We Are All Tired

I’m at the gym, relaxing in a massage chair, waiting for my iced coffee to kick in. Admittedly, not the most strenuous of workouts so far, but I do pay for gym daycare. Having some me time is lovely in this moment.

On Fridays I have my son home all day, I do the school routine with my daughter. At dinner time I head to work and am there til 11 at night. Saturdays I’ll usually work 8 hours and do some cleaning. Sundays my kids have sports and then I go to work. Bed early on Sunday because I’ll work at 6 or 7 am on Monday. This is my weekend routine, every weekend.

During the week I mostly hang out with my kids, do art and homework. I try to keep up on the daily cleaning but I honestly hate cleaning. Of course, when there is five minutes of tidiness, it feels amazing. My son is king of trashing the joint. On Wednesdays, my grandma will come watch my son. I’ll walk my daughter to school, walk to work, work, walk to her school, then walk home. I get a lovely 15 minute break at lunch time that I cherish. I’m usually starving by the time I get home, so now all my jackets have granola bars in the pockets.

In September, I hope to work more since my son is in school. Because I work shorter shifts, I’ve been scheduled for six days a week before. My grandma is only up to watching my son two days a week right now and I do want to spend as much time with him as I can. If I wasn’t so deep in debt, I would only be working weekends. Those Monday and Wednesday shifts really add up.

Am I burnt out? Sometimes it feels that way. The grind of cleaning my house gets to me. It feels like it is always time to deep clean something. I really can’t let the house go because my grandma watches the kids at my house, which is probably a blessing. I’m hoping that once my son gets a little older, he will be less messy (he’s three right now). My daughter is six and she’s pretty clean. At the very least, he will be in school all day so he will have less time to get into things!

So, a little burnt out, but incredibly grateful. Grateful to have two AMAZING kids. Grateful to have my grandma’s help. Grateful to have a job, especially one that works around my schedule. Grateful I don’t have to pay for before/after school daycare.

Why did I even bother writing this? Partly, I’m venting. I’m tired. I’m trying to do better all the time. However, I want to give empathy to those other single parents, working parents, tired parents, parents of messy kids, those thinking of becoming single parents, those considering going back to work, those who need to take some me time. You are not alone. We are all grinding away. We are all doing the best we can.

Hey, look at that! My coffee kicked in! Time to actually work out! (Haha) I better go do that.

Perfectionism

Every time I try to keep a diary, I end up throwing it out. The first time I did this blog, I deleted everything. I’m a perfectionist. I also get so passionate in the moment and later feel like I look insane. Some things were written when I was in a very emotional state. I was going through a separation from my husband and I had just got diagnosed bipolar. I have mixed feelings about just writing that. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to know that I have been diagnosed that. I am also a fully functional human being. I have a job and usually work full time hours. I am a single mom with shared custody of two amazing kids.

I hope to move up in my company one day. Then I get scared. Will they read my blog? Will they find out I’m bipolar? Will it matter? I really hope that in this day and age, it won’t matter. I hope that if I randomly post a couple conspiracy theories I am seen as fun and quirky, not crazy. Maybe just the fact that I have a blog will give hesitation to promoting me. I do try have a boundary between work and my blog. There is a bunch of tiktoks I would love to make about work, but I’m too scared of being fired. You never know. We are in a day and age where this technological world is still new. That is just my opinion on it.

I also live with anxiety, but if anything it makes me a better employee (also, just my opinion). I am meticulous with details and following up with things. I don’t let anything fall off the wayside. I am not trying to boast. I can find work extremely stressful because of my anxiety. I am the type of person who would buy my own planner and make little work to do lists for each day, write down important deadlines, and notes if I have to get back to someone with an answer to something. I am 100% more affected with anxiety than bipolar. Maybe it is the type of bipolar I have, or the fact that I am on medication for it. I could easily opt for anxiety medication but I am coping and I am a big believer in exposure therapy. I noticed the longer I am in my role, the more good days I have, and the more comfortable I am at work.

