Update on Us

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I apologize for not being around more. I have been reading but not responding much due to stress and a particularly crazy period in my life.

    First, Duckie has been a mixed bad of high achieving easy child and difficult child. Difficult to parent is the best way to describe her. She has friends, her grades are great. But she just keeps upping her game at home. I feel like I'm walking around with a target on my back. husband has, in a sense, stepped it up as I have been backing off of her. He is finally seeing that she is, in fact, very manipulative and passive-aggressive to any one in authority. It's gotten so bad that I don't say anything more that "Have a nice day" when she leaves for school.

    She has had a few remarkable achievements: she made first chair in our All County elementary orchestra. Plus, she has been nominated to test for a prestigious gifted math program for 7th through 12th graders at a local state university. The odds are against her making it in: 400 - 600 take the test and only the top 60 make the program, but this is truly an honor to even be considered. We spent a week ago last Friday at the emergency room with Duckie. She's fine but took a really hard fall while ice skating with friends. She was carried out on a back board and transported by ambulance for what turned out to be a badly bruised tailbone. I have a few more white hairs now. She also made it 12 years old one week ago today. Unfortunately, I had to take away her 'friends" birthday party because of rude and disrespectful behavior. :(

    My job has also been extremely stressful, I come home exhausted after a 4 hour shift. husband's job is also stressful so that makes two stressed out parents and a difficult child with a big homework workload most nights. It's definitely not pleasant around here most evenings.

    And we finally closed on the new house and moved. The week between Christmas and New Years... in a snow storm. I threw my back out and keep limping along as we just haven't been settled and I keep having to do heavy duty stuff here and at the old house. The good news is that the upstairs is now livable for Duckie as the carpet has been removed and new hardwood has been installed and the closets are finished just this week. So now we can empty the garage of the rest on Duckie's stuff and put husband's stuff into his office so my living space will be much less cluttered (clutter stresses me). Then we can finish moving our stuff from the old house to the new house (stuff in the garage and a few things we just couldn't fit here yet).

    And I've been stressed about the old house. We had a friend (J) give us a low ball offer in the fall and it took me months to convince husband that it wasn't in our best interest not to list our house (it's a true starter home in a desirable neighborhood with good schools, etc). So we were going to list the house last Tuesday evening with our realtor (also a friend and the mom of Duckie's BFF) but then J's lawyer called our lawyer with a much higher offer (definitely in the ballpark) so husband told our realtor about it and now we're going with this offer. While I'm thrilled that we have a cash sale in this market, I still feel like we cheated our realtor out of a commission on our old property, especially when the sale on our new home was so difficult.

    So that's where we are. I'll be back more and contributing more when I feel a little less like my life is spiralling out of control.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow TM, that's one big ball of stress! I'm sorry it's all gotten so crazy for you. I hope now that the house has sold, you're getting out of the clutter and chaos of the move and Duckie is okay after her fall, you can rest a bit, find your center, take a deep breath and motor on with more ease. (((HUGS!!)))
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, that IS stressful! I feel badly that you had to move the week between Christmas and New Year's and then you threw out your back.
    But at least you've got the upstairs finished.
    Happy Birthday, Duckie! Next year you'll have a party ... :)
    Congrats on the math and music accomplishments, too.

    I hope that this week brings calm and continuity and you can have a chance to ice your back, distance from Duckie, and keep husband in the forefront.

