Life and Times of a Mommy(:

Let’s get real for a minute

Today, we are going to talk about something that might be a trigger for some people. It’s something that took me 20 years to experience first hand. But my husband, he has been dealing with it for a lot longer than I have. That something is alcoholism. No, my husband is not an alcoholic. His dad is.

Now, we’ve talked about my amazing daddy. I’m not saying my dad is a better dad than my father in law. Every parent does things different. I’m not saying my dad doesn’t drink, either. He does. Just in moderation. I have seen my daddy completely drunk on one occasion. It was for his birthday. My mother agreed to let him have a keg party. One keg of beer between six people. Someone was bound to get drunk. Since then, I haven’t seen my dad have more than four beers. And never any hard alcohol.

My father in law, on the other hand… I met him on Father’s Day. I knew he was a drinker, as my husband and I had to go pick up his brother and/or sister on numerous occasions when his parents were too drunk to drive or couldn’t be bothered to leave the bar. (Keep in mind, when I say “bar”, I don’t mean good music, live band, lets have few drinks on Friday night, opens at 7 or 8 at night and closes at 2 am bar. I mean a bar that opens at one in the afternoon and closes at 10 or 11, a bar that you look at and immediately think of big, burly, tattooed biker looking guys.) I met him at noon. At 12 o’clock in the afternoon, the man was feelin’ pretty good. After my mother in law made breakfast, we went out to shoot guns. Yes, you read that correctly. The only reason I was confident about going out side with them, was because my husband and my brother in law where there.

Fast forward to my son’s second birthday. They missed it. I don’t remember what they were doing but I guarantee there was alcohol involved. Fast forward again, to the weekend my baby was born. My father in law didn’t come to the hospital to see his grandson because my mother in law insisted he come straight to the bar as soon as he got in town. We went to lunch with my mother and father in law after Little Man got out of the hospital. Both of them ordered a drink and so did the older couple that was with them. We had the baby shower in a room off from the bar a few weeks later. My father in law got in from drill, said hi to people, at a little bit of food, and then ordered a drink. My mother in law did, too. Recently he got his second DWI and he is supposed to have a Breathalyzer installed in his vehicle. (The day it was supposed to be installed my mother in law totaled the truck on accident. She was sober at the time.) Do you see where this is going?

My husband told me one time that drinking is the way my father in law copes with going overseas. See, my father in law is in the National Guard and right after the war started he went to Bosnia. I don’t know what happened over there. No one does. He can’t talk about it, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to. But, personally, I don’t see this as an excuse. That may be harsh of me, as I don’t know what he went and is going through, but he has two kids still living in his house, two grandchildren that would love to come visit, and a family he needs to spend time with. My brother in law is basically living at my house. Why? Because my husband and I take him everywhere he needs to go anyway. My sister in law is hardly ever home because she can’t stand being around the man that adopted her and has been her dad for as long as she can remember.

I hate to admit this, but I do what I can to avoid being around him. I do what I can to keep my children from being around him. It scares me. This isn’t something I have dealt with for most of my life like my husband. This is all new to me. And I don’t think that my father in law has an excuse to drink like a fish any chance he gets. I understand he went through a really really rough thing that most people don’t ever think about, let alone deal with. Don’t you think that after I went through a catastrophic, life changing event like being a single mom that I wanted to drink away my troubles every second of every day? That I didn’t want to feel? That I would have rather walked through the world in a haze so it wouldn’t hurt and I wouldn’t have to think about it? But I had a responsibility to my child to stay sober and take car of him. I understand that what I went through isn’t nearly as rough as what he went through, but that still isn’t an excuse. I’m sure some people disagree with me. They think our veterans can do what they like because they have been overseas, they have gone through rough times, they have seen things that we will probably never ever see.  I don’t agree.

This weekend was Memorial Day. A day to honor our troops and all they have done for us. And I appreciate what my father in law has done for me and my family, I really do. He’s a hero, an unsung one at that. But he needs help. He is just too stubborn to admit it. He thinks he is just fine. So, to those veterans out there who have a handle as best they can on whatever happened and to those that need help, thank you. I really, really appreciate what you have done for my family. Thank you for going through the unthinkable in order for my family to stay safe and free. But, if you need help with anything, anything at all, whether its depression, alcoholism, PTSD or anything else, please ask for help. Please don’t be too proud to ask. We understand and we want to help!

So what do you guys think? Is going overseas an excuse? 


Strap Yourselves In…

Because this one is going to be a bumpy ride…. Today’s day is something or someone you can’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it/them. Now, at first I was going to make this a funny post. I was going to say I can’t live without my daily 20 ounce bottle of coke. But then I thought about it. While I think I can’t live without it, I know I can. I did it while I was pregnant, albeit I had horrible caffeine withdrawal headaches. I could have totally done without it. There is a person I’ve tried living without (against my will) and it didn’t work too well. And since we have already talked about my daddy, I want to tell about another person that I’m just as close, if not closer too. This person has not been in my life for near as long as my dad has, but she means just as much. This person is my lovely, amazing, wonderful stepmother.

