Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tightrope

I feel like I have been walking on a very thin line ever since coming back and putting my life back together. I came back with a vision of the kind of routine I wanted to come back to and for the most part I have achieved it and its brought me so much peace, to bad it comes with a nice side of guilt.

This last month I have laughed more, finished projects, relaxed, played, and enjoyed life so much more. Its wonderful! My creativity is running rampant! I never had time to get my house clean or organize or finish projects because I was always spreading myself so thin. I'm enjoying my boys - not just managing them! Its so great to see them for the joy they are and look forward to the sound of their feet in the morning. We hug, cuddle, laugh, and their little faces light up when I am with them and even better I feel like my face lights up when I get to spend time with them! It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever experienced.

I remember having conversations with my Mom and telling her she needed to learn to say "no" and she would roll her eyes at me. It was easy for me to see things in perspective because I was an outsider. I wasn't great at saying no myself but I have gotten much better. But saying no is not the hard part for me. The hard part is not jumping in to help when I see a need. For example I saw a very stressful situation where they really could have used my help but I was suppose to be spending that time hanging out with my boys. And so I turned on my heels and left without stepping in to save the day. I felt like I had abandoning those in need.

Programs like PTA and AYSO survive off of volunteers but there are not enough volunteers out there. It should be a burden shared by all the parents but it seems that it ends up falling on just a few. To walk away when there are needs feels like....I cant really describe the word - irresponsible(?) To not step in and save the day seems like cowardice. I feel like I am creating an even bigger burden on those left behind. Is it fair that I want to be with my family more and so it seems I am making them be with their families less? Who picks up the slack?

Where do charity and service come in? It seems more socially acceptable to serve those outside of our house and put those that should be first - last on our list. I know I was. My kids got what was leftover, which sadly wasn't very much at times. Why do I feel like there are times that my desire to serve at home is viewed as being selfish? I think its good for kids to see their parents serve. To learn sacrifice, hard work, and gumption. But where is that fine line between being good for kids - or being at the kids expense?

Before I left for CA I had just enough time to manage my kids and give a few encouraging words but poor John got nothing but a worn and exhausted woman at the end of the day. There wasn't time spent thinking about silly and fun things to do, time to sit around and do nothing, or time to cuddle for a short nap on a Saturday. Love was support and sacrifice which is not bad but love needs to be fed too.

So now I'm balancing back and forth, constantly weighing the consequences of how I spend my time. There is nothing that has changed in the last week - no situation that has brought this post on. Its just taken this long to get the courage to sit down and try to find the words for my feelings. I am a go-getter. I always have been and always will be - just like my Mom. Its so hard to walk away when I know I can help lift another burden. Its hard not to feel responsible for saving the whole world.

As a kid you don't understand that when you are older you don't chose between right and wrong, rather you are usually choosing between good, great, and another great. It would be easier to chose between a simple black/white or right/wrong. Clear cut, precise, and easy to discern would be so nice right about now.

I think a lot about David O. McKay's quote, "No success can compensate for failure in the home." For me no other success feels as good as the success of putting my boys first. All of them! Whether it be reacting to something one of my boys have done calmly rather than on a short tight fuse all of the time, or getting up to make breakfast and spend a few minutes talking with John in the morning. Nothing makes me feel happier than making them feel happy.

I want to serve and help those in need but I am giving myself permission to do that for my family first. I keep going back to a quote from one of the women in my life that I admire, Sarah who started me moving in this direction when she wrote on her blog about her daughters:

"They deserve everything I can give them. Most of all, my time."


Time really is the most valuable thing we have. I love the part of myself that has been reawakened in the last month. The optimism, the bubblyness, the fun, and the tender. My perspective is changing, who I am inside is changing. When I take the time to be the mother and the wife I want to be - it changes me.

When I was a little girl my dreams consisted of raising a family and all I have ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. Everyone has different dreams and its fulfilling our own dream that truly brings internal happiness.

I have my dream and I don't want to miss out on living it!

3 comments:

Pam (Haslem) Dana said...

It is so hard finding balance! You are an AMAZING mother and an AMAZING friend! I only wish I had it as together as you!

Larry said...

You are wise to have reorganized your life in the new manner. There will never be a day in the future where you will say I sure wish I had volunteered more and spent less time with my kids and husband. I am proud of your choices. Keep up the good work.

Boons said...

You are such a good mom...you work so hard at it! The fruits of your labor are evident in the those little guys you are raising. Don't stop what you're doing!