Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Where Have I Been?

It’s time to play catch-up.  The past few months have been a wild ride.

As you know my mom is sick. The good news is she is not progressing downward. She is maintaining. That is a relief on all of us. Mom still has some bad days and is still getting weak. She has fallen a few times over the past months, but thank goodness there were no major injuries or hospital visits.

In the upcoming weeks she will have a procedure done to try and help with the fluid building up in her stomach area. We are hoping this will make Mom more comfortable and feel much better.

Dad is doing well. We had a scare with him about a month ago. He passed out and went to the hospital. Come to find out his pacemaker/defibrillator was not working right. He had a heart Cath done to make sure all was well. Thank the good Lord above there was no issues. The doctors corrected the pacemaker/defibrillator and he is good as new, well as new as can be at his age.  J

Now onto “the kid”. After he lost his job he fell into a deep depression with anxiety attacks. After months of him trying to cope by himself, he finally reached out for some help.

He is now seeing a therapist and through those visits we have discovered that he is just not a ‘quirky’ kid. He is on the Autism spectrum, very high functioning. Considering ‘the kid’ has gone to college (out of state), can hold a job and take care of himself.

All these years I thought I was raising a ‘quirky’ kid. Come to find out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This tore me apart. Finding out my parenting skills have been all wrong for him for the past 25 years.  Realizing I was blind to the things right in front of me.

The best part is I can change my parenting skills and he is finding the help he needs. The therapy is helping with is depression and anxiety. In August he is going for testing to verify where he falls in the Autism spectrum.

I love that he has not changed through this journey of discovery about himself. He has a few fears about what all of this means. The biggest fear is he is afraid others will treat him differently or less than. He is still the same quirky and smart kid we all love and adore. We now have an explanation why we raise our eyebrows at times with him.

About the job: I made it through my 90 day probation period. I am finally doing my job. The awkwardness is still there but I am either getting used to it or conforming.

The job is boring but at least I don’t take it home with me. I am still learning and the learning process stresses me out because I feel like I should have this job down by now.

The company is working with me with all the family issues going on. I am very grateful for that.

My supervisor is warming up to me. Killing her with kindness seems to be working.

The past 2 months I have been working 10 hour shifts and overtime on Saturdays. The stress of my finances is getting to me. Working all these hours gives me less time with my parents and ‘the kid’. I don’t like that at all.

At least I have a job to go to and complain about.

Even with all of this going on, it still doesn’t explain why I haven’t been blogging. You would think that I would/should have been writing about all of these issues and doing my own writing therapy. Sharing with others to help them and to get this stuff out of my own head and get some support.

Well, here’s the truth. I was not in a position to write. My brain was/is on overload. Writing was the furthest thing in my mind. Coping with my mom’s illness. Just wrapping my head around that issue was hard enough for me. Let alone the new job. Then discovering ‘the kid’ was falling apart. It was all too much for this little brain to handle.

I was not coping well. I was crying all the time, not sleeping, feeling run down and I felt yucky all the time. I finally broke down and went to the doctor. I was hoping that he would give me a ‘happy’ pill and I would be on my way.

Instead, I got a full work up. I had blood work done and few other tests. When all the test results came back, I found out that I have depression and anxiety (already knew that). I guess ‘the kid’ and I are too much alike. I have high cholesterol, I have developed type 2 diabetes and I have neuropathy in my feet.

WOW, I went to feeling crappy at 40 something to feeling real crappy and 70 in just a matter of minutes.

I did get a ‘happy’ pill, along with few more medications. I am not on insulin injections, thank the Lord for that.

Making the adjustments to taking medications every day and testing my blood sugar was a big deal. I had major side effects to a couple of the medicines. For a few weeks I was completely out of sorts. The side effects have worn off and the ‘happy’ pill is working and so is the diabetic medication. The high cholesterol med is still something the doctor and I are working on. That type of pill is not good for me….the side effects are too bad.

Because of all the stress I lost almost 30 pound before I even went to the doctor. I have changed the way I eat and I have lost a total of 47 pounds in the past 4 months.

My goal is to be off the diabetic medication in a year and be 100 pounds lighter.  Wish me luck.

So there you have it in a nut shell.  A little glimpse into my world the past few months and now you know why it’s taken me so long to get back to writing.

I am hoping that I will add a post a week till things get even better.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I have missed writing and I have missed all of you.

Please keep checking in. Leave me a note of encouragement or ask me a question. I could really use the support.

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Guest Writer: Jennifer-Christmas Time Is Here

Photo by: holiday.filminspector.co

Photo by: holiday.filminspector.co

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year.

