Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

Since the last time I posted, Rhett turned two. He is living it to the max, too.

I stumbled upon this scene last week... I guess my drink wasn't only for me.

Why does Grant make pallots on the floor? Maybe he has some Myatt in him (ha ha). As you can see, Rhett always joins in the fun.

My beloved ex-teaching partner, Angie, is expecting her first baby in June. I had a BLAST making her gifts for the shower. Can you tell she's having a girl? Did you guess that I am jealous?

Jessica is responsible for joining these indulgent brownies and myself together in a true love affair. You can make an entire box or a single serving in ONE minute! Wow! Add some fat free whipped cream or ice cream, and you've got yourself a quick, low cal, low fat dessert that is fantastcially similar to Chile's molten lava cake. I found it at Target hidden on the very top shelf in the baking aisle.

Grant's latest contraption.

We're already enjoying summer here in Houston.

Busy Season, although almost gone, has once again taken its toll on me. It's funny how I've grown throughout the last eight years of Busy Seasons. I've gotten tougher, and I've become quite self reliant. I don't get as depressed or as lonely as I did those first four Busy Seasons. It takes a little longer now for it to really get to me, and I suppose that's good - it shows progress and strength in my department. Maybe in eight more years I won't even notice Busy Season at all (wishful thinking???). Of course it has completely worn out Kerry, but in different ways. I honestly don't know HOW he does it - how he works all those 12+ hour days month after month after month. He even works on Saturdays. The only day we really ever get to see him is on Sundays, but Sundays end up being the days Kerry sleeps all afternoon to try to catch up on lost zzzzz's in order to survive. As luck would have it, those end up being the days he is either on or is leading praise team at church - - - - - figures. Sunday ends up being just ANOTHER time for me to be ALONE with the kids. And that's pretty much what sums up my emotions these last few weeks: Alone and so tired and BLAH. There are days when I think, "If I do one more load of laundry, I'm going to explode!" "If I have to change one more diaper, I am going to rip my hair out!" "If I have to tell Grant to quit causing trouble one more time, I'm going to bang my head against the wall!" It's really hard to be a single mother day in and day out for several months in a row, and it really brings me down just b/c I never get a break. Even night time is not sacred. G will come get me at least twice. (This is something we will be breaking over the summer, but it will have to wait until then b/c I just can't handle it right now as I can already tell that the process will truly be exhausting.) This means Grant is ALWAYS with me. Never a break. I'm getting a bit nervous about the summer. Not sure WHAT I'm gonna do with three months of two kids and NOTHING to do and NOWHERE to go...

Really, I don't mind doing housework and being a part-time stay-at-home-mom. (Thank goodness for my job - it's the only thing that gets me out of the house and keeps me sane.) It's not sooooo bad when Kerry gets home at decent times because then I get help with the kids and even ocassional breaks from them. But right now, I'm the only person above the age of five in this house, and it really feels like there's not enough of me to go around. I guess I just miss "Amanda". I've missed "her" ever since Grant was born, but that's part of being a mom - giving up yourself. But right about this time every year, I begin to feel that "Amanda" is gone, and she is never coming back because she is lost forever; lost in daipers and cleaning and errands and baths and stain fighting and laundry and laundry and laundry. I long to do craft after craft after craft - sewing, monogramming; doing things for MY soul/MY sanity. I'm the kind of person that needs two things:

1. Lots of alone time.

2. Lots of creative time.

Problem is, I've had NONE of these in what feels like forever, and I gotta say it's surprising how draining it is that I have not been able to refill "my" tank. And really, doing laundry and cleaning up and picking up and cleaning up and picking up and chasing after two very busy little boys empties "my" tank faster than anything will. Sure, I could totally do crafts and creative things, but my house would become an incredible heaping mess, and that means my work load would only double. Is it worth it?
I don't get it. How is that life is so meaningless without kids, and yet it is so stressful with them? Maybe if Kerry was able to be around more I'd feel more aided and therefore less stressed. I wouldn't have to a be an incredible juggler (maybe I should join the circus). I wouldn't have to find ways to fill 24 hours and feel successful in my choices. I want so much, and it is hard for me to accept that I can't do it all.

I want:
1. My house to be picked up and sanitized all of the time.

2. Laundry to always be caught up with.

3. My car to be cleaned out and for it to stay that way.

4. The small spaces in my house to be organized and quite impressive like Shaye's house surely is. (laundry room, my closet, the garage, the pantry, etc.)

5. To be able to take care of my dog by taking her on healthy walks without the boys. Good grief! It's like I need a leash for all three of them.
6. To be able to be a mom that gives 110% all of the time. The kind that never tires and nurtures her children inside and out. The kind that goes above and beyond. The kind that does not look forward to nap time. The kind that actually gets things done during nap time...

