When you’re a working mom, you have to know where to find balance in your life. It can be very difficult to work 40 hours a week and still balance the kids’ school, homework and activities, let alone the laundry, cleaning and cooking. I’ve learned, in the past few years, that I can’t simply do it all myself.
I used to be quite the control freak in my kitchen. I didn’t like Dan to cook, and if he did, I was usually in there, telling him what to do and going crazy when he didn’t do things MY way. It was just easier to do it myself. When I started working full time, though, I had to work every Monday evening. So I had been choosing easy things for Dan to make, like chicken nuggets and fries. Somewhere along the way, though, he took things into his own hands and started rooting through the freezers and cupboards for dinner ingredients.
Now, I can happily say, Dan and I share the dinner cooking. Sometimes he’ll make up a recipe–like his chicken gumbo soup that turned out delicious–and sometimes I’ll give him a recipe. There are times like this past Tuesday, where I will put a roast in the crock pot and he’ll come up with the sides and make those before I get home. Last week when I was working on packing all day he cooked dinner, because he knew darn well if I had a choice we’d be having take out.
Let me tell you, this is the best thing ever! After I let go of my control issues, I realized having a cooking husband took my stress levels after work way, way down. I know that if I’m running late or have to run some errands, Dan is getting dinner ready. The house may still be a mess and there may be 6 loads of laundry waiting for me, but dinner is made, and that’s a start.
It’s all about teamwork. You have to see what works best for your family–and this works great for mine. As a working mom, though, you have to remember that you can’t do everything yourself. You have to enlist your family members for help, or you’ll only get 2 hours a sleep a night. When you’re a working mom, life is about delegating, and realizing it’s ok if you don’t do it all.
Any working moms out there? What’s your favorite teamwork tip?
Hello, readers. If I have any readers left after my month long absence. What happened? Life happened.
I moved Dad to Wisconsin on January 23rd. The Saturday before that, Dan called to tell me he had received a call to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Osseo, MN. I won’t tell you exactly what I said when he told me this, but I’ll bet you can gather that I wasn’t happy about it. Here I was, finally moving my Dad closer to me in Wisconsin, while Dan was deliberating whether or not we’d be moving back to Minnesota.
A week later, my Dad got very, very sick and ended up moving to a skilled nursing facility. He was so bad that at one point, I told him he had my blessing if he wanted to go to Heaven to be with Mom. I was looking at losing both of my parents in the span of six months, and it was very, very scary. To say that I was stressed would be putting it lightly!
And through all of this, Dan was deliberating the call to Minnesota. I went through the classic five stages of grief:
1. Denial and Isolation
I told people at church that I wasn’t going anywhere. I stopped talking to Dan, to the point where I would try not to be in the same room with him, and go to bed before he got home at night. I wasn’t a pleasant person.
Things got even more unpleasant. I blamed Dan for messing up my life. I blamed myself for moving my dad, and his subsequent illness. I lashed out at Dan in anger, and to be completely honest, even thinking about divorce. (Not that it was ever an option for me, but in my anger, I saw it as the only way out of this call.)
Oh, the bargaining. This was mostly with God, but had a lot to do with Dan, too. If we can just stay here I’ll…. you fill in the blank.
Did I mention I was unpleasant? I certainly was. I would have to say I hit the rock bottom while my dad was sick. I sat by his bedside for two days, praying to God about his illness and Dan’s call. I cried most of the day.
I would have to say that Dad’s illness was probably a blessing to me. After those two days of prayer, I began feeling peace. Peace with the call, peace knowing everything would be ok if we stayed, but it would be ok if we went, too. Dan visited the congregation, and I found myself excited to find out how it went. I went from digging my heels in to looking at real estate websites. It’s amazing to look back and see how God worked on my stubborn heart. And He really did. The night I told Dan I would support him if he accepted the call–and that I wanted him to accept–I could feel his tremendous relief.
Ultimately, Dan accepted the call. We are in the thick of the moving process. I’ve got a job at Target in Minnesota waiting for me, and we have signed the lease on our beautiful rental house. The movers are booked and we’re packing like crazy. We’ve made 8 trips to Goodwill and trips to the dump. I move my dad again on March 25th, and he’s excited about it, and doing better than ever. Life is changing.