If you grew up in the 70’s, you probably recognize those lyrics from the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas movie.  This simple song by Vince Guaraldi melts my heart every time I hear it.  It is not so much the little cartoon (though it is a great story of the true meaning of Christmas) that makes me wax nostalgic, but just the memories of a simpler time.

I have always been a pretty simple person.  I prefer Vanilla ice cream over Razzle Dazzle Berry Crunch.  I have worn the same fragrance for 10+ years.  I still have the comforter that my mom bought me in high school.  I use Ivory soap.  You get the drift.

The sound of those Peanuts kids singing the sweet Christmas song takes me back to when Christmas was just Christmas, not the fast-paced hoopla it is today. Our holiday was not jam-packed with extravagant parties, excessive shopping, and over-the-top decorating that began even before the Thanksgiving turkey left the table!  The song always brings to mind my own little family, my huge extended family, my church.  All those traditions we just called Christmas and did them out of love for Jesus and each other.

Photo by: lambfood.blogspot.com

Photo by: lambfood.blogspot.com

My mom and dad did a fabulous job of “Keeping Christ in Christmas” even before it became a thing!  Not one gift was ever opened on Christmas morning until Dad read Luke 2.  We had one Christmas record that contained only carols.  No “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” was ever heralded in our home! The entire holiday revolved around praising Jesus and helping others to do the same.  In a very real way it mimicked the very first Christmas where the angels, shepherds, and wise men worshiped Christ, the newborn king!  I am so grateful to my parents for instilling in me, that simple approach to this time of year.

I have so many other memories of Christmas, yet the simple ones remain my favorite.  My Aunt Brenda’s pumpkin cookies, Aunt Jane’s old fashioned decorations, Grandma Sherman’s house every Christmas Eve.  I can still hear the laughter, smell the ham, and feel the excitement of seeing all my cousins!  Christmas Eve was definitely crazy and loud, yet still quaint and…simple. The Christmas story was always read. A Charlie Brown Christmas was always watched by some of the kids.  Lots of hugs and “I love you’s” exchanged.  Lots and lots of simple happiness and cheer. Just the way I like it.

By Jennifer Michael

I am so glad Cousin Jennifer has decided to write another post for us. Thank you Jennifer for being a guest writer. I enjoy your perspective and writing skills. Can’t wait till the next one.

Leave your comments to let Jennifer know how much you have enjoyed her post. Let her know you want more.


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The Kid

 

The Kid at 18 months

The Kid at 18 months

I know today is not my normal day to post, But this week is special.

This week is my son’s 25th Birthday. There is no way I have a kid that is that old. Isn’t it a parent’s right to embarrass them? He has no idea I am writing about him. I will have him read this after I post. This way he has no say in what I write. I know…I’m a mean mom.

I know every parent says they have the best kids “EVER”, I am no exception. I have the BESTEST KID EVER!!!!

It’s just been the kid and I for a very long time. He has always been my biggest cheerleader. He is my son and I am proud to say he is my friend too.

We can chat for hours about nothing or about serious topics. We don’t always share the same views but I love that he doesn’t conform to what I think. (Most of the time)

He has a beautiful mind and he blows me away with his ideas. I would consider him an “idea man”. He has some great theories on how to rebuild our public school system, which needs some work in my opinion. He was ideas on new products and even new fuels.

I am his sounding board. He comes to me and shares his ideas, and I am the one that tells him his idea won’t work or challenge him to prove to me why the idea would work. We make a good team. His idea may be in the clouds and I am the naysayer.  You never know if one of those crazy ideas or theories will come into play some day. I’m hoping……he’s my retirement program.

Over the years we have had some ups and downs, but he continues to love his mom. He is so respectful towards me. He may not like me at times but he has never disrespected me. I must have done something right.

The Kid at 4

The Kid at 4

He is an old soul. When he was 4 he looked like a little man. He has always asked the hard questions and wanted the big answers. He never settled for the simple version that you can tell most kids.

At the age of 3 we were in the car having a nice summer Sunday drive and he asked me…How do you pray? I simply responded by saying, “you just talk to God like you do with anyone”. Thinking this would be a good enough answer for a 3 year old. Before I knew what was going on. He is yelling “HEY GOD” out the back window of the car at a stop light in town with about 20 people at a nearby ice cream shop.

I turn around and ask him what he is doing and without hesitation he responds…”I’m just making sure God hears me since He’s in heaven”. 

That’s when I knew my hand were going to be full for a long time and I needed to provide more concise answers to his questions. 

