Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Am I ready to rejoin the work force?

I've been at my current job for 11 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 6 days...  I don't get paid, there are no vacation days, no sick days and definitely no overtime pay.  But it has been the most fun, rewarding, never boring job I have ever had.  I'm a mom, but not just a mom.  I'm the CEO, CFO,  alarm clock, chef, seamstress, maid, janitor, handy-man, personal assistant, chauffeur, nurse, teacher, police officer, judge and jury.  As busy as I am and as happy as I am, I still feel like I'm missing something. 

I volunteer as much as I can outside the home, at the kid's school, at church,  or with my Mops group.  But it still doesn't feel like I'm getting what I need.  Do I sound selfish yet??? 

What I miss is working outside the home. It may sound crazy, but yes, I miss working.  I miss talking with other adults, using my brain for something other than remembering when Zach's favorite cartoons will be on, how many loads of laundry I need to do, what kid has what activity after school...  I want to use numbers and computer programs, have deadlines to meet, reports to write, etc...  I miss bringing home a paycheck and helping lift the financial burden of my husband.  We get by on one income, but sometimes it's so tight, I don't know how we'll manage.  I lose sleep, so I'm cranky, which leads to crying or yelling.  Which leads to tension and the cycle continues...

Recently a friend told me about some possible job openings at the local university. She helped me re-write my resume, I filled out an application, went to my evaluation and next week I'll go back to test to see if and where my talents fit best.  I'm very excited about the possibilities, but I'm very afraid of what I'd lose. 

 I'd lose my mornings with my husband, who works second shift.  I'd miss the opportunity to volunteer at the school. for my older kids.  And most important, I'd miss all the one on one time I get with Zach.  He is only 2 1/2, but I've learned to treasure every moment with my children.  He'll be in school in just a few short years, so maybe I should wait. But can I handle a few more years of stress from pinching pennies???  I've been praying on this for quite a while, but I haven't come to a decision yet. 

How do you decide what's more important?  More money in the bank/ financial safety or more memories/ time you can never get back with your baby?   

Ugh... Decisions, decisions...

     ~Serra

Just look at this sweet face <3

Monday, February 3, 2014

"The Ache"

It's June 2013, a beautiful day outside and I'm in an exam room at my doctor's office.  After putting it off for way too long, I had finally made an appointment for a yearly physical.  After talking with my doctor about some issues I had been having, we did a physical exam.  I'll never forget her face as she left to let me get dressed.  I immediately knew something was wrong.  After a few minutes she comes back in, sits down and looks at me with tears in her eyes.  Without sharing too much, my doctor explained that my issues would best be cured with a hysterectomy.  I laughed, a hysterectomy? But I'm only 32 and if I have a hysterectomy, I can't have any more babies.  That's where I first felt the ache. 

I recently came across a blog post from Sarah Bessey, in which she describes dealing with the ache.  The ache a women feels when her stage of having babies is over. Many women are content when this stage happens. I am not one of those women.  Being a mother is the only job I've ever wanted. 

 I come from a large family and have always known I wanted to have my own.  Seven months after getting married, we were pregnant with Dakotah.  Madilyn came 18 months later, Wyatt 2 years after, Lindsey 2 years after Wyatt, then Zach, our last baby in 2011.  Getting pregnant was easy, but Dakotah's delivery was very traumatic and Lindsey had a twin we lost early in the pregnancy. 

Zach hasn't slept in his crib in almost 8 months.  I still have maternity clothes hidden away because I just can't get rid of them.  Looking at baby pictures makes me break down into fits of ugly sobbing.  I pray everyday for time to slow down because my kids are growing entirely too fast.  It all just hurts too much. Even as I write this, I feel physically ill.  I just can't be done.  I feel cheated, robbed. I'm so angry at my body for breaking down before my heart was ready to move on.

