This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


So Hubby has become pretty verbal on the fact that he thinks the reason I'm having trouble has more to do with lack of sleep then having bipolar disorder. He is anti-meds anyway, but has said he doesn't object to me taking them, just that he's not sure I need them.

We had a big conversation in the car on the way to work yesterday about my priorities and whether or not I was spending too much time on the computer (as the therapist and Hubby believe) and not enough time with the kids. So I decided to write down what I actually do all day, to help me decide what to give up - since something obviously has to go, and sleep is apparently not the best choice.

I realized there is very little "Me" time that doesn't involve the computer. If you're familiar with The Five Love Languages (a very good book by the way), my love language is "Words of Affirmation" which means that I crave/ need people telling me I'm doing a good job and that I'm a good person. (The 5 languages are - physical touch (Hubby's!), gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation and ... dang, I can never remember the last one!). So anyway, I need lots of affirmation that I'm doing the right thing. I do not have any "local" friends that I talk to on a regular basis (everyone is as busy as I am!) so I love the internet because I can "talk" to anyone at any time - even midnight, and that I can meet people who not only "get it", but who have BTDT!

So when people say, get rid of the computer time I panic! I'm an extrovert working in a tiny office where everyone is super busy (no gossip or chatting), with very few friends. Having noone to talk to but Hubby, kids, Grandma, and my friends on the internet.

Anyway, here's my priority list. I didn't add up the hours - a lot of them overlap anyway. I learned my time with the kids is highly influenced by the fact that I feel like I do nothing but listen to complaints about them and by them.


Computer Time/ Me Time
- Morning Routine (makeup/ clothes/ reading) 45 minutes
- Bath / reading (1 – 1 ½ hours 3-4x weekly)
- Sleep (6 hours)
- Hide in potty and read (5 minutes)
- Read e-mail at home (30 minutes 2x daily)
• Forward jokes
• Answer any actual e-mail
• Read the list serves -Teen and Little Zebra
• Forward daily parenting reflection to Mom
- Skim “Decorating” message board (3 minutes)
- Check Google reader for blog updates (15-20 minutes 2x daily)
- Read message boards (30-45 minutes)
• Special needs
• Attachment
• General parenting
• Others
- Write blog – (1 – 1 ½ hours 3-4x weekly)

Work - Write proposals (30-60 minutes)
- Read/answer work e-mail (3 minutes but all day)
- Write Proposals/ work with Chuck (30 minutes)
- Play Spider Solitaire (5 minutes x all day)
- Attend meetings (0-3 hours a day)
- HR (5 minutes)
- Watch TV at work (and doze) 1 or 2 hours

- Call doctors, fill out paperwork, read/write teacher e-mails, read articles (10-45 minutes per day)
- Redirect kids for not doing chores and force them to at least attempt them
- Argue with Kitty (30-45 minutes - total)
- Check if have homework
- Mediate argument about what to watch on TV (5 minutes every half hour – or 10 minutes for a movie)
- Placate Ponito when he gets outvoted, calm down Kitty when she gets loud (5 minutes+)
- Cuddle with Ponito (10-15 minutes)
- Tell Bear he can’t do something (5 minutes)
- Listen to Bear ramble (10-20 minutes)
- Force Bob to take a bath, take out her lenses and get to bed (10 minutes)
- Watch TV with kids (30 minutes to an hour)
- Attend Therapy (1 – 1 ½ hours 2x weekly)
- Write FAIR Club assignments (30 minutes to an hour weekly)

- Cook (30-45 minutes)
- Laundry (15-20 minutes 2-3x weekly)
- Shopping
• Prescriptions (15-20 minutes 3xweek)
• Grocery shopping (1 - 1 ½ hours weekly)
• SAM’S Club (1 - 1 ½ hours weekly)
• Salvation Army (1 hour weekly)
• Big Lots/Bread store/Dollar Store/Pet store (45 minutes weekly)

Hubby -
- Talk in car (1 hour)
- Lunch 20 minutes
- Crossword (20 minutes 1-2x week)
- Date night (2-3 hours weekly)

- Sunday lunch (2-3 hours)
- Venting after work about kids(20-30 minutes)
- E-mail (5 minutes 1-2x week)

So I'll be deciding soon what to do about it all. Maybe I'll limit most of my computer time to work hours. Maybe with more sleep I can actually start participating at work and doing more there - instead of being overwhelmed and doing nothing but cruise the internet and play solitaire. I went to bed at 9pm last night so we'll see if that helps today.



Lisa said...

Hi Squeaker!
I struggle with this too. I try to alot time for each task. Living by lists these days... Give myself the added bonus of everytime J thows a fit to go read blogs. Which means I get a lot of time to read...;-)

Here's your affirmation of the morning.
I think you're a fabulous mom!!!! And. I am so glad you're my friend. Has it been a year yet????

Anonymous said...

I gotta find that book. I'm sure I fit into the same category as you do.

You are an awesome mom. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I've survived the worst of the teen years and that my kids are "mostly" out of the house.

I would not want to go through what you are living daily. The fact that you have any semblance of sanity speaks volumes for your personal strength and stability. You rock, Mary.

Anonymous said...

I just remembered an idea I had last week. I was thinking that every day I'd blog (that would mean opening up a blog site somewhere) and about how great I am. I figure if I'm not getting my affirmations at home or work, then I need to go out to the cyber world and beg for them.

I was thinking something like, "Today I worked 8 hours, did 2 loads of laundry, made banana bread and dinner, drove to soccer and had sex with my husband." You know, patting myself on the back for the things I accomplished that day. Then if anyone else read my blog, they could say "good job" and "well done" and I'd feel good about myself for 24 more hours.

You could do that here, Mary. You could run a column down the side with "today's accomplishments" and just list all the great stuff you do.

I'll probably never get around to opening up that blog, but you're more than halfway there!