Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Complain, complain 2

Lack of mobility during pregnancy - continued...

Earlier in August, I was really trying to take the kids to Mass once or twice a week before school (we started August 1st -- not knowing what would happen with the new baby, I wanted to make sure to get a jump start on school)...I guess daily Mass has to go -- along with a ton of other things I usually do. (Friends have been making lots of offers and I've taken a few people up, but I feel like mostly this is something we need to get through as a family ... I'm just not so good at getting through it silently.)

I can get the clothes washed & dried, but not sorted & folded. DD1 is in charge of dishes this year, which is a HUGE job, but I usually help her with keeping the counters cleared & cleaned plus the microwave & the stove. Ds4 sweeps the floor daily and DD2 mops once a week, but I usually sweep/vacuum the floor before she washes as Ds4 isn't all that great of a sweeper. Dd2's job is the 3 bathrooms this year, but I usually do the downstairs bath once or twice again, during the week. DS3 empties the dishwasher (sometimes multiple times per day) and is awesome at quickly doing anything I ask of him (the same can not be said of Ds4.) The kids do all the picking up and vacuuming of the house several times per week, but they're not as good as DD1 and I at getting all along the edges and not sucking up marbles & legos. Other than the dishes, keeping her room clean, babysitting and helping each day pick up our mess from school, I don't feel like I can ask much more of DD1. She's a daydreamer (like her Mama was) and just can't seem to get all her school done under 6-8 hours (we only do school 4 days/week). Honestly, though, just sitting or laying down or anything is really uncomfortable until it becomes painful. So, even teaching school from my recliner with each kid coming to me and being surrounded by their planners and them fetching & returning each of my teacher books throughout the day is exhausting. I'm not sure if it's the pregnancy or the pain that makes me so tired, but I'm up to 2 naps a day some days.

The kids make their own (and my) breakfast & lunch. I've been choosing one of the 3 older (7-11 year old kids) to talk them through making dinner each night. It's REALLY frustrating sitting at the table while I watch them muddle through stirring something up as they get it all over the counter or make silly mistakes like dumping a bunch of pepper in a casserole & ruining it, or thinking they know how to follow directions on a box and using olive oil in a baked good or mistaking the phrase "confectioners sugar" for a brand-name of granulated sugar. As I'm writing this, I realize that I yelled at the kids for each of those mistakes when they're completely reasonable mistakes for a kid to make. I'm frustrated with the situation and frustrated with myself. I'M THE MOM! They still need a mom, but I can't stand-up to do much of that. I haven't quite figured out how to get the shopping done. I usually go once a month for 3-4 hours and get it all over with. I tried to run to the corner store for 3 items last week, was gone for 20 minutes and could hardly pull the car in the driveway, I was so nauseous & in pain. (Dave asked me if I'd allowed DD1 to pull the car in the driveway.) I've had offers of dinner...but I'm not confined to bed and I'd feel like I couldn't EVER go out and do something I want (like an MNO book club) if families were sacrificing their time/money/effort to make things easy on me.

Dave's been working almost another full-time job helping out with Matt Kelty's campaign. He volunteers to do the website, plus he helps out in several other areas. Although it's volunteer work, it's taking alot of his time/attention/energy. It's something we both strongly believe in and feel is worthwhile, but he already feels so maxed-out that although he understands that I need to rest here at home, there's still conflict about how much of my slack he feels he should have to take up. Apparently, when I'm so tired I'm nauseous & sweating or in pain, I don't present things to him in a conflict-free way. Now that we're at our 5th pregnancy together things have been better than any other pregnancy, but definitely not free of marital bumps.

There's been TONS of grace in all this. Many of my friends have been calling me daily, some taking the kids, offering to help. Dave and I are still actually speaking to each other through a pregnancy. Nothing was wrong Thursday, but it helped Dave really see that I'm not being lazy (he'd NEVER actually say the word) and that he needs to cut me more slack than seems reasonable to either one of us. Intellectually, I can see the kids becoming more self-sufficient (even if I feel REALLY guilty about that).

Usually, when things get really hard, I can't ever pray. I trust God is there and I yell at Him, sometimes, but I have such a hard time being present in the moment enough to pray. The grace is that I'm not there, yet. I'm approaching it, but I'm not there. I don't have a toddler I'm chasing (which makes pregnancy exponentially more difficult in my opinion.) I have a secure home, a loving marriage, the opportunity to school my kids as I see best, my kids aren't in the hospital, I don't have a chronic condition... Intellectually I know that 'this, too, shall pass', it's just really hard to keep that in mind as I painfully re-adjust postions moment to moment.

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