I'll open with a fun thought: Pregnancy and marriage - good for it, or not so much?
I'm driving my husband crazy with my pregnancy brain, pregnancy hormones and just talking about pregnancy and the baby All. The. Time.
He doesn't say much about it, but yesterday, as I was speculating about what it'll be like when we have 3 boys running around, he began to nod off. I then realized that I'm getting a little self-absorbed and well, boring.
Pregnancy is an amazing thing, no matter how many times it happens to you, but I think Joseph is getting a little "we've been here twice, why are you still obsessing about it?!" Only, he doesn't say that. He just listens. He's learned, I think, not to upset my pregnant self with any indication that I might be ridiculous, because that just isn't pretty. He has often said that when we were pregnant for the first time, he suddenly didn't know who he married. The way he tells it, he thought, "Who is this person? Is it too late for an annulment?" I really put him through hell... well, purgatory. Then he says, "Literally the hour after Patrick was born, you were yourself again."
I'm afraid it's true. Pregnancy just does a number on me personality-wise, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I have just felt emotionally dry and mentally stunted for the duration of my pregnancies, including this one. I blew up at an old man in a grocery store, which is something I'd be way less likely to do un-pregnant (more on that below). This personality shift really affects Joseph. He needs my love and affection, but I'm either just numb, or super-irritable.
Picture this: He goes to bed with a tired, slightly plump, but not very snuggly wife, and in the morning, wakes up with a bear. A Grizzly even.
This time, we saw all this coming, since it happened twice before, so we've been talking about how we're feeling and our marriage-needs a lot. It comes down to the fact that I need him to realize that I've gone temporarily crazy, and patiently wait for me to return.
I just read John Kinnear's 5 Things Parents Need to Stop Saying to Non-Parents which a few friends posted on Facebook. (Not all non-parents either.)
His numbers 4 and 5 really struck me.
5. "My life didn't have meaning before I had kids!"Another way to say this: My life was meaningless before I had kids. Another way: Life without kids is meaningless.Uuugghhh... I hear this from people and I hate it too. I like to think that despite growing children in my body and then feeding them with it and then meeting their every other need in life, I've retained some autonomy from Patrick, Carter and Little Boy 3. My life certainly has a different meaning, and possibly a deeper personal meaning than before I had children - but that's the nature of becoming less self-absorbed. Kids make that self-giving thing more necessary and that, I think, is the key to my happiness in motherhood.
I agree with Kinnear wholeheartedly on this one, especially when he makes the point about how non-parents who are wanting children, and trying to have them, but can't, feel when you imply that their lives don't have meaning unless they pop out some more people.
I have friends who feel sorry for me because I had a baby during university and didn't get to live that freedom-loving, drunk-most-weekends, party lifestyle like they did. Or you know, have a career involving an office, a water-cooler and some prize-winning journalism. Puh-lease. My life was very full and meaningful before I had children, and I don't have regrets about having children. I do not need the pity - nor do I pity people who've chosen not to have kids for the moment. I kind of pity people who are saying they want no kids ever, but that's because I never pictured my own life without them.
Infertility has also been on my mind and heart and in my prayers a lot lately. Maybe it's been put there because I've had a hard time being grateful that I'm pregnant again with very little effort. I don't claim to have even a little understanding about what a couple might go through upon an infertility diagnosis, or even just a few failed attempts at getting pregnant.
We'll just leave that one there.
Patrick (after tripping and falling): "Mom, I just dropped myself. You should have been there to catch me!"
I was recently told that all of the things I post on facebook about my oldest, Patrick, are really funny. A couple single friends had apparently been discussing how it annoys them when parents over-post every aspect of their kids lives - when a lot of it isn't that newsworthy or funny, or even exciting to the majority of social media. According to my friend, they'd both agreed that what I posted was actually great. I was so flattered, though I had to tell my friend that what I post is funny only because Patrick Does. Not. Stop. Talking. It's quantity vs. quality here folks. So I can post a lot of funny things, because about 10 per cent of what he says is genuinely cute or hilarious. The rest - babble, singing, whining, pretending etc.
Urg. Sadness. (If you're not up for my sorrowful little moment, skip to number 5. I promise it'll be happy!)
The above photo was taken in the house I grew up in. That house, as of yesterday, no longer belongs to my family.
I'm mourning it a little. I'm not really that sad - it was just a house, just a thing. It is the people that inhabit a house that make it a home, and I still have most of those people around.
