The “family plan” isn’t like a TV sitcom, unless of course you are watching, The Middle. Hanky alert if you click the link. I am typing through snot and tears at this moment.
When Stuart and I got married, we loved each other but I don’t think that we were in love with each other. There is a difference. I didn’t realize there was until, well until I really started falling in love with him. That didn’t happen until after we self destructed during the first half of our marriage. My heart breaks when I think about the years we wasted. My heart is full when I think of the feeling I now have being in love with my best friend.
We were kids. Plain and simple.
Money. It will cause knock down drag outs that will leave you both bloody and bruised, figuratively of course. In-laws. They will be the fuel for many fires. Get your extinguishers ready, folks. Kids. Yes, you love them but the scenarios that play out will bring you to your knees. Knee pads, you will need lots of knee pads! Loneliness. It will happen. Don’t kid yourself. Lack of Communication! Now, that is the precipice of where your marriage will teeter back and forth, back and forth. Get a rope and hang on tight!
Money. Seventy-five to hundred bucks is what was left after we paid the bills each payday. You do the math. That ain’t much for two weeks people. Stuart was making about $23,000 as a fireman. Thank God for the extra shifts he picked up and all of the side jobs that he worked. His parents were also key to our survival, always showing up with groceries, diapers and such.
We decided early on that I would stay home with Sparky. It wouldn’t be cost effective to put him in day care. It wouldn’t be heart effective either. Neither one of us wanted him in day care.
We made due.
We had one car for many years. Thankfully, my father in law worked in Conroe at the time. He came to my rescue more times than I can count. Many of those rescues will make some entertaining entries.
Communication.When Stuart was gone, it was me, Sparky and ‘Tilda, growing up together. I used to get so angry with Stuart for leaving us alone. Such a selfish emotion. What did I think he was doing? Anticipating each day with a “golly gee, I get to work another 24 hour shift again” attitude? He never said it broke his heart to leave us but I know now that it did. I wish I would have figured that out sooner. I wish he would have told me. Communication is key, cliche but true.
Loneliness. I craved adult conversation. I selfishly yearned to do things other twenty years were doing. Ya know, those carefree, hair blowin’ in the wind kind of days? Beach trips and shopping, not a care in the world. My heart hurt. I had an all day everyday companion. My sidekick Sparky. We were doing life together, but I was so lonely.
In-laws. Stuart dealt with come crazy crap early on. My mom didn’t make our early years easy on us that is for sure. So many fires that I should have tamped before they raged. My dealings with his parents were not a walk in the park either. So many feelings that should have been communicated early on. I wasn’t easy on them either. So many mistakes made on both ends. I could write a book, intended audience; mother and daughter in laws. If my advice and insight were heeded on both ends, so many hurt feelings would be thwarted in advance. If advice was heeded. Oh wait, I have a blog. You guys are in luck!
Kids. Yes, the wind beneath your wings. The sugar to your tea. The, oh never mind, you get the picture that I’m trying to paint. No good mother would EVER admit otherwise. It’s ok. It’s ok to say, this motherhood thing sucks. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to feel like you have lost your identity. It’s ok to feel like you want to run away. Those feelings are valid as long as you don’t camp there for days.
Truth is you will make mistakes, lots of them. You do loose you identify for awhile and you will feel like getting in that car and driving away without looking back. Anyone who tells you anything else isn’t being honest with you.
What do I wish I would have done differently early on?
I wish that I would have allowed people to help me. My in-laws offered but I felt that I would be showing weakness if I accepted. Such a load of crap. So prideful. Me and my sidekick would have been better for it. Let people help you. I’m not saying pawn your kids off every chance you get but do take a break. You need it. Even if only for an hour or two. Those moments to regroup aren’t a cure-all but a preventative.
Take my word for it. I wish I would have practiced preventative new momma care all those years ago.