Sunday, January 4, 2009

Biting off more than I can chew.

Well, it's 5:30 AM on a Sunday morning. Baby brother awoke at 4:00 ready to eat. And after his early breakfast, we had a lovely chat. We're discovering that he has much to say when his big brother isn't around. When the house is quiet, that's when our Baby Brother comes alive. He coos and squeals very loudly. When Big brother is around, Baby just watches with undying attention.

Anyway, I have some thoughts regarding the holidays that have been musing in this head of mine. This holiday season was a huge learning curve for me. (Thus the silence on my blog.) This being our third Christmas as a married couple and my first Christmas as a mother of two, I feel that I have much to master in the area of traditions and celebrating. Sometimes I wish that my sweet husband and I had a little more time to establish things prior to having children. Now, I am not saying that I regret the children or anything like that. I just find it difficult to learn how to be a wife, while learning how to be a mom and establishing our home in the midst of it all. It's a lot to take in.

Which brings me to the subject of traditions. At the beginning of December I had the realization that this would be our first Christmas in Texas away from family - and that I needed to start establishing some good family traditions. Despite the fact we were going to CO for Christmas, I wanted to have our own family celebration. To begin making our own traditions. So, we scheduled to have our "family Christmas" the morning we were scheduled to leave town. BIG MISTAKE. Because, it seemed that really the only person who cared about this event was me. And in my effort to make a special holiday memory, (such as staying up until 2:00 AM to make sure everything was just right) no one else seemed to care and I completely wore myself out. After our "celebration" (complete with a husband and wife tiff) we hustled and bustled about getting ready to leave. We were driving to CO and had planned to leave town at 3:00 pm. That plan was quickly altered when I couldn't find my drivers license. I looked high and low - made many phone calls...only to find nothing. So, I took the kids to a friend's house and made my way to the DMV t0 get a new license. Thankfully, the wait was only 20 minutes - whereas I waited three hours when I went this past summer!

And after much ado and leaving an embarrassingly messy house behind, (I hate coming home to a messy house when coming home from vacation!!) we were on the road at about 8:00. On our way out of the door, I began feeling sick. And, it took us 5 hours to drive 200 miles. Ugh.

During some period during those first 200 miles, while doing a mental check list of hit me. I had packed for and thought of everyone else but me. I had forgotten so many of my own things. I realized on that dark highway that it didn't even cross my mind to bring my coat (although I had been looking high and low for one for Little One all week - it's hard to find a good winter coat in a warm climate!). I left all of my jewelry in my jewelry box. Including the lovely necklace Hubs gave me that morning for Christmas. I left it on the kitchen counter. And, there are other things that I forgot, but are better left unnamed. If I would have been by myself in that moment I would have burst into tears. I was spent and had nothing to show for it.

What am I going to different next year?
I've decided that where ever we are on Christmas Day - this is where we will celebrate. Or, maybe have our own celebration after we get back. But trying to cram it all in before hand and getting ready to leave town is too much for this mamma to handle. I've decided to just let the traditions happen. To ponder the little things in my heart, and remember and build on them next year. With time, the traditions will develop. I can set the stage, but cannot force them.

And then, there is the care of me. I feel at times, so worn out and exhausted. The demands. Unrealistic and realistic. The unnecessary and necessary. Where do I go in the midst of it all? This is one thing that I am really hoping to change this year. I have discovered that I need time. I need a few hours a week - and a few days a quarter to be in silence and on my own. I want to read, learn and listen, yet find it impossible right now. I am craving routine, and am willing to do what ever to make it happen. Perhaps building some alone time into our routines will be just what I need. I am reminded of the commonly used illustration of the instructions of the flight attendant - "when the air mask drops be sure to attach your own before helping others..." I need to take the initiative to care for myself if I am going to do a good job caring for the rest of my precious family. Otherwise, I have nothing to draw from. I am giving from an empty cup - which is nothing pretty.

I have also been referred to - and am finding her simple instruction very helpful. Some days (ok, most days) I just need someone to tell me what to do. I think I'm a fan.

Back to the trip. We stopped in Abilene, and my doctor called in a prescription for me. Once we got a handle on my little bout, we hit the road hard. And arrived in Colorado Springs late that evening. We had a lovely stay - we stayed at our dear friend's house while they were out of town. It was very nice to have a home away from home. During our visit I was able to visit with my friends Monica and Carrie, which was a very sweet (although too short) time. And of course, it was so good to see family. It was a good time. Later today I will post some photos of our visit.

BTW - I found my lost license last night. Guess where it was? At the bottom of the toy box...Go figure.... :)


*carrie* said...

Dear Rebecca,

I read this with much compassion--thank you for being so honest about what's on your heart and mind.

Susan said...

I learned a lot about what was important at Christmas too. Thank you for sharing your heart...It is a learning experience. I cannot believe you found your license in the toy box! I can see this happening to me. Take care sweet friend.

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

There is nothing wrong with needing a little alone time now and then. I've read blogs where moms who need me time (and I'm not talking whole days at a spa- just like one hour here and there) are called selfish. But, I think it keeps me sane and from being resentful of giving so much.

Rachel said...

Oh, I can relate.

Thanks for keeping it real.