A Child’s Heart

A child’s heart
Right from the start
Is innocent and pure

But then comes along
Two who don’t belong
Together and screw it all up

Behave yourself
Get in line
No I don’t want to talk
I don’t have time

Your heart is breaking?
Get a life

Come deal with my pain
My past
My husband/wife

You’re just a kid
What stress could you feel
Your feelings don’t matter
Your pain is not real

Why are you stomping
And throwing and screaming
I don’t understand
What is the meaning

Get out of my house
No time for attitude today
I am much too busy
Getting my own way

I love you
Don’t leave me
Why are you running away
I need you, I want you,
please stay

Healing begins
But first comes the pain
All the hurtful words
All the terrible shame

But once in the light
The problems will heal
And in it’s place
Comes love so real

A child’s heart
Once broken is changed
The life may improve
But the scars always remain.

~stumbling faith

I wrote this about 9 years ago when I first started my job as a Care Manager of kids with mental and behavioral health struggles. It was heartbreaking to see the things families did to each other. But every day I work I try to make things a little brighter.

Happy Mother’s Day!

At work I heard it. At the bank I heard it. Even just walking through the supermarket I heard it.

“Happy Mother’s Day”

Sweet and innocuous comment right? Just a stranger trying to be nice to another stranger in a world with ever lessening niceness. Well sorry my loves but I am here to tell you it is not nice to randomly walk up to someone and say Happy Mother’s Day unless you actually in fact know she’s a mother. And don’t just assume that because she is toting a little darling along that she is a mother. She could be a babysitter, a nanny, an auntie, etc.

I know some people will say I’m being ridiculous, after all it’s just a stranger trying to wish you well. Except, when I hear these words, I hurt. I hurt because I probably will never have children in the conventional way or maybe at all. I hurt for a few of my friends that have gone through infertility issues and have not been able to conceive. I hurt for the friends that have had still born babies or miscarriages. I hurt for other people, like me, who didn’t have the greatest relationship with their mother.

To all of you out there who are moms I praise and bless and pray for you. You have literally brought life into the world and (hopefully) you are molding and shaping a human being into a decent person. I acknowledge Dads are important too as I learned a lot from my father. But there is something about the bond between a mother and child that is sacred and sacrosanct. Even if you have a terrible relationship it is something that is biologically ingrained into us to seek after and something we want.

So please, I beg of you, unless you are 100% positive that the person standing near you in indeed a Mama Bear, please don’t just arbitrarily assume that they are a mother just because they are a girl.

 

My Word For The Year Is…

I know it’s been awhile but vacation, holiday parties, gatherings, traveling and eventually getting back to work all kind of got in the way of my writing. So for you happy few that read this, I am glad to be back.

For the past few years I have been attending an incredible New Year’s Day Yoga Class that helps start my year off right. Jill Blumenstock is the teacher and she is AMAZING!! We start off meditating for 30 minutes on what we want our upcoming year to be like and things we would like to accomplish. Jill helps to guide the meditation and keep us focused. Then we try to narrow down all those intentions to a single word or two.  Then we do 45 minutes of Yoga followed by 30 minutes of deep relaxation. You leave there feeling strong and refreshed and totally peaceful (at least until you get home LOL).

So I thought my word for the year was going to be brave. I really wanted to be braver this year and learn how to stop letting people walk all over me. Instead the word that came to me was Decisive.

I am probably the least decisive person you will ever meet. I struggle with ordering food out at a restaurant and usually wind up regretting what I ordered (total diner’s envy). I make major decisions on our finances with my husband which I think is just good marital compromising and good form so to speak. We’ll have been married this year for nine years so I’d say it’s working. I hate being the deciding vote or deciding voice for literally almost everything because I know somehow I will be disappointing at least some people. So to have this word pop up as my word for the year was surprising but it definitely feels right.

I am in the midst of some major life decisions that basically once I make a choice, cannot be undone. If I take one path, another will close forever to me. So I’ve pretty much wasted the last 5 years frozen in terror of making a choice. But not making a choice I guess became a choice.

My career is going nowhere. I help kids and families and I know that is my calling in life. I absolutely without any doubt know I am in the right area of work. But this job I am in is literally draining the life out of me. I have been severely depressed as of late (which also may have had something to do with not writing) and I know my job is the cause of it. I know it’s time to move on but with the economy being the way it is, the benefits I have, it’s hard to move on. We have an idiot in charge of our country who is just making it worse because he’s acting like an overgrown toddler having a tantrum. But I digress…

If I stay in my job and don’t go to school, I will not really have any other great options available to me. If I do go to school I will eventually have to quit my job to do all my internship hours. I will not be able to work. My husband is not currently working so this is a major problem not to mention that I carry the health insurance through my job.

Then we have the issue of children. I am going to be 37 this year. I have major lady issues and if I want to have a baby I have to undergo some major changes to my medication regime. Which is scary for my mental health. I am surrounded by pregnant women and I want to have a child too but I’m not sure if it’s just because I want to fit in with my friends who are all leaving me and my husband because we are not parents, or if I could genuinely handle a child right now financially or emotionally.

So my options are to not have a baby and close that chapter of my life. I can consider adoption (which is very expensive) or being a foster care parent. I am still exploring this avenue but I’m not sure.  I don’t know if I could give a child back after caring for them. I also would have to have surgery to take care of the lady problems permanently and I’m not sure I’m ready to do that either.

At this point I am still in the information gathering stage. I have appointments with doctors and specialists. I am going to talk to adoption agencies and also the foster care system to see what that looks like.

