1.09.2008

WE CAN DO HARD THINGS

Yesterday, I asked a friend if she was going to take her 18 month old to nursery this Sunday. She emphatically said, "No." When I asked why, her reasons came in this order: 1) It's flu season, 2) There is a kid that pushes other kids, 3) Two of the leaders are high strung, and 4) She asked the Bishop to give her a nursery calling and he said no. Of course, if a parent wants to continue sitting out in the hall with a squirmy toddler during church, that's their own prerogative, but as for me and my house, unless my child's life is being threatened or they are giving him drugs, we will take advantage of that glorious gift from God called "nursery".

Along the same lines, I have heard similar comments from women who won't "camp for 10 years" because they don't want to do it with little ones, fly with their child without their spouse, or attend church for the last 2 months of their pregnancy because they are tired. While admittedly, it would be more ideal to do some of those things with a spouse or "helper", sometimes you just have to do hard things as a mother.

Before I jump all over these folks for being wimpy, I totally make the same excuses, just with other stuff. I want to be tougher when it comes to doing things alone with Luke, but sometimes I am so tired, that I just don't feel like trying. Erik is constantly saying to me, "Don't be a wuss. You can do that with Luke. Why do you let him stop you from doing things? This is part of being a mom." (The "This is part of being a mom" comment bothers me the most. I always respond with, "Well, I'm not a single mom.") Fortunately, Erik's comments about doctors' appointments and shopping stopped when I "allowed" him the privilege of taking Luke shopping alone with him a few times to Home Depot, as well as trying to hold Luke down during my last ultrasound. I also had a friend point out the irony that husbands complain that you haven't accomplished anything all day while being alone with the kids, but then they complain if they are going to be alone with the kids for a few hours because it will prevent them from getting anything done. Very good point.

Example, here are some things that I avoid doing alone with Luke at all costs, that I probably could do if I had more chutzpah:

- Huge Shopping Trips to Bakersfield that take Half the Day or Longer
- Going to any Doctor's Office (unless its the pediatrician)
- Taking Luke to Young Womens Activities
- Hosting Dinner Parties When Erik Won't be arriving until 15 minutes before the Guests
- Attending Fancy Wedding Receptions
- Eating Out at Restaurants

Then there are the things that I have done alone with Luke, that I wish I wouldn't have:

- Drove to Arizona by myself when he was 8 months old, stopping to nurse him at scary rest stops every few hours or so.
- Tried to do 20 hours of freelance work from home per week when he was 2 months old.

I know a lot of this has to do with a child's age and temperament. Plus, it really does make a difference when I have Erik with me to help do these "hard things." Although, every time I think I "can't" do something because of Luke, I imagine this anonymous women with 4 little kids, staring me down, saying, "Oh, you think it's hard now and you only have one! You wimp!" That's one of my biggest fears with having 2 boys, 2 years apart - that I will never leave the house because it will be too hard. That's when I think of this poster below instead of the "inspiring" one at the top:

11 comments:

  1. Greg gives me a hard time too sometimes.....though he was really sympathetic when he had to play Mom with Kylee after I had Sarah (funny). Luke will get older and easier....or maybe its just that we start to care less when they rip things off shelves. Either way just think how lonely you'll be at the store when they don't want to come with you anymore. I went to the grocery store on the way home from a drs. apt. the other day (kids with a friend) and I felt so weird. It felt nice (don't get me wrong) but I actually had to have a conversation with the checker....strange. And it wasn't about kids! And I wasn't trying to kill my back while loading kids and groceries into the car! It felt oddly empty.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can I tell you my pet peeve and I know some people will think I'm a brat - I hate when people take a 6 week maternity leave from church after they have a baby. Everyone in my ward does it. It drives me batty b/c we already have a small, struggling ward as it is. A lot of people claim they don't want their newborn to get sick so that's why they take the time off, but I always ask "do you also stay home from Target, the grocery store, and everywhere else or JUST church?"

    I agree with you. I do hard things all the time with my kids. We do avoid certain things like restaurants with the kids (except once in a blue moon). After flying across the country last summer with both boys by myself I swore I'd never do that again, but I bet I will at some point.

    I am currently a law school widow and do everything by myself. It gets much easier after you do it for awhile and when you get to the point where you don't care that everyone in the grocery store is looking at you like "shut that whiney kid up."

    Oh and I totally agree that husbands do not get it. Zach thought I was a baby b/c Owen is a hard toddler and I was complaining about it once. Then over Christmas break he said, "I don't know how you keep from running away some days."

    Luke will get easier and I bet baby #2 will be a breeze now that you've been broken in :).

