Faith · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Both Sides of the Coin

As we drove to Parent-Teacher conferences this morning, I gave my husband the run-down of activities and meetings for the next two days. If you remember my post from earlier this fall, you’ll recall that we took a “not at this time” stance to almost ALL extracurricular activities so we could regroup as a family – no flag football, no dance classes, no tumbling…

The list isn’t long – Parent Teacher Conferences 8:20-9am, an orthodontist appointment at noon, customers who scheduled ahead, and an awards ceremony Friday evening that should last only an hour.

I was struck by irony when he looks at me and says “Ugh… could we have anything else on the schedule!”

 Backstory: A couple times a month since July, I’ve reminded my husband gently clearly that I need his emotional support and leadership as a parent and as a spouse to make all-the-little-things work in our family. One of his love languages is to love us by providing at which he is amazing. *Take the time to do that study (5 Love Languages) if you are in a relationship!*

As a woman with only two hands and 24 hours in the day, I am incapable of doing it all without feeling completely depleted, beat down, and depressed. There – I said it – depressed. Out of routine and unable to juggle everybody’s everything, I’ve entertained the idea of simply running away. I know, it’s a super grown-up, mature thought (sarcasm).

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Fortunately, I know I’m loved and love myself too much to do this. We have to work together to balance both of us working full-time, two full-of-life children, a marriage relationship, and minimal hobbies that keep us sane. On top of that, we both need alone time to recharge.

Last week, we hit these topics with force. (Read that as “the ship was going down…”) Since that meltdown conversation, we’ve been quite in-sync and actually offering to help each other with daily tasks that make life easier.

I can’t help think that his reaction to my short list for the next two days is somewhat attached to that previous conversation. He’s been putting in so much effort that he’s seeing the other side of the coin. Marriage and kids take both sides of the coin to function. 13 years of marriage… still learning!

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Family · Perspective

Valentine’s Day

We’ve rolled into February. On January 30, I nearly had an anxiety attack looking at the schedule for this month. I fended it off with a quick two mile run after I dropped the kids off at school. Just. Breathe.

February – Groundhog Day Treats at School – Two Saturday mornings of basketball – My 6m Check-Up at the Neurologist which requires 15hrs of driving roundtrip for 30 minutes in the clinic- Wedding in Fayetteville, AR – Trip for work to Orlando, FL – Kids – Work – Carpool…

And Valentine’s Day?

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I’m being bombarded by ads of women in sexy lingerie and gifts shaped like hearts while sappy songs about mushy smushy love serenade me on the radio. Bleh.

I’m truly happy for people who love Valentine’s Day. It’s never really been our thing. Even when we were still dating we didn’t really DO Valentine’s Day. I did not marry this man who I love passionately for his level of romance.

College Valentine’s Day on year 3 of dating (2004) – Wendy’s d2zedifh1n0ecqk4Drive Thru, couch at the Hartford St. rental house, Cops on TV. Nothing says romance quite like a $0.99 carton of chicken nuggets! Mushy type of love? Not so much. It does make a humorous story that made me roll my eyes then and makes me smile now.

In my younger adolescent years, I dreamed of getting flowers just “because’ but I found that not really a reality. I’m not excited about gifts.

I thought I wanted a guy to go to Rom-Com movies with me. Honestly, my sisters and girlfriends are better company for that!

And if I’m being honest, I don’t really like things that are heart-shaped for myself. I’ll draw that shape all over pictures for my kids, but for me, nah.

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In my reality, what I enjoy is a spontaneous night out – even if it is just for groceries and dinner sans kids. I won’t go into intimate details – the world wide web isn’t a private place to talk – but suffice it to say, I don’t need to be showered with extra love on 1 out of 365 days. We pay attention to each other and work through our less-than-stellar moments. He’s my best friend and I’m his. We enjoy being together.

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Will I get a card for Valentine’s Day? Maybe. It’ll be signed from him and the kids. I’ll get each of the kids a shiny helium-filled balloon for the day because those things are special moments for my kids. I might even drape myself in something ridiculous that sits in places that are inappropriate to talk about… or I might not. I’m doubtful that the date on the calendar will be the key red or green light for my husband. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be over-the-top or actually, any different than any other day.

After writing this all out, I’m going to drop Valentine’s Day from my list of stresses and concerns this year.

I’m choosing to focus on all the other days we have together and I’ll treat Valentine’s Day as just another day on the calendar. I’m sure I’ll channel surf right on past the mushy songs. I usually do. I’ll bypass the chocolates and ignore the air brushed awkward looking women in weird contorted positions wearing nothing but underwires and v-strings (Yes Vicky’s Secret… I saw that ad).

We’ll likely eat at home with our kids that night and talk and laugh about the day. We’ll address the issues as they come. As friends, husband and wife, parents and as a family, we will keep it simple. It works for us.