Monday

Burn Out...

Every single day since I found out I was pregnant back in 2006, I have spent it with my children! Now it is 2009, and I am burnt out! Along the way, I did the movie thing, window shopping, asked the father to take them out for a few hours (which he did few and far in between,) requested my own family 3000 miles away from the grandchildren come out and visit, talked to his family (less than 30 minutes away) and they acted disinterested and often used "being busy" as an excuse to avoid contact with me -- I just couldn't shake my building resentment.

I remember wanting to do something different, something for myself, and my partner at the time met my eyes with a look like, "Your kidding me right?" I didn't specifically know at the time what I wanted to do for me, but one thing I did know for sure was that I wanted the children in daycare. He wasn't even a little bit happy with that even though I told him how it would benefit him and the relationship as well. I was even willing to have him cut the money he was giving me and give it to the daycare, but he wasn't having it!

One day I had an "aha" moment like when you suddenly realize a powerful truth about yourself or someone else. For once, I understood why some mothers resort to killing themselves, children and/or mates, the reason starts with feeling burnt out! At some point those around her suspected that she was falling apart, but they either were unwilling to help her, mentioned a few ideas and went on their way, or looked the other way. I learned that mothers do reach out for help prior to feelings of being burnt out, it's just people don't listen or don't take her seriously. I remember one day speaking to a relative about my issues and all I heard was her issues. She wasn't really concerned about what was happening to me nor could she read between the lines when I would tell her, "I am having dark thoughts." I went to my doctor and explained my situation she only recommended I go on vacation, but when I couldn't do that and came back again for the second time many months later, I talked more specifically about my increasing dark thoughts, by then she was all too willing to put me on an antidepressant!

At first the antidepressant worked miracles and I was practically skipping around the house, but then gradually I noticed that I was having an unusual amount of heart palpitations. I continued to take the medicine ignoring the signs until one day I ended up on the floor, having convulsions, and barely able to breathe while having absolutely no control over my body! Imagine being conscience of everything around you, but unable to communicate anything!

I told my doctor what had happened to me while taking the medication and to that she referred me to another doctor who had another medicine for me (yes, another antidepressant!) I was feeling good again on this medicine too, but then I gradually started having more heart palpitations and more convulsions at least once a month despite all my tests showing up normal! I performed Internet research on the drugs to find out how to ween myself off of them since my doctor was too busy to contact me about my getting off of them! By this time I had visited three doctors! I was angry and took matters in my own hands! I discovered quickly that other mothers online had a similar story! I was devastated that my doctor didn't bother to call me back knowing the difficulty I was having with the medicine and withdrawing from it!

As I thought about the events that led up to my cutting antidepressants out of my life, I learned that my issues weren't psychological but physiological. (Only one doctor was able to confirm my notion and recommended I stop seeing doctors about my issues and make some personal changes in my life!) I learned that my mind was running away from an environment I no longer wanted to be in and my unsympathetic, misunderstood (did I mention andropausal) partner couldn't grasp this concept! He thought that I should be happy being around the children all day everyday! Well children never completed me and where he got this idea of mothers being happy around their children all the time, I don't know. Yes, I had been a happy mom early on, but when I wanted something different to happen in my life, besides having a child, I began to burn out...my mind and body was literally ready to shut down for good!

So I write this blog entry specifically for those mothers who were prescribed antidepressants for physiological problems. You aren't going crazy, those around you who choose not to reach out and help you, are the crazy ones! Change your environment or get a new one!

I honestly believe that the judicial system should not only convict mothers who commit crimes on their children in a haze of insanity, but they should also convict these unsupportive spouses who claim, "I didn't know...I wasn't sure...I never knew..." They know they just put their own needs over the needs of the family while expecting the mother to stay in her place! She is reaching out when she says, "I need you...I would like for you...Could you..." It's up to these spouses to hear a mother's cry!

He Doesn't Respect You as a Mother

Here you are in a relationship with a man who says that he loves you and he will do what he can to take care of you and the children. However, when you are faced with challenges in raising them, he sits by and critiques you as if you are his employee and he is managing you.

