Posts Tagged With: multigenerational family

feeling hopeful at the end of the second month

I’m beginning to feel more at home in my own skin.
In my own home.

The first year of teaching is often called survival year.
The first year of anything could probably be called survival year.
This is the end of the second month.
End. Of. The. Second. Month.
Of a survival year.
During a global pandemic.

All the changes came so hard and fast. And came during the strangest possible time.
Pandemic kept us cooped up for safety. And just when that started to feel unbearable, three more people and three dogs joined this household.
Initially it was exciting and new.
Then it was all about getting settled.
Then simple logistics of cohabitating.
How do we make this work? Two small families creating one big family…how can we be both?

Expectations are being ironed out.
Anybody else hear Hamilton in their head?

“I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately mashin’ every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation.”

Just me? OK…
Anyway, we’re beginning to managing expectations. We’re learning how to navigate each other’s personal language. We’re asking what did that mean when you/she/he said that? We’re figuring out how to cohabitate successfully.

I’m used to being alone the majority of my time.
Now I’m never alone.
My daughter is used to being in charge of her own environment.
Now her environment is not her own.
YBW continues his routine of going to work each day.
Now he supports more people.
Husband N is becoming more and more anxious about finding a job.
YBW and I agree he needs gainful employment, we want him to make the best possible choice instead of taking any job because it’s a job.
Baby K alternates between being so delightful it nearly kills us, and being a tiny terrorist demon bent on destruction. (as a toddler do)

And doesn’t even include the chaos of construction in the house.
YBW and I have no access to our own bathroom. And trying to make due with the bare minimum in the hall bathroom is taking it’s toll on me.
I know I’m feeling the stress.
I am acutely aware everybody experiences me feeling the stress.
I do my best to make sure to explain myself and/or apologize if I’m irritable or querulous. (more than normal)

It’s simply too much all at once and my adaption rate is lagging.
To combat this, I am actively carving out time for myself.
I’m reading again. That simple act sparked a change in me. Shifted me from the back of my brain back to the front. My brain moved out of survival mode and into all the good stuff.
I’m so much better off for it. (so is everyone else)
I’m engaged in a mindful way, not simply navigating fight or flight.
I will work as hard as I can to remain here in this healthy brain space.

I will learn to balance my needs with my wants when they’re at odds.
I want to spend every possible moment with Baby K.
I need some quiet time for myself.
Every time I think I’m on it, I fall. Honestly, she’s hard to resist…
But then I remember we’re at the end of the second month.
End. Of. The. Second. Month.

And I offer myself empathy and understanding.
Which, if I’m being honest, I never do.
My personal expectations are residual from my childhood, keep my head down and do the hard work and don’t complain about it. I received no empathy or understanding. I was expected to do what I was told without question.
I end up expecting myself to manage all ‘the things’ and be resigned to do so without complaint.
When triggered, we all go to the place we ‘know’.
So, if I offer myself some grace, it can be a place where I can stop and breathe. I can bask in that grace and encourage understanding for myself. I can stop the triggers, and in doing so I can find balance.
I can manage my own expectations.
I can take the time I need.
I can take the time I want.
I can feel strong and grateful instead of anxious and overwhelmed.

I feel indescribable love and joy having my daughter and her family here.
Now I’m working on making it comfortable.
For me.
For my husband.
For Thing 1 and Husband N.
For Baby K.
Though, let’s be honest, she’s in high cotton as the tiny princess in this multigenerational household.

At the end of the second month, I feel tired. But more than that, I feel hopeful.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

favorites or tricking myself to write

Y’all I’m so distracted.
Between the construction and a house full of people I just don’t stop and do any of my normal things.
You know it’s serious when I’m over here like, “I’m going to need you to get it together.” to my own damn self. I keep recognizing that I need to, but don’t quite seem to get around to doing it.

You hear about the glorification of busy…I’m not there. I’m not enthusiastically embracing being busy. I am simply more busy than I’ve been in a while. And the kind of busy that isn’t actually accomplishing much, you know?
Toddler in the house keeps us all on our toes.

I’m making the time to write today.
Of course I sit with my fingertips on the keyboard and wait…where are the words?
My brain is simultaneously empty and full.
Full of ‘stuff’. Empty of words.
In the hopes of jumpstarting the writing, I’m tricking myself by doing a random favorites list and inviting y’all to join me.

Favorite pasta dish?
cacio e pepe
all day every day

Favorite vacation you’ve taken?
Barbados
hooooon-ey-mooooon

Favorite show on the Discovery Channel?
Expedition Unknown
Josh Gates is a great big goober and I kind of love that!

Favorite toy as a child?
Barbies
no unrealistic body image bullshit here, just a girl who love(s) to play dress up

Favorite makeup you can’t live without?
Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! mascara

Favorite thing you’ve done in the last 24 hours?
rock Baby K to sleep for her nap
All! The! Snuggles!

Favorite animal?
kitties
cutie little fluff balls with claws of death

Favorite cover song?
Guns N Roses Live and Let Die

Favorite children’s show?
Bubble Guppies
Baby K digs it and now I do too

Favorite thing in the sky?
the moon

Please play along so I can learn some random cool things about all y’all!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

thoughts that hatch in the middle of the night

It’s the middle of the night and I’ve been up for hours. Thoughts swim around in my brain. Angry little fish bumping into each other but never giving way to get anywhere.
I don’t write. Not even in my journal.
I don’t read.
I barely even scroll instagram.

I want to do these things. I just don’t.
You may find yourself wondering, mais pourquoi pas? (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give. Either way, we’re cool.)
I don’t know why.
I do know I’m not behaving in my normal way and that has everything to do with it.
I do know I’m feeling the pressure of getting ready to leave one house and get settled into another.