Recently, I learned how to ship out packages. Every time I do it, I have anxiety. I double check that the address is right and perfectly align the labels on the box. I feel like I am doing a good job but I still have a fear that the senior employee will correct me. He is always really nice about it, but I still worry about it. I actually worry more that he won’t look and a mistake will be missed. In reality, I know I am doing things properly and worst case scenario is it will probably come back to us. Not the end of the world. For me, living with anxiety means things feel like a much bigger deal than they are. I know that, like other parts of my job, one day I will be able to ship packages without any second thoughts, it’ll just take some practice.

Personally, at this point in my life, I would not apply for a promotion until I was as emotionally ready as possible. I am being strategic about it. I am learning as much as I can. I am now going into my third department and learning it from the bottom up. Is this a completely necessary step for someone who wants to be promoted? No, but I find it helpful. The last time I was a manager, I started as a greeter. I later moved to cashier, then to keyholder. I was comfortable with this because I knew exactly what was expected from each position. My company now is much larger so I probably won’t have a chance to learn EVERY department bottom to top, but every bit helps. Nothing will completely prepare me for being promoted. I expect to have anxiety for a while, but I also expect it to go away eventually.

The one thing I need to remind myself of: most people get nerves with new tasks and in new positions. Maybe, someone with anxiety may struggle more, but that doesn’t make it less natural. I’m going to be okay eventually, as I master the skills, things will become second nature.

What Should I Skimp On?

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. Is everything a waste of time? I work out, then I eat like crap. I work on gaining Instagram followers, then I ignore it for a week. I pay down my debt a bit, but then I buy a new storage system. I suppose an argument can be made that if I never tried I would be in a way worse position. Today’s ramblings are brought on by me doing my taxes, go me, expecting a refund, and then buying Warcraft III. My refund was more than the game but still. I could be better with money. I bought a whole book on do you really need it and there are a couple things I’m struggling with. Random video game, well, it is a favourite and I was going to buy it eventually. I did not want to wait years until my debt was paid off so whatever.

The other day I went on a date and the topic of Lululemon came up. He said something along the lines of “of course you like it, you are a girl”. Very funny, girls love Lululemon. Girls love being comfy and looking good. The thing is, I’ve seen people talk about different brands of yoga pants that are comparable and I didn’t really take the time to fully check them out. Note to self, look into cheaper options more seriously! I suppose it’s nothing a quick google search couldn’t fix. What I really like about them is the elastic waist. Regular yoga pants just fall down on me. Damn pear shape.

What about my shoes? I buy Nikes 99% of the time. Last pair I bought was these orthopedic Adidas. Hmm, maybe shoes isn’t something I want to skimp on, especially since I walk so much. One thing I can do is wear them longer. I used to replace my running shoes every six months. My mom would always buy me shoes for my birthday and Christmas. My ex wore his shoes until they were completely destroyed. Compromise, new shoes at first hole? In my closet I currently have four pairs of running shoes, the bottoms are all worn but their are no holes. If you know about shoes, advice in comments please. Of course I want to save money but then I worry I’ll get an injury for using old shoes.

What is the point of this blog? Just working through my feelings, working towards my goals of getting in shape and paying off my debt. Trying to figure things out one day at a time. I’m still deciding how much I want to sacrifice to get out of debt quickly, obviously not that much haha. Having you guys on the journey with me means a lot to me.

 

It Never Occurred To Me Before

I wrote the other day about possibly having another kid, or not. I don’t know what the future holds and the most likely answer is that I am done having children. However, what is possible? Step children. I have the big elaborate tattoo sleeve planned for my two kids and it honestly just occurred to me, what if I have step children. Maybe I’m waiting until I’m 40 to get this tattoo! I just have so much life to live and so much uncertainty. I’m excited for it. I feel like my future is bright. For a while after the separation it felt like my life was over, but I’m moving past that. I think everything will be okay. At least, that is what I tell myself. Genuinely though, if I get married again, and I have stepchildren, I would want them to feel as loved as my kids. I’m just saying if the little kids are in my life for a decade or more, then they deserve to be part of my tattoo. In case you don’t know, I am planning on getting mutant animals and the sun signs of my kids. It’s all very symbolic so no matter what happened it would still look good. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t work out. Either way, I’m good. I have a vague idea of what I want in my tattoo. Maybe it isn’t complete for a reason. Will everything in my life being up in the air, I understand why my tattoo ideas are in flux. Okay, I’m rambling but I am getting more optimistic by the day.

