What spousal abuse does to your children

 

Warning:  triggers

According to The Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Florida keys, one in three women will be abused at some point of her life.  That is women.  Men can also be the abused in a relationship.  Can you imagine that number?  That means that if you have three daughters, one could  end up being abused.  Another scary statistic is that children raised in an abusive home tend to grow up and continue in an abusive environment, whether it be as the abuser or abused.  That’s not a statistic that I am proud of.  Or one that I am willing to stand by and watch my children live.  On the average, a woman will leave seven times before she leaves for good.  I endured emotional abuse for years, being told that I wasn’t good enough.  It still hurts, after over ten years.  I’m not sharing this with you to embarrass myself, my family.  I am sharing because if it saves one person, just one, it’s worth it.  The first time he beat me, I left.

The history of it is that I grew up in an abusive household, without even knowing it.  I didn’t see anything, I was blissfully unaware, until I was almost 16.  Then I started seeing how down my mom was, and I begged her to take us girls and leave, that I would work and support us.  At fifteen I did this.  She refused.  I did not learn until I was expecting my second child that my father had an emotional hold over her, that he used my sister and I to keep her where he wanted her.  Once we were grown, that didn’t last long and he left her.  In all reality, I have to stay on the neutral side at this point, because my father and his new wife are here, and my mother passed away five years ago.  Not from the abuse, per say, but from the medical complications that resulted from years of abuse and heartbreak.  My mother had also come from an abusive home.  Her father had abused her.  And had one hell of a hold on her mother, as she never said a word.  So now, that’s two generations of history.  Then I begin my path of destruction.

I fell in love (I use that term loosely for this case) with my ex husband too soon after leaving an alcoholic marriage.  I never wanted to get married again and have it fail.  He had two girls, and I had a boy, all within a year and a half of each other.  He stopped drinking, we got a place together, we wound up pregnant with a baby girl.  When she was three months old, we got married.  I had seen the signs and ignored them, stupidly.  He got hurt at work and started drinking again, sneaking out of the house after I was asleep to do so.  We bought a house, away from his parents, who enable everything.  A year later, he was arrested again for DWI (third time since we got married less than three years before).  He called and all I asked was where my truck was.  I was over being sympathetic.  I called my mother, who drove the hour to my house to watch the children the next morning so I could go to work.  He finally decided to go to rehab, “for me and the kids.”  I told him to not bother.  I knew that if he didn’t do it for himself, it wouldn’t help.  He signed himself out a week later.  His mommy and daddy went to get him.  They brought him to our house.  I had the house locked and told them to keep him.  The cops were called, and because we were married, I couldn’t deny him coming home.  Later that week, I refused sexual relations with him, and he cut off his wedding band.  a couple days after that, he called me at work asking my who Uncle Mike was.  I told him that it wasn’t important and I would discuss it at home.  When i got home, he was livid.  I explained that this man that he was so sure I was having an affair with, was indeed someone whom he had spoken with on the phone, whom I took care of in a professional capacity,.  Due to HIPPA laws, I cannot disclose more than that, but it was an unfounded claim that my husband had blown out of proportion.  The kids had mentioned him, as they had gone with me on Mother’s day night, after we had dinner with my mom, as his caregiver had called off and there was no one else to cover.  I was not leaving him in that predicament.

At this point, my then husband, asked me if the marriage was over.  He didn’t like that I didn’t answer right away.  He asked again, and I simply told him that he had already cut his wedding band off, so I had assumed that he felt it was over.  He came at me so fast, i couldn’t get away.  When I finally did get away, he came at me again.  This time, I had grabbed my purse, and as he ripped it out of my hands. my car key, with the beautiful keychain that my kids (with my mom’s help) had just givein me for Mother’s day, fell into my palm.  I closed my fingers around  it and held on for dear life.  Once I could get my hands up by his face, I stuck my thumbs into his eyeballs as best I could (just as my dad had tought me).  It was enough just for a minute to get him to stop.  I played like it was done, that I wasn’t fighting anymore.  I waited for a couple minutes that felt like forever.  He went out of the room, and I jumped, locking the door between us, runing out the back door to my van, locking the doors and leaving as I was buckling.  I was in my stocking feet.  I drove uptown to the village office, where they took me in and locked the door until the sherrifs got there.  They questioned me, and then went to my home, and asked my husband to come talk to me, and bring our daughter, who had been sleeping at the time.  I had hated to leave her, but felt that she would be safe, and I knew that I was not.  Once they brought him up, our daughter came to me, and after that, they took him away.  The vilIage clerk had also called the school ,where my son was, and asked them to hold hime there until I could pick him up, that he was not to go on the bus home.  As it was, the school brought him to me, as I was still dealing with the sherriffs office when they were headed home.  I was so thankful for living in a small town at that time.  I could not stand the thought of her and my son growing up thinking it was ok to treat someone like that.  The next day, while my husband was still in jail, I started to make changes.

