I am so afraid of change.... but like DH keeps saying, "if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got". This is so true and I know it. I see it and have seen it. I know I need to make changes of my own but I don't know how. Either I don't know how or I just haven't accepted that my fear is blocking me. Either way, things are at a cross roads in my house and I am very depressed and want to fix it.
Tears - I have spent the last month crying and arguing with DH about my lack of control with my kids. It sounds extreme but this is 8 years of build up. DH10 has social/emotional problems and I have been advocating for him for the full 8 years. During the first half I fought an uphill battle against ex-H and DH since neither one agreed there was a problem. But I knew it and kept at it. Eventually they got it. DH has changed his tune and attitude over the last few years. However I have burnt out. Like DH keeps saying to me, why is it that if I know DS10 has problems and needs extra help/attention/guidance, why don't I give it to him? I really think I'm burned out. I'm exhausted, frustrated and even have my own (I HATE to admit this but I'm being honest here) I even have resentment towards him. Why is it that I can treat DS5 the same way and get results? DS10 is such an exhausting child. Don't get me wrong, I love him dearly but I am so tired and worn out.
Begging - DH was begging me last night to work with him, to be on his team. I agree with him on how to do things, I say I want the same things, I say I would like to go the same places (goals) as him, etc but I do NOTHING to act on it. Sometimes I do make some changes, but they only last a week or so, maybe a month if I'm lucky. Then I fall back into old routines since it's easier, since I'm tired, if I'm feeling depressed or don't "have time". I don't know how to get out of my own way. I really really REALLY want to make these changes but historically always fail. It's almost as if I don't think it's worth it since "I'll fail anyway".
Ultimatums - My heart is crushed but maybe this is the motivation I need. I am very disappointed in myself that it's had to get this far. DH is sick of hearing me say I'm gonna do these things but never do. Actions speak louder than words and it's time to act. He said to me that if I am not stepping up and parenting with him by the first of the year he is going to leave me. He says he doesn't want to, that he'll regret every single second of making that decision but he can't keep coming home to the chaos that is happening here, a lot of it I contribute to.
A month ago he called out of work "sick" for a whole week. This was for his mental health as he has been so stressed about our family life. This isn't the family life he had envisioned (nor is it mine). Since he is self employed that was a whole week of pay that he missed out on. As a result, we are struggling more this month financially (obviously). He is a carpenter and when we first got together he did side work on the weekends. He prided himself in being able to work hard for a short period of time to be able to get a decent paycheck to help us out of some kind of rut. Those days were great. About 5 years ago he stopped pulling in side work because I was so stressed and frazzled with DS10's behavior issues. He started staying home on weekends as his presence helped keep DS10 calm (we don't hit our kids but DH is a big man with a deep voice that can be intimidating to a child). Over the years DH has passed up many opportunities for work (and we need the money) because he didn't want to leave me alone with DS10. (Keep in mind I was also being hit and choked by DS10 in his younger years so I also have been scared of the "what ifs" even though he hasn't done that in 4 years.) The "slap in the face" for DH was two weeks ago when I went in to work on a Saturday for a few hours and he stayed home with the boys. He could have done a side job in the same amount of time and pulled in twice as much as me. But instead he was home with them. No wonder the resentment....
DH was begging me to make these changes. They are simple little changes and this is all something that can realistically be done. Why is it that I have never been able to change on my own? Why is it that DS10 hasn't been motivation enough for me to change? Why haven't I been motivated by seeing things in my family are not how I want them to be? Why is it that the only motivation to get me off my a$s is an ultimatum from my husband saying how alone he feels, that he wants us to be a team and if I don't step up to the plate he's going to leave?
I need to rebuild my confidence.... I have none right now. I need to regain my self-esteem.... it is the lowest ever since being a mother. I need to learn skills to remember things so I can follow through. I need to find, have and KEEP a "bottom line". What I stand for can't be changed day to day depending on how pressed I am for time, how I feel (my back pain) or how tired I may be. I need to do these things to set consistent boundaries for my boys- and me- so we all know what to expect.
As pathetic as this may sound, I don't know how to do these things....
For the last week I have been struggling with bieng firm and consistent, however I know how important it is for my family and I'm trying very hard. There is definitely a wedge between my husband and I which has me depressed. He is still holding firm that I "step it up" and "be a parent". As a result of how things have been the last month or so, I am very confused. I catch myself second and third guessing everything I do. But I'm not stopping! I'm TRYING...
For example, last weekend was pretty embarassing. It was the simplest of situations yet I was so caught up in not wanting to "do it wrong" I didn't know what to do! I was helping DH fix a light on our trailer and was holding wires and tools for him. DS5 was playing nearby and slipped around back of the house just out of eye sight. (Had I been alone I'm sure things would have been different.) Immediately both DH and I called to him to come right back where we could see him. When he didn't respond immediately, DH got irritated and asked why I didn't drop what I was holding and go get him? Instead I was standing there dumbfounded not knowing if I should drop the tools and run to him or ask if I was doing it right first, you know? I went to get him (he was about 10 feet away playing) and took him by the hand to DH. It was as if I wanted reassurance that I was doing it right and what to do next. DH and I both spoke to DS5 about the importance of coming when called and then I brought DS5 inside. DH followed a few minutes later and proceeded to drill me on why I couldn't do that myself? Why don't I have the forseight to think and plan out my actions? Well.... of course I can't lately! I've practically turned myself upside down and inside out to try and "retrain" myself and my way way of parenting!
Speaking of upside down and inside out.... to add more stress and strain to my whole family dynamic, I was in the ER Wednesday morning with Vertigo. DS10 found me in the bathroom and got DH to wake up to help me. All three guys were great helping me out and it was good to see all four of us work as a family/team again. Then the stressors kicked in. Now I need help getting the boys to school in the morning cuz I can't drive. It's been even MORE of a struggle to be consistent, present and firm since I can't see/walk straight. I also get so exhausted quickly.
I did have an issue with DS10 the other day getting mouthy with an attitude which I'm sure was a mix of being tired from the ER trip and stress of what's going on. I felt confident in my ability to stop that. I was holding myself up on the table and told him that if he didn't stop mouthing off he wouldn't be able to use the computer that morning which is what he wanted. Conveniently I was able to stand by what I said as there wasn't much time. However, it worked and he stopped.
DS5 has been very smart mouthed with a sassy attitude and I'm having trouble with him. He is the kind of kid that runs or gets limp if you try to pick him up. So being dizzy I am nervous about standing my ground with him. But I know I need to and being sick is no excuse. When I tell him I'm going to take something away he says "go ahead" or "you can't get me... nah-nah-nah-NAH". I'm not going to play games with him, not going to engage in arguing but I am not physiclally able to do too much. Any suggestions for dealing with him?
I do miss my husband, terribly. He is here but it's obvious that there is a major strain. I just told him that I'm now going to be out of work on short term disability and that was like another stab in the back. Besides all of this parenting trouble we are having we are also filing bankruptcy. We are in a huge financial mess which I know is also contributing to all of this. So being out of work is another blow. I just want to be happy again.