what it meant when he first started…I was probably 7 or 8 years old the first time I heard it.  7 or 8 – still in elementary school!  Who does that?!  That was the worst, but I was called every name in the book…all the way from ingrate to mother fucking bitch.  I’ve never written those words out before – it really makes me uncomfortable to do so.  I have that little knot in the back of my throat when I think about it.  My dad wasn’t the only one doing the name-calling.  My mom did the same thing, but for some reason it hurt worse coming from my dad.  My mom had always mistreated me, but there were times when I felt like Daddy’s Little Girl and when he treated me so.  I desperately wanted to be his little girl.  But I felt more like an inmate and he was the warden…which makes sense because he has been in law enforcement for most of his adult life.

So, back to today.  I didn’t call my son any names and I did not hit him, but I yelled at him…for something stupid.  It scared me.  I don’t want to be like that.  I will NOT do what my parents did to me.    I hated them for it, and it still hurts to this day to even think about it.  I understand that my son will need to be corrected and disciplined.  I’m certainly not going to set him up for a lifetime of doing what he wants and walking all over people, but I’ve learned from my experiences that beating your children and calling them names only meant for the scum of the Earth is not the answer.

My son is napping right now, and I plan to give him a big hug when he wakes up.  I love both of my sons more than life itself.  I’d die for them and I want them to feel so much more love than I ever felt as a child.  I do not want them to have memories of me yelling at them, calling them names, hitting them, or any of the like.  I do want them to respect me, and I believe they will, only if I show them the same respect in return.

I guess I should thank my parents for teaching me how NOT to parent.

Love your children.  They are precious and innocent beings.  Don’t take your time with them for granted.  It goes by quickly.  Don’t mistreat them, they will only hate you for it.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

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Break the cycle.   Leave a comment

Today has been a good day.  We had some visitors  today and my older son had a great time playing with them.  While he and my little baby were napping this afternoon, my husband and I worked more on his big boy room…hanging pictures, moving his things in from the nursery.  It’s really coming along and it makes me a little sad.  I still remember the very weekend my husband painted the nursery.  Afterall, it was only a little more than a year and a half ago…and now another kid is moving into it.  It is slightly shocking.  I never would have imagined that day that he painted the nursery that less than two years later we’d have another baby boy waiting in line to use it.

Speaking of flashing back, I often go back to the day that we announced our first son’s name at our co-ed baby party we had about a month before my due date.  It was a surreal moment.  Even though I knew there was a baby boy in there and we had already named in, I had not connected with him and couldn’t fathom what life would be like when he was a part of our family.  Now I can’t get enough of him.  Tonight at dinner, my husband accidentally (or perhaps intentionally) let out a pretty sizable poot, and my older son proudly exclaimed “poo pood!”  I literally choked on my food and my husband almost choked on his drink.  It was one of the best moments we’ve had as a family.  My son has already been letting us know whenever he poos by announcing “I pood”  Man, we are proud.  I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be proud of someone for announcing that they shit their pants.  I love parenthood.

I’m looking forward to hundreds, hopefully thousands, more moments like we had tonight.  But, in order to ensure I have those moments, I have to break the cycle…

See, there are a few reasons I started this blog.  One, to help me out with some areas in my life that I’m challenged with – mainly my pessimism and the stress I put on myself by constantly worrying.  Two , to connect with other parents and share advice, funny moments, and talk about life.  And three, to help me come to terms with the abuse I experienced as a child.  I realize I could keep a private journal or see a therapist, but I’m not a Dear Diary kind of girl and I’m not that interested in talking to a stranger about my issues.  I know that sounds funny since I’m writing a blog anonymously and sharing it with people I’ve never met…I totally get that that’s weird.  But, I’m ok with that.

I come from a divorced family…like most of us these days.  My parents divorced when I was 14 years old, and although it was a horrible experience at the time, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  I come from an abusive home, and am a product of two people who I believe never really loved each other.

My parents got married at 18 years old.  My dad had a scholarship to a local university, and instead of taking that scholarship and earning a degree, he chose to marry my mom.  In knowing my mother and how manipulative she is, I firmly believe that she manipulated my dad into getting married instead of going to college.  I know that my dad could have made his own choices and I don’t think he was forced to walk down the aisle at gun point, but there had to be some reason why he threw away that scholarship.  Perhaps the pregnant card?  I’ll probably never know, but I am certain that they never truly loved each other.   My mom never had any college ambitions, and coming from a broken home herself, she wanted to get away and be taken care of.  I can’t say I blame her.  She too comes from a pretty f-d up situation.  Her mother left my mom, her little brother, and their dad when they were very young children, and ran around with several different men for many years.  She was basically the town whore and my mom and her brother knew it and heard it being talked about.  My grandmother left her children with their dad, who really didn’t want much to do with them either.  He then in turn asked his own parents to raise his children. WTF.  So, my mom and her brother were raised by her paternal grandparents…who were saints.

