September 23, 2014

Moments When I Just Want to Scream

I've been struggling a bit of late...I can feel the pull for change in my life.  The question is, change in what?  How?  To what?  Wait...that's questions, isn't it?

Needless to say, I've been feeling a bit out of sorts, wondering if this part-time working Mom gig is for me or not.  The kids are short-tempered, irritable, whiny, smart-mouthed, and just downright driving me mad with their behavior of late.  I questioned Captain as to his opinion on the source of his change from my sweet boy, and his answer just took the wind out of my sails...he snuggled his tall body, folded up, into my lap, and tucked his head under my chin, and said quietly "It's because you're not home when we need you anymore."

As I fought back tears, I asked what he meant, and again, his answer shocked me.  Not because of the content, but because he sounded so mature in what he said.  He told me that since I've started working at the bookstore, all I do is work.  Even when I'm home, I'm barking out orders that things get done, and we never have fun anymore. When he needs me to help him, or he just wants to sit and read to me, I'm never there, or I tell him I'm too busy.

I've been praying since then.  For wisdom, for guidance, for peace and contentment with where we are as a family right now.  BB and I made some decisions last Fall, and this Spring, and as a result, I'm here - still working...

I had to sit down and write out what my week looks like.  In a nutshell, here's the breakdown:

Bookstore job, including travel time:  27 hours away from home
Mom-ffeur (which I wouldn't give up!): 5-7 hours in the car with my kids each week
Housework (food, laundry, cleaning): 30 hours each week
Time with Kids: 2 hours each week during movie night
Time with BB: 6 hours each week, counting movie night

Now, I understand that the kids are a little older, we're involved in more things outside of school and Church.  I don't mind that - I enjoy going to the pool to watch the kids during swim class.  I enjoy volunteering at school for an hour or so each week.  I love that they're doing AWANA and are memorizing Scripture and seeing other Godly people in action each week...

What I don't love is that things are so broken up that I don't have a routine anymore...

And I'm really feeling that this whole working outside the home as an employee is just not something that I'm supposed to be doing.  I spent 7 1/2 years at home after Captain was born.  I was there, for them, with them, and able to do things with them, not just for them...Now, I can't seem to find my groove with all the things I'm supposed to do, and all the things I think I'm supposed to do...

I read a blog this morning about 3 fads that are killing our joy.  I struggle, as do most of us, with all of them, but I have to add one more thing with which I struggle: I compare myself to the Proverbs 31 woman.  All. The. Time!

It's made worse when I visit an amazing blog, the author of which is a contributing editor to a Christian publication, has contributed chapters to books, a guest writer at a second magazine, has time not just to craft, but to craft these amazingly gorgeous creations.  Her latest post?  Her son went to homecoming, and she handmade the corsage for his date.  They took the obligatory photos, and off the kids went to the event.  They came back to their place afterwards, and she surprised them with framed prints from the one-hour place nearby...along with hand-crafted scrapbook items...and a handmade, themed feast of snacks...

And as I gazed around the bookstore (because it's DEAD QUIET here during the weekdays), at the work I'd done this morning for someone else - the dust-free shelves, the clean carpet and floor, the spotless counters, the nicely organized supplies and displays - at the stretch of days that now faced my, with NOTHING to do to fill the time, my mind immediately snapped to my house which looks as though someone shaved a whole pack of dogs, tossed 3 or 4 dozen cats in the mix, and added crunched up cereal, crackers, dried rice, and stirred in 14 socks, 3 pairs of underpants, and 9 shoes...and I broke down and cried...right there behind the stacks of cups, next to the espresso machine boasting about my pride in which brand of coffee we brew...I cried.

I'm weary.  I'm worn.  I'm broken.  My heart is not here in this little store that offers such a ministry and need to our community.  My heart is not in the relationships I'm building with the office staff and ministers.  My heart is. Not. Here.

Princess was sick yesterday morning - she hadn't eaten quite enough Sunday, and as a result had a horrible hungry tummy that was upset enough to wake her up at 4 am.  She was curled up on the bathroom floor, screaming and crying.  We finally got her to eat and drink. and she settled down enough to sleep for a few more hours.  But she was drained yesterday...she was pale, and had giant black circles under her beautiful eyes.  My immediate reaction was to let her sleep and I'd take her to school later in the morning...BB held firm, saying she'd be ok.  And while I know he was worried (he sent 19 text messages from 7:50 until I got to school to do my volunteer hours, making sure he hadn't missed a phone call about her), he was able to go off to work, do his job, and know that she'd be with me if she had to come home from school...and all I could think was that she needed me, that I should be keeping her home and snuggling and loving on her, and spending time with her yesterday, and instead, she was at school.  And while she was just fine, if a little less her normal self, the idea of her needing me and my not being there just about did me in...

I ask you to pray for me - pray for BB and I to know when the right time is for me to quit this job.  We've financially committed ourselves to some things, and my salary is what's paying for them.  We can't undo that commitment.  We can't cut out enough things in other areas to cover the gap left if I leave now.  Pray for me to clearly hear God's voice, not what I want to hear.  Pray for me to be able to balance it all, and still remain the Mom and wife I'm called to be.  Mostly, pray for my kids - for their hearts to know that even if I'm not there, I'm still loving them.  For their minds to comprehend that sometimes we make decisions that seem to have negative results, but that God will work things out for good.  For their behavior - that they'll see that when I'm there, I'm really there and that they'll be secure in the knowledge that they're loved and cared for in all aspects...

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