Yes, it is!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Have Too Much Time On My Hands?

I have decided that I will NOT give up my blogging, although there will be some changes in the near future.  I'm still working on some ideas.
In my Farewell post, I had talked about some reasons about why I was going to give up blogging but I have since decided that I am NOT going to allow other people to dictate what I should or should not do.  I don't particularly care if I don't have the support of the hubs, either.  He has his hobbies.  I have mine.  I haven't demanded that he give up his dirt-biking even though it takes away from family time.  So, therefore, I will continue on with my hobby of writing, especially because it does NOT take away from family time.  (In fact, I'll let you know, Neighbor ((since you think I have too much time on my hands)), most of my writing is done late in the evening or into the night AFTER everyone else is asleep.) 
There was a comment left on my Farewell post that I am going to cover in this post.  I'm fairly certain that I know who wrote the comment.  So contrary to them thinking that I have too much time on my hands and that I should drop every single thing that I am doing to hover over my children so that they won't be kidnapped, I am going to cover what my weeks consist of.  So take that, commenter, Neighbor!
Apparently, this particular person thinks I have too much time on my hands.  They also think that I must think I'm a martyr.  And, they apparently value their own children more than I value my own children. And blah, blah, blah.
This person apparently has no clue how much I truly have going on in my life.  I have 2 children who require special services.  My daughter goes to physical and occupational therapy appointments, in addition to whatever specialty appointment she may require.  My son goes to speech therapy.  In addition to that, my son attends a 2 1/2 hour per day program where he receives additional speech services.  Just this past week alone, I had to drive my daughter over to St. Louis Children's Hospital  3 different times for different appointments.  Three times in one week!  I burn up a lot of gas just taking my children to appointments. In addition to that, I take Jackie to gymnastics one night a week.  She is also a Girl Scout and I take her to those meetings and whatever activity they have.  We have temporarily stopped piano lessons due to conflicts with all of the appointments. Jackie and Ben also go to children's choir practice on Sundays after which they go to another program (Awana).  Every day after Jackie gets home from school, I supervise her as she does her homework and in the evening, I supervise as she does her reading assignments.  Ben goes to private speech therapy once a week.  It was initially recommended that he receive private therapy 3 times per week but there was no way that I was able to fit that into my schedule with all of Jackie's appointments and activities.  As a logical person can see, there is no way that I am able to work full-time at this time.  On the occasional days that I don't have an appointment to rush to after school, I substitute teach if there is a need at one of the schools.

