Monday, September 22, 2008

And the High-flier Comes Down With a Thump

I've been convicted strongly lately that I'm not really holding up my end of the bargain here. I'm using this pregnancy thing way too much as a poor excuse as to why dinner wasn't ready today, or why our bedroom is so unorganized or...whatever. I keep expecting Del to just shut down on me and become resentful but he hasn't. He keeps showering me with love and admiration and encouragement and patience. I don't deserve it, but boy am I ever grateful for such faith in me. This really all speaks heavily to our relationship with God and his faithfulness to us despite our constant failings and betrayals. I love seeing the much larger picture of God's love for us played out in my own marriage with Del's love for me, despite my failings. It's amazing.

Anyway, I did so well on Friday. And then on Saturday it (whatever that is) all came crashing down around me and continued on to Sunday. Then for some reason this morning I'm back on the wagon again. I don't get it. There are two main things that I think contributed to my lack of function on the weekend.

1) Del's home. Can't he pick up the slack?
2) The TV is on a lot more.

As to the first, I don't get a vacation on the weekend just because Del's home. Whether he's home or not the house is still my domain. The dishes still must be cleaned, the kids fed, the laundry done and general order kept in the house. I cannot "check out" just because I have back up. Plus, this isn't Del's domain. The poor man has no idea what my daily routine is so how is he to be expected to maintain it when he's home on the weekends?

The second. Basically this weekend we watched the Ryder Cup and football. All. Day. Long. While riveting and interesting, the television is a time sap, an energy sap and a waste of time, generally. I've read many articles about why we should just chuck out TV into the dump, and truthfully often I find that to be the most appealing choice. But I honestly can't do that because we like to relax watching mindless action flicks and let the kids watch VeggieTales and stuff like that. My big problem with the TV is that I don't control the time factor very well. It starts to become part of the family when it should just be a temporary distraction. Hmmm....

But anyway, the point of this post is that this morning I was about to go on a mad clean up since I did so little over the weekend when I recalled a little tidbit I read over at Terry's. Basically she said she makes a small list of things to accomplish for herself everyday and keeps it that simple. That's a pretty good idea, I think and I've been contemplating the strategy every since she first posted about it. The list is the "must do" and anything else is icing on the cake.

I made this list for myself today:

- school
- dinner
- read to Sarah
- laundry
- straighten my bedroom

So far, I've done dinner and the laundry and half of school. Plus I made scones, cleaned up the kitchen and got the girls to CLEAN UP THEIR ROOM. Bonus. I think I'll try this method for a while. Maybe it'll stick. I know that dinner should be just a foregone conclusion, but often if I don't remind myself to prepare for dinner, dinner ends up being eggs and toast...again. AND, I must make this list the night before. It's motivation for me to get out of bed.

On a totally different topic: we did go see the house again this weekend. I can hardly believe that in just a few weeks this will be our house. We picked out a dishwasher, microwave, range and refrigerator for the kitchen. We might need to get the countertops replaced. I know those seem really expensive, but it's cheaper than remodeling the entire kitchen and with the range and microwave it will be like having three ovens. I CAN'T WAIT! It'll be so fun to be able to bake/cook many things at once instead of waiting until one is done so I can do another. Plus, we won't pay full price for any of them.

Speaking of countertops, what do you like? I know that granite is all the rage these day but I just don't get it. It's terribly expensive and bad, bad, bad for your knives!!! I sort of like Corian. What would you put in if you could have your choice of countertops?


Kristen and Dave said...

hi there! haven't commented in a while, but always reading! just wanted to touch on something you mentioned about feeling bad and having your husband picking up the slack. this is one area where a lot of Christian husbands fall down on the job -- being a servant leader during these crucial times, like pregnancy and post-partum. of course you are right that hubby being home does not give you the right to "check out" and expect him to do his job and then work all night. BUT, you are (temporarily) doing something that not only can he NOT do, but is taxing. very taxing. and what is more important than growing that healthy baby while staying healthy yourself?? my Dad (he's the best) always said to Mom and us during pregnancies (there were lots), "you're climbing a mountain every day". he's so right. I'm so grateful that I saw modeled this idea of servant leadership, and how my Dad gave a lot extra during pregnancies, knowing full well that Mom was doing her job, and he was going to make it as easy as possible for her to focus on that. blessedly, I have the same kind of husband, who so graciously helps me often, but even more so when its most needed. he is clear with me that his priority is the baby's and my health, and that rest and low-stress are critical to that. so...I have to be careful not to abuse it, not to emotionally manipulate. but when I see hubby making dinner for the 3rd time in a week, or doing the laundry AGAIN, or scrubbing a toilet...and I also know that I'm homeschooling, maintaining kids general well-being, and growing this person who's zapping my every ounce of energy...then I do not feel guilt. I say "thank you". a lot.

Joanna said...

Those are very encouraging words, Kristen and wise. I think you have a pretty fantastic dad.

I guess I struggle with the fact that Del still has other things to do, too without adding my responsibilities on top of them. Some of them I know don't matter that much in the long run, like he's supposed to be rewriting his resume, but he NEVER has time because when he gets home there's a million things to do, many of which should have gotten done while he was at work.

You're right, I don't feel this tired and taxed and exhausted when I'm not pregnant; things run much more smoothly. I guess it's determining whether I'm abusing the system or genuinely need the extra, extra help.

