Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Really Long Slightly Useful/Useless Post

The List of Stuff Done:

Go to Idaho for Thanksgiving.

Come back from Idaho and go to cousin's wedding.

Enjoy all wedding festivities.

Host cousins during infamous BYU/Ute football game. Where the KNEE WAS DOWN, PEOPLE!

Get house in order.

Leave right after Sacrament Meeting with children for little family excursion to Park City.

Come home the next day and put up Christmas decorations.

Do five bazillion loads of laundry, dishes, clean whole house, put away storage stuff, decorate Christmas tree. Oh, yeah. Still doing all of that one. Sheesh!

As you can see, I have not been blogging. Whoop-dee-doo.

New favorite author: Rosamunde Pilcher. Granted, I've only read one of her books (Winter Solstice), but I'm impressed!

I visit teach an amazing artist. Yes, yes I do. They are having a fabulous art exhibit next weekend (Dec. 10th and 11th) at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building featuring a gazillion famous artists (LDS and inspirational art) where you can buy prints or originals. I'm very excited to go! My children (three of them: #1, #2, and #4 to be exact) were used as models for her newest painting (that isn't quite finished, yet). The honor is beyond words. I'm going to be there on the 11th --you should, too!

I think I'm finally hitting that wall. The one where all I do is whine and complain about my miserable existence as a semi-single mother. No time to talk to my husband. No time to do anything for myself. No time to even finish essentials (and so instead I ignore everything and sit down and read a book because why would I try to finish something I know is impossible to finish?).

I try really, really, really hard not to talk about my marriage on this blog (except the good stuff). Brandon is a really awesome husband and father (even during his less-than-stellar times) and I truly love the man. Complaining about him in a public way is disrespectful of him and of our marriage. But I would be lying --as most of you know --if I claimed my marriage was perfect. Which, thank goodness, I've never claimed.

Brandon is an ambitious man. He has plans for his career and his education; hopes and dreams and desires for better things for him and us (his family). Like me, he values financial stability (and possible wealth. But not crazy wealth. Solid wealth). A friend recently told me, after I was gratefully speaking about Brandon's graduation date:

"Cheryl, Brandon is getting an executive MBA. That means he wants to be an executive. His hours won't get shorter after graduation!"

After telling him to shut-up, and laughing it off, it hit me: He is right. Brandon has ambition in spades. Not Larry H. Miller ambition, but still...

What does this mean for us? For me? For the kids? Right now, nothing. I'm very honest with my husband about my desires and my needs-- in fact, I've already had this conversation with him (thus the blog post) --and so he knows my trepidation and fear of raising all the kids alone. But I also know how much I want him to succeed. I want to see him happy, successful, and content. Sometimes I think he (and I) could accomplish this by selling everything and moving to the coasts of Scotland. Or Seattle. Maybe Half Moon Bay? And see, if he was gone because of a Church calling (Bishopric, Apostle, whatever), then I'd be raising the kids "alone" and for some reason, I don't think I'd be as frustrated with it. Why is this? The wealth of the world versus the wealth of God? Totally. In fact, even though I'm tired of constant meetings or what-not, I honestly am not upset with Church service. Church service to me is one of those lines that I have never crossed. This isn't due to some guilt or rule or whatever; it's truly my personality. Church service (within reason; along calling lines, etc.) is a no-brainer for me. It HAS to be done. I WANT it to be done. This is where the education/working/success-for-money lines become blurry for me. Do we want to be educated? Heck, yes! Do we want successful jobs/financial security/ability-to-serve-a-mission-together-one-day? Yeppers. But at what cost? Where is that line of too much? I know it's super individual and sometimes the individual can't always know, but I wonder if in the desire for success, life can be lost. Whoah! Don't get me wrong, dear reader! My husband hasn't lost himself in this roller-coaster-seductive-dark-side. Does it mean he's immune from it? Absolutely not. (Why do I keep asking questions and answering them? I'm not sure. Shoot! Did it again!)

What is my point? I'm not sure. These are just the things moving around in my brain and heart lately. Wondering about where the future will take us; hoping that Brandon and I are on the same page and can map it out without too much fear on either side [Okay, my side. Yeah, that's me! Mrs. Fearful! It's the genetics].

