Constraints Of Happiness- SSS July

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Your “Secret Subject” is:

If money and time were no object, what would you do and why?

It was submitted by:  


I’ve been going around and around in my head for two weeks now, trying to figure this one out. And I can’t. I can’t wrap my head around this one and come up with anything as specific as traveling the world, buying a private island escape, or meeting someone from the past like other people would.

You see, time and money are the two things that I hate most about this life. The two things that threaten the well-being of my marriage and my family. For someone like my husband, I could go as far as saying that they are the root of all evil because they are the two things that simultaneously haunt and drive him in life. He can never get his hands on enough of either one.

And I can’t blame him for that, either.

Living right at the border of the National Poverty Level for a family of six isn’t easy for us. Considering that my husband works over seventy hours a week to makes ends meet for us because I’m unable to work at this point in time, it’s not hard to understand why we covet time and money so damn much on a daily basis. We never see enough of one another, we don’t get to share the experience of raising our children together, and we are constantly struggling to keep our finances from drowning us on dry land. Our children don’t have the opportunities to explore their talents and interests because money is the golden ticket they lack, and the only thing required to participate. They’ve never stepped foot in a mall. Or really any major name brand retail store for that matter, beyond the scope of Dollar General or Wal-mart that is. And, even then, a store like Wal-mart is a rare blue moon treat for them.

It just doesn’t seem right that someone who busts his ass for twelve hours a day, six, sometimes even seven, days a week in a grueling steel production machinery shop (making the base for which parts that are critical for building everything from washing machines to hardware tools to automobiles) doesn’t bring home enough money, even with 30 hours of OT on each paycheck. Or has to even put that much time and energy into his job for the measly pay that keeps the bacon on our table. No one should have to sacrifice THAT much only to provide by society’s standards, a meager life. Not a good one. Not a comfortable one. And most certainly not a happy one. I believe Eminem’s infamous “Lose Yourself” song sums up the struggle we face pretty well.

Lonely roads, God only knows, he’s grown farther from home, he’s no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter…                                                                …All the pain inside amplified by the
Fact that I can’t get by with my nine to
Five and I can’t provide the right type of
Life for my family ’cause man, these God damn food stamps don’t buy diapers
And its no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer
This is my life and these times are so hard


So, if time and money were no longer part of the equation, I think it’s safe to say that all I would want is to just live happily, peacefully with my family in our own version of dystopia. I would give my family the experiences and opportunities life hasn’t afforded us the ability to have thus far. We would take trips together. Explore our community together. Eat dinner every night as a family unit at a kitchen table big enough for everyone to sit at- something most people take for granted these days. There would be sports practices, art classes, dance lessons, and martial arts training. Everyone would be able to embrace their own unique sense of style as their clothing options would no longer be limited to whatever is available in their sizes at the local secondhand thrift shops. We would be free to focus on our relationships and create the unity we lack as it stands right now. Our family could be the family we all dream of having right now.

And with that dream come true, my husband could finally find some relief and breathe deeply without the weight of providing for his family sitting heavily on his shoulders. Because he deserves to enjoy the family he made just as much as I do. He deserves to see his kids grow, learn, play, and love. He deserves to have a life that isn’t ruled by a paycheck which will be gone before the bills can all be paid in full. Time and money are the two things that bring him the most pain and strife in this world and it breaks my heart to see a great man suffer under their constraints.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado              

Cognitive Script           

The Blogging 911         

The Lieber Family Blog           

The Bergham Chronicles        

Simply Shannon                   

Southern Belle Charm          

Never Ever Give Up Hope       

The Angrivated Mom          

Not That Sarah Michelle       

Bookworm in the Kitchen        

Part-time Working Hockey Mom 



Beginning Motherhood

The first time our eyes met,

My breath held tight,

I wore my heart on my sleeve,

As time took flight.

The evenings ahead were rough,

Daybreak gave no reprieve,

Yet it all felt so magical,

I’d stare at you in utter disbelief.

A creation of my very own,

Innocence ready to mold,

Nothing could’ve ever prepared me,

A fairytale yet untold.

