Aw... I've missed my Dear Sara posts. I don't have a vlog for you this week because I'm short on time and I need to get to bed early. Remember... I have my first 5K in the morning. I have to be there at 7:30 a.m.... barf. But let's get to the questions. (Some of these have been in my email for quite awhile because I forgot where I put them. Whoops.)
1. Whenever I am at a function with my daughter and her family, I leave feeling lonely, unloved and sad. I imagine that is just my perception of things. Then again, I doubt anyone would notice if I wasn't even there. I don't have this feeling/problem in any other situation. First of all, you need to sit down and figure out what specific things about going to these gatherings makes you feel this way. Is it that nobody talks to you, that you maybe aren't really involved in the event, whatever. You have to figure out what it is that makes you feel that way and then you need to talk to your daughter and tell her. If she's anything like me, I struggle with hosting family things because my family and my husband's family are very different. It's often easier to host two completely different things on different days because I feel like I'm having to cater to too many different things and someone always gets left out or I screw something up. So I definitely recommend talking to your daughter because you want to enjoy your time with her and her family too.
2. I have tried to make friends with my new husband's friends. It's clear they aren't interested in a friendship with me, and I feel bad about that. I invite them to parties or dinners every chance and they often don't respond either way, or say they are coming and cancel at the very last minute. At what point do I say "enough is enough" and stop trying? That point would be now. I'm a believer of the "three strikes and you're out" rule, and if you've tried more than three times to include them, then you have put forth all the effort you can be expected to do. But if it were me, I'd say something to them. I really hate when people don't respond to party or dinner invitations. It's fucking rude. I understand if you say you are coming but something comes up and your plans change. It happens- it's life, always unpredictable. But when it's every single time? Completely rude.
3. If someone does something offensive (let's say... almost hit you with their car in a parking lot as you're walking with your cart in the clearly defined walking area) is it OK to say something to them? Absolutely. I don't suggest running after them guns blazing, but if you see them park and get out, I'd say something. I did today actually, but it was worse because I had my two kids walking with me, and this lady literally brushed the front of my cart to get into a space. So I said to her when she got out of her car, "Hey lady- thanks for almost running my toddlers over. Pedestrians have a right away and you blew a stop sign." She gave me the finger, but still. I like to believe some people are just oblivious and stupid and would say something like, "Oh jeez- I'm really sorry" and take caution the next time. But I'm all for telling people they are idiots. It's like a public service.
4. I saw on your Facebook today that you mentioned a local kids thing is really expensive. Do your kids get to go to a lot of kid things, or what do you say to them if you can't afford it? I feel like the worst mother when I can't take my kid to the zoo for every single event. I would say my kids get to do a lot. We have a membership to the children's museum in town and we go as often as possible. I try to find as many fun (but free) things to do with them on the weekends just so we can get out. We also have a bunch of fairs that come around but truth be told- I've never taken them. First off, they are 6 and 3, so they won't get to ride or do a lot of the games anyways. My son doesn't really know he's missing out, but my daughter asks if we can go. And to be honest? I tell her no, we can't afford it. My parents were always pretty honest with me growing up when we didn't have money to do stuff and in the end it made me appreciate the things we DID get to do. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that they are entitled to go because every other kid in the 'hood is going because we really can't afford everything. If Johnny-down-the-street's mom wants to live on a credit card or pay her rent late so he can go to the carnival, good for them but I don't chose to live like that. Now, don't get me wrong- I will make every effort possible to do the things I know my kids will enjoy the most or get some kind of life experience/learning value from it. But I don't feel guilty for saying no because it's not like they are orphans. Their lives are good. :)
5. Do you ever feel guilty when you go and do classes, vacations, or nights out away from your family? I don't go on many (maybe once a month) but my husband, friends, and family make me feel like I'm in the wrong? How do I handle that? First off, good for you for getting away. Second off, tell those people to go to Hell. I really struggled with that for the first three or four years of being a mom. I rarely went anywhere without my kids, a night out with my friends was unheard of and you know what? I hated my life. I felt trapped, I was unhappy, and I'd cry every single night because it made me hate being a mom. It certainly was not what I expected. Then I had my counselor tell me I had to make myself a priority- and just because you are a mom doesn't mean that's all you are. That's when a light bulb kind of went off and I decided I was going to live my life as I wanted to. And honestly? I'm happier. I'm happier around my kids, I don't bark at my husband (usually), I feel less stressed out, I take problems with a grain of salt, and my life has greatly improved. But with all that said- it's hard if you're a single parent. I get that. Do I think a mother should be out every single weekend boozing it up? No. To be completely honest- I look down on mom's you see hanging out at bars or keeping their kids up at night so they can party or whatever. It's irresponsible. I need the time away from my kids and my husband to appreciate what I have. And even Matt said he thinks he needs to do it because I've really done a 180 from my lowest low. And it's because I feel like I'm still progressing as a person in my life.
OK- I have a few more, but I'll save them for next week. If you have questions for me, email me at: sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com. Tomorrow is Domestic Bitch Saturday. Of course, that will be dependent on how well I survive my 5K in the morning. :)