June 21, 2012

Restrospective

After much prayer and soul-searching, I came to a conclusion...again...(you'd think I'd have this figured and worked out by now eh???)  I use this blog as a place to whine...I say things here that I wouldn't dream of saying out loud even to my closest friends...why is that?  Why is it OK for me to type things on my keyboard and launch them into the vastness of the Internet?  I'm not protected...it's not private...I've seen enough episodes of shows where they can trace things back to the person that did them...

At any rate...I realized after my last posts, I was frustrated with BB...more so, I was frustrated with myself that I couldn't just talk to him.  I never once told him how I was feeling overwhelmed, or how I felt that other things had become more important, or that I was simply tired of being grown-up a few months ago and decided that for awhile I'd rather just play than be responsible...

And so, I've decided I need to put some things here, for myself, for any of you that might wish, to keep me accountable.

In no order other than how they flow from my brain to my fingers:

  • I chose to marry BB.  In doing so, I promised before God and whole Church full of people to honor, cherish, and love him for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, in good times and in bad until death parts us.
  • I chose to have children.  BB and I decided together that we wanted to be parents, and were blessed with 3 amazing, healthy, smart, adorable, funny, creative, crazy, goofy, incredible little people to train and guide into the type of adults that God wants them to be.
  • Together, BB and I chose for me to stay at home and focus on raising our children.
  • I agreed to be the primary party responsible for things like washing/drying/folding/mending/ironing clothing, planning/executing/cleaning up meals, cleaning our house, maintaining our financial records, running errands, contacting/scheduling/following up with service providers.
  • My role as the at-home parent is to be responsible for the HOME as well as the family...
  • BB works hard, often 60 hours a week, travels away from home for as little as 36 hours to as long as 6 weeks, in order that I can stay home to raise our children.
  • BB has every right to have time for his hobbies and interests, and there is NO WAY he can do them when he is at work.  
  • No one ever told me I couldn't pursue my hobbies and interests.  I interpreted what was being said to me as "no", but never actually asked.
I know BB is not perfect, but neither am I!  Marriage is hard because it involves 2 broken, selfish people who often forget that they should be loving and serving the other person first.  It should be a joy for me to do the things I'm responsible for - they aren't a "job" in that sense...

It's a tough balancing act - I must balance the fact that I want to do things that feed my soul, nurture my intellect, and provide my senses with delight, but I need to do things that seem mundane.

The hardest part of being an at-home parent is that the payback from our work is not immediate.  When I was working outside the home, prior to Captain being born, I could look at the my electronic inbox and see that the pile, while not always diminishing, was changing.  My outbox was filling up.  Things were done and moved off my shoulders, off my checklist.  I could see and feel and know that I was accomplishing things.  I also got to leave it at the end of the day and go home.  I didn't have to think about it until the next morning when I arrived at the office again...When I started staying home with Captain, the first 6 weeks, my mother, BB, my father, other friends and family were always around.  We had meals delivered, my Mom easily did about 2/3 of the laundry and cleaning for me as a result of the emergency C-section I'd had, and the subsequent limits on my physical activity.  After that, it became a matter of figuring out how to be a mom to this little guy that wanted to eat, needed clean diapers, or wanted to sleep every time I turned around...thankfully, Capt was a very mellow baby.  He was always happy, slept well, had no physical issues keeping him from eating, "voiding" (how I hate that term...), or sleeping.  He developed on schedule, normally, with no worries...no colic, no rashes, no weird digestive issues.  Being a Mom was a piece of cake!  I'd put him to sleep in his crib, and spend the next 2 hours working on laundry, cleaning, gardening, yard work, reading, whatever I wanted.  And for the first 10 months of his life, it was simple, with the exception of the 4 days we spent at our local Children's Hospital while he was fighting Kawasaki's Disease.  I'd have dinner on the table by 5:30, the house was clean, the laundry done, the grocery shopping cared for...

Even when pregnant with Princess, dealing with nausea and exhaustion, it wasn't that bad - I was still able to keep on top of everything...and when she was born, it was the dead of winter, when you wouldn't necessarily want to be out with a newborn, and I was recuperating from the 2nd C-section.  My mom was around again, we had folks bring us meals...BB was home for 4 weeks.  Capt was only 19 1/2 months old, still a baby himself really, taking 2 naps a day.  I still had 4 uninterrupted hours each day wherein I was able to accomplish what needed accomplishing.

After Littlest One's arrival, it wasn't so easy...we had preschool, and BB traveled more often for longer stints.  I felt a bit overwhelmed with a not-quite-4-year-old, a 26 month old and a newborn.  BB was only able to be home for 3 weeks, and my folks weren't around quite so often...

Add to that the fact that we decided 6 weeks prior to Littlest One's arrival to take Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and dove in wholeheartedly, it was also a little tough to adjust to a new person in our family PLUS no longer using credit cards, and cutting waaaayyyy back on spending so as to pay off our credit card debts.

It's been a crazy ride, these last 10 years, but honestly?  I know what it was like to be in a loveless marriage, what is was like to be truly taken for granted and treated like trash...and I would rather have to deal with BB and the kids' quirks and habits that drive me bonkers than be alone.

Inkling my dear - I'm praying for you and your beloved husband.  I'll be sending an email shortly and I so wish we could have some chat time...face to face time to enjoy one another and let our kiddos play together...although I think Grasshopper might be a tad overwhelmed by my hooligans, he'd quickly get swept up in the excitement of someone else to play with...

As of right now, in this moment, sitting at my kitchen table, laptop open, music playing in the background, kids resting quietly in their beds, knowing that I'll be logging off shortly to go gather up some supplies that go with my breast pump that I'm selling to a soon-to-be mom of 2 that has to work, I'm at peace.  I'm content with my life.  I love my husband dearly (although he may drive me crazy and there are days I don't like what he's choosing), I love my children, I've been blessed with good health, abundance, and a remarkable life ahead...

There are days ahead that I'm sure will be dark, but I know that behind the clouds, the sun is always shining, and God is always in control.

Call me Pollyanna if you wish, but I do believe in the good that's in all of us, and see things rosy and sunshiny!

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