Monday, February 1, 2010

Grey Skies & Stinky Feet....6 Counseling Sessions Down, 21 To Go!

I am pleading with the SUN. Please come back. Bring me warmth, energy, and enthusiasm. Take away the cold, blistering wind. Destroy my sweaters, wool socks, and mittens. Bring me sundresses, flip flops, and sunscreen. Keep me warm, tan, and freckled…..a pool by my feet, a cocktail within reach. All of this, in Mother Nature’s name I pray, AMEN.
It’s winter in good old Pennsylvania, and I absolutely hate it. How do I cope? Not well. Chocolate Fudge Torte, Apple Cake, Fudge Bottom Cheesecake, and Chocolate Chip Brownies; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Apparently caffeine is out, and sugar is in. Thankfully by Friday, I was so disgusted with myself, my baking, and my sluggishness, that I left the kitchen and my oven, for good.
Three day’s rest, and I do feel brand new. I’ve learned enough about myself to know, I shouldn’t get too arrogant. I don’t just fall off the wagon, I jump. So, like my caffeine addiction, I’ll simply take it one day at a time, one day at a time.
Now, one day at a time does work. However, on one of those days last week, I did break down and have a cup of coffee. Dear God, it tasted good. Even better though, was the fact that I didn’t NEED more, and I don’t WANT more. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.
I’m also feeling pretty restless and completely useless and bored. My 6 year old attends school and loves it. My 3 year old doesn’t know what to do with herself without her big sister around. And I don’t think it’s possible to despise Polly Pockets anymore than I do at this very moment. There are only so many hours in a day, and Polly Pockets, Barbie, and Little Pets, do not fit so nicely into mine. When I decided to stay home with my kids, why didn’t anyone warn me about this?
It’s not like playing with these toys is rocket science, yet my brain is completely fried. Is it any wonder I turn to baking and sugar to get me through the endless hours of miniature play?
I know I shouldn’t complain. This time with my daughters is special. Memories, they say. Uh-huh. I’ve got news for you. This mother needs not one more memory involving any kind of perfectly proportioned, busty and beautiful, blonde DOLL.
Do you hear me Sun? Please?!? I’m not one to jump on the “oh I’ve got seasonal depression” bandwagon…but lately, I’m not so sure. There are days when it is seriously so hard to pull myself out of bed, when the thought of playing and occupying my children for any longer than absolutely necessary seems too incredibly overwhelming to think about. My husband’s a good man, but he can’t understand. Not this.
It’s amazing how different everything seems, with a little warmth and sunshine to accompany it. I will sit outside all day, playing, entertaining, enjoying my children, the weather, and the world…..while I fold laundry, plan a dinner menu, make phone calls, and garden. For 7 or 8 months a year, I am Superwoman. The other few? Even I can’t come up with an appropriate comparison.
An accident waiting to happen? That sounds about right. An attention seeking wife needing reassurance, compassion, and understanding; definitely. I’m also the moron who decided to finagle my husband into 6 months of do-it-yourself marriage counseling. Well, People, the joke’s on me. I’m sure you’ll agree that yes, every marriage needs a little fine tuning now and again. Every partner needs to take time to appreciate their other half. Every couple needs to really decide to work together as a partnership and duo. But not every couple needs an intervention. In my case, perhaps it was solely ME who needed the counseling. The more I write, the more I see myself, and the more I’m forced to admit. Hmmmmm……maybe most of “our” problems, really are “my” problems, simply projected onto and into our marriage? I don’t know.
On a positive note, I do know this week’s session was one of my favorites. The last thing you want to give someone who feels overwhelmed, is more responsibility. I didn’t want to plan a “lesson”. I wanted to stay on track, but I didn’t want to be responsible for it. I like feeling like someone else is taking care of me, you know what I mean? When you’re a mother, and you spend your days taking care of everyone else… just want someone to come along and take care of things without any input, effort, or advice from you.
So when my husband told me we were going to soak, scrub, and massage our feet, although I was relieved he had come up with a “lesson”, I was also quite hesitant. Soak our feet? How in the world is this “counseling” or “therapy”?
I have now come to believe, that sometimes the BEST therapy, is simply doing something special for YOURSELF. And if you’re able to do something for yourself, while sharing it with your partner….that is absolutely all the marriage counseling or therapy you may need!
So with hot bubbly water, peppermint bath soak, and chocolate candy in hand, we made our way to the sofa. Look, sugar may be my enemy; but if my husband wants to indulge me with a spa type atmosphere and treatment, how can I resist? Had I turned down the chocolate that night, surely I would’ve hated myself in the morning. Sometimes you gotta relax, let go, and indulge.
The evening was fantastic. Why don’t we do this more often?!? The girls were in bed. No football on TV. Even the puppy was behaving. What more could a crazy, sometimes obsessive, always frazzled, seasonally depressed mother and wife want?
How about a husband with beautiful, non-stinky feet? Is that too much to ask?!? Seriously, our time together was a success. But the man has some issues. His feet smell so incredibly bad. He takes his shoes off, and you either open a window or leave the house, it’s that offensive. The peppermint soak certainly helped, but c’mon, after so many years I think the stink is embedded in my nostrils. When I see bare feet, whether they smell or not, I immediately sense the stench. You can almost see the fog swirl around, killing everything in its path.
As disgusting as this is, though, it IS our weekly reminder, our therapy session. An hour or two devoted to us. So as crazy as it sounds, once the soak and scrub were done, I OFFERED to massage the lotion into his feet. For all the hurt I’ve caused, the damage I’ve done, the battles I’ve started over the past 7 ½ years; THIS SINGULAR ACT OF KINDNESS CANCELS ALL ELSE OUT. Marriage counseling is not about keeping score and taking credit. I understand that. But I give myself a heck of a lot of credit for taking on such a smelly, gag-inducing task.
Truth is it was over quite quickly and relatively painlessly. Although I did SCRUB my hands immediately following my good deed. At one point during the massage, we were talking about parenthood, marriage, life, etc….. and I told my hubby that I felt like a flower. Let me explain. A sometimes blooming, often wilting, always needing tender loving care (aka reassurance); flower. At times I feel and look beautiful. Other times, used, dried out, fragile and frail. A flower.
How about me, he asks?
Well, that would make you, hmmmmmm. Oh yes, of course. A WEED.