In between tending to my children's needs, I must make time to keep up with my fitness routine.  This is so important to me on so many levels, mental health being one of those reasons.  And with the cold weather arriving soon, it is even more important for me and the kids to get to the gym where the kids can play in a warm, safe environment while I work out.
And somewhere in the middle of all of the above, I still have to find time to grocery shop, do laundry, cook meals, shop for shoes.  So, tell me, do you think I have too much time on my hands?  And martyr am I?  No, just a mom trying her best to take care of her 2 kids with special needs in the midst of a chaotic life.
In fact, Neighbor, I'm going to provide a run-down of what the past 7 days have been like for me, starting with last Friday.  Friday afternoon, I had to pick up my daughter from school and drive to St. Louis for her 3-month eye appointment.  I had to remind the hubs to pick up my son from a babysitter. Then I had to rush home and prepare dinner for the family.   On Saturday, I cleaned house in the morning.  I had to get groceries.  Then I had to go shopping for shoes that I could fit onto my still-healing fractured foot.  The hubs took the kids to his dirt-bike club event.  Then I had to drive out there to meet them and do the wifely thing and hang out for awhile.  On Sunday, I attended church with my family.  Then we came home and I had to feed my family some lunch.  Then I went to the gym for a class.  Then I came back to take  my kids to their Awana club.  On Monday, I took the kids with me to the gym for a class.  Then I rushed back home to prepare dinner.  Then I had to rush back out to take Jackie to gymnastics.  Then we had to rush back home so Jackie could do her homework before bathtime and bed.  On Tuesday, I had to pick up Jackie from school early, again, to take her to yet another appointment (neurologist) in St Louis.  But on the way there, I had to stop at a Metrolink station to pick up Mother who had just arrived here from Florida.  The doctor was a bit delayed so I had to rush home again.  Because of the time constraints, I went ahead and got take-out for our dinner that night.  Then I had to set up a temporary bed for Jackie since Mother was taking Jackie's bed. Then homework time.  Then I had just enough time to get to another class at the gym. On Wednesday, I had to run several errands with Mother. Then I picked  up the kids from school and supervise Jackie during homework time. Then that evening, the hubs and I went to look at some property and take care of other matters while Mother took care of the kids.  Then we came home where I did my motherly duties of getting the kids ready for bed. On Thursday, I rescheduled Jackie's occupational appointment (again, in St. Louis) so that I could attend her parent/teacher conference after school dismissed.  But before that, I had to pick up Ben and rush him home to his grandmother and then turn around and go back to the school for the conference.  Then I had to go to the grocery to get additional ingredients for dinner.  I had to prepare dinner and get my family fed.  After cleaning the kitchen and leaving instructions regarding the kids, I went to the gym.  Today (Friday), thankfully, there was no school but I still got no break.  I had to drive to St. Louis again for Jackie's occupational therapy.  Then while I was over there, I took the opportunity to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.  Then I had to get home because Ben had a speech therapy appointment in the afternoon.  Then I had to prepare dinner for the family.  After the kids played outside for awhile after dinner, we left to do some much-needed shopping elsewhere.  Somewhere in the middle of all that, I had to  do the usual household stuff.  So, tell me Neighbor, do you still think I have a lot of time on my hands?
As far as the possibility of my children being kidnapped, children have been kidnapped from under a caretaker's nose.  I don't want my children to be kidnapped, but good grief, I am not going to be a helicopter parent.  My children are supervised well enough for me to be comfortable.  And beside, if this other neighbor truly valued their children more than I value mine, then they would perhaps make certain that their child would not ride their bike in front of cars.  If I was a helicopter parent, then meals would not be prepared, laundry would not be done, house-cleaning would be even less than it is now.  I feel safe enough in our particular neighborhood that I can continue to allow my children to play with their friends outdoors if I feel the need to visit the bathroom, check dinner that might be cooking, put away laundry, let the dogs out, etc.  Oh, and by the way, Neighbor, the hubs does not value my children more than I do.  Who is the one who takes care of most of their needs?  In fact, Neighbor, I have to remind him that he ought to keep a look out for the kids whenever I leave the house.  Think about it.  It's too bad that you feel the need to judge my parenting skills when you really should step back and take a look at your own.  Not that I'm judging, though. My own children are not allowed to play unattended inside of my vehicles and invite their friends inside. 
There is more that I could say about the ridiculous comment that was left by this person but I'll just leave it at that.
This evening after dinner, another one of Jackie's friends came over to ask if Jackie and Ben could play outside. I told Mother to hover over my precious children outside while I finished cleaning up my kitchen. After I finished in the kitchen, I went outside where I noticed the neighbor kid, who is twice as big as Jackie, riding on Jackie's scooter.  I let her know that she should get off the scooter because if she breaks it, she would have to replace it.  My children still have their toddler scooters and this particular child is over the weight limit for these scooters.  Then she got on Ben's scooter but this time, I reminded her to be careful to not break Ben's scooter.  Then she ran off but I didn't think anything of it until the father came over and told me that if I didn't want his child on the scooter, then to tell her to get off.  Well, I did that the first time when she was on Jackie's scooter.  It's really a shame that what started out to be a blog post asking for advice on handling the conflict between two neighbor girls (before it involved my own child), turned into a neighbor dispute all around.
Thankfully, I've had nothing but support from my own friends (especially my bloggy friends) and that's all that matters.  And despite the negativity from the neighbors,  I still care enough about ALL of the neighbor children that I won't hesitate to come to their aid if the need arises.  In fact, since Jackie still thinks of this particular neighbor kid as her best friend, I have told her that she can play with her but it must be outside and where I can see her. 
It's a real shame that this whole situation has just turned everything upside down.  And it's too bad that the hubs thinks that this is proof that we should always be anti-social.  To be honest, for a few days, this whole debacle had me a bit depressed.  But, forget him, forget the neighbors, I still have good friends within my neighborhood whom I enjoy seeing and exchanging pleasantries and vice versa.  For that I am grateful. And I'm happy again.  Thank you God!

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