Sunday, November 22, 2015

Throwing your hands up in the air and surrendering

Sometimes you just have to give up and surrender. I am doing that. I am surrendering to the fact that I was unable to get through to someone very close and dear to me. I was unable to make them see why the choice they were making was not in their best interests. I failed, and so I surrender to the fact that this wasn't my fault. It is not on me. It is on them. I cannot always control what people do, even if the choice is obvious.

However, there is a part of me that is angry and offended, and will continue to be so. They made the wrong choice. Someone got hurt, someone was not given what they deserved. I am angry on their behalf. I am offended.

On another note, today many good things happened in my home:

  • The kids had an epic cushion pile on the couch and were jumping and diving into it with full glee. Even J was going all out, that child has no fear at all!
  • K and I went out on our street to sell her last box of girl guide cookies. She loved it and did a great job, I am so proud of her. 
  • J thanked me for reading him a book. I know this doesn't seem like much but it was adorable and he really is the most polite child at 2 - it's incredible. 
  • R's reading has really taken off, he was reading a new Star Wars book tonight and it has grown leaps and bounds even in the last week. 
  • Glassman actually made dinner tonight and it was successful albeit a little off recipe ;)

On a frustrating note one of our two laptops is hooped. Glassman's super cheap one doesn't play videos, can't ever be unplugged or moved from its location and is only for writing (like I'm doing now, and glassman's novel he is working on). We had one that worked for playing netflix and what not, and it's now dead - so that's great. I wish we could invest in a new computer, but that's not possible, so we will be looking at another cheap one. Yay! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Accepting can be scary

So I have been thinking about this whole unschooling journey and, honestly, I am scared. What if my kids grow up and they aren't these successful, creative, confident adults I have pictured in my head? What if the delayed reading, or writing really does affect them? What if the lack of having to prove oneself to a teacher prevents them from having motivation to do better? What if? What if? What if? What if?

Rather than dwelling on those disturbing feelings, I started to be mindful with them. I let them be. I let them sit there and slowly, I began to unfold some thought patterns. I realized that all of my worries came back to people thinking or even *blaming* my children's shortcomings on me, as a parent, because it was me who made this choice. (However, if my kids came to me with logical intelligent reasons and wanted to attend more formal schooling, that is always a possibility, so this isn't always just going to be my choice). There are many downfalls and opportunities for failure while attending school. What if they join the increasing amount of youth who are developing mental illnesses because of the pressure and lack of play while attending school? What if the forced early ready and writing causes them to lose their natural love of such creative and healthy outlets? What if having to prove themselves to an outside authoritarian causes them to lose their internal drive to succeed?

The difference, though, is that attending school is the norm. There are two possibilities if any of these things were to happen from my kids attending school. Either we wouldn't notice them, or think they were a problem (like childrens' hatred of reading) because it is the status quo. We, as a society, tend to believe that children hate reading, or they hate learning in general - we don't even question those notions anymore. The other option is that the system itself would be blamed. Either there was too much or too little pressure from the teacher, an over crowded classroom, too much or not enough recess, not the right foods offered in the cafeteria - and the list goes on. It would be the systems fault.

But, it wouldn't be mine as a parent. It wouldn't be mine because I was doing what was expected of me. The responsibility isn't on me. The fault isn't on me. Like I said, the blame isn't on me.

It's fear. I am afraid of of people blaming me. I am afraid of my kids failing (although, if they are happy......really....what is the true definition of failure...) and everyone's, mostly my family's, eyes going to me.

As I see it, with unschooling and the lifestyle we have chosen, what my kids do and do not learn is on them. They have the choice here. We provide them with the enriching environment to learn and to thrive and they use their natural, biological, intrinsic motivation to seek the information they need. They do this by mimicking us, asking us questions, reading, or any other number of options. If they fail to meet goals (might I just interject and say that I hope the only goals that matter to them are the ones they set for themselves) then it is on them. The responsibility is on them. It is not on me. I, as a loving individual and parent, will support, help, remind, encourage, and let my child be free - and in doing so I believe I will be giving them the tools to succeed.

Now if only it wasn't for that pesky fear.....

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Body Autonomy Starts with Yourself.

