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Currently Browsing: Midlife Motherhood

Our Parents and Ourselves

Anne Lamott said “Write as if your parents are dead.” In an attempt to save people from your truth, you censor yourself from writing about your pain. This pain has made you you and may have been caused by them. And this mutes your most important story. And now Their Shames have become yours. You were made complicit to their crimes against themselves and to you. If you tell, you’ll be bad. Ungrateful. Naughty.

She added, this, “Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, “We *told* you not to tell.” But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on.”

I say, let them sue me. I’ve got nothing left to lose. I’m not that close to my parents. Is my debt payed off. Or do I have to keep the shame silence to their grave and then tell all.

I hardly ever speak about my family. Once when I did, I got calls from both of them to let me know they did not appreciate being spoken of. Even if what I said was true, that’s not what we do. And I got another call out from my Aunt blasting me for my lack of gratitude. I’ve been given so much, that should buy my devotion and silence.

I feel my heart ache when I read stories about people who are close to their parents. Who grieve the loss of their parent as a piece of themselves leaving the earth. I feel for and admire them for their grief. Perhaps I should say envy them.Our Parents and Ourselves on Shalavee.com

Maybe Anne Lamott had self-involved parents too.  I have yet to delve into her works as much as I might like. Got busy birthing a baby right around the time when women start their introspective reading journeys in earnest. 

I am trying my hardest to make sure that my daughter and son both know I love and support them, that what they seek in the world is both out there and inside them. I am just a cheerleader. It’s about them not me. Khalil Gibran’s poem ‘Children’ says it all:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite.
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hands be for happiness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable.

Do your best and let go of the rest. If you’re not helping, you’re hurting. And do unto others…

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The Next Right Thing But Quicker

I’m still struggling with how to do the next rightest thing by my Mom. She’s been out of the hospital for a month. Progress is slow and on her terms. She shrieks and grouses when I attempt to move on to places she’s afraid of. The layers of neglect and chaos are so deep. When you speak with her, all of that is invisible. But I know.

Let’s get real. Holidays are coming. I am the holiday maker, tree decorator, present purchaser, and stocking overlord. That special event is exhausting enough.

And I’m about to do a soft relaunch of my blog. I feel slightly nauseous but happy.

But my house is clean and my toenails are painted. I’ll have my SI joint pain taken care of by Christmas and my hand carpal tunnel operations after that. I keep following the breadcrumbs to my wellness and self-care no matter what.

As women, we know if we don’t take care of it, it might not get taken care of. That includes our family and ourselves. And if I don’t get people to do it themselves and ask for help, then they won’t know how to take care of themselves without me. But that applies to my spawn only and not to people are mentally unwell.

All I can say is that I gather tremendous strength in knowing I have such a supportive community. I know I have given when it has been needed and feel so lucky that I am being gifted the same.

This too shall pass, I just wish it would go a little quicker.

 

Interested in reading my future ponderings on Creative Soul Living? Subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my weekly posts via your emailbox.

Find me on Instagram to see my daily pictures,

friend me or like my page on Facebook.

Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too.

I am a community kinda person and am always practicing Intentional Intouchness.

I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

I Will Not Ask Your Permission to Parent You

As you may know, we now have an official teenager in our home. Not the 13-year-old wanna be teen. Not the emerging effort teen. We have the full out hormones are making me weird and mindless teen. And no matter what you say, there are certain things I will not accept as normal for a teen.

This is a kid who was so good I used to say he needed a day where he had permission to just be bad all day. He was polite if not thoughtful. Sure Dad, yes Mom. And then, girlfriend, lockdown, and his demands to make his own decisions about his use of “his” phone (paid for by us) hit our house like a hurricane.

That way he would camp out on the sofa, rubbing his stinky head into my couch pillows and leaving his chaos and trash in his wake, was upsetting. So I came up with the dice jar and the driving carrot. That worked for about two weeks.

My husband lost it when, in one day, he spent 7-8 hours straight on the phone. And routinely would just forget any of the chores that we asked of him. The good student was now going to bed at 2 am and sneaking his phone up to his room when that was literally the only rule I had, no phones upstairs.

