Archive for April, 2014

To Mothers Everywhere

You are amazing and wonderful!

The one constant of motherhood I’ve seen since before I had kids has been the vicious circle of judgement and comparing. I remember thinking of how things were suppose to be, not just for me but how things should just work.  For everyone.  

Best picture I’ve seen in a long time!

I’ve learned more bit by bit and when Michael was a baby I realized that those I still felt a little judgmental towards once I’d take the time to listen to their story I understood why they made the choices they did and the judgment dissolved away.  Most of my “this is the right way” thinking went out the window at high speeds when I had Charlet.  I can’t think of anything I said starting with “I will never” or “my kids won’t” that hasn’t come back around to bite me.  Life isn’t perfect and nothing follows plans how one hopes they will.

The past few days I’ve noticed or heard of several Mom’s having to defend their choice to stay at home to either society in general, neighbors, strangers who feel it appropriate to comment on others parenting choices, and online social networking.  It makes me sad that judgments are thrown around in all directions.  Women who plan on staying at home and rearing their children are told that the college education they are working hard at is a waste of time since they just want to stay at home. Someone with an in demand degree makes the choice to stay at home or work a job that the hours are better for their family life is throwing that knowledge away demeans the hard work and value, financial and family, of having a mom be home with the children.  

The infinite list of people who tell me {yes, this one is personal} “I know you are busy but if you just XYZ for 15-20 minutes a night then this one small aspect will improve and be wonderful!”  then my mind hears some sarcastic comment that I hopefully manage to keep inside.  It’s like an eternal list of ways and reasons I’m not perfect and never will be because 15-20 minutes X 3 kids X endless number of XYZ items + full time job + housework = impossible.  Stay at home moms who on frustrating days of teething babies and answering “why?” every 45 seconds telling their neighbor that they wish they could go to work but they love their children too much to leave them with a babysitter to raise them because children need their mothers makes it easy to feel like anyone who does work and leaves kids with a babysitter doesn’t love their kids as much.

Then there are people like where I use to be.  Generalized situation, this parenting choice is best regardless.  At least until certain situations come around and then it’s acceptable but you are still settling for less than ideal and who doesn’t want ideal for their family?  I was once informed by a local busy body that it’s okay that I work since I “have to” followed up with a poor Heather sigh.  Yes right now I have to work, most single parents don’t have a choice.  Some days I sit in my car before I clock in worrying about how the kids are doing or cry about missing a treasured event or feel guilty when I look at the clock and realize it’s 5 pm and I haven’t talked to any of the kids after school because we’ve been busy but my phone shows several missed calls from them.  Other nights I go to sleep grateful I get to come to work in the morning because that day at home with the kids was long, hard, and I want a break.

I wonder if the self judging that mothers around the globe seem to excel at is more damaging than the judging from neighbors and society.  They are definitely interconnected and I wish that moms could go to sleep at night confident they had done their best and everything is going to work out just fine.  In my dream world that is the one thing I would change instead of dragging ourselves and others down we could support each other in our choices.  Whether it’s working or staying at home, keeping kids’ time unscheduled and free or signing them up for multiple activities, bottle or breastfeeding, or small decisions like taking time to talk and watch the sunset instead of having a perfect reading record and laundry all done.  

With that I’ll step off my soapbox and hope for the next 90 minutes to hurry past so I can go home and sleep.

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Cancer Sucks

I miss my 3 West peeps the last few days. Especially today.  So many thoughts and feelings running through my head that I can’t share other than cancer sucks. Friends that I wonder how they are doing, comfy chairs I’d sit in and eat hot tamales. 

One more time, cancer sucks. 

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Soooo tired

It’s been a full, full day starting at the rental to check out some renters (anyone looking for a place to live?) then onto things I can’t detail out just yet. Kaede wanted to do an Easter Egg hunt for Kaleb and Emmitt which I believe was more helpful with her having something to do. We sure do love those boys and Miss Ruby was so sweet today too. I’ve talked to tons of people, made lots of arrangements all while wearing painting clothes and looking a lot like I could use a hot bath and pampering. I didn’t realize how rough I looked until I peeked in the mirror. Oh well, it is what it is.

I’m excited for tomorrow but already exhausted and I have cake to make still. And other stuff too. I’ve found it easy to slip into grumpy land today about having to do this on my own then I realize how many people are helping and then I’m just overwhelmed. 