Full Fridge? Anxiety

I’m adjusting to this way of living, single mom life. It’s okay. I have my anxiety at times, mostly about money. Will I get out of debt? If I do the math, and keep my job, the answer is yes. Still, the anxiety creeps in. My finances are up in the air right now because I’m in the waiting period before I can officially be labelled as single for baby bonus. I’ve started to track how much money I have spent on food and clothing. I’m using the Spendee app. In it you can set budgets for different categories. I’ve been cooking from home more and eating out less. When I have a lot of food in the house I have anxiety that we won’t eat it all. When we don’t have a lot of food in the house, I get frustrated. I also have slight anxiety about being judged. I’ve had family members show up with a bunch of groceries because they thought we don’t have enough food. Then we end up with too much. I’m grateful for the food but I have to admit it stresses me out, especially when they buy the kids juice and cookies. Maybe this is just life with anxiety. There’s no perfect amount of food in my fridge, at least that I have found so far. I’m still working on it. I just wonder if anyone else feels this way. I hope it passes.

Now that I think about it, this was not an anxiety I had when I was married. It was more of a general frustration. Of course, if we bought too much and ended up throwing out food, we were upset. There was a comment or two when we went through weeks where we decided to eat from the cupboards and buy minimal groceries. So really, much hasn’t changed. It’s the damn budging and pressure. I need to pay off my debt as quickly as possible. Not only the interest, but I only have spousal support for so long. After that, my budget will get tighter and it will be more difficult to be making credit card payments. Then I think about the fact that I need to save for my kids’ braces and I debate how much I will be saving for their University. It seems like I do the math every week, just to reassure myself that everything will be okay. This blog post is just another reassurance. You got this. It’s not worth getting anxious over. It’ll be okay.

Dreaming of Patterned Paper

I don’t know if anything will ever come from my cardmaking. Of course, I hope it does. I hope, at least, all the good ones sell. I hope my cards are loved. I know some people sell cardmaking courses. I don’t know if I will ever do that. Maybe I should have a cardmaking blog instead of a personal blog. I want to do more YouTube videos of me making cards. Right now I have been more focused on TikTok, but it is limited to a minute video or less. I don’t really need to be successful financially at cardmaking, but that would be nice. I enjoy the community. I like growing my Instagram. I like the back and forth with other cardmakers. It is nice to get compliments on my cards from friends, friends of which may never buy because they like the Dollarama prices.

I have seen in the past year an improvement in my cards. I discovered alcohol inks and I love playing with them. I’ve made some really awesome vibrant backgrounds. I know that I have a specific style when I use alcohol inks to make backgrounds. Not that it is a laziness, well kind of, but I find that now I’m so comfortable with alcohol ink backgrounds that I’m hesitant to use other mediums. I want to get more into distress oxide in backgrounds. Even simple pattered paper might be fun. Sometimes when I’m not comfortable with something I push myself in that direction. Maybe I’ll attempted different types of cards with different mediums.

Do you craft? What is your favourite medium?

New Vacuum Got Me Wavering

My vacuum has been dying for a couple weeks. It seemed to happen all of a sudden. On Saturday, I ended up replacing it. The Dyson Animal has been replaced with the Animal 2. It is bigger and heavier than my dead vacuum. The thing is, recently I have been reading a financial book. In it, it has a chapter on if you really need brand name products. It mostly focuses on purses and clothes. I have been thinking about it a lot since I am a brand snob. I have a Kate Spade and two JuJuBe diaper bags. I have Coach purses. I seem to wear Lululemon and Roots pants exclusively.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how scared I am. Will I go into a store and be too fat for their clothes? I could live without the embarrassment. Will I buy something and it falls apart quickly? I would have known better than to try to cut corners. In regards to the vacuum, I did seriously look a Bissel, but fear took over. I know that Bissels are returned on the daily to the store I work at. The fear sunk in. Would I have to return it? I have a shag carpet. Will a $200 vacuum work on that? Will it last? My Dyson lasted 7.5 years. If it lasts at least two years, when I use it, will it work as well? Is this cheaper Bissel who I am? What does it say about me that I wanted to save some money? Part of me felt disloyal for almost buying the Bissel. My anxiety creeped and creeped until one day I saw that it was in stock at Walmart and I impulse bought the Dyson. Even as I was buying it, I felt slightly idiotic for spending so much. A bunch of employees asked me if it was worth the money as I was checking out. I told them yes and why I felt that way (shag carpets, 7.5 years) but in my head I was wavering. Have I been brainwashed by the Dyson branding team?

