Storm before the calm

Therapy for my soul. Bethel sunset
Therapy for my soul. Bethel sunset

Nothing like a crazy Friday morning.

We got here Thursday morning and picked the kids up. We got out swimming in. Costumes created. And trick or treated until the boys were exhausted.

Then came evening time. “Your going to school tomorrow.” Cries, wails and tears were storming our tiny hotel room. After a few minutes of tears, tossing, and turning it was all snores and sheeps jumping over the fence.

Little did I know that it was going to be a stormy morning. A had school early before the boys and she was out the door with slight tears, and and all was well after fruit loops. A out the door with no problems. While my hubby was out with A at school I got up ate my breakfast and had my coffee before shit hit the fan.

7:30 am and a bomb went off in the tiny quarters. N got up with a slight fight but was immediately ready to get to breakfast. E had a complete meltdown mind you this was before the storm hit me like a wet towel across the face. I got E out of bed, dragged him out the door. Instead of following he silently protested in front of the door. So like the good step-mother that I am I carried him like a 2 year down to breakfast only for him to silently protest at the table. Fine. Dont eat breakfast. N ate his breakfast silently as he began to plot his big escape.

We see the kids 3-6 months because it costs us an arm and a leg. So when we do see them we try and get the most out of our visit. Their thinking since we dont see dad lets convince we dont have to go to school on Friday, even after we missed M-Thursday because they were in Disneyland. Plan failed, miserably. Friday was a mess. Not because they ate too much Halloween candy the night before. Because they had to go to school after being on vacation for the entire week. Big mistake.

Back to breakfast. E sits there whining, crying. N finishes his bowl, instead of throwing it away walks to another table and silently protests. In my attempt to get him to listen,” I dont want to have to spank you in front of all these people. Put your bowl away… Okay… We can wait here till you put it away…” After about a good 5 minutes N walks up, grabs his bowl and throws it away and immediately storms off in the direction of the room. In those good 5 minutes I had chompy mc-chomperson sitting next to me as she ate her food so the whole room could hear… Thats a big no no, one of my pet peeves eating your food like a cow. So that only added to my frustration. I get up and follow N, and E takes his sweet to follow me. Fine. Dont eat. Dont follow your loss.

Get to the room. N has his forehead pressed to the door. “N want me to open the door?” No response. “Okay we can wait here all morning or until dad gets back.” No response. At this point E is 5 doors down the hallway slithering down, taking his time. Silently protesting still. Okay N dont want to move so I decide to fart right in front of the door. N farts. E farts. All three of us are laughing at this point but then immediately they are back to their sour moods. Fine. Im not opening the door I dont want to smell my yucky fart. I give E the key to open the door. E puts his shirt over his nose and walks in, N follows and then me. N gets in the room, plops on his fold-away bed and immediately begins to kick, scream into the pillow and begins to cry. E following his older brother lays on the bed next to him and tries to formulate tears. And I am sitting here laughing at the huge theatrical performance my 2 step-sons are putting on for me.

Okay. Dont get dressed wait for dad. N still kicking and screaming. E still hiding behind the pillow still attempting to formulate tears. And here I am enjoying my hotel coffee which is not the best quality but better than nothing.

Dad walks in. I give him the scoop. He raises his voice and scares them with spanks and boys are moving and getting dressed. “Boys want a lunchable to bring to school?” N answers angerily, “No,” and then follows E with the same response. Fine. I understand you dont want lunchables because I paid for them and got them for you the night before at your request.

“Im not going to school,” N protests. E follows without words but body language. In the meantime dad is using the boys room and N throws on his hat and attempts to escape out the front door. Afraid he is going to get stuck outside in the cold at 8 am I grab him and bring in the middle of the room. Upset he goes and sits besides the bed on the floor and continues to silently protest. E follows. Mind you E doesnt usually act like this but because his brother is why not follow.

Dad still in the bathroom. N begins to plan his escape, again… Ugh. Fine. I can play this game too. Fakes right, fakes left, jumps on the bed. I let him get ahead and then grab him. At this point I am holding his arm and his leg against the bed requesting that he please stop he is only making a fool of himself. He complies and returns to his nesting spot.

Dad gets out of the bathroom asks me if I am taking them. “No I am not taking them after the fun morning. We can go together.”

“N & E want a lunchable?” No response, only angered disgusted looks. “Fine.”

Finally 8:30 we are out the door. That was a fun 30 minutes for me. Drive to school. N claims he is going to his mothers after school. E will follow.

Only. School gets done and the boys are find and dandy… I wait at the hotel room because A, dad and I wanted to trick the boys into thinking I got rid of all their halloween candy because the way they were acting in the morning. I set up the video camera and all.

The boys enter. Halloween candy bags that I made for them are laying empty on the bed. The boys come in. Dad asks them what they are supposed to say. They both apologize for the fun morning the three of us all shared. Then the trick begins.

I reply, “Oh sheeh. Now I feel bad I got rid of all your halloween candy because I didnt feel like you deserved them.”

Silence. N goes to the bathroom. E just sits on the floor. No reply. No answer. Go get your bags and fold them up and set them aside. I ask, “E are you mad at me?” “No, its okay.” Although I can tell hes upset with me. And N gets out and it looks like he is about to wrestle somebody into submission. No response.

