Saturday, February 6, 2016

Growth in All Ways

So I haven't posted in a month! I want to post more, but I don't find myself in front of a computer at home much, or craftymama is monopolizing it for her school. A lot has changed in the past month.

Ctraftymama had her first open house for Maple Hill , it went great, about 30 people came out, she had tons of questions and tons of interest. Her first session, a 6 week one day a week course as an introduction to free learning, is already full and there is interest for her fall full time program! It's absolutely incredible, I am so proud of her and how this is all coming together. She is even going to a course in Portland, Oregon in August with her business partner.

Glassman started working again - yay! He is working for the same company he worked briefly for last year. They are based out of Duncan but have a job in Nanaimo right now so it's been rather convenient for him. It's nice to have him working again. The income is great, and it's good for his mental well being as well. Though I am sure Craftymama did enjoy the extra set of hands around the house at times.

I have an interview with a funeral home next week, it was supposed to be on Friday but as the industry goes - someone passed away so they were called away to take care of things. I don't think anything other than networking will come of this as they did tell me they weren't looking to take on any apprentices at the moment - but its a great place to start. I am anxiously excited!

The kids are well - BigR has recently began reading up a storm, its like he wasn't reading and then all of sudden he could. It was awesome. He is current at a 3 day camp with his Scouts group on the mountain. K has been writing a bunch of songs and is really into singing lately, she wants to be a famous singer and perform on stage! M has been focused on minecraft lately, and he is getting quite good at it. While they are using his tablets he will just sit quietly building whatever it is that you build. I've heard how educational and whatnot this game is so that's cool - I don't get it though. LittleR, well, she is still into me and unicorns - those are her passions in life. And J..well J is is starting the weaning process and isn't too happy about that.

Relationships have also changed. Craftymama and Glassman are no longer in a relationship, so that means we are no longer a triad. At this point we are a V. I'm not really comfortable discussing the reasons why this happened, as it's too personal for a public blog, but it's beyond sad. I am sad for them, I am sad for me, and I am sad for us. We are committed to making this work as a family, no matter what the individual relationships look like, we are in this together and we all still love each other in one form or another.

Another change that has happened is that Craftymama and I are in an open relationship. I am not really sure what this looks like other than we are both free to have feelings or be more open to experiences with other people. Craftymama is currently in some form of a relationship with someone else, and me, well, I am adjusting. It was harder than I was expecting, and I felt different and more powerful emotions than I was expecting. However, I firmly believe in this, and I believe that I can overcome any feelings I have. Also, I believe that Craftymama and I can get through anything. She is always there to reassure me when I need it, which is wonderful.

As for me and another relationship, I am working on building my self confidence and self esteem. I want to learn to love myself. I have made great strides in this regard in the last month. I have begun to eat better and exercise, I've even joined a martial art, Kenpo, which is challenging me every time I go. I've picked up my guitar again. I'm going to a Borderline Personality Disorder Support Group. My meds are under control and stable. I'm doing all the right things and I am feeling better. I am reaching out to old friends and making new ones.

It's been a long time of living in the dark and merely surviving my life, it's time to start actually living it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back to Work

So today marked back to reality. Actually - the only thing that changed was that I went back to work. Glassman still isn't working, though he did call EI today to get that figured out and is hoping to start up with a glazing company in Duncan in the next couple of weeks. So nothing changed for anyone but me.

I realized, today, that I need a change. I need to be doing something that brings my joy. I love the people I work for and its a great job, and I am good at it, but it isn't my passion. Not only is it unfair to me to be working at something that isn't my passion, it's unfair of me to be taking the job of someone who's passion this might be. I can picture the person now: the one who loves refinishing furniture, or crafty things, who has the patience for these techniques and small details, the person who loves sales, and talking to people (though I do love talking to people). That person is out there, and I am taking their job, and that isn't fair.

I am afraid of losing the friends I have made, and the connections I have forged with people. I have been honest with them about everything since the beginning and they have been supportive and flexible and wonderful with me through being kicked out of my house, my mental health issues, and the many things that arise with children. I don't want to lose that.

I made a New Years Resolution to choose joy and I need to do that. I need to choose something that brings me joy.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Love


At one point or another on Christmas day all of my children, save for J, said that Christmas was about love (for food, for family, for being together, or just for love's sake.) It was a wonderful thing to here. Christmas has always been about stuff for me, and it's been a big issue. I always wanted my Christmases to be toned down. And they were for awhile, especially when we were really involved in the Waldorf Community. I am grateful for that time, and proud of myself for all the hand made things we used to do, and maybe the fear that existed a bit in grandparents to get the children the things they really wanted to. Now the grandparents are doing what they want to do (which makes me happy, because life should be about satisfying your own needs, and not constantly worrying about satisfying someone else's requirements), we have less time for hand made, and we are not longer as Waldorf. I still see the value in having a wooden, albeit more expensive, animal and farmhouse over a plastic one as I feel the play will be warmer and more involved, it is not crucial - it is not the be all end all. What is most important is that my children know what Christmas is about - and I think we have achieved that. Parenting level: expert.

