I've started reading the Scary Mommy blog and loved the recent post about how "Orange is the New Black Prepared me for Motherhood".

The section that had me laughing out loud was:
"#2 Say Goodbye to Privacy. The bathroom stalls at Litchfield Correctional don’t have doors. And Piper found out the hard way that there are no private bedrooms, unless you get sent to the SHU. Motherhood is just the same, minus the luxury of an isolation unit."

I think that my single biggest surprise about parenting is that I would desperately long for time by myself. Never could I have expected that I would crave being along in a bed ALL NIGHT LONG, or want to take a vacation all by myself. It is rather ironic, right?

I've been stashing away little bits of money for a while now, with the intention of using it to go away for two nights all by myself to a beautiful retreat center that is a few hours from home. Maybe for my birthday later this Fall. Just to have some quiet time by myself, to sit, and think. and Sleep.


Making a Committment

One of the reasons I signed up for the Soul Coaching program is because I want to be very intentional about the volunteer commitments that I am making. There are so many things that interest me, and that I want to be a part of. Figuring out which ones are going to feed my soul, which ones are working with people who will inspire and encourage me, which ones I can have the greatest impact on, these are the questions that I need some time and space to ponder.

Today I am supposed to make a commitment to myself - something that I am committing to for the next 28 days.

I think that the most significant thing I can do for me, right now, it to commit to not making any commitments in the next 28 days. I am committing to give myself this space, this time, this process, so that I can think clearly about the opportunities and choices I have, and make intentional decisions about where and how I want to invest my time and energy.

At this moment, I think that the choices before me include:

- re-engaging in the early childhood development parent education non-profit I started many years ago. We just got notification that our big funder has renewed funding for the coming year. and no one on the current board is willing to step into a leadership position. What are the conditions that would need to be in place for me to decide to step back into the organization, and am I willing to take on a leadership role if I do?

- the local charter school, one that we would seriously consider sending little fox to is in the beginning process of building a new campus. I met with the Board President and walked away feeling so excited and energized. In a previous career I worked for a private school as we designed and funded a new campus. It was such incredibly rewarding work. And if I joined the board we would have priority, basically a guarantee lottery selection for little fox, in a few years when he is ready to start school. AND they want to include facility space and build programing for early childhood development classes - and are looking for a lead on the board to champion this work. (me?)

- Birth advocacy. I've been working with a very cool national organization that advocates for evidence-based maternity care and informed-consent for pregnant women. It is a fledging organization, with incredible success already under its belt, and the potential to grow in some meaningful ways. The energy of the Board is awesome. I love the entrepreneurial start-up mentality of everyone involved, and feel like I have so much to offer. The work I've done already has been really satisfying and significant in moving the group towards their goals.

- nothing. its definitely on the table. Maybe what I really need to do right now is ... nothing... nothing extra. Focus on my family. Be present for my little fox. Find ways to reconnect with Mr Fox. Visit my Tutu for lunch more often. plan my sisters baby shower (HURRAY!). be a friend to bestie. Maybe I need to take a time-out, disengage from volunteer work for a period of time, and just be.

- something else? I am open and listening.


Soul Coaching - Life Assessment

One of the questions that I was asked in my application was "what is your life purpose?"

I skipped it as I answered the other questions. because I didn't have an answer.

I mean, the only life purpose I've ever had was to become a mom.
Well duhh, I realized in that moment how far I've come in the past few years. Five years ago that question would have left me sobbing, and yet here I am today skipping the question because my life needs are met.

The next question asked me if I was living my life purpose? Without hesitation I answered absolutely! Which seemed strange since I wasn't able say what that purpose was. It didn't matter. I am confident that I am exactly where I need to be in my life right now.

What do I intend for the next 28 days? I think that maybe I just intend to make some space in my life for me, some space that will allow me to make intentional choices about where to give my time and energy. I intend to be open to the thoughts and ideas that come as a result.

What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. I will create space for change. My soul loves the truth.


taking care of me

I signed up for a 28 day Soul Coaching program. It seemed a little bit 'out there' but a few women who I really like and respect spoke highly of it, so I figured, why not. A big flowered box arrived in the mail last night containing a silk fabric, a binder with daily readings and assignments, a journal, and a few other goodies. This afternoon I'll join our first weekly conference call group meeting.

I'm overwhelmed at the thought of adding anything additional to my list right now, but excited that this is something that is really only just for me. It is for me to give to me. and I think that might be the right thing for me right now.

