Sunday, November 27, 2011

a reminder to be thankful, patient and trusting

We enjoyed a wonderful thanksgiving weekend. Since moving back to the northwest, we thought it would be a treat to host a holiday inviting both our families. Thanksgiving was the perfect holiday, given that we are thankful for our families (the primary reason for moving back); so Thanksgiving we hosted, enjoying 22 family members, all but one was present. We had a great day and weekend of family time to follow.

This morning we started the day with a sermon about Zachariah and Elizabeth, their prayerfulness and faithfulness in the Lord. After years without being able to have a family, God sends an angel telling them that Elizabeth will bear a son, and they will name him John. I am sure at the time they must have laughed thinking the impossible, but later Elizabeth gave birth to John, John the Baptist. Even though they had endured many days and years of believing their "family" would end with them, they were thankful and prayerful that God would use them. They trusted that there was a plan.

We too are trusting. The past few months, and more so the past couple of weeks, we have been stretched. We are thankful for all that God gives to us, and are trying to be patient, knowing that God has great plans. We moved here feeling as doors closed and others were opened, it felt like the right "timing" and yet now we question that. It is trusting in the unknown that is most difficult at this time. We pray for patience, for faithfulness in this time in our lives. We ask for healing and for direction, for peace. We pray for more doors to be opened and doors to be closed, and pray that we will understand that God is truely the one in control, that He has the masterplan for our lives.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some days I wish our path was already outlined for us and we didn't have to choose...

...but then I suppose life would simply be a stage full of puppets on a string. I am thankful to not be a puppet, but sometimes...really, I'd rather just be shown the way than guess and hope and pray I made the right choice.

It's been nearly six months since we made the big transition back north. Do we love it, yes. Have we gotten to see and spend time with family, yes. Have we reconnected with some friends, yes. Are we happy? Hmm, I suppose that is the question of the year. When making the decision to pack our house and move a thousand plus miles north, we asked for open and closed doors. We asked for some clarity, and some comfort. So what appeared as open and closed doors, and what felt like clarity, is getting a little muddied for the lack of comfort that we are feeling.

I am in the stage where I want to work (really only part time of course), but I feel like I am hitting all the walls...waiting for the right door to open, if you will. HELLO! And Tim is still just waiting. Waiting with an uncertainty and a dark cloud over his head. His job is still only "temporary" which we knew going into this whole thing. Although, I will say now, that "temporary" is so much harder of a state to be IN than to think about being in. At this point, I think weekly if not daily, Tim is questioning whether we made the right decision. We both had jobs that we enjoyed if not loved, not to mention, were somewhat at a decent pay rate. Yet, we had no family (although we really were beginning to establish some great friendships). And here, neither of us have "steady" jobs (well I can't even seem to land one) and the pay scale...yikes! Ahh, but we do have family.

Family...thus the basis of our move, and now the reason in which we continually remind ourselves that we are here. And family really does make us happy.

But what now?! Monday Tim leaves to work out of town for the week, which could turn into months. And I am still home full time (with the most wonderful 14 month old little guy) searching to find my nitch. Hmmm, has anything really changed?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

traveling with a 13 month old...

I wouldn't recommend it, unless you have a pretty mild and mellow child. Our July has been crazy busy, so busy that I still think the 4th of July is right around the corner. With a busy month, we decided to end July with a BANG! Saturday in Ephrata for a birthday party, Sunday back to Spokane for a wedding, then early Monday morning off to Illinois for a four day trip to visit relatives. But that's not where it ends...back to Spokane late Thursday night (early Friday morning as it turned out), one night in our own bed, then up Saturday morning to drive to Prosser...are we there yet? When do we sleep in our own bed for more than 6 hours? And when do we get to keep to the same time zone?
That being said, Nathan was awesome. Fussy only twice on the first flight into Denver, then slept the entire flight into Chicago, great on the bus ride into Rockford. Our four days in Illinois consisted of trying to see all our relatives around, that meant lots of new faces for Nathan. I managed to get a decent picture of him with nearly everyone. Traveling back home was not as successful, but I had to credit Nathan's great attitude and sleep schedule while we were out and about.
Would I do it again; yep...but if I had a cranky child I might second guess that.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

who am I?

