everyday life · Fostering · Inspiration · Life Changes · Parenting

Dos and Don’ts

There are quite a few things I’ve been dealing with lately. I consider myself an ‘open book’ in general but sometimes there are things swirling though my mind that I can’t quite grasp, and certainly not tight enough to be able to attach words to them in order to share them with you.

I’ve been feeling really run-down lately. We’ve chatted about my difficulty saying ‘no’ to things before, and I’m pretty much the worst rehab patient when it comes to that. Backslidden is my middle name. I’ll say no to things and activities for, um, maybe a weekend before I continue to pile things on. It’s a sickness, I tell ya! And honestly, I can’t tell you anything specific that is ‘too much’. I’ve been doing it all. But what is lacking is ‘me time’. No time for me to read, or bake {on rare occasion}, or craft, or paint my nails, or shave my legs {I went 2 weeks recently}, or organize this closet, or donate those toys. And that makes my house look like a hoarder house again. and it makes me feel both physically and emotionally run-down. The kind of run-down that a good afternoon nap can’t fix.

God chose these months of my life to help me learn some pretty important things about myself, though. I have been struggling lately with pregnancy jealousy. I am so ready to have another baby, but we aren’t going to and that makes me really sad sometimes. Remember my kidney disease issue? We’ve been advised by my kidney doctor of all the risks associated for both me and potential baby should we try for another. “I don’t really tell people not to have more children, but you shouldn’t have more children, but I don’t really tell people….just…no”. So we made the decision to grow our family in other ways, whatever they may be. That didn”t stop me from having those jealous feelings, though. I have several friends {including my sister!!} who are expecting right now and I found myself craving that. I certainly wasn’t jealous of the nausea, and swelling, and all the other icky things that happen to you that nobody ever writes down. I was jealous of the excitement, the anticipation, and the pride that goes along with carrying and delivering life. Sometimes it’s hard for me to control those types of deep-seated gut feelings that rear their ugly head. God has been working on changing my perspective, though, and I have truly found a place of contentment which I had been missing previously. I had to put our foster care “status” on hold for a few months and that was a really tough decision, but definitely something we needed to do for the summer {I am watching my friend Tiffany’s son Gavin while she works and there’s no way I can fit 3 carseats across in my Rav4, though not for lack of trying}. Each time we take in a foster kiddo for respite {temporary care} it is really wonderful and I absolutely love doing that; but lately there has been a sense of relief in me when it is over and we go back to having just Charlotte. Just Charlotte is easy, and fun, and flexible. Just Charlotte means longer periods during the day to get XYandZ finished. I know you mother’s of 2+ children know exactly what I’m talking about. That feeling of relief I get tells me that everything I’ve got going on right now is too much, and I need to take a step back and make some choices.

I recently read something with a few girlfriends that has really resonated with me:

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”  

         – Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

We were encouraged to look at the things we do, and the things we don’t do. There are a lot of things I am doing right now, which means there are some things I need to not do in order to keep my focus on those in the do column. Right now, in these few months of hecticness and life, I need to not do more children. I always thought I would have a lot of kiddos. And I probably still will down the road, but right now in this moment it’s just Charlotte and I’m content. content and thankful. So so thankful for what I have because as many friends as I have who are expecting, I have the same number of friends who are struggling with infertility. and my heart hurts for what they are experiencing.

There are so many things contributing to my ‘rundown-ness’ lately, I need to re-assess my list of ‘I do’  and  ‘I don’t do’. 

“Deciding what I wanted wasn’t that hard. But deciding what I’m willing to give up for those things is like yoga for your superego, stretching and pushing and ultimately healing that nasty little person inside of you who exists only for what people think”

– Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet

Things I do:

I do keep my daughter fed and clothed {most days}. I give 100% while I am at work and need to move some more things over to the “don’t” column so I can give 100% to my husband while I am at home too. I host a community group and a women’s group in my home {both of which are essential to my survival}. I babysit the sweetest little 5 month old, sometimes I iron my husband’s shirts, and once I wore only 7 pieces of clothing for a whole month. I write and I enjoy writing. I sew things {not very well, but i’m learning}. I try to live out Mark 12:30 -31 {paraphrased: Love God, love others}.

Things I don’t do:

Right now I don’t do more than 1 kiddo. I don’t write in my daughter’s baby book, or keep her artwork {it goes right in the trash}. I don’t run charity races for work. I don’t cook. I haven’t painted over the sloppy paint job on my baseboards {and I won’t}. I don’t get my hair cut sooner than 6 months since the last cut. I don’t need a spotless house, and I need to stop apologizing for that. I don’t tend my veggie garden weekly {meh, it is what it is}.

What are on your do and do not lists?

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