It has recently come to my attention that I must have "USE ME" tattooed on my forehead or something. And so I am struggling:
Do I stand up for myself, point out to people when they are being unfair, and/or get angry?
Or, do I turn the other cheek and try to [continue to] shove my feelings aside and [try to] feel glad for the chance to serve these other people?
Normally, when I feel this way, I try to set my angry feelings aside but in my grief and depression my nerves are frayed. I am dealing with a sudden receding of the tides -- a lot has been stripped away at once, not just my grandmother. And I am angry.
The time in the hospital was awful. I feel so glad to have been there, and we had a few nice hours when my grandma seemed like her normal self. The rest was awful, and I can't express the awfulness of it -- of them calling for the crash cart, of them asking my sister and I what "code" level she was, of my grandma panicking as she fought to breathe, of her eyes watching my face so intently as I entered the room after a conversation with her nurses.
I swear to you, blog world, I had it figured out this one day. I had been there a couple days already and had pieced together the exact recipe of care that made her better. I talked her through every muscle spasm in her repaired hip. I talked her through her breathing so her oxygen saturation levels would rise, so she wouldn't have to wear the mask, which had rubbed raw blisters on her nose and cheeks. The one thing I didn't do was make her do her throat and tongue exercises. They were supposed to strengthen her muscles so she wouldn't aspirate everything she ate and drank. That evening I realized I'd forgotten, and I made a note to work on it a lot the next day. I had everything else controlled, and her weakened throat muscles were the one thing standing in the way of her lungs healing, I felt.
But overnight they couldn't get her oxygen levels up and in the morning when I arrived they were calling for the crash cart, and it was all downhill from there.
What my grandma's death and my friends/acquaintances taking advantage of me have in common, I don't know, but in my head they're related somehow. Maybe because now I am too sad to talk myself out of being angry.
Do you ever want to just start making angry Facebook posts calling people out? My sister and I have a Facebook "friend" who does that a lot and it has seemed appealing lately. I want to post, "Hey, everyone. FYI: I work 20-40 hours each week, from home. So while it seems to you like it's a great deal for me to watch your child for free, when you never reciprocate by inviting my child over, it makes me want to invoice you for all the hours I took off work so I could babysit your child." This is but one example, but I seem to attract people who want me to watch their kids for free for a morning, day, overnight, weekend, or week... but they never offer to reciprocate in any way. Maybe this is the mentality of, "You have four kids, what difference does one more make?"
Which makes me want to compose a Facebook post that reads, "What difference does one more make? Well, why don't you take my four kids to work with you, and then add your child too, and then you let me know what difference one more makes."
I do understand the plight of working parents during school breaks, but I would never ask someone to watch my kids on a regular basis without a) offering to pay them or b) inviting their same-aged child over for playdates at times when I am off work. Or c) offering to watch their child or children in return sometime.
I am sorry to complain to you about this, blog world, but Jason is quite possibly sick of hearing about it and I don't want to alienate the handful of actual friends I have left by complaining too much to them about it. What I want to do is call the two (right now -- there have been plenty of others with this same free childcare thing) moms and give them a piece of my mind. But unfortunately I am not built for conflict, which is why these people prey on me. They sense my weakness.
So the question is, do I push to overcome being a pushover, or do I push to overcome the angry feelings of being used?
And the WINNERS are… - Thank you to all who read, commented, liked, and shared our review of Twinspiration, the fabulous new edition by Cheryl Lage! Twinspiration is a fantasti...