Balance

Wow guys. I am finding out that I don’t do so well without friends. Or husband. He’s been working regular Dr hours again. Which means I’m single parenting it for most of my time. Yesterday was pretty exciting though. He finally got his first day off since starting on the 20th! Yay! We also are under contract for selling our West home, and under another for buying one here.

So today I should be on cloud nine right now. And yet I’m not. I feel stressed, tired, bored, unproductive. And this all triggers depression for me. And with no network of friends to help give me a break, no home to get settled into, and DrH working Dr hours (11-16 hrs/day 6 days/week) it all seems to just keep piling up right now. Ah depression my good friend. I love when you visit. (can you hear the sarcasm?)

What is great is that this place already feels like where we live instead of a foreign place we don’t belong, except for that bit about us living in a hotel.  And lets be honest, when I have nothing really to do I go a little crazy. Doing things with friends and having something planned with people really helps. Except when the introvert side is winning. I guess I’m finding that having balance in my life is the difference between things being annoying and stressful or being depressed and anxious. Can’t wait till I can actually feel happiness and excitement for all this good stuff. But for now you’ll all have to feel the excitement for me. I’ll be able to fully join you soon I think.

Stress

As we get ever closer to the move I get more and more stressed. Every time I look at anything that needs to be done I see everything that needs to be done. I can’t seem to size it down anymore and just see a part of it. We start moving stuff into pods tomorrow, graduation is Sunday, and then we finish up Monday and leave. And it just seems that there is always more to do. It’s like the never ending pile of laundry, but worse because it’s packing. I’m sooooooooo sick of packing.

The worst part? We’ll have to unpack it all. Eventually. Though I am excited for the road trip we have planned to move out to the new state. And we may even be able to buy a house there. I keeping trying to keep the focus on that, but when I look around at all the boxes and everything left that needs doing it becomes difficult. But soon, I won’t need to think about it anymore since it’ll be packed away and we’ll be on the road.

See you on the other side of moving.

Grumpy House

This house is grumpy today! Has been the last couple of days. I think it’s time for Spring Break to be over and kids go back to school. I mean I love having several days in a row of fighting and fussing… but… oh wait, no I don’t. But as we near moving I think this type of attitude is to be expected more than usual. The boys are probably feeling nervous about the new area and making friends, and sad to leave the friends and places here. But they don’t even know that’s what’s going on inside them right now. They just know they feel emotional and easily upset. And as 6 and 9 yr olds they don’t even know how to handle feelings.

Deep breaths.

But things are finally starting to fall into place with everything that’s going on right now. We’re under contract with selling our house out West (post coming soon), I think we may have finally found a temporary place to live as we figure out this new area, we still get a little bit of packing done each week, and DrH is healing from a hernia repair (as if we didn’t already have enough to deal with). I only have 2 1/2 weeks of work left, my parents will be coming out for graduation, and I think we have our road trip figured out for stops to see fun things as we move. Plus my dad or both parents may be able to road trip with us which will be fun for them and great memories for the kids. And we get to see them that much longer.

TT: Health

Thankful Thursday Logo bThis week B2 has been sick. Like super sick. Stay at home from school 4 days sick. His tonsils were HUGE! this is not an exaggeration. He had a constant fever. And for 2 of 6 days was a complete lump. Finally today he’s doing much better. Still slightly swollen tonsils, and slight fever. But able to move around, talk, have some personality. Still stayed home today, he was right on that line of he maybe could go to school, but it’s probably better for him to stay home one last day so it doesn’t get worse again. So we did.

Tomorrow though, he’s going back to school. I’m so done with him being sick. Actually I hate when anyone at our house is sick. Being sick is lame! Luckily so far none of the rest of us have gotten this lovely virus. And I hope we don’t. One of us being sick for a week is enough. Plus B1 has his birthday party this Saturday, so anyone being sick would just not work for us right now. So grateful for our health, the fact that our family doesn’t get sick as often as some. So grateful my work totally gets it and was flexible, and that DrH was able to shift some days around so we could tag team staying at home. And super grateful no one else seems to have it!

Here’s to everyone’s health!

