Friday, March 5, 2010

Didn't Get The Memo.....But I DID Shave My Legs.

Well, well, well. Here I am again. The good news is, my hubby and I have been continuing our DIY Marriage Counseling. Contrary to what you may believe, based on my lack of consistent posting, we haven’t given up. We haven’t lost our drive to continue, but it seems I’ve lost the time to record and journal our sessions. More on that later. I, of course, don’t blame myself. When it comes to marriage, parenthood, responsibilities, etc…. it appears I didn’t receive the correct instructional, some may call it “survival”, handbook; I didn’t get the memo. Again, more on that later.
For now, let’s get back to the positives. Okay Ladies, get ready for this. Moms, hold onto your hats. Those of you without children, you won’t understand this. Those who have chosen to procreate, no matter how much you may regret it at times, I’m warning you now, you will be impressed. Drum roll please……………………………..
After 6 ½ long years of struggle, I have finally, FINALLY, found a way to get a shower, shave my legs, dry off, apply lotion, and get dressed, without 2 sets of miniature eyes & paws peeking through the curtain, sneaking in to scare the bejesus out of me, and clawing at my very unwilling, overly tired body. Did you hear that?!?! I GOT A SHOWER. I SHAVED MY LEGS. I DID IT ALL IN COMPLETE AND UTTER SILENCE. In my world, this is a historic moment.
True, my girls aren’t babies anymore. They should understand how to leave their Mommy alone. MmmHmm. What kind of word is “should” anyway? They SHOULD do a lot of things, of course they don’t. I SHOULD post my journal every week, we all know I don’t. I SHOULD be guaranteed a shower and a clean pair of underwear daily……..
I SHOULDN’T have to worry that my daughter is hiding around the corner, or behind the bathroom door, waiting for me to step out of the shower (naked of course), so she can snap a very obscene picture. Oh yes, she did. On no, I wasn’t happy.
I also SHOULDN’T have to worry that while I’m attempting to shave, lethal razor in hand, they’ll tip-toe quietly to opposite ends of the shower, tag-team style, and on the oldest’s cue, pull back the curtains and scream at the top of their lungs. Bursting into hysterical fits of laughter, they actually think it’s funny when my heart stops. That is, they did, until the blood from my sliced and scarred leg appeared. I can’t say their looks of horror didn’t give me satisfaction. My leg hurt like hell, but my girls felt guilty, and THAT made me feel good. Bad parent? Please. Honest mom? Absolutely.
It took me way too long to figure this one out. Blame it on my “mommy-brain”. You know that’s true, right? It starts when you’re pregnant, and at least in my case, it never got better. Those little connectors, the “things” that help me make sense out of completely useless nonsense, ceased working approximately 7 years ago.
Duh. My girls are obsessed with me. They enjoy poking at my belly button, laughing at my boobie-catchers, stealing my underwear, and hiding in my closet. They are relentless.
So it finally dawned on me. Find them someone else to obsess over! Hellooooo. Welcome TLC, A Baby Story, and all things dealing with labor, delivery, babies, and diapers. Sitting on my bed, a delight all its own, my girl’s eyes are glued to the screen from introductory song to closing credits. They LOVE watching the lady with the enormous belly getting ready for delivery. They’re captivated by the thought of a real live baby coming out of the mommy’s hoo-ha. And when it actually DOES; they squirm and squeal with delight as they guess the pending baby’s name, sex, eye color, hair color, etc. etc….. Of course, on occasion, a baby is born bald. To that, my youngest proudly proclaims, “Hey, that baby’s got a bulbed head too!” Being a “bulbed” baby herself, she finally started growing hair around age 3.
This is so perfect, I don’t even know what to say. “A Baby Story” comes on EVERY day, EVERY DAY. Am I dreaming?
This little morning ritual has me so enlivened and enlightened, sometimes I even give them a snack. Snacks are not a no-no in this house, we LOVE snacks. But snacks in Mommy’s bed? Not a chance. Or at least that’s how it used to be. In my estimation, a clean body, peaceful mind, and luxurious lotion, outweigh a few crumbs anyday. Isn’t that what dust-buster’s are for? Of course, on snack days, I do always manage to set them up on Daddy’s side of the bed. Oh I’m laughing now. It’s so perfect. You’d do it too.
Alright, I’m clean and I feel great. Get on with it, right? What does this possibly have to do with counseling? If you’ve been following my plight, you already know. Counseling for me comes in many forms. Getting a shower, enjoying the peace and quiet, and manipulating my children, is VERY therapeutic. Sharing my newfound glories with my husband has been quite interesting and fun too. He may not completely understand the significance, but he does laugh along, and he does appreciate my “work”.
So, we talk. That’s it. We talk. My time in the shower, among other things, has given me a new perspective. Marriage Counseling doesn’t have to be complicated. Isn’t being married complicated enough? We don’t have to plan extravagant lesson plans, and take part in ultra-creative activities, in order to make progress.
Our lives are hectic, busier by the day. Weekly sessions shouldn’t stress me out. I don’t look forward to “work”. I do look forward to reconnecting. Counseling for us, is turning a corner. We’ve realized that 6 months of planned and scripted lessons…..are just that. Planned and scripted. That’s not real life.
