Monday, February 22, 2010

Confessions of a Harried Housewife, Chapter 5

This may appear as a very naive post to many readers. But I've always been a little on the naive side so don't be embarrassed for me. I'm just wondering, how many of you remember reading in the parenthood/motherhood books about how life changes so dramatically in unexpected ways when you have children? And I am not talking about going from not changing diapers to changing diapers or any of the regular every day rearing that all of us partake in....ok..... maybe some of that. Is there a book out there that details the mental, emotional, and physical toll that being a wife and mother takes on us? Collectively? If there is, name it in the comments!!! It should be required reading for anyone considering marriage and parenthood.

Not that I would change a thing about my life or the decisions I've made regarding my eternal partner and family, but wouldn't it have been nice to be more prepared for it all? To know that when we signed on as a wife and then a mother that we were agreeing to lose ourselves in the lives of others for the next 50 years and beyond would have been valuable information, at least for me. I would have liked to know that after bearing children our minds and bodies would be forever altered-that instead of just having to worry about our own selves and the stupid decisions that we make, that we would give a piece of our hearts to each of these people whom we love and worry about their decisions and safety as well.

My kids are 5, 9,and 12. They are blessings in my life beyond my expectations. Each of them is unique and wonderful and interesting to me. When I plan my calendar for the week every Sunday night, it is their lives I am plotting out now. What activities do we have EVERY night this week? What will we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner MTWThF? What will I need at the grocery store? Which nights will John be home? What will my FHE lesson focus on? What is my cub scout den meeting plan for Tuesday night? Have I sent the right reminder emails out to the right people? What drills and activities should Avery's soccer team work on Thursday? Where can I fit some time in with John? Should I try and do my Visiting Teaching this week? Do I need to pick up the dry cleaning? What time are the soccer and volleyball games this Saturday? Will I be able to drive for volleyball Monday or Thursday? Which day are the kids buying lunch this week? Am I taking Aidyn to Jiu-Jitsu this Wednesday or Avery to dance? Does everybody have their homework finished? Are there dentist, orthodontist, doctors or other appointments I need to account for? Have I checked all the backpacks?????? On top of the every day schedule details, I have to be on my toes for the unscheduled as well. Did you eat your vitamins? Did you brush your teeth? Did you take a shower? Did you say your prayers? Haven't you already played 30 minutes of video games? If you are playing a computer game then your room is clean, right? Did you wash the dog? Did you feed the dog? Did you put away your clothes? Did you complete your services today? Have you been reading your scriptures? Do you need help with that? or that? or that? or that? Don't forget to do your homework. Don't forget to practice piano/guitar/whatever!!! Don't forget to work on your Bear requirements! Don't foget to work on your overhand serves! Don't forget to practice your dribbling! Don't forget to eat a healthy snack! Get ready for school, get ready for soccer, get ready for jiu-jitsu, get ready for Young Womens, get ready for Cubs, get ready for dance, get ready for church, get ready for LIFE!!!! Sometimes, just preparing our kids for the day ahead is challenging let alone paring that with arming them for their futures. Mind boggling, I tell you!!!!

So where, in all the LIFE, does that leave us? I'll name a few of my favorites: we are left with exhaustion, saggy boobs, hormone imbalances, stretch marked skin, thyroid disease, milk duct infections, back pain, varicose veins, memories of activities we once enjoyed and had time for, pangs for a waistline that is gone forever, and lost brain cells-whether actual or perceived!!!! Is it hard to not feel sorry for ourselves? For me, on some days, your darn right it's hard!!! But on most days, the "me" we give up is worth the "them" we gain, right? Is there anything on earth more rewarding than watching your children grow up beside a man you love and knowing that you can be with all of them forever? I haven't found it yet and don't expect to. I did the math and figured I have about 25 years to enjoy my children in my own home from Addy's birth, until Avery leaves for college. I don't want to let one minute of this precious time pass me by.

What do you do when you've got the "mom blues"? On the days I feel like there isn't any "me" left, I try to do something for myself; mani, pedi, hot bath, hair appointment, hubby massage, hobby indulgence, shopping-I can usually find a decent pity party companion. On the days I feel lost and unprepared for life as a stay-at-home mom I get down on my knees and thank God for the blessings in my life that allow me to be just that. Then I pray for comfort, peace and a renewed focus on forever. I love my job. I always wanted to grow up to be a mom, I just never knew exactly what that meant. Thanks Heavenly Father for answering my prayers.