We never know the plan that God has for us. I had no idea this was His plan for us. But we’re excited, and I can’t wait to see how His plan unfolds for the future.
So….how are you enjoying Mom’s Night Out? Poor Allyson just can’t seem to get herself a nice night out, right? We’ve all had those times when nothing seems to go right.
And when you DO get to go out, how hard is it to switch off the “Mom” button? Pretty hard when you’re riding in a minivan with the radio blaring out Elmo…
She pounded the dashboard over and over again, but it didn’t help. It didn’t stop. Allyson felt invaded . . . by Elmo. Could she ever leave her role as mommy behind, for even one night?
Once you’re a mom, it’s hard to let that go. You have to squelch the urge to ask your friends if they have to go potty before the movie. You have to refrain from cutting your husbands’ meat or ordering the chicken fingers. Sometimes it feels like you’re losing an uphill battle. So far, that is the very same battle Allyson is fighting.
How about you? Do you ever have trouble leaving your mommy role behind?
See you next week for chapters 9-12, and be sure to stop at Dakotapam.com to join in on Pam’s discussion!
Wish him a happy FORTY-FIRST birthday.
Happy Birthday, Dan. Thanks for being such a great husband and dad. We love you!
Welcome back to Read With Us Wednesday! Today we’ve started Mom’s Night Out, by Tricia Goyer–we’ve read chapters 1-4. And can I just say, after reading the first four chapters, I feel like that book was written about me?
Let’s take Allyson’s Mother’s Day for an example. Poor girl started out cleaning. Fell back asleep, only to wake up with a HUGE mess in her house. Then her husband is on a business trip, so she’s got to get all three kids out and to church on time. And it’s supposed to be Mother’s Day. AMEN. Last year on Mother’s Day, the only reason I got a gift was because I bought it myself, and I had to remind Dan to have the kids sign the card. That prompted a meltdown on my part. Something like the meltdowns Allyson has:
I am like the Bruce Banner of stay-at-home moms. He doesn’t want to turn into the Hulk. It just happens. Which is exactly how I feel.
Oh, yes. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Those moments when you feel like you belong in The Exorcist, with your head revolving around in a circle, spewing green slime all over everything. Meanwhile your kids and husband look like you have two heads.
Yep. Been there. Same reason Allyson, Izzy and Sondra schedule a mom’s night out–and the same reason I schedule my own.
How about you? Which character did you identify with in the first four chapters?
We’ll be back next week, discussing chapters 5-8. Don’t forget to hop over and visit Pam’s blog, and join in on her discussion. I can’t wait to see how this Mom’s Night Out goes!
I knew Christmas would be hard on us after Mom’s passing. But I didn’t really expect that it would be THAT hard. It was especially hard on my dad. He was desperately lonely, and had a bout of depression to the point that he felt sick pretty much the entire season. By Christmas day I knew.
Dad had to move closer to me. He’s seven hours away right now, and that is so hard, for many reasons.
At first when I brought up the subject of moving, Dad was very resistant. Change is hard, especially for seniors, and he liked his apartment, his nurses, and his church. I had talked things over with my two sisters and brother, and they all agreed that moving Dad was the thing to do–he has to be close to one of us, and moving him closest to me would be convenient for all of us. Dad said he trusted my judgment and that he’d move if that was what we wanted, but I could tell that he was reluctant.
Until around two weeks ago, when he called me. He said, “I had a long talk with my overnight nurse last night. She helped me realize that I need to be close to my family. I’m ready to move. I’d like to move as soon as possible.”
Let me tell you, that was the thing I needed to hear. I put the wheels in motion quickly, and last Wednesday I put down a deposit on an apartment at a retirement community 10 minutes away from my house. When I called Dad to tell him about his new apartment, all he kept saying was, “We get to be a family again.”
I’m moving Dad in a little over a week. The Uhaul trailer is rented, his new phone number is in place, and all the things that accompany moving are in motion. He’s beyond excited, and we talk about his big move every night. We’re so excited to attend the same church and to be able to visit every day, not just once every other month. My kids can’t wait to have Grandpa so close. And he’s right.
We get to be a family again.