I remember the first time I introduced myself as "Nathan's mom" vs. a wife, student, social worker, etc. It actually took me by surprise because it felt so forgien. Now, a year later, I feel a little more confident in my title as Nathan's mom, although there is a part of me that still seems to be missing; who am I? Perhaps I should be asking the question: who do I want to be? There are moments and stages in our lives where our 'title' changes, and this will continue to be. So who am I now, who do I want to be?
This second question is what has been weighing on me the most recently. Right now I am a stay-at-home-mom, a treasure that not all mothers, or parents for that matter, have the opportunity to be. So why can't I find joy in that? Don't get me wrong...I love the time I have with my son; I enjoy being the one to see all his 'firsts' and to teach him new thing, to sing, read, and dance with him. But there seems to be something missing for me. There are days, moments really, that I want to venture back into the workforce. I get excited when I find a job posting of a position I am qualified for. I complete the application or send in my resume and wait. But then I wonder, am I really ready? Do I really want to go back? Do I really want to miss those mornings dancing with my son, playing silly games, reading books, and seeing all his firsts? I don't know.
Some days I think it is pure selfishness: here I am blessed to be a mother, blessed to be able to stay home, and I am seeking ways to get out of the house. Peace, that is what I need to seek, peace with what i am given. Patiece to allow God's work in my life to prevail.

I used to be a writer...

Back in the day, and I am talking way back even before marriage, I used to write. There is even evidence...I have boxes of old journals. They are fun and somewhat interesting to go back and read. But then one day it stopped. My near daily journaling disappeared somewhere after college and before I met Tim. I would love to have record of our dating life and the beginnings of married life, unfortunately my thoughts just never made it down on paper. So when I became pregnant Ithought it the perfect opportunity to 'revise' my desire to write and document my pregnancy and life as a new mom. Ha! Who was I fooling?!
So here I am, 9 months after my last post, a month after my son's first birthday. I can only think of the cliche, 'where does the time fly?'

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where's My Paycheck...?

Going from working full time (usually more than 40 hours a week) to a full time mom has certainly had it's challenges, to say the least. Actually, I am scheduled to return to work (though just 2 days a week) the first week of November and of course that brings on a mix of emotions.
I recall back when I was in high school/college and began nannying part time for a family with one small child, both parents worked full time. The second child arrived soon thereafter. The mom took little time off work and returned back to her full work schedule while the baby was still so little. I couldn't imagine this and questioned why one would do this, certainly because I knew her husband had a very lucrative job; so I had a conversation about it. It was explained to me that she was a very independent woman and wanted to be able to assure herself that she could maintain herself and her family financially if something were to happen to her husband. At the time I didn't understand this concept, thinking a marriage is not two people working individually but two people who in essance have become one. So why was she working. Although I don't fully understand her entire rational, I have a better understanding of why.
I too am in a position where I could stay home full time (which I have done now for three months), so why am I choosing at four months to return to work, even if it means only part time? I think there are a few different reasons:
1. I have that independent nature about me and I think to myself; I worked hard to get where I am at and it makes me feel good to do the work that I do.
2. A little "adult conversation" would probably do me some good.
3. I want to contiue to further my career that I am passionate about.
4. Plus, there is this small voice in my head asking about my paycheck; what am I contributing finacially to my family.
So perhaps these are silly reasons, but they are mine, for now. Don't get me wrong, as exhausting as it has been being a stay at home mom, I have loved it. I love each moment that I get with my son. I don't want to miss our "breakfast conversations" and I don't want to miss his toothless grin he gives me just after he's finished eating. Those things alone are enough to keep me motivated to stay home, but there is something else, something inside seems to be yearning for something and I am betting that it's that gosh darn independent streak of mine!
Being home is so rewarding, yet exhausting. I now understand why my own mother never really "sits down" simply to relax...there is no such thing! I have found that there is always something to do. Not that there are really any new household chores (other than perhaps a few extra loads of laundry) than before I had my son, and they were completed when I was working full time; but there is something about putting them off until he goes to bed. Yeah, sure, I vacuum and dust occassionally during the day, usually during nap time. And I have managed to keep my house relatively in order (at least I think I meet the minimal standards), but why does it seem as though there is always more...? As much as I told myself I don't need to be "supermom," I think that is what I am becoming. For three weeks in a row (I know not a real long time), I have managed to, of course take care of my son, keep my house clean, and actually have dinner nearly completed all before my husband arrives home from work. The dinner thing has always been my weakness (even before a child), but I have come to realize that the hour between the time my husband gets home and we start bathing and putting my son to bed, it is a small amount of time that I can at least hand the baby over so they can play (gone are the days I think of waiting until my husband comes home to make dinner for me because I am so exhausted). My son is definitely turning into a "momma's boy" (which makes sense since we are home all day long together, even weekends are often just the two of us) but it makes me a little sad, I think my husband might be feeling it too. When he tries to give our son a bath, there is a lot of crying. I am not sure if I should intervene or not, but it is so hard to hear him cry. So my point is, if I can have dinner ready, I will so they can have more "bonding time."
Through all of this I am learning to count my blessings. My husband is grateful, is a good provider, and he is good about letting me know he is appreciative of me. But I cannot help but feeling a little guilty that I am not contributing at all to our family (financially that is). Yes, I know I am contributing, and do quite a bit, but it still feels like something is missing. For example, a couple of weeks ago we went shopping so that I could buy some jeans (I am tired of wearing elastic wasted clothes and have nothing that I previously wore that fits). Our shopping trip was successful and I came out with four new pairs of pants (yes, I can finally feel good about myself again and wear some real clothes!). Then just yesterday I ventured back to the store; I figured it was time to retire the "granny panties" that I wore throughout my pregnancy. Not that I am a big spender, nor am I a big shopper, but it almost felt odd that I was back at the store buying more clothings items for me...and with what finances? I know, I know, I am married and our monies are not separated. In fact my husband dislikes it whenever I bring up money issues suggesting that he makes all the money, or that he makes more than me with less schooling, etc. But I just cannot help but feeling my lack of financial contribution. I wonder how I shake this? Going back to work part time I know isn't the answer, in fact my main purposes of returning are really moreso for a little "sanity" and to contiue furthering my career (I am tyring to collect hours to become licenced; but that is another story) not for financial gain (my paycheck will perhaps cover daycare costs).
So I am wondering; are there other means? Do I need to retrain my thinking? How do I shake this independent nature that I developed over time? And how do I get a pay check for all the hard work I do at home? If any one can figure out how the government can start paying stay at home moms for their contributions to well rounded children and families, let me know.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The joys and pains of feedings...

