Tag Archives: mistakes

Floating, not sinking.

Today, I am broken and in the middle of a story that I will never share. It is private and runs deep but it consumes me and all that I am and all that I am about.

I am stuck in a place that I cannot fix and I cannot change. I have tried and tried and this time is coming to end. It’s a horrible feeling that makes me want to throw up, but somewhere in the back of that horrific feeling, I feel something that feels a little bit like relief. Relief mixed with sadness, or something like that. I don’t know.

I feel like a tightness that has been consuming me, is starting to loosen it’s grip. I feel like this isn’t the most worst thing ever, but is somewhere in the middle. It’s SO not good, but maybe, just maybe it isn’t so bad. Every moment, I “feel” a little bit less, and I think that’s a good thing. But then I know it isn’t.

I hate not winning especially when it means that I’m losing …. is this losing? Or is this winning? Bah.

Why is life so incredibly tough sometimes? And unfair. And difficult. And crappy.

Have you ever been in this same place? A place where no answer is right, and no matter what happens, there’s going to be a hole. When you close your eyes, you’d like to just be able to sleep for a little bit, and then wake up and have it all done and over with. A place where your heart has way more power than your brain, and your heart is wrong. When you question every word, and every decision you’ve ever spoken or made in your current situation. When you want to sit down and cry, not because you’re sad or mad or really anything, but just because. In the middle of a story where the ending is wrong, or a chapter seems to have been forgotten. This is a horrific place to be, and I really wish I knew why it was happening. I hate not knowing.

BUT thankfully, there are some things that I do know.

I know that every day and every moment serves a purpose.

I know that this story isn’t over, that the ending may be different, but the story will continue.

I know that I have done all that I could, and have to let myself trust that.

I know that tomorrow or the next week, I will be blessed with new challenges and situations and that today will make be better equipped to deal with them.

I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at this very moment.

I know that I’m going to be okay, and that my journey isn’t over.

If you’re stuck in a similar boat as me, hang in there. Not all things can be predicted or controlled, and sometimes, we just have to float.

So grab a paddle and a life jacket and join me. Maybe this little canoe will take us somewhere fancy … like a beach or a mall or somewhere that has naps.

Wherever it is … there’s going to be waves. Hang on friends, hang on.

 

Putting down the Pitchforks

I’d like to be able to tell you all that I’ve never left my children alone in a vehicle, but that would be a lie. I’d like to be able to tell you that I haven’t forgotten one of them somewhere or forgot to pick them up, but that would also be a lie. I’d also like to be able to tell you that I’ve always made nothing but right decisions and solid choices when it comes to my children, but that would be the biggest lie of all.

I’ve screwed up royally, and thanks to the good Lord above, all of my mistakes have never had dire consequences. My children survived all of my mess-ups and they’re absolutely amazing. They grew up in spite of me and my mistakes and I am ever SO thankful.

As we watch the news both locally and nationally, we are hearing stories of parents that made a bad decision and it cost their children their lives. When I hear these stories, my heart breaks. Not only for the loss of a child but for the pain that those parents will carry for the rest of their days. They will be judged, mocked, shamed and ridiculed while they mourn the loss of a piece of themselves. They will relive that moment over and over and over and will never escape it. I do not wish that torture on anyone. Ever.

Yes, these situations are preventable and yes, they should have never happened. But they did and there’s no going back. Harsh words spoken in judgement will not fix anything, they will just cause more pain and possibly more circumstances that are best avoided.

I’m in no way justifying what happened and saying that it’s okay, not at all. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone and their wrong-doings. Accidents happen ALL the time, and more often than not, they’re preventable. But they are still accidents.

In these particular situations with children being left in hot vehicles, I think we need to hear all of the story before we go crazy and attack. Were they left in the vehicle because Mom & Dad were in the bar or casino and were using the car as a babysitter? By all means, get mad. That’s a deliberate choice, that is not an accident. Were they caught up in life, or with other kids, or assumed that someone else had the baby? Well, that is different. Completely preventable but an accident nonetheless.

As we move forward from here, I hope that these situations force us to look at ourselves and the daily decisions that we make. Stop judging their mistakes and focus on not making the same ones ourselves.

