Am I just not a good parent?

I don’t know if it’s the holidays and my uber-high expectations of what they should be for a family, or if it is the impending financial doom my overworked and under nourished brain keep telling me I am headed for each time I swipe my debit card for yet ONE MORE gift.  Or maybe I am just not a nice person to start with and so when this viral negativity scene begins invading my body on a cellular level – how am I supposed to be able to handle two kids under the age of ten who have absolutely no interest in actually choosing gifts for others that I cannot possibly know what the perfect present may be in a cluster-f^@ked crowded store the Sunday before Christmas?

Clearly, I am not thinking clearly.

Does anyone with two kids, a tight family budget, 40-hour a week job that swing shifts on occasion with her spouse’s and little or no outlet for cranial pressure?

I do not want to be a whiner – one of those people who is not grateful for all the freaking blessings they have but there is little doubt that is exactly what I sound like!

I am re-meeting a great number of friends from my wild and theatrical times as well as those dating back to pre-high school and I have begun the ancient human tradition of comparing my life to what I perceive to be theirs.  Some are living fantastically bohemian lives in the greatest city on earth.  Others are taking fabulous trips to far away lands communing with the most awesome of nature’s creatures.  Mostly I am not really seeing anyone else in the death grips of parenting peril that I seem to have cornered myself into.  Even my own spouse and best friend are embarking on new musical journeys that are extremely promising given their individual and combined talents.

And here I sit – a’wallowing in a made-up mire of mayhem and monstrous envy writing a blog after getting so angry at my children’s apparent lack of adulthood that I threatened to return every gift I had purchased for them and email Santa to do the same.  Not exactly Donna Reed or Claire Huxtable, huh?  Probably closer to Joan Crawford or Norman’s mom…

And there are still three shopping days left…(play sound clip now … )

Phases of menopause?

I’ve read what the clinical stages of menopause are – perimenopausal, premenopausal, menopausal, and post menopausal.  When this happens naturally for a woman varies based upon when she started her first menstrual cycle or based upon when her mother went through it.

For me, it’s unknown.  My mother had her hysterectomy at age 41 due to a rather large benign cyst that overtook her uterus.  They recommended taking everything – ovaries and all, so she did.  She was immediately went through physical menopause as they adjusted her artificial hormone replacement therapy.

No one thought to ask her mother when she went through menopause before she died at the age 82.

I had my hysterectomy last year – less than ten days before my 40th birthday.  Long story behind it, but I also had two other surgeries at the same time to repair some damage from having children.  The doctor recommended that I keep my ovaries and I did.  He assured me that this surgery would not trigger menopause and has run blood work that seems to indicate that my hormone levels are fine.

Then why the hot flashes?  Night sweats?  Super-inhuman mood swings?  Either total insomnia or nearly falling asleep in the restroom stall at work when I get a few moments to myself? And other symptoms that are unexplainable and remind me of being pregnant again?  Severe lower back pain?  Charlie horses in my calves?  Tender breasts?


Clinical stages verified by specific blood work results my ass!  Keeping your ovaries a sure-fire way to avoid early menopause due to a hysterectomy – bite me!

Let’s not forget the rage against the machinations of my own brain.  And the lingering ache from one of my surgeries that does not seem to want to go away.  And the entirely new way I had to learn to pee from the other one.

TMI?  Maybe, but dump all of that in a blender, pour in a dose of children being angry for not taking them out to dinner on a Friday night, a handful or two of happy Christmas versus new air conditioner, drop in some chopped up pieces of whatever the dog has chewed up today and pack in some not-so-random emotional angst until full.  Sprinkle with overflowing laundry, dishes, unscooped poop, and any minor misstep made from throughout the day.  Flip the switch to liquefy and let run from 6 a.m. to about 10 p.m. and if it hasn’t blown itself to bits by then, transfer contents to air tight ziploc bag and hide in the deep freeze until there is a free day to thaw it out and pour down the drain.

Or buy yourself a great handbag on e-bay that you neither need or can afford.

It is my currently preferred form of HRT – Handbag Replacement Therapy.

As for whether or not I’m actually in a phase of menopause – I wonder how many HRTs it will take before I am sure?

Money, gifts and OCD

I tried to research the origins of money within the human race.  Not because I am that lame to google something so random on a Friday night as opposed to doing something more exciting like, oh, I don’t know, um, um – seriously, I don’t know – but because every year at this time my tenuous relationship with money gets pushed to the limit and beyond.  It then drags me down into a deep crevasse full of a murky blend of soiled cotton and linen that adheres to my skin and eats away at my flesh until I become nothing more than a grovelling, whining mass of cells only capable of weeping and scratching out angst-ridden haikus with a broken pencil.

I tried to research it so that I can make some sense of why money has become so bleeping important to nearly every human on our planet – including me.  I say “nearly” because I have a the desirous hope that out there, somewhere exists humans for whom money is of no consequence and not just because they have tons of it.

At what point did we, as a people, decide what was valuable and what wasn’t?  And when did that value begin to supersede all others to where literally no one can live without at least some of it?  There must have been a point in our evolution when we simply lived and shared our abundance together, right?  If I had slain a great mammoth, surely I would have offered its sustenance to my whole clan without requesting something in return, right?  I wouldn’t have tried to apportion out the heat from a communal fire to only those with shiny objects as a trade, would I?

I am not trying to express my hidden desire to be a bleeding heart socialist or hypocritically deny my materialistic leanings when it comes to handbags, laptops, and all things glittery.  I am attempting to rid myself of the shame-filled connection I seem to have between money, lack of money and my o-c-diferous paralysis around gifting to those I love with whatever amount of money I do have.

It takes me hours, days or even weeks to search and discover just the perfect gift that is both economical and exemplifies the right amount of intuitive sentiment that declares that not only do I know you well enough to get you exactly what your heart desires, but also that I love you to the moon and back.  Imagine how difficult my life becomes when I haven’t even begun to shop for the most important gift giving holiday of the year until two weeks prior to the event!  Couple that with the very real constraints on our family budget due to the previous summer’s fence purchase and impending a/c unit replacement before warm weather returns to North Texas and we have all the components necessary to ignite a fireball within my belly hot enough to melt tiles off of the space shuttle.  Let’s not forget my horrific ability to horde anything from baby food jars to empty toilet paper rolls thereby making the thought of purchasing cheap ass toys that will only break or become too boring for play within weeks and end up having to be given away or worse yet, thrown out, much-too-much for me to bear.

So, I bemoan the human race for evolving the concept of money into our DNA, curl up in a fetal position under mounds of blankets and put off Christmas shopping for one more day.