So whatever the resolutions or decisions you make this year I pray that they bring you peace and happiness. I’m hoping for the same for myself.

 

 

 

 

So Much To Say…So Little Time to Say It

I have been absent from this blog for a bit. I’ve finally realized I am never going to be a daily blogger. I would like to, but life at this point does not allow it. I have so much I want to say but so little time to say it.

I have made some decisions regarding my life and I’m still reeling from those decisions. I completed my grad school application for Social Work. All I had to do was make the payment and I would most likely have been accepted. But….I couldn’t do it. I tried, I stared, I cried, I argued with myself, but in the end I did not complete the payment. After much thought, reflection, a talk with my pastor, my husband, and a few close friends I trust my life with, I have decided that I am going to try to become a mother.

I……….AM…………TERRIFIED………….

I was miserable the day I made the decision even though I knew it was the right one. When I thought about grad school all I felt was anxiety, fear, and more fear. There was no peace about the decision, mainly due to being worried about affording it and also moving around my work schedule to accommodate all the work I would have to do. When I talked to the people closest to me and they all agreed I would completely regret not becoming a mother, I knew this was the right choice. I felt it deep in my soul. This doesn’t mean I was thrilled. Going to grad school has been a major dream for me for the last 5 years. But motherhood has been a dream basically my whole life.

I met with my therapist and we talked about it. I admitted that I was afraid I was going to lose my identity and just become so and so’s mother. Not even a name anymore, just “that kid’s mom.” I told her I was afraid I would never have time to do anything I love again and that I would never get back to school. I’m afraid I will turn out like my mother and be an abusive, miserable, life-ruining mother. I’m afraid we will become homeless because we won’t be able to afford a kid and all that comes with one. My cousin in pregnant with twins. What if that happens to me? How will we manage in this house?

Work has become hell on earth and I have multiple families that are so rude, so entitled, and so abusive to me I have taken days off of work to recover. We are now required to do something called “The Magic Seven” which I refer to as Seven Levels of Hell. Basically you have to visit with each child twice a month and call their parents every week you don’t see them, then call at least three other providers working with the child. So with my current careload of 16 children that is 32 visits, 32 calls to parents, and 42 calls to various other people connected to each child. Also every child must be seen by the 15th of the month at least once. While that may not seem too bad, keep in mind we are not supposed to work weekends (although with the time limits we get I always do), all notes must be in within 48 hours, treatment plan meetings take about 2-3 hours each then putting plans in takes another 2-3 hours. Parents like to cancel, not pick up the phone, or monopolize you for about an hour as they relay all the struggles their little darling is putting them through. You have to squeeze in supervision, team meetings, and one day a month a staff meeting during which you are not to do any work. Do you see my issue?!

I love kids, I love social work, but some days it’s too much. There are never enough resources for the kids I work with. The parents are NEVER satisfied. Success is infrequent and small at best. And yet I want to bring a kid into this whole messy, rude, crazy world. What am I thinking?!

Oh and as for the challenge at the gym. I have given up trying to win. I have achieved my own personal goals. I lowered my blood sugar levels and my A1C. I can now wear one of my bras without an extender! My jeans are fitting a little better. I am actually starting to love myself through this. So yeah I’m not going to win but I feel like a winner anyway!

 

How Snuggles Make It All Better

Hello my friends! I have spent this weekend, which I thought would be spent getting caught up on house work, instead stuck on the darn couch again. Still not quite over this being sick thing. So let me say this loud and clear:

I AM SICK OF BEING ON THE COUCH!!!!

Okay, now that I have that out of the way I feel a little better LOL. But seriously I need my strength back. I need to get back to the gym so I can get my blood sugar down after the steroids sent my sugar into major orbit. I have been getting massive headaches as well.

This morning I was feeling pretty low because all I kept thinking about was the things I needed to get done and didn’t have energy for. My husband, blessed soul that he is, intuitively sensed this and wrapped me up in my quilt and snuggled me close. He didn’t really say much but just his presence and his hugs were enough to ease some of the stress I was feeling.

I have been fielding calls after hours for my job since Thursday. The person who had the on call before me had zero calls for a whole week. Meanwhile I have seven and I’m not done until Thursday this upcoming week. And a few have not been simple fixes. Normally I don’t mind doing this because I get extra in my paycheck but when you’re already feeling sick, dealing with other people’s problems become a struggle. I do have compassion and empathy but when I’m sick I want to be left alone. But we need the money so I just keep going.

We went for Sunday dinner at my mother in law’s tonight, and while I love going because I get to see my niece and nephew who are 2 and 3 respectively, the rest of the time I feel completely inadequate. My sister in law who is my husband’s step-sister is the golden child. She has the first two grandchildren and whether my mother in law admits this or not this gives her special status. So naturally I am expected to be her. I am supposed to have kids, grow vegetables, and be this great Italian wife. But I’m not Italian. And I suck at gardening. And as for the babies thing, well, there’s a lot more to that then I am comfortable discussing right now.

So just as I was feeling pretty crappy about myself for not being this amazing person that I’m supposed to be, my niece and nephew both crawled into my lap and snuggled in. They both told me they loved me and then proceeded to just love me and be with me simply because I was there and I loved them so much my heart literally bursts to overflowing every time I am with them. They didn’t ask me to be anything other then big ol’ snuggly Zia Jenny. BTW Zia is Italian for Aunt.

Tonight I am testifying to the healing power of the snuggle. So please grab someone you love and hold them tight. Tell them you think they are precious, wonderful, and so very amazing. Let them know you love them just as is, faults and flaws included. You may not know it but it may mean the world to them as it did to me today. free_hugs