Thursday, August 18, 2016

It's been a year...

First of all, blogging and working full time don't really mix for me. My blogging days are few and far between. It has been a year since our year was rocked completely. I celebrated my one year anniversary at my employer this week. I cannot even believe it has been that long. It has been the longest year ever, but somehow managed to fly by. I spent my first fall break away from my family. They all stayed around the house, while we had foundation work done on the house and I worked everyday. I spent my first Christmas break away from my family. I had a few days off, but not quite the chunk of time they had. I did most of my Christmas shopping online on Black Friday and ordered sporadic things here and there. We managed to decorate the tree and wedge it in our tiny living room and put up some of the favorite decorations.  We scrambled when kids were sick, trying to figure out which parent had the least amount of things to do at work that day. Sometimes we had to call in my mom for back up. During all of this, we alternated weekly doctor appointments for nearly 3 months, which ultimately ended up in a child being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I've pretty much become a slacker in the kitchen. Gone are the days of my hours in the kitchen cooking yummy things from scratch. Usually I'm scrambling to make something quick and easy, while helping with homework and making sure showers are taken. We have some days where we don't set foot into our house until it is time for bed. When you have 2 parents who are working full-time and then some, with 3 kids involved in one activity each, you have to get really creative with your time. There are days I literally crash into bed while still wearing my clothes and I don't wake up until the next morning. 

This year has been really hard. It has been especially hard on me because I have always been there for my family. I have had to learn that I cannot do it all and I have to depend on other people. I've learned it is okay to tell people no. It is okay to put things on the back burner. It is okay if I have pay for people to deliver my groceries or clean my house, because I simply cannot do it all.  It has mostly been survival for me because there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish what I need to do. That's been a hard pill to swallow. I can't stay up late anymore trying to finish up on what needs to be done for the next because my new wake up time is 5:30, and if I do not get at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep, I cannot function the next day. 

My children have not only survived, but they have flourished. They made new friends, tried new sports, stayed on the honor roll, and gained more confidence. They have all adjusted so well. They do miss mommy, but we are used to it and for now it is our normal.

I always said that I didn't know if I'd homeschool forever. I took it year by year. I can honestly say that I miss it so much. I miss that time with my children, and if you are blessed enough to be able to homeschool your children, treasure those days. They are rough and they often ended with many of us in tears, but I will never regret pouring that time into my children. It was a gift for which I'm thankful and I pray I have the opportunity to do it again one day. 

But here are the things I didn't expect.... I didn't expect to be in better shape physically than I have in years. The scales really don't budge and I'm still a fatty, but I'm a strong fatty. I have exercised consistently for about 8 months. By consistently, I mean 3-5 days a week and doing cardio and strength training. I have made dear friends at work. I have alone time again. We are taking our children to Disney World for fall break! Something that never would have happened before. Then I decide things aren't crazy enough, so I become a LuLaRoe Consultant. I'm super excited to see where that journey takes me. Right now it is fun and I'm obsessed with the clothing. 

It is hard to say where we will be one year from now. We may be doing the exact same things we are doing now. Maybe I'll be working in LuLaRoe full-time and homeschooling my kids again. Maybe I'll be working on my masters. Or maybe we'll get a wild hair and move across the country.  Heck, maybe we will become nomads and live in our camper while traveling. All I know is that I didn't foresee myself here where we are - but yet we are here anyway. If I've learned one thing in my life, it is to not really make plans and to go with the flow and ultimately to trust God's plan and His timing. I also know that my family will never stop chasing our dreams, especially our God sized dreams. 

Peace out homies. 

Saturday, December 05, 2015

It's a Wondeful Life?

I’m sitting here watching It’s a Wonderful Life. The main guy’s life just falls apart. He is just completely overwhelmed and feels like the world would be better off with out him. I’m just sitting here thinking, I get it dude. I get it.

Sometimes I look around and I get completely overwhelmed. There is so much I need to do. Such much I want to do. Such much I thought I would do. So much I can’t do. It’s disheartening.

I can’t seem to keep my house clean for more than a few days. There so are many things I want to make, but I just don’t have the time. I’m constantly questioning my path in life. Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing? There are so many people I want to help, but it’s just too much.

There are many days I try so hard to do all of these things and yet when I lay down at night, I still fail. I feel like I am running in a race that I will never win. When it gets get too bad, I just quit. I quit trying.

I need a miracle. We all need a miracle. Even if you have it all together, you need a miracle. Because eventually life will drag you down. Life can be so cold and hard. Sometimes we feel like what we do will never matter.

When my emotions start into that downward spiral, I remind myself that even though life may not always be wonderful, there are so many wonderful things in life. If you know me well, you know that my faith is important to me. My life wouldn’t have much purpose, if I didn’t have my faith. I’ve abandoned my faith in the past, but ultimately I know that sweet baby Jesus, was sent here for me. He redeemed me and through Him I have found true grace. I don’t deserve it. I didn’t earn it, but I have it.

