Category Archives: Day to Day

Legos and longing -second thoughts on working mom-dom.

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“Mommy and me”  by Jr, age 4

Late this morning over a quick lunch break, I was diving down the rabbit hole of Instagram to let my mind wander from a project I was a bit stuck on for work. I stumbled on a simple post of an ADORABLE baby sitting in the sun in a chair, giggling at his mom off camera. SO CUTE! I clicked to read the caption of this cuteness.

Two minutes later I was broken, sobbing and groping for tissues in a haze of envy and guilt and sadness.

The cutie-patootie’s mom posted the smushy picture of him to celebrate her first day as a stay at home mom. It is a simple thing, upon first thought. It was the second wave of my mind’s wandering that kind of ripped me in two.

It was her first day of being with that smiling boy at home, completely on purpose. Not because she was on vacation and trying not to think about the email that must be piling up and the fires that will need putting out when she returns.

Not because the baby was sick, or because plans for his care fell through, or because she was working from home with him there as well due to a heavy snow storm. (The latter of which never truly works, resulting in guilt about sticking in a video and begging the kiddo to please be quiet for that conference call, followed by work guilt because productivity drops when you have one eye on the laptop and one eye on your offspring.)

It was her first day without division in her mind, her heart, and her time. No internal war to be everything to everyone. For the first time, she was all his. Concentrating on him, and his surroundings, and nothing else, is ok for her now.

Years ago, before Junior came along, I would daydream about that being my reality

It wasn’t in the cards, and I adored the lovely Christ-centered daycare Junior attended during his first year of life. I am so proud of all he learns and of the way he has found his place in his little community at the academic center he attends now, truly I am.

In our neighborhood, there are many moms who stay home with their children, and I think it has accentuated some of the things I fear Junior misses as a “day care kid.”

He misses the flexibility of schedule to try new activities, or have a play date with neighbors, or even stay in pajamas all day “just because.” There’s no chance to abandon an activity to head outside for a bike ride or snowman building or kite-flying, regardless of perfect weather conditions.

Days are full of hurrying out the door late, off to day care as mom worries over email and deadlines and trying to cram it all in, while also figuring out when doctor appointments and dentist visits and haircuts might fit in to the picture. Of course, always keeping fingers crossed that Junior doesn’t get sick and bring the whole precarious mess to a screeching halt.

It’s a tough realization to find that I am resentful of my child for getting sick, when he does, because it throws off the tightrope walk that I am barely pulling off with him healthy.

Evenings are a blur of pick-ups and meal prep and rushing toward bedtime routine to (hopefully) get him in bed before “tired” turns to “overtired meltdown madness.” Usually I am thinking of the To Do list I need to get started on once he is asleep and praying that he will drift off quickly. Then in a few short hours the whole scene plays out again.

It feels like our family, and especially Junior and I, are running and running to get to some place or goal or SOMETHING, but never getting there.

Suddenly today, while inhaling my lunch and trying to distract myself from the reality of my truth, it smacked me square in the face.

Today is the first day of a really great new normal for that mom and her sweet smiling son.

Today for Junior is just another day where his mom bustled him off to “school” early because she was stressed about looming deadlines and semi-dreading what the impending snowstorm would mean for her ability to work tomorrow (while trying to squeeze in some “one eye on each” activity with him, if possible.)

You know what? That sucks.

My proudest accomplishments lie not within deadlines met and task lists checked off. They are measured in the way he pulls my ear down close to his mouth and whispers “I love you mommy,” and in the joy on his face as we build a new incarnation of a superhero hideout out of legos.

I do imagine what it would be like to focus just on him.

I don’t know what a next step would be – Instagram mom’s new SAHM path can’t be mine right now.

Parents who do stay at home with their children have challenges and feel conflicted too, I am sure. I don’t mean to discount the mountains each person must climb each day.

But I think that the search for a new normal has begun today…. in my heart, and I pray also in my actions.

 

 

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What if He doesn’t answer?

Do you ever feel like you just can’t pray enough about a decision? Like even seemingly perpetual, unending prayer is just not bringing your heart, mind, or hands closer to a course of action?
That is very much where I find myself just now. There are all of these monumental, life-altering, WAY TOO BIG FOR JUST ME choices coming at me in lightning succession, and I feel frozen – unable to move at all. I talk to God. Ask for clarity, guidance, wisdom, understanding…. Even a literal SHOVE in the right direction at this point.
All stays murky. No light, even at my feet to confirm that the ground will be there when I take my next step.
My doubt is compounded by my inability to wait for a clearer path to develop. These are decisions that have to be made – time won’t wait. So I guess… and then I second guess myself.

A lot.

SO MUCH.

