Last night I was on my way to Zumba, and I just started weeping. Uncontrollably. And what song brought it on? Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. The beginning of the song talks about a small town girl, and a city boy, on one-way trains to anywhere. And it made me think of my parents, who sorta met because they had one-way tickets away from home, and long stories short they ended up in Wichita where they met and fell in love and got married and had me. And it made me cry. And it made me think about how life has us on all these crazy journeys that take us in all sorts of directions. But in the messiness of it all, we find our way, figure it out, and move forward. And it made me cry some more, because we are all on a journey, and it’s all sorts of levels of hard. So is yours. It’s a lot to carry sometimes. And it just made me cry.
I called my sweet friend who has loved me for half of my life. She was my mom’s co-worker and became close with my mom. I met her when she started going to our church and years later we became good friends too. I called her because even though we don’t talk a lot, I know she would be there for me in a flash.
Fifteen minutes later I showed up at her house and cried in her kitchen as she sprinkled pepperonis and frozen cheese on her home-made pizzas. Then she took me out to her porch where I cried some more. People I have not cried like this in a long long time. She just smiled and nodded and listened as I talked about the struggles of being a good wife, a good mom, being good to myself, hardships with family and friends, financial struggles… all my worries and fears. She even let me swear a few times.
At the end of it all, in very few words, she encouraged me and sent me off feeling loved and understood.
The next day she called and checked in with me. She apologized for not having the perfect solution for me. But that’s when I got to tell her that she actually gave me the perfect solutions. And this is what she told me that I needed to hear:
No matter what: love, honor, and respect your husband no matter what.
Right your wrongs with your kids every time. Always go back and say sorry when you mess up. Explain to them that mama isn't perfect, and that even when you’re mad, you still love them.
(And this is the one that we laughed about since she meant one thing and I understood another thing!)
She said to have fun. I took that as like, continuing to do the things that help me self-preserve, like my 24 hour retreats and funday Mondays, time with girlfriends and date night with my man. FUN as in, fun away from my kids. When I told her that she said, “oh, well I actually meant have fun with your kids. Laugh! You gotta laugh with your kids.” Oh. Well, baby steps right?
Another important thing she reminded me, is that whenever my kids are "making" me angry, I have a choice in whether or not I am going to yell. Yeah. We have a choice. Our kids aren’t making us mad. We are choosing to BE mad and react the way we do. Ouch. Gotta work on that.
|I sure love my Jilly.|
So, that’s where I am at. I felt the heaviness over me lift tonight, and I yelled less, and am choosing to speak quietly and gently to my kids. But it’s bed time now, so here’s where the real challenge starts:)
Good night everyone. I thought blogging would be easier once summer hit. Not so much. I need to do another beautiful mama post. Who wants to be next?
Until next time... Don't stop... Believin'... one day at a time friends.