Friday, July 27, 2007

Personal Insights

Do you ever have one of those weeks where something kicks you in the side and says "uh..maybe it's YOU!" I have had one of those weeks. Where can I start? Maybe where the first realization came into account...bear with me while I right this all down for my own sake, so that when I make this same mistake again (which I will) I can come back and read this and try to do better.

At the start of this week, we received our monthly Ensign magazine. I look so forward to getting it, because often times I find it easier to quickly sit on the toilet (yup....I just admitted that) and read an article than sitting in my room at my desk during a quiet moment (ha...okay, I do get quiet moments, but that is for a different realization) to be spiritually edified.

This particular month there is a great article entitled Crossing Thresholds & Becoming Eq2ual Partners. I loved it before I read it. There was a photograph on the front that depicted a mom with a baby on her hip, one at the counter doodling and a look of complete exhaustion on her face. The husband is standing at the doorway as though he had just come home from work and the mom is handing him a box of Macaroni & Cheese needing his help. I was so excited to leave it "accidentally" sitting open to this page on the dining table for Todd to read...I just knew it would help him to be a "better' husband.

I read the article and my feelings changed a little. Okay, I was humbled. Which is exactly where my heart needed to be in order to realize what changes I need to make personally in my life if the remainder of it is going to be harmonious.

Tuesday came and I still had my lame expectations of Todd coming home from work and giving ME a "break" from the hectic trials of my day. I excitedly looked forward to the opportunity to drive alone in the car to the hospital twice this week to visit a friend. Wednesday came and I had a visit with my friend Ashley. Do you all have a friend that you complain to? She's one of the ones that I always lay it out for. Poor girl. She must think that I am a nut. Anyway, she gave her great advice and (AHA!) told me to work on my communication with Todd.

Please understand, Todd and I are getting along great...my "problems" that I am complaining about are really all centered around me...I have been blessed with an incredible husband whom I have taken many things forgranted.

I loved her advice (mom & dad...whatever, you are married...you've heard this all before). "Sometimes it is easier to talk about things when you are naked. So, when the kids are asleep get naked, sit on the bed and ask Todd to listen to you for a while and to look at your face. Things will go much better." Well, that didn't happen. He went to sleep Wednesday night totally exhausted while watching "The Importance of Being Earnest" with me. No talking took place at all, except for the following morning when he asked what the show was about.

Thursday morning was when I believe my heart was softened enough to finally feel a bit of what Todd is going through and come to realize what a sissy I have been and how over the top my expectations have been...you know the old saying "give and inch and then they want more." That's how I have been.

I sat down for breakfast with Todd and he just let it all out. All of the burdens that he has been carrying. I am sure that all husbands feel these same burdens. Todd expressed his financial frustrations (who doesn't have those), school obligations, stresses at work. He never once complained about his life here at home. I felt so bad for him. I wanted to give him a vacation.

Sidenote: Tuesday, I told him when he came home from work that I needed a vacation...you know, hard stay-at-home mommy life. He responded with "So do I." I thought that was so selfish of HIM, didn't he realize what I had dealt with all day?

For some reason my daily problems seemed nothing compared to his REAL needs and concerns. To have to feel like you are the sole financial provider for a family of four (with one on the way) while trying to complete a degree cannot be easy.

Anyway...to conclude this whole thing...I was the one who really needed to read that article in the Ensign and I am so grateful that I did. Todd's problems aren't solved. But hopefully I can be more sympathetic to his needs and mindful of just how blessed I am to be able to sit here at the computer while BOTH of my little ones are asleep. A vacation...I'm taking one right now! I get a break each day from life, even if it is just two hours, that's two hours more than my Toddy does.

FOR ME...WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF (readers, A.K.A Mom...I am not being hard on myself, I'm totally okay with these things, just stuff I gotta work on):

I am a procrastinator Here I have had an entire week to revise the preschool lessons and get going. But knowing that it's pushed back a few weeks, I am in no rush. Instead of making coloring pages, I did a scrapbook page for Abi. I'll do a few lessons this weekend...when we get back from the beach.

I have it good I am not expected, nor does Todd want me to work outside the home. My day involves watching Connor explore and try new things. I get to see him make funny faces and say weird things and practice his manners. I am the first to grab Abi when she wakes up from a nap and waves "Hi". Every day I am guaranteed a few hours of solitude while Connor and Abi nap at the same time. Time to do whatever I want. No one to watch over my shoulder and no one depending on me.

I have a husband who helps Todd is an excellent cook. The other day he made us these super delicious oven roasted sandwiches. I was craving them for lunch, and when I called and asked him to come home from work to make one for me...he actually did! If the laundry is piling up, he is the first to start a load and get me into the swing of things. If he sees that there are dishes in the sink, he usually does the load.

I am not a good listener I am sometimes too self-absorbed to actually listen to what people say (Todd mostly). This is going to be the toughest one to work on, but "Now I know, and knowing is half the battle."

Great...got it written down! Now it's time to make some changes. Where to start?

2 comments:

Heather, Dan, and Family said...

Mel...your blog was timely and much needed. I read the same article while feeding Davie and have reached many of the same conclusions. I too get wrapped up in myself and forget to listen to and appreciate Dan. Thanks for your honesty and eloquence.

Emilee said...

You are an inspired woman! Thanks for the insight & reminders of things that I like to push aside. Less about me, more about him- how to achieve this 100% of the time- is our eternal quest.