I feel the same way about a Vitamix. Right now I am using a cheap blender, and it feels cheap. My smoothies come out chunky half the time. It dies on me. This is the second one of the same brand and its finicky. Even when it is all “blended” it isn’t as blended as a high end blender would do. Having a cheap appliance is not my usual, however, I got them randomly as a gift from my grandma. One of the two hasn’t completely died so I still have time to make a decision on what I will replace it with. I’ve debated for two years on if I will get the Ninja, Breville or Vitamix. I know that if I get the Ninja or Breville I’ll be doing it to save money. Does that mean they are bad? No. They are probably both excellent. They will both definitely be better than what I am currently using. The fear creeps in. Will I be disappointed? Will it last and be worth the money? If I say right now I’ll get a cheaper one and get the Vitamix next round, will the cheaper one last for ten years and I will be waiting in frustration for it to die, like I am right now? Every day my cheap ass blender holds up, I am grateful. I am especially grateful that my kids aren’t having a complete meltdown that their smoothie isn’t coming. I am also grateful to not have another expense right now. Part of me is so excited to replace the damn thing though. Then I think, maybe if my Keurig dies. Then I will have an actual spot for a blender. I can put some birthday money towards getting a good blender and I will be able to keep it on the counter. (I have a great Breville electric kettle so I can have tea/ instant coffee. I don’t think I will preplace the Keurig, it was a housewarming gift 7.5 years ago from my mom)

My problem? I struggle with fear, anxiety and snobbiness. My bio dad always said, “Never look at the price tag, buy quality.” Being money focused these days I wonder a lot. I wonder if my expensive clothes really do last longer. I know they are cozy and look great. I know I like them, but does that mean I can’t try to like different, cheaper brands? In theory, I am baby stepping my way out of my snobbiness. Trying to accept the realities of single mom life. In reality, am I really? (lol) I am a quality over quantity gal. I would rather have seven $150 outfits I love than 20 cheap outfits. The internal struggle is ongoing and real.

So tell me… how do you buy your clothes and appliances? What do you factor?

Finding the Balance

My kids have been sick for two weeks. It was the first flu I had to deal with as a single mother. I got through it. There was lots of vomiting in buckets and fevers, but we survived. I washed all the pillows and bedding in the house. I’m working on sanitizing everything. I’m vaguely surprised I got through it alone. It definitely was harder than it was when my husband lived here.

I spent the weekend thinking of the trade-off. Thinking about this flu and how now I have to walk to work all winter. We used to share a car but it was his. So when it’s blizzarding and I’m walking to work I’m thinking “well, this is my life now”. Unless I get a different or second job I’ll never be able to afford my apartment and a car. Once my kids turn eighteen I’ll probably need a second job to just pay for my apartment and food. That really isn’t a bad idea because I need to save for retirement. Of course, I could get a job that pays more, however, it may not be within walking distance and I may need a car.

This is how my brain runs lately. Thinking about how I am going to afford life. Thinking about how we will have a decent life and balance our budget. I think about spoiling my kids with art supplies and how everyday we have the best time. Every time we do that, it takes away from their RESPs. Then I think about the balance. I think about how I can work more when they are older and worry about that then. There is the fact that they could get a loan and pay for it themselves. I do want to help them as much as I can, comfortably. I guess the truth is, I’m not ready to completely sacrifice, never eat out, stop buying stamps, and not go to the movies to pay for their University. I’m trying to find the balance. I’m trying to take care of everything and get used to this single mom life. It’s going better than I expected.

