Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm a sucker, I know.

I just paid $32 for information and a start up kit for something having to do with getting paid $2 per envelope. I have no idea what this means I will actually be doing. I know that this probably means it's a scam, but I need something to fill my evening after the kids go to bed. I need income. And I need some reason to feel the way I feel. Which is to say I feel like I have no control any more. I live in somebody else's house with their routines, their schedules, their lifestyle. I didn't have much of a lifestyle before I moved in, but it was my own choice. Now when I lay on the couch watching TV while my MIL puts away groceries, or sweeps the floor, I feel guilty. When I take the kids out in the morning, and I want to come home early because their having a rough time, I feel guilty for interrupting everyone else's quiet time. When my kids want to stay out longer, I feel guilty because someone at home is holding off on a project they want the kids to help with. If I don't want to take the kids anywhere because we all feel a bit lazy, I feel guilty because I'm not allowing the rest of the family their quiet time to do what hey want to do.

Part of this comes from the fact that my MIL and FIL don't like to hear the kids cry, and they cry to get what they want. Before we all moved in, they didn't cry much, because they knew they wouldn't get what they wanted anyway. Now, they know that someone will cave and come play with them, so they make a fuss. I don't think that my MIL is doing them any harm not developmentally, definitely not physically, and really not even emotionally. It's just not how I would do it. So it makes me crazy. For example, at dinner we all sit down together and eat. I sit as far from the children as possible, and allow mom-mom to sit between them. She plays games with them to get them to eat. She makes up stories about dump trucks, and plays a bit of reverse-psychology telling my 3 year old he 'better not' eat whatever it is she wants him to eat. That's how it is now. Before we moved here? We all sat down to eat, and it went parent, child, parent, child around a circular table. I gave each child a plate of food that I expected them to eat. I gave them plenty of time, and I reminded them to eat a few times each meal. After the appropriate amount of time had passed, I took their plate from them, and they got no more until tomorrow.

Does it make a difference? Do they eat any better for them or me? No. They eat about the same. Is my sanity still together? Yes, because I have no part of it. I was having a conversation with a cousin about it, and she had made the comment that Lucian must hate having 4 adults telling him to eat his dinner, and I told her that I just stay out of it, because it would drive me crazy otherwise.

My MIL, who claims she can't hear my voice too well, overheard this conversation, and threw a fit claiming that she would back off and the kids could sit near me. The problem is, she felt like I was not happy with how she did it, and I wanted the job back. But that's not the case. a) I do not believe for a moment that she would indeed back off. b) I don't care how it's done, as long as they eat.

So. Here I am with no control. Because, if I took the kids back to my side of the table, I'd still have her trying to make dinner fun for them, and now I would just be surrounded by loud children while I'm trying to eat my dinner.

I have decided to take back control where I can. If I can earn some extra money, I will not feel guilty spending it on doing some things for myself. And I will be able to show what I am useful for. Also, if I am sitting on the couch watching TV and doing something with envelopes I will not feel guilty that I'm not helping put the groceries away.

Also? I am going to check out the local colleges and try to get a degree in psychology. I want to be a therapist, and I think that now is the time to pursue it. I have free daycare as it stands right now, and I'm young enough to be able to begin a career and have it go somewhere.

So, I'll keep you posted on how both of these endeavors are going.


Sheila (Charm School Reject) said...

You're preaching to the choir babe. We moved in with my parents a year ago and it has just gotten to be insanely ridiculous. I am merely the woman who threw up constantly for 40 weeks and 34 weeks, respectively. No matter what I do, it is not how my mom would do it. It used to not bother me so much - in fact, I encouraged it because I was so unsure of my abilities to be a mother. But now, I wanna scream everytime she tries to override my authority. Whether it be what the kids wear, what they eat, when they go to sleep, how I fix their food, whatever it is, she always has a comment to make.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Why Does Allison Read My Mind?

Happy Mommy said...

Yeah, I think that's where we go wrong. In the beginning when we're so unsure of every move, we rely on our mothers, (or in my case MIL, my mom died long before I had children she could spoil) we ask them about the color of the poops, we ask them about how soon should they be holding their head up, how many layers should they wear in October. And then, once we've asked these questions we have stamped idiot on our forheads with indelible ink. It's too late to go back and say, "I'm a good mom, I know it, you know it, now back off!" All we can do is manipulate the situation to our benefit.

Or, if you have the right relationship with your mom (MIL) sometimes you can stand up tall and tell them that these are your kids to raise as you please. As soon as I figure out what the 'right' relationship is, I'll let you know. I know my mom did it with her MIL, and somehow got out unscathed, I wish I could figure out how.

Jamie said...

I feel your pain, I truly do! And while my MIL "claims" she has learned and backs off, she pops in her opinion more than enough, usually to answer the kids for me.
I don't think that bugs me half as much as the lack of control at ALL. I really can't wait to start classes in December, if for nothing else, a reason to not be HERE for 8-9 hrs a day.

OH, and every MIL claims they eventually stood up to thier MIL... I think it is really a lie, a vicious lie to get us to chew them out so they can make us feel quiltly. Or it could just be my paranoia striking again...

whall said...

To me, how to get kids to eat is a hotly contested topic. Then again, so is envelope stuffing.

Mmmm. stuffing.

Happy Mommy said...

Jamie: Actually, it was my grandma who told me that my mom stood up to her about how me and John had to stay on schedule, even when we were visiting her... or something.

Whall: If you happen to have any suggestions on how you get your kids to eat, I'm open. I currently just accept that he doesn't eat much.

Sheila (Charm School Reject) said...

::knock knock::

Come out, come out wherever you are!