Hunh. I think I just figured out part of a dynamic we deal with. When I feel overwhelmed with work… I’m not great at recognizing that it is my project and I have to deal with it. I get kind of pissy and I push other people to work more. It’s not a great/healthy approach to life. I don’t care what you’re a workaholic about… just work. But the thing is, if I am the only one working, meaning not resting, people want me to take breaks to entertain them because they’re bored. Noah expects me to still have the same energy for sex even when my body hurts and I’m exhausted.
So yeah. I push them to work until they understand how I feel so they don’t fucking have the expectation of me that I feel as rested as them.
I don’t think I push the kids as hard as I push Noah. But that is something I’m going to have to watch because I get around my impulse to do so by reminding myself “Their work is play”. How will I behave when I perceive their work differently?
When I finish the remodel… I’m going to be directing Eldest Child’s screen time for the first time ever. She will be specifically encouraged to start working on a set of concrete skills and I’ll be supervising it like academics. She has stuff she wants to be able to do. The way you do that is to build the habits.
Guess what I know how to do like a motherfucker? Build habits. I’m not sure how I developed such a rigid, workable, way to acquire skills so quickly. In retrospect probably moving schools so much.
I went to 25 schools before I dropped out of high school at 16. Later I went to 7 colleges and universities.
I can adapt to environments and expectations and new rules. Sure.
That kind of flexibility is part of why I like traveling with my kids so much. I’m there with them for a much more structured, supported version of being dropped in a variety of environments.
Since we aren’t going to be going around the world doing work on farms with a tiny baby or a toddler… I just… can’t… I wonder what we will do with that allotment of energy and mental planning around. Hm. There was a lot I wanted to learn. A lot I wanted to do with my body. I won’t be able to a) manage my mood & b) manage my pain levels & c) learn & d)effectively transcribe for my older children & e) care for a baby. Nope. That’s… too much. I can’t.
Home schooling my kids is my primary job. Not learning a skill I want to have. Even if that feels frustrating.
I “say” that we take it year by year and I don’t know how long we’ll home school. As long as the kids want. I’m setting up for the long haul.
I did an awful lot of training so I could shepherd my children through this process. As I go through the experience and I bring dusty plans out of a box because, “Hey I’ve already worked through part of my plan for this situation. No trouble” and I can handle things that would be too hard to deal with one after another after another if I didn’t know what I was doing.
I’m not perfect. Not by a long stretch. But I have Plan A and Plan B and Plan C and Plan D… because I know I suck. I know I will fail. That’s why I make so many fallbacks. And when I run out of plans I just improvise at full speed. Sometimes I’m shocked/thrilled by what comes out of my mouth. I have better impulses at a lot of this than I expected.
Expectations. That’s where we get into trouble. We the collective we, not me and my intestinal parasites. My family builds around getting a certain portion of support from me. When I don’t feel like I have it to give, because I feel under too much strain for whatever reason…
I don’t know how we figure out that fallback. That’s something I don’t have a plan for and we are fucking it up. I feel pressured all the time to be a god damn wind up toy for their pleasure. And we are together 24/7. I need to have less to do. I’m not sure how I feel about being so depended upon to be amusement and stimulation of all types.
I feel…. pissy. I was at the point where my kids were getting old enough to have some space from me. I was individuating and it was rocky and it sure as fuck wasn’t Noah’s favorite…
I feel like I reached the end of a tether while wearing a choke chain.
I want the baby. I want the child. I want the person. I’m god damn pissy about the timing. I’m frustrated there was no warning so that I could have mental plans around this.
I spent so much energy mourning a future I wanted and couldn’t have and now it is kind of landing in my lap. I feel like an ungrateful piece of shit. But it’s complicated.
What will it be like going through those early triggering stages again with a different child? Will I reprocess them again? Oh goodness. I hope not. All I know is they will be something different. I like something different.
It is funny to me how much I’m not saying right now. So many specifics I’m not writing down. I’m already the problem. How deep do I want to dig myself?
Tile is coming along. Shifting stuff to more permanent homes is happening. I’m creating space in sections that are likely to expand. I haven’t done any painting lately because at this point I need to reclean the walls in the kitchen before I paint again and… oh man. It’s just a whole process and I’m tired. I have to get tile done. That’s soon. That’s other people work. I’ve done one whole wall of the wet room. I’ve done more than half of the wall next to it and the shower wrap around wall. I have done part of the facing wall.
I need to do: the small partial wall between the toilet and the shower. The walls around the bathtub and up near the sliding door.
I’ve done partial/decorative pieces for both spring and summer and I honestly think that’ll be fine.
A friend is currently remodeling their home and is interested in maybe having me use a whole bunch of my leftover tile for that project. Which is kinda thrilling to me. But crazy. I’ll probably ask to go lay out the tile and oh will that be fun for my back.
At least they are getting the 3″ tiles instead of the 1″ and 1/2″ tiles. That has been the hard part. All those tiny little fuckers to pinchy maneuver. Oh my hands.
There’s going to be a lot to look at in my bathroom. I’m so excited.
Last night the kids and I watched Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time. In the bath tub. It was glorious.
I like my life. I like the people in my life. I just…
I was individuating. Now I can’t again. It is feeling really hard. I know that the attachment is important. I know I want the long term relationship with adult children. I know it is worth it to me to put in another 20 years on kids. But I’m chafing. I was down to like 12 on a lot of measures.
I want to meet these people. These people who are like me but who aren’t touched by incest.
I really want to know people like that. I know that probably seems like a weird thing to motivate wanting children. But it is a huge factor for me. A lot of my feelings that I’m a monster originate in this idea of being “tainted”.
I’ve been thinking about cultural perceptions of violence and intimidation. By a great many measures I’m… not a particularly violent or controlling person. Not compared to some norms that exist.
What is the norm against which I ought to be judged? I’m really not sure.
I’m really not sure.
I’ve come really far from where I started. But is it far enough?
I don’t know.
I’m sure not. There is more I have to fix. Problems I need to solve. Ways of being that I have to root out and excise.
It’s an obnoxious process.
I’m tired. Most of the time that Noah has been gone I’ve been working very long hours. I have to put in my hours with the kids, then after a while they watch screens for about three hours while I work. Then I stay up long after they are asleep working. I’ve not gotten a lot of sleep in the past week. My body hurts. But I got a lot done.
It’s funny how resetting the house lets me see lots of things that I would like to “fix” long term. Not this year. Not next year. I’ll start a list for maybe 2019. Maybe that can be a project year. Maybe.
We’ll see how much slack I manage to keep in my schedule for how long. We’ll see how much debt I manage to pay off between now and then. Breathe in, breathe out.
The kids will wake up soon and I don’t have a buffer grown up. I should get off the computer now.