Is the quiet, the lack of resounding confirmation and positive occurrence some sort of message that all is not well, that I am faltering and endangering my family’s welfare? I wonder with each decision I am forced to make in the vacuum of seeming unanswered prayer… is this the thing that will ruin it all? Is this what I should do?
“Be still” is not an option here. Absence of response is not an option here.
Reflecting on the past, God’s answers, his direction, his plan – none of that has manifested as a whisper I had to strain to interpret. I guess God knows me well enough to know that he has to hit me over the head with it –I don’t do subtle.
I don’t do risk well either – and each choice lately seems so full of risk.
I literally tremble with the fear of potential harm/greatness when I sit here thinking of the wheels I have set in motion.
In the quiet, the uncertainty, and the magnitude – still I pray.
Please Father… Please God. Don’t let me ruin absolutely everything chasing fool’s errands.
What do you do when it feels like God isn’t listening? When His plan seems more unclear than ever before, and you can’t feel His hand guiding you?
(No really… if you are a Spirit of Power reader, I’d love to know. How then, do you make those choices, when prayer upon prayer bring you no closer to and understanding of which road to choose?)
The comments section is open… share, if your heart calls you to.

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Failure and forgiveness

This year is what we refer to as “a Texas Christmas.” I love our every-other-year trips to spend the holidays with The Hub’s family, and I look forward to being there.
However, even as I fill the freezer with goodies for the housesitter and make my “over-prepared mom lists,” a shadow of a memory hangs over like a storm cloud in my soul.
On our last plane trip as we made our way through the airport, I was juggling the car seat on a wheelie, two backpacks, and Jr and rushing to keep up with The Hub.
We approached an escalator to decend to the trains to the concourses, and I hesitated, but felt pressure to be able,to handle it all, so I tried to put Jr, myself, and our stuff all on at once. His hand slipped from mine, and he fell down several steps before landing on his bottom 5 steps in front of me.
I felt every eye on me- the weight of judgement so heavy I was paralyzed by it. He, looked up at me, terrified, I forced a smile and told him everything was ok. Everything was not ok.

That moment is burned forever on my heart. The horror of what happened, and of what could’ve happened, plays over and over in my mind. All of the things I should’ve done differently and the many ways the fault was all mine overwhelm me still, over half a year from that day.
Again and again as I remember it, I have begged God for forgiveness for being so careless with the most precious gift he could ever give me.
But here’s the thing, I know in His eyes I am forgiven.  He pours out his love as a salve for the wound of guilt and shame that has left my heart raw and open.
It is me who cannot forgive myself. Truthfully, I don’t think I am ready to try.  It feels as if I let the shame go, I am somehow diminishing the gravity of what happened.
I know God wants to take that pain, I know he doesn’t want my heart growing dark from the ache.  I can’t bring myself to truly give it to him. I feel I have failed him, I am not worthy of that forgiveness. But none are worthy – it is a gift he gives.
I am sure there will be many prayerful moments as we travel… I hope a successful trip during the season of love and rebirth will allow me head to begin letting forgiveness into my heart.

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Oh, and there is this too…

Jr is walking.  He has taken a few steps here and there on his own, but he is mostly still holding on to things.  But that does not stop him from walking all over.

And he is starting to talk.

And I think it is making him not want to sleep.  EVER.

EEEEEVVVEEEERRRR.

Well, really it is that he doesn’t want to slow down to go to sleep.

Rocking in the rocking chair had become part of our routine since he learned to stand on his own, since every night after that looked like high holy mass in his crib – he would sit, kneel, and stand over and over again, and I would sing and pray.  A lot.

So rocking worked for us – stories in the chair and rocking and cuddling was the ticket.  But now it is a new sport in our house, Rocking Chair Wrestling.

And mommy loses every night.

I think it is time to move on to find the next “something” that works for the final parts of the bedtime routine – and I think it is probably going to involve some crying for Jr, and probably for me.

It is SO trying being in the nursery, sitting in that chair with him, just praying so hard that he will drift off to sleep.  He is so tired, and frankly at this point by the time he actually falls asleep he is over tired from an hour of being up and pushing with his little limbs against anything he can feel to push on.

So hard.

I am starting to dread bedtime every night, because I know it is going to be a battle.  😦

I am fairly anti-Ferber – but I also want to foster a little independence on the journey to sleepy town.  I doesn’t help that I seem to have packed my copy of “the No Cry Sleep Solution” in the pre-market packing frenzy at The Tree House.

Sigh.

So tired.

 

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Whoa.

When you get in alignment with God’s plan for you – it is almost dizzying how fast everything starts to fall in line.

For years I struggled in the wrong direction – and then one day it hit me that I was trying for things I no longer wanted in a place I no longer wanted to be.

We made a new plan and I prepared to begin struggling up that path as well.