But sadly, the selling of our childhood home has brought back loosing my Dad again. He was killed in a car accident in 2011. He was a carpenter who built and renovated parts of our house continuously throughout my childhood. His effort was in everything: The refinished hardwood floor in the living room, the kitchen cabinets, the paint on the walls, his writing, marking our heights as we grew up there. Sometimes when we'd visit, I'd close my eyes and pretend for a minute that the family sounds included his. It was comforting to have the home he'd built and cared for around us when he wasn't anymore. It was nice to look into a room and just remember him there.
I still can't fathom that I won't take my children there to celebrate holidays and birthdays and to visit their grandparents. There will be no more memories for our family there.
In all this, I realize that moving on when you lose someone is really important. It has helped me separate the life of my father from the objects that remind us of him. They will pass away, but his life goes on. I've always thought it must be hard for people who don't believe their loved one's souls go to heaven. We have the comfort of knowing that God is our true home - and that is where my father has gone.
I'm so happy to share with you that I've finally finished The Lord of the Rings! I can now join the ranks of my homeschooled Tolkien fanatics. (This post touches on my humble beginnings).
Somehow I feel like I've fulfilled a small dream of mine.
My next venture is to complete the Harry Potter books. Why? I read up to number six, years ago, then got distracted by um... well, becoming a youth minister in Scotland for a year and a half. A worthy distraction, I think.
Maybe if I become well-read in the fantasy genre, I'll write my own fantasy. I've always fancied myself a bit of an author. We'll see. You heard it here first.
Last week I mentioned I'm turning over a new organized home leaf. Well, I think I've hit a pot-hole in this proverbial road. My basement.
It's actually not a basement. It's the ground floor. It's a four-level split, but the ground floor is not the main floor, so it feels "basementy." Plus, we think it used to be a garage and has pokey little basement windows, making it even more basement-like. The ACTUAL basement is finally dry-walled and painted and ready to become our boys' bedroom, the guest room and a nicer bathroom than we have upstairs.
Pre-kitchen reno (which is still not complete, though I'm in a functioning main floor kitchen), we had a little kitchen down there. It was possibly the worst kitchen I've ever worked in. I cooked in that place for a year and a bit, when we'd originally hoped to be out of there in a month.
Back to the faux-basement. It has become the place where stuff goes to die - or to sit in storage getting covered in dust. Yesterday, I attempted some organization and discovered that I have SEVEN YEARS worth of hoarded miscellaneous keepsakes which, though I have sentimental attachment to, I never did anything with.
I had every intention of taking my World Youth Day 2008 paraphernalia and memories of that trip to Australia (where my husband and I had our first date) and making some sort of scrapbook or shadow box to capture the whole amazing experience. But then... I went back to school, got married, had a baby, went back to school, my father died, we moved houses, we had another baby, then I finished my degree, and now here I am, a few months away from Little Boy 3.
So maybe all this stuff deserves better than the little post-office bag it is currently housed in, but I'm questioning whether or not to just rely in my ability to remember and write all the stuff off as weighing me down.
My pregnancy rage. Otherwise known as my evil twin.
Above I mentioned that I blew up at an old man in the grocery store, so before you think I'm some horrible person who flies off the handle at small things that seniors do, like pick through the bags of grapes or take one banana off of 4 or 5 bunches in order to obtain perfect bananas, leaving me with bunches of 3 or 4 bananas, of which I have to buy two to satisfy my kid's morning wants, instead of being able to quickly grab just one bunch... I digress.
Anyway, before you think I'm horrible, know that this man bumped into the back of my legs. Not just one leg, BOTH. I was surprised, obviously, and turned around to find a cute little man who said, "Excuse me. Need to get through." Well, beside us was another lady, shopping for lemons, and I, having not yet obtained my bananas, due to the aforementioned issue, was not ready to move.
I said to him, "Well, you could say 'excuse me', or wait your turn instead of bumping into me with your cart!"
To which he replied, "It's ok, nobody get hurt!"
Enraged, I said, "THANKFULLY! You don't just go bumping into people! What is wrong with you?!"
I walked away before he could apologize, feeling my body tense and the actual urge to turn my cart around and ram into his.
Another lady then had the nerve to tell me that I was rude. I said to her, "You think it's OKAY to bump into a pregnant lady with your cart just because you're old?!" I also walked away from her.
These two people clearly did not catch me at my best. I still haven't gone to confession for this, because I'm having a tough time with contrition. I'm just not sorry yet. Prayers please.
Well thanks for taking time to glimpse my life. Have a lovely weekend.