First, let me say thank you to anyone who is still following my BLOG. I have been "Frazzled" for over a year now.
So much has happened this past year. I won't go into the details but just know that through it all, God carried me through. I'm still in a "desert" but I know God is leading me through to the green pastures. I trust Him with my life and the lives of my family members.
"If God is for us, who can rise up against us?" God Bless you all.
My last post was about my daughter and her two small children living here. She's been gone two days now (she's staying with a woman who use to be her neighbor and has threatened on numerous occasions to call Social Services on my daughter). She briefly contacted her dad (my husband) yesterday to say she wouldn't be home again last night. He's a truck driver and wasn't home. She texted him. Anyway, My oldest daughter called today to ask if we were still throwing her a baby shower (she's due late January). During the course of the conversation (she was talking to one of my younger daughters), she mentioned that my daughter who was living here with her children told my oldest she had moved out. She has not told us she has moved out but I feel certain she probably does plan to. My thoughts are this. I'm tired. My house has been peaceful and clean for 3 days (since she left). I have gotten more done in three days than I usually get done in two weeks. Not once has anyone raised their voice (since she left). My two youngest are happy. Maybe I should do tough love and take all of her belongings to her storage unit. If she returns, ask for the key to our house and tell her where her belongings are. If she doesn't return, change the locks. With both of my older daughters, they tend to blame and punish my husband, myself and our two youngest, whenever things go wrong for them. We are usually an after thought until they need something, then we are "Mom and Dad". I love my daughters and I blame myself. I hovered over them trying to protect them from being hurt when they were growing up. I came to their "rescue" whenever they needed something. Now, it's our relationship. So how do I change the relationship without losing my daughters? Your thoughts and ideas are welcomed. My daughters really are nice girls, they just lack gratitude and humility. They behave as if they are entitled and we are in their way of getting what they "deserve".
I had a tough day today. Life in general has been tough lately. In September, (I know that was only two months ago) one of my grown daughters moved back in with us bringing her two small children (ages 2 years and now 5 months). I love them. Everyday, she tells me how much her life "sucks". Her high school sweetheart (and first love) decided he didn't want to be a husband or father anymore. He left her with a car that is falling apart, no money, many late bills and no roof over their heads. My daughter was a stay at home mom (at her husband's insisting) and is having trouble finding a job now that he left. He won't get a "real" job because he knows he will then have to pay child support. The last thing she ever wanted to do was to move back home. She is an adult and wants to do as she pleases. She refuses to discipline her children for fear they might not love her anymore. So my grandchildren run wild in our new home (we bought it May 2008). If we try to tell them no, my daughter gets mad. Her life "sucks".
I get it. It isn't easy to move in with Mom and Dad and suddenly not make all of the rules. Mom and Dad have rules. It isn't fun to have to check in (out of courtesy) to say whether or not you plan to be home for dinner. It isn't fun to help clean up after your children. I get it. I try to be patient when my grandson (the 2 year old) smears food all over the table and it takes my daughter all day AND someone saying, the table needs cleaning before she wipes it up. My patients are being pushed to the limit. I try not to get upset when my daughter leaves a dirty diaper laying on the floor (living room, bedroom, it doesn't matter). I try to be patient while she orders everyone (her two younger sisters who still live at home) around. She lives hear rent free, we provide food, shelter, diapers and even clothes for her children. We have rearranged everything in our lives to adjust to her and her children living hear. I love them all. Did I mention, her life "sucks"?
I'm trying hard not to be bitter. I am trying hard to let her raise her children her way (and still keep my house intact). I love them. I am just so tired of being made to feel like it's my fault her marriage fell apart. I'm so tired of hearing "My life sucks". We all know she's going through a tough time and we have tried to be there for her. We love them. But how much is too much? My sister and Dad keep telling me to be tougher and let her leave with her kid's and see how much life could really "suck". I'm not sure I can do it. The stress is enormous on our family. I've always thought family came first and we make sacrifices for them but now...maybe tough love is better. I would love more thoughts on this.
I love all four of my daughters. I would give my life for anyone of them. I took a class a few years ago and found out I was a "helicopter parent". Basically it means I hover over them and protect them from harm or trouble. Maybe I'm just crazy. Anyway, these are the ramblings of a frustrated and tired woman. Am I terrible for wanting my house to have my rules, my own space and less stress?
I am still recovering from this past weekend. I have three grown daughters and they are all very stressed out right now so I came up with an insane idea; I should take the three of them away for a weekend where they can just relax and forget about their problems and reduce their stress. One weekend of total pampering (on a small budget). I filled gift bags, one for each daughter, with pampering items such as lotion, pedicure and manicure items. I put chocolate, snacks, tissues, notebooks and pens in the bags. I know, it sounds sweet, right? Let me take a moment to tell you why they are stressed. My oldest is not the warm fuzzy mother type. She likes kids but she's not very patient. She has two children that she spends 24/7 with. Her boyfriend (father to one of the children) doesn't help her with the kids or house. She never has time to herself. She wants to go back to work and he won't let her. My second child is due May 29th to have her second child. She is married to a boy (and I mean boy) who wants to act as though they are royalty even though they are broke. He thinks he is the inspiration for the "Fast and the Furious" movies. He recently started behaving in a way that makes my daughter wonder if he is being faithful. He's lying to her, coming home late, they don't talk, when he's home, he's spending time with the neighbor or watching TV. My daughter is scared that he is going to leave her with two children or try to take them from her (she's a homemaker and doesn't have an income). My third daughter (usually my sane, strong, independent, responsible and laid back daughter) is preparing for her second semester exams. This week, she finishes her first year of college. She has three big papers due this week on top of studying for her exams. On top of this, her job is at the college (work study) and they don't work over the summer so she needs to find a job in this economy. So you can see why they are stressed. I pick them up on Friday and we head to our destination (we had to stay close by because of my daughter's pregnancy ~ doctor's orders). We get to the hotel and we unload the car (so far, so good). We decide the first night, we would hang by the pool and order pizza. My second daughter started opening up at the pool about her concerns and basically trying to let go of some of the stress. My oldest (who is usually the hostile, self-righteous one) got "offended" and asked the third daughter to go outside with her. So the rest of the trip was me and my second daughter trying to relax and talk about her concerns while my oldest daughter avoided my second daughter and usually pulled my third daughter along with her. My third daughter brought her three papers with her. She didn't relax much between working on her papers and tending to my oldest. I did my best to get all three to relax. I had scented candles all over the room. I brought white roses to fill the room. I had bath salts for hot baths. Herbal tea for soothing the soul. I thought I had all of the areas covered to take care of them. I used empathy and I listened to them. So why did we come home and I feel exhausted? I know the answer to this question. I am exhausted because I spent the weekend renewing them and tending to them. I took care of them but not myself. I don't regret it for a minute but I do wish I had taken advantage of the weekend and relaxed myself some. So, how about you? Do you need to relax? Do you need a break from your stress? You don't need to go away to do this. You can ask someone to watch the children for 24 to 48 hours for you. Then turn your house into your own private spa. Light some scented candles...run a hot bath...give yourself a pedicure...give yourself a manicure...Better yet, invite a friend over and trade off. Give each other the pedi and mani. My next pampered weekend away will be with my third daughter (who still lives at home), my sister and my mom.