Saturday, March 20, 2010

Facebook status'

If you have been on Facebook for more than a day, then you start to realize that you go through your day thinking in FB status updates. Just last night my husband came home from watching basketball with some guys from work and I asked him how it went. He said "it was basketball. I don't even know who won." (we are NOT a basketball family. we believe that it is just a sport to fill in the gap until football starts up again) I asked him if he even knew who was playing. He said it was Georgetown and some Oklahoma team and I quickly informed him that it couldn't be Georgetown b/c they were beat on Thursday. Then I said "this would make a great FB status!" Anyway, I digress. This morning I have had several potential status updates flow through my head (it happens all the time) and thought I would post them all here.
My morning in FB posts:

-woke up with rip-roaring headache...ugh, need drugs and coffee.
-PTL extra-strength tylenol works on my headaches...did NOT need a migraine today!
-so excited...MY BROTHER IS COMING HOME TOMORROW!! *big cheesy grin* (this one actually made it onto my FB)
-tylenol finally kicked hour later. :\
-mmmm, bacon.
-Aaliyah brought me a pair of shorts and said "here mom, these will fit you"...they were maternity shorts.
-after informing Aaliyah that those shorts only fit when there is a baby in mommy's belly and there is definitely NOT a baby in mommy's belly she brings me a tight, skimpy spaghetti strapped shirt (yeah, thanks dear, that won't fit mommy either...because she has had 3 babies in her belly!)

looks like it's going to be an interesting day already!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Day

After reading back over yesterday's post, I realized that I am sounding really down and negative lately. That's not who I am most of the time, honestly. Maybe it's God working on my heart a little...or a lot! ;)
The school I used to teach at was amazing. Our principal said at the beginning of every morning, "Good Morning! It is a new day and a new beginning." That's how I feel almost every morning. I wake up thinking, "okay, today is going to be different. I will get all my tasks done and spend time with my children loving on them and just having fun." I'd like to say that those things happen every day, but they don't. Things come up. Cleaning takes longer, I'm on the computer longer than I want to be, the baby decided to throw her schedule out the window or is super whiney or wants to be held more or....well, you get the idea. The days I focus on spending more time just playing with my kids, I feel great about that but then worry that the house looks like a mess. The days I have the house looking great, I feel guilty about not having spent more time playing with my kids.
I guess when you're a mom, there's always something nagging at you. There is always one more thing to be done or something to feel guilty about. That's what makes us a mom!, I will start over. I will let my children help me with the laundry, even if it takes three times as long. I will let them play and be kids, but I will also hold them accountable for their actions, discipline them when they disobey, and teach them about giving to others. I will let them wash their own dishes (yes, they like to do it and ask to!) even if I have to go back and wash them again then clean up the water all over the counters and floor. I WILL LOVE MY CHILDREN THE WAY GOD LOVES US! Without condition, despite their flaws and disobedience, in spite of their sassy mouths and selfishness.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mom guilt

My worst fear has come true. In a constant attempt to mold my children into who I want them to be and worrying about what every little thing they see or hear is teaching them, I have forgotten about my own attitude and actions. In my attempt to make them not so much like me, they have become exactly what I was trying to avoid.
I want my children to love each other. I want them to play together, be polite with one another, give to other people, put others first, and not get caught up in stuff. I don't want them thinking they have to have everything they see on TV or in the store. They, instead, are selfish, greedy, and LOUD! They scream at each other, cry when they get angry or don't get their way, and ask me for everything they see on, really, at every single commercial I hear "MMOOOOOOOMMMM, CAN WE HAVE...??"
I realized today that it's my fault. I scream at them in anger. I am saying all kinds of words in my head knowing that I can't say them out loud because they will pick them up. I am not honoring God with my thoughts and actions. I am not raising HIS children with HIS love. I pray, I try to take deep breaths and calm down, I try everything I know to do and nothing works. I am so scared they will become adults who need serious therapy because their mother screamed at them when they were little. I'm scared they will go to school and be screwed up because of me...that their teachers will wonder "what kind of parents raise a child like this?"
Yet, I press on. I try to treat each new day as a chance to start over. I continue to pray...and hope that they will still turn out good despite their mother's sad attempt at parenting.

Friday, March 12, 2010


-working on a new photography blog for 3 Kings Photography. Hoping I can keep that one up to date more consistantly than I have done on this one. ;)
-my brother is finally out of the desert and on his way home...woohoo!
-I am so ready for warmer weather and better prices on fresh fruit and vegetables! I eat so much better in the spring and summer.
-dealing with some old emotional baggage that has crept back up...Satan is having a field day with me. :(
-wish I could just have a couple of weeks with no children and a lot of money...I have some serious urges to clean everything out, organize, and paint!
-Little Bit started cereal this week...I can't tell if she loves the cereal or the spoon coming at her mouth! it's quite funny to see.
-I'm really starting to get the hang of this meal planning thing and using up everything I have on hand before going to the store...I've managed to make our groceries last a much longer if I could just have my own cow to milk...I'm sure it would be a whole lot cheaper! :)
-struggling with going back to work...was so sure I wanted to go back to teaching while I was, not so sure...would like to work part-time during the day while girls are in a MDO program.
-it's starting to sink in that I will have one child in school next year...I'm really struggling with letting scared he will be getting trouble all the time or pick up some really bad habits from the other kids
-I would really like to re-evaluate my parenting and do some things different
-going to take a nap now, Little Bit decided she needed a feeding at 1:30 this AM and K and A decided they needed to get up before 6 because the thunder was "scawy"

Friday, March 5, 2010

so what's it REALLY like? part 4

if you have no idea what I've been writing about, read part 1, part 2, and part 3 first.

So what can we do to change our hearts and attitudes about being a SAHM?
First, understand that you will have good days and bad days. Everyone does. You are not alone! Yes, you feel alone, but you're not. There are other moms who understand. Some are going through exactly what you are, some have been through worse, some not so bad, and some are on the other side and have a wealth of advice and encouragement. Find these women, whether through facebook, your church, a circle of friends and their friends...whatever you have to do to find other women who are encouraging and loving and who have been there.
Second, pray. Find a way, any way, to keep your personal time with God. I feel like a hypocrite telling you to do this part. I am the world's worst at keeping a quiet time, so I am preaching to myself on this one. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a personal relationship with God. If you have any questions about this, then please feel free to comment or email me at mtsusinger [at] yahoo [dot] com.
Third, talk. Talk to your husband. Be open (yet again, preaching to myself here) and honest with him. Tell him how you feel and ask him what he's going through. Make an attempt to understand each other's point of view. You can never know exactly what it's like to live someone else's life because you are not them, but you can try to see things the way they see them. It may give you a new perspective you didn't think of before.
Fourth, do something for yourself every day. For me, I always feel worse on the days I don't get a shower in the morning. I always try to have my coffee in the quiet of the morning (5:30 in the morning to be exact) before the kids get up. This is time that my husband and I can have together to talk or just sit together before the kids get up. Yes, it's early, but when your kids get up anywhere between 6 and 7, you do what you have to! I also try and get in 30 minutes of yoga. It helps keep me calm and relaxed and gives me a workout at the same time!

The most important thing is to remember that, in the end, you and your husband love each other and you love your kids and that is why this parenting thing is so hard...because true, unconditional love is hard. I'll tell you, though, nothing makes my mind forget all the bad things and melts my heart faster than watching my husband love on our kids. THAT is what makes it worth it for me. :)

so what's it REALLY like? part 3

I had originally intended this to be a 3-part's looking like it will be 4 or 5 parts now. Sorry. ;)

read part 1 here
read part 2 here

So far all I have talked about is the (sometimes) ugly truth about being a SAHM. What about the husband's side? What is it like for him? This is, after all, a marriage of two people...two people working together to parent their children to the best of their ability to bring glory to God.

I have not talked about this with my husband, so I may have it all wrong, but I would imagine that being a SAHM takes a toll on your husband, too. They would probably not talk about what it's like for them unless you poked and prodded and promised hot wings and football...but it does have an affect on them that no one tells them about, either. Let's take it from their perspective (keeping in mind that their minds work totally different than ours).
Husbands have just as much on their plate as we do as moms...we just don't see it that way because we can do a gazillion things at once and still keep some semblance of sanity. They have the huge task of providing for their family's financial needs...alone. For a person whose identity is his ability to care for his family, this is a major stressor. This is similar to how we, as women, feel about how we look. When we take care of ourselves (exercise, eat healthy) we feel better about ourselves, which means that we are better equipped to take care of our family. When our husbands are able to provide for their family, they feel better about themselves and are better equipped to provide for other needs we may have (ie: affection, communication).
Another stressor is what happens when they come home from work. They have been working all day (some physical labor, some office jobs that require lots of brain power) and the first thing we do is say "here, take the kids, I've had enough." We don't even think about what they've been doing all day...we just figure it can't be as hard as what we've been doing. The truth is...and this is hard to swallow...they have been working all day and we have been working all day and we both need a break and some time to decompress. They are stressed from going from one job right into the next (or sometimes, third, if they have a second job outside the home) and we are stressed from doing the same job all day long!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

so what's it REALLY like? part 2

If you missed part one, go read here first.