The locks were changed at the house.  I filed an order of protection.  I filed for sole custody of our daughter.  I bagged his stuff up.  I started shutting services down that weren’t essential, such as cable, switched to phone to the cheapest plan I could get, and anything else I could cut.  These things were mainly for my peace of mind, as I had been paying most of the bills already.  But it felt good to cut ties with anything that was “his” thing.  Time went on, and the kids and I adjusted.   Or, so i had thought.

It wasn’t something that we really discussed, until a couple years ago, we went to the movies.  The gentleman I was dating at the time and my son went to see a guy movie, and my daughter and I went to see Safe Harbor (her choice).  When we came out of the theater, my friend looked right through me.  He didn’t know at the time what was wrong, just that it was.  That movie caught me off guard like nothing had in seven years prior.  I didn’t realize how hard it would hit me.  I had lived with PTSD, and felt on top of things, but that night, I realized just how shaky that truly is.  It is like having a gorgeous house on top of a fault line.  My daughter also began questioning more.  And at almost, eleven, and very mature for her age, I had to give hew some answers.  She has since asked more, and knows the truth of what happened, and that it still does not reflect on whether her daddy loved me or not, just that it’s not an acceptable way to show love.

We, as a family, have all been adjusting again for almost three years, now.  We finally made the decision to move back to where I grew up, which my dad had asked me to do when all this happened, but at that time, I had a good job, a house, and a good support network.  I went on to get two jobs that I loved dearly, make a ton of friends that I hadn’t been able to have before that, and feel financially secure again.  Then, almost three years ago, after looking near to where I lived for somewhere I could have my horses in my backyard, I found a place near where I grew up.  I called and inquired about the job situation, and was told that a job would not be a problem.  Not only would I have a job, but I would have a place to live with my horses in my backyard, without paying extra rent.  Within a month, my kids and I moved.  And while we miss people, and go visit now and then, we all feel better off where we are now.  And the gentleman who had taken us to the movies, he is now my husband, and an amazing role model to my children, not only as a step father, but as to how a husband should treat his wife, even how to deflect her anger without upsetting her.  I will admit, when I get tired, I can get very cranky, and rather than snapping back, he shows the kids how to talk to me and deescalate before I turn into the Mommy Monster.

I still have days that send chills up my spine.  I still wonder, at times, when the other brick will fall.  I still thank God for the physical abuse that made me realize I needed out.  I thank God that he was there, and kept me from losing oxygen for too long.  I thank God for my children and their safety.  If have learned one thing, it is that we all make mistakes, and that’s ok, but we need to take the lessons learned from those mistakes, and learn to not make the same mistakes.  I have learned that I was also to blame, not that I deserved to be abused, but that i could have done things differently to make things better for my kids and I.  And I praise God that he has let me be better at seeing things.  I could have made that mistake again, but I didn’t.  I chose to move on and move up.  And to share with my children, so that they know the truth, and how things should be, and how a loving marriage is.  Because every princess should get her fairy tale.  And we are all princesses.  I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly me, and that’s how God intended me to be.

Fleece Diaper Covers and a GIVEAWAY!

