This has been an extremely weird holiday season. Extremely different for me.
I have 8 kids. I used to be a stay at home mom when they were little. I was there with them all the time, day in, day out. Cooking, cleaning, playing, planning, teaching, day in, day out. I was always there with them. I didn’t have any outside friends so I didn’t go hang out. I used to say that my kids were spoiled, not by possessions, stuff, toys, but with my time. They were so used to be always being available and accessible but they just didn’t realize how good it was for them to always have mom around.
Until I wasn’t. When I decided to not reconcile with my ex-husband and let me tell you, I did try to reconcile. He was physically and emotionally abusive. But he was the father of 7 of my children. We were married for 14 years. I was loathe to just walk away from any of that. The last time he hit me and pushed me, I called the police. It was the first time in 14 years that I called the police. There was an automatic personal protection order placed to protect me from him. He was not allowed here or near me.
I felt baad though. I felt that I didn’t want the kids to be separated from their father so I made accommodations for him to visit. I let him in the house while I wasn’t here. He proceeded to steal important documents to subsequently fuck me over financially. I filed for divorce. Yet, I was not going to finalize it if he would get therapy, get some help so we could do better. It didn’t happen. He continued to fuck me over. I finalized the divorce.
Since that time, I scrambled to get my life together and to keep my life together. I tried to be there for the kids but I needed to pay the bills and keep my home. It was the hardest part of my life. I did things wrong. I got some things right. But our time together as a family with mom home all the time was done. It was a big change for my kids. And I know that I could have handled that change differently, better. but I was also recovering from the trauma and our new life and how to figure out how to navigate back to my true north.
While I was discovering myself along the way, working, going to school, my time-spoiled kids had to also find their way. They figured it out with and without me. I was not the woman that I should be during that time. I was lost and tried to find myself in all the wrong ways. My family “supported me” but it wasn’t support. It was undermining, control, manipulations, racist, misogynistic bullshit. they forever changed my relationship with my kids by the bullshit they spit out.
And i fucked up. I cleaned up. I did better. I fucked up. All searching for myself and my true way.
During that process, my kids had to find their way. And they might have learned some bad ways to manage their emotions and navigating life. they are hard workers. they are dedicated. They are fucking brilliant. But emotionally, I wasn’t the best at teaching them how to work through those hard feelings. For that I have serious regret.
And regret pushed me to apologize and bend over in a different way to help my kids find and work through those feelings. I apologized a lot. I acknowledged a lot. I tried to listen. It was a forward motion, backward motion progress as are most of life’s journeys.
I grew and I continued to keep trying to maintain or build connection. And it hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t been easy at all. They are still kids and they still know it all. And they are more than willing to call me out on it all the time. All the time. they are most definitely outspoken, opinionated, and know so much about life. I am not sorry about that. I want them to speak their feelings and I want to make it a safe place for them to do that since I don’t think i have always held that container for them throughout my travels.
Yet, again, I think they were spoiled with time and now with me being overcompensating. They are still know it all kids. And that’s okay. It won’t last forever. But it is harsh and it gets me raw. It gets me right in the feelers of mom guilt and mom yearnings and empty nesting and wanting so much more of a deeper connection but knowing that they are not even close to being there yet.
After a week of pure emotions being ripped out of me from the people that I love the most, I was ready for a day without kids or expectations. Were they my expectations? were they their expectations? I don’t know. But the journey is not done.
Finding the juicy in the time I had with family this week. Finding the juicy in some time to myself.
Finding the juicy in a new paradigm. #findingthejuicy