Shame, sadness, parenting.

I’ve found myself lost in nostalgia these past few months. I’ll be honest, it’s been more bitter than sweet…I’ve cried more than I want to admit as I ask myself the unanswerable question:

Was I a good mom?

Maybe it’s the Catholic in me, maybe it’s the lack of self-esteem I struggle with even as I close in on 50, maybe it’s my anxiety getting the best of me…whatever it is, this question haunts me every day.  There have been many, MANY times over the years I have said to myself (and poor Dan) that I wasn’t meant to be a parent.  Someone should have told me that parenting rips open every old emotional wound.  They should have told me it requires ridiculous amounts of patience, compassion, unselfishness and other qualities I struggle with.  They should have warned me I would feel really bad about myself 90% of the time and that might not be a good thing for someone who already felt bad about herself 90% of the time.

I had a…challenging childhood.  It molded me into someone whose worst fear is to not do things right, whatever right might be.  I busted my ASS trying to do things right so I wouldn’t get yelled at.  The sense memory of getting punished is so strong – I  remember being absolutely terrified.  This is where the part about “someone should have told me parenting rips open every old emotional wound” comes in.  When I think of all the times I terrorized my kids by yelling, my heart breaks in the most painful way because I REMEMBER being terrorized.  I hate myself for responding with anger – I know I should forgive myself but the shame is too much.

I know my girls love me as fiercely as I love them.  I know I’ve tried my best to make sure they’re prepared for life and all of its bullshit.  I know they’ve had a damn good childhood and pretty much wanted for nothing.  But I also know I spent a lot of my parenting years being mean.  A LOT.  I have a tremendous amount of sadness in my heart for all the times I’ve screamed – and I mean SCREAMED – at them about school, or messy rooms, or other stuff that in reality they simply couldn’t process.

As I enter the last year of full-time parenting, the same prayers keep going through my head:  Please, let them remember the good more than the bad.  Please, let them not be damaged by the things I’ve said and done.  Please, let their spirits not be broken by my hard words.  Please, give them what I haven’t been able to give them so they can go out into the world, find their joy, and live a life free from the guilt and shame I carry.  Please, let them forgive me for the mistakes I’ve made, and love me despite them…

Please, let the day come when they tell me I did it right.

Published in: on August 26, 2016 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

FB speak

“Excuse me…I speak jive…”

If you’re old enough to remember that line in Airplane that’s exactly how I feel these days.  I’m a hip old lady, dudes!  Here’s some FB speak to help you get hip, too…no, no, don’t thank me…it’s my gift to all my fangirls (that means all the girls who are fans of my blog).

“Yolo” – you only live once.  As in “I should have studied for my math test but I went to watch the basketball game instead.  Oh well, yolo…”

“HMU” – hit me up.  This works when you’re bored and want people to think you hang with gangs.

“Ashleeeeeee” – it’s not really a word, it’s a way of typing.  If you want 14 year old girls to read what you’re writing, add LOADS of extra vowels and consonants to your words.  For bonus points combine with HMU, as in “totallyyyyyyyyyy borrrrrrrrrrrrrrred…HMU”

“FML” and “WTH” – both are totally inappropro (did you catch that?  It’s a totally cool way of saying inappropriate!) and I get totallyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy annoyed when I see kids type it.

Your assignment for tomorrow is to use these phrases in a FB post, preferably to your own teenager.  They will think you are wayyyyyyyyy coooool.  Laters!  (that’s for all my 50 shades fangirls…but that’s a whole other post).

Published in: on May 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Graduation Day

I see it in her face…she’s sad it’s all coming to an end.  We’ve only been at the school for five years but during that time she’s seen the same kids, the same teachers, the same classrooms every single day.  Today she says goodbye to that world, today here is my prayer for her.

May you know peace as you take this step forward.  Know that Jesus is walking beside you every step of the way – know that He has a plan for you.  Nothing is too much to bear if you share the burden with your friend!  It’s normal to be afraid of the unknown, but trust that there’s a plan in place and that you’ll never be anywhere you’re not meant to be exactly at that time.  God be with you, and watch over you, and fill you with hope and courage.  You will do amazing things, because all things are possible with God.

We love you, Gracie girl!  Our pride in all you are and all you’ve done is immeasurable.  We will celebrate tonight, even if we do it through tears, knowing that today you take the first of many steps towards the endless possibilities life holds for you.