What about how much older the three of you were than your younger siblings? Do you think that it was easier for your mom to relax knowing that her older kids were...old enough to take on some bigger responsibilites? These guys are all so young. They unload the dishwasher, and help with the laundry and vacuum but really...they can't cook dinner for me, they can't iron shirts for me, they can't do many things that older kids can. But your kids are about my kids' age so how did you delegate responsibilites when you had so many young ones and were pregnant???

Del is very understanding and appreciative that even though I really dislike being pregnant, I do it anyway so we can have lots of screaming little girls in our house. LOL. He is by no means demanding that I get my lazy, pregnant tush off the couch and get some stuff done, but I think he needs guidance that maybe I'm not giving him. "Del could you please clean the bathroom since I'm tired and those fumes can't be good for a pregnant lady?"

Okay, at this point I think I might be rambling on a bit...

Joanna said...

And what's with the smells??? You'd think by my 6th pregnancy I'd get it by now, but I don't. Why do smells knock me off my feet and give me headaches the size of the Grand Canyon? This doesn't happen when I'm not pregnant. Ugh...

Johanna said...

Sometimes it is hard to let go of things when we actually really need to. This is something I am learning the hard way this pregnancy! And I don't have a husband that will come home and cook dinner - nor do I think I would want him to tackle cooking!! He is willing to help, but he is also working full time and has 11 hours of grad school. That is like two full time jobs. But what I have discovered is that God knows exactly what I need and he is so faithful to provide it. I thought I was resting enough because I was having fewer and fewer contractions, but then we hired a cleaning service - which just kills me - but I went 10 days without one real contraction after that! It is so important that I take care of myself this way because Andrew isn't ready to be born yet, and if I don't let other people pick up the slack, he will suffer! This isn't an excuse to watch HBO and eat bon-bons all day, but it is a valid thing to remember when you are too exhausted to finish your list. Again.

Love the appliances you picked out. What color will they all be in? The big fridge will be amazing to you! I have 27 cu. ft. and I am amazed at how often I need all 27 of them. I am wondering how often I will have to shop when I have three teenage boys at once. And also wondering how people with 6+ kids ever keep enough food in the house!

TV. Ugh. Can we not talk about conviction and the TV just yet? After Jerry gets back we can talk about it again. The TV has been my surrogate husband. Well, that and chocolate. You know it's bad when I turn to chocolate. Talk about conviction...Well, actually, don't talk about it. Next week. We'll talk next week.

Kristen and Dave said...

Ok, well first of all you need to realize that during pregnancy these aren't just "your responsibilities". by the time he gets home, you've both worked all day, and your energy will be in shorter supply than his, b/c most of it goes to the baby. and yes, be clear about things he could do regularly to help. maybe if he temporarily takes over certain chores, then he will know what he can do to make your life a bit easier each evening, as opposed to the nebulous "help out". my hubby will say that his "part" of morning sickness is going out to get me cherry pie or BBQ chicken pizza, and his "part" of pregnancy is taking some of the housework so I can have a break. he says he much prefers those jobs to the idea of pregnancy/birth himself...hehe. how wise he is. as far as when I was younger, yes my parents had the benefit of us girls to pick up a lot of slack, and you don't have that luxury yet. you can train them to help, but like you said, there are just a lot of things they aren't capable of doing yet. Dad also says, "have your teenagers first". haha.

Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

Thanks for the link, Joanna, and you're right. This IS best accomplished by making your list the night before.

You are blessed that your husband picks up the slack. My husband works a lot of hours so I tried not to lean on him too much. Of course my big girls were able to help alot.

Joanna said...

I just wanted to clarify: when I said "can't he pick up the slack" it was rhetorical not literal. It's my state of mind not actually what Del is NOT doing. He does things to help me like on Saturday he took the three older girls out appliance shopping with him for four hours while I stayed at home and rested and embroidered and Lily slept part of the time. Then he came home and since Lily and I had already eaten lunch, he made lunch for himself and the other girls. And he made dinner on Sunday, too. So, it's not that he's not helpful, it's that I feel I sort of check out when he's here because...well, he's here to help, right? But I think I check out too much. And that may be just something I feel guilty over that I just need to stop feeling guilty over. I mean really, if the kids are being fed, the house is not overrun with pests since I'm keeping it clean and everyone has clean clothes to wear, what more can you ask? It's just hard for me to let go of the idea that the bathrooms should be cleaned every two days, and the furniture dusted once a week, and the carpet vacuumed four times a day, and the ironing always caught up, and fresh bread made every day...

Also, immediately after implying that my poor husband was a lazy bum, I stated that the TV was on all weekend. I hope that it was not taken that not only is he a lazy bum, but he's a lazy, sports fanatic bum that's too caught up in golf and football to help around the house. In this house I am the TV turner-on-er. If it wasn't for me, the TV wouldn't get turned on, so we watched the Ryder Cup all day Saturday and Sunday because I wanted to. Del would follow in on the computer because he HATES the TV. So there's that.

The issue of feeling like nothing ever gets done around here is more about me and not about what Del's not doing. I just wanted to toss that out there.

Joanna said...

Oh and the appliances will all be white because they are the easiest to keep clean.

We figured out that our current fridge is 18 cu. ft. It's tiny.

Hey, we heard that Dave Ramsey said, "If you buy a house in Tampa right now, in 5 years you're going to look like a genius." WOOHOO!!!

Anonymous said...

Good post. I found that while I was pregnant, I just had to let certain things go sometimes, and Husband was okay with that...I'm sure Del would have similar grace for you.

I've never had granite countertops, but they always look nice. I think if I were building a house from scratch, I'd probably get either butcher's block ones or granite. But you're right--Corian looks very nice, too. I'm so bad at big decisions like that!