Two weeks ago, I had had it. His insolence, his arrogance, and his swearing off of the phone if he couldn’t use it the way he wanted. I said time to get a landline then. Pull it. I was unimpressed with all of it. He asked to write us an essay about what he was thinking. And I wrote a rebuttal.

You are correct in saying that you are very responsible in many many ways. Perhaps I do not always see these actions or I take them as for granted as you take me. The respect and consideration that you think you deserve isn’t the same you exhibit.

Your privilege leaves a small wake of chaos behind you. Waste and messy spaces do not look like honor and respect of yourself, your home, or the people you share it with.

When you regularly forget chores, your disregard for how it affects others could be remedied if you were aware your choices always affect others.

The respect of our house and our rules while you live here is non-negotiable. We all have to follow the rules of the road and the world and this is us ensuring that you understand how we value teaching you this and keeping you safe. We will not ask your permission to parent you. We love you too much.

Your old friend Mom.”

When my husband and I spoke before we had a follow up discussion with our son, we both agreed that we stood strong on the phone rules. Rules is rules. When he begins to drive, there are rules that will save his life. We agreed that we did not need to ask permission to parent and bemused the old quote, “management has the right to make bad decisions”. But the phone and all it’s content and liabilities still were in our name.

But what I really wanted to stress was that I honored my job as Mom and keeper of the house. This was a job I took very seriously and his disregard for how hard I worked to make this house a home was very distressing and very disrespectful.

So to all those people who say, Oh that’s just a teenager, I say that he came to my house and he needs to live by my rules. Sometimes this behavior may be predictable but not necessarily acceptable. I will not be intimidated by glowering and sulking. I think these are just tests again to see if he’s important enough to rein in. And I think I can show him both he and I matter in resolving this situation.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Self-care Sunday Thoughts

The rain has finally stopped and the blue skies are filled with cartoon exhaust clouds. My son’s friends are all happily yelling at the video game they are playing.

The smell of chili and banana bread permeate the house. Am trying to squelch the pain of my SI joint which has returned with Ibuprofen. And I’m trying to figure how best to continue engage in the impossible task of getting my Mother out of her house.

It keeps coming back to this. I wake in the morning and wonder what is the next best thing. I want to get her to where I can be nearby when inevitable disaster happens. I want to remove her from the hell she has created for herself. Of course, it’s the allure to save her. The same allure that had me dating and marrying my first husband. Dangerous booby trapped terrain that can never truly be traversed.Self-care Sunday Thoughts on Shalavee.com

Just like back in the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown, my self-care has slipped. I haven’t exercised in a while. My writing time is non-existent. I finally dyed my white hair roots and felt immensely better. How do all of life’s details fall on the shoulders of the womenfolk? But in the shadow of seeing the state of my mom’s house, I’m even more hyper aware of the mess in my own home.

All I can do, as I’ve been saying, is to do the next right thing. Prioritize myself. Sorry that you feel that way but I need to do this for me. Stay connected to my communities and schedule some creative time.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

An October ’20 Update

Let me catch you up dearest readers on what has blown up my life.

If you follow me on social media, you’ll already know that I have been dealing with my mother’s fall and her subsequent hospital visit.

But this story goes much much deeper for me as many mother stories do.

I have been called back many any times in my life to take care of my mother. I’ve cleaned her house. I’ve euthanized her cats. Anything and everything to return to rescue her from herself. And I’ve carried a huge resentment around for it all.

My mother has a disorder disorder. She is a hoarder. The stuff is in her house in all horrible ways. And her house smells. Because she is a cat hoarder too. She allowed many cats into her house and they trashed the place.an Oct 2020 update on Shalavee.com

And I am a kind person who didn’t want my mother to return home from the hospital to the filth … so I cleaned. I also decided that I was not going to hold her shame as my own. That is what codependent people do with addicts. And I promised myself I’d only go and do this if I made sure everyone knew.

So now you know. It will be a long and painful road to get her out of that house, if I even do before she hurts herself again. And I have promised I will keep doing the next right thing.

My own life seems so less complicated comparatively. All those things that I was angsting about are so unimportant right now. I don’t care how big my belly has gotten or how my creative life has stalled. All I care about is washing my daughters beautiful strawberry blond hair and reading her a bedtime story.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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