Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time For Me Thursday

Today I did a couple of things that were for "me" that I'd really like to share with you all, after all, that's what Time For Me Thursday is all about right?

First off, if you have been following along, you will know that I have a number of house projects all going on at the same time and amazingly to me my house (*not including my bedroom, bathroom or closet) looks great! Sure, it could use some minor picking up - as could probably anyone's house with many small kids running around, but for the most part, it is looking pretty darned spiffy right now. Including the playroom - even though I still need to do a major toy sort and such in there. And the laundry / laundry room and basement have been coming along quite well also! It's awesome!

But getting that stuff to that point with Hubby was not the things that I did for *me* today. What I did for me also benefited my kids. After Punky got done with preschool today, I took her out to McDonalds for an ice cream cone. I have these coupons for free items from McDonalds (from Valentine's Day) and I just thought that she could use a little bit of a treat. She'd had a good day at school and I just wanted to share that special time with her. (Plus, it gave me a chance to get out and about for a little bit!)

The second thing was really the same as the first thing, only a different child. I took NattyNu out for an ice cream this evening after supper. I had to run to the pharmacy to pick up JoNo's breathing treatment solution boxes (one for home, one for school) and I stopped by my mother-in-law's house on the way over there. But anyhow, before I left the house, NattyNu asked if he could go with me, because he wanted to get some ice cream too since Punky had her ice cream still when we got home from preschool so it wasn't a secret that she got some this afternoon. I had told him earlier in the day that he could get an ice cream after supper so this was a good time to go get one for him.

So anyhow, NattyNu was with me when I got the prescription and then we headed towards the McDonalds by our house. When we got to our usual turn to go home, I didn't get into the turn lane since I was going to McDonalds and not directly home. Apparently NattyNu had forgotten about the ice cream (but let me assure you, had I tried to go home, he would most definitely have remembered!) and he asked me what I was doing. I told him we were going to go get ice cream and he was excited about it all over again.

The whole time we were gone (probably about an hour or so) we had a wonderful chance to talk and for him to just let everything out - things that are going on at school both good and bad. And it was a chance for me to just listen and be there with him and for him. I think that lately I have been very high-stress and haven't given him this much needed time. But the truth is, I need it too. I need this time to connect with my kids and I am actually very grateful that I got some alone time with these two kids today. I had alone time with JoNo yesterday (at the hospital, but once he was starting to do better, we had time to talk and spend together, etc. too)

While we were out, I picked up a cone for JoNo as well. But when we got home, he was already asleep for the night, so I handed the cone to Hubby instead. He LOVES soft serve ice cream! But he really really dislikes cones. So he at the top half of the ice cream and I ate the cone half. It was kind of funny and reminds me of the anecdote about the old couple sharing a meal at a fast food place. That story is kinda gross but it's really sweet too (in a way).

I still have not had a chance to really talk to Hubby about the issues I mentioned earlier today, but I plan to do that as soon as I finish typing this up. Then we will be heading back downstairs for some more fun and exciting time with laundry! Wooo Hooo! Yee haw! (Okay, I did not really just say that!) :)

Pulling Away

As I was driving today to drop Punky off at preschool (after her changing three times to get the "right" outfit for school today) I was thinking to myself about all of the stressful things going on in my life right now. Although, really it's the stressful things that are going on in all of our lives right now, but the way I was thinking about it, was the selfish "in my life" way.

And then something hit me. When things get stressful, I withdraw from Hubby, from the kids even, from everybody. I try to figure out how to fix it and make it better. And if I am going to be completely honest, I would have to say that I even withdraw from God. I don't pass my burdens off. I take them, I keep them, I internalize them and I try to solve them. Granted, there are some things that I can solve but I don't need to keep the problems and internalize them. I should be coming to God and to Hubby with these issues (even though Hubby already knows what the issues are) and discuss these problems in my life and in my family's life with both of them.

But I don't. My first initial reaction is to, as I said, keep it. I own it. And then when things end up negatively, I am upset for not having help in one aspect or another. It's a very confusing place to be in and I'm sure from Hubby's perspective, it's even more confusing!

I think I do this because of the way I learned to do things growing up. I learned VERY early on in life to depend on no one but myself. I was the only one that I could depend on and if I couldn't depend on myself, then there was no one else that I could depend on either. And while I do see some validity in that thought process even still, I know that there is more error to it than anything else. You know why? Because I am human. There, I said it. I am only human. I make mistakes, I fail, I don't follow through. And there are times when I am undependable - even to myself. The only person that I can really and truly depend on 100% of the time is God. Need to keep that one in perspective, for sure.