    I can't remember what sort of work you do. sorry! Please tell us.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm a pharmacy technician in a very busy pharmacy with two pharmacists that work at cross purposes and we are short-handed. The good news is that corporate cut hours and I have one shift next week. I am truly okay with that.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...congrats on most of that. Sorry Duckie took that fall, it must have been so scary for both of you.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Way too much stress you have been dealing with! I'm glad some of it has been good! I'm sorry Duckie keeps upping the game at home. Happy belated birthday to Duckie! TM-I'm so impressed with how you parent Duckie!! I hope that stress at works starts to lower as well as the stress at home. ((((hugs))))
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Hope your back and Duckie's tailbone and attitude are doing better soon!
  8. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Oh, so sorry about all the stress. Maybe now that you're moved in it will lessen a little. Happy Belated Birthday to Duckie!
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Don't be too concerned about your Realtor's feelings. You have to roll with the blows if you make real estate your career. History shows that disappointments eventually get outweighed by wonderful unexpected sales. It is not a career for wimps, sigh. You will no doubt be able to refer people that will net her more income than your more modest house would have netted. on the other hand, it would be nice to send a gift of appreciation for all she has done. Hugs DDD
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thank you for the good thoughts everyone, I truly appreciate them.

    Sharon~ Duckie has always had and will always have a very difficult demeanor. I've found what works best is to play to strengths while doing what we can to mitigate her weaknesses. Natural consequences are the rule here. One interesting thing was her birthday gift. Duckie is a very strong viola player but would like to branch out to other strings so husband and I got her a violin for her birthday. She was absolutely thrilled and picked it up and immediately started playing it quite well. This may not sound like a big accomplishment but viola and violin music are played on different clefs (alto vs treble). She was transposing her viola music in her head to violin effortlessly. Incredible.

    DDD~ I'm only upset because she is a dear friend that is still fairly new to real estate (just over a year). She went way above and beyond to make our new house sale happen and so I feel she "deserves" the commission on an easy sale like our old house. I anticipate we would have had a deal, contract signed. within 4 weeks of listing based on sales trends in our area. We've actually had a number go through since Christmas which, I would think, is unusual for our area because no one wants to move in winter. We do plan on getting her a nice "thank you" gift when husband's work bonus is paid out in two weeks. I'm thinking a day at the spa, she really earned it.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    TM, that's a beautiful idea for a gift for your Realtor friend.

    Marvelous that Duckie transitioned so quickly from viola to violin! I hope she continues with it into adulthood. That could be exciting.
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    12 already? Geez....

    But now the real fun starts. ACK!

    Sounds as if things have been in a real turmoil lately. Moving during the holidays -- another ACK!

    Hope it doesn't take long to get settled into the new house. It'll be worth all the hassel when it's organized.
  13. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Sheila~ Yes, 12. Going on 35. And she knows everything.

    I hope things calm down soon! This home is a bit of a fixer upper but has great potential. Sometimes I think it will never be organized, lol!

    As for husband... he's been struggling mightily as a parent. He's ping pongs from way too soft to very, very harsh. I'm pretty consistent with being firm but I try to be loving and understanding too because she is, after all, another human being and deserves dignity and compassion as much as the rest of us. So I try to be fair and I support her interests and endeavors. As an example, her school orchestra will be taking a trip to see the local philharmonic orchestra perform next month. Her teacher asked myself and another parent to chaperon. While I didn't particularly care to ride a school bus for well over an hour that day, I will be there because the music program supports Duckie so I support the music program. husband even resents driving her to activities because "no one did it for me".

    Last week, when she got hurt ice skating, we were planning on finishing a few things around the house and having a quiet and relaxing evening as she was to sleepover at a friend's house. And, of course, it fell through when we had to go to the hospital. He actually berated her for being so stupid as to get hurt! I sent him into the waiting room and told her that I think she understands why games like that shouldn't be played and that we are all lucky she wasn't more seriously hurt. She didn't need me to yell at her, natural consequences had taught the lesson far more effectively than I could.

    And back when his mother died last June, she was playing hide and seek with her cousins in the dark behind my sister in law's pole barn. She fell and broke her wrist. She was hurt and devastated because she was supposed to play viola during her grandmother's funeral the next day. He was angry and nasty with her.

    And he's been telling her she's stupid or a spaz when she drops or spills things.

    It goes on.

