Thursday, March 01, 2012

Hello again

It's been too quiet here.  I never intend to lapse into such long blogging silences.  The things that weigh heaviest on my heart, though, are not topics I care to discuss in such an open, pubic forum, so instead I say nothing at all but lose, in the process, a record of all the other little happy things that should rightly have mention here.  I just spent some time looking through my archives, alternately laughing and tearing up a bit at the joys and struggles I've shared here in the nearly six years since starting my blog. I'm so glad I have those posts to look back on, while on the other hand, I find myself in such an unfamiliar, transitional period of my growing family's life right now that it's more difficult to discern what is or is not appropriate to share here.  As my children grow older I find more and more often that I'd rather not risk violating their privacy by sharing intimate details of our happiness or heartaches.

One thing I was particularly struck by while reading through old entries was how comparably easy my life used to be.  I never would have imagined it then, but I can say for sure now that having only babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, while busy, was infinitely less troublesome than this mix of big, little, and in- betweens I have now.  Conflicts are frequent, loud, and emotional.  Feelings are hurt on a daily basis.  My level of anxiety, having always tended towards the high side, is through the roof far too often these days.  I'm on edge, stressed out, irritable, and overwhelmed by a number of things (big and small) over which, in some cases, I have no control...and no means to control in other instances.  I'm seriously considering the need for pharmacological intervention (for myself or one of my children.  Or both.).

I think there is a natural human tendency to want what we don't have.  And I don't want much, really.  But what I do miss is weekends with my family. Time spent with my children not yelling or fighting.  Reading to them on the couch.  Knowing what they're learning every day.  A semblance of order about our house.  My mom living here in town.  A natural liturgical rhythm observed with celebrations and traditions.  Feeling at the end of the day that I've done a good job of fulfilling my vocation.  I miss having an identity with which I felt comfortable.  Gradual changes in our family life have necessitated a shift in my role and, consequently, in how I identify myself.  For the most part, I feel like an impostor.  No longer am I the homeschooling mother I was for years.  Austin is the oldest toddler I've ever had without having another little one on the way, but there are no more babies in our foreseeable future, so neither am I the pregnant mama I loved being.  (Thank goodness I can still be, for a while longer, the nursing mama!)  As my children grow older and more independent, though, I am slowly reclaiming my individuality, but far from being liberating or exciting, it is, more accurately, often lonely and more than a little scary.

I don't really know where I'm heading or what the future will bring, so in the mean time I'll just keep loving on my honey and our babies.  (And eating lots of chocolate.  And drinking lots of coffee.)  And trying to figure out this new me I'm becoming.

And, as ever, I will place my trust in the only One who knows all of my worries and fears.    


Jamie Jo said...

Oh, Melissa! I so "get" everything you wrote about. I find it so hard having mixed ages now. Story time, crafts, anything is not wanted or I suppose needed by the olders anymore and it makes me sad, as I struggle to stay close to them.

I can see how how I wake up (after not much sleep) and am crabby and it sets the tone for the day and how the kids are. Why can't I get it right? I feel a little like that movie Groundhog Day, where the main character's day keeps repeating til he gets it right. When will I remember to get it right?

I've missed your posts. You were one of my first blogs.

Thank you for your honesty, I'll be praying for you.

Jill said...

I've started and erased this comment so many times. I think I am going to email you one on this topic!
My answer is pretty similar to Jamie's, though. :)
And I am so thankful you shared your thoughts.
You'll notice that my blog is pretty bare, too. Just news and baby pictures! There is SO much that you don't see there like the daily, "You are the worst mom in the entire world," speech I get everyday from my oldest. And the fact that my daughter spent half of her birthday crying and saying that I have ruined every birthday since she was born. Probably even ruined her birth...ok...I'll save it for the email.
It's a different life and a lot of it I am enjoying. I do like having a large space between my oldest and youngest. It has been such a joy to watch older kids with a baby. When the previous last baby (Henry) was born, Aslynn was only four...
Ok, again, I'm going to send you a nice rambling email now.

And, fabulous photo!!

Blair said...

Sending virtual {{HUGS}} and prayers that things settle in the ways you need them to right now. We were on iPhoto a lot today looking at old pictures, and I'm struck by just how different that life with only-littles was. Now they have so many different needs and even growing opinions about how life should be. I really appreciate your honesty and also your desire to keep some things only in your heart. I also appreciated your emails a few months back as I was in a very difficult place. I will say that exercise and Seton workbooks (and the move, too?) have helped me to regain some peace about this crazy life. I really, really hope and pray the same for you. That God grants you peace and perseverance during this time. A true Lenten journey!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much, friends, for your kind words and prayers. They mean so much to me! I am so thankful for my friendships with you all. Truly, they are one of the biggest blessings that have come from this blog.