In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.















Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reaching burnout

I am tired...no, I'm exhausted. Plain and simple I am feeling burnt out. Going through all these changes in my life have drained me. I feel empty. I am sad.

I am still learning the art of letting go of my children as they have all now reached the ages of moving away and starting their own lives and still getting used to them being gone. Four of my five children,now live out of state and two of my four grandchildren now live out of state. I am still sad. I am in a constant state of missing them.

My family of origin is going through some issues. Old issues...painful things are getting brought back up for discussion...things that I forgave many years ago...things I have worked my ass off letting go of and changing my life so I could break the chains. This breaks my heart. I just want there to be peace and to see everyone moving forwards not backwards. It pains me greatly to see people I love so much in turmoil.

I am still trying to adjust to being a mommy again to my two grandchildren that we are raising and anyone with young children knows that it is an endless job. I've done this before and I know what it takes to raise good kids to be good people. It takes work...a lot of work. Since my husband is gone for most of their waking hours, most of their care falls upon me. Even though I know he has to work, it gets hard doing all the dirty work alone and sometimes this doesn't feel fair. When my step daughter could not get her life together enough to be a mom, we agree to take them until she got her life together in another state. At the time, we thought 6 months at the most. That was a year and a half ago and here we are, still doing what she is suppose to be doing. She has done nothing to get her life together except make it worse by getting pregnant again.

You see the thing is as tired and exhausted I get from raising a 3 and soon to be 2 year old, I can't imagine our lives without them. Without a doubt they have bonded with us as we have with them. They really are happy children and those that have witnessed our journey through all of this would attest to this fact. Through out this time of having them in our care we have become mommy and daddy to them.

Yes, there is stress in raising children but that stress is nothing compared to the stress their mother give us. It is complete insanity. To put it bluntly, she sucks the f***ing life out of me. To continue providing this happy stable loving home...to protect these little people, means we have to go through a court battle against their mother. Going to court to fight your own child because she cannot see beyond herself is heart breaking to say the least. The thought of dragging these little ones through a court battle breaks my heart more. Not to mention the financial burden this adds to our lives.

All we want is for her to get her damn life together so she can parent her own children before it's too late. It is becoming a reality that she may never do this. At what point does it become detrimental to the kids continued healthy development to take them from this home...basically the only one they have known? The longer we have them, the harder it will be to let them go. As much as I would love my old life back, I fear the day that I would have to hand them back over to her.

Because of her leaving, the three year old is scared of us leaving him too. We deal with this every day. Since I work at a job that allows me to bring them with me to work, I am with them 24/7. This is good for giving them the security that they need but it also means I never ever get a break. When I do leave them for short periods there are a lot of tears and reassurances that I will always come back and would never leave them. I hope one of these days it will sink in and no longer be a fear.

There is also my job to consider here. I love children but right now I am losing my drive and passion to be in the childcare business. It is a draining job, not just because of all the children I care for, but because of their needy parents. I am a mother figure to many of these young moms...they depend on me for more than just caring for their kids. I am thinking I am going to change jobs eventually but right now this is not an option. So for right now I am kind of stuck.

Out in public, people assume that they are my children. Especially since, they call me mommy most of the time. The three year old is half black and the almost two year old is a very fair skinned, blondie...so it is obvious that there are two separate fathers. People look at me with disdain and judgement...I know what they are thinking. Not just because of the dirty looks they give me but because of little comments made. When my husband is with us, it doesn't happen so much. I hate this but it's something I can deal with. What I have a hard time with is how my three year old gets treated for being black, since we live in a predominately rural white community. He is a friendly little boy and he will talk to pretty much everyone...many people will fricken ignore him and then turn around and acknowledge his almost 2 year old sister...right in front of me. He doesn't get it but some day he will. I want to protect him from their ignorance.

People are not always nice. People judge us. People can say really mean things...really stupid things. People don't always understand. Even though I have some good friends that have been supportive none of these people have little ones anymore...they have their freedom while I am now tied down once again. I feel like I don't fit in anywhere. It seems like I am becoming more and more isolated but I don't know how to stop it. I am lonely and starving for adult conversation...maybe that's why I love reading blogs so much. I am much older than other mommies with young children. I am younger than most grandma's are. I don't get to be the fun grandma like most grandma's. Where and how do I find my place?

You see, these are all the things I am trying to figure out so that I can stop from burning out. Maybe I am having a hard time right now because my physical pain is high right now...it seems when I am in worse pain, then I see things through a different lense. Does this sound like an excuse? Maybe I am looking for someone to understand...to listen and not preach or judge or even fix it. Maybe I just want someone to understand what it means to miss your children so much that your heart actually hurts yet for them to understand that you are still happy for your child's journey...that it's just hard letting them go so far away. Maybe I just want someone to understand that even though I love these little one with all my heart that I sometimes want my old life back.

I fear to speak my thoughts out loud at risk of sounding like I am looking for sympathy, of being judged unmerciful, or worse, of having no one listen. I can dump these thoughts...these things that are hurting my soul here in this blog because I know that very few people, if any, read it. I started this blog to record my journey of having my life interrupted. I leave these thought here and hope that just maybe one person hears me and understands.

9 comments:

Mari said...

I feel like I could have written your first paragraph!

I feel for you, sister! I'm tired too.

We are in different stages of life, but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone!

I don't really want life to end or anything--I just want a vacation from it or something!!

christinewith6 said...

Wow, what a post....I can relate in a not the exact same way way...I've been through a couple of court battles (one a lot harder than the other), I've helped raise a niece and nephew and actually had to GIVE THEM BACK and understand the heartbreak that entails, and even though my five are children not grandchildren I can still relate to being a zombie at the end of the day...just keep up the good work and know that it will add up to something good in the long run....you are really great for doing what you are for your grandkids...besides they deserve it and they can't help that they act like little monsters most of the time! :)

Rebecca said...

I've been lurking for a little while (I think I found you via So the Fish Said), and just wanted to chime in that I love reading your blog. You're doing an amazing job with a lot of stuff on your plate.

I can't say I really "understand," as I don't have any kids yet, but I definitely empathize. I really enjoy reading about how close you are to your kids and grandkids.

Cheryl said...

hey!
you're doing a great job with those kids. i too wish you could enjoy just being gramma. but you know what, your life was interupted for a reason, only God knows why. I hope you can find some time for yourself one of these days. Try to get a sitter and go to the Mall or out to Lunch or something, or to a Park. Do something for yourself. You need it right now. But never underestimate your time with those kids and the love you give to them. they are so very lucky to have you!!
it's back to work for me tomorrow. will post soon. take care okay!
~cheryl~

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is my first stop at your blog and all I can say is "Wow" it sounds like those kids are extremly lucky to have you in their lives. Keep your head up and Smile, everything happens for a reason.....but also remember to TRY and take time for yourself you "deserve it".. Your strengh amazes me.

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