And then there are people. Those people in your life that get you through. The ones in your family. The ones who you’ve made family. You know, your people. They remind you that even when things are hard, you aren’t alone.  You make memories with these people. They become the people that are on the pages of your life story. They help you write the story.

It’s definitely true, that life may not be wonderful, but so many things are truly good and wonderful in life. Having a special someone. A hug from your child. A warm smile from a stranger. A compliment from a friend. A good song that stirs your soul. Cuddling with a pet. Reading a good book. A hot bath. Making someone else smile. Laughing until you almost pee on yourself. Your favorite drink. A good night’s sleep. Your favorite pants/shirt being clean and ready to wear. Netflix binges. Being creative. The smell of a new baby’s head. Having a friend who is just as weird as you. I could keep rambling on, but you get the point.

Tonight when I go to bed with tons of laundry, a messy house, a bag of unfinished crochet projects, and still questioning if I'm on the right path,  I’m going to think about all of these good things. I pray you can find your wonderful things and keep on trucking, friends.

~Peace out homies

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ode to the mamas

It's been on my mind a lot lately. The mommy wars thing. Specifically the working mom vs. stay at home mom topic. In my short month back at work, I've heard a whole gamut of comments. I truly don't understand why it has to be this way. I mean does it truly matter what another family is doing? Especially since most families are just trying to do the best they can for their own family. I never in a million years imagined myself as a stay at home mom. Yet the moment I held my baby boy, I knew that is what my heart desired. We weren't able to make that happen until he was three years old and we had a baby girl. The thought of being separated from my baby all day long and trying to breastfeed her while working was unbearable. But there are moms who do it all of the time. I did it with Harrison. I was already staying at home when Sam was born, so it wasn't a choice I had to make. It didn't make sense for me to try to go back to work after his birth. Then we were homeschooling for a bit. Honestly, I felt comfortable in that role and I felt that is where I'd be forever. I imagine there are many women who find themselves in this situation. Moms who have no choice to go back to work because they find themselves newly single, whether it be because they are divorced or widowed. Moms who are supporting the family while a spouse deals with a job loss, a career change, health issues, or perhaps going to school for a period of time. Maybe they are moms like me. Moms who could keep staying at home, but knowing that the goals for the entire family will be better reached when mom is contributing more financially. Or maybe it is a mom who knew she'd be going back to work as soon as her youngest reached a certain age. There are also plenty of moms who never desire to leave a fulfilling career and that is totally fine also. Just as there are moms who stay at home with their children for the whole shebang....and that is also great.

Bottom line is that is really doesn't freaking matter. I don't love my family any more or any less than I did when I wasn't working full-time. I love them the same. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure our family is happy and healthy. I'm doing my best. Just like I was doing my best when I woke up every day to teach my children at home. Just like I did my best when I spent my days playing with toddler and a baby. Just like I did my best working with one child who was in daycare. I didn't make any of these choices to try to make another mother feel badly about herself. I made them for my family. Why do women feel judged? Why do we feel we have to justify ourselves if we do something differently than someone else? 

Here are some examples of the comments women have to endure. 

The Homeschooling Mom might hear:
Oh, I could never teach my children. They drive me crazy. We butt heads. More power to you. I'm glad to send my kids to school. I enjoy them way more when I'm not with them all day.

The Mom Who Sends Her Kid to School might hear: 
Oh, I could never send my kids away for 8 hours every day. I enjoy being with my kids and I want to know exactly what they are learning and exposed to at school. I only have them for 18 years and I want to savor it. 

The Working Mom might hear: 
I don't know how you do it. I could never send my baby to daycare. I would miss them too much and I would be afraid they'd stay sick all the time. I don't want someone else experiencing all of their firsts.

The Stay-at-Home Mom might hear: 
I would get so bored staying at home. There's no way I'd be able to sit at home all day. I need adult interaction. I need to feel like I'm contributing to my family. 

Some of these comments are true, but I feel like women say them in such a way to try to belittle another mom's choice. 

Why can't we just say.....

Oh, that's great! I'd love to hear how that works for your family. How can I best offer you support? 

If you've been there and done that, you can totally empathize with another mom. If you've never been in her shoes, you could just ask her what her day is like. It doesn't have to be a comparison. It isn't a comparison.

I can honestly say that I've been on both sides of the spectrum now. It's all hard. The hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Raising humans is hard work. I think we all go to bed at night wondering how badly we are f@#king them up? How many years of therapy they will need to survive adulthood? And thankful that God will fill in the gaps where we truly and utterly suck at life. 

Ladies, we have to love and support each other. This isn't a competition. It isn't a race. We are all trying to raise decent humans who make a difference in this world. It is much harder to do that if we all aren't on the same team. Let's work together and raise awesome humans with the support of one another. #teamMom #TheWorldNeedsAllKindsOfMoms

~Peace out homies.