Your partner says things about your parenting that makes your flesh crawl! He wants to know what you are doing, saying, making, and anything else related to the children and you are to report to him with all the details! Now this isn't a typical situation for most mothers, but there are some in relationships like this as I type. They can't seem to do anything right! What's worse is these men actually aren't doing most things right when it come to parenting the children, so to take the attention off of their faults, they zero in on the mother and what she is or is not doing with the children! Now she is observing him and telling him what he needs to do. Maybe he is giving the children candy before bed, allowing them to stay up late at night with no set time to go to sleep, sitting back and doing nothing when the children are fighting, or forgetting to feed or bathe the children and the mother would like to see some differences made. This is when the relationship gets interesting!

Some men don't take too kindly to women telling them what to do whether they are nice about it or stern. For example, she may say, "That's not the correct way to hold the baby." He retorts with, "Well what do you want me to do?" He may sigh or roll his eyes. Another example, she may see that he isn't disciplining the child for disrespecting her and so she chooses to discipline the child herself. Meanwhile, her partner interferes with negative statements about what she has done or coddles the child when he or she should be in time out or spanked.

How can a woman be confident in her role as a mother, when she doesn't have the support from her spouse? Nothing she does is good enough. He complains to his mother, sister, or friends about how "she is always telling me what to do!" He doesn't want her telling him what to do even when she is nice about it, because it bruises his ego, pride, self-worth, etc. Even when he knows he doesn't know what he is doing as a parent, he doesn't want anyone telling him what to do. This type of attitude wrecks havoc on a relationship. Even if she chooses not to tell him anything and advises that he read about certain parenting styles or techniques, he won't. She may only want to help him, help herself, and help the children by seeing a potential problem and coming up with a better way to resolve the issue, but he doesn't want to hear of it.

Mothers cry about issues like these when they sincerely only want to run the house more efficently, build a solid foundation for the children, enhance their relationship, and do other things to make life better for all! But when she has to contend with a stubborn partner who is more concerned about his ego; rather than, the things that matter in the household, she becomes increasingly frustrated. "Why can't he just see the bigger picture?" It doesn't make sense to allow a child to say or do what they want and only one parent is permitted to discipline them. It doesn't feel good to walk around on egg shells wondering if the other parent is going to snap out on you if you say so much as a word to your son or daughter! When a mother not only cooks, cleans, organizes, creates, instructs, reads, and so much more for her children and a man comes along and tries to rearrange everything that she has worked so hard to get established or ignores her experience with children, just because he doesn't want to change his ways, then expect a ticking time bomb waiting to explode!

Mothers, like fathers, want to be appreciated! They want their voices heard in the home as well. Although we live in the 21st century and women have made great strides for equal rights, in some homes women's rights are still not equal to men's! There is still a man coming home and expecting a woman "to be kept". She is to prepare the food, take care of the babies, and if he has any objections to what she is or isn't doing she is expected to cooperate or be left. An example, "I prefer you stay at home with the children rather than work," her partner says. "But I need to get out in the workplace I don't want to be home all day with the children!" the mother cries. It is then that he begins to create a strategy to get what he wants, while the mother gradually breaks down mentally and physically because she isn't getting what she wants!

There are men that have a vision going into a relationship with a woman of what she is expected to look and act like. If his mother treated him a certain way then he is looking for her to act in similar ways with the children. Sometimes a negative relationship from the past, carries over into a man's present and future and the unsuspecting victim doesn't know that she is being treated like the mother he had been raised by. If his dad was disrespectful to his wife and ran the household when it came to the children, then he may do the same.

There is a fine line between being a mother and a wife and some men can't see the difference! Not only that, some women don't help them see the difference, because they are often being one or the other-- a mother or a wife. A mother can wipe the tears from her eyes when it comes to her role being disrespected by reminding him who she is as a wife first and a mother second! She must remember to take the time to communicate her feelings to him when she is feeling like he is disrespecting her role as a mother. Yet, even after telling him repeatedly how she feels and he still insists on doing many things that make her feel like he doesn't need her input or her in his life, then it is time to call it quits! If she sticks around too long in a relationship like this, she may end up feeing very bitter and will resent her roles as mother and wife. And unfortunately, the children will pay the ultimate price because their mother is unhappy.