It’s Been Disgusting Up In Here

Let’s start with Monday. On Monday I get home from work and my baby boy has a mild fever. My daughter seems fine. My grandma and I already had plans for lunch and my son was being cooperative, so we go to a really close restaurant. My son wants pink lemonade and he is spoiled. We order them lemonades. The waiter comes back with fruit punch. While we were waiting though, my daughter said she didn’t want lemonade she wanted the red one. In my head, I’m thinking, “wow, worked out well”. I don’t remember my daughter ever being allowed to have fruit punch before. The drinks come with a sour key, which they both eat. She’s also never had one of those before. What she has had before was a fruit roll up, which made her projectile vomit all over the place. Also, cake with blue icing. She really seems to have issues with fake fruit foods too like Nutrigrain bars and Fruit to Go. Basically I never let her have food dye or candy. She hasn’t had a reaction in a couple years though, so there was a chance she had outgrown her allergies. Now, I don’t think she has. I thought, “we will see if she gets a tummy ache and then we will know for next time”.

Well, that night she projectile vomits fourteen times. After the first few times a lot of dry heaving was involved. Now you could think, fruit drink, candy, definitely the culprit. You would be thinking like me! However, in the midst of the vomiting, my son vomits twice. I chalked that up to not having dinner and having Tylenol. With the fever, maybe his stomach was sensitive. Nope. Stomach flu. My daughter and I both got fevers and ended up throwing up. I still, however, think she also had an FPIES (Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome) reaction to that drink/ sour key. The main reason I think this is because she didn’t have a fever until almost 24 hours later and everyone only vomited once or twice a day for a few days. Actually, they still have fevers and vomiting on and off. It is Friday.

They are at their dad’s place now. Wish me luck as I sanitize everything.

Single Motherhood

It’s possible that I am a better mother now that I’m separated. I definitely do more cleaning than I have ever in my life. Well, maybe I am not a better mother, just a better housekeeper lol. I feel on top of things. I also feel a little tired.

I’m more frustrated than ever with my son’s speech issues. Not because I am particularly worried about it, but because all of a sudden a family member is pushing me to put him back in speech. In reality, I feel a little interrogated by her all around. This was a huge problem last year and was one of the things that really pushed me to lose my temper. For a long while she was complaining that my kids’ room was messy. I feel that, it’s not my room or my toys to clean up. After Christmas though, I did cave and cleaned their room. I put away all their new toys and reorganized it. They don’t usually play in there so it has thankfully stayed clean. I made a TikTok so I got something out of it. My daughter thought it was hilarious that I cleaned up her mess.

I was asked where I had time to date. Not in a ‘oh shucks, you are busy’ way. It was the snarliest way. Well Carol, I don’t have the kids all weekend and I’m done work at 4. Jesus Christ. How dare I date after separating from my husband? There’s nothing much to say about it besides that I have been on dates. When there is something to report I’ll let you know. Still, it is nice to be getting out of the house, and have some grown up conversation.

I’m not going to say my husband was awkward, because I can’t say with any certainty that he actually had a problem with this, however, now we have playdates. There was just something about having people over when he got home from work that I wasn’t comfortable with. Maybe it was me. Now we have a standing playdate every week with my daughter’s friends. They come over and I make dinner for everyone. I am loving more of that grown up conversation.

I mentioned that my son had speech issues; well, he actually is going for a hearing test next month. I just hope we get a conclusive answer either way. I know that he can hear pretty well because he does follow directions. It’s just that he was a sick baby and ended up being so congested all the time that he needed ear tubes. He talks minimally and a little funny at times (it is very cute though!). Look, I’m not against speech therapy. It’s just that we did it for over a year and it is very frustrating. I still try to implement lots of the strategies and he does seem to be speaking a few new words a week.

Not to be paranoid, but being single is making me a little edgy. I feel judged. I feel judged and watched by my family. I feel like I HAVE to keep the apartment extra clean. I feel like certain people are trying to control the situation by deciding what gifts go to whose house and visiting the kids at both our places in the same week. It makes me really uncomfortable. I am trying very hard to not show the edginess to my children. We spend extra time cuddling, playing and reading. I’m still trying to limit the amount of TV they watch, although my daughter is a little con artist lol. We do a ton of art together. That’s all I got for now. Any single parents reading this?