We let this go on for about 10 minutes because the attitudes were again sour. My husband looks at me and mouths he cant handle it. I cant handle it either because they are too sour to the bone. So we tell them and E immediately smiles, and N still looks like he wants to choke me. This goes on for about 5 minutes and then finally a smile is cracked.

The school ride was silence. N says he wants to go see his mom. His mom is nicer and he can convince her that he doesnt have to go to school. E is pissy face the whole time through all this. The boys get to school I say my good byes. All I get back is sour faces and scowls. I know this isnt the last time that I am going to see them.

Schools out. They get to the hotel room. Both have these shy smiles on their face, I can see in their eyes they feel bad. They both apologize. And the day goes on as if nothing happened. Kids for you. I tell you they drive you crazy but you cant live without them.

Nobody said parenthood was easy and nobody said being a step-parent was easy either. As much as I wanted to spank the boys Friday morning, or actually throw their candy away I held back because I dont want them to remember me that way. I am hard on them in my own ways but I love them as if they are my own.

Friday was done and over with. We ended the evening with Enders Game. My husband and I dont believe in spending thousand of dollars on snacks and soda. So we bring in the kids bags of halloween candy, and bottles of water. Nothing like spending $35 on a movie for 3 kid and 2 adults. Cha-ching! Ultimate save!

Whew. Boy, am I glad Friday is over and done with. That was definately one for the bag to always remember.

Love these damn kids. Oh Happy Days.

One of those days…

Just one of those days where you feel like just quitting.

It would be so much easier just to stop caring. And stop doing.

Oh, how easy it would be to stop. But you cant. You just have to keep going. If you were to stop, you fail. If you were to quit, whats the point?

Just keep swimming. Thats all I hear in my head.Image

I keep telling myself to hold it in, but I can feel the tears swelling up in my eyes. Just when you think things are looking up, they taking a nasty turn downhill. So fast. How do things like that just happen. From one mutter of a word, all of a sudden its World War III in my house.

Teenage boys are not easy. Teenage boys are not easy when they are not your own. Teenage boys are not easy when they are not your own, they are 16, and me just 10 years older. They are not easy when I am painted to be the bad guy. I am the terrorizer of my husbands previous relationship. Im the devil. Its not easy.

And today, was just one. of. those. days.

I think why not put on 8tracks classical/study and calm and soothe my mind. But it just makes it that much easier for the tears to flow.

Especially since I dont remember the last time I spoke with my mother. When did she last tell me she loved me? Im not her, and I never want to be here. Being present in my step-childrens lives is important to me and I make it a priority.

I feel like I am doing everything in my power to be the best step-mother. I am trying my best to raise a respectable teenage boy to be hard-working, honest, and fun-loving. But, yet all I get are door slams, mutters of utter disgust underneath his breath, and disrespect.

What am I doing wrong? What do I need to do? I feel like I am out of options. I have exhausted and I mean exhausted I am at the point of breaking and no return.

I know parenting is tough and repetitive. But how many times can I repeat myself? At some point, it sticks with them… Right?

I hope…

Breathe.

Just keep swimming.

I guess…

What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
Confucius

Never have I ever…

Never have I ever heard parenting was…

Easy.

Simple.

Straight-forward.

A piece of cake.

Never have I ever thought parenting involved…

Placing your child in front of a television to keep them “entertained.”

Choosing work over your child.

Choosing partying over your child.

I dont have children, but have I have 4 amazing step-children. The oldest lives at home and is a 16 year old teenage boy. Its not easy and everyday is an uphill battle but I continue to try. The three others live with their mother. Any chance we get we go and spend time with them. Phones set aside unless they are playing on them. Our attention is given to them 110%. Stories are read. Games are played. Hugs are given. I loves you are said often. We are present in the moment with them and it feels amazing. Those days spent with them are treasured and we count down the days until our next visit.

Its not easy to see them because of where we live. We live in a remote community 400 miles west of Anchorage. Our plane tickets round-trip are $400 each. To get a place to stay over the weekend costs us another $400. And then you calculate food our trip is easily $1500 if not more. Thats not including our cost of living here in my hometown of Bethel. Mortgage $1000, internet/cable/cell phones/home phone $450, electricty $120, fuel $350, water/sewer $100, and then you include groceries, and gas thats another $1500 a month easily. As you can see its pretty difficult, and you may ask why live here? Well my step son is graduating in 2 years and he has made this his home. It would be awfully hard to uproot him. So in the meantime we will tough it out and live out every moment to the fullest.

Parenting takes work, attention, love, guidance, fun and more. So put down your phones. Take the time and have fun.

Parenting is tough and it involves every part of your being. They need direction, guidance, love, and attention. They need direction to follow the right, or better path. They need guidance and advice. They need to be told “I love you,” everyday, and they need to be showered with love. They need to be given attention and played with.

What they dont need is to be placed in front of a television, given a phone to play with for hours at a time. They are the priority.

I know as a child of alcoholic. My mother chose booze over me my whole life. Its sad I have witnessed this type of treatment first hand. It kills me to see it happen…

Think about others. Think about your children. Dont place priority on a jug, or others.

Children should always be placed first before anything else.