    So I asked my sister in law to speak with him as my intervening between them isn't having an effect on husband's nastiness. She's seen it to a lesser extent but is aware and will speak to him. She's his older sister and, due to their family dynamics, has been a huge influence on him. Hopefully it will start to change his attitude.
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    First, many, many hugs... You've had to deal with way too much "garbage," "garbage" that you can't control, in way too short a period of time. I'm relieved Duckie is OK! That must have been beyond scary! I can't imagine moving in a snowstorm, then throwing out your back on top of it. Hope your back feels better soon! As far as the house itself, things will come together in time. The house we recently purchased needs some work too, but also has lots of potential. We've been here for about three months and while we can't do everything at once, we've settled in, have made a few minor improvements that have made a big difference to us, are enjoying our new home. Give it some time, I'm sure your new house is going to feel like "home" soon. It will be worth it!!

    It rots that both you and husband have stressful jobs, stress caused by difficult child issues on top of that. It is definitely a recipe for fireworks. On top of that, your husband isn't able to parent effectively, maybe he has a few "difficult child" traits of his own - I don't know you or your husband well enough to understand why. However, for whatever reasons he isn't able to parent effectively, it doesn't matter. You are unfairly having to carry the load on your own while, at the same time, trying to minimize the negative impact he is having on Duckie.

    The way your husband has been parenting Duckie reminds me of the way my mother parented me - Way too harsh at times, way too lenient at others, no consistency whatsoever. Not only did I not know which side of my mother to expect, making it necessary for me to learn to walk on eggshells from a very young age, but also her hurtful comments chipped away at my self-esteem.

    You're a very intelligent, caring, loving mother. Over the years you've given me insight into parenting my own children. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your sister in law is able to get through to your husband...

    Thinking of you... Hoping that today is a much better day... SFR
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thank you, SFR, your words are very kind.

    I worry about her self-esteem too. While she's obviously a high achiever in some areas, she is a low achiever in others (social skills, syntax, etc). She's holding her own but it's still quite a difficult row to hoe. I just wanted her to feel love and guided and supported. And our firmness must be a part of the foundation we have laid with her: honesty, kindness, compassion, respect. The other stuff, truthfully, doesn't amount to a hill of beans if she isn't shown how to be a decent person. Not a perfect person, a decent one. I hope he understands this and makes changes accordingly.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Children learn what they live. If husband agrees with the bottom line being these traits... then HE needs to LIVE it. Consistently. It's always tempting to try to "make" our kids to be better than ourselves. But, while we might enable them to be more "successful" than ourselves, we cannot make them better than ourselves. (If they grow up and choose to better themselves, or if they have other high-quality people in their lives, great... but it doesn't work to live half way up the mountain, and tell the kids they have to make it to the top)
  17. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    IC~ Ive given up on Duckie being "nice". There's a song in the Broadway show "Into the Woods" with the line "Nice is different than good. I'd rather work on core values. Some of the best people I know wouldn't be considered "nice" but their actions and behaviors speak for themselves. That's more important to me and a more realistic goal for Duckie, she's better at being a good person than a pleasant person or someone who is easy to get along with. husband talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk so much.

    I just spoke with her this afternoon about the gifted math program she'll be teasting for soon because I want to make sure that she is not doing this for me or for husband. It is too big of an undertaking to do it for anyone other than oneself. I'd hate to watch her try to please her father by doing college level math when she'd be just as happy being a regular kid.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sending strength. It's enough that you have to deal with Duckie (and you are doing amazingly well. BRAVO!) but that you have to deal with-husband makes it so much harder. No one did xyz for him when he was a kid? What's that supposed do prove? It's not Duckie's fault! And calling her a spazz is just petty and immature. It's something a kid would say to another sibling. I would have throttled him.
    You have the patience of a saint.
  19. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks, Terry, but I am most definitely not a saint when it comes to patience, lol! I've learned to live by the adage "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy", especially concerning husband. He's angry because I told him that. except for furniture placement, I will be unpacking and setting up the home office. Not him because he made such a sty of it at the old house that I hated even going in the room.