Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day, 2015

I'm trying a new thing this year for Mother's Day.
I'm working on embracing the day. I'm not going to lie, it hasn't been easy.

It's more than an attitude check. There are so many reasons I don't enjoy this day, but that would defeat the entire purpose of writing this, so here we go...

I am the mother of five children. F.I.V.E.
That's a lot of kids.
And it was all by choice.
We chose to have five children. CHOSE.
We were like, "Hey, you know what? We should get more kids. Because we rock this parenting thing. At least most days. Well, maybe once a week we rock it. But back to the kid thing. Let's get more."

Why more? (I've had lots of people ask).
Usually my answer is, "well, why not?" But here is my/our real reason.

Because we can.

We live in a house.
Children around the world are homeless.

We eat at least three, usually waaaaaay more, meals a day.
Children everywhere are starving.

My house is overflowing with stuff. STUFF.
In Haiti, at our children's orphanage, most of the children were barefoot.

We are rich in money.
By that I mean, in this world where we live, we are considered to be in the top 1%.

We are rich in love.
And by that, I mean, we have love to share.

Being a parent is hard. It's real work. Everyday, all day long, never stopping, you don't get breaks, kind of work.

It is physically exhausting.
I haven't slept through the night in 15 years.

It is mentally challenging.
I don't know if General Grievious would be able to defeat a T-Rex. I don't remember how to do Algebra. I really don't want to revisit the Oregon Trail again, for the 4th year. Yes, I did make a dentist appointment. Wait. No I didn't.

I'm super happy. Now I'm super sad and I don't know why. (Welcome to the world of girls.)
You are my best friend ever. I hate you. I'm going to hit you. *Fight Scene* Now you are my best friend ever, again. (Welcome to the world of boys.)
And that's is just the kids.
Because everyday my heart overflows with love and joy and everyday my heart aches and breaks for my children.

So, why do we still do it, bring home more kids?


Because hearing the sound of my children laughing together is beautiful.
I love coming home and finding a special flower on my windowsill, picked just for me.
Impromptu basketball, baseball, soccer games in the backyard are the best.
"Hey mom" is pretty much the same as, "I love you mom."
Seeing my child get excited about something new is amazing.
Bass drums, pointe shoes, soccer cleats, skateboards, and a baby dolls are scattered around my house, and one day I will miss not finding all of these things.
Dirt, sand, socks, dog hair, random toys and candy wrappers are scattered around my car. One day I will have a clean car that smells good, and secretly hope I find Darth Vader's head under my car seat.

So, there's the real answer.
I am the mother of five. I chose to be the mother of five.

Just because.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Marriage, Kids, and Sports, Oh My!

Recently we hit a rough patch in our marriage.
It happens.

And for those of you who are thinking, "Oh, that's too bad. I love my husband/wife so much. I can't even imagine fighting with them." You all can shut your mouth right now, because you are LYING.

It's work. It's a lot of work and you have to be willing to put in the effort.

So, when the times arrive, and they will, where you are tired of each other, work, the kids, the carpools, the laundry, the evenings and weekends spent at different children's sporting events/practices/classes/activities, you stop connecting with your spouse. Mostly because you just don't have time for each other.

Keep this in mind, before I go on; we've been married almost 20 years. We've had rough spots before. Again, it happens. We both know it happens. We both know we will work through the difficult time and be stronger from the experience. We know that we are 100% committed to each other and our marriage. Knowing this does not make it easier.

For example, we just came off of a really fabulous holiday season. I mean, my Christmas present was a trip to Vegas to see Justin Timberlake. Just the two of us! How great is that?

But you know how when you are on vacation and everything is perfect and then you arrive back home and REAL LIFE sets back in. That part sucks.

Back to real life and homework, and practices, and carpools, and work, and paying bills, and housework, and grocery shopping, and the piles of laundry. And after the first day back at home and all 5 kids come home from school with, get this, HOMEWORK, and I'm still doing laundry from Christmas Eve, and nobody made dinner and somebody didn't have a great day at work, well, sometimes it is just the beginning.

Because then you add in basketball practices and dance classes Monday-Friday evenings and weekend tournaments, and the results are not good. At least, not for us and our family.

So then, what do you do?
Seriously...what do you do?

Our basketball season just ended. We are both relieved. Relieved. How sad is that?
And, don't get me wrong, WE LOVE watching our children do anything that they love. For our family it's dance, basketball, and soccer.

But being too busy (as it has been), too committed to kids teams (because it is a commitment) along with daily life and work has left us NO TIME together. And by together, I mean alone, with NO CHILDREN. There have been entire weekends where we see each other in the morning over breakfast and then again crawling into bed, too tired to even recap the highlights of the game or performance.

One of my goals in life is to raise children who will be kind, respectful, independent, and productive adults, who will eventually move out of my house.
My bigger goal is to still be married to their father when they are gone. And by married, I mean happily married.

I have no real resolution for this post.

The good news,the rough patch is over. The bad news, there will be another one.
But then, that's all a part of life. This glorious, exciting, exhausting, challenging life.