We All Got Bruises

You know what I love about blogging? I love getting a chance to read a glimpse of a stranger’s life. I love when someone opens their heart and pours everything out, showing you that they are just as human as you are. The incredible thing about living your life out loud, for the world to read, is that people connect with you. You get to know them. You connect with them. Pretty soon you’re no longer strangers, you’re friends. And if you’re lucky, you get to meet them one day.

You might just become friends for life.

We all have bruises, they’re what make us interesting. How boring would life be if it was all roses and sunshine every day? It’s comforting to know that we’re not alone in our struggles. Whether it be mental illness, alcoholism, financial troubles, parenting issues, divorce, the death of a child, or countless other curve balls life throws at us. We all have obstacles to overcome in our lives.

Music is healing for me and of all the things it’s done for me, the most important lesson it has taught me is easily, “What will be, will be” and I need to put my trust in fate.

If a song speaks to me, I play it on repeat for weeks. I lose myself in the lyrics and belt the tune out while driving to the farm or the grocery story. I used to be drawn to pop hits produced by music giants whose record labels end up writing the songs for them, pumping beats into the background of the synthesized dance tracks. These days I’m much more into singer/songwriters who tell a life story through their music. The kind of songs which make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, giving you goosebumps as you listen to the words.

You feel yourself nodding, “Me too,” as your soul soaks in the sweet melody. A good song gives me a new perspective on my troubles.

I’ve got Train’s newest album, California 37, on a loop lately.

These bruises make for better conversation
Loses the vibe that separates
It’s good to let you in again
You’re not alone in how you’ve been
Everybody loses, we all got bruises
We all got bruises

I’ve been a little overwhelmed by life lately. Wanting to pursue my dreams, but realizing that writing doesn’t exactly pay the bills {at least, not yet}.

A lump formed in my throat the other day when looking at finances. It was obvious that I need to pick up a part-time job. We live in one of the most expensive areas in the US, and the reality is that it’s really hard to cut it on one income. So I had a rough couple of days last week when Ben was traveling for work, filled with fear and self-pity and hugging my best friend while tears poured from my eyes, the kids looking up at me wondering what was wrong with mommy.

Once I calmed down and started to look at things with a clearer head, I quickly realized that things aren’t nearly as dire as I had thought. I was talking with my brother over the weekend about what was bringing me down and he told me to call one of our oldest friends who was looking for help with his business. It’s the type of work I’ll be able to do around the kids’ schedules, allowing me time to continue with my writing projects, exactly what I need right now.

Part of the reason I was so upset last week was because I was afraid that I’d have to give up writing to go back to work, and my heart was breaking at the thought of having to stop pursuing my passion. Sure, I’d still try to write in the evenings, but I know how hard it is to juggle everything and at the end of the day you’re just exhausted. I’m hopeful that this situation will provide the best of both worlds: the income we need with time to still pursue my dreams.

In the meantime, it’s songs like this that remind me to embrace the ups and downs of life for what they are.

Que sera. {What will be, will be.}
 
We-All-Got-Bruises
 

Work stress

School cancelled again. This morning due to icy rain and super slick road conditions. Okay then. I’ll just have to keep the kids entertained with various busywork activities all day while I attempt to get work done so my boss doesn’t notice I’m completely distracted by these little people who are constantly nagging me for more snack! More milk! More shows!

God help me.

Morning started off well enough. The kids ate a decent breakfast and then settled into the couch to watch a few of their favorite shows. I was able to get a few things done and then the reminder of the conference call popped onto my screen.

Shit.

Ran over to plead with the kids to be quiet while Mommy made a very important work phone call.

Dialed into the conference call and immediately realized that I was supposed to have been logged into the video chat room for the call which I wasn’t able to do because I could not remember my password for these particular occasions. I immediately became extremely embarrassed (red cheeks and all, although they couldn’t see that through the phone, obviously, because I wasn’t logged into the video call).

Still, I was mortified. Especially because the call started at 1pm and I was supposed to be delivering a mini-presentation to the group. At least I had emailed my boss the list of points I was going to cover ahead of time, because I had to hop off the call and call IT Support to have them help me get into the video call. By the time I got back onto the conference call (sans video, because IT wasn’t able to get me the password I needed), it was pretty much wrapping up.

This all happened because my boss had accidentally forgotten to extend my contract via paperwork she should have submitted, therefore, I was logged out of some of the company systems. I had also received a very large empty box this morning, complete with packing materials to ship my equipment back to them because my 6-month stint had *expired*. The good news is that she is keeping me on longer than initially planned, which is wonderful. The bad thing is what I had to experience today. Complete and utter embarrassment.

It was easy for me to brush it off and move on though. An old co-worker caught me looking at her LinkedIn profile this morning and she emailed me to say that if I ever needed a job (part-time, full-time, work-from-home) that I was to call her immediately.

The feeling of being wanted and appreciated will always erase any inkling of a rough day in my book.

And the kids were happily playing away in the other room together as I worked on for the rest of the day.

An honest letter to my babies {2}

Dear Mister Man and Sweet Pea,

The past few weeks have been filled with a bunch of new changes. With the change of seasons comes changes in schedules, and it always stresses me out even though it really shouldn’t.

Last week was really rough. First off, you both had croup so it made for an extremely long week of lots of tears, moping around and general whining about not feeling good and being stuck in the house. It wore me out to the core. So much so, that I practically forgot your Grandma’s birthday.

Luckily for you, Mister Man, although you had to skip your “Meet the Teachers” day at school, you were well enough to start school on time and last Friday was your first day. You ROCKED it. And I was very impressed with myself for not crying.

You made me so proud when your sister and I walked you into your new classroom and you gave me a quick hug goodbye, walked right up to your new teacher, smiled and jumped right into your day with your classmates. It went so smoothly.

