Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sometimes our choices result in suckiness

I chose to stay home with my kids. I quit my job as soon as I got pregnant with Nora. Partly because my boss continually took me on an emotional roller coaster for 3 years - that was the reason I quit immediately after finding out. But I also quit early because I knew I'd be staying home and I wanted to start figuring out how to live on one income before bringing a baby into the mix.

I have no opinion on whether or not other moms should stay at home or work when they have kids... I really don't care whether a person chooses to work or stay at home - I'm just going to put it out there. I think the debate is silly and I have no desire or intention to get started with it here - my personal opinion is that I have enough responsibility and stress in making my own decisions, that I really don't want or need to make anyone else's decisions - we do what works for our family, and by all means everyone else should do what works for their families.

We made this decision together. Dave and I agreed that we wanted someone home with our children and because he was in the money making job and I wasn't following a career path, naturally I was the one who was designated as the stay at home parent.

I am happy with our choice - most days. I love being a part of my girls' lives. I love being here for everything. I love being able to hug them and kiss them whenever I want to. I also love it when they go to school and get out of my hair for a while:)

There are sporadic times, though, where I kind of resent being in the position that I'm in. Not often anymore - especially not as often as when I had a baby on a nap schedule or had a newborn and an 18 month old. But there are times.

I have been sick for the last 10 days. Actually, I've been sick since the middle of October - started in Mexico - but one thing got better and a couple of days later another thing hit.

While in Mexico I started hacking up a lung for no apparent reason... no head cold, no congestion, just random productive coughing fits. A few days after returning I went to the urgent care because I thought I might have bronchitis and since I babysit an infant, I wanted to do something about it right away. It wasn't bronchitis, just a cold and I was sent on my way and it disappeared soon after.

A few days later, I started feeling head congestion and had a stuffy nose. Within a couple of days my head felt like it was going to explode. I actually skipped running one day - that is UNHEARD of for me (I ran in Mexico even though I was hacking up a lung at the time). It didn't seem to get better with the medicine that Dave bought for me. I was pretty sure I had a sinus infection and was going to head over to the urgent care again to get some antibiotics.

But then I got ticked. I'm sick of not being able to see MY doctor when I'm sick. I have gone to the urgent care every time I've been sick for the last several years. They don't treat me very nice over there and they charge twice as much. I wanted to see MY doctor this time and not be some random person in the urgent care.

But this turns into lots of drama - which is why I've been going to the urgent care. I babysit 3 days a week (this week was 4). The baby is 5 months old and cries - a lot - so I don't know how he's going to be in public and I'm not willing to find out in the doctor's office. So the days I babysit are out. In addition, I have a busy 3 year old who likes to hide in the cupboards or climb on the bench or open all of the drawers and take everything out (this is what she does at her doctor's office). If I am on constant vigil with her, how in the world am I going to be able to focus on the doctor and MY issues? So I choose not to bring my kids with me when I'm sick... even if I chose to bring them, I still have to work around bus and preschool schedules - so when I called today and found out the only appointment they had available was noon, I had to decline because Ryann starts school at noon and there's no way I'd be able to get her to school and myself (and Georgia & Nick) to the doctor by noon, without paying the school to have her come early.

I also have to work around Dave's schedule. He usually gets home between 6:30 and 7 - doctor's office is closed. And he has multiple appointments/meetings throughout the day... If I could schedule my illnesses 2 weeks in advance he would have no problem finding a time to come home to stay with the girls while I go to the doctor. As I have yet to figure out how to do that, I instead go to the urgent care.

But like I said - I got ticked off about it over the weekend and refused to go to the urgent care anymore. Somehow, something would have to work out differently.

Fortunately for me, I started to feel better the very next day and didn't feel like I needed to see the doctor anymore. And then last night the pressure came back and I'm back in the full-swing of a sinus infection.

My wonderful husband - knowing my feelings about going to the urgent care again - told me to try to get an appointment tonight after 4 or any time tomorrow. He had too many appointments today to be able to help me out today, but he was sure he could move people around tomorrow if necessary. I love him. I'm going tomorrow at 9.

Anyway, back to the resentment thing. This is it - I resent not being able to live my life on my schedule and do things at the times that I want to do them. I know that I choose to make things a bit more difficult by opting out of the children-along-for-the-ride thing, but I don't see how bringing them with me would make things less stressful or easier or more productive. When Dave is sick, he just calls the doctor and fits it in. When I'm sick - or want to get a haircut - I have to consider 4 other people before I can try to work into someone else's schedule. I long for the day when I can just pick up and go when I want to.

