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Keeping my nest empty

Friday, October 28, 2011

Now, I understand there are many women who have difficulty adjusting to an empty nest. I simply don't. I was so ready for my "empty nest" that ultimately I had to give my adult children a deadline, turn in notice on my apartment, and not back down.

Would I find a place to have them live with me now? Not unless it was a matter of life or death. For all that I love them, for all that we all three get along amazingly well, there are ways I "failed" in raising them and ways in which the only way to get them to fly is to give them no other options.

One is related to cleanliness and chores. I hate them myself, hate them more when I am cleaning up after others, and rather than making them do chores (which I despised growing up), I just made sure they knew the basics of how to.

Another is related to working and independence. I am cussedly independent. It's my nature. At three I was reading because I didn't want to be read to - I insisted on my mother telling me what words were after I knew my letters. At six, preparing to go to school for the first time (skipped kindergarten completely), my family walked me to school. The first day? I went a different route which bypassed the annoying crossing guards who I hated having to wait for. I knew how to cross a street safely and did so blocks away.

So, no surprise that I got my first job at 15 at the county fair. We were showing rabbits and there all day, and wandering over to the carnival section I saw a hiring sign and got the job caring for animals in a sideshow (chickens that peck the right numbers kind of thing). No surprise that at 16 I got a job at a pet store I was still working when I graduate. No surprise that I moved out almost as soon as I graduated.

Turn around and my son and daughter are NOT fiercely independent. My son has some of it - he did get himself signed up and going to college classes. But if he could get someone else to do something for him, he'd "delegate" for sure. My daughter ... it's hard to imagine her living all on her own. She hates having only two close friends because it leaves her at her own devices for long stretches.

Long story short (^_^;; yes, I actually can do that ... sometimes ...) if I hadn't set a deadline and enforced it by moving myself, I'd still be sinking under the weight of supporting them and quietly resenting that they weren't getting jobs, paying their own way, or even helping out adequately around the house.

Not to mention, eating right? It's one HECK of a lot easier when I have only my food to buy and my treats can be rationed into single portions. If I'd tried to eat 1/2 cup of ice cream before, the rest of the carton would have been consumed before I opened the freezer again. Seriously, anything sweet I liked was a race to eat "enough" before my adult kids found it. I'd buy two bags of Hershey Kisses, put them in a tin, and the moment it was known, it would be cleared out.


So I am definitely keeping my nest empty. I'm the mama bird who forced the fledglings out of the nest to fly because they are old enough.

I do worry a little at times. Only my daughter has gotten a job - a part-time one she's now lost. The relative they're living with may not have too much patience and that extended family is already sharing homes. They live with their dad's youngest brother, his wife, and his mother. Their papa lives out of his car or stays at his sister's - she has a husband and three kids. Papa is supposed to be trying to get a place, but that's been the case since before May.

But feel guilty? Nope. Feel like opening the nest back up to them? Even less nope.

I like doing what I did tonight and having my daughter text to ask if I had time to meet, heading to meet her at a Starbucks from my walk and then walking with her to her youth choir practice. Plenty of time to talk and catch up, but as peers rather than being the mommy who has to help and rescue her.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARTISTKATE 10/31/2011 3:36PM

    Good for you! It's hard, but I believe this is what we as parents are obligated to do.

I always told my kids it is my responsibility as a parent to boot them from the nest when the time came. It was also my responsibility to make sure they knew how to fly when I booted them. Hard as it may be, they know coming home is not an option. My daughter and her husband did come home once - they both had lost their jobs, and consequently lost their apartment. They stayed 3 months. They couldn't handle it any longer - plus they had both found new jobs, and had the money saved for deposits.

I also told them - I raised you, you raise yours. I cannot believe how many grandparents are raising their grand children because the parents cannot take care of themselves.

I'm proud of you for putting yourself first!

Kate

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REALLY_ROBIN 10/28/2011 9:06AM

  I totally agree. It is so much easier living a healthy lifestyle without the kids around. Two of mine or old enough and my daughter moved to her Dad's in April. At first the adjustment was hard, but now I wonder how I would like it if she moved back. The ice cream example was so awesome. I hear ya!!! My boys are both on their own and it's going to stay that way. Once they move back in, it's entitlement city, and it makes me crazy! Kudos to you for sticking to your guns and making this happen!

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SHELL- 10/28/2011 9:05AM

    Brillant! I just don't get why parents aren't teaching their children independance. Some of my fondest memories are when I moved out at 17 and went to college on my own.
It can be worrisome about how they will make it but otherwise they don't learn. If they don't fly away on their own I believe they should be gently and firmly encouraged to get out of the nest so they can strengthen their wings and soar! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/29/2011 9:12:15 AM

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GEEKGIRL84 10/28/2011 12:47AM

  All those years of time and effort taking care of your kids and sacrificing the lifestyle you want (the one you're now living) for their needs is more than enough once they're grown. Everyone needs to get booted out of the nest and learn how to stand on their own two feet. Kudos to you for having the courage to do so. The people I know who haven't been forced out by their folks are worse for it - I think you already know you're doing something good for them and hopefully it works out in your favor too!

It sounds to me like its time you put yourself first and you're doing just that :) Much deserved!!

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Late late blog

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whoops, why am I still awake?

Filled in an "emergency" errand tonight that took up a lot of time, so by the time I got home again, I had no concept of time. Guess I'm not super tired yet, but waking up in 7 hours will be not so great.

I know what I want for dinner tomorrow night (er, well, tonight). That's part of how I do my menu plans - figure out some specific thing I want to fit into the day and then build around that.