Sarah writes "I won’t ever be pregnant again, that I won’t carry a baby within me again, that I won’t ever give birth again. (Yes, I’m one of those awful women who loves pregnancy and giving birth.) When I think about not breastfeeding – one of the most real things I’ve ever done with this body – ever again, I catch my breath with longing."  Longing and grief are emotions I never thought I'd associate with having babies.  As terrible as it sounds, I didn't grieve long after learning of losing Lindsey's twin.  I told myself it was part of God's plan and I should feel blessed that I still have Lindsey.  I do feel blessed by all my children and thank God that he saw me fit enough to be their mother. 

I'm dealing with this new stage of my life.  I have my family and friends to get me through the days, the hours, the minutes...  I have quite a few girlfriends that are pregnant, so I know one day soon I'll have a chance to snuggle some babies.   I make sure to snuggle my own children every chance I get, because I know all too soon they will be too old for kisses and hugs,  too busy for their momma, then too far away at college or wherever their lives take them.  But that's another ache I'll wait to deal with for as long as I can.

    ~Serra

Friday, January 31, 2014

To write, or not to write...

I've always loved writing. I was one of the weird students who enjoyed writing assignments.  I even received awards for my short stories.   I tried college and it wasn't my thing.  So please excuse any grammatical errors :) 

Since having children, I've had ideas for books, written down my thoughts, but being a mother and a wife has kept me too busy for much more. 

When blogs became popular, I wanted my to start my own, but didn't think many people would care about my life as a mom of 5 kids.  I did eventually start one, mainly to keep faraway family updated. Plus it gave me a small taste of what I had been missing.  If you notice my numbers, this is my 5th post in 2 years.  Surely you'd think running a large family would have lots of great stories to share, and it does. But getting time to myself is hard. Who would've thought, right??? 

So why am I starting this blog again? Because I can and I need something for me. I need to write.  I need to share. If people like my stories, that's wonderful and if they don't, that's ok also. 

But one day I won't be able to remember much and this way my children, my grandchildren, even maybe my great-grandchildren will see this and it will spark something in them that they need to share. 

My point to all this rambling is this- If you feel the need to write, to create, to share; then please do.  Even if you are the only person that sees it, sometimes it's just what you need.

~Serra

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mommy guilt

When I became a mother for the first time in 2002, I had this ideal of what my life would be like.  Most has come true, 5 amazing kids, a husband turned daddy that has been not only my partner, but often a support beam holding me up when post-partum depression held me down.  A family that is just minutes away and just a phone call away. And friends that love and care me like family. 

But what I didn't expect was the mommy guilt. Guilt that I don't give each child enough one on one time, that I don't listen enough, or snuggle enough.  Can I even love them more than I do now?

What triggered the guilt today? A cookie...  Zach asked me to open his cookie so he could lick the cream out. (He never eats the cookie part) 
I thought to myself how sweet he is and how in just a few short years, he'll be in school and I'll be alone at home.  Which led to me to think of my older 4 who are in school already and how much I miss them.  Then it hit me, like the wind was knocked out of me, the mommy guilt. Guilt because I know as soon as they get home, there will be yelling, fighting and crying.  And no matter how hard I try to prepare, it happens EVERY afternoon and I can't fix it.  I know they are tired and hungry, so I offer snacks and quiet time. But it's never enough.  Coats and backpacks are just thrown on the floor instead of being hung up.  All 4 want to tell me at the same time about their day. If I try to hush them and have them talk one at a time, feelings get hurt and I'm told "you just don't care Momma". 

Sometimes I wish I could split into 5 Serra's so each kid could have just the right mom they need.  But I can't, so I'll have to just keep trying every day to do the best I can. And remember every moment, good or bad.  This guilt will probably never go away, because the kids are going to get older and their needs are going to change. 