You know how most kids go through the “why” stage.  Where they are always asking why to everything you say or tell them. Well my son went through the “What’s that” stage for almost 2 years. This stage started when he could first put 2 words together. These were his first two words.

If I didn’t respond to his question he would ask “what’s that” till I gave him the answer he was looking for. This stage drove me nuts. It didn’t matter what it was, he HAD to know.  If he saw a real cow he would ask “what’s that”. If I was holding a piece of paper, I got the question. I couldn’t respond just by telling him it was paper. I had to tell him what color the paper was, what was on the paper, if the paper was for him or until he was satisfied with my response.

Thank goodness that was a phase and I no longer have to answer that question. I think I used up all my answers. He is still inquisitive but now he does his own research and I don’t have to hear….What’s That? (I kind of miss it)

The Kid at 16

The Kid at 16

He is a wonderful kid. I have never had to worry that he was hanging out with the wrong friends. Never had to worry when he was coming home or who he was talking to on the phone.

I always knew where he was and knew every friend he had. I didn’t even have to give him a curfew. He was always home at a reasonable time.

My kid is bright, inquisitive, respectful, caring, sweet, kind and handsome.

We lived a few blocks from an Aunt. He would go visit with her after school. They would talk and eat Popsicles. Our Aunt was sick and lived by herself. The kid loved his aunt so much that at 12-13 year old he would take the time and go visit with her because he wanted to. Not because I made him or even suggested. He did this on his own. I have to say, that is one of the sweetest things he has done.

He is an American history buff. He can talk your ear off about all the wars.

The kid likes meteorology. He can tell you when it’s going to rain just by looking at the clouds.

 He’s good at math. He passed a calculus course in college and never had a class in high school.

He likes to learn things on his own. He will study a topic for hours just to learn all he can. Not because he has too, but because he likes learning.

He loves physics. Now that’s a subject that he always has to explain to me.

He reads poetry to relax. He likes Emily Dickinson, Edger Allen Poe and Walt Whitman.

He loves cars. He can tell you almost every make/model and year of any car. His favorites are muscle cars from the 70’s. He has been a car fan since he was 10 months old.

He loves music. He listens to almost anything from classical to thrash. He’s not a fan of opera or rap.

I know I’m bragging but this will probably be the last time I will be able to do this in public. Because he’s going to hate me after I post this.

I have to say I am a lucky mom to have such a wonderful kid. I tell people God took pity upon me when He gave me The Kid. I think God looked down on me and thought….She isn’t the brightest crayon in the box, let me give her a good kid that won’t cause too many problems.

Whatever the reason, I am grateful and overly blessed to be this kid’s mom.

He is the best thing I have ever done with my life. He is constantly teaching me things and inspires me to be better. I love every minute of being your mom. I would do it all again, a thousand times over.

Thanks Kid for being such a great son. I will always be proud of you. I will always be in your corner.

I hope this year is your most fulfilling and successful year yet. Happy Birthday, Bud.

Hey!! Guess what?  Love you.  (Inside joke)

The Kid and me 2014

The Kid and me 2014


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Mediocrity = Expert

mediocrityOver the past year I have been looking at my life. I have come to the conclusion that I am just a mediocre girl.  Nothing special about me. I don’t stand out and I’m sure I’m not the first person people think of.

In high school I had average grades.  Playing sports I was an average softball and volleyball player. I was an average singer in choir. I never stood out or excelled in anything.

As an adult, I have held entry level positions and two tiny management positions. I am an average parent with no great skills. I’m an average daughter. I was an average wife. A not so great sister at times. I’m not the greatest cook.

I have no special skills in my bag of tricks. I fly by the seat of my pants to get things done. I make more mistakes than make the right decisions. I’m not a great listener. I need to put my listening ears on more often.

I am a below average photographer. A not so good writer/blogger. My creative mind is limited. Generally a one hit wonder. My humor is sarcastic and most of the time people don’t get the joke.

The good part is I have figured out that I don’t give up easily. I may be mediocre but I am not a quitter. I keep striving to be/do better.

I may have mediocre skills but they get the job done.  I have figured out that I am ok with my mediocrity. It seems to work for me.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a skill. Let’s do the math:

10,000 hours to become an expert at a skill.  That’s 40 hours per week multiplied by 52 weeks and you have 2,080 hours per year.  Take the 10,000 hours and divide that by 2,080 hours and you have 4.8 years. In five years you can be a professional or an expert at a skill.

If I follow this rule, I am an expert at a few things.

I am an expert at customer service. Almost 30 years of experience

I am an expert at parenting. 25 years of experience

I am an expert at sarcasm. 40 + years of experience

I am an expert at cooking. 35 years of experience

I am an expert at doing laundry. 35 year of experience

I am an expert at cleaning. 35 years of experience

I am an expert at solving problems. 40 years of experience

I am an expert at making lists. 35 + years of experience and so on.

