Happy Friday the 13th!! Today is MY day. I rule Friday the 13th's. I was born on Friday the 13th. Today is my good luck day, my good mood day, my happy day...see -----> :-)
Today's awesome post is about cool moms, so I got to thinking a lot about my mom and the childhood I did(n't) have. She was a strict parent, Dad was worse. As I got older, mom did lift up the rules a bit but not much. The phone conversations were 30 minutes. After that you better be off the phone or Mom would hang it up for you. If it wasn't storming, we better be outside and we could only come in to go to the bathroom. All through high school, I was the one that did all the cooking and the cleaning and I helped my little brothers with homework and gave my youngest brother his baths. I changed my first diaper at the age of 6, and kept changing them after that. Whenever mom didn't feel like doing something, she would call on me to do it. We even lived in this one house where my bedroom was just on the other side of the wall to the living room. Mom would knock on the wall and if I didn't come running, I got yelled at. Yeah.
In 2000, Mom had her first heart attack and that's when I had to take over everything and that's when mom stopped being a mom. I was only 13 at the time. It was the summer before my freshman year in high school. I had to take on being on the bottom of the ladder in school, peer pressure, stress from school and then all the stuff from home. I think I've talked about this before. I grew up way too fast and I didn't have a chance at a real childhood.
But somehow I smiled through it all. I would go grocery shopping with mom and that alone helped me stay happy. Just a little alone time with mom, sneaking candy bars or McDonalds and then hiding the evidence.
Shortly after mom's first heart attack, she divorced my first step dad and that's when she stopped being a mom. She did what she wanted to do, when she wanted and I was the one to pick up the slack. I disciplined my little brothers. I put them on the bus to school. I did all the things a mother should be doing while my mom acted like the teenager. I never got to go to parties. Instead I was at home putting bandaids on scrapes, putting kids to bed, holding their hands and telling them everything's going to be ok.
I don't regret anything. I believe that doing what I did and being who I was led to who I am today. I am stronger because of all that. I am a good mom because of all that. I could have very easily turned my back on my family, but I didn't. I stayed. I took over. I have a very close relationship with my little brothers because of that. My brothers and I have been through hell together and we survived. My older brothers and I had it way worse than my little brothers. My little brothers had me as a mom instead of our mother. But my older brothers and I, we had Dad, and our step dad. Dad would yell at us for no reason or get us up in the middle of the night just to beat us. We couldn't talk to him unless he talked to us first. When we played, we had to be quiet. We couldn't even talk in the car. If we even looked at him wrong, we got it. My step dad was the same way, but he was a drunk on top of it all. We never had any money because my step dad and my mom would blow it on themselves. They wore name brand clothes while we wore hand-me-downs and thrift store clothes. Mom's cigarettes came first, our groceries came second. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had learned to buy an entire wardrobe for me and my brothers for super cheap, we had been evicted from 3 houses and I had moved 11 times, I had been to 4 different school districts and I delt with mom's second divorce and third marriage. My older brothers moved out as soon as they got a chance. My oldest brother moved out in the middle of mom's second marriage, when I was about 10, when things were real bad. He moved in with my mom's mom. The brother right above me moved in with Dad right after mom's heart attack. I stayed. I couldn't leave my little brothers to fend for themselves. I lived through all kinds of abuse and so much neglect, but I couldn't leave...I wouldn't leave.
When she married the third time, things got a little better. This guy was great. He was a little more lenient and more understanding and he could cook great. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when he came into our lives. I still had to take care of my little brothers, but he was there in the background to help out. I still did all the cleaning, but he did most of the outside work with my little brothers. Things were better, they weren't great, but they were much better. Mom even stopped being so strict and I could hang out with friends after school and go to football games.
But then my second step dad's work went on strike and things were tight. We got evicted again and then we moved into a 2 bedroom shack with no running water. There was 6 of us, but we made it work. After I got pregnant I moved out.
After I had Lilly, my relationship with mom took a turn for the better. Then after I started dating my would be husband, mom kicked my second step dad out and I was back in the middle of everything. She had run into her first boyfriend and wanted to get back with him, so she ruined a great marriage. Here we go again, I thought. I gave my step dad a place to stay and gave him rides to work. He finally got his own place after about a month. Mom still does what she wants when she wants. The brother above me won't speak to her anymore, the brother under me didn't talk to her for almost a year. The brother under me moved in with Dad about 3 or 4 years ago and the brother under him moved in with his dad about the same time. I've lived through a lot and I have forgiven so many people for the wrongs they've done to me. My dad, my mom, my oldest brother..... so I have been able to move on and have good relationships with each of them. I am very proud of the life I've made for myself. I hear all these stories of people that turn to drugs and/or alcohol cuz they were abused as a child. Yeah, well...I lived through it all and probably worse and I'm doing just fine.
I have vowed, even before I had Lilly, to be a good mother, to be a cool mom, to always be there for my kids.....to be the mom mine wasn't.