Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still here, still mental

We moved to a teeny little house last winter...and umm it blows. Don't get me wrong, it is cute...because we made it cute. The theory is great, but like so many things in my life, I get hyped up and latch onto websites and pour over library books and my kick was that of small houses as some kind of simple living movement and, in true Joy fashion, I ignored the fact that all this stuff is written by single old ladies or childless couples or maybe sometimes a family with like one kid. It all photographs so well, you know : )

Well, so we need to move. We are literally gathered 'round a shabby little rug in the front room as our ONLY living space. Try to imagine say, a dentist's waiting room with your five kids. Theres some Duplos on the floor, and ummmm well, hope you like Duplos! Its the pits. We tried and tried and spent a good deal of money on "solutions"--oh yes we heeded the siren's call of clever organizers, upwards storage, loft beds, bunk beds, closet systems, and nope. Still sucks. I know most of the world lives in huts, but for the rent we pay, we are not making a wise choice staying here literally falling over each other.

So, I try to go back to the drawing board--where do actual homeschooling families live? Where do actual families of seven live? Not mopey artists, not never-home 2 income families, but us. What works? How can I "Go confidently in the direction of my dreams/Live the life I've imagined"? When I have failed so many times to be realistic?

Bringing the kids along to these go-sees helps. Let them run and scream and see if it is intolerable even when there is nothing but wide open spaces. Do not go alone to house-hunting appointments, and no taking one mature calm 12 year old doesn't count either. Must bring the loonies.

Do we want a farm or something downtown? We have looked at (and loved) both in the past week. All of us except Mickey. He hates moving and wont barely speak to us about it.

This is what is taking up some of our time lately. Otherwise, I am struggling staying afloat of my depression and anxiety. I have done ALOT of research into new medications and dont get to see my doctor until December 4th. I have learned alot about BiPolar disorder, depression, post partum depression, post traumatic stress disorder, mood swings, and although I want to "get all into" grief and loss, (har har) I cannot do it right now, not while I am the sole caretaker for these five kids. Its bad enough just trying to be a good role model and decent mother when I am feeling so anti social, vulnerable, upset, and so extremely sluggish most of the day. So I am a bitch sometimes and they are all staring at me in the tiny house and its pretty miserable.

It was brought to my attention from a very thoughtful and well meaning old friend that I was starting the "Medication/Moving/Put The Kids In School Dance again", and while the point was well taken, and it did catch me off guard and make me so much of everything, it just kind of made me feel worse.

I just dont have a novel approach, but I keep on trying! Really,all I can say to ALL the mothers struggling is to keep on trying. Try what you know, try something new. Listen to your kids, listen to reason. Listen to your heart, but if your "heart" is only a black ache eternally pounding you suck, you suck, you suck, you blew it, you blew it, you blew it, theres no fixing any of this, its all over, you fail, you failed as a mother as a person as a wife as a super sparkle star you let everyone down all day everyday you suck suck suck suck...then do NOT listen to that. Just try really hard not to be mean, get more sleep, and do not be discouraged from getting professional help including medicine!!!!

I don't know what to tell you about our homeschool. To me, it is just horrid. Everything is. A huge, eye-stinging, heart squeezing disappointment. But the kids are ok. Id like to get them a bigger house and a Mom who is stable-er.

I am also very afraid and hating the holidays. It will start off with an awkward sad thanksgiving with widower step dad and go downhill from there. I used to be so into Christmas but this year I can barely choke it down, without Mom and Grandma.

Well, I try to be fun and funny on Facebook, so if you miss my old blurbs and jokes, yes I am on there alot now, but the blog is still really what I care about, just haven't made the time.

Well ya wanted me to blog....: ) sigh

Ill keep everyone updated on the house hunting, we looked at a nice one tonight, actually.


Kelley said...

Joy, I get it. Totally. Completely. Absolutely.

Honestly, it is very difficult to stay sane, function properly, feel like you are accomplishing anything at all when it is downright impossible to take a step without stepping on someone because your living space is so small. Here's to moving to bigger house! We did it, and I think my sanity was saved when we did. There is something so soothing about being able to shut a door on the noise (have I mentioned the family room has French doors that CAN SHUT?). You can still hear it, but it's not so loud that it's taking over your mind.

Good luck, Joy! Don't be hard on yourself. You take risks. Most people won't do that. You try things on to see what fits, and eventually you will find it. Please don't think that you suck because you don't. You are just coming off of a very difficult year after another very difficult year, and you have nowhere to go and mourn and work through all that because there is no place for peace and quiet in your home. I hope you find a big, rambling wonderful house with a big yard and plenty of rooms for kiddos to play/work/scream in and doors for you to shut when you need to.

Kelley said...

Oh, and by the way, we need to talk again soon. :) Love ya!

Leigh Steele said...

Holding your space and knowing that time will unfold good things for you. If it makes you feel any better, I truly (in my heart and deep bones) believe 2010 is going to be stellar. Not a cake walk, but a big sigh of relief.
You, Joy, amidst the hardships, are a pure and kind and loving mother. Know that. Your kids are resilient. Your honestly keeps them that way.
Loving you.

emjaybee said...

No matter what you do, you will wonder if you could have done it better. At least, if you're me, but you sound like you do that to.

Living a non-mainstream life is hard...going against the flow is a lot more work. You're not going to hit the super easy bullseye every time.

So this house didn't work out. Eh. Chalk it up to experience, move on.

I would say--working on your psych issues wouldn't make you a worse mom, and it might help! Even if it dredges up shit you don't want to deal with, you may also find yourself *better* able to cope if you know you've got someone to talk to on a regular basis.

(again, speaking from my experience).

I love your blog, and I envy you in some ways. I'd love to have more kids and can't; I'd love to live in your part of the country but can't; etc. etc.

Sending good vibes and house hunting luck.

Anonymous said...

i've heard that brownstowne township has some amazing big houses and cheap land in very close proximity to lots of organic u-pick farms. maybe you should check that out... i feel for you about the living situation- we have 7 kids, 3 dogs, and 3 cats in a standard 1600 square foot house. i was just telling my husband that i feel like such a slacker for not being able to manage better with what i have...i guess lots of us moms have it bad...