Simultaneously we burst into laughter. Now think about it, Ladies. We love our men, we do. But there are times those pesky little weeds just need to leave us alone. There are times those thorns in our side are just too much to handle. There are times we need our space. Time to reflect, grow, and bloom. And I don’t know about you, but I have NEVER been able to really get rid of those daggone pickers. They just keep coming back, year after year, stubborn as hell to prove their point. My Weed may occasionally stink, he may sometimes be overbearing, and he often oversteps his boundaries; but thank goodness he’s got a good sense of humor!
So I prayed to the Sun for warm weather, flip-flops, and sunscreen. What I got was dirty water, stinky feet, and peppermint lotion. Close, but no cigar.
Life’s not perfect, wilting flowers, weeds and all. You live with what you’ve got, and you learn how to make it bloom. I’ll keep trying, we’ll keep trying; maybe someday we’ll come up with just the right recipe for success. In the meantime, I’ll simply keep writing, soul searching, and tending to my garden. Until next time…………


Jennifer said...

New to your blog and loving it! Your expression of what most mothers feel at some point or another in their lives. I know I certainly have, and those feelings I'm sure were a catalyst to my divorce. Luckily, I read a couple books, and a few years of single parenthood, started to realize what was really important in life. For me it was a spiritual transformation and from that point on, remarried a Godly man who had raised his three children on his own, and together, we grow as a blended family, with all it's ups & downs. I'll tell you what changed my life. A book. It's called "Captivating" by Stasi Eldredge. Then I met my future husband. But before we got married, together we read "The 5 Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman. We read a chapter every night, then discussed it. We both learned so much about ourselves,....& others, for that matter!
I have written a couple posts in my blog about some of the issues you mention above, The Imoprtance of Me Time, Date Night, and of course SEX! If you get a chance I'd love for you to check it out. Until then,...keep doing what your doing, for yourself & with your husband. In every stage of our lives we change,....independently & as a couple. You have to keep reintroducing yourselves to each other. It may not always be easy, but if it was easy, then you two wouldn't really need each other would you?
Try reading "Captivating",.....and know that YOU are, truly lovely!


Anonymous said...

Honestly if I have another day at home...entertaining Lil Bits who, suddenly, cannot play without me...and by the way we finally banned ALL Polly Pocket and her teeny tiny pieces and her impossible to put together sets from our house...forever! I grew up in a suburbs of Philly and didn't mind winter. Now, for the past 5 or so years I firmly believe I do have seasonal affective disorder. Try as I might my mood is just not the same...Remedy? Alot of baking, eating, or maybe a fabulous vacation real soon (I wish!)

Anonymous said...

New to your blog and loving your candid take on life, marriage, and self-therapy. Thank you for your humorous account of things I can relate to.

Maureen Lee said...

I'm new to your blog, as well, and loved your humorous take on what marriage and childrearing are really all about! :) Wise words, especially your point about the power of acceptance. The moment I said the words, "It is what it is", and let go of expectations, my world was no longer so drama-filled! And having a husband with a sense of humour is essential! Great post.

Coryanne Ettiene said...

I have not ready anything that honest in a very long time, amen my darling! I am so with you on the winter thing, please please give me even 1 sunny dry day...and the polly pocket, well lets just say I have been known to hoover a few up 'oops';-) thanks for stopping by housewife bliss, have returned the follow with great interest. Coryanne

TabbyCat said...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You....I couldn't agree more!

Violetstone said...

Just discovered your blog. Great reading. Me and my husband tried couples counseling a few years ago. We had 15 sessions with a really annoying man. About the only thing we could agree on was that neither of us liked him! I don't know if it did any good but we are still together. Funnily enough I really enjoyed the time afterward when we went for a coffee as he took the morning off work and the kids were at school. I have planned a night in for Valentines day with the girls at sleepovers. That's the sort of things we do to keep the magic alive. Probably get an unexpected visit from some annoying


I'd intended to write today myself. And I need to garden. It's been a long time since hubby and I've been to marriage counseling.

Ali said...

Amen! Girl, I feel like you were reading my mind! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I look forward to reading more of your blog!

Bluesy-Nista said...

I am praying for Spring to come quickly as well.
Thank you for the follow and best of luck with the therapy sessions. Don't give up!

mug mommy said...

Hey Average Josey! Thanks for visiting my blog. Just finished reading your last post and loved it! Will visit and stay longer soon... Cheers!:) said...

Gave you a blog award, stop by my page to see it. :) Can't wait to see your next post!

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