BUT NO – doors opened, opportunities lined up and in the blink of an eye I am at a new job in my home town, the Tree House is under contract, and we are searching for the perfect little house to within sneezing distance of where I grew up to become home for our little family.

Wow.

Just wow.

Oh -and PRAISE HIM.

(but please excuse the absence – just trying to get myself and the fam migrated over into the whole new world.)  🙂

 

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Dear Tree House

Dear Tree House,

I love you.

And I actually (for how much I say it,) don’t say that lightly at all.

You’ve been the best house, and it was totally a love affair between me and you from the moment you became our home.

Sure, we had another “married” home before you – but not one we picked together.  Not one where I was considering someone else when I thought “this is PERFECT.”

You have been so perfect for us.

Your flowing floor plan has embraced countless friends as we celebrated birthdays, holidays, and Saturdays-with-no-other-good-reason.

Your high-and -lonesome location way above street level has allowed us to woop it up with burgers and dogs on my supah sweet Patio Caddy (google it, highrise folks, it will change your life,) and also to close ranks and “raise the draw-bridge” in times of crisis.

I adore you.   I have from the second I walked into you and prayed that The Hub would love your generous, bright rooms, and GIANT balcony the way that I have – because I didn’t want to do without you.

I am not abandoning ship because I had this tiny person and everything I ever thought about you changed.
OH NO.

I adore you more than ever.

You are where my son lived the first year of his awesome life.  You are immortalized in my mind.  I will drive him by – like my parents have done with our first little house on sweet little Mason Circle – and I will point towards your balcony and say “there was your first house, Jr.  I was SO proud of it, and of the family we grew while we were there.”

He will roll his eyes.  He will demand to go to the Cherry Cricket for burgers like I promised him.

And some day – long after – he will get it.   He will know that it was pretty cool that he was a total urban highrise kiddo back then.  He will marvel at my mad parallel parking skills the way that my best friend  Misty and I did the first time we came looking for my first apartment with my mom (who was raised in the city,) and she parallel parked the car in a tiny little city space like she was pulling a Yugo into a handicapped van space.  (we were mesmerized, I assure you.)

I digress.

You’ve been the best house.

Whoever buys you had better love you so much…  and know of your fabulousness.

Oh how I have loved you so.

You are the best house.  Let’s find you a fabulous next inhabitant so you can make fabulous memories for them too.

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Happy Birthday Jr!

From this:

and this:

To This:

And this:

Happy Birthday Junior – from the luckiest, proudest Momma in the whole wide world!

 

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How was this a year ago?

A year ago I was 3 days away from the arrival of Jr and I posted this (now semi-hillarious, considering the timing,) little ditty.

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Now that my mind is made up…

It is REALLY made up. Like we had been planning it for years.  Like part of me I had forgotten just woke up, rested and ready and fighting to get free.

And I can’t stop humming this song:

 

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How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb, er BURBS, that is.

It is no secret to anyone that The Hub and I consider ourselves Urban-dwellers at this point.  The centrally-located fabulousness of The Tree House had me convinced that we would raise our hypothetical off-spring there for many happy years to come.  I truly believed that I would leave my little palace in the sky only when someone pried me, kicking and screaming, to a house not quite so perfectly located, but still very much in central Denver.

So here we are – it is go-time on the house hunt.

For months (ok, years really,) I have been psyching myself up about the concessions people make in our central neighborhoods – limited square-footage, tiny closets, nutty floor plans, basement master suites (hey, at least it has good closet space and an actual master bath,) and the like.   I told myself that as a proponent of the Not So Big House movement, all of these things would fit right in with my idea of a great home.  We can find a house we will love in a neighborhood with a good public school for Junior that is still close to all of the action.

Then last week, while responding to a Facebook post from an old hometown friend, it occurred to me that while the city may have lots to offer that is oh-so-appealing to mom and dad, the ‘burbs is kind of where it’s at for a kid.   So much easy access to all the things a kid loves – and with no parking nightmares for the parents!  An epiphany the size of the city AND county of Broomfield (and that is big, people,) hit me – I think I *want* Jr to grow up in the suburbs.   The city will always be there, and we will always have places we love to go within it, but I think I want Jr. to know the best of all worlds – city adventure one day, wide open spaces the next.  Room to ride bikes and beautiful suburban golf courses for The Hub to share with his son.  It is so not about The Hub and I as we defined ourselves in the past – it is all about the family we have become, and the needs of that family.

I think I want Jr. to have the space to discover who he is and where he wants to go in this big, promising, wonderful world – just like his dad and I both did when we were growing up.

(Oh, an I could probably get used to wandering out of my beautiful kitchen, through my over-sized garage, down the clean and well-kept street, and into a lounge chair next to the development’s private pool, too.  Not all the perks are for the kiddos exclusively.)

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