I am now done whining.

19 comments:

Brenda B 4:59 PM  

ahh the joys of motherhood. It's really not fair and that's why when the situation rises we get to say that we ROCK! and it really is true.

I pray that you appt goes unintturupted tomorrow and that they are able to give you meds to get you 100% well!

Missy Eagen 8:41 PM  

Boy is this a can of worms for me.... for two reasons. 1. I also need to consider everyone else's schedule before tying to fit myself into it and 2. My job doesn't allow me to just go for an appointment. I would have to get a sub, take either the whole morning or afternoon off (uppaid) and I HATE feeling like I've interruppted everyone's day for something I need to do. I do love my job but that is one thing that is frustrating for me during the school year and when trying to make an appointment anywhere they think your crazy when you say "yeah I'm available Friday from 9:30 to 2:00, other than that no time works for me".
Like I said this is a can of worms for me, I feel for you :( I pray tomorrow goes smooth, all the kids stay well and the doc gives you some good drugs :)

Amy 9:47 PM  

Uh I hate sinus stuff. I hope they get some antibiotics for you or something that will help.

I can totally relate to your resentment stuff. It is kind of nice to know I am not the only one who struggles or has struggled with it. I used to get really resentful of Rob's schedule (and honestly my mind still goes there from time to time). It is a blessing and a curse. He can take an hour off here or there if he needs to. Sometimes I feel like my schedule is a little more a priority than I let on and I should stop whining.

On the other hand he is gone a lot of evenings and sometimes he has to drop everything if something comes up. There have been times I needed him home and there was no way he could be here.

It is kind of encouraging to know these feelings don't last forever.

Mommy Brain 3:11 PM  

I've so been where you are...and the help I needed came from intentionally creating a network of girlfriends to help me out. It was not easy and it did not happen fast, but it has been a blessing. I remember when I had been praying about my feelings of isolation and loneliness, not to mention my total inability to do anything or go anywhere without my children...I felt God directing me to intentionally make friends.

Huh? I had never had to do that...but I did take the leap of boldness. It took a) me admitting to Doug that I needed some time to myself to do this and b) a phone call to a almost complete stranger to invite her to a Bible study with me at a unfamiliar church. I had never ever called anyone out of the blue like that...I thought I was going to hyperventilate when I left the message on her machine. But it worked out...and now 6 years later I have an amazing support team of sister friends that I know I couldn't do life without.

I share this story not for you or anyone to go, "Yay! Christine!" but rather to encourage you to create relationships even if it's out of your comfort zone to do so. For so long I waited for the right person to cross my path...I'd lost my best friend to the Alaskan tundra and was quite sure that I would never have another "soul-mate" friend again...but I was wrong. Instead I have 5 now...I am convinced, Jana, that you don't have to do life alone...and finding that support system will be terribly hard...and terrifying...but it is a risk that would pay off.

My two cents...thanks for listening.

Mommy Brain 4:33 PM  

I LOVE your two cents babe!

Marissa 1:57 AM  

I feel for you Jana. No one should have to make friends with Urgent Care the way that you have. I hope you get better soon. I, too, am sinus-ly undertheweather and not happy or seeming to get any better.

I agree that you need to form a mommy-network. If you are able to accomplish this, let me know. I could really use one too and any tips on getting one going are always welcome. It makes me wish my mom lived closer by for times such as these. My MIL lives closeby, but is a teacher and seems to have a busier schedule than me somehow . . .

Mommy Brain 11:08 AM  

It does look thick...but trust me 2 cups oats, 4 cups water. Mine stuck and burned to the side...but actually that part didn't taste bad...actually it tasted quite good...but I bet spraying it would work. Good luck...made it twice and it turned out both times. ~Christine

Amy 12:44 PM  

Yes creating a network of girlfriends is more important than I think people realize. It just takes a lot of time and effort.
When we moved clear across the country not living close to any family member or any friend, I really had to push myself to get into a network. I had one child at the time so it was a bit easier. I did exchange phone numbers with someone I met at the library who had a girl the same age my daughter. I am not normally that bold and never take that much of an iniative, but I felt like I had no choice. We got together a couple times and it never grew into anything close (sounds like dating, I know), but glad I tried it. I also joined MOPS and it was my social life the first year we were here. My small group got together often and we all just clicked. I know MOPS is not for everyone and honestly I am not enjoying it as much this year. The fact I am still friends with the girls I met the first year-- that makes it worth going. It also helps going to a smaller church. I know smaller church does = a better church. Some of my friends who go to bigger churches complain about how hard it is to meet and connect with people. Our church is pretty family-like and most of the young moms are all friends (even though we're pretty different from one another in many ways).