Day Fifteen

The summer before my mom moved me away from family and friends, my dad met the most amazing woman. She was nice, funny, she helped me with my hair and make up, and best of all, she wasn’t like any woman I ever imagined my dad dating. (Being the way I am, I was absolutely positive that my dad was going to marry a horrible, mean woman who would be mean to me. And my dad wouldn’t believe me when I told him how mean she was.) Then one night, my dad blindfolded me and my step brother and then loaded us up in his truck. After a while of driving, he took the blindfolds off and we were standing in front of our newly rebuilt house. My step mom led me out to the back deck after I had excitedly explored my room. We stood there talking about  the house and how exciting it was.

“I have to tell you something,” she said after a few minutes. Holding out her left hand, she exclaimed, “Your dad asked me to marry him!” My jaw hit the floor, I squealed, and I’m pretty sure I jumped up and down. I was so excited it wasn’t even funny. This was the day life at my dad’s house changed.

Over the past five years (almost six), I couldn’t have asked for a better role model. My real mom and I have had our ups and downs, but haven’t been as close as my step mom and I are since I was about twelve years old. While living in away from my family, my step mom and I had some major ups and downs. They continued after I moved back home until one say she scared me back into line. (She didn’t hit me or anything but when my step mom gets mad, like super, uber, amazingly mad, she gets scary. You don’t want to see that side of her…)

The most recent down occurred after I had moved out of my parents house. It was the summer after my freshmen year of college. I had moved in with a friend, my son was staying with his dad, and I was just in a rough place. My dad and step mom pretty much cut off all contact with me, as they didn’t approve of what I was doing and I treated them with very little respect. Even though they weren’t talking to me, they used the extra money I had left over from school to make sure I had water, electricity, and a place to live. After that, I was on my own. After a while I came to my senses. But while they weren’t talking to me, I hit a pretty low place, learned who was there for me, and learned just how much a child’s love can really effect you.

Without my dad and step mom around I have poor judgment skills (worse than normal), horrendous fashion skills, and I’m just an all around crappy person to be around. My step mom means more than words can describe to me. Without her, I wouldn’t have made it through one, let alone two, pregnancies. I probably wouldn’t even have graduated high school. I may have fought tooth and nail to be everything I wasn’t, she made sure  I stayed true to myself.
“Oh, you want those Tripp pants with the huge pockets and a billions of chains? And you want to keep that tongue piercing your mom let you get a 16? Yeah, you can forget about that. You look ridiculous.”
And, like always, she was right. Instead, she took me to a local western store that I loved and bought me a couple shirts. She also made sure I had cowboy boots to fit my feet when they got all swollen from being pregnant.

When I live without this woman, my life goes to crap. I don’t know which way is up and which way is down. Without her, I would lose my sanity. If I call her and  have a slight hitch in my voice, within the next however long it takes her to convince me to talk about it, she will know exactly what is wrong and how to fix it. And I will probably be in tears from finally getting whatever I have been stressing about off my chest. I can only aspire to be as good of a mother as she is. There is a Brad Paisley song that always makes me think of her. It’s called “He Didn’t Have To Be”. Change all the “he”s to “she”s and you will understand. The ending line “Yeah, I hope I’m at least half the dad/That he didn’t have to be” is the one line that really resonates with me. I hope I’m at least half the mom that she didn’t have to be.

(That’s surprisingly not as bumpy as I thought. But, sorry for the skippage of yesterday. Yesterday was a letter to a hero that’s let you down. My daddy is my hero and he has never let me down, so I can’t really write anything for that.)


Daddy’s Girl

There is a song that came out I don’t even know when by I honestly can’t remember. The name of it is “Daddy’s Girl”. The first time i listened to it was on cassette tape. (Yes those were still around when I was little, I’m not that young. Geez…) The chorus goes “Daddy’s girl, Daddy’s girl./I’m the center/of Daddy’s world.” It goes on but that’s the only part I can remember. I haven’t heard the song in about 8 years, but that song sticks out in my mind because that’s what I am. A Daddy’s girl.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my mom. It’s a hard to describe, always changing love. But between my dad and I? The adoration and love never stops. I mean, it did once or twice, but every teenager goes through that stage of hating their parents right?

I was 13 and my parents were divorcing. My dad thought it would be better for me to stay with my mom. Especially since our house had just burned down and he was living in a small apartment in a friend’s barn. I didn’t think it was a great idea. Especially after my mom remarried. I tried everything to get my dad to let me move in with him. Nothing worked. Then we moved to little rock. Three hours away from my friends, my home town, my daddy. He didn’t stop it. Que resentment, hurt, and abandonment.

I finally convince my dad to let me come home after missing a semester of school. I was grounded pretty much my entire junior year of high school. Then senior year I was pregnant. Then came the time for me to move out. It was like moving three hours away all over again. I hardly saw my dad, we fought almost non stop, and eventually we stopped talking. Recently, my step mom told me that my dad had still been there for me. Waiting for me to come to my sense, all the while making sure me and my little boy had a place to live.

Not me and my daddy. The only picture I have of us is my junior prom picture...

Not me and my daddy. The only picture I have of us is my junior prom picture…

Through everything, all the stupid stuff I did do, the fits I throw threw, my daddy and I are still best friends. He is the person I call if my car does something funny (he’s a mechanic), I accomplish something no matter how big or small, or I just have a random question (which happens a lot). Even when we do fight and he “stops talking to me”, he calls everyday to check on my boys and my husband, but I’m sure its just to hear my voice and know I’m okay. I’m 21 years old, a wife, and a mommy. But I’m still, and will always be, a Daddy’s Girl. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!


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