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The spring before Kaede turned 3 she woke me up with an excited level of about 9 on a 0-10 scale. She drug me out to look out the window at our yard.

I looked out and sighed. So many weeds, so little grass in our lawn, so many dandelions gone to seed after I’d tried to kill them last fall. The excitement from not yet 3 year old Kaede pulled me out of sulking. “We are the luckiest people in the world Mom, just look!”  I looked and couldn’t see anything to be particularly excited about much less anything from behind the old drafty window at a yard that needed a complete overhaul. The sparkle in Kaede’s eye and the excitement seeping out of everywhere made me look again. 
Weeds, dead lawn, old porch, dirty window and no clue what had Kaede so excited. She took me by the hand to the yard and Vanna White style she pointed at  the lawn and said “Look !”  Our yard is full of wishes!  We are so lucky Mom. 
Kaede still calls dandelions that have gone to seed “wishes” and her perspective on life, Hard Things, and weeds is what I kept thinking about during this last conference when they discussed being grateful. It’s not a list she writes or a cute meme posted to Facebook it’s just in every part of her and how she lives her life. I hope she never looses that part of her. She has seen more than her fair share of hard things and still manages to be smiling from her soul with gratitude.  

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My house is so very kind

It has been patient through Feb and March never once failing in patience waiting for me to clean. Several science experiment practices plus the real science project, Kaede’s stress ball factory (flour everywhere!), dinners to be delivered, rolls to be made it needs a full day worth of attention.

That day is not tomorrow. Tomorrow I am hoping to finish painting my room downstairs so it can cure and then stuff can be hauled down next week sometime. I look around the house after today’s crazy long shift with my body screaming for bed and dishes sitting and waiting oh so patiently, laundry remnants from our last folding marathon that if not productive was definitely memory making. 
Oh, Kaedeism of the day. Heading into scripture time she said “is it still that really confusing guy? When does he stop writing?”  Yeah, we are in 2 Nephi and have been for what seems like a really long time. Charlet has been picking up on some of Isiah’s beautiful imagery, eventually we will hit the stories Kaede recognizes, in just about a week. 

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Tonight as I lay not sleeping I can’t help but feel overwhelming gratitude, not so much for my Hard Things but for the perspective and growth I’ve received. My heart is full tonight and I have no one to share it with except for you.

I went for a short, slow walk today in the cold and wind. It wasn’t an enjoyable walk by any means but along the way I took this picture. 
Tree blossoms
The walk sucked, but this moment, this phone picture was worth it. 
I don’t know how long the feeling will last, but for now I can clearly see that my Hard Things will be worth it (eventually) provided I can hold tight to the truths I know.  As hard as it is to think about and hope for my timing to match up with God’s timing tonight I will be patient. Instead of sharing my thoughts and feelings with a best friend I will share it on my blog (sorry for the rambling and side roads)
A new favorite scripture is Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:42) I’ve never had a cup I’ve wanted removed as much as I do now, but I know when I choose to follow the Lord’s will things turn out better than is possible for me to imagine.  Nevertheless, not my will but thine.  I pray for the guidance to know what that will is and for the strength and courage to continue and the perspective needed to remain grateful. 

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I had originally wanted to get my bedroom done and both me and Kaede moved downstairs by my birthday. I should have realized exactly how unrealistic of a goal that was with work, kids, housework, my March motivational level.

I’m getting closer, and I think I’m going to enjoy having the downstairs to relax in and take some of the over crowding from upstairs. By closer I mean the rugs downstairs shampooed, the back door put on (it doesn’t fit right, it warped in the garage so I’m waiting for help there) a new light put up in the laundry room, glass ordered for the backdoor and the back porch window. Oh, and colors finally picked out. 
The ceiling will be a darker gray and still undecided about the floor. It might end up being just a rug found at a later date. 
I was recently asked if there was something that I enjoy doing that I haven’t been lately and I couldn’t come up with much besides shooting but that’s pointless with a dead computer anyways.  Today I realized I might not have a hobby I’ve been neglecting but I have projects that were going to be winter projects that haven’t gone anywhere yet so I will work on them, trying to balance that with all the other stuff I have to do. 
I am going to need help “moving” downstairs and I hate asking for help so instead I’m offering to trade help moving big things for a pan of cinnamon rolls. It’s a fair trade isn’t it?  Let me know if you’re interested in cinnamon rolls. 

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