Meanwhile I've been spending too much time on the phone and computer with students still trying to start school this semester (late!!) while my 2 year old, already tired of being cooped up in the house this winter, is busy turning the couch into a trampoline and my 8 month old is testing out new octaves and volumes whenever I try to put him down (more on this in another post). Jon is working on paper 2 of 3 this week and usually has just enough time between coming home and (literally) locking himself in the office, to wrestle with Jack and become annoyed with Jude's newly acquired temperament.
It's days like this that I realize I could really use some fresh air. It was slightly above freezing on Wednesday so I bundled up the boys and pushed them out the door. Jack cruised around the cul de sac on his quad, Jude cozied up with the stroller, afraid even the slightest move would create a draft, and I took a few deep breaths to clean out just the smallest corners of my mind.
I read once in one of our marriage books (I can't remember which one) that women's minds are like the Windows on a computer. We're multi-taskers, and while one idea is up and running in the forefront there are always several more going on in the background. So true. And I think, if you want to get a good idea of what is going on in my life at any given time, you can just take a glance at my computer.
First of all, I spend too much time with my laptop, since that's where most of my job takes place. It's almost always within 5 feet of me (at least before I got my stinkin' awesome new phone!). I'm afraid my kids are going to grow up with a laptop complex because they always had to compete with it for mommy's attention. If I happen to glance at something that interests me during the day, I usually click the link, minimize the page, and keep it there until evening. Then, after the boys are in bed, the dishes are washed, the house is clean, and the hubby is busy doing homework. I snuggle down on the couch with my laptop and go through all the open windows on my screen.
This is what my computer screen said about me one evening this week: instructions on how to make your own gDiaper cloth inserts, tips for coth diapering, explanation of "Zorb" fabric, what's the difference between fleece and microfleece, why use coconut oil, why soaking grains is better for your health, how to make your own yogurt (because after doing this countless time, I still need to look at the recipe), three different beach house realtor agencies, where/how you can buy grass-fed beef, what is it about having a 36 week old that makes me want to bang my head against the wall by the end of the day, what did The Krazy Koupon Lady do with the $300-some dollars worth of stuff she bought for $2 on TLC's Extreme Couponing, and what did we spend our money on this week ... in bar graph form.
It's like I'm suddenly realizing the weight of responsibility a mother carries. I don't know why it hasn't hit me before. When we first found out we were pregnant with Jack I was overwhelmed with the thought of being a mom, carrying and then caring for a little human life. Now that he's older it makes me smile to think about how fun it is to be a mommy, and when I hear my boys says "Mama" it never gets old. But mother, that is something new. I'm the matriarch of this family, the gateway to our home. And I'd like to think that, for the most part, nothing gets in our house without going through me first. But I also have to think about what I do let into our house - food, movies, music, books, toys ... and how those things affect my growing family.
And to be pefectly honest, the thought of it all keeps me up at night. Or at least it did this week. I feel like I've lived an entire year's worth of thoughts just in the span of these last few days. Rather than setting some clear goals for the new year, I just became more confused and frustrated with myself than ever. Certainly not the way I was intending to begin 2011.
I was lying in bed the other night, staring at the ceiling (okay, actually staring at the time and temperature that is now projected on our ceiling since my husband bought me a new alarm clock for Christmas) thinking about Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." I said a quick prayer for peace, for God to calm my anxious heart, and for wisdom for mothering my family. But really, at that point, I just wanted to go to sleep. Instead, I slowly began to realize a few things. Like:
I may not feed my kids all organic, unprocessed food. But they're certainly healthy and thriving on what I do serve them. At 27 months Jack still hasn't been sick (other than colds) and Jude seems to be following in his footsteps. And while I'm certainly going to try to make improvements in our eating habits and move to a more whole-foods diet, I don't need to do it all at once and nor do I need to do it all tomorrow. I deem this "the year of baby steps."
I don't have a huge Krazy Koupon Lady-like stockpile, nor do I have the time to really clip coupons and be a savvy sale shopper. But one of the reasons I don't have time for this is because I have another job. And although the thought has crossed my mind that I could do and be lots of other things if I wasn't working, the truth is even if couponing gave us entirely free groceries for a year, it still wouldn't compare with what I make working. I think I'll just stick with our current system and do what I can.
Jack isn't potty-trained, not even close. In fact, he much prefers to pee on the floor, in corners and into the tub rather than the toilet. But at least he finds the potty a relaxing place to read books. And even though things don't seem to be going so well right now, I'm 99% certain he'll be potty-trained before he moves out of the house.