Flash forward several years later when I was born.  Just a couple of months after, my own mother left me in my crib while my dad was working a 24 hour shift.  She ran around town for a week with a guy and had apparently decided that parenting me was way too much to deal with.  My dad called in reinforcements and had his parents help out.  He begged and pleaded my mother to come back  and she did.  Not long after, my dad  cheated on my mom to get revenge, and they repeated this cycle for approximately 14 years.

In the early 90s, we moved from to a new town and bought a bigger house.  My mom had to work to help pay the bills.  She found a job she liked, had a little spending money of her own, and discovered some independence she had been missing for a few years.  This soon led to a new love interest in her life.  She had a public affair (we come from a small town, so any affair is public), and my brother and I watched it all unfold right before our very eyes.  We even met the man before my dad ever knew about him.  He was supposedly a man of God, and yes, this affair happened on the grounds of a Baptist church.  Once dad found out about him, he still begged my mom to stay, but she jumped ship, and for eight years, my brother and I did not have a relationship with her.  I honestly thought I’d never see her again, and after a couple of years I began to get comfortable with the idea.

My dad brought in his reinforcements again and my grandparents raised my brother and I for about two years until my grandfather was diagnosed with colon cancer.  They were wonderful and I owe my life to them.  More specifically, I will never know a more giving person than my grandfather…ever.  He unselfishly gave of his time, the little bit of money that he made, and all the love in the world.  He taught me how to play poker, how to drive, how to fish, and how to love.  I am a decent driver, an ok fisherwoman, and a beach lover because of him.  I can forgive people because of him.  I am who I am because of him.  I lost my grandfather a few years ago to lung cancer, and I miss him every day.  I am reminded of his presence every day when I put on my engagement ring, which is a story I will save for later.

After my grandparents left so my granddaddy could fight his cancer, my dad then found his own independence…and several women.  Now my dad was the talk of the town.  Super fun for my brother and I in the small town we lived in.

So, there you have it.  This is a very small glimpse of the various chapters in my life that I’d like to forget, but know I need to remember so I can let them go.

There is a common theme flowing through my family – abandonment.  And it appears to happen only after children are thrown into the mix.  So now it’s on my shoulders to break the cycle.  And, I will stop at nothing to do that.

I look forward to writing about these chapters.  There are a lot of details I do not want to relive, that I have buried deep down, that I’ve only shared with my husband and one or two other people, and I truly think it’s going to feel good to get them out on paper..or I guess I should say on the internet…  My parents should have never married, or procreated.  And now, 4 marriages and several ex-step siblings and broken families later, I plan to share all of the sad details why.

Thank you for reading.  It’s crazy how therapeutic it is knowing I’m sharing with an audience of strangers.  I guess that means I don’t have to hold back, right?

Well, it’s off to bed. Only one week of maternity leave left with my precious boys.  I would give my left leg to have another 12 weeks with them.

Good night, sweet dreams!

All the best,

Someone’s mom

It’s a beautiful day.   Leave a comment

It’s so pretty outside in my part of the world. It should be in the 30s and 40s this time of year but right now it is almost 70 degrees. I love it; it makes me ready for spring…and more importantly, summer vacation in the OBX (that’s Outer Banks for all of you on the West Coast). However, as much as warm weather excites me, I don’t want the days to speed by. See, aside from working on my patience, constant worry, and obsession with cleanliness, I’m learning to slow down. We’ve all been there in our childhood and teen years where we wish for nothing more than to be grown ups and on our own. However, it does suck a little when we get here…no more parents to pay the bills! Joking – it doesn’t suck that bad and in fact, it’s really fantastic. Anyway, I’ve learned to slow myself down and am really trying to live in the moment as much as I can. This is hard for me because I’m always looking forward. For example, I can’t wait for the day when my husband and I are debt free…which is a long time from now. We are on a plan to make that happen and it’s a long plan. I keep thinking how awesome it will be when we get there, but then I realize my kids will be starting school then and won’t be my babies anymore, and I’m not ready for that. So, until then, we’ll be in debt and live paycheck to paycheck but enjoy the hell out of our children.