Sleeplessness fueled with pride,

Filling me to the brim,

Squawking cries reverberating,

Soothed by my gentle hymn.

Sour milk breath smelling so sweet,

Nuzzling closer skin to skin,

Wonderment over this tiny miracle

Effervescence illuminating within.

With your arrival, though, time did gain wings,

Passing swiftly with a blink,

Ups and downs, milestones good and bad,

It goes too quick with our lives moving in sync.

Image may contain: text

Blogger and Blog: Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Name of Poem: Motherhood
Blogger and Blog: Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Name of Poem: Mother’s Wish
Blogger and Blog: Dawn of Spatulas on Parade
Name of Poem: Motherhood Yo Yo
Blogger and Blog: Sarah of Not That Sarah Michelle
Name of Poem: Mother’s Day Poem: I Love You Mom

A Binding Curse

We’ve come a long way from where we began

But not without congeries of heartache, betrayal, and pain.

Time dissipated quickly, slipping past us in silence

Leaving nothing to show except the darkening blood stain.

We pushed and we pulled, a tumultuous battle of wills

Rising high with the moon, then crashing low with the tides.

Broken and beaten by life and one another, alike

Yet bound at the soul, determined; headstrong to survive.

The road less traveled took us so far off-course

Losing dreams of hope and trust in blind faith along our troubled way.

Struggling to breathe when the air between us became too thin

We trudged right through the raging storms, vehemently vowing to stay.

All that we fought to overcome, all the perils we experienced

This love should’ve drowned in the shallows of illusory passion.

A magnetic force instead fused our hearts to beat in rhythm

Stronger than Earth’s gravity, defying even Sir Newton’s laws of attraction.

No one else could have made it together this far,

A stacked deck, a magician’s curse, and the devil’s kiss sealed our ill fate.

I wish I had had a crystal ball way back when

Because I’m in too deep now, escaping your spell is beyond much too late.

Looking back in vain, I can only shudder with horror

My heart was hijacked by our wishing stars somehow misaligning.

I made you my everything, gave you all of me there was

Bleeding from my wounded soul, my heart cannot stop its painful crying.

Your love is simply Hell in disguise

Bound to you for eternity, stuck together with the ultimate super glue.

So many questions for which I’ll never get answers

My sanity lost within this nightmarish dream come true.


Don’t Tell Me To Go Hug My Kids Tight, Because I Don’t Want To


What I am about to say probably won’t sit well with some of you. Some of you will even feel the need to immediately point out all the circumstances in which this could make me the worst person to ever walk this planet. (Ha! How I wish I would at least get rich selling out on everyone’s hatred of me after this!) Let me clear the air before we take this any farther-

I know! I know there’s others who would give their last breath for the opportunity. I know there’s others who long to know what it feels like at all. I know this could potentially be the very last time. None of those facts is relevant to the happenstance I’m delving into here. So, nice try, but I won’t be guilted or beguiled into dismissing my own, very valid feelings. With that being said….
Sometimes, I DO NOT WANT TO GO HUG MY BABIES TIGHT! Please don’t offer me those advising thoughts of comfort when I’m venting to you about how I’ve just had a really, particularly horrible, bad mood rising, kind of day. One which warrants a warning badge and implosion eminent disclaimer. I’m sorry, I’m not sorry.

Those four adoring, precious, and utterly beautiful, beast-like wild creatures capable of demonic level possession behaviors over anything and everything trivial are the last things I want to go hug.

No matter how deep the love one has for their children is rooted, no matter how far across the great divide one’s love stretches, and, no matter how long, or how short, the love between a mother and a child has existed, it is perfectly normal, and incredibly healthy, to need time, alone. Time alone to refresh the mind, body, and spirit. Especially, if you are a real, true-to-the-definition-of, introvert like myself. When I cannot make the time to do what’s necessary for my remaining sanity to stay intact, it’s easy for the kids glued to my nerves with the extra strength maternal superglue secreted the moment the cord was cut, to push me to the brink of self-implosion.