I also found that just getting out and being around people--not neccessarily having the expectation that I will make friends, but just socializing helps. This might be more of an extrovert need or just getting-out-of-the-house need. This is one of the reasons I go scrapbook workshops and volunteer. I have not made any close friends from doing this, but I have met some cool people. Who knows--maybe they will become friends eventually.

I honestly still get lonely at times. It seems to hit me the most in the spring and summer for some reason. The fact I know I am trying and using the resources I have helps.

Jen 1:36 PM  

I'm going to be the downer here! Sorry :-)

You can do all the things that everyone suggested~and they are all right and good ideas~BUT still be lonely and isolated. I thought I had a group a good friends but the minute I couldn't do what they wanted from me they dropped me like a hot potato. We are in process of switching churches and almost all our friends from our old church treat us like lepers. I even skipped an event at school b/c I didn't want to be shunned. How junior high is that?! I am diving into our new church and hoping for the best. I even joined the MOPS steering team (even though I'm completely MOPPED out!) to make some connections.

I get the resentment thing too. I don't have a doctor either~at least not one without stir-ups in her office. I just don't go to the doctor which is sometimes difficult. I haven't been to the dentist in 2 years either for this same reason. Ack!

Amy 2:52 PM  

Sorry I did not mean small church = better church. Typo.

It is tough to maintain friendships with people who have left our church. Mostly because I don't see them as much. We met at church, were involved at church together and no longer have that in common. It doesn't matter if they left with intregity or on bad terms. Still not sure the best way to handle that one.

Jen 8:43 AM  

I get that it's hard to maintain friendships that were started at church when you move on. It's hard for me to have a relationship with the mailman who I talk to everyday! :-) What I'm having a hard time with is obviously shunning. Whenever I have seen people other places, it is hard to be ignored. We went back one Sunday and barely anyone even spoke to us.

i am not 10:45 AM  

You've got to be kidding me - I literally just responded here for 1/2 an hour and it got deleted... Ugh. I'll try again.

i am not 10:47 AM  

Marissa - it sucks to not have a mom around to help, doesn't it? Jen doesn't have this, either. Its especially hard when I see friends of mine who rely very heavily on mom and MIL and rarely have to pay a babysitter and never have to go to PT conferences alone, etc. etc. I talk to Dave sometimes about moving back to GR so we could be near family again, but ultimately we just don't want to be THERE. I wish you lived here so we could help each other (although I recognize the inequity of you helping me with 3 kids and me helping you with only 1 lol!)

i am not 10:59 AM  

Amy - I knew that was a typo:)

Small church vs. large church - the jury is still out on that for us. There are a lot of pros and cons that go along with each one and we're not sure that anything is tipping us one way or the other.

We were VERY happy at our smaller church, but then we had a very painful situation and we found out that our family and community that we though existed was much, much smaller or non-existent than we had previously thought. I don't believe we would have a similar situation in a larger church.

At a larger church we can blend in and be anonymous, which is appealing to us after both of us being so involved and being on the consistory of a very disfunctional church situation. We don't hear about or have the opportunity to get involved in the internal politics of the church, which is nice. We LOVE saturday night church and we Love the worship service and the preaching.

However, if community exists there we haven't found it and aren't a part of it. They don't have adult programs that would foster meeting people. They have no fellowship opportunities (other than concerts, but not the same thing). we have been wondering if those needs for us can be met through other volunteer organizations like the Rotary Club.

It was a great place to go to after our church situation, but 3 years later we are now feeling like we're missing the connections.

i am not 11:19 AM  

Jen - we had a similar situation. We left our church 3 years ago after having been super involved, both on consistory (seperately), and working hard to build family/community for ourselves because we didn't have blood family around. After leaving there has been a significant number of people who can barely look at us let alone say Hi - and it has been hard. I'm not going to lie... it was really, really hard. A lot of tears and a lot of heart ache even before we decided to leave and then we felt like our hands were forced and we didn't have a choice. At any rate, it was hard.

