Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Guilt

I took last week off.  I spent the week in Bellevue with Brian while he worked.  And I did nothing and everything.  I let myself relax, I reflected on what I needed to change and I tried to remember what I was like before this move. 

I had quite a few comments from others mentioning sarcastically not to feel guilty about taking the time for myself.  And you know what honestly I didn't.  I didn't feel guilty one lick.  I never feel guilty when I give myself a time out because unless I am at my best I can't do anything right.  The things I do feel guilty for are when I'm exhausted, impatient, snappy, grouchy, when I yell, when I am unable to give my children the grace they deserve and when I just can't hack it at this mom thing.  Sometimes I can't hack it and I am not ashamed to say it out loud.  Sometimes I need a break.  It used to be that I could have a break whenever I felt these symptoms coming on. I had the support of friends and family around and if I needed a night off it was simple call and help was there for me to have.  I was spoiled folks I realize, but it was what I was accustomed to for the past nearly 10 years and it helped me to operate at an optimal level:)  I miss it beyond anything you could imagine and it is hard to become accustomed to anew normal but I will get there.

Over the last months I have found myself trying to accommodate for what my kids are now missing. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Friends and neighbors and the like and I am exhausted.  And over the last week I have realized that that really isn't my job or my responsibility.  Guilty feelings associated with this move are what have caused me to react in such a way and it is over the top ridiculous.  You see no matter how much better our current existence has become for me over the last month my kids are still struggling and maybe its because I am constantly trying to make it better for them rather them making them buck up a bit.  Even though I am not audibly apologizing to them I am enabling them to wallow a bit in what they miss, what they desire constantly trying to stretch myself in a new way fashion myself into someone else that they miss. And friends I don't think its helping.  In fact it is an action I promised my self I would not perform when we first moved.

Elliot is most definitely taking it the hardest.  In fact mothering him as of late has been so incredibly difficult I am not even sure I know how to help him or fix him or make it better.  I have been at my wits end, every day is a new challenge.  I think part of this is just a new phase we are entering, a new stage of development that we would be experiencing no matter where we are.  But part of the problem is a reaction to the move and he is acting out as a way of allowing us to know his distaste for the situation.  I have tried every tool in my toolbox, have instituted positive reinforcement, initiated every form of discipline and consequence and he just doesn't seem to care.  And even though I am beyond frustrated and exhausted with him mostly it just breaks my heart and every night I fall asleep praying that God would show me how to fix him.  I share this openly because I think it is important to not only share the good moments I have with these little cherubs but the bad as well.  Although I don't know right now how I will survive this time I do have hope that we will make it through to the other side. And I will share that here as well because I know God will lead the way and hopefully at the end I will have the tiniest bit of wisdom from my experience.  I think there is value when we acknowledge openly that we are going through a rough bit.  its not always rainbows and butterflies.  Sometimes this parenting thing baffles me and I have no idea what I am doing!

Grace on the other hand is thriving for the most part.  Homeschool seems to be her jam, it has not only fit her personality but has built her confidence.  Over a year ago she chose to quit ballet and art and over the last month she chose to add them back in.  It has been beautiful to watch her blossom and grow and for me to know that God used me to help her through what she was experiencing is a blessing as a mother!  She does get homesick from time to time and cries for her Grandma's and her girlfriends, but for the most part this girl is on fire.  Believe me I am under no delusion that this will last forever and at some point she will most likely trade places with her brother and we struggle through a new phase with her.  But right now she's great and she's a blessing and she bring light and love to our family through singing and dancing and her overall exuberance for life.

The exhaustion that has come with homeschooling here away from my support system has exhausted me.  It is day in day out 24/7 attached parenting from morning until night and most days I do pretty good but its still tiring.  Add some parenting issues on top of that and we have a recipe for a much needed mommy time out.  And so that is what I had last week, a mommy time out.  I had visions of coming back from our vacation from each other with magically fixed attitudes and spirits but that really wasn't realistic.  It seems that the vacation gave me a new outlook.  It showed me once again that I need to take time for me and there needs to be no guilt attached to that.  A trip to Target is not a break, buying toilet paper and toothpaste is not therapeutic or cleansing.  I also realize that my wonder woman complex is way out of control right now, I believe it can be an effective tool because some days you do just need to throw on your cape and fly forward but some times we need to hang up the cape and throw on our favorite sweats and retire for the day, some days you have to give someone else the cape and ask for help.  I stink at asking for help but I am realizing more and more that that doesn't mean that I don't need it, it simply means that I suffer through things that I don't need to instead of sharing the load.  I do this in my marriage, my friendships  and I do it with God and its exhausting.  I pledge to work on it. 

And so this is what went through my mind last week.  I attempted to make a plan....I also stink at plans.  But I for surely got myself into a new frame of mind.  I came to the conclusion once again that I have know way of knowing what the future holds.  I do k now however it will bring more change and more room to grow, it will most likely bring another move much sooner than later.  But you know what I remembered the most is that God is with us no matter where we are no matter what we are experiencing and he holds all the answers and all the hope.  This last week was good for us all and a break was what I needed. 

No Guilt.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I needed this post. Every single bit of it. I totally relate to you in so many ways but I have such a rough time with the guilt. I feel your pain with Elliot. I really do. I get it. I get wanting to fix all the problems so that they don't have to suffer. I get the 24/7 parenting. I get the not wanting to ask for help or maybe just not feeling like it's ok. I am so with you and so refreshed to hear your perspective.
I too trust in the Lord and I am grateful for the person he is working hard to shape me into but man, I am not an easy molder I guess ;)
You are wonderful.
love you!!