Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Big Blow Up

So it happened. I finally said to my mom: "Why is it that my friends realize how difficult it is for me to be one parent and two kids and somehow my own family does not?!?"

Yup. I said that. To my mom.

And it's not entirely fair, my family DOES help -- but each time I ask them it's like a huge deal... "Welll.... let me see.... we might be doing this... we might be doing that..." And I know it's partly sour grapes. Like when they say "We were going to see a movie that night." My thoughts are: "you can see a movie any fucking night. I get opportunities to go out every once in a while. I cannot just go out any night." Or they'll say: "I'm tired." So, take a nap. You can take a nap any time you want! Any time!

I know. Doesn't sound very healthy to me, either (my responses). And I'm sure the best way to be (for me) is somewhere in the middle. Not feel SO hostile towards them, but not let them shirk their extended family responsibilities, either. I'm working on it.

But still, my parents and sister live nearby and never take the kids over night, never just come over during the week, or offer. I guess that's it. They never offer. I always have to ask.... and that's what sucks.

And I'm thinking about the single parents who DON'T have X's to take the kids every other weekend, and I want to erect a huge statue in your honor... because I have absolutely no idea how you do it.

I went on to my mom: "All the decisions: Me. All their anxieties: Me. When they don't feel well: Me. Homework: Me. Doctors: Me.," And my mom said something that might very well be true: "But you don't tell us." And I don't. They call up: 'How was the first day of school for the kids." And I say "Nathan cried." But I don't say all the filler... how it was difficult, how they don't want to go the next day, how I spend the whole night convincing them to go the next day, how it's so draining..... I don't.

BUT - I DID say to my mom... I did tell her that sometimes all I want is for her to listen. To empathize. Not to offer advice, or what often seems to me as criticism. (Like as we were standing there she looks over at Nathan's meds. "Did you give him his meds this morning?" "YES I GAVE HIM HIS MEDS! I"M HIS MOTHER!" Stuff like that.)

So, the vibe here (since I'm out at their place on Long Island for the Jewish New Year....) is now a bit tense. I wanted to go home yesterday but the kids didn't want to leave. Saying things like "but we have a yard here" which also made me feel really, really good...

And, what initiated all this was that tonight I am going out w/J and his family for his nieces birthday. So I wanted to leave the kids here. In this house. With my parents and sister (three adults, that's right!) and well... they didn't say yes right away. (Ok, in the interest of full disclosure my mom's arm has been hurting - we think pinched nerve.) But they did. Ultimately. But it's still tense.

We'll see how the rest of it goes. I'll keep you posted. Just keep checking in on this blog channel. Ha! Also, have to post on the big meeting - J's family and mine! They came here first night Rosh Hashana! So I know that will keep you coming back for more!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Thanks. I needed that.

Today at work I very possibly saved somebody's life. Maybe even two people. It was a good day.

I received a referral... a man with terminal cancer, needs hospice placement, having trouble with his insurance and wife very overwhelmed with his care. Pretty standard. I was busy, so figured I'd call on it later.

I get a message from the physical therapist assigned to the case: "the woman very overwhelmed, threatens suicide." I call the Visiting nurse - she confirms. Horrible situation. I call the daughter. It seems that the mother is also becoming very sick, she is overwhelmed with the care of the husband AND the daughter is not only worried for the mother, but that the mother might do something to the father as well!"

Ooooh, getting good, huh?

So I call the wife. On her cell phone. She is waiting to visit a Dr. "Yeah, I hate him. Should have left him years ago." When I ask her about the suicide she says yes, she's mentioned it. When I asked about a plan - she was like "yup, I have pills." (Now, part of the suicide assessment is asking about a plan. Nine times out of ten the client says "Nah, I don't have a plan... I'm just talkin'." So imagine my surprise when she said that!) I asked her again, a bit later "No, I won't do it - I wouldn't give him the satisfaction!"

But still.

I call his doctor and we decide to have him admitted to the hospital. Keep everybody safe, and possibly expedite his admission to a hospice.

Of course, nobody told the client. I called him & he was like "no, I'm fine - I don't want to go to the hospital." But, I managed to convince him.

Called everybody. Told everybody. Tied it all up in a nice little package. (Assuming he got admitted. At this point I'm going to assume he was... )

And you know... it made me feel so good. I was good. I really was. I was Super Social Worker. I said the right things at the right time, I comforted, I listened, I advocated.... and I finished feeling really good about myself. Realized how much I like my job, how it's important, how I make a real, concrete difference & how that's a great thing to model to my kids.

I so needed that. I feel like I barely have control of life here... that my apartment is a shambles, that stuff just keeps happening, that I'm feeling so alone. So needy. So overwhelmed. Just not the strong, capable, independent woman I'd like to be.

And ok, I'm not going to go out on my balcony and belt "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar." (And yeah, you can smile picturing that - if you'd like.) But it just felt good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

And on it goes...

Nathan had a sore throat this morning. Perfect, huh? I gave him Motrin and sent him off. Hopefully it's just the beginning of a cold & nothing else... I felt that sending him to school - getting him used to it - was more important. (Sorry to any mothers in his class who could potentially hate me!) I hatehatehate having to make those decisions... but with him being so anxious about school (he was crying again, going on the bus this morning) and me being out last week & this being a short week at work (and what am I doing blogging now, you're asking?!? ) ... well -- it's tough if I didn't go in today.

So, I tossed the proverbial coin in the air, made the decision & we'll see how it goes.

Today's the first full day of the babysitter without me. Nervous.

The attorney called me back. Basically he could write a mean letter to X telling him he has to abide by the agreement or we will go to family court. BUT - he said - what would I do if he didn't abide. Oh. What would I do? I don't want to do anything to him... I just want him to do what he said he would do. But, that's not how it works. If we go to court I have to have some sort of threat: "Do it or you won't see the kids." Now, why in the world would I do that? Who would it help? (Well, maybe X!) I don't want to do that to the kids. Could you imagine? He'd only see them twice a month!!!

And no, he doesn't see them Tuesdays... he only cares about Max going to Hebrew School on Tuesdays because... well... good question? Why DOES he care? No idea. Just because he feels like a kid shouldn't be in school after school Because he didn't grow up with it. But, ask him how much time he spent on rugby and cricket practice....

So, I think I'm going to tell him that I spoke to an attorney, and that he is in violation and if he does it again we will take action.

This is all just so fucked.