Wednesday, July 1, 2009

follow up

Hmm, I'm not sure where to start with this post. I've had quite a few strong responses that I wasn't expecting. The purpose of my post was NOT to throw my dad under the bus. He spoke the truth. Everything he said is exactly what I needed to hear. It hurt because it was true. I've been really self-absorbed with all the trials we've been through in the last couple of years. Like I said, it was all about getting up, making it through the day somehow, and waking up to do it all over again. I felt like a zombie. I really wasn't in tune with my kids, and didn't want to be because it took more energy than I had. It's not to say that I was neglectful physically - they ate, they bathed, they had clean clothes to wear. But, I'm not sure I was really there for them emotionally. Everyday, it was all I could to do keep enduring. What we went through took both of us to our breaking point, and then some. I was literally on the verge of snapping. Looking back I could see how selfish I really was. What my dad said was hard to hear, and the tears came because I knew he was right. It was time for me to snap out of it! (Maybe I wouldn't have listened if he hadn't been so blunt. Also, you have to recognize that he hasn't been around to see all the changes. For all he knew, it was same as usual.)

I think he might have been right about placing too many demands on Jason. I probably was because I didn't feel I had the energy to exert myself. At that point, I was desperate for any and all help. What I didn't see then was that he was just as depleted as I was. It wasn't fair for me to place so many demands on him.

As for a schedule, I don't expect it to be perfect 100%, either. It does help take the guesswork out of what to do next. I've learned that I do better, emotionally, when I have a full schedule. I get energized by it; I feel good to look back at my day and see all that I've accomplished. And, it's humbling to see Father magnify you beyond your capacity. Until I graduated from ASU, I didn't know what having a completely open schedule felt like. I have found that for myself, I cannot operate without an plan. I also recognize that some people function better without such demands. I don't. I have found that, for myself, I am more prone to get discouraged and depressed without one. I also realize that an hour-to-hour schedule is a bit excessive, but that part of it is more for Laci than myself. However, I do feel that it has helped me be far more in tune with my kids. There is a lot more 1-on-1 interaction because the activities are changning frequently. Instead of placing the kiddos in front of the TV while I get busy with household duties and what I feel I need to do that day, I'm doing more with them - crafting, coloring, watching movies/cartoons, taking walks or playing outside - with them. It's been really fun.

Nor do I expect my house to be perfectly clean all of the time. I agree with one comment, a house of order means spiritual order, which I think will automatically be in place if we are following the first steps in that verse. I was just bringing out what I learned about temporal order from Grandad's temple tour... it doesn't mean that I completely negate the fact that spiritual order is important. The two are very much intertwined; both suffer when one is neglected. Cleaning a little bit everyday is something I started a couple of years ago because of Jason's crazy work schedule. When he started his business he worked anywhere between 12-16 hours a day. If I waited around for him to help out like he did our first year of marriage - when his schedule was a lot less full - it would NEVER get clean. Or I would spend 12 hours if I waited to do it in 1 day. Not fun. I am a perfectionist and a clean-freak. (If any of my children inherit that from me, I'm going to feel bad for them. It does place a lot of undue stress and burden.) What I hope to pass on to my children is the importance of picking up after themselves for the very purpose that one day they will have room-mates, a spouse, children - who I'm sure won't want to live with a slob. On the other hand, I don't want them to feel like nothing can ever be out of place. So, hopefully, I'm creating a happy balance expecting them to straighten their rooms and make their beds in the morning and picking up toys in the evening before going to bed - but the rest of the day, they have free reign! (Well, mostly.)

Jason and I are more unified than we've ever been. (Even my dad commented on that, in a different conversation, during our AZ trip. So he wasn't all doom and gloom.) Jason pitches in with household duties and the kids from time to time. It's not a lot because of his work schedule - which still resembles his business owner hours - but I'm grateful for what he can do. We've grown closer over the last year than I ever thought possible a year ago. I've noticed that we've grown stronger as a couple because of our individual efforts to strengthen ourselves spiritually, emotionally, etc. It's not to say that we weren't trying to fill our cups before; but, they were quickly emptied because of what we were enduring. And, the Adversary is always ready to jump in when he sees an opportunity. I think recognizing the Lord's hand in the blessings we've received this last year, was the spiritual boost we needed. With nourishment, we've only grown stronger individually - and more capable to give to each other and our children. I've learned a lot of lessons these couple years that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. I'm grateful for the lessons, and very grateful the trials are over! Hopefully, when the next one rolls around, I will be better equipped to face it.