Published in: on May 23, 2012 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Sharon’s scorched earth campaign

This is what Dan’s calling my behavior over the last three weeks 🙂

See, I am really, really, REALLY sick of people.  All kinds of people.  Work people, school people, family people, I hate them all equally and energetically.  So, instead of keeping my mouth shut, I’m letting fly and leaving a trail of dead bodies in my wake.  Let’s relive some of my better worst moments!

1.  The one where the parents of some 8th graders must have gotten confused and thought their daughters were going to prom, not to place a floral wreath on the head of the holy Virgin Mary, so they took their daughters to get spray tans, fake nails, and their hair dyed.  One of the girls came up to me and said, all “aren’t I so sweet”ly, “Do I look orange?” (flutters eyelashes).  I looked her up and down, said, “Yes.” and walked away.  Listen kid, you don’t want the truth, don’t ask me.

2.  The one where a coworker (who was with the company, left the company, and came back to the company again) posted on Facebook that she had to go out and get a part-time job because her ex wasn’t paying child support.  I wrote a brief e-mail explaining that she did, in fact, already have a part time job that would pay her more than any other part time job she currently had…would she like to start showing up for work?

3.  The one where Dan took Grace out to Starbucks to get a 12 billion calorie frappawhatever right before we took Grace shopping to buy more clothes because, well, she’s been having too many frappawhatevers and “outgrew” her clothes.  I asked if that was her best choice and Dan told me to stop it.  I then proceeded to tell him, and I quote, “Don’t you EVER tell me to stop it.  YOU are 45 pounds overweight.  I am 30 pounds overweight.  Our daughter cannot fit into her clothes any more.  I am doing everything I can to make healthy changes in this family and YOU are not helping me.  If you want to eat shit and stay fat, have at it!  But do NOT try to undermine what I’m doing for me and the girls.”

4.  The one where a family member made a joke about how maybe another family member should go to the college center and fake ADHD so she could get a help taking tests.  I said that it wasn’t really something you wanted to fake and she said, “Well, Grace doesn’t really have it but she gets help, right?”  I looked at her, said, “I cannot believe you actually just said that.  You truly are ignorant.” and walked away, leaving her to attempt to apologize for the rest of the afternoon (which I was having no part of).

See?  Scorched earth!  Pain and suffering!  Gnashing of teeth and roaring of roars and rolling of eyes…oh wait, that’s Where the Wild Things Are.  Anyway, at the rate I’m going I should be divorced, friendless, and unemployed by July.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Google it!

Is there anything you can’t find on the internet?  My most recent search questions:

  • What is Harry Styles favorite color?  Some crazy One Direction fan had it in her blog:  Orange
  • One Direction T-shirts: Ordered from eBay, one orange T-shirt that says “keep calm and love Harry Styles”
  • Battery powered string lights:  Found ’em for a pretty good price at Lights for all Occasions; they’re ordered and being shipped (so we can make light up signs for the One Direction concert)
  • Girls cargo shorts:  JC Penney has super cute capri ones for $17
  • Strattera dosage chart:  Doh!  Natalie’s been taking about half the dosage she should be…this explains the train wreck of a 2nd half of the school year.  Ooopsie!


Published in: on May 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nathan Fillion

That’s it…that’s what’s on my mind today.  Nathan Fillion.


my boyfriend


Published in: on May 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

If only…

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”  Alexander Graham Bell

The past few weeks have been filled with “if only” moments…

  • If only I had taken more time to enjoy the girls when they were smaller…
  • If only she could see things as they really are…
  • If only I had taken my feelings out of the situation…
  • If only I had been a better advocate for her…
  • If only I had stuck to my guns…
  • If only she had been honest with me…
  • If only she would let me in…

Regret is an ever-present shadow in a parent’s life.  More often than not we focus on what we haven’t done, should have done, could have done better instead of what we have done, did do, did well.  Waves of guilt and shame wash over me…what memories have I left them with?  How will they remember me when they are older?  What can I do about it now?  Have I done what I wanted to do?  It’s the last question that gets me every time…have I fulfilled my self-professed mission of raising confident, positive, independent women?  Only time will tell.

The opposite of regret is contentment – a feeling of calm knowing you’ve done all you can.  How to find contentment?  And how to tie that in to the question of fulfilling my mission?  To see the open door referred to in the quotation above?  It’s simple:  Be present.  As I muddle through the years to come, my prayer is that God will give me clarity to be “in the moment” – not in the past, not planning the future, just experiencing what’s happening right then and there.  Eliminate the “if only” moments for good by knowing I was present and engaged, beginning today.

