Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So the Holidays are winding down...and reality is closing in.

I know alot of people get down around the holidays. I am usually really good before the holidays. I love the excitement of Christmas. The decorations, of course the buying, the wrapping, but I really like the giving. I love to give presents, maybe to the excess. There is something nice about making someone else happy. Unfortunately I do not always have the money needed to buy the presents that I buy, which gets me in financial hot water. This Christmas was no exception. I was really good until the week before then I got caught up in the buying frenzy...
Credit cards were used, store accounts were was bad.Amazon makes buying too easy. Does it make it better that I was buying for others? Some of the things I bought went to poor migrant families who had nothing for Christmas. I felt that because it was for Charity and it wasn't things I was keeping it was OK, it was worth it.

I have found that the more I put out into the world, the more I am getting back. I have been donating things, money and time to charities and people in need. I have found the world to be returning my generosity.  My 3 yr old and I rang the Bell for Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign for an hour the week before Christmas. I felt good for showing him how to help others, (until a family member belittled and attacked my choice of Charity). I feel overall I have put more out into the world this year than maybe any year prior.

However now that Christmas has past, this is when my depression sets in. The reality returns cold and biting. The bills, the overdrafts, the negativity. The overwhelming realities of life.  Snow seems dingy and dirty, the Christmas cheer has passed from people's faces. The uncertainty of a new year approaches with the regrets of things not done or unfinished in the past year.

I watched Hoarders last night with sense of fear and awe. I understood their pain, their inability to move forward. A therapist said the the Obsessive is the buying and spending and accumulating, with the compulsive actually being the inability to let go. Am I where they started....I can't go there.

I have to CHANGE in the coming year. I am getting to the point where I don't want to leave the house because I am embarrassed by my appearance. I have no clothes that make me feel presentable much less good. I don't want my children to be embarrassed by me or our home. I must fix our finances so we don't end up in bankruptcy. I have made this mess and I must figure this out.

A friend recently asked "Do you think others see you, the way you see yourself"

I know they don't. I still see in my mind the thin, pretty, successful, put together women I used to be, but when I look in the mirror she is no longer there. Reality Bites....

Disappointing....isn't it!

I am a disappointment.

It seems that no matter what I do, where I go, what I choose I end up disappointing someone.

My weight issue is a disappointment to several members of my family, as I used to be so thin and pretty.

My choice to give up my career as an attorney to stay at home with my children is disappointing to my family as I am wasting my education.

My financial problems are disappointing to myself as well as those around me, as "I really should have it together by now"

My clutter and buying obsession is a disappointment to those around me (as well as myself) as I should be able to "just stop and get rid of stuff".

I was supposed to be thinner, I was supposed to be prettier, I was supposed to super career woman, I was supposed to be financially secure, I was supposed to be domestic and neat, I was supposed to be normal.

But it appears I am none of those things.....I am just a huge disappointment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Uncomfortable appearances....

So it has gotten to the point that I don't want to go anywhere where people know me. Especially people that have known me for a long time, those who knew me back when I was thin..

I was recently told the story of one of my much younger cousins seeing a picture of me from when I was in college. And she was like "who is that?" My Aunt told her that it was me, and her response was "She was gorgeous.....what happened?".  This story pierced me to my core. I am I that unrecognizable..have a become so large that I am not at all who I was.

And so I worry constantly when amongst people who knew me "before", what are they thinking, are they are talking about me know, will they later, do they pity me, do I disgust them, are they disappointed in is so embarrassing...

I am so embarrassed and uncomfortable ....I just want to hide.

When I shared this revelation with my husband his response, well then just lose weight.

If only it were that easy...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

mommylogues- ramblings from my heart....

I have decided to add a new aspect to my blog...mommylogues. This is will discuss my issues, thoughts and dilemmas with motherhood. I will be speaking from the little place inside that rarely get the time of day.

So here is my first one...

Have I lost myself? I am a wife, I am mother, I am homemaker (such a weird term), but who I am, where is the real me...I feel like I used to be so much more. A dancer, an artist, a student, an avid reader, a player of board games, an attorney....

There used to be so much time for much time for hobbies, and fun. Now the most likely "me" time I get is to take a myself...and I am loathe to admit that these days, my showers aren't even a daily occurrence. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day...

I remember back in the B.C. (Before Children), having endless amounts of time on my hands. Reading, and board games were a daily occurrence...and that strange phenomenon of "having absolutely nothing to do". Do you remember that...being bored...being able to sleep till noon, just relaxing...sometimes it seems so long ago, like the memory of another life.

In a way that is what is was. It was a another life, a different life. My daily existence is so fundamentally different that is used to is like another galaxy! Maybe this is a factor of waiting to have children. It seems that people I went to high school with that got married and had kids right away never had this huge "culture shock" . Their kids are now old enough that they are in the position I was in the B.C.  Maybe it was easier for them because they never had to mourn this loss of personal freedom, as they had yet to really experience it in adulthood.

