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Working Woman

23 May

Since the weeks leading up to Bella’s birth I had been a stay at home Mom. My days were filled with housework, errands, kids and lots of little mindless tasks. It was not easy, but it was perfect. I watched them grow and change, I was here for anything they needed, I loved that time.

It’s gone now. Those breezy days of feeling like I might pull my hair out if I didn’t get to speak to at least one grown up. Keeping strangers on the phone when making appointments or ordering stuff. Those poor people, I’m sure I wasn’t the only Mama who told them EVERYTHING she was thinking about just to keep the adult conversation going.

Clearly I have an assortment of feelings about my time at home. I would never change it, if we ever had more (which we are SO NOT) I would do it again.

Now though, now I am a working woman again.

This new life is crazy busy and the things that slip past my attention are growing in numbers. I dove in head first, no floaties. Every day I get them on the bus and head to work, every day I try to find a free second to orchestrate all the things I used to have all the time in the world to manage, every day I suddenly notice the time and pack up and race off to this appointment, then that store, then to the kids before the after school program ends. I now remember why people get excited for Friday, and the weekend. Why stats and holidays are a big deal. How precious my time with my babies is, so much more now that I see them so much less.

The house is always waiting for my attention, always needing to be tidied, swept, scrubbed. It will keep waiting. The time I have at home now is for my kids, my husband, and for me. The dishes really can wait, the laundry is not going anywhere.

The other day Logan asked Scott when he would be able to see him more. His Dad explained to him that the reason we can have our home, stuff, food, activities and everything else is that Daddy works. Logan wondered when we would have enough money that he would get to see his Dad more. This breaks my heart, my boy is missing his Dad, and his Dad misses him, infinitely.  I would love to be able to offer him a date, a time, some idea of when we will all be able to spend more time together. I wish I could, but I can’t. What I can make sure he has is all of the attention I can give him when we are together. What we can offer is fun, laughter, cuddles, LOVE every moment we’re not apart.

I’m working, Scott is working. Our babies are in school. Our lives are busy.

The dishes will wait. We love our wrinkled t-shirts.

We will play and read. Sing and dance. We will love every moment. This woman will work for that.

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To Begin A New Year

1 Jan

Waking up this morning I found myself thinking of all of the things coming up this year that I am looking forward to. For the most part this is not usually how I wake up. Normally I find myself thinking of all the things I need to get accomplished, all the steps that need to be taken to get to that next phase.
This year Logan and Bella will be four and two. Scott and I will celebrate our sixth anniversary. Logan will start junior kindergarten. Big things, big steps that we will be taking as a family. And I am so excited.
In the past I have always been pushing for that next phase, expecting the next step in my life to be the one that leaves me feeling satisfied with where I’m at. Finishing high school, finishing college, getting a job, getting married, getting a house, having a baby, having another baby, renovating the house, getting a family vehicle. We have gone through all these phases. There are more ahead of us, but I’m not rushing to meet them. I’m ok with where we are and what we have. In fact I’m very happy with my life right now.
On this first day of a new year I resolve to be happy with all the wonderful aspects of my life. To stop waiting for the next step and live in the moment. I love my kids and my husband and my life is perfect. This year and for all that lay ahead of me I am going to appreciate the most important thing I have, my family.
Happy New Year!

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What I Thought I Knew, And Still Don’t Really Know

17 May

The years we spend caring about what others think of us start pretty young right? I think they do. I recall those years. Being worried about how I looked, what I said, how smart I was, or was not. Stressful. Most of those years I spent walking around assuming I was the only one with the thoughts I had. Feeling different and weird, and like I was always being singled out, in a negative way. Self conscious? Um yes. Shy? Also yes. I felt like no one in the world could possibly feel or think the way I did and so no one could understand me. And if they could not understand me they could not care about me, not completely. Pretty sad little thought process but it was there. Looking back now I see I was very self absorbed. I really believed that anyone who looked at me would form some kind of judgement in their mind.

I eventually realized that people weren’t really that concerned about everyone around them. They weren’t walking around looking for people to criticize. I remember very clearly driving down the road, probably with my Mom, and looking out the window. We drove past a house around dinner time and there were lights on inside. I don’t know what was different about that moment but just then it hit me. There was a family (or some people, or one person) in there having dinner and likely conversation about stuff. They had their own lives, their own concerns and I had nothing to do with it. On some level up until that point I had been assuming everyone else on the planet was essentially an extra on the set of my life. There most often to make me feel bad about myself and every now and then to befriend me. I wouldn’t say I consciously felt this way but looking back it sounds about right. I have to give myself some slack here and point out that most tween and teens have this perception of the world, at least I believe they do.

Somewhere in the course of my social development I came to a new conclusion, and started basing my assumptions and interactions on this new thought. That everyone was just like me. That people more or less go through the same thought process that I do and would mostly come to the same conclusions as I did if faced with the same decisions. That there was a logic, a way of seeing things that was universal. This method of understanding the people around me quickly showed it’s flaws, not that I let go of it or anything. When someone expressed an opinion different from my own I was confused. I tried to put their words and actions into my predetermined formula and they didn’t fit. It was frustrating. Why didn’t they have the same thoughts that I did? Aren’t we all governed by the same basic rules of how things work? What is right and wrong, good and bad? I still struggle with this. I”m stubborn and hard headed and when someone disagrees with me and I don’t understand why I get annoyed.

I have this innate need to understand. To get to the bottom of whatever it is I am thinking about or dealing with. To say it irritates the people around me would be an understatement. Scott gets the worst of it, and to him, a man who has truly mastered the art of the one word answer, my repetitious why’s  drive him up the wall.  More recently I have learned that my need to understand may be more of a need to control than to truly comprehend. Using the word understand makes it sound passive and interested. Really though I think my constant question asking is seeking out an answer I can change or manipulate. When things don’t go the way I want or expect them to I search for a way to change them. I have a hard time accepting that I can’t get my way.

Presently I have been able to recognize my selfish and manipulative traits and try to change them. And my most recent conclusion about humanity is that I was wrong. I am not especially different with everyone around me serving as background noise. And I am not just like everyone around me. Everyone is especially different. Not only physically and in opinion, but in thought process and decision making. We all have a different sense of the world and the people in it. I perceive the world in my own unique way, as does everyone else. It sounds obvious I know. Yet somehow I spent the majority of my thinking life believing otherwise. Perhaps it was my youth, naivety or narcissism.  I don’t know. What I know is that my children, like all others, will likely go through similar phases where their perception of their surroundings will not be accurate.  And that will be difficult for me, as their Mother. To try to guide them through their lives in a way that will lead them to a more complete picture of their world. If I just tell them they probably won’t really believe me. But I can’t leave them in the dark either. Breadcrumbs here and there containing what I have learned in my time is likely the best I will be able to do. They won’t hear most of it, I didn’t. What they do hear they may think is foolish coming from someone who could not possibly have ever experienced youth, that’s how I saw grown-ups when I was younger. If I wanted to let myself go there I could get really worked up about how scary what lays before me really is. How many ways I could ruin my kids. Send them down the wrong path or lead with the wrong example. It’s to big to wrap my head around completely I think. I’m not going to try, or even let myself start to panic the way I normally do when I see a situation ahead of me I will not be able to control. I am consciously choosing not to map out every option and detail. To deal with what comes as I see it and use the very best judgement I can at the time. I will make mistakes and sometimes maybe wish I could change things, but I promise to myself that I will always remember that I did the best I could.

That’s what we are all doing isn’t it? The best we can with what we have? I think so. And I think that’s a pretty great way to be. Always try your best. You can never look back with regret if you know you tried your best at every turn.

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