Maybe it wouldn’t have lasted so long if we hadn’t gone to the Mardi Gras parade Saturday… but then we wouldn’t have seen Darth Vader in beads.070

Not What I Expected PT 1

A long time ago in a land far away (ie 2003 in another state) I was nearing the end of classes for my Associate’s. And as I sat in the business class I just had this thought come to me, “I won’t be doing this as a profession, it’s going to be more important to have a family.” The type of photography I wanted to do at the time was photojournalism of some sort. And I knew that in that type of work it would be really hard to start and mother a family. At least for me, I’m not that great at distance relationships. Always going places for assignment, or being out shooting all the time so I could get a few freelance jobs. There wouldn’t  be enough time for me to also devote to my family.

Do know what makes this really crazy?! I wasn’t even dating anyone at the time. What?! But I knew how important it would be for me to have a family, so I started trying to think of what else I could do in life. I really struggled, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought from age 16 that I would do some type of photography for my work. I freaked out inside a lot of days, my personality likes to plan and I couldn’t plan anything since I had no idea what else really interested me. So when I suddenly found myself engaged a few months later I had a huge sigh of relief. I knew what my future was to an extent and I didn’t need to worry anymore about any of that growing up nonsense. I would get married, we’d work and have fun, and eventually have kids. So I was set for the next 10-15 years at least right? I would be a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and I would think about what I want to be when I grow up later.

It took some time and emotional toll, but eventually we had a baby. And he was beautiful! At the time I worked part time as a crossing guard. And I continued this until just before the birth of our second son. And then I knew I needed to stay home full time with them. And so I did. And it wasn’t anything like I expected. My days weren’t that full, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled, my friends worked so I had no one to hang out with during the day. The second pregnancy and birth threw off my hormones a lot too, our second car died right around that time. So I found myself, stuck at home, lonely, nothing to do, no one to do it with, and even if there would have been something I would still have no way to get there to do it. And I was depressed. I mean all that is depressing enough on it’s own, but I had depression as well.

Parent Expectations

Credit: Pict one,  Pict two

I’ve struggled over the years. I liked being a SAHM, but it was also lonely, and somewhat unfulfilling. Seriously, kids don’t thank you for all your hard work, and it started seeming as if nothing I did really mattered. And the few times I was with other adults, ha, my contribution to the convo was how I’d seen a Curious George episode about that. Don’t get me wrong, I love Curious George, but he’s not really adult kind of talk.

A few weeks ago I found this post on Facebook. And it really got me thinking about my experiences as a SAHM. It’s called 10 Dark Parenting Truths. #4 and 5 really struck me.

4. You might give up pieces of yourself that you once loved

No one has it all. No mother. No father. No person. All of life involves sacrifice, and parenting always demands its share of it.

It’s like those friends who stay, or return, or never come back at all. Some dreams and passions and loves stay even after the babies are born. Some return. Others don’t.

 

As a SAHM struggling with depression and other fun stuff, I had lost some of my identity. One day I realized I didn’t know who I was besides a Mom. I didn’t know what I liked anymore. Mothering and depression had taken over and I lost all other identity. It was overwhelming! I prayed a lot, and cried a lot. Then I started to write some. What I liked about myself (I love my long hair). Things I used to like. Things I felt I still liked. Things that interested me, things I wanted to do some day. Things others saw in me. It’s taken some time, and I’m still not fully there, but over the past 5-6 years I’ve been piecing me together again, and seeing who I am today. Finding that I am a mom, and a wife, but also so much more. Getting help with the depression made a HUGE difference in this.

5. You might find parenting unfulfilling

In fact, I would argue that parenting is not completely fulfilling for anyone—nor should it be. Our children’s lives cannot and should not consume our own (much as they might devour our time and attention). Our children are not and should not be viewed as extensions of ourselves.

Parenting can fill one with love and wonder and joy. But it cannot take the place of all the other possible loves and wonders and joys in the world.