REAL life is unpredictable. And REAL marriages know how to go with the flow and “figure it out”. This is no longer simply a 6 month commitment. Just like losing weight, quitting smoking, or putting down the bottle, this is a lifetime committed to change. A LIFESTYLE change. Meeting once a week to simply talk about our lives, is more powerful than any preplanned lesson ever could be.
Look, when you’re married with young children, it’s very hard to find time in the day for each other. Especially when one or both of you is working full-time, over-time, and around the clock. Set a date to simply talk. Meet at the table, on the sofa, in the kitchen over a box of fudge, whatever! Do it, you won’t regret it. And then stick to it. You may find, like us, “once a week” has actually turned into much more.
Now don’t worry. I may sound a little sappy today, but I haven’t totally lost my mind. Our talks aren’t always great, and we don’t always walk away liking each other. We can fight with the best of them. What’s life without a little controversy, right? We just happen to be on a good run right now. For my faithful followers, you very well know my “good runs” usually lead to potentially disastrous “nose-dives”. Every day’s a new day. Keep following, I’m sure the drama won’t be far behind.
So where has all the time gone? Why can’t I find the time to write and journal? Well, I’m working on it. I do think I’ve got it under control. However, these last couple weeks have been absolute chaos. And it all goes back to the “memo” I mentioned earlier. When I had my kids, I didn’t get it.
Did you? Seriously, when you decided to have kids, did you receive THE warning? Some actually do call it a memo. An explanation for sure. Our doctors should have told us. How were we supposed to know our precious, little, mini-me people would be born with incredible, superhuman, supersized powers?
I swear my kids have RADAR. If I sleep till 9am, they sleep till 9am. If I wake up at 4:30am, they wake up at 4:30am. Heaven forbid I try to start my day without them. It's virtually impossible. It's as if they sense my every move. I could FLOAT out of bed, feet never touching the floor, never making a sound, and they would still know Mommy was awake. I stop too quickly and they're literally running right up my butt. They really are quite remarkable little beings.
I’ve figured out the shower situation. Piece of cake. But my writing? Aaaahhhhhhh! If I don’t have completely calm silence, that annoying little voice inside my head chatters and chirps so fast and jumbly, I can’t get anything accomplished.
There were a few weeks in the beginning, when I could wake up early, spend a couple hours alone, and get a tremendous amount of work done. Then they figured it out. Their radar kicked in, and once again I gained 85 pounds of unrelenting, curious, wide-eyed & needy “flesh”.
What’s a girl to do? If they insist on waking up whenever I do, be it 4:30 or 8:30… I’m leaving my lazy-ass in bed. Of course that solves nothing, but you know what I mean.
I may not have mentioned it before, because I do consider myself a full-time mom, but I do actually work from home as well. After I left teaching, I got my real estate license, in the hopes of being able to supplement our income, while still being the full-time mom I always wanted to be. I’m not setting the real estate world on fire, but I do have at least a few sales a year, which require much concentration, organization, and energy. If I don’t keep things on track, according to agreed upon legal documents; you guessed it, not a pretty picture. I do enjoy the work. The extra income, while feast or famine, is always appreciated. And right now, it simply works.
I mention this because just like my journaling, my work requires peaceful concentration. Certainly not 40 hours a week, we’re talking just a few. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to find those precious, precious hours. By the time night fall comes, my brain is mush, and the couch is calling my name. Okay, okay, okay………General Hospital may actually be what’s calling my name, but who really cares? Again, counseling takes on many forms. My new obsession with GH’s Detective Dante Falconeiri takes “therapy” to a whole new level.
Not knowing how to solve this dilemma, I decide to simply tell my husband. Talk it out. Are you noticing a pattern? We all know communication is the key to a relationship’s success. But how often do we actually ignore such simple advice? In my world, when I actually “listen”, acknowledge, and do what I KNOW I should do, everything else falls into place. It’s so simple, yet there are still so many times I take the long road, detouring around every corner, kicking and screaming while trying to figure it out on my own. The answers are already here; just open up, talk it out, and do it. Does any of this babble make sense?
So I tell him. And then HE tells me. After taking his health classes on a field trip to our community’s brand new Rec Center, he thinks we should take a tour and consider joining. How much impact can a rec center have on my life? Seriously, it’s just a gym, right? People, let me tell you. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 32 ½ YEARS, I AM HAPPY, PROUD, AND EXCITED TO BE LIVING IN NEW HOLLAND, PENNSYLVANIA.
I decided to confide in him, then we decided to join the Rec. I have never had a place, 2 ½ minutes from my house, where I can take my children, drop them off in the play room, exercise by myself, and even relax with a book and cup of coffee, before picking them up and doing it all again the next day. I am now officially in heaven.