    ReplyDelete
  3. there's a lady in my ward who i'm friends with who just had her 6th kid. and she does everything! i don't know how she does it all. i'm trying to back out of our co-op preschool group next year, (for more reasons than one), but my excuse was homeschooling. I'm not losing any kids to school. after this baby is born i'll have three kids at home, all day, all the time. i'm not shipping one off to kindergarten. but i always feel guilty when i use that excuse because it's obviously my choice. she could be shipped off to kindergarten and my life could be a bit simpler. oh well. i've done the flying alone with two kids. i can't stay home for more than a few days after having a baby because I would go crazy. I'm usually back at church after two Sundays. but we all have the areas we wimp out in and the areas where we can make ourselves feel like super mom because it's just in our comfort zone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nursery is a blessing, and if someone doesn't want to use it - their loss. As for flu season and germs...wash the kids hands afterwards - but getting sick is inevitable.
    As for the church maternity leave -Yah I take it - but I don't take my baby ANYWHERE for at least a month. My husband and I trade off, making sure the baby stays home. My first baby got RSV(scary)from taking him out in public too early. Staying home from church doesn't mean that I didn't fulfill my callings or other responsibilities. I just don't take the baby out when they are so small.

    I think that these little things are personal choices. A lot of things are made harder when you have to take children with you. If I can leave them home with my husband I will - I love going to the grocery store alone.

    ReplyDelete
  5. (Caitlin)Every time I get frustrated because I feel like I get nothing done, I tell myself how easy I have it right now with one baby. Especially Jonah is only 3 months! I know it's only getting worse from here. I LOVE when Zach's home because suddenly I don't feel like a single parent! He helps out as much as he can so it's really nice. Sometimes I purposely wait for Zach to go to the grocery store with me because I hate having to carry Jonah back and forth and get all the groceries by myself! What a Whimp! (it's pretty pathetic i know) I would never do a road trip alone with Jonah, you are crazy. I'm even dreading driving to AZ with kelley, Vak, and Zach because I know we are going to have to stop so much with Jonah. I just worry about how he'll do for that long in the car. p.s. and as far as the whole bringing new borns to church goes, I had Jonah the beginning of October and the nurse in the Hospitl told me not to go to church until January! Of course I probably waited just a couple weeks but man! That would have been so funny if I just now showed up with 3 month old baby.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the 'We Can Do It' poster. That should be the motto for all people with 1.5 kids haha... I would milk the 'wimp card' for all it's worth to get help with my future kids haha.. Just kidding.. Love your Blog.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was at a doctor's appointment last week and ran into a friend from my old ward who is pregnant also. She had her two boys with her (ages 4 and 2) and they were horrible! They ran around everywhere, wouldn't stay in her room and screamed. That's when I decided that if at all possile, I don't want to put Carson in that kind of situation if I can help it. He's been to 1 tummy check appointment and did okay, but I think if I had to take him to all of them, I would go insane and my doctor would ask me to never come back. Andrew has done enough alone with Carson to understand that he can be a challenge and luckily hasn't harrassed me about being a "lazy mom". I think if he tried, he would be sleeping in his car.
    I am all for nursery! I was counting the weeks until Carson could go. Sure they will get sick, but it's a chance for them to interact with other children and learn a little bit at the same time. I think people who avoid nursery because they are afraid of germs or whatever need to get over it and let their kids have a little fun. Hand sanitizer is an amazing thing.
    I'm in the Primary Presidency in our ward. We had 2 teachers have babies. One was in April. By the second week, she was back teaching her class and had no problems leaving her baby with her husband. It was her 3rd. Back in August, we had a teacher who had her 3rd baby also. She basically took off the rest of the year (no joke!) and now says she's ready to teach, but last week she still took off with her baby after she taught and left her class alone for singing/sharing time and closing exercises. I think taking a week or two off church is a good thing. I know I needed that time to recover, but 4 months is pushing it a little. I'm a wimp when it comes to being tired and all, but I think some people make their pregnancy and post delivery an excuse for anything and everything. We waited about 4 weeks before we took Carson only because the ward we were in, whenever someone had a baby, they would flock and everyone would want to hold the baby and touch it and it was October, so I was nervous about flu season and whatnot. This ward seems to be good about looking and leaving alone.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hear your pain. I had a hard enough time taking Jackson to his own doctor's appointment a couple of days ago. He used to be so good at the store, and now I only take him if it's my only option or if I'm going for a quick trip.

    Don't worry what anyone else thinks about nursery. Form your own opinions. I do have to say that it bothers me that people aren't supportive of church activities/classes/etc. because of the bishop. He's only human, give him a break. And he probably is following inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I admit to giving Emily a bad time about it too. Although I do know that she does waste time at home sometimes, just like I waste time at work sometimes. At school and work I could always work harder and get more done during the day, but it sucks for Emily and Grace if I have to make up the homework or something while I could be spending time chilling with them. Same way, it sucks for me if I have to follow Emily around while she runs errands after she picks me up from school.
    It goes both ways.
    By the way, your poster reminded me of this shirt.
    http://www.ratemyeverything.net/post/6212/Slavery_Gets_Shit_Done_T-Shirt.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah I can in no way relate to those people I tried sneaking Eiley in like 3 weeks early! Tim says we should'nt allow kids at church till they're 8 cause neither one of us hear a thing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails