Archive of ‘Life’ category

Is This What I Put My Mother Through?

So, last Monday, my son finally got his license. I say “finally” because I feel like he’s been avoiding this milestone event for months. I can tell you, that when I was his age… younger… getting my driver’s license was everything to me. It’s all I thought about for 4 whole months.

4 months.

That is all it took for me to get my driver’s license. Does anyone else remember how ridiculously scary easy it was for us to become drivers? I got my learner’s permit at 15 years 8 months. And on my 16th birthday, I went to DMV, took my test and drove out with my license that day. *Boom*

I then proceeded to drive into random things for a good couple years after that (Burger King sign, mailbox, garage door, etc)… because how can any kid with 4 months of driving experience really be a safe driver?

Nowadays, at least where we live, kids get their learner’s permit at 15 years 6 months… and they aren’t even eligible to take their final test until 16 years 3 months. And for whatever the reason, teenagers are not compelled to get their driver’s license. Seriously?!

I am pretty sure my son sabotaged getting his license at 16 years 3 months. He acted like it was an impossible feat to register for his required Road and Range class. Which I found easily and signed him up.

So, he is now 16 years 7 months and finally has his license!

I danced around like an idiot because I don’t have to pick him and his sister up from their Dad’s after school anymore. Their Dad lives 30 minutes from my house. I don’t have to drive them to school (30 minutes away) anymore. Matt drives Mindy to soccer practice now. He drives himself to gymnastics. I suddenly have all this time on my hands.

HOURS of time that used be taken up by driving back and forth.

Hours…

I have found myself pacing… waiting for my kids to come home. I miss them.

As much as I HATED that commute. Spending all those hours driving… there was ONE thing that I didn’t hate. Singing out loud together like idiots to songs on the radio. This was our routine on the way home. They would overload me about their day… and then we’d get stupid silly. Laughing. Oh my god, I miss it!

This must be what “Empty Nest Syndrome” feels like.

Well… now it’s time to fill the void. I really do love not having to stop what I’m doing and drive 30 minutes out and back. So… today… I’m going to go for a run… and enjoy not feeling rushed to be somewhere. Because I have no where to be… except waiting for my kids to come home…

Does anyone know what this feels like? Ugh.

Jen

To The Moms Who Think They Suck At Everything

To the Mom who does everything. To the Mom who feels like they must do everything or their world will unravel. To the Mom who drives their kids to soccer that happen to be in different locations and one kid is always late because you had to leave work 30 minutes early to get them there and you couldn’t because the stupid meeting didn’t end on time… and then when you got to practice realize that you didn’t bring water.

To the Mom who tries to plan nutritious meals but forgets to take the meat out of the freezer and settles for Chinese takeout that isn’t even that good and cost way too much.

To the Mom who was just trying to relax with a glass of wine and spills it all over your child’s homework because they left it on the counter when they asked you a question.

To the Mom who crawls in bed at night feeling only partially fulfilled because the day was all about everyone else… and shouldn’t you feel amazing for taking care of your family?

I see you. I really do.

When my daughter was going through chemo, I ran myself ragged keeping the world together. I took Kelley to the doctor’s. I did the laundry. I handled the medications. I prepared dinner. I vacuumed. I ran errands. I did the grocery shopping. I did it all. And, oh by the way, I had 2 other small children that needed me. And I had my business.

To be fair, my husband at the time did the best he could. He worked full-time and helped when he could. So, this isn’t a husband or father bashing post.

I ran myself ragged, trying to do everything. And you know what? I didn’t win any medals. No one said thank you. I didn’t feel good. I put on weight. I didn’t take care of myself. I became a very unhappy person.

Even when I thought, I should do something for myself… I would think… I have no idea what makes me happy. I only know that there are a million things that have to get done and I’m the one to do it. Period.

If this resonates with you… if this is you in some way… STOP. Just stop.

Here’s a reality check. You can’t do everything. And you sure as hell can’t do everything well. How do I know this? Because when you go to bed at night, how many things are still on your list to do? A LOT, I’m guessing.

So, if you’re list is long and you can’t get to all of it, then add yourself to that list.

Take care of yourself too. And don’t feel guilty about it. There is nothing shameful about taking time for yourself. Just to watch TV. Sit quietly. Go to bed on time. Exercise. Treat yourself shopping. Meet with girlfriends.