Correction: Teenagers INFURIATE Me

I don’t know what she was thinking.  I don’t know why she did it.  I don’t know what made it seem like a good idea at the time, why she thought we’d never hear about this, why she decided to trust the people she did, and on and on and on.  I don’t know who my daughter is any more, and I don’t know what I can do about it.  She’s going to have to sort this out on her own.

It is not my fault.  She can feed me her bullshit about how she did it because I grounded her, because I said whatever I said, because I’m trying to ruin her life, blah blah blah.  As each layer of lie exposes itself I feel sicker and sicker.  Is this who she really is?  My God, do other people see my child behaving like this and not tell me?  Because believe me, I would want to know if my daughter was doing something I find unacceptable.  Like, oh, I don’t know, lying to my face half a dozen times and making shit up designed to take me off the scent of her lies only to find out the truth and confront her with it so she can lie to me some more.

And her friends?  They’re liars, too.  Not only are they liars, they’re self-preservationists.  So they lie AND throw Natalie under the bus to make themselves look better.  Nice friends, right?

Thank GOD we only have three more weeks of school; summer cannot come fast enough.

Published in: on May 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Teenagers fascinate me

And by fascinate I mean piss me off to no end.

I’m like that Lady Gaga song “Born this Way”.  I was BORN this way – single minded, focused, competitive, designed to do the right thing and follow the rules, always.  My kids (if they even ARE my kids…many days I question this…just because they look like me doesn’t mean anything…) were NOT born this way.  They were born another way, a way that makes no sense to me whatsoever.

How do you NOT turn in your homework?  Or even better, not DO your homework in the first place?  It’s HOMEWORK.  You take it home and work on it.  What other option is there?  Apparently, there IS another option:  Don’t do it and then lie and say you DID do it.  At first glance, this option may seem like the better of the two options, but – trust me on this – it’s not.   Because eventually, I will find out you chose the second option instead of the first.  How is it I found out what choice you made?  BECAUSE OUR SCHOOL USES ONLINE GRADES, EINSTEINS!

Of course, I’ll find out after it’s WAY too late to save any portion of the grade because our teachers don’t enter grades for, like, 2 weeks and then enter them all at once so your child goes from an A to a D in one day…but that’s another rant…

Published in: on May 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

What changed?

Without discounting all of the great parts of my job – the flexibility, the income, the rewards – I’ve got to vent about the hardest part of the job, the managing and motivating of women.

I’m not, and never have been, a “girl’s girl”.  I do not worship at my children’s feet, I do not consider my life fulfilled if my house is clean and dinner’s on the table, and I certainly do not adhere to the belief that it’s my role in life to make my husband happy.  This isn’t something new; I’ve always been this way.  When I first started this job, that was okay!  It was all right to WANT to succeed and to expect others to want to succeed right along with me.  I was empowering women to do something for themselves that would then allow them to do something for others.  The team loved it!  They loved the energy and the excitment and the possibility this business held for them.

What happened?  When did this change?

At some point, my drive and determination changed from motivating to intimidating.  Asking people to work one night a week became too demanding.  Asking leaders to do what they are supposed to do – model consistent business practices for their team – became me overstepping my boundaries.  I started hearing grumblings about “who does she think she is” and “my kids come first”, and when I reminded them that I wasn’t asking them to do anything I wasn’t doing myself, or that I, too,  had kids and had to work my life around them, I was out of line.

One of my “strengths” (according to StrengthsFinder 2.0) is “strategic”.  This means that I can see patterns before others, can predict trends and outcomes before numbers start reflecting the same.  What’s my latest prediction?  My team’s dying.  Slowly but surely, they’re giving up on themselves, using me and anything else they can find as excuses as to why they’re not doing their jobs.  This is, simply put, too much for me to bear.  I simply do not know how to keep up a brave face knowing full well that I’m considered by many to be a jerk, insensitive, arrogant, etc.  These people KNOW me, they KNOW I’m not any of the things they’re saying about me, yet that doesn’t stop them from telling themselves, and others both on and outside our team, that I am a horrible person.

What happened?  What changed?

I wish I knew.

Published in: on April 26, 2012 at 10:08 am  Comments (1)