I find it difficult to just be.
There are more people in the house. Two of which I am especially eager to spend time with after being apart for so long. But I’m used to being alone more than I’m with other humans.
This situation is tricky but can be managed.
I need to take time for myself. I need to read and write. I need to journal. I need to organize and prioritize. I need to rest.
But damn if I don’t want to spend as much time as possible with the mad little toddler running around my house!

Thing 1 and I talked a little bit about this Wednesday morning. She’s used to being more quiet too. She’s got the mental load for her little family with the curious situation of being in someone else’s house. She’s constantly aware of what Baby K or the dogs are and what they’re doing. She’s adapting to being an adult while living with her mother. It’s easy to fall into old patterns.

I’m tired of feeding five adults and a toddler.
If I don’t feel like feeding YBW and myself, it’s no big. But now all these other people are depending on being fed. Now, Husband N is quick to ask if he can help do anything, and follows detailed directions well. And Thing 1 does cook occasionally, but for the most part I’m doing the heavy lifting.
This needs to stop.
Thing 1 and I will make a meal plan and create a schedule of who cooks when and that will solve this situation.
We’re both game, we just haven’t done it yet.

Thing G will move to his mother’s over the next ten days. (She lives five minutes away so it’s not going to be a ‘great big move’ it’s just him shuttling his stuff over there.)
This makes YBW sad.
I feel his sadness.
I also feel a bit of relief. Thing G is one thing I can stop actively concerning myself with in this time when I have so many things on my plate. I can slip him off the plate knowing he’s safe and well loved at his mom’s and give myself that small sense of one less thing to pay attention to.

Baby K is exhausting.
Parenting is a young person’s game. That’s why grandparents are a bit older. Forty nine years and sixteen months are not always the perfect combination. But I cannot express my love, joy, and gratitude that I have this opportunity to be with her. To watch her learn and grow. To experience her sense of humor. To build a strong relationship with her.
I understand how truly blessed I am to be involved in her daily life no matter how tired I get.
She’s nearly mastered coming down the stairs in a safe way! And not only do I get to witness that, I’m helping her learn how to do it!

I miss YBW.
We’re never alone anymore. Which is simply the way it is, but I didn’t realize how it would feel.
I suggested we do a ‘date night’ even if we don’t go out, just plan to be together.

We’ve offered to look after Baby K so her parents can spend time together.
It would do them some good to just be.

It’s been just over a month. Literally, less than forty days. We’re still in survival and adjustment mode. I mean, good God, how could we not be? But survival mode simply isn’t sustainable.
Now’s the time to get our selves organized. Our routines. How we choose to be in this house together as one big family. How we choose to be in this house together as two small families.
I know we can do this.
I know we’re all willing to do this.
I think we’re all at a place where we kind of know we need to tweak it.
All it takes is open and honest communication and a willingness to be flexible.

You know, I’m feeling better already just from writing about it.
Of course, I’m still not ready to sleep…
Maybe I’ll take a nap with Baby K later today?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

one week in

One week in and we’re (mostly) settled.
Baby K’s room is organized and furnished.
Seven large (reusable) shopping bags of food and one cooler of frozen food found a place in our cabinets and freezers.
Dog beds, food, treats, leashes and harnesses organized.
Thing 1 and Husband N haven’t yet organized their clothes in their room, or been able to put some things away. But they have comfy pillows upon which to lay their heads. And yesterday, I (think) I fixed the shower curtain rod so it won’t fall down randomly in the middle of the night.
We’ve got new magnetic cabinet locks in the kitchen, and gates at the stairs. We say, “Off!” more than we ever have before, but the giant puppy is learning he can’t express his love by climbing up the front of us. And even though dogs aren’t my chosen animal, he and I are becoming especially close.

I’m joyful to be around my daughter and her family!
I am also exhausted!
I don’t know if it’s that I’ve forgotten how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, or if I just blocked it! Of course, when my babies were babies I was twenty years younger.
Baby K keeps us on our toes.
I’m having a hard time not wanting to spend all my time with her.
In the past, if they were here, it was for a limited time and I had to get as much time in as possible. Now, they’re here all the time. I’m beginning to realize I can pace myself.

Thing 1 and I ran to Target yesterday. With the exception of the drive here, a pediatrician and vet visit, it’s the first time she’s been out in the world since they left here in March. She didn’t quite know what to do with herself!

I’m working to remember that my life is different than it was a mere week ago. I’m working to remember that I’m separate from my daughter and granddaughter. That I can do my me things while they do theirs.
That said, I’m currently watching Baby K, clad only in a diaper, go through a stack of CDs while her mama tells her, “No ma’am.” and is guiding her to put them back in the bag from where they came.
I’m amused.
I’m joyful.
I’m doing my me thing while still enjoying being with my daughter and her family.

From Baby K’s room at the opposite end of the hall from mine, I just heard Thing 1 tell Baby K, “Come here and let’s get dressed. I’m tired of you being a diaper baby.”
I giggled.
Exhausting or not, why would I want to miss that?

Humans are so much more adaptable than we realize.
We get all complacent. Inertia keeps us stuck in our ruts.
But when presented with an opportunity to adapt (for the most part) we’re super capable!

One week in and I’m realizing how truly blessed I am to be with my granddaughter.
One week in and I’m realizing how exhausting it is to have a toddler in the house.
One week in and I’m realizing my daughter is a grown woman and mother and doesn’t need me to actively mother her.
One week in and I’m realizing balance is the thing that will keep us going.


We got this!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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