Thursday

The Other Woman

Mothers not only cry about their children but they cry about the issues that affect their role as a mother. For example, the other woman whether she is the woman who sleeps with her husband or the woman who is acting in her role as mother, is a threat. She cries out to God, "Why!" in the midnight hour.

The other woman may be temporal in her husband's life or permanent. Either way, this woman will have some input on how the father deals with the children and she may also impact the children in some way. If she sincerely loves children, then she may encourage that the father get along with the mother. But if she doesn't care, then she may only be in the relationship for selfish reasons and the children may never have any interaction with her that may lessen a mother's insecurity. However, there are those women who come into a man's life expected to have something to do with everything that he touches including another woman's children -- Look out! If she puts herself in the mother's shoes, she will have to think long and hard what she is willing to undergo for this man, what part will she play, and at least respect the mother enough to sit down and talk with her and learn more about the children.

How did the mother go from being the stay-at-home mother, the working mother, the step mother or any other mother, for that matter, to children she loves and then in a blink of an eye someone or something comes along as says, "Your services are no longer needed?" Here she is faced with not only a cheating partner, but one who may be "in love" with another woman that may be an integral part of her children's lives!

Everyday there is a mother who is crying because someone made a decision for her. They told her that she was "unfit", that she was "no longer loved", and other similar statements to make her feel why was she ever destined to become a mother anyway only for it to be taken away! Now there are mothers who willingly give up their role for personal or legal reasons, but there are others who really didn't have a choice in the matter, because someone had more power, influence, fame, or money to take their role from them!

The other woman comes into a mother's role very often having no idea what she is in for, because to her, she may think it will be easy since she raised her own children, or she niavely thinks that love conquers all. There is a big difference in the way one feels about a child they have brought into this world through their body and one they have adopted. There is just something innately different and love has nothing to do with it! As I write, I hear some saying, "I love all the children just the same." But as I said, love has nothing to do with it. You are stepping into a role that universally and humanly is not yours, you made a choice to fulfill someone else's shoes and there is nothing wrong with that until...

The other woman crosses the line and tries to manipulate the child's thinking. She tells them negative stories about his or her mother, believes everything she hears from her partner without giving thought to the fact that there is two sides to every story, and she thinks that somehow she can quiet or erase the memory of the child's mother. This is when things get downright ugly! The mother senses this is what may be happening when she sits down and talks with her child. She may hear things in her child's conversation that makes the hair on the back of her neck stand up, "How dare this woman try to come in between my children and I!" she thinks. But it happens, and then when the woman has made an impact on another woman's child after years of influence, she and the ex decide to call it quits. Now the child is left bewildered. No mother and now no step-mother!

This is a sad reality for many people involved in a situation like this and as much as we would like to blindly go through life thinking, "I am okay. It isn't so bad." The truth of the matter is that everytime you see or hear the other woman's name come up it makes you angry. So how do we get over it? One day at a time. Baby steps. You can't accept the other woman and the impact she is or is not making on your child all at once. But it takes time. You can't accept her just because someone tells you it's the right thing to do. You have to do it in your time. But always remember that no one can ever replace you no matter how many gifts they buy your child. I have learned that children always have a way of coming back home again. They will hug and love you in a way that they will never hug or love another woman. After all, you brought your children into the world, and it is up to you to do what you can to make a positive impression on their hearts and minds. Value your time with them. Shift your focus off of the other woman and onto what matters...your children!

Sunday

Very Part-Time Mothering

Some of us get what we pray for! In my experience, the opportunity to live my life without my children for long stretches at a time. I asked God recently to uplift me from some of my parenting responsibilities, because it was literally making me sick and he did just that! Some happy-go-lucky parents (and those who have lost their children to death) will be very critical without even considering the details. Others will be curious while some may even be jealous, wishing the same for themselves. For those wondering why pray such a prayer, I'll tell you...