Chances are, those devilish imps, at the very least, just maybe…… slightly….. possibly…. probably… Okay! Okay! They are most definitely responsible for this Dolores Claiborne meets Freddy Krueger state of mind which I have found myself in a time or two or three dozen, over the course of motherhood. Days like these make me want to run away; far, far away, deep into the hills where I shall find a dark cave and live in hermit-like reclusiveness with only me, myself, and I, to live out the end of my days in peace and quiet!

These Blue Moon kind of days usually start off on an angrivated note. Life bears down on me with the same force exhibited due to the gravitational pull on a constipated elephant.

The kids will be extraordinarily ornery, and ready to battle to their inevitable groundment at the slightest inkling a No is about to be dropped from my mouth like the atomic bomb.

The boys, ages ten and eleven, will be at each other’s throats all day long, yearning for a taste of the other’s blood. Every time I turn around, one of them will be kicking, smacking, poking, prodding, or throwing something at his otherwise best friend, just because, only to be greatly offended when his punching bag punches back. My girls, ages 3½ and 7, will be doing their own feminine version of the sibling assault, complete with eardrum shattering shrieks, slamming doors, fingernail gouging, and hair-pulling. Putting all four hoodlums together with the expectation for them to share the air they breathe and enough space their personal bubbles interlace is like crossing some weird space/time barrier and finding your house right smack dab in the middle of battle during the Revolutionary War. You really do not want to go there.

During the course of this no-good, horribly rotten, wish-it-never-happened day, the youngest child will throw melodramatic tantrums over everything, anything, and nothing. Even when everything goes her way. In between her fits of toddler blasphemy, she’ll sneakily empty the refrigerator of all of the condiments, hide my wallet and car keys deep in the linen closet, and dump the entire contents of my bookcase, though her own, overflowing with much more durable children’s books, sits right beside it, to use as a makeshift hopscotch path. Her brothers will, in turn, choose to go on strike against The Motherhood Force. Refusing to budge from their beds until I begin implementing punishment by disconnecting the Wi-Fi, confiscating all their gadgets and chargers, and handing over the list of Attitude Adjusting Activities. Completing the entire list is required in order to earn back the stripped privileges. Undeterred by the war line drawn in unison against the rules and responsibility I stand for, however, they will continue opposition against the other. Refusing to fight on the same front, they lose sight of the main target, going back to trying to obliterate themselves into tenebrous oblivion, as they do. Meanwhile, my oldest of daughters will be going about doing what she does best: pot-stirring. Every chance she gets, she sticks her nose in business which isn’t hers, adding in her two cents whether it was asked for, or, not. She’s a master in provocation and perception, already, though she’s only just entering the second grade. Well, so she believes. The Motherhood Force knows better.

There’s no doubt to anyone who knows me, my kids are my entire world. For goodness sakes, I’m a sahm without a village, outside of my internet tribe, for any sort of support. It’s just me and my kiddos, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year. The fact of the matter is, I may never have experienced this I do not want to go hug my babies tight feeling necessary in order to write this, if my husband’s job allowed him to be home with his family in the evenings or to wake up with us in the mornings, instead of just going to bed for his “night”. Unfortunately, our life doesn’t fit the basic square mold, so it’s no wonder, my perspective doesn’t fit in one, either. It’s never my intention to reach this point. The after effects will linger in my brain for a few days like the poison from a bee’s stinger. It happens, though, and I’m not going to deny it or sugar coat it.

It is in this place, where I am so extremely exhausted mentally, it’s a painstaking chore to muddle through the day on autopilot, in which I reach this point and there’s no going back.

This, I do not want to look at those wickedly nefarious children, let alone hug them tight for even a brief second point.

My children will more than likely reciprocate those same sentiments towards me, just as well. Go ask them yourself the next time we’re having one of these “needs a do-over days”. If you can make it through the barricades they’ve built in their doorways to block the entry of anyone over four and a half feet tall- because, they do not want to be hugged tightly, held near, wrapped in love, snuggled closely, or smothered with anyone else’s emotional state.

I can’t blame them, because neither do I!


By: Kristina Hammer, aka, The Angrivated Mom