Monday, August 22, 2011

Expectations






The dynamics of our house have changed in the last couple of months, and in some ways - it's been difficult for me to navigate. Maybe this is normal growing pains for families in our situation, but then again... maybe not. When we moved, I officially became a stay at home Mom. At the same time, John's job changed.

Or at least it was the first time that I saw the reality of his new job - because for the first 6 months of  him working within his new responsibilities - I was in Texas and only saw him on the weekends. So when he was home, it was at a set time with a set pattern. Now that we're here in Memphis, the actual reality is that it's a bit different.

His responsibilities keep him at work longer hours than I'm used to, and with a much less predicable pattern than I'm used to. Meaning that I don't always know when he'll get home - and it's likely after the boys have had their dinner. (I acknowledge that they eat early... 5-5:30 PM) I hope to push their dinner time back a bit in the coming year so that when they are able to completely feed themselves - we can have a family sit down dinner together.

Anyway, I've struggled with these big changes - because I was used to a world where we carpooled together everyday - came home and got everything done together for the boys... and then relaxed together. Now, I'm so exhausted by the time he gets home - it's time to get the boys in bed, and I'm pretty much brain-fried by that point.

I was gently reminded that all this extra work and responsibility is the very reason that I am able to stay home with the boys now. Which is true, and I'm grateful for that - I guess really where my frustration lies is in the fact that I kinda miss hanging with John. Also, in the fact that I feel like I'm failing miserably at this stay at home Mom thing.

Not so much the Mom part... but the keeping a clean house, and all that goes with maintaining the house part. There are still some boxes - especially upstairs... and I just can't ever seem to get to it. I mean nap time is ridiculous - I have time for a shower, clean the kitchen, and a quick meal... then it seems like they're up again and I'm on duty.

I guess I need to get my expectations in check all the way around... especially with regards to what I can reasonably do while taking care of these two crazy men. I can't even leave the room without some near epic meltdowns... and that doesn't even take their safety (now that they are both mobile) into account.

Does everyone struggle with this? Am I just a horrible housekeeper? I'm making myself nuts!
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6 comments:

  1. I'm a stay at home wife most of the time, with the obvious exceptions of MDO and nannying. You know I don't have kiddos to keep track of while I am home, but it has taken awhile to get used to a cleaning schedule. And I have to be flexible. We used to do everything 50/50 or on the weekends together when I worked full time. Now, not a chance. Tyler works about 80+ hours a week between real job and school. I work 17 (plus school). My job is the house. But what has helped SO much is writing it all down. I made a home management notebook and it has shockingly made me better at keeping track of what needs to be done each day.

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  2. I think you're being a bit too hard on yourself, love. I'm not speaking from experience here, but I've known enough working moms and even SAHM's that have echoed the same feelings you're having. Ironically, all of these women have been very successful in their roles as wife and mother. I have no doubt that you're following suit.

    Just as you may feel that you're letting John and your boys down in some way because you don't have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you want, including quality time, consider that John may be feeling the same way because of his given role now. It's taking away from him too. Given the fact that he's able to be the very thing he's been called to be - his family's provider - there's a good chance he'll probably never say that to you, since he's succeeding in what he is wired to do and that's take care of his family financially and giving you all an amazingly blessed life.

    The facts are the facts - your boys are healthy, growing, thriving and learning and you are feeling the brunt of it by way of how tired you are and the things that aren't getting done in the house. But think about it - every mom goes through what you're going through in the early years, but most do it with only 1 child at a time. You have 2 that are 6 mos. apart. No easy task for a first time stay at home mommy! You've all been through A LOT of change in 3 years time. I'm not sure what else you can possibly expect of yourself given the hand you've been dealt (which is a might fine one, at that.)

    The things that truly matter are happening in your home each and every day and that's what you need to stay focused on.

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  3. Honey, I'm in the same boat. I can't find time for it either. Its infuriating. But messy home means happy kids, or something like that right?

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  4. Kim, ((((((hug)))))))) give yourself a break. It is hard enough to move, unpack and deal with one toddler. And you have two (or at least 1 toddler and one nearly toddler).

    If it is really bothering you, you might see about getting a mothers helper, a pre-teen who will come and play with the boys for a couple of hours while you unpack or whatever. Since you aren't leaving the house, it won't be as much as a full babysitter and you can go with someone younger.

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  5. If you can swing it get a housekeeper. There will still be lots of daily cleaning and dishes to do, but it really helps to have someone come every other week and do the deep cleaning!

    Also, give yourself a break on family dinners. You have plenty of time for that. I don't think we started eating as family until the kids were 3!

    It's a hard, mind numbing job! You are not alone. My biggest dream is to have a week at home alone in my home so I can organize and complete projects that I have been meaning to do for the past 4 years and haven't had time! :) That would be better than a trip to Europe!

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  6. I can definitely relate to part of this - everyone tells me to enjoy the kids while they're young, and not worry about keeping a clean house, but I just feel better about myself when I'm not tripping over dog-hair-gone-wrong and wondering what the goo dribbling down the wall is. And when my husband has clean underwear. (Mount Washmore, will I ever defeat you??)

    I can imagine that it is so much harder on you with John's long hours. I remember when I was on bedrest, and Chris was finishing up grad school. It was awful. He came home long enough to toss a can of soup my direction, and then he was off to class for hours. I just remember being so lonely. Praying that you are able to get the time with John that you need, and that the boys go easy on you during those late nights!

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