Posted in 3rdMomof3, Amber, Emma, Madisyn, Third Family, Will

Only Child vs Multiple Children

How many kids should you have?

“You should only have one, kids are expensive.” “You should give your child a sibling, or they will grow up socially awkward.” “You have a boy and a girl? You should stop now.” “You have all girls, are you going to try for a boy?” These are the obnoxious questions/comments that we as parents hear all the time. But does anyone ask the kids how they feel? Well, I decided that I would get their take on living in an only child vs multiple children household.

What is it like being in a household where there are multiple children? I asked my 3 kiddos the same 5 questions and here is the feedback they gave me…

Emma, Madisyn, & Will
  1. Do you like having siblings? Why/Why not? W – “Yeah, I guess. Because it’s not always quiet.” E – “Yes, because I’m never bored.” M – “Sometimes, sometimes they only want to talk to their friends.”
  2. Do you ever wish you were an only child? Why/Why not? W – “Sometimes, (in typical teenage fashion) I don’t know why.” E – “Sometimes, because the arguing and fighting is stressful!” M – “Sometimes, because I would get more time with you and because it would be less expensive…” (my very logical thinker!)
  3. Why do you think your parents had multiple children? W – “I don’t know. That’s weird, I don’t know how to answer that!” lol! E – “So you and daddy would never be alone.” M – “I know this, cause you told me, it’s because you wanted one boy and one girl. And then you wanted 2 girls because you never had a sister and you wanted Emma to have a sister.”
  4. What is the best part about having siblings? W – “There is always someone to do something with if I get bored.” E – “I get to spend time with them whenever I want.” M – “I’m never alone. When we take vacations or if you/daddy or my friends are busy, I have someone there.”
  5. What is the worst part about having siblings? W – “The arguing.” E – “We don’t always agree and we argue.” M – “Sometimes they are annoying (I include myself in this, lol) and they only want to spend time with their friends.”

So as you can see there were multiple times that they gave pretty much the same answers. Even though they argue and fight this shows me that they are all 3 more alike than they care to admit sometimes.

What about the other side? If you have siblings there has probably been a time in your life that you’ve thought about what life would be like in an only child household? I know I have, so I decided to get answers from someone (well, the only person I know) that is an only child. When I asked my niece, Amber if she wanted to be interviewed for a blog post she said “Yes! Of course. I’d love to!”

Amber
  1. Do you like being an only child? Why/Why not? “I do because I have no siblings to argue with. But I like being near you guys cause I can hang out with them and send them home or I get to go home.”
  2. Do you ever wish you had siblings? Why/Why not? “When I was younger I did because I would get bored.”
  3. Do you consider yourself spoiled because you are an only child? “Yeah, especially by my grandma cause the other 2 grandkids are older.”
  4. Why do you think your parents only had one child? “I actually know the answer to this! Because of all of the issues I had when I was born and when I was a baby. They didn’t want to put themselves though that again.”
  5. What is the best part about having siblings? “Well, this is kinda the best and worst part… getting all of the attention from my parents. Best part – They are always there… Worst part – They are always there…” lol
  6. What do people assume about you because you are an only child? “That I am very spoiled.”

So you see, there really are pros and cons to each side of the debate about what is better… Having an only child or having multiple children.

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

SAHM… Is it a REAL 'job'?

My journey of being a stay at home mom began 9 years ago. I was working full time, 50-60+ hours a week. My husband worked from home and I was becoming resentful. Resentful because he was watching our kids grow up. Resentful because he was able to be involved at school. Resentful because I didn’t know my kids as well as he did and the only time I really spent with them was bedtime & the weekends.

One night I finally just poured out my heart to my husband. I finally just let him know all the things that I was feeling and do you know what he did?!? He wrapped his arms around me and just said to me ‘Give your notice at work, we will figure it out’! I just broke down… was this going to become a reality? Was I really going to be able to spend all my time with my kiddos?

The next day I went into work and gave my 2-week notice. Even though I was so excited, I was also super nervous! I have been working since I was 15 and I always enjoyed working but ever since my oldest was born I knew my ultimate goal was to one day stay home and spend my days with my kids. I went full force into the stay-at-home-mom role! Throughout the years I have been the room mom, the PTA/PTO mom, the team mom, etc.

So, is being a SAHM a REAL ‘job’? I have been told NO! Since all 3 of my kids are in school all day, I’ve gotta be just sitting home and watching tv all day, right? “You don’t ‘work'”… “It isn’t hard”… “Your kids are older so you don’t have to do anything for them”… “All you do is hang out with your friends during the day and go to Starbucks”… Just to name a few things that I have been told! Yes, people have actually said these and much more to me! Well, in all of the jobs I have ever had, none has a schedule like this one!

