Friday, August 16, 2019

Is it just me?

The last time I had a best friend, I was a senior in high school. Since then I’ve come to the realization everyone has coupled off without me. I’m not talking about finding “the one” and getting married. I’m talking about BFFs. That one person you can call day or night to share a laugh, vent to, or make last minute plans. Some people say that is the same as the person you marry, but sorry, I need a life outside of my marriage too (Sorry honey, I still love you!).

I’ve thought and overthought about this for years on end and tonight, after an especially stressful week, I found myself in my kitchen wanting to call my BFF for comfort except there’s nobody to call.

Is it because I have moved so many places as a military spouse that old bonds were broken? Have my closest friends outgrown me? Did I outgrow them? Maybe I’m just not BFF material even though I feel like I am. I think those who know me IRL would say they could call me for a favor or advice or whatever they may need and know I would be there for them. I’ve offered to help friends financially due to their own financial hardship, traveled for deaths in the family, coordinated gifts when someone had a baby or needed a pick-me-up. But friendship isn’t a one-way street, especially when it is someone you are supposed to be a best friend.

And so here I sit. The keyboard warrior, wondering where I went wrong. Why on a night like tonight I can’t think of anyone to call (who I’m not related to) to share my frustrations and who I know will not only answer the phone, but will listen, understand, and help me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Come to think of it, maybe my husband is my BFF afterall.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Post-Moving Blues

PCS season. It's the best of times, it's the worst of times.

Most people shed their proverbial (or sometimes literal) tears at the destination they're leaving. They look in the rearview mirror, snap a photo, and tear up at the the good memories and friends they are leaving behind.

For me, however, the tears are on the other end.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm happy to leave an assignment but I think the excitement of a new place pushes me past the sadness. My mind spins with the "bucket list" of things to do at our new destination, where the furniture will fit, etc. But then, the blues set in.

The household goods are delivered and unpacked. The walls are decorated with familiar photos and decor. I've learned how to get to the grocery store and Target. And everything else is new. New friends, new school, new church, new gym, new hairstylist, new doctor, new dentist, new times for the kids' activities... THAT is what brings me to tears. Suddenly, the schedule we honed at our previous post no longer works.  My usual "lifeline" -- the local spouses' club -- is a no-go this time around because my son's preK is right in the middle of the events. Two of the three activities my daughter has selected are nearly back-to-back on the same day, as is my son's one sport, and both run though our usual dinner time.

It becomes overwhelming. The stress builds. My temper gets shorter. Flutters race through my heart. I feel alone (even though this time I have a great friend who lives nearby).

And I cry.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What this MilSpouse wants you to know

With all of the ISIS and other acts of terror going on in the world, my facebook feed often has sentiments like these:

"We should just kill them all."
"Let's invade [country]?"
"Why aren't we doing anything?"

As a MilSpouse, these statements make me shudder because if any of those 'wishes' were to be granted, it could be my husband, or the spouse of one of my friends or neighbors to fulfill the task. 

"But your husband was deployed recently, surely he won't go" may be your reply. Let me tell you -- It doesn't matter what rank, where you're stationed, or what job you're doing -- there's always the chance the phone will ring, calling you for another deployment. 

I've watched friends' spouses return from deployment, just to be transferred to anoth unit and head back out the door again. Another six months or more of being separated from family, risking your life, and possibly coming home different than when you left. And then there's the emotional and sometimes physical toll on the ones left behind. 

So the next time something awful happens, post you're mad. Say it's terrible. But please, unless you're volunteering for the mission, please don't play President. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

I think I'm finally getting it

Anna: I don't even know what love is.
Olaf the Snowman: That's okay. I do. Love is putting someone else's needs before yours.

             - Frozen

Just about six years into this adventure we call parenting, I think I'm finally getting it. I've long understood the quote above, although it's not always the easiest to follow. Who among us wouldn't rather sleep an extra 30 minutes rather than get up to watch cartoons at 6:30 on a Saturday even though it means missing those 30 minutes with our littles? (I'm sure there are some of you out there, but I really think you're in the minority...)

I had a bit of a revelation over the past week taking a BuzzFeed quizz about what kind of parent I am and was a bit shocked with the answer. The General. Strict and controlling. I couldn't have been more surprised. Not that these quizzes are the true definition of anyone, but still. Is that really me? Am I more worried about schedule and rules than I am having fun with my kids?

That's when it hit me. I want my kids' memories of me to be good ones. Not the mom that loses her crap on a daily basis over them bickering, or the one that is too busy washing dishes to sit down and color. I want to be the one that says yes more than no, even if it means making the millionth rainbow loom bracelet this week and for their memories to be full of my face lit in sunlight, not the glow of my iPhone. My own memories of my childhood are full of loving moments, shared secrets, and the one time I actually got spanked with a Girl Scout manual (I totally deserved it).  As much as I hate to think it, tomorrow is not promised. I wonder if someone was to extract my kids memories of me what they would find.