Anyway, one thing that that specific experience has taught us is that everyone has a story. Everyone has a story - everyone. The problem is that we don't often interpret behavior accurately. These people that won't talk to us have a story which leads to them shunning us - they felt we (and others who left around the same time) were abandoning the community; they felt we weren't supporting the pastor whom they felt should be on a pedastal; they felt we were abandoning the church at a time when they needed money and hands to build a new building in a new community; they were mad at us because they were unhappy and not leaving, but we were; they think that Parkview is shallow and a sucky church and are bitter that so many of their members are going there; they accused me of poaching their members (I was inviting them to PV because they were complaining about how unhappy they were). There are many reasons behind their bahavior.

The problem is that we had a story, too. And none of them tried to find out what our story was. The people in the church who truly loved us and were in true community with us took the time to call me to find out why I was resigning from consistory. They called to find out our story - and when they heard our story, they supported us. They agreed that it was time and appropriate for us to leave and supported us and continue to support us. The people who wouldn't talk to us either assumed they knew the reason we were leaving or they heard it from another source, I guess.

Regardless, it was hard. Three years later, though, I am no longer obssessing over it and no longer feel that pain that I initially felt for so long. I recognize, though, that I don't have the opportunity to run into these people on a regular basis like you do and that must be tough.

I had a core group of girls at that church that I hung out with, too. I was really concerned that once we left then that would be the end of our friendship. We maintained our friendships for a while, but now I'm really only friends with one of them... the other girls, I found, were too painful to be around. They would talk about how unhappy they were and how much they disliked the pastor or they would discuss the politics and it was too much for me to hear. Every time I saw a few of them my heart would hurt all over again and feelings would get dredged up and it wasn't worth it anymore and I stopped going to things. Out of that group I am still close to one of them - but then she gets the community/family thing.

I encourage you - although it is incredibly painful and difficult - to find a way to not allow their behavior to affect yours. It may take a while, but hold your head up high and treat them as you did before. Change your expectations - don't expect them to treat you like they did before so when they don't you won't be disappointed, remember they have a story and they probably, most likely don't truly know yours (I don't know your situation at all). Be the grown up and do the right thing even though its the hard thing. I know its hard - I've been there. I'll add you guys to my prayer list with these specific requests.

Amy 4:16 PM  

I am kind of interested in expanding more on this leaving churches idea. Look for a post on my own blog soon.

Also, Jen, there is absolutely no reason no matter who you are that people should shun you. Granted it is a little awkward when I see my friend who left our church. And we're not close anymore because of it. I did ask her about her new church and how that was going and it was not as awkward as I thought it would be.

Jana, have you guys really thought about living in GR? You've always seemed like such "Chicago" people. We have no desire to be in GR, but I do miss it. I think I miss Muskegon a little more though.

April 9:05 PM  

Yeah, I am in agreement with you on the suckiness of it. I think more than just the appointments being complicated, I just long for the opportunity to just lay in bed and sleep and sleep until I am well again. I just keep moving and acting to everyone else that I am well when I am not sometimes. It isn't like it would change anything to proclaim illness since I have to keep working as a mom anyway. There is my complaint anyway. My mom is too far away to help and my mother in law is so busy with her own work and helping watch my brother in law's kids that I can't call her as a resource either. Not that my mom wouldn't come if I was desperate, but I don't know what desperate is anymore since I have managed under horrible situations already...

Jen 9:15 PM  

Jana goes private and we go nuts! :-)

In a nutshell, we left a seeker-driven church b/c of a desire to return to our more Calvinistic roots. We wanted our kids to have Catechsim and go to YCF convention and go on SWIM (or whatever it is now). We want them to know that God is not just their cosmic buddy. We wanted more Biblical preaching. We also have a "feeling" that there are changes coming at our old church and we wanted to be clear of that. My first spiritual gift is discernment so when I get a sense of something, Tim and I have learned to listen! :-)

Kristy 9:40 PM  

Ok so this post makes me want to bawl. that's for another post :)

but in the meantime it reminds me...

For Mother's Day last year Craig bought me a printed card that said something along the lines of "stay in bed,sleep in,relax and let me do everything for once.... by the way where IS everything?"

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