But anyhow, I just came to this realization today and I thought that I would share it with you. And now I am curious - do you do this too? If so, why? How does that work out for you and your husband or family? I suggest that you make a commitment to change that. Learn to change your initial reaction. I think we usually are able to recognize our initial reactions once we realize what they are. And realization and recognition are the first steps to changing a behavior.

I need to take some time today to sit down with Hubby and really discuss all of this. And to apologize to him for pulling away from him and let him know that I will be working on it in the future. And I think I also need to work on how I approach Hubby with these kinds of issues as well. Because I don't think I do such a great job a lot of the time. Which is also probably a contributing factor into not turning to him with tough issues. I have a lot to work on already and I haven't even talked to him yet. Wish me luck! And good luck to you too!

Abstract Concepts

My nine year old understands a number of abstract concepts. There was one this morning that he didn't understand and it's hard to write about but I feel it is necessary to do so at the same time. Not sure why, but I feel like it's important for me to just get it written down.

This morning upon waking up, NattyNu told me that he wanted money for the book fair at school today. That today was the last day to buy books at the book fair. And he really wanted a new book. I explained to him that I didn't know about the bookfair and that I don't have any money until next Thursday when I get paid. He had also been at his grandma's house earlier this week and could have asked her to buy him the book. She is the one that buys most of his books, because while we have money for our basic needs, with Hubby's recent job loss, even taking care of our basic needs has been put into jeopardy. But I did not tell him that part. I just said that I didn't have money for books right now.

He was understandably upset. He said that he doesn't understand why there even is such a thing as money. That whoever invented money just wanted to make people die. Because if you don't have money, then you can't have a place to live and that if you don't have a place to live, well, then you die. That was his reasoning. And it broke my heart.

But what I said to him was that we have money for that stuff. We have money to take care of the things that we NEED. We just don't have money right now for extras. That he doesn't need to worry about not having the things we need, because we had money for that stuff and we will continue to have money for that stuff in the future as well. Just not extra money for extra things this week.

I am concerned that NattyNu is stressing out over this. I mean, I think it's important for kids to realize that just because they want something doesn't mean that they will get it. But I also wonder where the concern for basic needs is coming from. I have a feeling, based on experience, that a certain family member is saying things to him that a kid shouldn't have to worry about. And my heart is very conflicted about that. Because to avoid this situation, I would have to keep him away from this person, which means that I would not be able to work, which would mean that we wouldn't be able to pay our bills and take care of our basic needs, you know? Yet, if I work and continue to have NattyNu around this family member, then he will continue to hear these negative things that he doesn't need to hear about, or focus on. So, there is much conflict within my heart right now.

There is also another issue in regards to work for me and school for the kids. With JoNo's health recently, I don't know that he is really getting much out of his public school education. And with my working during the school hours, it would be very difficult for me to homeschool him full-time. At the same time, it's difficult for me to work evenings because that is also when JoNo's health issues tend to flare up the most, and same thing with overnights. I'm afraid that with the amount of work that I have had to miss due to his health, that I will end up putting my job in jeopardy. My boss says that my job status is just fine but I do know that one of the assistant managers is very grumbly about me missing days when JoNo is really bad.

So, I have a lot of stuff to try to sort through and figure out in regards to all of that. I'm finding it very hard to balance being a mom to a chronically ill child, a special needs child and two other children, plus a wife, a homemaker, and an employee. Plus my mom expects me to be ready and available to help her on a moment's notice. It does not work well at all. I have gotten better about telling her no, that I cannot do this or that, to the point that I am saying no more than I am saying yes - and I am only saying yes when I actually can and it doesn't hurt my family.

Another thing that I am feeling challenged and stretched in regards to is the housework. I am trying very hard to get things done around the house and to keep the house up, but I feel right now like I am fighting a losing battle - against my family. And I'm exhausted. I'm overwhelmed. And I'm crabby and hormonal as well. I want to go back to bed for another hour or so and let Hubby be up and in charge of the work and the kids, but at the same time, I'm sure that would actually produce the exact opposite effect in the long run.

I'm not sure how to keep going on at this point, but I'm also not sure that I can take a break and get some relief either. I will tell you later how it goes...