/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » worn out

Okay, so I promised a few weeks ago to get caught up. And then I promptly broke that promise. 😐

Life happened, just when I thought it would slow down as the heat of August was upon us. And by “life happened,” I mean I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the past few weeks–most of it being benign, but some of it being incredibly emotionally draining and wearing.

I got tired of constantly picking up after Brendan, and so I tromped back in to FlyLady’s material, determined to teach him how small routines could help him pick up after himself and make giant tasks smaller and more manageable. :) He’s done pretty well with it–even being *willing* (gasp!) to go and pick up 10 things in his room without whining or fighting me, and knowing that 15 minutes is just that: a timer, set for 15 minutes, and that he’s done when it goes off. He appreciates his time to play even more now that he knows the timer really IS set for 15 minutes, and has embraced the “swish & swipe” in his bathroom every morning. It’s still a time to build the habits and routines in him, but he’s become much more willing to go along with it. :)

I also disassembled the laundry room, which still had a ton of junk in it from the previous owners. As life had it, I was much more focused on getting the “main living areas” set up when we moved here, and largely ignored the laundry room. Yes, I still did laundry and it still grated on me every time I walked in there, but there were more urgent and important tasks before me when I left that room. So I tackled that and scrubbed mildew (notice how the end of that word is “ewww”?) for 3 days (with Brendan’s help), tore shelves off the walls, lugged old cabinetry up and out of the house, and tried to figure out where to stick things. I’ve picked out a paint colour (a light, bright green), and I picked up a few things at Ikea for the room, including a laundry cart that I assembled and some cute (cute!) cards that went inside frames and will make a fantastic little collage on the walls. Once the walls are spackled and painted, that is. 😉

I met with a friend who was struggling in her relationship with her husband–we commiserated about the pain of the relationship and the problems therein, and she confronted him about his destructive behaviour a few days later. Then I got a note from her that he had thrown her out, followed her and her daughter out to the parking garage of their building, and beat the crap out of her. 😥 I was so scared for her; her daughter’s screams are what got people to call the police and ultimately got my friend’s attacker (at this point, it’s hard to recognize that he had a formal place in her life with a title for him) to stop beating her. She had bruises and got a host of stitches and he was carted off to jail. He was charged with felony assault (unheard of in domestic violence situations), and she is now safely away from him. The really weird thing is that I had this inkling in my heart when we met together that I should ask her if he had ever tried to hurt her. But I second-guessed myself and decided against the question; looking at her and seeing her confidence, physical strength (she’s a tennis pro), and agility, I read her as never putting up with that sort of crap. I was wrong. And honestly, I don’t think I’ll doubt my intuition again. It’s normally correct, and I ignored it. I don’t think that I could have prevented her attack if I’d asked, but it definitely would have given me fodder for discussion and prayer.

Regardless, about 15 people showed up at her apartment this week and packed her up and moved her out. I was so glad that so many (women and men) showed up and packed, hoisted, lifted, schlepped, and unloaded things for her. It was physically tiring, for sure–working in a hot apartment with all that emotion and all those people is bound to wear you out. But it was emotionally draining as well, and I didn’t expect that. I found myself just wanting to sit down and cry when it was all over. I had a friend who volunteered to watch Brendan for me, and I didn’t really have the opportunity to “let down” when the moving was done and I found myself crying as I fell asleep that night. Being hot and tired is one thing, but facing the destruction of a relationship through something as destructive as violence and pornography (the reason their relationship was our point of discussion intially) and knowing what her daughter experienced and the fear she was living with hit me full-force that night.

And in addition to all of that, I took Brendan out to Mott Children’s Hospital at the U and visited an online friend and her daughter. The little girl was a “heart baby” who had been cared for in China by Love Without Boundaries, but the Chinese surgery hadn’t completed her healing. And so as my friend and her family adopted Lili, they knew that future heart-surgery would be necessary. Lili came through surgery and her time in Pediatric ICU with flying colours, and we visited her a few times. It was really good for Brendan and it was the right thing to do, in every sense of the phrase. We were able to show our love for Lili, but also keep her mom company and bring a bit of cheer to a dreary hospital room. And Brendan is better able now to feel compassion and empathy for those who are in pain and suffering, which is something that Mark and I have tried to be very intentional about developing in him.

We also made a big decision about schooling. We had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship at a local (private) Christian school, and while the school is a great one, we wanted to make sure that we made the best possible decision for our family. It found me asking why I wanted to homeschool and whether or not this opportunity to apply for the scholarship would be a good thing, faced with our limited income and the potential of free time on my part to take on another job. I prayed about it, thought about it, and basically hashed it in to a million pieces in order to make sense of it all. And this was my conclusion: from the day Brendan was born and I held him in my arms in the hospital room, I knew I wanted to homeschool him. I also didn’t have a job “waiting in the wings” for which this scholarship would be an answer for Brendan’s education and schooling (i.e., “if I only had a place to stick Brendan so I could take this job…”), and I didn’t have an overwhelming desire to go and take a job that would take me out of the house regularly, despite our overwhelming need for more income. So I had to believe that my initial desires, combined with the rest of the circumstances (or lack thereof) made my decision for me. Mark supported whatever decision that I was to make, so there wasn’t even *that* factor to consider.

The night we made the decision to move ahead with the homeschool-plan, we had dinner planned with other homeschooling friends. And as we were driving home, secure in our decision, I had the most amazing sense of peace and “lightness” (as in “lack of gravity-ness”) that we had made the right decision. Maybe it will be the decision for this year alone. Maybe for the rest of our kids’ lives. But I have to give it a go and see how it works for us. If it’s a terrible mistake, then it’s one that we can ameliorate next spring/summer when the scholarship for the private school comes available again. But for now, it’s the best decision we can make, and it feels as though we’ve made the right one. :)

This post has been incredibly long already. And this time, I’m committed to keeping up with my writing/blogging and keeping the other things in my life in check. So there will be more updates and photos and the rest. But this will be an indication to those of you who know me well of exactly how worn out and tired I’ve been: Although we’re “in house” today and working on stuff here, I decided to put on makeup. And I took a brush and gave myself an extra ‘boost’ under my eyes of concealer (Bare Escentuals Bisque–this stuff is a MUST HAVE!!). I could not believe how different I looked!! The dark circles under my eyes are covered up; I look so much less exhausted and brighter in general. I guess I really got used to seeing the dark circles and the tired-look on my face–either that, or I just wasn’t looking at myself very carefully. But for whatever reason, covering those dark circles and knowing that I look better has given me some extra bursts of energy today–which is weird. And makes me think that I ought to put makeup on more often, just for me and just “because.” :).

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