Something’s Gotta Give

I am struggling this week. Fo’ reals.

Upon coming out of the blur that was August 28-December 31, our family is now trying to figure out how to function as a unit of four instead of three. January marked the end of survival mode and the beginning of thrival [so not a word but it sounds pretty] mode – I was hoping for that, anyway.

Everyone said going from one to two is really hard. Mentally I had prepared for really hard, no sleep, no time. I wasn’t blown away by any of that. I mean, it’s hard and I’m tired and I’d love to have a day off, but I had braced myself for it. This being a mother of two, though – that I was not prepared for. It had not occurred to me that the part where Adelle is no longer my only baby and has thus transformed from the sweet little sugar of wonderfulness to the kid who pretty much seems disgusted with my every word and/or move. In addition to, and perhaps because of this, I am increasingly annoyed with her incessant talking and constant demanding of attention, which I feel guilty about. Throw in the fact that I can choose to clean the house, which absolutely needs it, or try to develop some plan of action for creating enjoyable situations for Adelle when she is home tomorrow and couple THAT with the fact that Marilee has decided that naps [and sometimes eating] are no longer for her, and I feel like I’m going to scream most of the time, which I also feel guilty about.

THEN there’s the fact that I have all this creativity DYING to be released somewhere – on a computer screen, in the dirt outside, on the walls and walls of emptiness in our home – but when, I ask you, should I release this creativity?

You probably think that I need some more Jesus in my life. That’s the problem, you may say. However, me and Jesus are all kinds of hanging out. He would be the reason I don’t scream [most of the time].

Some of you have 3, 4, and 5 kids and you think I sound like a big, fat baby. I accept this entirely and acknowledge that you are probably right, but this is where I am right now. Struggling to figure out whether or not God’s asking me to give up the creativity that matters to me or the clean house that matters to The Hunk or the good mothering that matters to my girls or bits and pieces of it all – because something’s gotta give.

Today, it’s mostly the clean house:

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Any wisdom at all that can be offered here will be gladly accepted. Other than that, I hope someone else out there is feeling me!

 

11 Comments

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  1. 1
    Gran

    Emily I remember all of this still vividly even at 73 years of age. Believe me, adelle and Marilee both know that you are feeling this way ( i dont know how they have this sixth sense, but they do.) which in turn brings out the little monster rebellion in them. I don't know the answer and I don't think anyone else does! Somehow we make it through these years. Some day when they are older you might even wish for a little of this chaos in your life…hmmmm? You are going to make it. Hang onto the rope as tight as you can. I love you.

  2. 2
    Jenn

    oh my sister friend. feeling it, feeling ya – all the way over here in Texas. Same struggles – every DAY!
    today as you can see I am on the computer, while I have a few loads of laundry, a messy bedroom and a sink full of dishes calling out my name. you are doing awesome sister. One friend told me, if my kids are dressed and fed – i've done well for myself and i hold on to that. Although I will same some days they are both in their PJ's until the hour before daddy comes home – ha!! Love you – you are awesome, thanks for sharing your heart! I better go get started on dinner!!

  3. 3
    Gra'ma

    First thing that popped into my mind, "Emily has this inherited gene that demands perfection." This gene is in conflict with reality…the perfect wife, mother, housekeeper, cook, writer, gardener, etc., etc., does not exist. Choose your battles, carve out some Emily time, allow others to help, have a fun 15-minute pick-up time before bedtime, keep the thought of what will matter 10 years from now and always remember that I think you're doing a GREAT job in all departments. I love you!!!

  4. 4
    Kim

    Oh Emily how I remember those days. I have a few thoughts from experience. First and foremost remember where guilt comes from. I often dealt with much guilt as a mother of a young family. You are set free in Christ…enjoy it. I remember after LaurieAnn was born my son was acting very similar to how you are describing Adelle. I had to sit him down and have a discussion about how LaurieAnn was not going away. She was here to stay and he needed to get used to it. You see he just didn't understand why he wasn't the baby anymore. It's hard but it's life. For me, i had to maintain order or else I couldn't function. So there were times when i chose to clean or straighten instead of playing or reading a book. Pretty sure my childre knew they were valued and loved.
    You are a great wife and mother no matter what the enemy is trying to tell you. Press on…. You are in my prayers.

