A CHANGE is gonna come...
What's going down, "brow"nistas!?
Sooooo, today is the LAST day of school!
When I say this school year has been rough, I mean this school year has been rough! Let me tell you!
We enrolled our daughters in private school. In fact, we enrolled them in a prestigous Christian private school. I can't go into detail the special and unique nature of having your kids in private school but for those who share in my burden you already know!
Now, I LOVED the school. It had a great curriculum, awesome lunch program (because I LOVE food and so do my kids), and it reinforced the Christian principles in which I believe. I loved how my kids came home and the conversations we shared going to and coming home from school as a result of what they were learning. It was great!
I was pregnant and gave birth during this school year and THAT, my dear "brow"nistas, put a twist in the WHOLE game! See, the school was great but the "at home work" was TOO demanding for both me and the kids! I had TWO kids enrolled and they both came home with at least TWO hours of serious homework a piece! Now, I am the one in the house with all of the "higher" education (my husband is the one with ALL of the street smarts...so where you and I used math for school reasons, let's just say his understanding of numbers had an entirely different meaning...BUT GOD #deliveranceandsalvation!) That meant I had to sit with them to get them through their homework each night. YEAH, GOOD LUCK, LADY!
Now me, working, going to school, tired and pregnant had to come home and try to get these two little girls to work through intense math, science, language arts and, oh yeah, MANDARIN (you know...Chinese) EVERY night! NOT GOOD!
There were tired, I was tired and it was a mess. I was already stretched and then I gave birth to little man and it went from bad to worse! See, I made the mistake of thinking I was just going to jump back into the saddle after having a baby. I mean it was having a baby and women do that everyday, right?
So, I thought I wouldn't miss a beat! Boy was I wrong! I couldn't "snap" back! I kept trying to get my groove back and it wasn't kicking in! First, my son decided he didn't want to leave the comforts of his private residence to join the group party which was our family. So, I had to be induced and taken to the hospital. We arrive only to learn that both me and baby would not fare well in labor, so they had to perform a "c-section!" OH LAWD! So, here I am at home recovering, from what I now know was a major surgery, with a newborn and two kids coming home from what was already an intense schedule! Did I mention I was still in school? I was a wreck! I was nervous about this new creature and trying to figure him out! "New mom from scratch" syndrome had kicked in on overload! What was I to do? I panicked, I freaked out, I LOST it!
I wanted to curl up and die! There was no such thing as sleep either. Even though I was home all day, for the first few weeks I really couldn't move. Although I tried to prepare my family in the months prior to giving birth for my "in house temporary absence," they could not grasp why I was not the "super" everything with which they had become accustomed. It was just a disaster!
My baby was crying, my kids were doing bad in school, my husband was just forgotten about (sorry, dude) and I was a complete failure (or so I thought!) Everyone was pulling on me and I couldn't get back into the race.
photo credit: bing images
Now, God has a way working things out and you never know the lessons in it for everyone involved. See, when you are going through it's not just about God reaching you. He considers EVERYONE! So, this rocky transition (which I am only giving you a small portion) was a growth opportunity for everyone.
Now, my husband might say his lesson was seeing he could do more. I don't mean that in a negative sense because he does ALOT! However, he stepped up in major ways to take the pressure off of me. There were days when he just prayed for me and would hold me and speak life because I was just a hormonal mess! (I went off a few times. I think I gave him post tramautic stress disorder). My spouse was used to me holding everything down and he trusted I had things under control. Well, things changed and I didn't have everything under control because it was ALOT so he slowed down to be home more and to simply support with his presence. I know there were days when he scratched his head and said to himself "now, what is going on here?!"
Bit of wisdom: MEN MATTER! In a home, MEN MATTER! They have more "weight" and more authority. Dad establishes and lays down the law! He is also the hero! I don't mind him conquering the world but bring he needs to bring his tail home! I NEED you!
I could say alot of things about my dad (not all bad, not all good) but daddy was ALWAYS there (even when I wanted him to be elsewhere...geesh, dad, leave me alone!HA!) and for that I will always be grateful!
This is why I have so much respect for single mothers! May God strengthen you and give you the support you need! I could not imagine doing this without my husband! He has saved me on so many days!
Back to the lessons...
For my baby girls...well, my daughters learned more responsibility. (I mean they are still kids for crying out loud, but they did take on some independence...DISCLAIMER: they are still and will ALWAYS be my babies!)
For example, last night, my daughters just overwhelmed me with how much they have grown. My oldest CLEANED (and I do mean cleaned...vaccumed, cloroxed, stripped down the bed, picked up the clutter, took out the trash) her room! It was IMMACULATE! She has just blossomed so much! Her motivation was her baby brother because she did not want him swallowing anything dangerous as he starting to be mobile. (You know like doll accessories, old crayons, beads from broken bracelets...you name it, you'll find it because their room is a regular scavenger hunt of odd treasures!)
My youngest daughter sat with me and helped me organize all of her brother's clothes. She was also my "errand girl" for the night. She is really coming in to herself because she is excited to do things on her own. Before this whole transition she wouldn't pour her own juice. Now? She climbs on counters, gets her own ice, and does things with no help. Try to help her too much and she will get QUITE angry!
Well, I learned a couple of things during this time.
First, I learned to ask for help! That's right, you dynamic do it all "yourselfers!" ASK FOR HELP! You are not less of a woman when you can't do it all. I had so many wise older women tell me to "slow down," "take the time to rest," "let others help," "let your husband do it even if he doesn't do it your way," (still working on that) and so much more.
Next, one woman told me "there is a difference between your capibility and your ability." WHEW! There are things you are capable of doing but you are not able to do them.
There isn't enough time. That's ok. You get done what you can.
There aren't enough resources. That's ok. They will come. In God's time. They will come.
There is only ONE you. That's ok. God can work with that.
So, the house won't be spotless today. That's ok. Get to it tomorrow.
The kids may not have your best gourmet dish for dinner every night. That's ok. Kids love pizza.
The baby may cry for a little bit. That's ok. The baby still loves you.
It may take you awhile to get back to date night with your spouse. That's ok. You can cuddle at night once the baby is knocked out or meet each other for lunch while the kids are away and squeeze in some "honey time." Nothing like a hot lunch date!
I learned to be flexible, get creative and to say "no."
So, if you can't do it, not able, too busy, too much of a stretch, then say "no" and don't feel bad about it! Aim for quality and NOT quantity! You being there is what matters most. No one wants a "spazzed" out wife and mommy. TAKE A CHILL PILL! This is why "brow"time is important because if you don't take the time, you WILL lose it!
So yeah, as this school year comes to a close, I eventually learned how to start taming this wild stallion of a life I have differently. I am learning new ways to pull on my reigns and to remain calm! Because if I am calm, then this massive beast underneath me will be settled too.
After this ride, we definitely have decided to scale back a bit. We'll put the kids in a productive environment but remove that college level after school academic strain (seriously, that homework was too much...private school is off the hook!) We'll resume when all the kids are a little older and little more academically independent. We are looking at some other options all around for fall.
Bit of wisdom: I always say the same thing when teaching my clients about make up. "If you mess up, it's make up, wipe it off and start over!" Well after this year, I think we all learned "If you aren't enjoying it, and it's not working, it's life, scrap the plan and start over!"
This summer, I am looking forward to simplifying and setting up a structure where we can enjoy a rewarding quality of life. I want us to be able to spend time, enjoy our various tasks and duties and grow stronger as a family.
I learned alot this school year with all of the changes to my family. It was an intense journey. I thank God we made it. We learned alot along the way.
I am looking forward to the much needed break. I am going to enjoy the room this makes for "brow"time!