Oh the highs and lows of feedings! For two months I breastfed exclusively.
No one tells you just how isolating breastfeeding is until you are in it. You are the only one who can feed and satisfy your baby. When baby cries, you are most likely the only one who can console him by feeding him. Feedings can take place anywhere in your home, but once company comes over you tend to cover yourself or hide away in the back room. Feedings in public are so akward that it's hard to calm down enough for baby to even get comfortable enough to get any milk. Yet at the same time, I wouldn't have chosen any other way. I am the only one who can feed and satisfy my baby, and this is an honor. There is an interdepedance that takes place; baby NEEDS momma and momma NEEDS baby. On occassion my little guy will look up and give me the best smile. Each momemt I get with him are treasured and precious. I can feed my baby in public, anywhere, and don't have to worry about bottles and whether or not I brought enough milk with us.
As much as I had grown this love-hate relationship with breastfeeding, I thought at some point we do need to learn to eat from a bottle (momma will be going back to work some day), plus if we can eat from a bottle, maybe daddy can help out a little more with those evening or weekend feedings so momma can get a break. So a few weeks ago we tried it; I was ready to hand over some of the responsibility. Daddy was ready too, to help out and feed his son. But baby was not ready...he cried so hard and refused to take the bottle (which was pumped breast milk) that I had to pick him up and put him back on the breast to feed him. As I sat there feeding my son, a sense of relief passed over me, not one that I thought would have. Wow, this child REALLY needs me...I want to be able to provide for him. But a second thought followed; wow, I am stuck, it looks as though there is no "mommy alone time" in the near future, yikes! So we tried it the next day and he sucked down that milk in seconds flat! Baby was happy, daddy was happy, and well, momma....not so sure. For a momemt I realized this child no longer NEEDS me, someone else can feed him. It actually took me a few days to be okay with this. For wanting help for so long, all of a sudden I didn't want help anymore! This means that our total dependance on one another is no longer.
Needless to say, a bottle was successful, but the amount of pumped milk it takes for one bottle is not worth the "nightly" feedings I had once imagined. Besides, I am okay with those nightly feedings now...becasue I know that one day they will be gone, and one day someone else can "help" feed my baby, I will no longer be "needed." Plus, the little smiles, giggles, and looks I get, make it all worth it!