I'm sure I won't be perfect on this endeavor, and there will still be rules and expectations. But the next time someone asks for a drink and I've just sat down on the couch, I'll say "Sure, what would you like?" rather than "But I just sat down." 
And so, with that, I'm off to enjoy rather than dread a snow day with my kids. It's time to make memories.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Baby Shower game

I helped with my sister-in-law's baby shower this weekend. After culling Pinterest and other sites for idea, I settled on a matching game of sorts. Since she is having a girl, we did match the daughter to her celebrity parents. Here it is in case anyone is looking for a game to use:

Follow this link to download it from Google docs:
Celebrity baby game

Arthur Ashe - 3 Camera
Beyonce - 2 Blue Ivy
Brad Pitt - 9 Shiloh Nouvel
Bruce Willis - 10 Tallulah Belle
Cher - 4 Chastity
David Beckham - 7 Harper Seven
Frank Zappa - 5 Diva Muffin
Gwyneth Paltrow - 1 Apple
Kim Kardashian - 8 North
Kurt Cobain - 6 Frances Bean

Friday, November 8, 2013

So which is it?

My 5-yr old daughter brought her school photo home today. She looks beautiful of course, but I'm biased. I posted it on Facebook for our friends and family to see. They too said she's beautiful and I got a few of the "she's your mini-me" comments which lead me to a realization.

If everyone says she's my mini-me and I think that she's beautiful, why don't I see myself that way? Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm ugly, but I also don't find myself beautiful. Cute? Sure. Occasionally, I take a photo where I even think I look pretty. But beautiful? Hot? Nope.

(Side note: My husband will tell you people post things like this on Facebook or wherever in order to get their friends to tell them they are pretty and boost their ego, but that isn't my intention.)

On the flip side, I have a friend who is beautiful and knows it. She gets torn to shreds by other people, women mostly, for being beautiful and openly admitting that she knows it. Most of the time they do it behind her back or worse, in my opinion, while hiding behind a computer screen.

We are told to have self-confidence but are sold a million and one ways to improve ourselves -- diet pills, make-up, hair straighteners, plastic surgery. And when we find confidence in our looks we're seen as vain, conceited, having a "better than you" attitude.

So which is it that is acceptable? To know that you are beautiful and be proud of it or to be beautiful and not realize it?

It seems like neither which makes it that much more puzzling to me.

How do I raise a girl in this world who is confident in her looks, in her smarts, and in her abilities in a world that makes a profit playing on our insecurities and allowing total strangers to rip us apart because when we have confidence?

For now I suppose I have to work on my own confidence for her because that is how they learn the most -- by example. I'm going to try Sammy. I'm going to try.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The good fight

Just like any parent, I struggle dealing with my kids at times. My 5-yr old daughter is very headstrong (I can't imagine where she gets it from) and my 2-1/2 yr old is still relatively non-verbal, making communicating a challenge.

A little over a week ago, my daughter had a MASSIVE meltdown on the way to school because I corrected her in front of her friends which meant she then had to walk with me instead of her friends -- the horror!! Just a few minutes after the moms and littles got back home after drop off, a neighbor rang my doorbell and handed over this book:
I have to admit, I groaned a little inside. I've read countless articles about changing my child's behavior and never saw any real results. It sat on my nightstand for about a week before I cracked it open. Nothing in particular triggered it, other than maybe my guilt that I still had the book in my possession. Might as well take a look before I return it. You never know, right?

Wow. I mean WOW. Although this book started off like a lot of other parenting advice (give your child choices, pay more attention, etc.) it had a firmer approach than most others nowadays. Say no and walk away. Say what??? I can say no. That's not the issue. But walk away as my 5-yr old continues to ask me "why can't I have a friend over?" and not answer her? Unheard of. She and I are master debaters with each other -- making our cases until one of us compromises, or on rare occasion, caves. The same advice is given for having your kids do things. Tell them once and walk away. If they don't do it and they're late for school, oh well. Didn't eat and now dinner is over? Oh well. You mean no more having an entire meal consist of "eat your dinner?" Again, unheard of, especially in our house.

Little by little, I've been employing the tactics in the book and I am actually seeing results. There's certainly a lot less yelling on my part and my kids are figuring out that they don't need me for every single thing. Example -- as I type this, my son says "Mom, elly." (He wants his toy elephant.) I told him "you get it" and went back to typing. A few "No, you mom" whines later, he gave up, got up, and got the toy. Success!!

So, thanks neighbor. You know who you are!