Pain…On Purpose

speed-up-invisalign

I’ve been feeling ugly a lot lately. Every time I see a photo I either cry that I’m fat or ugly. My smile has been getting to me. I had braces when I was a teen but I hadn’t worn a retainer since I graduated high school and everything shifted, especially in the last 15 years. I’ve been embarrassed. So I decided I’d do something about it.

I tried ordering one of those Smile Direct kits and was very excited as I did the molds and sent them back. Then they said I needed to do more. Then again. Then again. Then they said I couldn’t do any more and I needed to go to a “Smile Center” but there isn’t one anywhere close to me. Also within that time I panicked after reading reports that things can go wrong without an orthodontist checking your teeth.

I decided a higher power was telling me that since it wasn’t working out, I should try to do Invisalign through the orthodontist. They gave me a good price since my kids already go there and I decided I do this for myself. I was a little put off though yesterday to learn that I needed to have things stuck to my teeth for the liners to cling to. I was kind of hoping when I took them off it wouldn’t be noticeable. Again…going back to being embarrassed. But here I am. I’m all in.

It’s day 2. My gums hurt like freakin hell from the edge of the aligners. My teeth are sore, but the good news is every now and then I can take them out and have a break. They are supposed to be on for like 22 hours a day. The girl at the orthodontist said she wears hers for about 20. I’m shooting for 21. She promised me if I stuck it out the first week it would get easier. Lord, I hope she’s right. I hate having any kind of sore in my mouth and the inside of my cheek is cut and my gum. It hurts.

I guess it will be worth it in a year. I will keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for me. I just now need to stop eating like a pig and lose weight for me. I just have a lot of my mind and I’m eating from stress.

I applied for a writing job on Tuesday and had to do a 1.5 hour test, writing an article at am 8th grade level and then modifying it to 3rd grade level. Then they had me do an editing sample. It was a lot of 1.5 hours. I think I did okay but would have done a lot better with 2 hours.

So far for the last two night I have dreamt that I did not get it. Actually the first night I dreamt that someone else didn’t get the job and I was sad for them. Last night I dreamt that I go an email that I didn’t get it. So I’m less confident. It would be a really fun job to have though and it’s 20 hours a week.

In the meantime, I’m still applying. My book job is done on June 15th and I’m trying to line something else up. I feel like I want to write more than edit, which is different for me. The last job writing for the educational company really was so much fun. I found that I enjoyed the revision process and making it better.

I just need a chance. The woman that I do the books for is tough. Last year was not stellar and I accept responsibility for that. I was dealing with the fact that I might have breast cancer and trying to proof the book by myself because they cut my budget so much. I’m not sure they really understand the amount of work it takes to do these books. It’s tough to do with the current budget but it’s kind of a catch 22. I know I’m worth so much more. I know they don’t have anyone who knows how to do the database. I don’t think anyone would do it for that price. Yet, I don’t want to lose the work.

Is this why women get paid less? We don’t want to lose work we like? We would rather keep work that makes us happy than ask for more money and fear losing it altogether? I have tough many times about handing the files back in June and saying, if you’re interested in doing the next edition with me, let’s talk early because I have other projects I’m working on and will need to see if I can fit it in. I need them to know I have choices and then can say, it’s not enough. But I need to actually HAVE choices.

It’s not difficult work, though. I enjoy it and it’s very flexible. This is why I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I’d welcome any advice because I’ve been stuck here for the past 3 years unable to make a decision. Help!!

 

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Parenting Dreams

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All parents have dreams for their child. Mine started when I was pregnant. We didn’t find out the gender with my first baby (my son), but when I was pregnant for the second time I knew I was having a girl. Immediately the hopes and dreams of dance recitals, braiding hair, and dress up filled my head.

While I have experienced all those things by now, I’ve also been a football mom, a baseball mom, and now a gold team mom. There’s nothing more exciting, thrilling, and sometimes heartbreaking than to see you child participate in a sport or activity. With my son the up and downs have been over play time on the field and kids being assholes. With my first daughter the ups and downs have included seeing her perform solos (something I never thought she’d ever do) and several lows when she didn’t get roles that she has wanted in Nutcracker.

My youngest daughter took a while to find her “thing.” I think she naturally did dance because her older sister did. She likes dance, but when she tried gymnastics it was clear that is where he heart was. It’s been an exciting ride.

I’m proud of all of them for different reasons. Both my girls chose to step out of their comfort zones and switch studios/gyms to further their training. My son has worked really hard to be a better player and went into his freshman football season confident in his game. Unfortunately, when you have a parent of twins as a coach, and one of the twins plays the same position as your son, we learned it just doesn’t matter how well you play. Sometimes you aren’t getting that playtime and it’s not always fair.

While this made for a difficult and emotional first season, I’m proud of my son for not giving up, even when some of his teammates were complete assholes. Since my son was beating the “twin” out in practice, that boy’s friends did whatever they could to knock my son down. Definitely a tough lesson but a good life lesson. Bosses aren’t always fair. Teachers aren’t always fair, and yes, coaches aren’t always fair.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because I don’t want to be the pushy sports mom. None of my kids have even been a huge standout in their activities. My older daughter is a beautiful dancer, but there are many beautiful dancers on her team. My youngest thinks gymnastics is life, but there are a lot of girls in her group that don’t have the fear that I sometimes see in my daughter.

It’s really hard to know what to do in these situations. With my son and football, it was everything I could do to reign in my anger and not want to punch some 14 year old. I made a decision to let him handle the issue on his own as much as possible but it was so freakin hard to have your child get in the car in tears that the whole team hates him. Did the whole team hate him? I’m sure not. But at the time he felt like he didn’t have any allies.

It’s hard for me to sit and watch my older daughter on stage for a solo. I spend the whole time praying. Praying she doesn’t fall; praying she lands her turns, etc. I thought it would get easier as the season went on, but it didn’t.

With my youngest, I think I need to pretend I’m not nervous for a meet. She took the year off competing after switching gyms and recently just started on a competitive team again two weeks ago.

I think I was always aware that there would be stress parenting tweens and teens. It’s a whole different world from the stress of having three kids under the age of 4. I realize it’s a bit ridiculous that I’m stressing out over my kids’ activities and it’s something I want to change. It’s hard. I’m emotional and I just want my kids to be happy. They don’t need to be the best, but they need to do their best. I’ve learned that I’m not calm when my kid isn’t being treated well by a coach or teacher, but I’ve also made a conscious effort to take a step back.

Parenting is freakin hard. My son is finally having some happiness with sports on the high school golf team. He’s a really good golfer and it’s nice to be recognized for his talent. I think his most exciting moment so far was when a junior asked him (a freshman) to help him with his golf game. My son was so excited to help someone else and that the kid even would ask him. It was that type of complement he’s been missing in his sports.

As the seasons are all winding down and before they start up again in September, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not about me. I can’t fix it. I can’t change it. I can just encourage my ┬ákids to do their best.

So how do you deal with the parents who think their child is going to the Yankees or the Giants? Smile. I’m telling myself just to smile. Perhaps they are living vicariously through their kids success. I don’t want to be that person. I want to sit an observe (and maybe pray) that all goes well.

Lord, I wish there was a rule book for this crap.