For tomorrow, I have a salad in the fridge at work and taquitos in the freezer at home. I've found that if I have a "cold" lunch, I want a hot dinner - and vice versa.

Good night SP

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TABBYJO88 10/27/2011 6:25PM

    You have great planning for your meals. I need to start that someday.

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ALWAYSOWNIT 10/27/2011 1:43PM

    Wow..I really love the fact that you have it all figured out..I wish I could the same some day..not to struggle with food anymore..you are really an inspiration..keep up the goodwork.. emoticon emoticon

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MOM-OF-SIX 10/27/2011 10:29AM

    Always best to plan our meals or we end up eating junk. Have a great day!!

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ARNETTELEE 10/27/2011 3:50AM

  Glad to see you have a plan...

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So many snacks, so little time

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I've gotten into a bit of a routine at work - which is a good thing mostly - of fairly regular snacks.

I start off with "breakfast" - which is a cup and a half of juice and a string cheese stick. May not be the egg whites and whatnot the planner recommends, but compared to my past of either skipping food until lunch or having a triple whammy of hot chocolate and two pastries, it has me feeling much more awake and focused in the morning.

A couple hours later, I snag a cereal or fruit bar.

A couple hours later, lunch arrives and I have either a meal or salad I've brought or a sandwich from the makings I keep there.

A couple hours later, another snack - cereal bar, fruit bar, another cheese stick, a slice of raisin bread with butter.

A couple hours later, depends on whether I'm hungry or not. If so, another of my snack items.

A couple hours later I'm either at the park walking (no snack, but I'm usually not thinking about food during that) or home and there I have yogurt to snack on as I plan dinner.

A couple hours later, dinner and dessert to get me into my calorie range. (Strange how often I'm adding more milk, an extra half serving of something, another snack - just to bring my calories high enough. I'm thinking of boosting my lunch a little for that.)

So many snacks (though I need to keep increasing the number of options).

Feels like so little time between them, but it spreads out my eating through the day and I'm more than willing to postpone one if I'm not at all hungry at that point.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELUNAMAKATA 10/26/2011 8:39AM

    Sounds like a good plan!






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Meal plan ... well, not a full week yet =P

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So my 30-day trial ran out and the other meal planning software that was ranked about the same does not have a trial - just reviews. So the time had come to decide which to go with.

I ended up picking the one I've done the trial with for three reasons:

1) 30 days worth of learning how it works and entering foods would be a pain to give up. Yes, I could learn the other in the same time, but I'd have to re-enter everything - and it comes with less pre-entered.

2) This one let's me record the stores I shop at, their aisles, and the prices at those stores. This makes it possible to "at a glance" see what a week's meal plan might cost.

3) While I'm not keen on most of the existing recipes, there are at least 10-20 times as many as the other program offered. I'd rather have more selection than less.

So, with that done, I ordered the program. Since yesterday was the last day, and it's being shipped U.S. mail, I only had time yesterday to plan out one day this week. Having done so and comparing the numbers in SP's tracker, it's pretty much spot-on, which pleases me.

Therefore, one day of meal planning - not a full week. I am hoping it shows up this week so I can plan next week's meals and meet another goal.

In fact, I'm doing pretty good with both my October goals and my Winter goals at this point. No time to slack off, of course, but nice to be able to put DONE next to a few.

  


Interesting new things to try

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seems like every week I go to the grocery store there's a collection of new products to check out. Some of them, of course, I walk past without a second glance. But with all my attention on single-serving items and giving myself a little more variety at work, I came across some I was intrigued by.

Ready Snax - Apple and Cheese with Caramel sauce. As in, slices of apple, chunks of cheese, and a small dip tray. Measured out to be a healthy single serving snack. O_o Okay, so I'm paying for convenience without a doubt. But if they'd had something like that back when I was a kid ...

Also picked up a couple of single serving salad bowls. Usually I get the bags, but they tend to be around 2-3 servings and never quite sure how much they are (as in the package can't just say 2 servings or 3 servings, it's somewhere between). Looking forward to trying those out.

The one downside of all these new things to try, particularly that they're pre-made meal type things? I'm having to double-enter right now - into the SP menu tracker and into the recipe/meal planner I'm testing and planning to buy. Eventually I'll have most of them tried and listed - and know which I like to buy, not to mention their typical price and store to get them. But for not ... ADMIN!


Definitely looking forward to eating at work this week. Which is the best part. If I'm both eating within my nutrition guidelines AND looking forward to the variety of foods I have, this remains easy to do and I don't feel at all deprived even though I go down the cookie, candy, crackers, chips, and other aisles and pass old favorites. I really haven't wanted to pick up a pack of Chips Ahoy. I might pick up one of the snack pack single serving sizes at some point, but I'm enjoying so much other food, it's not something that's foremost in my mind.

\o/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVES_CUPCAKES 10/24/2011 10:27AM

    Those 1 serving snacks are GREAT!! emoticon

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 10/24/2011 6:20AM

    emoticon

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ALWAYSOWNIT 10/24/2011 2:33AM

    emoticon

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LYNN-LOVESLIFE7 10/24/2011 12:45AM

    I love 1 servings snacks. I get them all the time. I count them out and limit myself to just that one. During the day. It's a good way to watch your calories too.. I think it's good to have items like this on the market. I look for snack bowls all the time. I have even taken my husband Hungry man plates and washed them out using them to control my serving size. We do what we do to lose the weight, and I think you are making very smart measures... emoticon

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