Sunday, January 23, 2011

(The Absence of) Sunshine & Roses

Well's been a long time since I've really written much here. Mostly that's because of how busy I've been but it's also because I tend to get stuck when I'm struggling. It's hard for me to push aside the old adage, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Struggling may be too strong of a word for my state of being lately anyway. I know I'm not really struggling in the sense that some people are. There are many things in my life for which I am extremely grateful.

Still, my bloggy friend, Rachel kind of hit the nail on the head for me in her post (written a while back) called, "Life is Messy." Boy isn't it! And Rachel's point is her post is that we all try to pretend that our lives aren't messy but that in so doing, we neglect to tell our true stories, to show the nitty gritty reality of who we really are. I think she's absolutely right but I also think it's hard to let that messiness show. At least it is for me.

In any case, here's my attempt at telling the sharing my messiness with others so that maybe {?} they will learn something from my journey here.

So what is the truth? One place so start is that it's not all glory - I love my child but being a mommy is not all sunshine and roses. There are times when I really question myself as a mom, especially now that our son is a walking, talking toddler. I used to think I knew what I was doing with children...until I had a child! Now I just think parenting is a much harder job than you can ever really prepare yourself for. There are good days and bad days and there are many beautiful moments along the way but being a good mom (what is a good mom, anyway?} is hard work!

And...while being a "good mom" is one of the very most important things I do, it is only one of the things I do. Some days the stress of keeping it all together (even when I'm not keeping it all together) is simply overwhelming. Our house is often a mess, our dogs need more attention than they get, there is a garage full of clutter attached to our house, there are so many red blinking lights on my never-ending to-do list that sometimes the best I can do is to allow myself to take a nap. Now there you go, that's messy...but it is my truth.

Then there's money and our stress surrounding the current lack of it in our lives. This past year, having no more loan money for the completion of my education and no consistent income on my part. Well, it's been hard. There have been several times when I wasn't sure if we would make it through. But we always do make it, largely because my parents have helped us tremendously when it comes to making ends meet. But that's messy! I'm a 35 year old woman who is still in college and still relying on her parents to help meet expenses. As thankful as I am for their unending support, borrowing from them the way we've had to doesn't make me feel good. It makes me feel like a heel.

Speaking of that education I mentioned is taking FOR.EVER! I know I only have a few more months to go until I graduate and I know that time will FLY by but I have been at my whits end with this chapter of my life for longer than I can even say. I don't regret making the decision to go back to school and become a teacher, I think that's a good fit for me. But I also didn't imagine it taking this long or being this expensive, this draining for us. We are tough and we are sticking it out but Michael and I have both been pretty extensively stressed this past year and it's largely due to the fact that I'm still in school and I don't contribute enough to our financial house. I am exhausted just thinking about all the hurdles we've had to overcome. It seems there's always something unexpected that crops up and throws a wrench in things. And messy? What about the job market out there? As much as I can't wait to graduate, I'm terrified to be a job hunter in this climate. There simply isn't much out there when it comes to the teaching field in my state, and we're not in a position to consider moving. It's really alarming to consider the what-ifs in case I can't find a job. I really can't even go there at this point.

Lastly (for this post anyway) there is my relentless and exhausting yearning for more. More what, you ask? Well...more children, of course. I know that with the current state of things in our household I really have no business even thinking about adding to our family at this point. I know that in my brain but try telling that to my heart. I've had several stern conversations with her and she just keeps right on with her unreasonable demands. And what is it with human desire? Why do we always want more than we have? A big part of me feels guilty for even longing for another child. For years I prayed and begged God that if he would only give me ONE child, I would be eternally happy. Plus, I know firsthand how hard it is to not have any children and be wanting them. From that position, it is almost unbearable to hear someone say they want another child, to hear someone complaining about that. And yet, here I am wanting more...talking about wanting more. The truth is though, that I can't deny that part of myself. I DO want more. I have always wanted kids (plural) and I want our son to be a brother. Honestly, right now, I'm just not sure where it all fits. My desires pitted against our reality. Unfortunately, reality wins hands down (for now) but that doesn't change how I really feel in my heart of hearts. It doesn't make all the announcements of "seconds" from the families of children who are exactly (or close to) our son's age any easier to read/hear. I'm not bitter in any way, I am very thankful for what we do have; however, there is a part of me that still does (and probably always will) resent the people out there who can just get a whim to have a baby one day and then they are pregnant the following weekend. Not that I'm even wanting pregnancy, don't misunderstand...but I do want to have a bigger family and it is not going to be an easy process by any stretch of the imagination.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Today is More...

...than a day off. Its a day we should stop and think about the problems MLK Jr. tried to solve & what WE are doing about them. He gave his life to try to find a better way. He made a profound difference to many but his time here was WAY too short. One of my favorite sayings is also some good food for thought:

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sometimes I don't do enough for others, which is something I'd like to change. It's not easy to step outside your own comfort zone but that's what we all need to do if we want to see real change in this country. We're all so busy these days that we often don't even take the time to afford each other common courtesy. Even that is not enough but it's a place to start.


Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Creme de le Creme

Check out what I found! If you're looking for some new reading or just want to spark your old blog flame, this is the place to be!


The Best of the Adoption/Loss/Infertility Blogs of 2010