How many of you have put your child into their car seat and got partially down your driveway when you remembered that you left something in the house. Did you unbuckle your kid or did you justify leaving them because you were only going to be a second. Have you driven to the store to pick up some milk, and once you arrived found your little one sound asleep. Did you wake them or did you run in without them because you could still see your car? Have you ever gone to the Park to “watch” your children play and end up watching nothing but your cellphone? Have you ever been out for a long day of errands with your kids and their screaming and fighting nonsense, only to have them fall asleep half a block from your house. Do you wake them up and possibly disturb your peace and quiet, or do you just leave them there to sleep for a bit? Lets all be honest here … NONE of this stuff should happen, but it does all the time.

Do these things make us bad parents or are they just mistakes? Be thankful that no one stole your car with the baby in the back seat, or that they weren’t grabbed by a stranger in the park. Thankfully, you didn’t slip and fall and bang your head when you ran into the house to grab the forgotten item. What would have happened if you accidentally started your car with command start and your baby was napping in the vehicle in the garage?

Our kids have all been saved by grace more times than we can even count. Never forget that. Thank heaven for keeping our babies safe and secure when we don’t hold up our end of things.

Those children should have never been left in hot vehicles, that is undeniable. They were bad choices and mistakes of the biggest kind but I challenge all of you to put down your pitchforks, thank your lucky stars and be an encouragement to your community. That could’ve been you or me.

Bravery via Keyboard

I’m not exactly sure how many more times I can watch my friends and fellow business owners get ripped apart via Social Media, without deleting everyone and moving into a bubble, so instead I’m writing this.

And now I take a deep breath and go ….

I cannot believe how many people with justified complaints and concerns think that those things give them the right to become abusive and downright ignorant. Yes, you’ve been wronged or don’t understand why a decision was made, and that’s okay. And yes, you’ve got every right to ask about it and ask for clarification. 

In theory, many of these “situations” will turn out to just be a misunderstanding but quite often, rules or pricing or ideas were put in place for a reason. They aren’t going to change because you’re screaming at the top of your lungs or throwing ignorant comments around like confetti. And maybe, just maybe, you could be wrong. Get a grip people, life isn’t always fair. Plain and simple.

So if you’re one of those people that is using Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or even Google as a disguise to say WHATEVER you want, get over yourself. Hiding behind a computer screen and using a keyboard as a weapon is so not okay. Stop doing it.

When you’re sitting there all riled up, angry and ready to start spewing out nasty words, think. Would you be brave enough to say this to the persons face? If not, why are you saying it?

If you feel that it’s a great place to address concerns with a business, think again. If you’ve got serious issues with something or someone, email them or call them. Making hateful posts and comments are so not fair and in all honesty, very childish.

It’s very hard to get your point across in words and it’s so easy to take things out of context. Your simple complaint can spin wildly out of control, and cause huge problems for someone who made an innocent mistake.

We have bad days, we make mistakes. We say things out of anger or out of sheer desperation. We scream when we want to cry. We walk away when we need to apologize. We ALL do it. Pause a second, take a breath and give people the opportunity to apologize and/or rectify the situation. 

Make a choice to do the right thing, and for pete’s sake, send an email or give a phone call as opposed to spewing your hatred all over Social Media. Odds are good that you’re not going to end up accomplishing what you set out to do. Your “enemy” will appear justified and you will look like a fool. Stand up for yourself, but do that like an adult and not a pubescent teenager.

None of us are perfect …. quit acting like you are. This isn’t about judgement, this is about common sense. Be good to each other. Please.

rudeness

M is for Mine

I read a post by the fabulous Redneck Mommy yesterday and it struck a chord with me. I encourage you to go and read it here. In fact, while you’re on her page, read her story. This is a woman and a family that have endured some unthinkable things and still continue to press on.

Tanis said things that I think about all the time. She’s adopted her child, so her story is different from mine. But I too struggle with the other Mom’s in my life.

I’m a foster parent. I have the honor of raising children that have been pushed aside or had to take a backseat to addictions and abuse. They quite often are a product of tragedy or terrible circumstances. They don’t have other family able to care for them anymore or their “issues” are too scary for people to take on. Whatever the reasons are,  I’ve come into their lives because there’s no other options available. I am their 2nd or 3rd or 15th chance at a normal life.  But, I am not their Mom.

We’ve had dozens of children live with us, and every single one of them still had involvement with their real Mom’s. On one hand I’m happy that they have contact with their bio-parent because that’s important, but it also makes it a lot tougher for me. I’m the one that “goes against” their real Mom … not because of what I do, but because of the place I’ve taken in their life. I am always the other parent,  even though they’re in my care 99% of the time.  I am everything they wish their real Mom would’ve been. They want their Mom holding them and loving them, they don’t want me.

