Friends

I was thinking about friendships recently. Mostly about how they ebb and change when your life changes. I guess we all serve a purpose in someone’s life, in one capacity or another.

I’ve noticed, since Lailah was born, some things have shifted. I don’t have the “freedom” in my schedule and cannot be as spontaneous as I used to be. We don’t have family here, besides HH’s niece; she’s in law school and just recently moved her pre-teen daughter down here, so we don’t want to impose on her. We don’t want to impose on our friends, either. So far, we’ve only had one friend babysit.

But anywho, I’ve noticed the people who have sort or backed away, and others have stepped up. Maybe I’m just in my feelings (LOL), but when I log into social networks and see people posting about events/get-togethers that I would’ve been invited to previously, that they didn’t even bother to invite me to now, that kind of sucks. Like, I still want to have a life, too. If I know in enough time, I can make arrangements. Reminds me of when Tiffany in Houston wrote about how her single friends were acting like she was persona non grata when she got married.

Then I got perturbed. I’ve noticed that some people really leaned on ME when they were having all kinds of trouble and problems. Now that life is back in order, I don’t hear from them as much.

Yes, I am a mom now. But that’s not my whole life. I was talking to a counselor about all the changes from 2012 to now. He pointed said that he is a big proponent of “me time,” and that it seems most of my “me time” outlets have gone by the wayside. I never thought about it, but he is right. When we moved to our house, that took me (physically) away from the activities I used to do and people I used to hang with. No more yoga. No more triathlon mentoring/participation. No more dropping by to see friends as much, because we live on opposite sides of the earth now. I think this has been part of my frustration and tension lately, and I’m making plans to address it.

I know they say that some people are only in your life for a season. I guess I’m surprised by some or the people who have become seasonal. Also grateful for the people who still reach out and communicate.

Do you think people can move between friend status and acquaintance status? Or are they always friends, but just move from being close to being distant?

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2 Minute Gratitude List

The other day, I read a blog on Ten Things Moms Need to Remember. I posted it on my FB page, and several mommy friends thanked me for posting it.

Even though I haven’t said much to friends, or posted much about it, most weeks I feel like I am not getting it right. Lailah is the most precious gift I’ve received, but I have a hard time dividing my days between work, her, HH, CH, and on yeah – myself! I feel like I am getting it wrong almost daily, which leads to at least two people being frustrated. It’s like a rain cloud that just follows me around. It frequently brings me to tears (in the shower, of course, because I feel like I can’t show this frustration to everyone). I’d say that it’s a small cloud, because in the scheme of things I have a ton to be thankful for. But the cloud is still there.

Number 8 on the list of 10 things to remember is “keep writing your gratitude list.” This is something I used to do a lot of. I even had a phone app and a journal app on the iPad. Neither of which have been used much lately. The author of the blog posted a Google docs link to a free printable for completing a 2 Minute Grateful List:

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You set yourself a timer for 2 minutes, and list the things you are grateful for today. On her blog, she mentioned a lot of little things I don’t even think of. Like coffee. Music playing. Freedom. The sweater she was wearing. The possibilities are clearly endless.

I started writing these earlier this week. My lists are kind of small right now. It’s hard to write a long list when you are feeling frustrated. However, I’ve found in those 2 minutes I feel a little better. I put the list up on the fridge each day so I can look at it when I’m in the kitchen.

At first, I was going to just do this without telling anyone. I wanted to see if I could keep it up on my own. I changed my mind because I figured you guys could help keep me accountable. I know at least two of my Twit.ter friends will harass remind me about the list.

Do you write a grateful list each day or periodically? If not, have you ever thought about trying it?

See What Happens?

CH got his report card yesterday. Or maybe it was the day before. I’ve got my days all mixed up as of late. Life with an infant will do that.

Any who, at the beginning of the year, his chemistry grade was a H.A.M. There was tutoring available and he wasn’t taking advantage of it. He was acting like a D was cool. Uh, no.

So needless to say, I was psyched to see his final grade as a B! Like maybe some of what I said was sinking in. He did get a C in math, but there’s some delay in the final grade on the state exam. He could possibly end up with a B in there as well.

I got home today and HH told me to go look in CH’s room. I knocked and went in to find a tv on his tall dresser.

Me: nice! See what happens when you bring those grades up?

Him: wait. This is because of my grades?

Me: not solely, but do you think this tv would be here if your report card had C’s and D’s?

Him: *looking as if a lightbulb came on* nope!

Now, I actually didn’t know HH was gonna get him a tv today. We need to flesh out the rules for usage and what things constitute removing the satellite box and Xbox. But I hope he sees now that there can be good consequences for doing what you’re supposed to do. It’s a welcomed change from having to discipline all. The. Time.

We shall see how long this lasts. LOL

My Thoughts on Step Parenting

This blog is, like, weeks late. I read this blog where a blogger was asked to give her thoughts on step parenting. It stemmed from this post from another blogger, Drollgirl. I don’t want to re-hash what they said. I agree with points in both blogs. Just want to add my two cents, before Lailah wakes up from this catnap she’s taking. Her sleep schedule is a whole other blog in itself. LOL! Anywho…

Like Drollgirl, I grew up with my siblings and both my parents. There were no step parents and no step siblings. I had no direct exposure to the blended family, though some of my friends did.

One of the lines in Drollgirl’s post stuck out to me. She said that her boyfriend told her, “…I would never be a mother to his kids — they already had one.” That’s pretty much my approach. I’m not here to be CH’s mom. She is alive and well and very much a part of his life. He lives with us because he’s at the age where he needs his dad’s foot up his butt guidance.

I remember trading teen stories with a coworker who has a teenage son the same age as CH. At one point, he was basically telling me that I should refer to CH as my son. To which I politely told him, but he’s not. To me, referring to him as my stepson is ok, because he refers to me as his stepmom. We know our roles and assume them accordingly. I always love how people who have never experienced step parenting have the most advice. Not. LOL

CH calls me by my first name. I’m ok with that. If he’s talking to one of his friends on the phone, I’ve heard him refer to me as his “stepmom.” That’s what I am. I have no complaints. He comes to me to talk about relationship questions, same as he does to HH. We talk about school. When I direct or ask him to do something, he does it. We’ve never had that awful “you aren’t my mother!” moment. Does he get on my nerves? Yes. Do I get on his? Probably. But I think that happens in all parent/child relationships.

I do think it’s important that all the parents are on one accord. CH also has a stepdad, as his mom is remarried. I’ve never heard him say anything negative about him. If I could change one thing, it would be that his mom and I communicated with regard to him. I think that’s where Jada Pinkett Smith’s story is rare, and may have folks thinking that step parenting is a cake walk. Kind of like The Brady Bunch and Modern Family.

One thing I noticed at Thanksgiving, and even now when we’re talking about them, he refers to my mom as “Grandma” and he calls my siblings “Aunt” and “Uncle.” He refers to their kids as his cousins. I found out the other day that he called my niece to talk after he broke up with his girlfriend. To me, that means we’ve done a pretty good job with the “blended family” notion.

It still throws me off when he calls my mom “Grandma.” I always think he’s talking about my mother in law. Then I realize the context of the convo and figure out that he’s not. I think he does a little better job at the blended family than I do, at times.

Step parenting is up and down. One week it’s easy, and the next week you’re over it. That’s the best way I can sum it up.