Who am I to say that I want my kids to love themselves and be able to accept themselves for everything they are if I can't do it myself. I posted a few weeks back about learning to love myself in my tiger bathing suit, and yet it is still something I struggle with. Doing what I want to be doing for me and not for anyone else. I feel like I am going through what I should have gone through in my early 20's now. It's not a mid-life crisis it is a finding myself, it is a learning to love myself. I've proposed to my partners that we focus on our health and try to eat better in a further effort to lose the weight that plagues me, I have gotten Craftymama to dread my hair completely, time will tell if it will all stay in this time, and I put another hole through my face: vertical labret to be exact. I like piercings and tattoos (I got a new tattoo a month or so ago in fact, yay for saving birthday money!). I like the adrenaline rush, I like everything about it. I love how it feels. 

This is my body. This is my Self. My family accepts me and loves me who I am. My kids love me for who I am - even with all my flaws. The least I can do is try to do the same. 

Speaking of my family and my partners - our anniversary is coming up. October 28th is what we are calling our official anniversary. It is kind of complicated how everything got started so there is no official date of starting or when we sat down and said "yes, we are committed now." It's been 6 years now. 6 years in a polyamorous relationship. It has been tumultuous and simultaneously wonderful. I have learned about love, and communication, and trust and just what should make up a healthy relationship. I have two people who will stand by me and with me while I go through my mental health issues. I have two people to help coparent and love all my children. I have two people who will fix the sheets on the bed in the middle of the night because I can't sleep when they are wrinkly. So we are coming up on 6 years - it is incredible. I am incredibly lucky, and blessed, and happy to be with the both of them. As they have told me on multiple occasions, I am a challenging person. I know this. I know how amazing it is that I am with people who both get me and help make me a better person at the same time. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Body Autonomy - Enough Said.

Click on the above text to read the whole article. It really is a great article to think about when raising or interacting with children. They are their own people, they are their own beings and deserve our respect, and one of the ways we can do that is by respecting their choices when it comes to their bodies. 

No, my family is not perfect. We still struggle with respect in all forms available - including food choices, But we are working on it. We are trying to be better. It is our goal for our children to feel that we respected them as individuals and allowed them to express their own desires. I hope they feel loved and supported.

Everyone does the best job they can with the information they have. Maybe this will be new information for you. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

DITL: Friday September 25th, 2015

A date with J and a drink with family.

Obligatory morning selfie :)


First I had to drop this guy off at work. I feel like I've been dropping him off for years. I guess it has been over 8 years now!

Then it was off to a doctor's appointment to discuss my fluctuating moods. The photo on the right is one that I have been obsessed with in his office - I'd honestly like to buy it. 

 I returned home to find K and M on the computer playing Minecraft and Craftymama, well, crafting.

I load J into the car, he gives me his serious face, but is really excited at getting to go in "Mii Mii's Car!"

When you are walking with a toddler we must touch everything and look at everything. This wall was not an exception. 

Then it is off to Starbucks for an oat bar for J, a long time favourite, and a coffee for me. A day with a toddler is going to be a long day.  

Then we went off to Value Village to get some winter clothing for the kits. J was fascinated by all the different vehicles he was allowed to hold!

Then we went to Beach Acres. I have done this walk with all the kids. All of them, save for BigR, have gone on my back. I love this trail. It is beautiful and peaceful and oh it just fills my cup. This may be the last time J lets me wrap him :(

Pretty waterfall - you follow this river all the way down.... the beach - where you can watch the boats come and go. 

Handsome J climbed this big log to play his cars which he carried down the trail with him. Cars go everywhere! 

Read the bottom of that text...the climb up did suck. J wanted to do it, but often went nugh nighs on the many stairs because he was so tired. However, he wouldn't let me wrap him. Took 20 minutes to walk down and an hour and 10 to walk back up.

Snack time in my car. 

Then it was off to the mall for something to do. I got J a car cart because his little legs were tired from the big hike. He was thrilled - and then even more thrilled when I got him popcorn!

These are the moments I want to remember. His hand won't hold just two of my fingers for too long. 

Then it was off the the library. Though instead of books, J dove into bean bags, and climbed into shelves.

Back to this place to pick Daddy up. This was his face when he saw Daddy's truck. We were very excited.

First we buckled....then we fell asleep.

So of course, upon waking at home he had to nurse. 

While I created dinner. I made my version of some sort of chinese food and the kids loved it! I don't know if I'll ever be able to recreate it! 

Shortly after our late dinner the littles went to bed with kisses and the bigs had their computer turns playing Minecraft and googling Harry Potter things - while the baby watches. 

While I sit with my feet up. Entertaining a toddler out of the house all day is hard work!

To end the day we have some drinks - make some nachos - and watch Greys Anatomy. 