Whew! Hopefully that all made sense! But, I really hope that it will clear up any misconceptions that anyone had.


Lacey said...

I wish I would have been the first to comment on your post below. Now there are 8 comments and all I can say is I agree with them all!!

Your amazing! It's hard sometime to accept counsel from our parents but it sounds like it was exactly what you needed!

I plan to call you this week- we are just getting back from a trip to Sea World...

All I can add is I think your plan is awesome and I hope you can find the patience and strength to stick with it! Do what's best for your family and everyone will be happy!

Mariley Johnson said...

Well, i can admit without any regret that i am selfish! IF we were all perfect, we wouldn't have anything to work on, right?
Good luck and i think you are doing a great job!

The Schneider Family said...

You have always been a great example to me! I have been feeling this way lately! I have gotten some counsel from my dad as well. I also demand alot out of my husband because of the stress I feel on a daily bases! It's hard being a mom, but I just want me kiddos to FEEL the love I have for them, and Not just yell all day long because I am sick of cleaning! I am learning that my time with them is precious! So thanks for sharing your experience it really ahs amde be evaluate who I am and how I treat my hubby and kids! I love them and want to be a well balanced person!

The Coons Family said...

I'm glad you got out of it what you needed. Just remember we love you and are always thinking of you.

Karli said...

Okay, so we went to the temple last night and in front of me was sitting the prettiest redhead with the cutest haircut and the LONGEST eyelashes I've ever seen. And who do ya think it was? HEATHER! It was so fun to see her and catch up. Her boy Blaze is a hunk and so sweet to her. It was fun to watch them during the session exchanging loving glances. Anyway, it made me miss you! Hope you're doing well.

Tasha Dodge said...

I just wanted to say that I have been and am still going through want you are. It's hard to realize the part we have to play and it's different for every family. Like you, my husband works 12 hour work days on a normal basis and since it is done outside esp. in Arizona you can imagine how worn out he would be. He has been doing this for the majority of our marriage. I used to be upset that he didn't help out with the chores more, if at all. After a few arguments over it (and a couple of years) I finally understood how he felt after getting home. Now when he gets home he makes dinner (long story but he likes to cook), helps with diaper changes, and plays with the kids. His only chore is to take out the trash. That leaves everything else to me, and my house is usually dirty. As much as it stinks I've finally come to realize that it's my job to take care of the home. No one else can do it but me. I've spent years kicking and screaming over it. Of course I am so far from a clean, inviting home, and I definately need to put more effort into it, but I'm trying. Like you I have add/adhd kids. My oldest has add, and my second has adhd. Since boys are naturally more high strung than girls having adhd boy in the mix is insane. I would say try the routine, I haven't done much on that because it's a huge weakness for me. One thing you could look into is homeschooling. That would provide a huge routine for atleast four hours of the day. I pulled my daughter (add) out of first grade last year after being guided by the spirt to homeschooling. I didn't even know that was an option. I didn't want to put my daughter on meds just so she could do what others thought she should. I believe that my children are this way for a reason and it will serve a purpose in their lives. It's been amazing to see the changes in my daughter and how much faster she learns and catches on to things since she has the one on one attention. I also did preschool last year with my two of my other kids (one with adhd) and they have loved it. We took summer off and the last month my adhd boy has asked every day to do school. I recommend looking into it if you don't want to go the medicine route. It's as easy or hard as you make it and as cheap or expensive too. Through homeschooling I have gotten to know my daughter better and our relationship has greatly improved. If you want to know more you can email me at I know this comment has been long, but I felt it was important for you to know you're not alone and a lot of others go through these struggles as well. You're doing great. Just keep your head up.


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