In light of all this stressful stress I heap upon myself, I've decided I need to start taking more breaks. Time away from the kidlets. Maybe once a week doing some kind of solo trip. Browse a book store; take in a movie. Dinner with a friend. I'm also considering hiring a maid (I know, I know, I've said this before) to come and deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms twice a month. There's gotta be somebody willing to do that, right?

(Notice how I didn't answer that question?!?)


Dorri said...

Not that I know you or anything, but here are my 2 cents. I've been reading your blog for a while now, sometimes I comment, mostly I just enjoy reading and don't always feel like I have anything of importance to say. Anywho, it's good that you are talking with your hubby about your fears now, he needs to know those fears. I think to many wives just accept the long hours as part of the job, something they have to put it, and as a good wife you just accept it and don't complain. Okay maybe that was just me, but I let it go on that way and I kept it to myself and complained to my sisters instead of to the person who I should have been talking with. So I guess I just wanted to say on that topic, keep talking to him about it, not in a nagging way but in and "I love you and need to see more of you" way.
Oh and my 2 cents on the getting time out by yourself, DO IT!! When I was still married and the then DH was working crazy hours and I never saw him, I never had time to myself. So I started hiring a YW who lived down the street every other friday after school. She would watch my kids while I went to the library and sat in a comfy chair and read. It was just what I needed, me time. I think every mom whether she is married or single needs "ME" time, so make sure you take it.

FoxyJ said...

I think it is good to be open and upfront about your fears and concerns with your husband, especially before you get too far into things. Make sure you keep your priorities straight; getting on the same page with financial things can be harder than I thought it would be. A lot of times financial issues aren't really about the money itself; money is closely tied to so many emotional issues as well.

Oh, and my sister-in-law does housecleaning as a part-time job. If you're looking for someone to clean your house she is awesome and charges reasonable rates. Let me know.

Jocelyn said...

You're awesome and you two will figure things out. That doesn't make this time easy, but it will work out. You're too awesome for it not to. So is Brandon. You guys are open and talk. How could it not work out?

And get a maid. It'll change your life. :)

Emily & Co. said...

I think about the same sorts of things w/my favorite time is to get up early before anyone else. That's my "ME" time...I love being able to have that time and then snuggle w/my kiddos as they wake up in the morning.

Alison Wonderland said...

I think we all spend a lot of time thinking about how things will be better when... It's in our natures I guess and I'm not sure that it's all bad. Just don't forget to enjoy where you are too. (That's me talking to myself on your blog, just in case you were wondering.)

Anne Marie said...

What's so hard about finding a balance for your family is that what "balanced" is for one family may be totally out of control for another. Each family is unique in all the needs and wishes of the people who are in it. My husband got his MBA some years ago, and quite frankly the hours for people in the business world can really vary. He is gone more than 12 hours a day normally and during busy seasons easily does 80 hours in a week. But, he is highly driven and loves his work. We just try to enjoy the times he is around, and I've lowered my expectations. There are lots of people who work less than this, and every company varies a lot in its demands, but generally the workload for the average American worker has been increasing, particularly in the corporate world. And, with the unemployment rate being what it is, I am nervous to ask my husband to cut back at work, especially when layoffs happen from time to time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My youngest kids are 5, and it is amazing how much time there is in the day for me to catch my breath and think for a moment. There are times and seasons in our lives, and right now you are in one of the very busiest. Best wishes to you!

Michelle said...

You guys will figure it out. It's a process.

(But btw, if it helps you feel any better, an executive MBA is called that because those who are getting them are also working. Regular MBA programs are pretty much full time.)

Personally? I think the job-and-school thing is pretty tough, so I think it's normal as the wife to struggle with it. It's HARD work for both of you!

Cardalls said...

I too have hit the wall many times when it comes to single mommyhood and work. My husband is a project manager for a construction company and works VERY long hours. However he reminds me that it is no small miracle he still has a job at this point. I think we can express our viewpoints about their ambition/work etc. However I think it is very important not to nag or whine or make them feel bad about working hard and having ambition. It is so important to them to provide and their self esteem is highly connected to that role. PLUS I know so many women who would give ANYTHING to have as hard working and ambitious husband as I have. It is one reason I fell in love with him and I am so very grateful he is such a great provider. I have backed off saying much about it because I know he is doing his best and really loves being home with us as much as he possibly can!