Reading about these two things has helped put all the past crap I went through into perspective, and also taught me I’m not alone or abnormal in these feelings. Being a SAHM wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I’m still so glad that I did it. Not much in life ever happens the way we think it will, or feel the way we thought/want. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, in fact somewhere along the way we find out a little bit more about ourselves, life, and those we love. And it’s great! Different than we though, but great!

 

TT: Letting Go

Thankful Thursday Logo bLetting it go. Believe it or not it’s a skill that can be learned. I used to be pretty bad at it. Subconsciously holding on to things I thought I had let go. Only to find the “wound” re-opened and deepened the next time something similar came along. Finding myself feeling not only the hurt from this particular hurt, but the one (or more) from before from the same person.

Over the past 2-3 years I’ve learned how to actually do it. It’s not always easy, but so worth it. And I still struggle here and there with it, but comparatively I’m so much better at it now. And instead of my subconscious validating that “see I told you so” feeling, I have more peace. I am happier with my relationships in life, and I spend less time feeling hurt.Danger Ex[ectations AheadA few things that helped me to learn this skill: 1 Stop making unrealistic expectations for others. I kept waiting, and expecting my family to see my feelings in certain ways, or for them to understand why and just how much my disappointment was from this time or that when they let me down. After moving across the country I expected them to treat me differently when we came to visit than when we lived by them. And I was disappointed and hurt when that didn’t happen. Then as I was learning to let go we had our second visit to see them. This time I went expecting them to be them, to be annoyed at all the little things that have always annoyed me. And to not care, because I was there for me and my family, and we were going to have fun with or without them. And you know what? It was the best visit ever. The subsequent visits have been great, but this one stands out since it was the first. We all got along better, I didn’t worry about the annoying stuff, or care, and it was great!

2 Find a way to make it funny. Honestly my family is exceptionally good at being sarcastic. And sometimes it got old to me, because it starting feeling sincere from them, and not just sarcastic. But instead of getting mad that they wanted to complain a lot about us also seeing friends while we were out (yes our best friends live there too, and yes we’re going to give them a generous amount of time- these are life long type friends!)… anyway back to it. Instead of being mad that that’s how they were spending the time they had with me, or that they didn’t understand that we only have a short amount of time to spread between everyone, I would switch how I thought about it. And respond in a way that would make me laugh. Like “oh, I’ve missed you too. Don’t worry this isn’t my last day with you.” (and of course say it slightly sarcastically since it’s funny, and that’s how my family communicates) When you find ways to make things funny, it’s easier to stay calm, not get angry and not feel hurt. When my kids fight lately, instead of getting upset I start singing an awesome rendition of “Kung Fu Fighting.” Everybody was kung fu fighting. They thought they were fast as lightning. But them mommy came and spanked their butts. And they cried out all their little guts. They stop fighting and I’m left laughing at my clever, funny awesomeness.693 See it from their view. Like in number one above, when my family complained at me that we were also going to see some friends I was upset that they didn’t understand that we had a whole life there that we had left. (and when I say complained, I mean that it was brought up at least 5 times a day on our first trip out) I felt like they weren’t using the time we had together well, and I was sick of them being mad at me for wanting to see other people in our lives. My brother’s had lived out of state for many years, and it didn’t seem like anyone had a problem with them seeing their old friends. But then I started viewing their complaining, not as complaining, but as them doing a horrible job communicating how much they missed us. And I understood them. And didn’t take it personal that they were upset, but saw instead that they missed me, and loved me. And they didn’t know how to handle or communicate it well.

Hopefully these tips can help you start learning this skill. Let me know what you think, if there’s a tip you have or if these ones help. I’m far from great at this skill, but so thankful to have so much of it compared to a few short years ago. And grateful to be reminded to keep working on it.

TT: Oops

So my reminder alarm went off yesterday to write, and we were on our way to Kempo for B2 for a make up class. We thought we had an appointment soon after so I just had time to get the kids over to a friend’s to make it for the appointment. Well… we remembered the day wrong. Oops!

So instead of going home we had a surprise date night. Yay! It was nice to go out to dinner together. It’s been a little while since we had a date night because of the vacation time. So as bad as we feel for missing the appointment, I am glad for the date. And honestly I think we needed that more this time.Thankful Thursday Logo b