 

MonkeeBumz

 

Check out that Santa skirt!  I could not believe how adorable it was when I received it!  Well, maybe I could, maybe that is why I ordered it, but really, I love these fleece soakers!  For those of you not familiar, fleece can be used as a repellent cover for cloth diapers.  It is not as pricey as it’s wool counterpart, nor does it take ANY special care.  Simply toss in your regular laundry and wash, even use fabric softener!  Fleece allows airflow to your baby’s bum, making it much cooler than a waterproof cover.  Now, I don’t want to take away from the product itself, but the Momma who make Mal’s skirtie is amazing!  She launched Monkeebumz in October, and has grown in leaps and bounds since then, gaining over 300 fans in that short time!  And she not only delivers a quality product, but is always trying new things!  If it can be made with fleece, you can bet your bottom dollar that she has thought of it.  Make sure you check out these WAHMs and the Mommy Bloggers listed in the giveaway!  I promise that it’s well worth your time.  I love their products and there are some really interesting posts, too!

Monkeebumz has teamed up for a multi-wahm giveaway celebrating!  Head over to check it out!

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Back into a schedule

I imagine all of you great moms and dads are thankful that the new year is under way.  Not because you wanted to ship the kids back to school, but because let’s face it, after all the family get togethers, traveling, and excitement of three holidays in about a month’s time, we have a need to get back on schedule.  Our kids need their schedule back on track.  Many parents don’t realize how much our kids rely on schedules.  While they do not have to be set in stone, a general schedule is helpful.  When we wake up, when we go to bed, even adult bodies thrive on routine.  So now that our routines are getting back to normal, our kiddos have settled down, we have gotten back into the normal swing of things, whether at work , at home, or both.  The Christmas trees and candlebras are all taken down with care.  And sleep.   We are finally, over a week after New Year’s celebrations, are finally getting back into some semblance of a sleep pattern.  After two weeks of only sleeping an hour at a time, I have gained two, yes two, nights of acceptable sleep!

I truly am not sure whether to celebrate or be pensive as to when the next sleepless night will come.  Don’t get me wrong, with a teenager, a pre-teen , and an eight month old, I know i have plenty of those to come yet, but maybe, just maybe, I can score  a couple more good nights before the bad ones.  So, enjoy the winter that has finally come to see us, and the extra dark, sleepy time, and keep an eye out, because with the new year, we will have a new giveaway coming soon!

CHRISTmas

I cannot believe that Christmas is less than a week away.  This year has flown by.  And as I am sitting here in my few minutes of quiet time (which I haven’t had much of of late, with hubby’s schedule), I decided that I had better grab the laptop and type.  I have just realized one thing about blogging.  I have to do it on the computer, which means sitting at the desk that I don’t care to sit at much.  Oh wait, in comes the laptop.  So I decided to steal the hub’s laptop.  Back on track to out topic (yes, my son comes by ADHD naturally).

Our tree is lit up, the older kids decorate it by themselves now.  They put on the lights this year, and I handed out ornaments.  Next year, Mallary will help.  And next year, we will go back to a real tree.  The one I have now is a handmedown that was given to us one year when i couldn’t afford a tree.  I just received a Christmas card in the mail with catch up from the area, and the lovely man who gifted us our tree was laid to rest the weekend we set it up this year.  RIP Guy, you were a warm hearted man, and you will be missed.  Next year, your tree will be helping a hunter bring food home for his family.  I believe in reuse of things as much as possible.

As a mixed family, the holidays always bring hassle.  It is hard enough, as a family, to figure out when everyone can get together, let alone, and in two other families.  I think we may have found a pattern that works for us.  It worked well last year, and looks promising this year.  I work Christmas Eve, but the kids have no school. My seniors said if my daughter wants to bake cookies at my work, she may (they love cookies and will be good taste testers).  My hubby is off, so not sure whether him and Matthew will keep baby, or she will go with me so they can work on our new house.  But I will make an easy ham dinner that evening, and my sister will come, and if weather permits, Mike’s mom and gram.  Christmas morning, my sister will come back over (she may stay at our new house, or a friends) and we will do typical Christmas morning stuff, with eggnog and coffee cake, of course.  Then, the older kids will go to their dad’s around noon, and we will go celebrate with Mike’s family, while my sister catches up with old friends.  And we will catch up with my dad on New Years, when the older kids come home.  Mixed families are crazy when it comes to holidays, but in a way, it’s a good crazy.  You realize how much God has blessed you with so many people who love you as much as you love them.

