Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Ugly Truth

   I knew the day would come.  Everything I read warned about it.  The comedians joked about it.  I thought it would hold off a bit longer though.  What day am I talking about?  The day that the big yellow bus shines in all it's glory as it passes by your house, whisking children away for 8 hours at a time.  I look around my house and think about the things that I could accomplish if my kids weren't home all day long.  I look at my toe nails, remnants of last summer's red polish still there.  Oh how nice a pedicure would be.  There's a pile of old mail on the mantle, kid's school work piled on the baker's rack waiting to be filed, the classroom closet is a disaster, I can't remember when I last washed our sheets.  Our last date night was over 6 months ago, a lunch date now sounds like a luxury.  When did I fall into this pit?  How do I get out?  I once loved my job, now I dream about having a paying job just so that I get a 30 minute lunch break to myself each day.
   I know that this is the best for my family but I can't help but wonder what the best thing for me is.  Where am I in all of this?  Who am I these days?  I used to enjoy scrapbooking with friends once a month, that hasn't happened in several years.  In fact, I rarely talk to those friends anymore, we all have our own lives and with all our kid's schedules, it's just hard.  What's sad is that I don't even find the time to scrapbook on my own.  I learned to sew a little over a year ago, I enjoy it but never had the time for it.  My once always "company ready" house is now one rainy day away from FEMA declaring it a disaster zone.  My kids are all still happy so I guess something is going right, but I'm not happy.

   I'm not happy with how my house looks, I'm not happy with how I feel, I'm not happy with the weight that I've gained over the past 3 years and I'm not happy with myself.  I want to be excited about life again.  I want to have something to look forward to each week.  I want to feel like I have actually accomplished something each day.  Instead, I'm exhausted by the time dinner is over so the kitchen gets left.  Laundry piles up and it seems it only gets washed when we need a specific article of clothing or a towel clean.  What do I really do all day?  The kids get their school work done.  Random things around the house get picked up, but the floors get left.  The laundry and dishes get neglected.  I get neglected.  Where is the dream of being a perfect housewife?  Where is the excitement of spending each day with my children?  Where is the joy in following God's will for my family?

   Honestly, I think this is what drove women into the workforce to begin with.  They didn't have blogs or facebook to be able to share their feelings with thousands of other women going through the same thing.  Sure, they talked to friends on the phone but if it was anything like it is when I get on the phone, they didn't talk long before the kids started interrupting.  So how do women make it?  How do I keep my head up, force a smile and keep going through all of these feelings?  Why do I feel guilty for feeling this way?  Anywhere you turn, you can find articles and blogs saying why being a working mom is best, why being a stay at home mom is best, why homeschooling is best.  Where are the blogs of working women saying they sometimes hate it?  Where are the blogs of stay at home moms saying they sometimes hate it?  Where are the blogs of the homeschooling moms saying they sometimes hate it?  Why are we all so scared to admit that being a mom is tough and that our situation is not as glamorous as we thought it would be?

   As a working mom, I envied those stay at home moms.  I wanted to be the room mom when my son got in school.  I wanted to have weekly lunch dates with my friends.  I wanted to have time to pick the house up and then sit down and enjoy it being clean, while reading a book, until it was time to pick my son up.  When I found out we were expecting #2, that's exactly what I did.  I had 3 years of being a stay at home mom while one was in school.  It wasn't quite what I imagined, as tuition was expensive and we were short my income.  When faced with going back to work to afford tuition for 2 kids, I couldn't find a job that I actually wanted to do and my oldest was begging to homeschool.  We prayed about it, I read about it and we decided to go for it.  I now see exactly how God had prepared us for that and how He has provided for us to be able to do this.

   I jumped into homeschooling with expectations of how wonderful it was going to be.  Our first year, the oldest's kindergarten year, was great.  Then in year 2, our foster son (soon to be adopted son) came to live with us.  Later that year, our foster daughter came to live with us.  This 3rd school year has been our absolute worst year.  I've felt disorganized much of the year, our schedules have been way too overloaded and school felt like just one more chore that needed to be done.  From talking with other families, I know that this is normal but it's still very hard.  Especially since we now have a baby on the way.  How will we get it all done to finish up this year?  How will we get through next year with 2 little ones and 3 in school (preschool, k/1st and 3rd)?  It's overwhelming!  We've got to make room in our house for the baby, get rid of lots of clutter that's causing our house to stay a mess, find a more independent way of doing school so that each subject isn't depending on me to teach and also move some rooms around.  While I barely have the energy to do it, I can't lift anything heavy so I can't do it on my own.

   I feel worthless on most days!  Nothing fits these days so I'm wearing yoga pants and t-shirts, very comfortable but not so great for feeling good about yourself.  The house has been worse than ever for the past month or so and what little I get done, gets undone in a matter of minutes by the kids.  It's winter so Gabe's work hasn't been what we're used to so groceries have been drastically budgeted.  No big deal except now there's always someone that doesn't like what I've cooked.  This feels the worst as most days I don't even feel like cooking.  I feel really bad if Gabe doesn't like it.  School is getting done but we've moved away from the fun school we used to do to just trying to get it done for the year so we can have our summer to get organized.  In all of this I feel like a failure.  I don't know where to turn or what to do to make it better.  I feel like I need a maid and a nanny just to get everything done.  

   I know that this is best for us so I keep going.  I keep working and looking forward to my kids all being potty trained and able to make their own sandwiches.  I wish away the sweet toddler years because they're hard.  I wish away the innocent childhood years because it keeps me from being able to be myself.  I don't want to feel like this but there is little to no support to reach out to in order for me have time alone or time with my husband.  Paying a sitter for 4 crazy kids isn't an option right now.  Having a weekend away just the 2 of us is a distant dream that likely won't come true any time soon.  I'm a mom, that's my job.  It comes with it's own rewards but lately I'm looking for them pretty hard.  I'll get through it, I will survive and one day soon I will look back on this day and smile, glad that these feelings have passed and I am once again happy in my job as a Stay-At-Home-Homeschool-Mom.  Until that day, I pray!!!!