I am not listing these things to brag but to prove a point. Experience in life can make any of us an expert at a skill as long as we don’t give up.

In 5-6 more years I will be an expert in blogging and photography. I’m not quitting. I love these 2 skills. Practice makes perfect or at least an expert.

It’s ok to be mediocre but strive to be/do better and never give up.

Oh and by the way…I don’t think I’m all that average. I am too much of a goober to be average. My uniqueness makes me either below average or a little above average just because I am different.

You are not mediocre either. You are unique too and being unique is NOT mediocre. We may see ourselves as being the average ‘Joe’ but we are not. What makes mediocrity is never striving to be/do better.

Don’t sell yourself short. Just like I did. We are above average to say the least all because we won’t give up and quit.

 

 


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A Sweet Revenge Poem For Moms

A Sweet Revenge Poem

This is not mine, but thought it was funny and I had to share. Oh what sweet revenge could be had if we, as parents did this to our kids. We love our kids with everything we have and are. But there are times when revenge comes to mind.

I Hope my Mom doesn’t get any ideas.

Have a great day. Hope this poem leaves you with a smile on your face.old lady

Heartfelt Creations

When I’m an old lady, I’ll live with each kid,
And bring so much happiness just as they did.
I want to pay back all the joy they’ve provided.
Returning each deed! Oh, they’ll be so excited!
When I’m an old lady and live with my kids.

I’ll write on the walls with reds, whites and blues,
And I’ll bounce on the furniture wearing my shoes.
I’ll drink from the carton and then leave it out.
I’ll stuff all the toilets and oh, how they’ll shout!
When I’m an old lady and live with my kids.

When they’re on the phone and just out of reach,
I’ll get into things like sugar and bleach.
Oh, they’ll snap their fingers and then shake their head,
When I’m an old lady and live with my kids.

When they cook dinner and call me to eat,
I’ll not eat my green beans or salad or meat,
I’ll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table,
And when they get angry I’ll run if I’m able!
When I’m an old lady and live with my kids.

I’ll sit close to the TV, through channels I’ll click,
I’ll cross both eyes just to see if they stick.
I’ll take off my socks and throw one away,
And play in the mud ’til the end of the day!
When I’m an old lady and live with my kids.

And later in bed, I’ll lay back and sigh,
I’ll thank God in prayer and then close my eyes.
My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping,
And say with a groan, “She’s so sweet when she’s sleeping!”
-by Joanne Bailey Baxter


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Do We Cater To Our Kids?

kids

In my opinion, Yes I think parents today do cater to their kids. I know I am going to make some people upset with this blog. This blog is about what I witness at the store, restaurants, church, and the park, everywhere I go.

I see it every day. I see parents buying toys kids don’t need just to stop them from crying in the store. I hear moms asking their kids what they want to eat when grocery shopping. I hear kids telling their parents “NO” when mom asks them to stop acting up and mom just goes on and ignores the child.

I hear parents say they want to give their children everything they didn’t have. That’s great that you want your kids to have “things”. But do you have to give it to them at their beckon call? Why can’t they earn the “things” you are wanting to give your child?  We can teach our children that things in life aren’t for free and that you have to earn the things you want in life. Hard work has its rewards.

I hear parents say I don’t want to hurt their feelings by telling them “no”. What??? Really???

Do you really think this is how the world is? Isn’t it better that we hurt their feelings and teach them how to react better and do better? I hurt my kids feeling all the time, just so I can teach him. You can get over having your feelings hurt.

Seriously, I have never had a job where my boss didn’t say no to me. Boy, wouldn’t that be nice though. It sure would be nice to ask my boss to get paid and not work for the next 3 months and the boss says sure that sounds great…….go ahead.  Reality is your boss will laugh at you and probably make you work harder just to prove a point.

In the real world, we are told no all the time. No, you can’t drive 100 mph. No, you can’t drink and drive. No, you can’t have a raise. No, you can’t have the weekend off and so on.

Saying “No” to our kids is a way of life. We will teach them that sometimes we have to wait, or do without. We teach them there are rules to follow for their safety. We teach them that sometimes we don’t always get what we want. Even when it’s deserved.

I hear parents say, I want my child and me to be friends. Well, don’t we all want that, but let’s be real here. Our kids don’t need us to be their friends, we are their parents and that role includes discipline, rules, chores, curfews, love and respect. The friendship role comes later, much later.