I hope that you all can enjoy your holiday, whatever one you celebrate, and when the headache starts from the stress, take a sip of hot tea and relax and remember that it will go back to normal soon, and count your blessings.  Even if your mother in law drives you nuts, (blessed that mine is wonderful) you would hate for your spouse to lose her.  Even if your kids are fighting, you would be lost without them.  And even if you burn your special meal, you have a meal to burn.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year~  may we all bless others with love.

AppleCheeks envelope cover giveaway

So here it is, folks!  Our first giveaway. I hope that it’s the first of many.  Please, visit my fellow bloggers for more entries.  And don’t forget, if you leave me a comment on my Giving Thanks article, that’s even more points.  I chose to giveaway an Applecheeks cover because everyone like the ruffles.   While I think they are adorable, it is not my only go to diaper.  Don’t forget, if you are starting out, try many different diapers, as every baby is different.  The fit varies from one brand to the next.  I am not including an insert, because we all have our own favorites.  This cover was purchased with my own funds.  For those of you not familiar, Applecheeks come in three sizes. Size one fits up to 20 lbs, size 2 fits from there to most potty trained, but if you have a bigger babe, or a kiddo who just doesn’t see eye to eye with the potty, they now have a size 3.  I am really happy about that, as not too many brands have larger diapers.  There are many speical needs kiddos out there that can now benefit from the ruffles cuteness factor!  Here is the giveaway, and good luck!
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Thanksgiving and giving thanks

So, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  How do I know?  Well, it is getting colder.  I do believe that our Indian Summer has come and gone.  I am finalizing plans with work to be able to visit family over the holiday.  And I am getting in the mood (somewhat) to get my house organized.  I need to make room in my living room for a crib and a Christmas tree.  I am also anticipating working on our new house, the one that has a bigger kitchen and a little bit bigger living room.  I am really really excited about that bigger kitchen.  I can live with small bedrooms and only one bathroom.  But I cannot live with a tiny kitchen.  So, soon we will begin ripping and tearing, running electric lines, researching what we want for flooring, figuring out how we want the bathroom to look, and painting.  Lots of painting.

But above and beyond all the work that lays ahead, I have to stop and give thanks.  Thanks for a God who steered me down the road I am now on.  Thanks to a wonderful family, we have navigated many changes in the past couple years with very few scars.  Thanks to a wonderful support network, including family, friends, and co-workers, and even parents that I have never met face to face.  Thanks for healthy children.  This last one is so very important, as many parents are blessed with a multitude of issues that rob their children of their health.  And I cannot even begin to imagine what these parents go through daily.  So while you are enjoying all the trimmings this year, be thankful that you can enjoy.  Many cannot enjoy the feast.

So, please share, what are you thankful this year?

A Spooktacular Thought

Yes, Halloween, for those who celebrate, is only a couple days away.  My oldest is fifteen, so will not be trick or treating this year, my middle is twelve and student body president, so therefore will be handing out candy to the littles at the school, which with the weather, will be the only trick or treating my little does this year.  But this being said, the kids safety is not what worries me on this wonderful day.  It is the safety of my animals.

Will my critters suffer this halloween?  Well, I don’t dress them up, so that is one stress gone.  We didn’t do jackolanterns this year, so I don’t have to worry about the cats knocking one over and burning down my house ( when I was a kid, they didn’t have battery tea lights).  On that note, glow sticks make a great option, as well!  I wont be home, and our road is closed anyway, so we get no trick or treaters, so I don’t have to worry about the pets escaping.  But, I do have to worry if they get a piece of candy.  Probably next year more so than this year, as by then the little will be feeding it to them.  I also have to worry about my horses, some people can play cruel tricks and scare them, so the next couple days, as I did tonight, I will be checking parts of my fence.  Also, I worry about my little black kitteh, as some people are superstitious in a bad way and don’t realize how much luck, I mean love they give us.  Keep you pets safe and happy and healthy, so you can spoil them at Thanksgiving (just kidding).

 

PS:  Raisins can cause renal failure in dogs so be especially careful with those!