I’m the one that parents them, sets rules and gives them expectations, all things that they know nothing about. I’m the voice that tells them things that they’ve never even heard before. “You are only a child, you don’t have to take care of yourself. You may not go for a walk at midnight, you can’t spend the night at your girlfriends house because you’re 11, drinking and smoking do not make you cool, and neither do drugs. Yes, you need to wear socks and underwear and no you can’t just steal something because you like it. I’m sorry that’s how you used to do things, but we’re going to try something new now”.

I’m the one that wakes them from their screaming nightmares. I’m the one driving them to counselling appointments in hopes of repairing some of the damage that’s been caused by others. I’m the one fighting for justice for them. It’s me listening to their stories of abuse, horror and betrayal. You’ll find me sitting at doctors appointments, or waiting in the lobby at the dentist or optometrist. It’s me begging teachers for a second chance or going to court to learn the terms of probation. But still, I’m not their Mom.

Some of my days are so incredibly difficult and trying that I can’t even put them into words. My heart breaks for them and what they’ve been through, but somehow I still have to reach them. I spend hours and hours trying to piece together their past and figure out the reasons for what they do and how to help them work through it all. I fight everyday to teach them a new way of thinking and to show them a better way of living. I struggle with making them feel safe enough that they’ll let their past experiences go.

Then there’s the weekly visits with “Mom”, and everything that I’ve worked so hard for is questioned. My parenting style, my rules, my choices for them are judged and quite often ridiculed. They end up being showered with candy, and treats and zero expectations. I quickly become the bad guy again, and again, and again.

But I know that this is all that they have with her and that’s all she has to give them. I know that her heart breaks for all that she’s lost with them, and I hope that if she could go back and choose differently, that she would. I also know that it’s easier to make me out to be the bad guy instead of taking all the blame for herself. And well, I guess I’ll take that.

While you live with your regrets, bad choices and the ability to bash me, I’m raising your babies. I’m watching them grow and change. I’m seeing breakthroughs and changes that I once never dreamed were possible. I’m watching the child that didn’t hardly speak for 6 months now sing and talk so much that we have to bribe her to just shush for a minute. I’m at their award ceremonies and cheering them on at sporting events. I’m telling them that they don’t have to love me, because it makes them feel unloyal to you. I’m encouraging them to forgive you and all your mistakes. I’m giving them permission to not call me Mom because they already have one.

So, I give you that. You can be their Mom. Please know that I will never disrespect you to them. I will love them like my own and I will raise them to the best of my ability. I promise you that they will leave me better than they came.

I will honor you as their Mother. But while they are with me, they are MINE.

*I must say that not all of my experiences with Bio-parents have been bad, and I’ve also had kids that have amazing extended families. This was just me clearing my head of 13 years of being Mom Number Two.

This post is Day 15 of the Summer Blog Challenge – 31 posts in 31 Days

Please visit my fellow challenge bloggers and read their stories.

Meaghan at Magz D Life
Tam at Tam I Am
Liam at In The Now
Jessica at2plus2X2

Apologize. It’s the right thing to do.

Picture Property of 20th Century Fox.

I’ve let my kids down and I’ve let my friends down. I’ve made some really bad financial decisions. I’ve spoken very mean words and have given many mean glances. I’ve not delivered on promises that I’ve made and I’ve forgotten to do some very important things. Do I wish that I could go back in time and have a do-over? Without question. But instead, I’ve tried to learn from these things, and I’ve always tried to apologize and rectify my mistakes. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I hate that I’ve let these things happen, but I own my part in them.

Everyone has screwed up and made a mistake in their life at one point or another.  Many of us make those same mistakes over and over and over and over before we even consider change. Just as many of us refuse to accept any responsibility for our part in these problems. Instead, the blame gets placed on others and that is wrong. People are going to react when you make a mistake. Why in the world would you expect anything different?

Instead of being so stinking melodramatic and trying to draw attention away from YOU and YOUR mistakes, just suck it up, deal with it and move on. If you need to apologize, do that. If you need to change your behaviour, do that. If you need to make amends or pay someone back, just do it already. Stop wasting your time and energy defending an error, and quit trying to justify it with excuses.  

Our past mistakes do not predict our future if we don’t let them. When you’ve done something wrong, apologize. Always try to take the high road and be an example of the right thing to do. Admit your mistakes, make a change and move forward.

“I’m sorry” are some of the most freeing words that you’ll ever use. Try saying them some time.