***This entry is in no way bashing my husband. I'm not saying that I've never done this, but not recently. Just trying to be brutally honest about what goes through the mind of a SAHM.***

There is a surprising emotional toll to being a SAHM that no one tells you about...until now. There are days you resent your husband because he goes to work and has no idea what you do all day (and has even uttered those deadly words "so what did you do all day?"). You can feel isolated; even more so if you are extremely social, like me. You have all day to let bad feelings fester and boil up. You can get in the bad habit of thinking too much, all day long. For example, let's say that before your husband left for work, he said something that rubbed you the wrong way. He's off to work and has forgotten all about it by the time he gets, however, have not. He had traffic, music on the radio, and planning his day on his have taken that hurt from what he said and let it sit. Then piled on top of it a fussy baby, a messy house, dishes from breakfast that need to be done, two preschoolers begging you to play with them, or do this, or watch that...then it see it...something else that has to be picked up. But it doesn't belong to one of the kids. Oh, no. It's a sock (or shirt, or shoes) and it's HIS!! THAT'S IT! I'VE HAD ENOUGH! WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT AN ADULT PICKING UP THEIR OWN CRAP!!!!!
You have officially snapped. It sits, festering, boiling inside until he walks in the door, then you let him have it the second he looks at you wrong and he has NO idea what he has done.
Sound familiar?
What about this one?
Your kids have been running around the house and talking non-stop all day long, literally. You have told them at least 20 times to pick this up or go do that, even giving them time out for disobeying you, but it's still not done. Daddy walks in the door and they become perfect little angels doing everything you've told them to do the first time he asks. Or maybe it's the opposite, you've had them tow the line all day and they are finally obeying and listening and calm, but when daddy gets home, all hell breaks loose. They are running around, fighting, screaming and yelling and he looks at you and says, "what's wrong with your kids?" My kids? MY KIDS??
yeah, I'll leave that one can probably guess what is said in response to that comment.
Truth is...I wouldn't trade it, but sometimes I dream of Supernanny coming in and making my home so nice and peaceful and fun...of course, my kids would have to be waaaayyyy worse for her to come here.

so what's it REALLY like?

I remember being at work after my first child was born just dreaming of being able to stay home with him. I would long for a snow day (I was a teacher) or count down to the next 3-day weekend just to be able to spend more time with him. While I was pregnant with #2, I realized that I was only spending about 4 hours a day with my son and he was spending nearly 10 hours a day at daycare. This is NOT what I wanted for my family. I prayed about it during my pregnancy and after my daughter was born and really felt God calling me to stay home with our children...part of that confirmation came when He gave me a daughter who was very high-maintenance from birth! That was 3 years ago. I had visions of play dates, sunny days at the playground, visits to the zoo, and well-rounded, well-behaved kids...all while keeping up with the housekeeping and putting a well-cooked dinner on the table every night. Then we would sit around the table as a family and have dinner and discuss our day.


Fast forward 3 years to today. I have no car (long story) and am stuck at home all day and about two nights a week by myself with three children, two of whom need to run and play A LOT. I struggle to keep the downstairs clean in case we have clients coming over in the evening (we are semi-professional photographers). I only worry about the upstairs (the kids' area) about once a month...maybe. I put food on the table most of the time, but, as my husband will tell you, it's not that great most of the time either. It's usually something I threw together and didn't season well, or burned, or undercooked, or...well you get the idea. I have not been on any play dates during the week day (no car, remember?), we have been to the zoo a few times when we had two vehicles, and I did manage to take the oldest two to the park while I was pregnant with #3 this summer. My children are more well-behaved than many kids I see, but I still see a lot of room for improvement. They watch TV too much and my 5 year old begs all day, every day, to play on the computer or play Xbox.

The reality is...being a stay at home mom is hard. Sure, it has it's rewards...unlimited cuddle time, being the one to answer your child's random questions about topics he's too young to be asking about (at least in my opinion), having the opportunity to watch him read his first word, or watching your daughter twirl around the living room in her tutu because she's a "ballet-er." But for all the good times, there are so many down times. I'm social, so are my kids. We are confined to our house and wherever we can walk to. Do you see the problem? They love to play with friends, but we have no way to get there. The older two crave as much attention from me as the baby...but at some point I have to cook, clean, check and answer emails, clean, do laundry, pick up toys, discipline, answer a million "MOOOOOMMMM!"'s, all while trying to keep the baby's schedule...did I mention I breastfeed, too...oh, wait, I have to clean again, or is it make lunch, or maybe it's snack time?

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Princess is 3!

I cannot believe it's been 3 years since our little girl entered this world. I won't bore you with the birth story (even though I still recall every detail including what I ate the night before) but I was in labor during a major storm and the moment she took her first breath all the rain and wind stopped. Looking back, it makes sense. When the Princess enters, everything will stop because she is all that matters!

She has been a princess since birth. I wrote about how I am thankful for her here. Her pregnancy was the only one that was planned from day one and she has changed me in ways she will never know. She is going to be a great friend and amazing dancer or athlete...or both! She takes great care of her baby sister and knows exactly what she wants. That will serve her well. She is one tough cookie and one good actress. I can't wait to see what her future holds and what kind of woman she becomes.

Happy Birthday, my Princess. Mommy loves you all the time!