From my wonderful world of motherhood and part time work and singing a bit at church and in choir I am faced with a few tough decisions. I thought I’d let you hear that “THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!”
Should I take a nap while my baby naps, or should I….insert anything else that you might do. Every morning when Calvin goes down for his first nap I have this back and forth in my head. “It might be nice to nap with him, I am fairly sleep deprived. BUT, he only naps for 45 minutes at a time. Is that enough time for me to fall asleep? Maybe I should get started on some food/meal prep. Or maaaaybe I should take a bath and read one of the 28 books I have out of the library (no joke) while anxiously listening to the baby monitor. Or maybe this indecision has gone on so long that I’ve just been sitting on the computer frittering away my 45 minutes of independence and he’s awake again.” I really love that he naps. I don’t love how many things I could do while he naps. Sometimes the best thing is some self-care time. One morning this week I just lay down and napped with him for 40 minutes, it was what I needed to get through the day. Another morning I made Asian Cabbage Slaw and it was delicious.
Should I be healthy and avoid sugar/processed foods or should I daydream about eating every sweet under the sun/go make fresh cookies from the cookie dough balls that I have in my freezer. It’s kind of sad how much of my brain space is taken up with food that is bad for me. To some extent I’d like to change that, but I also rationalize–right now I’m breastfeeding and can eat way more. Just try and balance out the sweets with healthy food Jewel! I should keep a food journal for a week so that I can see how much bad food I’m actually eating vs. how much it feels like I’m eating because I think about it so often. I had to go deliver books to daycares this week and every restaurant I drove past I thought, “Wow, I bet they make really great, greasy, delicious food and have yummy desserts. I should go there.” I didn’t. I came back to the library and had Asian Cabbage Slaw, yogurt, a babybel cheese thing with wheat crackers and a banana. It was depressingly good for me.
On a more serious note. Should I obsess over my baby and my own self care needs or should I take time to show my husband how much I’m still in love with him. This is something that is so easy for me to forget. Kevin and I can be very focused and driven people when it comes to getting things accomplished in our day to day lives. Probably too much so sometimes. I like to make sure we have plenty of good food to eat that is yummy, diverse and bought on a semi-tight budget. I like to make sure Calvin is happy and content and cared for. I like to make sure that I’m feeling emotionally healthy and happy with a minimum of stress in my day to day life and that I’m doing whatever I can to ease Kevin’s stressers. I need to make sure I’m physically healthy by eating well and stretching and exercising (I’m not very good at doing this on a regular basis and my sore neck is a result). Kevin likes to make sure his realm (our home and property) is clean and in order and maintained. He likes to provide the vast majority of our income through a job that satisfies him. He loves to make me and Calvin smile and laugh on a regular basis. I often get caught up worrying about all of my things and how I might be hindering his desire for an ordered world and forget to stay light-hearted and responsive to his quirky sense of humor. Nights when I come home and am willing to laugh and joke with him are a million times better than the ones when I come home worried about getting dinner done and cleaned up and Calvin bathed and fed and asleep. Note to future self who reads this someday: Try to be laid back at least once a week :-). Evidence of our kooky courtship to make you laugh today. Look how little we were!
Another serious one. Part of my overall lack of stress is founded on how undemanding my life is right now. Should I be content with my situation or try and be more ambitious in the field that I trained in? Kevin and I are secure financially (for the most part, thanks student loans), I work at a very pleasant job helping people (mainly children) find books to read and facilitating a great library experience for them, I have a happy, healthy baby. The main thing that I’m missing and that used to carry some stress for me was a career based around music and singing. I enjoyed teaching lessons, but the schedule of working nights and the headache of finding students and keeping track of payments and missed lessons, etc., isn’t all that appealing to me while I’m also being a mom and wife. I miss singing, but have found an opportunity to sing in a local chamber chorale that does really great music with a high level of skill and am also involved in music at my church. It’s sobering sometimes to think about those student loans and realize I don’t have a job that is in my field, to realize, essentially, that I don’t have the career I thought I could have. That word career is so strange. I know I don’t mind that things aren’t working out how I planned right now, and who knows what the future may hold. I do know that I am so in awe of mothers and fathers who work hard at their careers and vocations and parent and put food on the table. I’m in awe of NON mothers and fathers who dedicate so much of themselves to interesting careers. Right now looking at people with full time jobs/careers feels a bit like window shopping at an expensive clothing store. It seems nice but that it would take a lot out of me.
There are many little momentary struggles throughout my day, funny and serious. It feels a bit funny to write about the things I struggle with. Growing up I remember assuming being a Christian (I just accidentally typed Christmas instead, HAH) meant being happy about everything. I’ve since learned to desire honesty in my joys and my struggles and to hope other people can speak similarly about the ups and downs of everyday life. I still feel a twinge of guilt that my struggles are so mundane compared to those of people suffering around the world, but this blog isn’t about them, it’s about the very lovely lives of the Buckwalter sisters. By some miracle of birth we ended up with great parents, a beautiful, secure home and many wonderful opportunities. I hold that thought with me as I go throughout the momentary difficulties of life.
Love you all so very much,