I think I get this trait of always looking forward from my Dad. My Dad is prepared for anything and everything, but mostly his death. He has his funeral plans laid out, his plot is purchased, his Will is in order, his life insurance policies are up to date, and I have copies of all of these things because he insists I am as prepared as he is for his own death. You’d think my Dad is in his 60s or 70s, but no, he just turned 50 not long ago. But, he’s been ready for death as long as I can remember. And, I can’t stand it. It’s so morbid. His mother is the same way…especially since my Grandfather died a few years ago. She always talks about how she’s ready to go, can’t wait for it actually. I can’t stand it and tell them to please stop talking about it. I remind them they are in the current state of LIVING and to enjoy LIFE and make the most of each day. My words are empty of course and they are still on the fast track toward their own deaths no matter what I say, and I feel sad for them. Life is amazing; so amazing in fact that sometimes it hurts me to think about how wonderful it actually is. Sure, there are so many negatives and so many challenges we all face, each different and each so important to us. But, at the end of the day, we have one LIFE to LIVE. One chance to get it right; one opportunity to seize the moment and enjoy it. And, I’m working on doing just that. Sure, we need to be prepared. My husband and I need to have a Will in place and make sure our things are “in order” but I refuse to focus on it and worry about it like my Dad and grandmother. But, for now, I’m going to enjoy my family and live in the NOW.

As I type this, I am listening to my wind chimes on the front porch and feeling the breeze from my open kitchen window (in February!!) sneak around the corner and hit me in the family room. My little one is drifting off for another nap in his swing, and my big little one is napping in his crib. I’m waiting for both to wake up soon and am hoping there will be enough light left in the day to take them for a stroll in the neighborhood.

I sure do love being on maternity leave. I’ve learned so much about my toddler and the little boy he is growing into, and even more about myself this time around. It has been a truly wonderful experience; I can’t believe it’s almost time to go back to work – 2 weeks. Luckily, I enjoy my job, so as much as I’ll miss my beautiful babies, I do not completely dread heading back to work. However, I did tell my husband last night that it sure would be great to only worry about taking care of my boys and the house, instead of worrying about the stress of my job. He said “I completely agree with you.” This is very rare – he NEVER agrees with me. He then said “it sucks to have to worry about stuff that’s not even a part of your life.” I get where he’s coming from – when I’m at work, it’s work and it’s about work. But, I also spend 40 hours per week there, so it’s also kind of part of my life…alas we agree to disagree on that. Anyway, throughout my time at home these past few weeks, I have questioned why I work and have thought many days about how nice it would be to be at stay at home mom and be with my boys every day and that moms who get to do that are so much luckier than me. But over the past week, I’ve learned that I work for my boys. They are my motivation to do well and succeed. I want to provide for them and I want them to learn the importance of hard work. I believe that if you give it your all at work and model yourself after others who are successful, then you too can be successful, no matter what line of business you are in. This is one of the good traits I inherited from my Dad – thanks Dad. He instilled the importance of hard work in me when I turned 16. He “gave” me our older car and said if I wanted to drive it, I needed to get a job to pay for the gas and oil. So, the next day, I packed up my brother and headed to the local amusement park and interviewed on the spot (with my brother in two no less) and started working for a place that became a part of my life for almost 10 years…a place that forded me the opportunity to make wonderful friends, achieve several promotions including the most coveted position at the park at one point, meet my husband, and learn a ton of life lessons (including how to fake it til’ you make it when dealing with the public!). Everything I learned there I have carried with me throughout my career and experiences from that park have been shared in every interview I’ve had since then, and have helped me to land a pretty amazing career. So, thanks Dad; I didn’t see it at the time, but making me go out and get a job as soon as I could proved to be extremely life changing for me.

Oh the randomness of my blog. This is why I love writing. I am free to express myself and choose whatever road I want to go down. I can take a thought and completely steer myself down any path I choose. I love how in a few short paragraphs I started with sharing the weather in my small part of our world to thanking my Dad for sending me off to get a job at 16.

So, now I want to hear from you. Are you on maternity leave? Love it or hate it? Ready to go back to work or about to send in the quitting papers? What did you learn from your first job? Did it change your life? I know mine did, and I plan to instill that same work ethic in my kids.

Enjoy your day in your part of the world – remember to slow down if you can. Why not take a minute and reflect on yourself? Would love to hear from you.

All the best,

Someone’s mom