When we are our child’s friend we are not teaching them to respect authority or us as parents. We are not setting guidelines for them to learn from. We are not setting the example of what a parent is. We are not teaching them limitations. We are not showing them right from wrong.

My question is: Are we doing our kids a favor or an injustice by catering to them?

My Answer: We are doing an injustice. Because we are teaching our kids to be ‘entitled’ adults.

If we as the parents are not teaching our children respect, rules, the word ‘No”, or giving them everything they want when they want it, we are raising a group of ‘entitled’ adults.

The way I see it, these group of children with have a much tougher time being accepted with friends, employers and co-workers. Because they are expecting everything to go their way. They are expecting a job to fall in their laps without having to make a resume. These kids are expecting to dress any way they want to go to a job interview or work. They are expecting the maximum income just because they think they deserve the max paycheck without any experience in the job. These kids will think that speaking ghetto will fly in the work force.

These kids are set up for failure. All because we as parents didn’t do our jobs and train our kids to respect others, work hard to earn what they want or deserve.

I’m not just picking on you. I have made some of these mistakes too. I protected my kid way too much. And he is paying the price now. It’s harder to watch them fail as adults then to train them right in the first place.

We are hurting our kids and their futures. Heck, we are hurting our own future because this group of kids will be running the country in 20-30 years.  Now that’s a scary thought. A group of entitled individuals running the country. We think it is bad now, Just wait.

Here’s a question for you to ponder: If your parents raised you by telling you “No”, made you earn the things you wanted, gave you curfews, you had chores and rules to follow: Why is this not good enough for our kids too?

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Work with what you already know is right and you can’t go wrong.

My intent here was not to offend anyone but to enlighten folks on what I witness every day. We are the parents, it’s our job to do right by our kids. I am not the perfect parent. I admit that. But I have done the best I could for my son to be a respectful, loving, hard-working, kind man. He will be the first to tell you, he has NEVER had anything handed to him. He has a better appreciation for what he does earn. He has pride in his work and the things he has accomplished.

We as parents, just like our parents did for us. Must Do Better. Not just give in to our kids but teach them.

Tell me your thoughts on this topic. Would love to hear your feedback.


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Making A Mountain Out Of A Mole-Hill

Mountain

I think this is my son’s favorite past-time. I realize he is still young and can freak out about things he encounters for the first time. But, really to stay in that freak-out mode and to build on it, just seems tiresome to me.

Let me set the stage. A few months ago my son had to replace the engine in his car. He had many choices to pick from but he decided to replace the engine. In this situation he did not freak out at all. (I did for a few minutes).

A few days ago, his car wouldn’t start. He checked everything and he could not find the issue. He comes in the house and is just deflated, his attitude is bad and he’s talking about how his savings will be gone once he gets the car fixed.

He continues to rant about how this, that and the other won’t work out. He just kept building layer after layer of how bad all this is, without even knowing what is wrong with the car or how much it will cost to fix.

He stayed in this phase/mode/mindset for over a day. Never taking any action to resolve the car issue.

As some of you know, once your kid reaches a certain age, we as parents can’t tell them anything. So, I didn’t say a word till he asked me.

That’s when I asked if he called our mechanic, he said “no”.

Here I go being a mom and telling my adult kid what to do. I tell him to get on the phone and make sure the mechanic can take care of the car within a couple of days. And then tell him to call for a tow truck to take the car to the mechanic.

He comes back to me and says the car will be picked up the next day and the mechanic will be ready for the car. Awesome….wheels in motion (pun intended).

The next day everything is done and within a few hours the mechanic calls my son to tell him it was nothing major just a faulty spark plug and he can pick up the car anytime.

Best part, not a lot of money out of my son’s savings.

He drove himself crazy for 2 days all because he made things worse then they were and expected the worst thing to happen. And it wasn’t that way at all.

My brother likes to say this kind of action is ‘going from zero to hammered’. I call it, making a mountain out of a mole hill.

We all do this to ourselves at some point. For me, I’m ok with being in that stage for a minute or two. But to stay in that stage for a day or longer is just ridiculous.

Nothing gets accomplished and your stress level goes through the roof. Then fear sets in because we are afraid of the outcome. All because we went on a tangent to make things worse for ourselves.

Lessons learned:

We make thigs out to be worse than they really are.

Nothing is as a bad as it seems (most of the time)

Don’t let a problem sit and boil, get busy and resolve issue (ASAP)

Take a breath when a problem comes up and then tackle said problem.

I hope my son’s example of what not to do is helpful for you.

Tell me a time when you made a mountain out of a mole hill and how you resolved the problem or what you had learned.