Years ago, before the pro-life activists got a hold of me and told me that abortion was wrong, I had thought of the "what ifs" in my life as young as 15 years old. What would happen if I became pregnant, how would everyone react? What if my teenage boyfriend and I decided we didn't want the child? What if I couldn't get over what I had done? What if he wanted the child? Well back then I had a scare, which only turned out to be nothing more than a late period because I had recently joined the track team. Although I had protected myself, the condom found its way inside rather than outside and we were fishing for it, so that is why I was very scared back then that I could be pregnant. So years later, as an adult with four children and the opportunity in my life to have two families and be a stay-at-home mother in both failed relationships, I have decided to go ahead and let the fathers keep our sons. I could have fought with one father in the court again and win them back. Meanwhile, take the burden off the other father and collect a child support check, but why? Some would argue, because their your children, well they are theirs too. Because you don't want another woman raising them, well she won't be the only influence in their lives and besides I could use her help too. Because you are a better parent than they are, I could be, but it's the fathers' turn to figure things out like I did while they worked.

You see, I have read about so many women fleeing with children in tote with a little bit of nothing to offer them while the fathers live better, have more, and can ultimately afford more than she could ever give her children. As I write I think of one of the fathers telling me how he is going to put our two sons in private school. Sounds great, but on my wages (a writer and a secretary -- it may never happen?! But if he can, more power to him!) You see, I am done trying to prove myself (with tears in my eyes, a hand on my forehead, and unbelievable PMS issues- which are being treated) to a society who tells me what motherhood should look like -- what's good for the goose isn't necessarily what's good for this gander! I love my children, God knows I do, but there is something deep within that just can't fully wrap myself around the idea of society's definition of mother. It isn't the typical Webster's dictionary definition that I argue with, but it's the societal view that we shouldn't voice our burdens about motherhood; rather be grateful and feel blessed, as well as "the all mothers go through this" societal attitude, "so just live with it" when we are seeking help.

Just like we wanted equal rights as women to vote, to work, and to play sports, I want equal rights when it comes to my choice of how often I want to mother my children. For me the annual spring break, winter break, and shared summer break, works best for me -- thank you very much!

I think of those women who are gasping for air, struggling to breath, heart pounding, shaking violently, and wishing for someone to go get their pills so that they can swallow a substance designed to bring them back to a life they are so tired of living! (I know because I been there!) Mother awakes to baby cries, changes diapers, feeds, plays, rocks, nurses, teaches, cleans, sacrifices her personal life, and so on and so fourth...while an unsupportive partner, who doesn't even bother to help her when she is sick, says, "I prefer you stay home with the children. I don't want them in daycare. I don't think this relationship is working. I don't think you should say that to our child. I don't think you should feed our child that...I don't think that you should buy our child this..." How about I think fathers and self-righteous family and so-called friends should, "Shut up!" If it isn't something that is hurting the child, leave the mother alone! Further, when she is down and out, why kick her? Why expect her to be something she doesn't or can't be in the midst of her illness?

You see, in the end I have learned it isn't my family and I being buried in the same grave together, it's just me! So if I have some people around me that feel like they can do a better job than me, then so be it and who cares what society thinks! I'm all for very part-time mothering! Men have been very part-time fathers for centuries, so if they want to make up for lost time, then God bless them!

Monday

I'm Not My Mother

The more we say this statement of not being our mother, the more we act just like her. Maybe there is something on the inside of us that has recorded everything about our mothers (those who were fortunate enough to be around her and study her) that we have become her in so many ways!

The only way we know that we have adapted her ways both good and bad is when someone tells us, "You act just like your mother." Now sometimes this person may be confused between looking like mother and acting like her. Just because we might look like her doesn't mean we act like her and for some mothers, who didn't necessarily like their mother, this can be irritating. I have personally been told I not only act like my mother, but look like her too. When I think of some of the things I have had to deal with over the years I can appreciate some of her mannerisms I inherited due to her genes, but my strength I achieved on my own. My life experiences created me into the woman I now am and when someone wants to give your mother that credit when it really should go to you, don't allow them to get away with it!