I waited until my 30's to have get married, and have children. I was so set in my ways by this time that it was a "HUGE" adjustment.  Our B.C. lifestyle was definitely not compatible with children. We lived in NYC with nominal responsibilities beyond our careers. I dressed up for work, everyday, wore makeup, did my hair, wore impossibly high heels. We worked long,  late, irregular hours, went out with friends at the drop of a hat, ordered food in almost daily, went to movies, clubs, and bars several times a week. Went to the gym everyday. Sunday brunch was a ritual. Housekeeping was never our strong suit, we sent our laundry out and picked it up clean and folded.  We did have a dog, but he didn't (and still doesn't) get the amount of attention he deserves. All nighters either for work or fun were a regular occurrence, and we made do, sleep deprivation and all.

Now things are different...we moved to a suburban area to be closer to family, my daily existence now revolves around my two little ones, I (temporarily?) gave up my career to take care of them. I traded my heels for flats, my suits for jeans and sweats (occasionally pajamas, LOL) . We have cars, and a mortgage, and of course the debt left over from school and our crazy single days. Sleep deprivation has taken on a whole new level, my older self being much less able to function after a sleepless night with sobbing children. I get called "mam" ugh..

I guess we moved from a very "egocentric" existence to one more centered on family and that is not a bad thing at all...but it is a hard change. I still struggle to be domestic (this may just never really happen).  I want to be that awesome "stay at home" mom..but most days I barely get by much less attain "super mom" status.

Please don't take this as complaining, as I realize I am extremely blessed to be where I am and have two beautiful children and not everyone is this lucky. But I have to admit that I sometimes miss my old life, the B.C....

I miss myself. I look in the mirror and am startled by the women staring back at me.. I have defined myself by different standards for so long that I have a hard time finding "me" in my current life. I sometimes look wistfully at my old career wardrobe and plethora of beautiful heels, and recently tried a pair on, ones that I had loved, ones that just always made me feel good whenever I wore them. They felt they didn't quite fit right anymore...

I am beginning to realize that is has been a long time since I have seen "myself" and heard my "voice"....I am so much more than just "mommy", but the amount of energy needed to be successful in a day of mommyhood, leaves little reserved for anything else...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shutterfly, more bang for your Holiday buck!

So it is time for Holiday cards! This can be a complete bank buster, especially if you are like me and want something unique and personal, something that will be saved by family instead of tossed in the trash at the end of the holidays. I have gone the cheap route in the past, with the bargain discount store cards, total waste of postage. I have tried store bought photo cards, expensive with low quality. I have printed photo cards myself, time consuming, inconsistent quality, and more expensive then I thought. Then I found Shutterfly and I will never go back to my old ways. They have an enormous selection, there is a card for everyone's taste on their site My personal favorite is the The Family Wall Card . It is a great value, pick pictures from throughout the year to share with those family and friends that you don't get to see that often or use all the different poses from your holidays shots that are so hard to choose from.

Another great value and gift idea is their photo books. I have always wanted to scrapbook. I have the supplies, and the photos but with two young children I just don't have the time. I decided to use Shutterfly photo books to make digital scrapbooks instead. It is incredibly easy and so much faster than scrapbooking. I have been doing a book to commemorate each year of each of my children's lives. I have even ordered extra copies for the grandparents that live in Florida to make them feel more connected to us. With all the great deals and specials Shutterfly offers this is a very cost effective way to save our memories forever and share them with our families as well. Be sure to check them out! Shutterfly Photo Books

Where do I go from here? Go with God?

So not much has changed in the past two weeks. The Thanksgiving holiday was stressful. The money or rather the lack thereof adds a hard edge to the holiday season. I applied for the a full time job.(which I stumbled upon while googling, which was completely a match for my past experience). Although my heart is still thoroughly torn on the idea of going back to work, I figured it worth a shot. My husband's thought was, throw your hat into the ring, and see what happens. He said you don't have to take it (if it is offered) if you really don't want to, just make it an option. So now I wait, it is all in god's hands.

Trying not to spend during the holidays is hard. I have some gift to get. Our family has decided to only buy gifts for the children and not for the if you are over 21 you are out of luck. LOL  I have been really good at finding deals though. I have found deals on getting free toys from, and have used a bunch of coupons. I scoured the clearance racks at Toys R Us. I was able to get gifts for 9 kids for just under $100. And it was nice stuff too! It has been hard however to be shopping and not buying excess. In fact I did over spend at the Old Navy Friends and Family sale. 30% off of the already low clearance prices sent me over the edge. But after stewing over it for several days I took back half of my purchases only keeping the really cheap items. I know I probably should have taken it all back but I just couldn't. So I met myself half way.

I am now looking for a financial adviser. I need a little advice beyond what I know. I am not sure how to go about finding one that will meet our needs, so I asked some friends for referrals. I have been in contact with one person, but I am not sure he is the right guy. But I will let you know what happens.

I have really implemented my coupon binder and I am really trying to only buy food items that I have a coupon for or that are on sale. On my most recent trip to target I ended up saving over $12 in coupons! I was so proud of myself. Plus I didn't buy anything I wouldn't normally buy!