My day starts at 6:00 am. I get my oldest up and out the door for school (yes, I wake him up, yes I know he is old enough to get himself up, but I remember how hard it was for me to wake up in the mornings, so I don’t mind). Then my youngest gets up at 7:00-7:30 to get ready for school (she is a morning person most days so this isn’t really a struggle), I take her to school at 8:15. I am back home by 8:30 to shower, get ready, and get my middle schooler up, then we head to her school at 9:00. And once all 3 kids are at school, this is when I make my Starbucks run, the one thing that gets me through my morning is my Starbucks Refresher, so yummy!

Once I get home I begin my cleaning routine. I do, at the minimum, 2 loads of laundry a day, I clean the bathrooms 4-5 times a week (teenage boy, need I say more? lol), the kitchen is the center of our house, so that gets cleaned 3-4 times a day, the hardwood floors get vacuumed daily (we have 3 dogs, that shed… A LOT!), the carpet gets vacuumed at least twice a week, once a week I deep clean the kids bedrooms (they clean them throughout the week, but I like to do a deep clean just for my sanity), all of this takes like 2-3 hours (sometimes more, depending on the day and how my cleaning OCD is that day). Ok, so now my day is done right? Uhm, nope! I get started on organizing our calendar, go through emails (so many emails… school, sports, etc), and now working on my blog.

The momi-van pulls out of the driveway at 2:50 to pick up the youngest kiddo from school. Thankfully the oldest’s school is super close to our house so he usually walks home, unless he has 2 1/2-3 hours of soccer practice, then we will pick him up at 5ish. At 4:00 the middle schooler gets picked up. Dinner gets made by me on nights that we don’t have sports or other activities, the other nights everyone has to make their own dinner. The nights that we do have sports/activities I am back in the car again, to football games, soccer games, etc. On Thursdays I take Madisyn & her friend to volleyball, thank goodness for moms that carpool! Some days there are field trips, class parties, sports games, theater plays, errands that need to be taken care of, on top of the daily to do’s.

I know there are moms that work from home, work outside the home, and still do some of these things that I do daily. But stay-at-home moms (& dads) don’t seem to get the same respect because society doesn’t see it as a REAL ‘job’. Just because you don’t get a paycheck doesn’t mean you don’t work.

So, is being a SAHM a REAL ‘job’? ABSOLUTELY!!! It is the hardest and most rewarding JOB I have ever had!

*Side note – I am very grateful that I have a husband that works from home so I do have help with the kids, if I have to ‘call in sick’ or can’t be in 2 places at once.*

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

Who Am I?

One of my resolutions for 2019 was to maintain my blog… Well that didn’t happen! Life got busy… Life got harder… Life got more chaotic! I lost myself… So, I am trying again! Trying to blog, trying to maintain my sanity, but most of all… trying to find myself again!

So, who am I? Who is Candace? Not Candace the mom. Not Candace the wife. Not Candace the friend, sister-in-law, daughter/daughter-in-law, etc. But who is Candace the person, the individual?

Just yesterday afternoon I had a talk with Emma about boys (ugh, those stupid teenage hormones!) and why it’s ok to not have a ‘boyfriend’. I explained to her that she needs to focus on becoming who SHE is, without having another label. Now is the time that she needs to learn who she is, separate from everyone else. In having this conversation, I realized… I have no clue who I am, aside from a wife and a mom. This really hit me hard, when did I lose my identity? I have been a wife and a mother for so long that I have no idea what the answer to that question is. So with that in mind, my goal for 2020 is to find out, ‘Who is Candace?’!

As wives and moms we tend to lose our identity. We just take on new identities with the same title, like, Stay at Home MOM, HouseWIFE, Mark’s WIFE, Will, Emma, & Madisyn’s MOM, etc. Society no longer sees us as individuals. This year I will embrace the journey of finding out, who I am, again!

This time I WILL stick to my blog and I WILL take time for myself! Please join me on this journey as I attempt to put more time into who I am and less time spent on who I should be to others. Who knows, along the way you may find out who YOU are!

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Surviving

Leave or Stay?

*Warning, this post contains sensitive material about domestic violence and suicide, reader discretion is advised.*

Have you ever considered leaving your abusive spouse? Have you stayed because of your children? Have you stayed because you are too afraid to leave? Have you stayed because your spouse threatened to harm themselves if you left?

I can answer YES to all 4 of those questions! A lot of people don’t know this about me. I usually don’t speak about my first marriage. It is too painful to talk about and too hard to explain over and over. Only those closest to me know the real story. (I want to begin by saying that this is NOT a story about my current husband or our relationship.)

It all started in 2002, that is when I first met my ex-husband. We began dating and were expecting a child after only a few months. We did the ‘right’ thing and got married. I was six months pregnant and standing in front of a court house doing what I thought I should do. In December I gave birth to my first born, my only son. He was the light of my life! He made the pain of the abuse bearable.