Our mothers were responsible for providing us with the foundation to help us learn how to problem solve, survive, love, and nurture others. But if she failed to accomplish that with us, we had to find it in someone else. This is why some mothers are still angry at their mothers even after they have long been buried. Why didn't she prepare her daughter like she should? Why wasn't she there when she needed her most? It would be selfish and foolish to assume that all mothers have a great relationship with their mother, because they don't.

A mother who has been left on the side of the road of life by her own mother has alot to cry about and as her sister we must embrace her, but we can't erase her pain! When she is rolling her eyes, yelling at the children, or huddled in a corner crying because of her mother, she is also angry at herself for what she doesn't know, for what she refuses to face, or for the unresolved issues she has about her own mother while the world tells her, "You look just like your mother. You act just like your mother!" For her, it isn't a compliment. You will be able to detect who some of these mothers are who have these cries for their mothers when she can't look you in the eye and say, "Thank you."

She is a motherless child. A mother who is expected to love her own children even in the midst of her own personal struggles with the woman who looks just like her mother in the mirror.

They Say You Should Be Blessed

I have received my share of comments about " You should be blessed to have children..." and I appreciate those people who choose to attempt to encourage myself and other mothers with positive statements, cliches and the rest. Sometimes these comments are followed with, "I lost my daughter. If only I had children. Be grateful for what you have because there are so many women who could only wish to be in your shoes." Well although these comments are meant to be nice, friendly, etc. these statements don't sit well with me. Instead, I smell a hidden jealousy, surrounded by flattery, with a hint of unsolicited advice used moreso to gratify oneself or kick a mother when she is down. The truth is if the parent who hadn't lost their child was able to see them each and everyday the way we do our children, they would be all over the Internet researching for some help, buying books, or chatting up a storm on the phone about their frustrations with being a parent to someone while being critical of their partner's parenting style! So as the street says, "Stop your hatin'!"

As I put on my header on this blog, this site is for frustrated mothers! But to those mothers who love motherhood, lost a child, fear saying anything negative because later they might feel guilty, or others who wouldn't dare share their struggles with others need not read this blog!! Of course, if you fall into these areas you don't need to read about being a frustrated mother anyway; rather, you need to find blogs related to your own experience. I guess what adds to my frustration about motherhood is with self-righteous, ignorant mothers who want me to feel happy all the time, to smile all the time, to feel blessed all the time, and to talk sweet all the time, well it's not going to happen all the time!

What I don't want is a friend who is going to try to make me feel good by talking about someone else's dilemma, "Just think of all those women who don't have any children..." well catch me on the wrong day and I might tell you, "Well go out and get me one who doesn't mind watching my children once or twice a week." Listen, I know I'm blessed, I'm grateful and I appreciate the fact that they are wonderful, handsome, and well-behaved on most days, but when I am having a down moment in my day, I would like someone to hug me and just shut up! I can't help but think maybe that is why so many men leave their wives, because of their big know-it-all mouths! Who knows that could have been included on my ex's list of things he didn't like about me LOL! "Just think of all the men that aren't so fortunate to have a wife that will cook, clean, shop..." You see, if women are talking to their partners in the same way they are talking to their friends, then I can't help but agree, "He would be better off without her."

Everyone finds their healing in so many different ways. Some people refuse to talk about their issues and get along just fine. Others choose to worship God to get over their frustrations and that's great. Some mothers enjoy a cup of coffee and some time with a good friend to talk about all their pain. Then of course their are mothers who do all of the above and then some. Well now there is a blog that you can read frustrated mother and say, "I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way!" And, like I said before to those self-righteous mothers or "I wish I was still a mother" types, envious mothers or some other issue kind of mother, read someone else's blog about your experience and leave us frustrated mothers to deal with our issues in our own way and if you must need assurance that we will be okay, let me be the first to tell you that God, Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Yoga, coffee, friends, relatives, hobbies, money, perscription meds, and anything else we need will help us get through until the next crisis, but you won't! As the Bible says, "This too shall pass!"
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About Me

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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