I'm sharing this because I know other moms that have mommy guilt. And I want them to know they are not alone. God has prepared us for this job.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

       ~Serra

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Sunday

     I apologize for not posting yesterday.  My oldest daughter had her first sleepover this weekend and I had no idea how much energy it took to keep a 10 year old and an almost 10 year old busy.  We watched movies, played Wii, ate junk food, made crafts, did make-overs and painted our nails.  Stick a fork in me,
I am D-O-N-E, done.
     But I have to say I am so glad my oldest daughter has finally found a good friend in our new town.  They are both very sweet, extremely smart, comedic and very unique young ladies.  My daughter is somewhat awkward socially.  I fear I didn't teach her the appropriate skills needed while we were homeschooling.  We were around other homeschooling families and other children at church, but even then she had trouble being included and didn't notice when other kids were being mean and purposely excluding her.  But her new friend compliments her well and I see lots of memories waiting to be made. 
     That being said, on my 3rd day of thanks, I am thankful for my children's friends. Especially Dakotah's new bestie Taylor. They are both very funny, sweet and awesome girls; I'm so happy they found each other.
    


     I finally made it to mass after probably a month of finding excuses not to go. I'm too tired, the baby is sick (even though my husband is home on Sundays and would've stayed home with him), I have laundry to do (I always have laundry to do), but today Dakotah was so excited to take her friend to church that I didn't want to disappoint either of them. I am so glad I did. Our new church family has made us feel so welcome, it feels really nice to hear people say they've missed you and to know the genuinely mean it.
       On my 4th day of thanks, I am thankful for a new church home. It was a little hard for me to go back to a catholic church, but I really feel it was the best decision. My kids absolutely love it there and it is even nicer because our church family includes many of our teachers and friends.
 
 
I wish you all a great Monday, and I wanted to let all my Facebook friends know that I am so thrilled to see all my friends are posting their own 30 days of thanks. 
 
~Serra


Friday, November 2, 2012

God bless teachers

     Sorry my post is so late... It's been a crazy & busy day. It's late, I'm exhausted and I want to get this posted ASAP.  I spent the day with my son Wyatt and his Kindergarten class.  I learned that being a teacher is an incredibly hard job, but I think being a Kindergarten teacher is especially tough.  Having the ability to keep 18 five to six year olds under control, keep them all on task and do it all while fighting a cold, makes you a super hero in my eyes. 
Image courtesy of Google images
 
     30 days of thanks, Day 2: I am thankful for the wonderful teachers that my children have been blessed with. It was a very hard decision to make to trust the public school system with my children, but they are absolutely thriving and love going to school each day. Thank you Mrs Purdy, Mrs Spangler, Mrs Cindy & Mrs Connie, Mrs Jackson, Ms Dreyer, Mrs Davidson, Mrs Hensley & Mrs Allaman for giving so much of yourself and caring & loving my children so much.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Beginnings

 
Hello everyone,
    
     I hope everyone had a very happy Halloween and your little trick or treaters got tons of candy.  We didn't get home until almost 9pm, and I was worried it was going to be a long night. Thankfully, all 5 were down by 9:30.  What followed was amazing, the kids were all up on time and we were out the door on time and we didn't get stuck by a train on our way to school.  As I walking back to the van, I noticed the sun shining in all its beautiful glory, birds chirping, and all the busy sounds of our new home town.  I thought to myself, today starts a new month, I should start something new because clearly I am not busy enough. Hear the sarcasm?  Honestly, I love being busy, I love having my calendar full, places to be and people to meet.
     I decided to start a new blog. So many things have changed in the last 12 months. Our family has had to start anew on so many levels.  It's been tough on all of us, especially my children. But they are so strong and faithful little people, they amaze me everyday.  So I am dedicating this blog to them, in hopes that they will see how much they mean to me, and why as parents, we do what we do, even though our choices may move us over 800 miles from the home, friends, church, and the memories they made. 
     I don't know where this blog will go. I hope to share this with my friends and family, as a way to stay connected, to remember where we came from and to find out where we are going. I hope you enjoy my random thoughts, share in my joys and support me in any failings. 
     It's just about time to pick up my littles from Pre-K, and I want to leave you with this this thought. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it and during this season I want to remember to be thankful for any and everything. 
     Today, November 1, 2012;  I am thankful for this chilly, sun-shiny morning. It reminds me that I get another chance to be the proverbial wife and mother I am meant to be... 
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all." Proverbs 31:28-29