Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yep, We Are THAT House...

Every neighborhood has one, the house where all the kids congregate. It's where all the action is. I always thought those houses must have the "cool" mom. But since our house has become THAT house, I realize it has nothing to do with the mom. I am so far from being a "cool" mom!

We have a pool. Enough said, right? Anyone that has a pool knows what I am talking about. You don't have to advertise it, it just happens. Everyone wants to come over, all the time, every day. Besides the pool everyone uses the towels, bathroom, and even our swimsuits... Most of the time, I really don't mind. If my children are swimming, I am sitting out on the patio supervising anyway. So come on in. However, that is not always the case.

Last week we had VBS (Vacation Bible School) which means my children were gone all morning. Which  also means when I pulled in the driveway at 11:45 there would be a small cluster of neighborhood kids, in their swimsuits waiting...

It makes me wonder, where are their parents? Do they know their children changed into swimsuits and are waiting for me to get home to provide them with free babysitting all afternoon? Is that their plan? Am I that much of a sucker? Do I have Lunatic painted across my forehead?

At 11:45 my kids are ready for lunch. The plan is for them to do their daily chores while I make lunch. Then when everything is done and cleaned up, we might go in the pool. Out of the five days my children attended VBS it never once happened that way. Instead it turned into screams of joy by my children upon seeing their friends all ready for swimming, clothes being torn off while running into the house to see who could change into their suits the fastest, and me left carrying art projects and ditched shoes into the house. The neighborhood kids, knowing better than to run through my house, let themselves in the driveway gate and meet my kids at the pool. Sometimes I really miss my 150lb St. Bernard all the kids were afraid of...

Lunch would be made haphazardly while listening to the pleas of the children "Can we go in YET?!?!"
I'm sure I fed more than my four and the two who were suppose to be there, the two whose parents actually pay me to watch. Hands grabbing at PBJ and watermelon slices, leaving rinds and seeds to ferment in the heat on the patio seem to come out of nowhere. Somewhere in there I would try to put sunscreen on them, at least the important parts like the nose, forehead, and shoulders.

No one seems to understand the problem. "Just send them home" "tell them they can come over after lunch" is some of the advice people throw my way. Much easier said than done....Have you ever tried to talk over 14 screaming, crying children? Yes you saw that right 14. Yesterday I had 14 kids come over. I already know the problem, the problem is I have NO CONTROL.

What little control I have tried to exert is overpowered by the other parents. I had a little girl come over one day, came right into the backyard, by herself. She climbed into the pool with my kids. She is 3 years old. She does not like getting splashed. So she cried. I took her out of the pool. I am not going to listen to a kid scream and cry over getting wet in the pool. She left and went home. Fine. I didn't invite her over anyway. Ten minutes later she returns, with her mom. "________ says you won't let her swim." "She was crying about getting splashed, so I took her out. Sorry but my kids like to play rough OUR pool." Mom picks up her three year old,and puts her back in the pool! "No more crying" she says over her shoulder as she walks away! You have GOT to be kidding me I'm thinking. I should send her a babysitting bill...

My emotions are somewhere between disgust and honor. I am disgusted that so many people just send their kids my way for me to watch under the guise of coming over to "play", and honored at the same time that the kids want to be here. Hopefully I am providing a safe place for children to play without fear, knowing that someone loves them and wants the best for them. Maybe this is my mission field. God is sending me all these little children to plant the seeds of love in. I just wish he would send me the patience to go with it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Right Where I Want To Be

For the last year or so I have been examining my life. I'm approaching mid thirties and it has me kind of in a panic. When I was younger there was always "time" to do things. You know, when I "grow up". But now I look at my life and see that I am all grown up with four little ones, that frankly aren't so little anymore. Is this where I thought I would be? Is this where I want to be? Is there more I could be doing?

These questions have really plagued me over the past year. To be honest, the answers to these questions change with the day of the week. There are days that I couldn't possibly want more, and those days when I wonder if I will ever have what I want and or need. It is always changing. But what I worry about most is my husband. Does he have what he wants and/or desires? Am I helping him achieve his dream? Am I holding him back?

First of all, myself. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom with lots of kids. Check! I got that down. But it is the little things contained inside that dream that don't exactly look right. I find myself babysitting for extra money. Something I really hate doing. Not that I don't like other peoples kids, that's not it. It's admitting that my husband's work doesn't provide enough. That is what I hate. It's not being able to get the furniture I need to provide a comfy home, or the supplies, like paint, to make what we have more inviting that gets on my nerves. I guess I had an unrealistic view of staying home. I had hoped I could do with my home what I wanted, but money has really gotten in my way.

Vacations, I remembered taking vacations with my family as a kid. Camping or just going to the dells was enough to create great memories. But that is something we never do now. At least not all together. I go without my husband. Working for himself has created some extra time for himself. But more often than not he is always working, and if he's not, then we don't have the money to take vacations. That is a problem with his line of work that I really don't care for. But I hate telling him that.

