When You Have No Village

I’ve been a mother for just almost 5 years. I have never had a village. Of any kind. I have this strange “settlement” with some people that “would love to help” except that they can’t, or they don’t, or they won’t. I have 2 ladies from church who offer to help, and who have gotten me out of a few binds by keeping 1 or 3 kids. But they’re busy. And they live over an hour away.

I do not have grandparents to call. I do not have a best friend down the street. I do not have Aunt’s to host slumber parties when I need a night off. I don’t have people who just show up to help. In 5 years I’ve never been able to say, “I can’t take the screaming anymore. Help.” And have ANYONE show up. I’ve never had anyone to call when my depression makes me want to throttle everyone in sight; some one who would just show up.

Maybe you have a village. Maybe your mom, or Mother-in-law lives just 15 minutes away. Maybe you don’t need help. Maybe you have never felt like giving your kids away to the first passing car. Maybe you have never hated your job.

I can’t say any of those things. In fact, 2 years ago, while going through a tough time with my depression, I lost “friends” — several of them. They basically told Brandon they thought I was too negative, and needed to just do my job without complaining.

With friends like that who needs enemies?!

Instead of a village, I have mountains of people who take for granted that I can do whatever they want… usually whenever they want. Even if it’s over an hour away. Those people do not offer to come to my world. (It’s too far, afterall) They do not offer to actually show up and help with my work. Some offer to talk if I need to… If I could manage to stop and talk and actually remember how to have a conversation, and hear anyone…it would just put me behind on everything else that is swallowing me.

I feel like an island. And I’m absolutely drowning. I could read any parenting, homemaking, momming book out there and none of it would help. Instincts are overridden by fatigue and stress and frustration. There is no calm left only anger. No hope. Only guilt. No joy. Only resentment.

If you have never parented from a point where you could not get help; then you have never seen how many walls it puts up. Soon even if someone was to offer, your mind and heart can’t accept it. You’re so used to being “ok” that you put up defenses. If someone says, “let me know if you need anything.” You’re heart just rolls it’s eyes and says, “yeah. Right. ‘Cause that always works out.”

A lot of people have told me in not so many words, that I’ve put myself in this position. If I’d just done x, y, z then I’d have all the help I need. How does that work?! I don’t make the choice whether anyone offers to help. And I have asked…I get crickets. No response at all.

And here I sit, angry and wishing someone — anyone would read this and have a clue how I feel. Maybe it’s begging. Maybe it’s whining. Maybe it’s just a wife and mother at her wit’s end, with a to do list that’s longer than her stamina. Maybe villages of people helping people don’t really exist anymore. Maybe I expect too much and set myself up for disappointment. Maybe…. But then Maybe someone else can at least say they feel this same way. At least then I could be part of a group of islands….

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A New Thing

As a stay at home mom, I often find myself frustrated that I can’t do anything to contribute financially. Now, I know my job is important, and I know staying home saves us daycare costs for 3 kids. But I also know I can’t buy groceries, or pay for home repairs on money I just didn’t spend. Lowe’s is not going to give me all new flooring just for staying home with my kids.

So, I’m frustrated that I can’t contribute. Back in December I stumbled onto a direct sales company I hadn’t heard of before. It intrigued me, but I’m not so good at sales so I left it alone. But then I went back and looked some more. And I emailed a consultant with the company. And I asked a bunch of questions. And then I left it alone.

In January I mentioned the company to Brandon. He was supportive so I almost signed up. But the timing was wrong so I backed out.

In March I finally joined. I ordered the sales kit. And I set up a Facebook page. Then I panicked. I don’t know how to do sales! I’m way out from friends so parties are going to be a nightmare! Augh!!!

Then my kit finally came in the mail. Y’all the products are great! Sure you can get a few similar items otherplaces — that happens with most direct sales companies. But the quality is great; and the things you can’t find anywhere else, you really can’t find anywhere else! They’re innovative and unique. And I love them!

Have I got your attention yet? Are you wishing I’d hurry and tell you what I get to sell?

I represent the only direct sales business dedicated entirely to organization. The car, closet, cart, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, office….we organize it all!

But I have to tell you,this isn’t just about sales for me. I really want to help people. To help YOU. I want you to tell me your problem area(s) – even send me pictures so I can point out specific products to fit your needs. I don’t want you to just buy more boxes, bins and bags, that won’t help. I want you to find the exact products you need to create an organization system that works for you!

So if your among the 60 something percent of American adults who say they need to be more organized, please head over to http://www.clevercontainer.com/bethanyr

Let me help you make room for life.

 

 

Not a Mom

Confession. I make a terrible mom.

I used to work in a day care. My room had 18 kids, 18 months through 3 years. I could change a diaper, help a kid use the potty, tell a child to get something out of her nose, and monitor time out all while smiling and enjoying my job.

I could say “good job!” 50 times a day, and mean it. I could hug, laugh, read, clean, direct, and love.

I only have 3 kids now. I can’t handle them. Where I was once a calm, level headed girl who would sit and croon “I’m not picking you up until you stop crying. This is a fit. You need to stop.” Now I just want to scream (and frequently do) “what now?! You’ve only been up an hour! Can’t you just behave?!”

I’m supposed to teach them, direct them, set a good example for them. But I’m also supposed to do laundry, cook, keep the house clean enough the health department won’t shut us down, grocery shop, go to doctor appointments…. It turns out I can’t do both.