Ugggg. What happened to me? I used to work out and have big goals and be in my twenties and was sure I'd have perfect children that would be potty trained at 18 months, and I was going to sing and sing and sing anywhere they'd let me, and I was going to live life to the fullest and never grow weary. Man - it's hard to do that with kids. I guess you spend your whole life being YOU and living your life to the fullest, and then Busy Seasons and kids come along and you end up making sure they are living their lives to the fullest. I think it's important that I stop and realize that "life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." That singing and being in my twenties (can you tell I am not handling 30 well???) and conquering the world just isn't going to happen. That maybe I am just another soccer mom. I don't mind it - really. It's just that I feel like such a failure at it. I just wish I could peer into the future and see what my boys will be like when they are grown with families of their own. I want to see them strong in their faith. I want to see them being THE BEST husbands and fathers possible. I want to see them making a difference in the world. If I could check all of those things off of my list, I think I'd be able to relax more because I'd know that all my hard work paid off. All that worrying and trying so hard to be the perfect mother to Difficult Grant was worth it. The only thing that helps to give me peace is that I know that for some reason, God gave me Grant. (You've gotta understand here - Grant is NOT your average kid!) He obviously knows we were a perfect match. (Not always sure how He thinks that since many days I end up wanting three glasses of wine and a soak in a bubble bath.) He trusts me with Grant and knows that I am the only mother out there that is right for him. Therefore, I must press on and finish the race marked out for me. Surely I can do this!??

After writing all of this and relaxing in the therapy it gives, I really think that once Busy Season is over and Kerry "comes back" to us, I'll be doing much better and I won't have to feel like I'm supposed to be Super Woman and that I'm lousy at it. I think expect too much from myself - always have. I think I worry too much. (Let's face facts: That will never change.) I think I care too much about what other people think. I think I may be taking life too seriously. But really, I think it's time for Busy Season to close before I go gray or suffer a stroke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jess said...

you are a beautiful and wonderful person.l...not just a beautiful and wonderful mother. Your beauty and talents show up in likely and unlikely places. The way you try to find beauty every day in the funny and strange and sweet things the boys do. the way you try to see other points of view when i sometimes can't. The way you listen to me when others may not. You make things. Not everyone can say that. You work so hard not to sweat the small stuff (yes, i see the irony in that statment). The way you trust God in everything! These are ways that you do live life to the fullest. You don't just sit and wait around for life to happen to you. You are eloquent in your writing and you share that beautifully. Maybe you need to fly to dallas for the weekend!
I love you.

Sarah said...

Amanda, Sweet Amanda...let me start by saying that you are an amazing PERSON...I really do think that you are super woman--even when you "fail" in your own eyes, you are so graceful. You not only are that amazing person, you are a wonderful mother, a wonderful wife and a wonderful friend. I love reading your blogs because they are so "raw", so personal and you are so great at portraying your thoughts. I know the single mom routine--from a one kid perspective and I can't imagine it from a two kid perspective, but you handle it amazingly. I'm ready for the close of busy season for you for this year. I think you need a long vacation!!! (and a this week...for a few hours at least...)

Heather said...

Girl...I SO get you. Brian works 10-12 hour days 6 days a weeks and then at least 4-5 hours on Sundays. (The difference is that I have grandparents around who help me, so I understand that does make a huge difference). But, trust me, I understand where you're coming from. Of course we want to be great moms for our kids, but if we don't take care of ourselves, we won't have anything left to give. You HAVE to take care of yourself and that involves getting some time to yourself. You have the rest of your life to clean house and do will ALWAYS be there. Your kids won't! They will remember when you played with them outside in the pool (loved the pics of the pool by the way) and played games and read stories. They won't remember that their clothes were washed and put neatly in their drawers. If I've learned anything from being a mom, I've learned that it's a trade-off. Somedays go as planned, but most don't. During naptime, some days it's laundry and cleaning and other days it's reading a magazine, watching TV or doing a craft. You just have to find the balance that's right for you and your family! I think you can "have it all" as long as you correctly define "having it all". You have a great family and an sweet husband - I think you do have it all!

Andrea said...

I think you'll find you are not alone in feeling everything you're feeling. Motherhood is such a second-guessing game. I play it all the time. You are not alone in suddenly feeling like being 30 is catching up to you. It's like you are reading my mind! I know exactly how you feel when you say if you change one more diaper or fold one more piece of laundry your going to go crazy. It sounds like you need a break. I feel that way during the week when Chad works late, but on the weekends when I can get some help I start to feel like me again. You definately need a break for Amanda time!!! Don't feel guilty that you want that. Everyone needs time to themself to enjoy their hobbies. And I don't know a Mom that doesn't look forward to naptime. God invented naptime for parents to recharge! Also, you are one generous friend! I love all of the adorable baby girl stuff you made! How precious! Keep on sewing and monogramming! We need to meet and meet soon! I am feeling the same way. Gabby's school just ended and I am starting to worry about keeping her out of my hair day in and day out. Also, I think the pillows and palets are just part of that age. Gabby makes them daily. So much for toys!

kate m. said...

Amanda, I am so sorry things have been hard for you! I guess every job goes through a "busy season," but it stinks that yours rolls around like clockwork. I definitely echo everyone else's comments and say that you are a truly remarkable person and that you are much more critical of yourself. We all see the wonderful mother that you are, and I think that if you could see what everyone else sees, you could rest easier. I know it won't give you a break, but please know that I am always available if you ever want to meet somewhere in the middle for some grown-up conversation for you and a playmate for Grant and Rhett. Love you!