I keep opening this space to write and can't focus on any particular subject so end up with nothing more than a blank canvas. Yet, I have so many thoughts going on in my mind that need escape.
One of those is how hard motherhood is. I often don't associate motherhood as being hard because I think I genuinely enjoy it (motherhood). I know it's what I've chosen to dedicate the majority of my time and energy to. Those factors- enjoyment and choice- usually eliminate me thinking of something as hard or work. But when I step back and realize the things I'm trying to accomplish and realize what it requires of me and what I'm able to help my kids accomplish if I focus on that, it's hard work. Because right now I see an anxiety-ridden 6 year old and I know that he can continue on that path without gaining a new skill set or, his mom can step in and stop telling herself that it will all be okay and instead educate herself, learn basic coping mechanisms, then introduce those to her son, be patient with him through many episodes as she teaches them to him allowing them to become viable options and solutions instead of the coping mechanisms he's developed, and then cross her fingers that he learns these skills that he needs to successfully function in life. Right now, that's one of my specific callings. It feels like a lot more than merely keeping my kid fed, cleaned, and stimulated. Yet, there's something intriguing in the challenge, reeling me in with the possibility of helping this kid, MY kid, become something more than he currently is.
I also have a ten-year-old that is going through transformations. He's still a kid and far from a teenager, but is slowly entering the tween territory, evidenced by the new found sass, the defiant NOs, the increased teasing. I feel him fleeting, slipping through my fingers and while I know it's natural and expected and that he's still a good kid, I'm rejecting the change. He's getting on my nerves more and I'm missing the kid of yesterday. While I can still depend on him for sooooo many things, I miss not being able to depend on him all the time for all the things. I know, selfish of me.
On the flip side, I'm like a teenage girl filled with endorphins as another relationship develops. I have a new homey in the house and have for awhile. His name is Porter. We get along like two peas in a pod. It's so refreshing and to be honest it feels just as fleeting as my relationship with Dallin because it wasn't long ago that we couldn't get along to save our lives. So sometimes I feel like I'm holding my breath waiting for this honeymoon stage to end. But more than anything, I just truly feel grateful and value it because I've worked so hard for it. Porter has been a child that, by merely being himself, has given me reason to grow, bend, learn, and change. And I've really tried to do all those things in an effort to be a better mom, a better person. To be able to feel, see, and experience the fruits of that work is rewarding. As I'm typing this, it's giving me new inspiration to attack the other challenges I just wrote out. I want to feel the rewards from working through and with my other kids as well.
(As a side note, two of the biggest sources in helping me relate with/mother Porter better: 1) the book How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and How to Listen so Your Kids will talk and 2) the principle of letting Porter be himself as I accept myself for who/how I am and distancing my emotions when dealing with him in disciplinary situations)
Right now I'm in California alone with the kids. The trip thus far has been great. We're two weeks in with about 4 to go. Yosh has been able to pop in on the weekends and I've also found a babysitter to help me out as needed. All in all though, it's been a lot of me doing the kids. I feel like this kind of situation is such a good grind for me. We (maybe just I) go through all the realms of emotion- happy, sad, fun, frustrated, angry, etc- and there's something about doing it alone that shocks me into a sense of reality. One, that all these emotions are present and necessary. Two, it teaches me to accept the roller coaster ride of them and not stay in the negative ones too long. There's no Yosh rolling in at 7:00 to play with the kids and pull me out of a funk if I'm in one, there's no change of dynamic as he walks through the door, there's no divide and conquer when it's an especially hard night time routine. It's me digging deep and finding different ways to hold it together. While I much prefer us being a family of 6, I really appreciate these times when it's me and the kids and I'm asked to be more than I am without him by my side. It's a good forum to challenge me in my role and also alone gives me the opportunity and takes away excuses for me to accomplish the things that I want. If I want to do something, there's no reason not to. I don't know if that exactly makes sense. I hope down the road when I'm reading this that I can decipher what the heck I'm talking about!
Finally, all in all, I love my family. Those emotions are deep and very heart felt within me. While I love traveling and doing fun things with my family, what's most important to me is who we are all becoming, not what we are doing. I really am trying to use our lifestyle- the things we do naturally as a family and individuals, whether it be traveling, sports, etc- as avenues to develop character, to everyday try hard and progress a little bit towards a better version of us.
I feel like this is a good time to end this post! I might go getting all kinds of sappy and vulnerable and writing crazy stuff that could make me vomit later! But I'll end with some family pics because these illustrate my true feelings.