*I apologize in advance...Rant!*
Where to begin? Well....It has been months since my last post. I have been stuck in this whirlwind of trying to figure out my time and how to divide it so it will
work, trying to make some important choices/changes, and well...it hasn't been easy. I have been feeling pretty lost and down a lot lately.
I work for my grandmother part time. I say part time because I am employed through the city to help her with some of her needs. She is allowed a certain
amount of hours from them for help which is what I do and in return I am paid through a contracted company. It is a very minimal paying job, but as a single
mother, I am happy to take it. With other circumstances in life right now, other than my small business, this is the only other job that I am actually able to take on.
It also is nice to be able to be the person that helps her. The only problem is that my grandma thinks I should be at her beck and call 24/7. It makes it difficult
because family is very important to me. We own our own home which is a multi-family home. My grandmother lives next door by herself and on the other side it
is me, my daughter, and my mother. My mother and I are very close and it works out great. Neither one of us are married so we just help each other out. With
my grandma living next door it makes it nice to make sure she is okay.
My grandmother has recently had a stroke which has changed a lot of things. Mid last year she was scheduled to have a surgery to help prevent another stroke.
It got postponed due to her catching Whopping Cough . Whopping Cough lasts at least six months. The surgery my grandmother needed was on her carotid
artery in her neck. A surgery they could not do with her having Whopping Cough. The surgery she was scheduled to have mid last year just was completed
earlier this month.
When she came home, things were different. Since she is older it makes it harder on her(she is 88). At home she had a registered nurse over the next day,
physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, a meal program (daily), and aides. they have been helping for a few weeks. They are now leaving
and I have been coping with what to do. I want to be there for her, but I have to limit myself. I have pretty much let my shop go, so I can give her more attention.
When I go out to my studio (my garage) she gets upset because she thinks if I have time to make jewelry I have time to do more for her. I hope I don't sound
awful. She just kind of looks at it like since I am not employed by a company where I drive off somewhere and clock in, that it is a pretend job and that I am
free to her when ever she wants. I just devote a lot of time to her and not to myself anymore. I clean her home(once a month I do a major clean/weekly I mop,
sweep, dust, polish, clean windows, clean ceiling fans, clean bedding, clean curtains, clean bathrooms, clean kitchen), go pick up food for her, grocery shop for
her (sometimes 3 times a week, each time about 2 hour trip), I pay her bills some mailed out some online, I balance her check book, I pick up her medications
and call them in (each day I deliver her day medication to her because she can't keep them straight and each evening I bring her night medication, occasionally I
give her an insulin shot when she feels unable to do so herself), I pick her mail up for her daily, a take her trash to the curb, I take her to her doctor appointments
and go into each visit with her so I can be her "ears" and help her keep things straight. The list goes on....
Does this sound like part time?
The answer is, no. She recently has decided that she needs me to cook for her. Her first day home from the hospital I prepared dinner at my home for me,
Zoë, and my mom. I made extra for my grandmother because I knew she wouldn't feel up to making herself anything....Well, she didn't like what I offered and
wanted me to prepare her a whole separate meal. This I refused because really, their is only so much I can do. More and more recently I have been realizing
this. I love my grandmother so much. I both want to help and I like/need the job, but I have to put my foot down. I will happily work the hours I get paid. As a
family member I don't mind to help some either, but I just have to be there for myself.
To some it might not seem like such a hard decision. A lot of the feeling is guilt. She knows that. When I have stood up for myself in the past she tries to make
me feel guilty. She likes to compare me to other people and tell me how so and so's granddaughter does so much more than me and how they do it for free
and that if I can't help her maybe she will just do without help and go shrivel up and die. Or how if I decide I want to quit my job that she might need to store her
stuff in the garage and that I will just have to figure out what to do with my studio. Or how if I can't help her more that me and Zoë (my daughter, her great
granddaughter) need to not come over ever again. Sigh......
My whole life I have been compared to everyone that she thought I should be. I was too skinny, or everyone at the mall was looking at me and talking about my
clothes and snickering....that list goes on as well. She also is the type that if she gets mad she is ready to throw the, "I hate you" at you :/ or the "well, just stay
away from me and don't come back".
When I was younger up until not too long ago I always took it personally. I now realize that she did it to everyone in the family. I actually got the better end of the
deal. She was worse to some other family members when they were younger. I suppose in her older age she has tamed. It all stems from things not going
how she wants though. She always, always has worried about what others think. To the degree that our lawn be mowed on a certain day because our neighbors
will think we are lazy.....I mean really? I couldn't tell you when our neighbors mow their lawn. My grandmother can though ;) But from the lawn, to the clothes we
wear, to the jobs we have, to whether we are married or single, to..yep, you go it....the list goes on.
Their obviously is a long story to tell. Maybe I have told too much, I hope not. I am not her to bash my grandma. I love her dearly and no matter what she will
always be my grandma. She can be hard headed, stubborn, and sometimes difficult to be around, but she can also be sweet. She also helped me when I was
younger. She also offered her home to me when I was pregnant and alone after my husband left. I suppose I am sharing my story possibly to make it more
clear to myself the changes I need to make. Maybe to hope that others understand my distance with the shop in the past 6 months.
I just have realized I need to make changes and that is just one. I will continue to work for her, but this week I am creating a schedule that we go by so I can get
my hours in and as much done in those hours as possible for her. I will do a few favors, but Willow Metals IS important to me and IS getting back on track. I am
making a schedule for studio time as well. I want to and financially, I have to. It is hard being a single mother living on a single income.
Speaking of single income, child support/insurance. It's a joke. Zoë's dad is court ordered to pay child support and help provide medical support. Does he,
no? That's okay really. It use to piss me off. Zoë hasn't seen or spoken to him in way over a year, probably leaning more towards two years now. After that
long and he told me the very last time we spoke that he feels it is in her best interest that he stays out of her life, so I know he more than likely won't have
anything to do with her again. Which I too agree is the best for her. He has a lot to get together that I doubt he will ever get together. But just because he
chooses to not be a part of his child's life doesn't mean that he can just decide to quit helping care for her financially. Well, that's what child support courts say
in Ohio anyway. Do they do anything about it? No. He has even done things that I thought would get him in big trouble, like leave state without reporting it to
child support, report false jobs that he never worked for, but none of it matters. I just get paperwork occasionally saying that I am owed enough money to buy a
real sweet car for Zoë someday. Money that she and I will never likely see.
I have held onto so much hate and resentment for so long because of that situation. That situation is a very long story that I would love to go into with you
sometime, but I finally buried that one and have moved on from the hate.
I know now that as angry as I was, that really it was a blessing in disguise. If he were in either of our lives right now, life would be so much harder.
Anyway...ALL of the crazy babbling is just me making decisions, moving on, and blabbing ;)
The shop is currently on vacation mode. I am here and have a custom order to complete (yay!) While the shop is on vacation mode I am going to update some
of the shop policies and adjust the shipping prices to reflect the current changes made by the USPS. I hate to go up on ya folks, but the look of the new
International rates aren't pretty :/
I also will soon be working on some new work. Hopefully when I reopen I will have some new work to show you.
For right now though I am working on family, making my job and relationship with my grandmother be the best it can be for us both, building up Willow Metals again, and just relaxing some. Enjoying life. It goes by so fast you know. Zoë is almost finished with Kindergarten!!! She is ready for the spring and summer she says. She wants to go back to the amusement park again :)
I hope everyone is well and fabulous. While I try to manage my time better maybe I can manage this blog better too? Maybe? Crazier things have happened, you know?
So many hugs to you all!!!!