Fitness and health have always been a huge part of my life. However, these last few YEARS, have been nothing short of fitness, exercise, and good health purgatory. I have literally done nothing. There’s no need to babble on and on about all the various benefits and perks of our new membership. But let me tell you, this is not simply a gym, it’s a family paradise and haven. Anyone who’s forward thinking enough to design a “Parent’s Night Out” into a community rec center’s programs, deserves any parent’s membership for life. On a select Friday night, once a month, Parent’s Night Out takes place. Drop your kids off anytime between 5-9pm, and then……… do WHATEVER you want! It’s a built in date night without having to arrange and organize ANYTHING. No pulling teeth to get reluctant (which I’ll never understand) family members to babysit. No bargaining, no feeling like you’re burdening anyone, no NOTHING. For the kids, a pizza party, arts & crafts, movies, and play. For the adults, much needed time to reconnect, escape the sometimes not-so-pretty realities of daily life, rest & recuperation. I may sound a little dramatic right now; but isn’t this just the greatest thing in the world?!?
I could go on and on, and trust me, in later posts….. I will. Now that I’ve been getting back to ME, feeling like my old self again, and setting a good example for my girls EVERYDAY, I’ve got so much to tell my hubby. I can’t wait till our next “meeting”.
Of course, my “old self” does have a bit of a competitive streak. And I did have to refrain from throwing a very obnoxious, anything-but-nice, arrogant, know-it-all aerobics instructor, right off her bike, and right out the window. I’m no star athlete, I don’t even really care about sports. However, I did have a former life in the fitness world. So please don’t come into a class, proclaiming YOUR body’s perfections, while making the rest of the participants feel like shit, and then think you can military-style scream at us until we do want you want. You don’t know me, and boy oh boy, do you have another thing coming. You see, I used to do your job. And unlike you, I used to actually LIKE the people who came into my classes.
I’m not obsessed with weight, and size doesn’t mean a thing to me. I’ve still got friends who judge themselves by these ridiculous standards, and it’s absolutely infuriating to watch. I do believe in being healthy, and most importantly, happy. By now I know, exercise or not, my body has changed. I’ve had kids, I’ve expanded, I’ve shrunk, I’ve fallen in between. So what if my belly isn’t as toned as it used to be? So what if I’m soft, where I used to be firm? So what, so what, so what?
Listen up, Girls. I could honestly care less if my once fairly-firm buttocks, now hangs a little low, as it wobbles to & fro.
That’s life, right? And you know what? Right now, crappy weather and all, I actually really like mine. So here’s to all of YOU……may you release the pressures of the outside world, as you embrace yourselves as individuals. May you find your own inner-peace, as you embark or re-embark on your own individual journey. May your partners accept the person you used to be, the person you are, and the person you’re continually striving to become. Most importantly, may we ALL come to terms with our saggy bottoms, roly-poly bellies, and tired worn-out boobies. And when we do…… here’s to kicking those arrogant, brutally honest, perfectly proportioned, excessively energetic, idiotic aerobics instructors; right on their “you could bounce a quarter off it” ass.
Talk is cheap? Yes, it is. It doesn’t cost a thing, but the rewards are farther reaching than most of us can possibly imagine. So find your partner, talk it out, confide and share. Tell him about your day; poopy diapers and all. Listen when he goes on and on about the most ridiculous meaningless-to-you things. Do this, even if you don’t feel the need, desire, or want. Use me as an example. You’ve been with me as I’ve crashed and burned. Don’t put it off today, hoping someone else will take care of it tomorrow.
I’m no longer counting down our sessions. This is not a chore. This is not something that will end. This IS our life, and it IS worth the commitment. If you really want to work things out, then absolutely, YOUR relationship is worth it too.
Until next time…………………..

4 comments: said...

I didn't get the memo, either. My kids are 8, 4, and 3 and they like trying to jump in the shower with me.

I think maybe we need to get cable JUST for The Baby Story. I remember when we had it before, my oldest was about 4 but she LOVED that show.

Congrats on your progress... I think weekly talks are a must for all married couples, whether they're having "problems" at that time or not. I know Rach and I, though we aren't married yet, have to make sure we set aside time to talk or it will just all pass us by.

Everyone is so busy these days.


AudreyO said...

Wow, seems like many of us didn't get the memo. Communication is key in any relationship, whether it be a spouse, a child or even a friend. You know I'm rotting for you :)

AudreyO said...

Wow...seems like many of us didn't get the memo on how to parent, how to be the other half of the relationship etc.'s a word I hate, but it's sooooo important.

Amy said...

I had to LOL at your stories about your daughters. I cannot imagine being tag-teamed or getting an obscene picture taken of me. That was just too funny. :)