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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

In need of respite

I need a break. I love being a stay-at-home mom. I feel privileged to have the ability & resources to be able to not have an outside job and spend this precious time with my offspring...but being a wife/mother is a full-time job and not like those fake "40 hrs a week" full-time jobs but an honest to goodness 24/7 job that I don't get compensated for (at least not in a financial sense.) And the thing is..that even though I like it...I sometimes just need a break. But it seems that a break never comes. Lately it seems like Russ has been working more hours than usual extending my 'full attention' time with the kids; the weather has kept me home-bound; and I just don't feel comfortable calling anyone in my town for help. So...here I am getting more crazy by the hour--longing for a couple hours to call my own. Goodness--I can't even say when the last time I felt truly relaxed was. It's hard to feel relaxed in a house where I can't even go to the toilet without either an audience or a constant barrage of knocking on the bathroom door! Everytime I take a bath...Jasmine wants to climb in with me. (If I didn't strip her down & let her join me I'd probably end up with a fully dressed toddler in the tub!) I can't EVER fully finish a task because every five minutes there is someone yanking on my pants saying, "I want more juice." or "vitamin?" or "Can you get something for me?" And when they aren't pulling on my chair or yelling from the bathroom for me to come wipe them...they are usually vacillating from having too much fun making a huge mess they will refuse to clean up later to fighting over who gets to play with the princess ball. Since Eden quit taking naps several months ago, I don't even get to look forward to a brief intermission in the afternoon. The chaos continues from before I can lift my eyelids in the morning until I hide in the fetal position under my covers at night. Russ tries to help, bless his heart, but he thinks like a man. And it seems, more often than not, that he doesn't understand what would truly be helpful to me. He is often amazed at how much I can can accomplish in one day but there are other days when I accomplish nothing...and oftentimes when he comes home to an untidy home...he'll get in a cleaning fit and do it all for me. I hate this. Call me crazy if you want but I don't want him to do my housework. I need the housework sometimes as sanity control for the next day. And what I would really like from him is for him to quit whatever he is doing and spend time with me. Even if we end up doing NOTHING except sitting together on the couch watching the girls jump off their beanbag chair..that's what I feel would help me most. I need some down time with the man I love. I need to talk...even if it's about some dumb story I read on the internet or the lint ball I pulled out of the drain...I just need to have his full attention and talk to another adult. Of course...this usually backfires because inevitably the "being interrupted every 5 minutes by a child rule" kicks in and ends up causing more tension than it releases for me...so I don't know what to do, I guess. I just am really feeling a need for a break. I break that includes my husband would be most welcome but a break with just me would probably do me some good, as well. Back in my college days I used to actually think about things; ponder the deeper things in life. I used to feel really connected to God. Now...well things have changed. I can't say I don't feel connected to God, because I do, and I learn so many things about how he must see us as I deal with my children on a daily basis. But it's different. God & I haven't had as much time one on one-- Creator to created to work out the details of who He created me to be. I can see Him working in my life but I miss the deeper significance I used to find in my progress. Life has just gotten so full of little nothings that I can't seem to quiet my soul long enough to really listen. I need a break...I need a respite...I need a chance to listen to silence. That's a sound I haven't heard in a long time. *sigh* Silence....where are you?

3 comments:

Shay said...

WOW! Us stay-at-home moms feel like this a little to often and when we do watch out because it's like a bomb went off :) I always feel like this special around this time of year.

You should look into MOPS. It's twice a week when Moms get together to share their experiences about being mom and following God. Send me an email if you want more info.

I will pray for a little silence :)

ProudMom said...

Oh, Gina, I do relate. :) It's mostly that this life is so full and fast that it's hard to slow down and contemplate.

I am one of those "get your energy from alone time" type of people. Ask me if I get it. :) Sometimes I really want it... I want someone to insist on taking my kids out of the house for awhile, so I can clean and think and nap... I don't like asking.

I know this may sound crazy, but I'm totally serious. I want you to plan a day/weekend to spend somewhere (Denver, home, wherever) and I will entertain your girls here at our home. My kids would love it, and I would love the change of pace.

I'm going to bug you about this...

And..if it would make you feel better about it, I'll let you return the favor sometime. :)

~I laughed when you described Russ cleaning for you. I hate that too...I know it's meant to be helpful when the house is in shambles...but I just feel guilty when Morgan gets in a rush cleaning up all "my" messes. I like cleaning really...I just sometimes would like to do it alone...and blast my favorite music...and take a nap halfway through... :)

RaeAnn said...

I don't know if this will help in the long term or not, but I'm like you - I need a little space each day to breath, to focus and recenter myself. What I've found that works on the days I'm home (I have one of those "fake" full time jobs working 36 hours a week in an ICU) is a continuation of sorts of naptime - we call it "quiet time." Finley hasn't napped in over a year, but he still spends two hours a day in the afternoon in his room - he doesn't necessarily sleep (though sometimes he does) but is to play quietly - color, read his books, play with the toys in his room, ect.

This gives us a break from each other during the day, I get 2 hours to accomplish things, or just sit and read a book, and he learns to entertain himself. And we come back to each other generally in a happier and more patient mood.

I don't know if this is something your willing to try, but its worked well for us - now I just need to get the baby's afternoon nap set about the same time...

Take care of yourself - your beautiful family needs you.