  5. 6
    Courtney

    Em…I love your post and love knowing we're not the only ones that think "Is this normal?" I know we have learned that unless they are physically hurt, they will be okay until we can get to them! We have also dealt with eating/napping protests from both boys…napping was solved for us by putting them down without the rocking, turning on some sound…and letting them cry it out! Eating is still a struggle but I'm really thankful to report neither have starved yet! πŸ™‚ When all else fails, they are always willing to eat a sandwhich and yogurt! Ultimately, you know all they need is your love and you also know they're getting it! You are a great mom, wife, and 'minister' to so many people…not by the work you do, but by the life you live! Sometimes you need a cheer…so "You're doing great…one day, we'll look back and miss these days!" Our parents like us now and I'm just betting that picture when we had all of that HORRIBLE make-up on was about the stage that Adelle and Carson are in now…There is hope! πŸ™‚ Love you!

    \]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

  6. 7
    Lydia

    Emily- I am totally there with you most days. Well everyday. BUT it does get better. When Ki (my baby) turned 1 and a few months later it started getting easier. I could work on losing the baby weight, I could wear earrings again, I could add new paintings to my etsy., etc… It is still a struggle of course. Many days I have the same choices. During naps, it's do I paint or clean? Paint always wins. My house is always a mess.

    One day you will hear your girls playing together and fighting (ha)..it makes it all worth it. They have a playmate for life and they will entertain each other eventually! And maybe you can do some of those things while they are playing together! πŸ™‚

    Lydia

  7. 8
    Ginger

    Girl, I am sooo there with you! There are wonderful days when everything seems to fall into place and then there are days of down right ugly survival. Sean's in Dallas this week for work so the boys & I made the trip down to visit my parents because I'm pretty sure my sanity would snap if I had to do this by myself. While I haven't come across a solution to the madness (and probably never will) I can tell you that "this too shall pass". You will be in my prayers!

  8. 9
    Debbie myers

    A suggestion for Adele. Pick out some thing you can say to her mand identify it as a warning. I mean a give me your undivided attention warning. From there tell her she can stop what she is doing immediately. Or she can go to time out for her age plus 2 in minutes. If she gets out of time out or continues the activity that put her there add two minutes to the timeout. Iset the time on my phone and give it to Emma so she can come out when it alarms. Or she can get a swat on her bottom if she doesn't stop the offending behavior. We have not had to swat except once since starting his routine.we are consistent with it between my house and Brian's but I don't know what happens at her mothers.

  9. 10
    Jennifer

    Hi Emily,

    I love you. So, so much! You are such a wonderful sister-in-law. An AMAZING mother to Adelle and Marille – an inspiration to me, should God bless us with children someday. And a blessing, a gift to Josh. That is TRUTH, sweet sister.

    I am not a mother so I don't have any advice for you. But I can relate to the feelings of being overwhelmed, of feeling like something's gotta give and not knowing what, of feeling like there is a part of you yearning for expression but being stifled by your circumstances. And what I have learned is this: this is today.

    Tomorrow (hey, maybe even a few hours from now) it very well may be a whole different story. Do what you can do today. Focus on 1 thing – maybe today it's Adelle, or maybe today needs to be an Emily day. But focus on 1 thing. It will help you be less overwhelmed.

    Bottom line, all you do in your home: from playing with your girls, to making dinner, to laundry, to sharing your lives with us on your blog has some measure of ETERNAL value because you are pouring your life into others. I guess that is the measure – what 1 thing can you do today that has the most eternal significance?

    I love you bunches and bunches! I'm praying for you right now.

    Jennifer

  10. 11
    Dustin

    Far be it from me to provide motherly or parenting advice, seeing as how I'm a 28 year old single guy. But I do have fantastic parents, and if there's one thought that I have after reading your post today, it's that I don't remember a clean house or plants outside (though both were definitely a part of growing up). In those formative years, the things I remember are when my parents invested in me. When I had their intention. When dad came home from a long day of work and took time to ask about what I had done that day.

    With that said, I know it must be crazy trying to balance it all, but none of us can do that, so chose the ones that will have the longest and best impact. And please receive this comment with only the highest admiration for the adventure that you and Josh are on. Whether you agree or not, you're doing a great job.

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