Date nights are another one of those things that never happen like I would like. Just once or twice a month would be good for me. But it is hard to find a sitter for those evenings out, and when you do, you end up spending your life savings just to go to a dinner, movie and pay for a sitter. So that is something that doesn't happen.

Not to mention the Log home I would love to live in, or the acreage surrounding our property giving us lots of land to roam, and privacy. Some of my dreams are just too big for our income right now. And I kind of panic and think that they will NEVER happen. Then I get all weepy on why would God give us such strong desires just to leave them unfulfilled. It really is a dangerous road to travel down. So I don't often go that way. Instead I think of all the things I love about my life, and what is REALLY important.

I am married to the father of all my children (difficult and rare in today's society), I have four healthy children. They are able to attend a private school. We have a great home with a large yard (another oddity in the city). We have great extended families and lots of friends. We own our own businesses and have no debt (besides our mortgage). Life really is good. Sure there is a lot more that I want to accomplish, and most of it revolves around money and not having enough. But this is the Land Of Opportunity, and my life is not done yet.

But what about my husband? Is he happy? Is he satisfied? I know the answers to that. They mirror my own. But I am so thankful we get to do this thing called life together. We get to grow and dream as a team. We are going to keep our eyes on the ball and not give up. We have made a good life for our family so far, and there is still a lot of life to live. There is no destination, only the journey. We are determined to enjoy the journey, and not let the idea of a destination ruin what we have now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Depression and the Stay-at-home Mom

I was reading an article earlier today on SAHM being depressed. I could relate because, well, I'm a SAHM and I am often depressed. I am depressed by the condition of my house, the behavior of my children, my lack of friendships, the size of my bank account, the cold weather, the long hours my husband is gone, the inability to go anywhere without four others tagging along, etc. I often joke about these things, but in reality it is no joke. It is not something that is fleeting. It is beginning to take a stronger foothold and it scares me.

I find myself crying for no reason, eating more and working out less, having thoughts about my uselessness, and so forth. It could get dangerous here. I know what I need, I just don't know how to get it. I really need a break. I know it is funny, the last time I wrote I had just had a break. But if you didn't catch the dates on the posts, it was from 4 months ago. I think I'm due again. And really I am not looking for a weekend here or there, I think I need something more regular and more often. Maybe two days a week getting a sitter for a few hours. Oh, but that costs money. Thus here I sit. No money, no break.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mommy's Break

I left last Friday at 9:30am for a girls weekend at the trailer "up North". I went with my sister -in- law, mother-in-law, her sister and her niece. We met another sister-in-law-to-be up there (she lives in the area). I think it goes without saying that we had an excellent time. We were in Warrens at Cranberry Fest were we shopped and ate, ate and shopped and in the evening drank wine and relaxed. My kind of weekend.

Now the only problem with this kind of weekend is the return home. Don't get me wrong, I love my children and husband, and I missed them terribly. However, I didn't miss the dishes (we ate out all weekend!), the laundry, the dirty floors, the kids school work, etc. My husband is great, he did clean up after himself and the house was in pretty decent order. But we were two days behind in school work ( I home school the kiddos). For some reason I can not get myself back in gear. It is Thursday, I've been home since Monday afternoon, and we have gotten even further from catching up on schoolwork.

Yesterday I was ready to march the kids across the street and sign them up for the public school. I couldn't do it any more. I couldn't handle the back log of school assignments, the whining, the ...oh everything. And to top it off the house was in disarray and when it is like that, my mind is in disarray!

It's only by the grace of God that I am here this morning ready to tackle another day. In prayer this morning I was reminded of why I am homeschooling my children, and that is more important then a clean home and assignments done "on time". It is being able to train my children in the way they should go, instill right thinking and a right worldview for them to explore the world through. They can't get that in a "real" school. They are so concerned with keeping everything PC and religious free that I don't think really education is happening at all, instead it is only indoctrination.

This mommy is glad to be home, thankful for the break, and is cutting herself some slack for the disarray around her. The disarray is not eternal, but the hearts and minds of my children are...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Oh it's another day on the home front with the kiddos. I decided I needed to start a blog to help me keep my sanity. When I was younger I used to write in journals when I needed to vent or when I was bored and needed an outlet to express what I was feeling. Now, well I guess I'm doing it for the same reason. My kids give me reason enough to vent, I have so much to do I shouldn't get bored, but I do get tired of doing the same thing day in and day out. So here I am working on getting my writing legs back. Can you believe I majored in English and minored in writing? I can't either. But I guess writing is not like riding a bike. You can't just jump back in and write like you used to. It's something that without regular practice will begin to fade away. Yikes. I've done a whole lot of fading...