There are a handful of other things that I am flirting with engaging in... but am wanting to be really intentional about where I commit my energy. and I can't do it all. So it is really coming down to finding the right places with the right people to do work that is productive and meaningful.

My job share partner is expecting her second baby any day now and I'll be increasing my hours at work, so I need to be extra careful about my commitments given that I'll have even less time.

I've been exhausted the past week, like SO tired. But I think that it is going to take more than just sleep to restore me. It is the kind of emotional exhaustion that weighs on me so heavily. It is manageable so long as I am doing the right kind of work surrounded by the right kind of people. So that is my focus.

Mr Fox is 6 days sober with six meetings under his belt. It is good, but I am finding myself holding my breath that he is going to follow through with it.

We celebrated my grandma's 90th birthday last night. I love that woman so much. and I love seeing Little Fox talk with her. For anyone that remembers, years ago after her stroke, we ended up moving her into an elder care home. The whole family took over the back living room area and I hired a professional photographer to document the occasion. It was a really sweet evening. And I am grateful that she is still with us.

This is good. Writing makes me feel better, calmer. Thanks for listening.


It Gets Messy

This past Tuesday ranks as one of the worst days of my life. Probably right after the Monday that we got the Azoospermia news. I can't even recreate it all in my head anymore, with enough detail to write a recap of everything that took place leading up to that day, but it all happened. And we are here now.

Mr Fox is at his third meeting. This is his third day sober.

And at the same time that I feel scared shitless, I am strangely confident that everything will work out just fine.

It was so much simpler a few months back, when I cornered him in the shower and told him that I felt like he was choosing alcohol over me and that I wanted him to stop drinking. He said okay, and ended the conversation. I thought it was done, and over, and that we could move beyond it.

But the days passed and I *knew* that something wasn't right. Was it pills? Was he taking my anxiety meds? Should I hide them, count them? Something wasn't right. I even mentioned it to a friend, it was a relief to say it out loud, but felt like a betrayal of my beloved. He promised to stop drinking and I had no reason to ask him why something felt off - but it was, and I just thought that I must be crazy.

I wasn't crazy. He was lying. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it. He thought, in his diseased mind, that as long as I didn't actually see him drinking that it was okay, and had started drinking again. I wasn't crazy.

When I discovered his stash in the garage, he was right there, and my first reaction was relief. Thank God it wasn't pills. I hugged him and told him I loved him, and that I was relieved it wasn't pills. But then over the next hours, I realized that it was betrayal. He had been lying to me, and didn't even realize how serious that was. I slept on the couch. I just needed some space to figure out what I was thinking. We talked the next night, but he really didn't get it. and I slept on the couch again. Nothing, in 14 years, has ever happened that led us not choosing to sleep next to each other. But I felt so alone emotionally, and needed to be alone physically.

We made love on Monday night, and I sobbed. We didn't talk about it, just loved each other.

But on Tuesday, it all fell apart on Tuesday. I said something that I still can't wrap my head around. I ended up telling him that I was taking our son and going to stay at my moms house until he had a plan he could share with me. I want to say that he made me give him an ultimatum, but somehow that doesn't feel fair to him. But once those words were spoke, everything changed. He finally 'got it'. He knew I was serious. He felt the weight of his choices. And yet, I wish I could take it back. I wish I could take those words back.

He negotiated two days to 'get his head ready to go to a meeting', and I agreed. So on Thursday night, he told me that he'd had his last drink, and on Friday at noon he went to a meeting.

The thing is, Mr Fox is an amazing husband and father. I love him with every cell in my heart. I knew that I was marrying an alcoholic and that someday we'd cross this bridge. I choose to make this man the father of my child, knowing that the day would come when I would have to hold him accountable for managing this disease. And I wouldn't change a thing.

The thing is, that if his 'plan' had been to continue drinking, despite my requests otherwise, I wasn't going anywhere. I was instead going to figure out how to get the support I needed to find peace with my decision to stay. The ultimatum was simply that I needed to know what his plan was, not that he had to stop drinking.

It's messy, and I'm guess that it might be messy for a while. So I'm back, if you want to ride this rollercoaster with me.


Privacy Please

Dearest Mom, Sissy, Bestie, and any of who know me in real life - I need to ask you a favor. I need this space back as an anonymous place to write. I am lovingly asking you to delete the link to this blog, and not to read any future posts. I love you and will talk to you when I need you. Right now I just need this as a safe place to process my messy thoughts. xoxo - Foxy


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