MommyCon Philly

MCPhilly

If you get the chance, GO!  That is my word of advice regarding MommyCon.  Xsa (pronounced x-sa for those of you, like I, who don’t get the opportunity to meet people with names outside of Joe, Jim, and Bob), is a wonderful lady who is very down to earth, with a touch of wild child.  I love that she has brought so many people together.  The speakers that she has chosen are very interesting, and very funny.  They give any parent a good belly laugh, which us sleep-deprived, pooped on parents need more than we get.  Bumni, from The Honest Toddler, is comical and practical.  She lives in Canada, and yes, Kathy Bello, I introduced her to Funky Fluff.  I love taking with people who share my values!  And The Leaky Boob will bring a tear to your eye, as you recall all your breastfeeding troubles, and the incredible feeling of triumph or the knowledge that if you failed, it’s ok and that it doesn’t mean that you have failed as a parent, nor should you feel guilty.  And Jamie Grayson.  Need I say more?  The Baby Guy NYC has the most honest reviews on products.  And he has a way with babies, which is saying something considering he is an Uncle rather that a Daddy.

I can honestly say that I have never seen so many babywearing Moms and Dads.  It was a great family affair, one I hope to repeat.  I believe that it was definitely worth the VIP ticket, and an amazing experience to meet all these wonderful Mommas.  Not to mention, the amount of donations that came in to benefit families that utilize The Rebecca Foundation Cloth Diaper Closet.  The families will certainly appreciate the quality donations that good hearted families gifted so that they will see more adorable bums.

A Funky surprise!

FF surprise

Funky Fluff is by far, my daughter’s and my favorite everyday diaper!  They are trim and so adorable and absorbent!  And they are amazing ladies.  If you have issues of any kind with your diaper, they do everything possible to fix your issues.  This was a surprise mailing of their newest addition, Funk-eh-Forest.  Funky Fluff(FF) diapers have two options, bamboo and stay dry.  My favorite is a stay dry diaper with bamboo inserts, which is what Kathy sent me(talk about customer service!)  And, new news!  There will be more US retailers!!!!!  One of my favorite store, Kelly’s Closet, will be carrying my favorite diaper!  Which means, I can rack up points for more free fluff!!!!  Can you say this chick is beyond excited!  I think I need to mention that my husband, at this point rolls his eyes at me when I say I “need” a new diaper.  We have a drawer full, and my girlfriend has half my stash, so now the next step.

My daughter wants her own.  She informed me that I need to start her stash.  Mind you, she is twelve.  This is one scared proud Momma!  I am tickled that my daughter wants to use cloth when she has LOs of her own.  And while that is a long ways away, it hit me that she would be able to have some HFTs, which is not something I am willing to pay for for myself, but if I buy one here and there for her as regular dipes, they will later (at least some of them) be Hard To Finds!  She will at that point, have the hard choice of having the rarest, cutest bummed baby, or selling them off and buying her own choices.  Either way, it is an investment in the future, which is always good!

I can’t wait to see your fluffy bums!  Please feel free to share pictures!

And celebrating Diaper Need Awareness Week, I will be donating to The Rebecca Foundation Cloth Diaper Closet (TRFCDC)  I will also be posting a giveaway soon (enter my buddy Joshua Hatcher of Josh Hatcher Media, who will be assisting my blog lessons shortly).  You can check him out, https://www.facebook.com/JoshHatcherMedia.  Have a wonderful day, all!

Time Flies

I cannot believe we are at the end of the second week of school already!  The kids are doing great!  Matthew added two classes to his schedule, Mia is running for class president, and Mallary is adjusting fine to being with a sitter for five hours a day.  I have  a feeling that once she knows Mom’s schedule, she’ll time her own feedings so she can skip the bottle, lol.  Then comes the decision for me to stop pumping at work, or continue to pump and stock up, or donate to a mama who cannot nurse but wishes her little one to have the benefits of breastmilk.  There are so many old ideas resurfacing on the parenting boards, it is wonderful to see.  I just read about a mama who lost her baby, and a mama who was looking for breastmilk.  They met up and the babe was hungry, so the mama in mourning nursed him.  I can only imagine how hard and how fulfilling at the same time that was.  Just thinking about it brings tears.  Have a blessed day, all!