We went around to all the grandparents houses. It was chaotic. It was a lot. Our kids handled it as best as they could given the change in routine, the late bedtimes, and the influx of new and shiny things. I am glad the hoopla is over. I am excited to do Christmas pizza next year, instead of a dinner.

I am trying not to be a Grinch, I really worked on it this year. In some ways I succeeded, but I was tested in a lot of ways buy a few things, and I failed a few of those tests. I am grateful I had the support of my partners to remind me to breathe and relax and do what I needed to do to manage everything.

So from my family to your family have a wonderful rest of 2015, enjoy your entry to 2016 and be gentle on yourself and others.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I hate Star Wars. Really, I do. But the kids freaking love it. M as a matter of fact is learning to read because of Star Wars, BigR is also kind of catching on to reading through Star Wars and K, well she could already ready. But really, I'm sick of hearing about Padme (who K pronounces PadMee), and Maul, and even J is into Backa and Solo (cute, but still, arg!). We have only watched one movie, we are planning on watching Episode 5 soon, and then this will only increase, this will only get worse - I am afraid. But yay, interests I guess.

What else is going on? Well, the Christmas season is coming, in like 9 days. With Glassman not working we planned to do a toned down thing, but we received from very nice gifts that have helped us immensely and to which we are eternally grateful for. It is still toned down compared to a lot of people's I think, but with 8 people in the house, even if people only get 3 gifts, that is still 24 presents under the tree. OH! Speaking of the tree, this year we got the tree that did not want to be a tree for us. It would not stand. We tried tying it up, we tried using blocks to support it, we tried using rocks - we tried everything - it would NOT stand. Finally we got a bucket, put the bucket in the stand, put the tree in the bucket and put gravel rocks in with the tree to hold it. It is standing, but I know that one day I am going to wake up and come out of the bedroom to a fallen tree. Several times a day you can hear a parent shout "Don't touch the tree!" It's to be looked at only.

We have my work Christmas party on Friday, Santa will be making a visit (J will love it!), then Glassman's family party on Sunday, then Craftymama's dad's on the 23rd, my mom's on the 24th, and then Craftymama's mom's on the 26th. So much for boxing day open house where all the grandparents come. I don't like all of this traveling around and multiple Christmases. But I suppose it's only fair, they travelled to us to many times in Duncan, that we can move around for them.

I am trying to enjoy Christmas more this year. Nor focus on the expectations, and just let things go more. It was working up until the tree debacle, and decorating when there were 9 people here and the kids were absolutely insane and the house was a mess and I was just trying to make some memories dammit! I am enjoying it more, overall. I am not a complete Grinch, but there are certainly things I could do without.

I have a some days off from work that I am looking forward to, well, not really financially speaking, but it'll be good to have some days off to mentally and emotionally recharge. I am trying to take responsibility for my emotions and do some self care things. So far it hasn't really been working, but the point is I have started to try, and I have an amazing doctor and an even more amazing support system at home.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Life isn't Always Perfect

Relationships aren't easy. They are a lot of work. Add into the mix the fact that we don't have just one relationship going on like you would in a monogamous relationship - we have 4: Craftymama & Glassman, Glassman & Myself, Myself & Craftymama, and the three of us together. That's 4 relationships that need nurturing and time and patience and everything else.

Yes, it's definitely worth it.

Lately, though, it has been challenging. The relationships aren't connecting on the levels they need to be and some of us are feeling left out, lonely, like we don't fit in, or that our other needs aren't being met.

We have tried to have some discussions about some of these specific issues, but I think the root of the problem is we are trying to do to much. We have the usual chaos that is having 8 people in a house, plus Glassman isn't working so there is that stress, which adds to the money stress. Then Craftymama is trying to get her school organized and ready to open at least part time in the new year, which is a lot of both physical work and mental work. Then there is me, and really I am the only one I can really speak for. I am trying to work on all my mental issues in a variety of ways: each of which very different and yet still vital to my health, plus I am trying to expand my parenting tool repertoire, then there is the whole working towards becoming a funeral director which I am making small strides towards. It's hard to keep all the balls up in the air and not drop some from time to time. We have to find priorities and hold those ones up the longest.

For me, I am looking to connect with people. All of our interactions seem to be about bills or surface stuff, or major meltdown issues. There is nothing in the middle, nothing that helps us feel we are truly connected to each other through our minds, hearts, and bodies.

Perhaps I am asking too much. Part of this polyamory thing is recognizing that not just one person can meet all your needs, and it's not fair to ask them too. Am I happy with what I have? I think so, I certainly love who I am with, and I love being with them. It's only when I think about what I feel 'should' be happening or how things ought to be that I begin questioning and wondering if I am truly happy. I am mentally stimulated at work, my boss and I follow similar trains of thought, so I really do enjoy having discussions with him, that need of mine is being met at work - why does it need to be met at home? The important thing is that a person's needs are met, it doesn't really matter how, does it?

Maybe I just go searching for problems? But I do think there are some things we need to work on, in fact I know there is; it's simply a matter of figuring out what's important and what can wait - while at the same time juggling all those aforementioned balls.

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 Responsibility....it 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.....