And if you tell yourself you don’t have the time… that’s bullshit. Seriously. That’s you just trying to convince yourself that what you’re doing is the right thing to do.

And maybe it is… but you might wake up one day as a shadow of your self wondering who you are… what you actually like doing… and not knowing what to do that might bring you joy.

Working down a to-do list is NOT joy. It is not your ticket to happiness.

So, if you don’t even know anymore what makes you happy… and that’s why you avoid taking time for yourself… then start small. Write a list of all the things you used to do that you thought were fun or fulfilling. Doesn’t matter if you don’t do them now or that they don’t interest you anymore. Write the list. Let your mind wander. Enjoy this time.

When I did this exercise, I was reminded that taking walks was enjoyable to me once. Maybe it’s something as simple as that. Take the time to get some fresh air. Get outside. Get away from the house.

I’ve done the super-mom thing. I know how important it is to make sure your family is taken care of. I know how guilty we feel when we decide to go out with friends and leave the kids with a babysitter. I know what it’s like to cancel plans because you feel guilty that you didn’t spend enough time with your kids and you don’t deserve to have “away time”.

This is nonsense!!! Take care of yourself first. Take that shower. Run that mile. Eat breakfast. Take care of yourself first. Because if you don’t take care of you, no one will. And you serve no one, if you’re worn out and tired and sick and unhappy and miserable. Right?

So, to all the Moms that try to do everything and feel like they suck at everything… I believe in you. You are beautiful. And the world Thanks You… now go do something nice for YOU.

 

Jen Thoden

I Don’t Need Sex (anymore)

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let me be clear. I LOVE sex and I WANT sex.

So, if you opened this post to see why I don’t like sex then I’m sorry!

I don’t NEED sex… anymore.

So, what do I mean by need vs. want, especially when it comes to sex?

I used to think that I didn’t need sex and that it was always on a want basis. It wasn’t until I was in my first serious relationship, after my divorce, that I realized how needy I was.

I found myself needing to have sex to feel better about myself, to feel loved. And when we didn’t have sex, I started thinking, “Why doesn’t he want to have sex with me? He clearly doesn’t love me. What doesn’t he want me?” and so on. It wasn’t until I started doing some serious “self” work, that I started to become aware of this needy attitude.

Every time I noticed myself being triggered… I looked at the situation as an outside observer. Why do we have to have sex in order for me to feel loved? He simply wants to hang out with me and connect and his attitude is if we have sex, great! But it’s not a requirement for connecting.

Question to myself: Do I NOT feel loved when I’m on my period and can’t have sex? Does he feel rejected when I can’t have sex or when I don’t feel like it? No. He’s fine.

I Don't NEED Sex Anymore
Image by MFer Photography via Flickr
 

Besides making babies, point of sex is, in my opinion, to connect. Sex should be an extension of an already strong emotional connection. It shouldn’t be a filler. If I’m feeling empty inside, it’s not because I’m not having sex. This is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

It’s like saying, “I NEED chocolate.” Do you? Do you really? If you’re hungry, then you need to fulfill that need. Chocolate IS a solution, but it’s temporary. You won’t be satisfied for very long and you’ll start looking for more chocolate or hopefully some real food.

In fact, if you eat chocolate when you’re starving, you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as if you decided to enjoy a piece when you simply want some. Huge difference.

When I stopped being so damn needy about sex, and let our relationship flow without demands, requirements, and expectations that were only in my head, my happiness level has gone way up. Our relationship is stronger. If I want sex, I let it be known. I don’t expect it or require it and if we end up fooling around, it’s a lot of fun and better than having it just to have it because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Yuck.

I don’t worry about how often we fool around. I’ve stopped thinking too many or not enough. I’ve stopped comparing our lives to others, assuming that they have better sex lives than I do. I’ve stopped assuming that my boyfriend is a mind reader. If I want something, I say it. He does the same.

No, I no longer NEED sex. Yes, I love having sex with my partner. I love him. We have fun. And yes, I believe that connecting intimately is critical to the overall health of a couple. I just no longer believe it’s the only thing that connects you. And it certainly doesn’t create happiness.

Happiness begins from inside you. So, if you’re feeling needy or if any of what I’ve written resonates with you, look inward and start working on your self esteem. You don’t need sex to be happy.

Jen Thoden