Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Attitude, New Blog

Hello, friends! Call me silly, but I've created a new blog. I felt like the address and title I picked for this blog were pretty negative and am trying to alter my perception of myself and my life so I've chosen a somewhat silly new address and am going to be blogging there. My new blog is called The Merry Slacker and I hope you'll go through the trouble of following me there!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

View From Up Here

It is common knowledge that life has peaks and valleys. I doubt the theory needs any more explanation from me. That's just the way that life is; however, just knowing that peaks exist doesn't necessarily help get you out of a valley and knowing that life may get better doesn't instill confidence that it actually will.

Marriages have the same topography—the heights of love and the lows of loathing—but I think the valleys in marriage are especially frightening.

I originally followed the preceding sentence with the word "because," but then realized I had to replace that word with a period. The valleys in marriage are just frightening period. I have some theories, but it doesn't really matter why they're so scary. Maybe it's because we usually start out on peaks in love and don't have to work at all to get there the first time. Maybe it's because we rarely see examples of couples who have gotten out of valleys. Maybe it's because we're experienced enough to know that the dizzying highs we feel in a new relationship are chemical reactions that are impossible to recreate in a long-term relationship. Maybe your reasons are different from mine.

When our daughter was born, I mean right after she was born, I felt more in love with Peter than I had since we were dating. I couldn't tell him enough how much I loved him. . . that feeling was short-lived. The third or fourth time I got up to feed Lydia and a sleeping Peter muttered an unconscious complaint, I thought, "I hate him so much," and for several months, even though I tried very hard to choose to love, I didn't feel anything akin to love. I loved my baby girl. I mean, I loved my baby. . . No, I mean, I looooooooooved my baby girl. Peter, I could take or leave.

It was scary.

I told myself that this was just a valley and it was just temporary, but it didn't feel temporary. It felt like I'd done the love thing and now I'm doing the parent thing. I thought I just needed to accept that this is a different stage of my life. . . one I don't like it at all, but one we're stuck with.

Why do I tell this story? So that I can tell the ending. Turns out, it was just a valley. And after Peter and I walked far enough through it, we reached its end and the ground began to rise beneath our feet. Our relationship just gradually got more and more friendly, more and more loving, more and more passionate until I feel like we're in as good a spot as we've ever been.

Peter and I went on a trip to Arizona last weekend and it was like a second honeymoon. I hadn't really even realized that we were climbing out of the valley until I saw the view from the mountain top and realized we'd made it.

I can't tell you how we made things better—at least, my goal here is not to offer any relationship advice. I only share this story to encourage you that there really are more peaks out there. Keep going. It's worth it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

So Far, So Good

I have now officially been a Stay-At-Home Mom for two weeks and—hold on, The Bunny just woke up—okay, I'm back. These two weeks been amazing! I had no idea I would enjoy this as much as I do.

Of course, life is less stressful now. It seems like that should go without saying; I mean, this is practically a vacation, but I wasn't sure what to anticipate. The fact of the matter is that while I have to run a household on a tighter budget than I did with two incomes, I have the whole day to run it. I have all day to accomplish the tasks that I used to try to get done in a couple hours. I do have to get things done with the interference of a toddler who likes to turn our house into an obstacle course, so it's a good thing I have so much time.

Now, the last time I wasn't working I was excessively pregnant, so I didn't do much more than watch Battlestar Galactica and eat gummy worms. This time around, I'm trying to make the most of my time. I have a to-do list app (Do It Tomorrow) on my phone and absolutely anything I think of goes on there. I don't rely on my memory at all. From the time Peter leaves for work until the time he comes home, I work through that list, trying to get as much crossed off as possible. I feel like I'm getting a lot accomplished and am really pleased to have a clean house for the first time in ages. Also, I actually have time to get out and play with Lydia, which brings me to the second big reason this time at home has been such a blessing.

I feel, quite unexpectedly, like I've gotten to know my daughter on a whole new level. It wasn't as if I caught her doing things that she's never done before, but more that I didn't realize the extent to which her "little quirks" were a substantial part of her personality. She's intensely affectionate. She's clever but rebellious. She's more mature than I was prepared for—closer to a child now than a baby.

It frightens me to realize how much I missed as a working parent. I'm in favor of working moms. I've always wanted to be a working mom. I would never claim that you have to stay at home to know your child; however, even though I know others make it work, it seems clear that I was not.

I don't want to delude myself that this is always going to be easy or that I'll enjoy it forever (I am still looking for part-time work, after all), but right now I'm feeling the freedom that comes from being in the right place at the right time in your life. This not working works for me.