I’d like to be a good mom. I’d like to talk all sweet, like Michelle Dugger, with way less children. I’d like to whistle while I work. I’d like to sit and read and laugh with my kids. But all I manage to do is tread water and referee fights all day.

Maybe some day I’ll be good at this. Maybe.

The Lender’s Slave

Coming up in just a little over a week, Brandon and I will begin leading our second Financial Peace University. As I try to get my brain in gear, and as I do spiritual battle against a devil who does not want us to have any peace, financial or otherwise; I have been thinking on a couple of verses out of Proverbs.

The first verse is a favorite quote among parents: Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This advice can apply to a good many areas of parenting and discipline. We must train our children in everything from how to use a toilet to how to ace a job interview — and all areas in between. But the second verse I’m thinking of, directly follows this verse, yet it’s largely skipped over. Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rules over the poor and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”

Yikes. I don’t know any parents looking to set their children up for a life of slavery; but we live in a society that absolutely is! Think about it. Most Americans “spend money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.” And all of this is being done through debt. Car loans, student loans, credit cards, out of control mortgages, personal loans, pay day loans…. The list goes on and on. 

The average American household income is $59,039 (US census bureau 2017.) Yet the total consumer debt in the U.S. is $12.73 trillion. That’s 12,730,000,000,000 dollars!! (Nerdwallet 2017, federal reserve Q1 data) That is crazy. If we break it down credit cards alone account for $764 billion. Misc debt equals $840 billion — on just plain stuff! Americans owe $1.17 trillion on cars. Student loans add up to a whopping $1.34 trillion.  And mortgages account for $8.63 trillion.

Those numbers are huge. Americans in general are drowning in debt. 70% of couples do not budget, and 78% of people live pay check to pay check. And yet, for the most part parents continue to set the example that debt, loans, and credit cards are the only way to get ahead. Debt is marketed as this amazing financial tool that will set you free to live a crazy lavish life that you could never afford any other way. 

The truth is, debt is an anchor. A millstone hung around the necks of the people. Debt isn’t freedom. It’s slavery. It’s working every single day just to pay someone else. There is no real living this way. And wise King Solomon knew that when he wrote Proverbs 22:7. “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” 

If you are tired of living your own life this way, and scared for your children’s future as they are released into their own world of debt, I highly encourage you to find a Financial Peace University class in your area. Look up Dave Ramsey or another Christian money advisor (one who actually has money — because you want to watch and copy rich people if you ever want to become a rich people.) You can be the one to stop debt in your family tree so that your children do not have to become slaves. You can change and set a whole new crazy good example. YOU can be debt free. YOU can do this!

Too much

Great news! 

I’ve been on my current antidepressant dose for almost a month…it worked for like 2 weeks. 

Now I’m just in this stupid, neverending cycle if mood swings.

 It took 2 months of calling the doctor for me to get to go in…for an appointment I scheduled 6 months ago. I’m really not in a hurry to start that again. 

Meanwhile, I’m really not enjoying being a mom, and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual. So that’s fun, considering “be a mom” IS what I always wanted. 

What I really want is to run away. I’m not sure where I’d go. Somewhere with no kids, I guess. Somewhere with no one around so I can just be angry and yell. Somewhere…not here.

What I really want is to go back to the first part of last February, and just start over. I want my friend’s brother to still be here making people smile. I want to go back and have Laney, and not feel all mixed up to be excited, while his suicide is so fresh.

I want to go back to May and fix my Papaw’s gallbladder surgery…fix it where it doesn’t send his cancer into overdrive and take him from us. I want to go back to July and visit him while he is healthy and laughing, instead of fading and dieing. I want him with us for Christmas.

I want to go back to November and save the kid’s pup. I don’t want to scoop her spattered remains from the highway at 10:30 on a cold night. I don’t want to tell the kids she is gone. And then I don’t want to realize that my own dog is on a downhill slide.

I want to go back to Veteran’s day and be in a good mood. I want to be happy, smiling and excited about packing shoe boxes for children. I want to start the day on a good note. And I want to finish it on one too. I want to go back and save my Memi. I want to skip the text about the heart attack. I want to skip yelling no, no, no over and over when Mom told me she was gone. 

I want to go back to December and enjoy my favorite holiday. I want to bake cookies and sing. Shop, wrap gifts, enjoy lights, smile, laugh, anticipate. I want to go back and enjoy a trip home. I want to skip hating being there. I want to skip my children being sick. I want to actually have fun. 

And I can’t do any of those things! And I can’t bring any of those people back! And I can’t take a year of broken out of my 4 year old’s heart. And I can’t even functional at all, without medicine that is barely keeping me out of a mental hospital.

So now I can’t even hug my kids. I can’t smile at them. I can’t love them. I just sit here and care for them, as though they belong to someone else. As though this is just a job. Nothing special. Nothing to devote my heart to…as if I have enough unshattered pieces of my heart left for anything, anyway.

Yeah, right!

Insert blog here.

My children has some 6th sense to go absolutely INSANE every time I open my blog.

Correction. They use that 6th sense if I answer the phone, pick up a book, get out bills to pay, try to cook, walk into the bathroom, or have a thought to try any of the above.

I’ll blog in 18 years…give or take.

Stay tuned for that.

Behold

Fear not for I bring you good tidings, of great joy, which shall be for ALL people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10,11
A saviour. Born for ALL. Every one who believes is welcome. No exclusions based on race or Creed. No exceptions for the moms, like me, who have “lost their religion” way more than once this week. No secret pass word. No social requirements. Just salvation for ALL who will believe.

Thank you, Jesus.