When we picked you up later in the afternoon and I asked you to tell me all about your day on the way home, you got annoyed easily with me because I was asking for too many details. Whenever you get that scrunched up tight-lipped smile and cross your arms, I know you’re overtired. I was worried about it because you do still nap sometimes, but the afternoon program was the only spot that we were offered since it is such a popular, well-regarded program in our area.

I’ve been having some mommy-guilt. I feel like I’ve been missing out on things lately because I’m trying to juggle this part-time job and also be totally present with you two. There were times last week when I would need to put in an hour or two in the morning and Sweet Pea you would come toddling over to me with a sad smile because you knew I couldn’t play at that moment. You’d tug at my hand as if the weight of your little body could pull me out of my chair and into the family room where you had some blocks sitting in a pile ready to build a tower.

It was breaking my heart. I wanted so badly in that moment to just ignore my work emails that were waiting in my inbox to be answered so that I could take your hand and walk over and build tower after tower until we went on to the next toy or book or puzzle. Sometimes I am torn up inside because your brother had that from me and you aren’t getting that undivided attention from your mommy because I have to split my time between work, your brother, housework, errands, and your daddy who I feel as if I don’t get enough time with either.

But I need to stop thinking like the pessimest that I am and start thinking about the many blessings that we have.

We live in a beautiful house, eat nutritious food every day, have wonderful friends and family around us, and I get to see you both throughout the day, every day.

I love that you said you missed me today, Mister Man, when we were driving in the car. You said you missed me when you were at preschool the other day. I missed you too, bud. But the best thing about being a stay-at-home-mom with a part-time, work-from-home-job is that I get to pick you up from school every. single. day.

And I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I’m going to make the most of the hours and minutes we do have together, when I’m not putting in the work hours.

Sweet Pea, you are amazing me more and more these days. You are constantly wanting to do exactly what your big brother is doing, whether that be climbing the big ladder at the playground or climbing the bar stool in our kitchen to have breakfast in the morning. And when I decided three days ago to add a Mom’s Morning Out for you and your brother on Mondays and Wednesdays to your busy schedules, you didn’t blink an eye. I dropped you both off and I barely got a hug and kiss goodbye before you ran into the room to meet your new teacher and friends. You started playing immediately and I headed home to work for three hours, uninterrupted.

Uninterrupted, if you don’t count the couple of times that I stopped what I was doing to wonder exactly what you two were doing at that moment. Were you coloring or playing dress-up? Maybe play-doh or enjoying snack time with your new friends?

Again, I was so proud when I picked you two up and your teachers said you did so well and they loved having you in class.

I know I’m packing your schedule with Mom’s Morning Out, preschool in the afternoon, and a swim class for each of you, and I sometimes worry that it’s too much. We’ll see how September goes and will make changes in October if we need to. But I know in my heart that you love all the activity. You both are so social and outgoing and it makes me so incredibly happy to see you making friends and playing and learning every day.

Your little hearts are so open to new things, meeting new people and learning about the world.

Stay that way always, my loves.

The seasons are changing, and there are so many good times ahead.

All my love and hugs,

Mommy

xoxoxo

The Sunday blues

I cannot be the only housewife who has to deal with her poor husband’s case of the Sunday blues.

All freaking day, starting promptly at 12pm every Sunday on the dot. It’s as if his body has an internal alarm clock that goes off once the afternoon hits and he realizes he has to go back to work the next day for an entire week.

Give me a break.

Around noon each Sunday he ceases all conversation with me, parks his butt on the couch with the remote in hand and begins staring blankly into the TV screen until his eyes glaze over and eventually close. Ten minutes later he can be heard snoring from the next room.

I get so frustrated with his lack of responsiveness that I usually end up yelling at him. Nagging him to do one thing or another. Like that helps. But I don’t know what else to do sometimes.

Doesn’t he want to enjoy every last drop of his weekend with his family? Why can’t he help me with their baths instead of just laying there? I’d LOVE to be lounging on the couch having a beer  while watching my favorite sporting event too, but I have two babies who are crying for my attention. So you just go ahead, whydon’tyou. 

One weekend, after another one of our routine Sunday afternoon/evening arguments, he told me that I just didn’t understand. Then he asked me if I remembered what I was like on Sundays when I was working.

I stopped to think.

I actually could barely remember the days of getting dressed up to go to an office and sit at a desk and talk to clients and be all professional, let alone how I acted on Sundays. It was as if those days were so far behind me. In reality it has only been four years.

But if I think back really hard I can remember what it was like. I used to get all tense and edgy and stressed – anxious even – when Sunday afternoons rolled around. I’d start to think about the work I left piled at on my desk when I left on Friday and would dread the buzz of the alarm clock when it startled me awake the next morning. And I would have to d-r-a-g myself out of bed each and every single Monday morning in order to make it to the office on time.

Now when I think of him sulking about having to go to work on Mondays, I get a tad bit jealous thinking about how nice it would be to have a whole entire eight hours {including commute time} to myself. I would be able to go to the bathroom by myself. I’d be able to sit and enjoy lunch over thirty minutes without having to wipe messy hands and faces, change diapers and wipe bottoms twenty minutes after eating, and bend over and sweep up crumbs off the floor. I’d be able to chat with colleagues while eating. People who were older than 3! Oh, it would be glorious.

But I wouldn’t last more than a week.

I’d miss my kids way too much.

So I’m thinking I need to learn to be more tolerant of my husband’s Sunday afternoon behavior. I have always needed to work on being compassionate to what other people are going through if it is not something familiar to me at the time. I guess the best place to start would be at home with the man I love so dearly. I am going to work on this.

But in the meantime, I’m curious. If you can relate to this post, how do you deal with your husband or partner’s Sunday blues??

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