The first major assault occurred after my son was born. I stayed because I though it was the right thing to do. Until one night I made my ex mad. I must have said something wrong, right? I mean he wouldn’t have waited until I put my son to bed to corner me in the kitchen, unless I did something wrong… Right? It’s gotta be my fault that I ended up going to the hospital, right? It’s my fault that my ex decided to shove me so hard and I hit the stove with such force, that my upper arm immediately began to swell. And if that wasn’t enough and my tears & pleading didn’t get to him, he tried to shut me up by punching me in the back of the head multiple times. The last blow to my head caused me to briefly loose consciousness. When I came back to I realized what was going on. It took me a long time to convince him to take me to the ER, as I thought my arm was broken. I packed up my son and we headed to the hospital. I made sure I told my ex that I would just tell the doctor that I fell down the stairs. I must have been very convincing because he left me alone with the nurse in triage, while he went to the bathroom to change my sons diaper. I told her everything! She immediately called the police and had them wait behind the doors so that I could take my son from his arms before they arrested him. I was so scared that he would do something to my son if he saw the police before I took him. I grabbed my son and headed to the triage room again and didn’t look back. I could hear the police tackle him because he was fighting them, I could hear him yelling for me, but I didn’t turn around.

When our case went to court he asked me to drop the charges and say that I made everything up. I stood my ground, testified against him and they ordered anger management, parenting classes, a restraining order for myself and my son, and probation. You would think that would be the end of my story right? Unfortunately it’s not.

Time went by and he did all of the ‘right’ things. He attended his ordered classes, he got a job, he did everything that I had wanted him to do before. I saw him bettering himself… or so I thought. I decided to give it another try, for the sake of my son. He deserved to have 2 parents right? I ended up getting pregnant again, you know the saying that it only takes ONE time? That is very true!!! I was happy and sad at the same time. I was going to be a mom again and it was the one thing in my life that I could do right! But what if he hit me again? What if he broke his promises?

Well, you know what happened??? He did hit me! He broke every single promise that he had made! He told me he would kill me, my kids and himself if I ever left! I was so scared, I thought ‘if I don’t leave my kids and I are going to die, but if I stay we will die’. I knew that I had to make a choice, so I eventually got the courage to kick him out!

Fast forward to 2009. I was remarried and we were so happy. My ex didn’t see the kids and they didn’t remember him. I was so happy that I never heard from my ex and he didn’t ask to see the kids. My husband was their daddy, he took care of them, he took care of me… We were a happy family of 4. One night I got a phone call, a phone call from someone I had never met, someone claiming to be my ex’s cousin. I didn’t believe him when he said that my ex-husband shot himself, that he left a note and I was the only person he mentioned. I told him ‘Good, I’m glad he’s gone’! Again, at this point I didn’t believe him. It wasn’t until I received yet another phone call… This time it was my dad, he told me he was on the computer looking at my ex-husband’s obituary. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… So many emotions filled me… Sadness, Anger, Resentfulness, Hurt, Sympathy for his family, and Relief for myself and my kids! Relief that I would no longer have to look over my shoulder, I wouldn’t have to worry about him ever getting visitations with my kids, I wouldn’t have to fear him any longer! I was finally FREE!

My husband gave my kids his last name, and we have added another child to our family. My kids became OUR kids and they have never known or felt any different. Our son found out about my ex a few years ago and he stated that that did not change anything for him. He doesn’t remember anything about our past life. As a mother and father, my husband and I have chosen not to tell our daughters. Our older daughter was only 6 months old when we met, so my husband is the only father she has ever known. Due to her inability to process information maturely we ask that if you know our family that you DO NOT bring any of the information in this blog up to her. We have made a beautiful life for ourselves and are incredibly blessed and I thank God daily that he brought us out of the trauma we were living in and sent my husband to rescue us! This year marks 10 years since our 2 older kids and I have been free!

If you are in a relationship that is abusive, it doesn’t get better, he won’t change, he will continue the abuse. Just like with me, it is NOT your fault! You didn’t do anything that deserves abuse! It may look like he’s changing but he’s not. He will tell you anything you want to hear so that you will stay. There are other options. There are places you can go, people that can help you leave. We as a society need to come together and put an end to domestic violence. I know it’s not easy to leave, trust me, but I didn’t want to end up another statistic. I knew that my kids and I would end up on the news as another murder/suicide headline. So if you need a friend please reach out, my email address is 3rdMomof3@gmail.com or you can reach out to me on my Facebook Page. It has taken me 10 years to tell my story, but as I see more and more of the same headlines, I just know someone out there needs to hear it. Needs to hear that it’s ok to leave.

If you are in an abusive relationship please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224.