A good day! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Weekend and my Chaos

So we all know I am diagnosed Bipolar II and Borderline Personality Disorder. Through the course I've what I just learned was 18 different medications, 4 forms of therapy, and at least 14 ECT sessions I found balance. That balance became waivered and last week I entered a depression and began hearing voices. I alerted my psychiatrist to this right away and he prescribed some medication which I reluctantly began taking. Two days after starting it the voices went away but mania set in. I was manic for a few days and it was fun, it always is. Then it got out of hand. I took 4mg of ativan in a 2.5 hour time frame and it did little to slow me down. My family needed to sleep so I was taken to the hospital where I was essentially sedated for the next 20 hours. I spent 2 nights in the hospital, from Friday until Sunday and when I told them I was not ready to go home because I still felt agitated and the beginnings of a depression (which is common after a manic episode), and I didn't think that was a good combination - they let me go anyways.

So Sunday, I went to a Nanaimo Free Learners event being held downtown and talked to some people about children's rights to education. That served well to distract me enough from what was coming. But it came. I have entered a depression again. I am working with a therapist and we are getting to the roots of my beliefs about myself - a lot of which originated in childhood. No I wasn't abused or anything in childhood, frankly, I had a pretty good childhood. But I was subject to a lot of negative talk directed towards me by people who were supposed to be my friends and people who were in trusted positions. The messages they sent to me are what I now believe about myself. I now have to work at re-hard wiring my brain so I no longer fall to those apparently faulty notions about myself. That will take work and I am not there yet.

My work is struggling. I have had to take a a few days off and I have not caught up and have not had the motivation to catch up. I am terrified of losing this job like I did at Salvation Botanicals because of my illness. I have been forthcoming with my bosses as well as my coworkers as to what's going on with me, and I am hoping they continue to understand. I am also hoping this passes really really soon.

I have been in some pretty dark places in the last 4 years, and I am scared of going back there. I am scared I'm heading there now - and I know I will if I don't do something. Problem is I don't know what to do. I can only distract myself so much. I can't rely on the medication, which are not completely working. I only see my therapist every two weeks, and the work we do takes time and is slow. I need tools and resources now. I see my psychiatrist on Friday, so there is that. I like him, he has been with my from the beginning. Craftymama and Glassman continue to support me, and I continue to be open with my kids so that they both know I am struggling and can see me working to improve, not giving up - that's an important lesson for them. Of course, I don't give them the scary details, but they do know that my brain thinks differently than theirs, and sometimes I think bad thoughts which make it hard for me to do things, and sometimes I have to go to the hospital to get help. I think that's good for their ages.

So I am hoping not to stay in this mind set for long. I am hoping it just passes or I find something I can do. In the mean time, I am surviving day to day - moment to moment - and sometimes that's all I can do.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fall is Upon Us

So Fall is upon us - though not officially for a few more days I guess. The days have gotten darker and colder and it rains now. Craftymama is in her glory - she loves fall. I am already missing the long summer days. I hate waking up when its still dark. Soon I will leave for work when its dark and leave for home when its dark as well - no daylight for this girl!

K had her birthday:

I have some one on one time with each kid for their birthday and with K we went out for coffee and then to the yarn store - don't worry she got decaf. This is the second time she has gone out for coffee on her birthday, I think I'm gonna have a starbucks addict on my hand. She received lots of doctor and space related things - her two main interests right now. NanaJ was around to show her how to use a stethoscope which was very exciting for her. I can't believe she is 8 now.

What other things are happening? Well, most other kids went back to school and our kids are reaping the benefit of empty parks and swimming pools which is awesome. They went to a science discovery thing today and had a ton of fun. M is even learning how to read, I hear he is doing quite well but he is very quiet about it and I don't want to push him to show off his new skills.

The boys are obsessed with star wars and lego - and M with fighter planes. LittleR is obsessed with me - still.

The activities have started. M is in soccer - one practice and one game a week. He runs way faster than any of the other kids but is lacking in soccer skills so he is timid to touch the ball. BigR got to bring a pocket knife to his Cub meeting because they are going camping this weekend - I am stoked for him, he is going to love it oh so much. K started Brownies and apparently already has a best friend. I still don't know what to do with LittleR - do I have to do anything? Will someone else make this decision for me?

As for the three of us? Glassman is going to be having some days off because work is sporadic - he is writing lots. Craftymama is marketing up a storm for her school and already has people talking about her which is incredible! And me..well...I'm still plugging along. Still working. Same old Same old.