For those of you who know me well I’m sure you are silently saying, “um duh.” After I had a kid though I seriously started to question whether or not I was an extrovert. Correction, after we lived in Austin for awhile I started to question it. Relationships became a chore. It was very stressful trying to make new friends and I always felt like I had to put my best foot forward in every interaction. I found that most of the time it was easier to just stay in our house and watch television or hang out with my family. I was extremely intimidated by the size of the city so I rarely ventured out beyond our corner of town and besides our small group at church I met almost no one else in the two plus years we lived there. Then when Ellery was born I went almost no where, I kind of just enjoyed being in the house a lone, and I started to question whether or not I was actually an introvert who was always told she was an extrovert. I read THIS about introverts the other day and I can identify with almost none of them. Andrew could probably identify with most of them. And moving back to the Midwest has made this blatantly clear. Right after we moved our neighborhood had their annual garage sale. I went to each house introduced myself and made small talk with almost every person. Andrew wanted to hide under Ellery’s stroller. I came home energized. A new couple moved in across the street last weekend. I made cookies and took them over, Andrew finds this a little odd, I came home energized. We have had people over a lot lately and each night no matter what time they leave I feel energized from hanging out with them. I also have found that “downtime” feels completely unproductive and I don’t do it well and I’m doing my absolute best to appreciate that Andrew views downtime as productive. The ONLY downtime I find productive is taking a nap. The other night Andrew and I went outside to “sit” and 10 minutes into “sitting” I started weeding the entire back yard while Andrew sat and sipped his wine and it felt so nice to be productive in our own ways together. So today I can say with absolute certainty that I am most definitely an extrovert.
We are in full swing of mom project week. I seriously needed a kick in the bum when it came to doing house projects. I feel like we have done nothing all summer, I’m realizing that’s because our last project was completed Memorial Day weekend. So this week is all about getting things checked off my massive house project list. I boiled it down to one attainable page for this week from four very unattainable pages. My mom came for the week and we are steadily checking things off, feels SO GOOD. Maybe, just maybe I’ll post more house pictures soon!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Like the kind of thinking where an idea rattles around in your head and you know the only way to make it stop is to write it down. Parenting is hard. To be honest it’s hard in completely different ways than I expected. I thought it would be hard on our marriage, hard on our bank account, hard on our sleep and sanity, I was wrong. It has been none of those things. The things people warned us about aren’t the things that have consumed my mama mind.
It’s the stuff like; should my kid be walking, why isn’t she walking? Should she be talking? Does she weigh enough? Is she learning enough? Am I doing enough? Is it okay to raise a kid in a home that isn’t pristinely clean? When can I squeeze in a play group because my kid isn’t socialized in a daycare? Is t.v really bad for kids before two because my kid definitely watches t.v?Is it bad to raise my kid as a vegetarian, should I just do some meat? And these are just the things that came out of my head while typing this post over the course of a few minutes. Then I think about the people who look at my life and question how they are measuring up (because let’s be honest, us mamas compare ourselves). For those people here is what I want to say…
You have to choose to be excellent. Not how you think though, you have to choose to be excellent at a few things. The things I decided I wanted to be excellent at were being a wife first, mom second. I wanted to be strict on sleep training and I wanted to be excellent at keeping record of our kiddo: monthly pictures, daily recording in my line a day book and keeping her baby book completely up to date. Then everything else I just do my best for that day. My house is never as clean as I would like. I never do as much teaching as I would like. She usually watches a little more t.v. than I would like. You get the picture, there are tons of areas that need improvement, but then I remind myself that the things I chose to be excellent in (few as they may be) I have met my expectations in those things and then I feel like I’m doing alright. So pick your top 3 things you really want to do well (and maybe they change from year to year or even month to month). For example; now that she is sleep trained my new excellence goal is reading the Bible to her daily. I see moms beating themselves up everyday on social media because their house isn’t picked up or they don’t look fashionable enough or they feel bad for going back to work or fill in the blank and I think about how social media has ruined our confidence in ourselves. Remember people are displaying their few points of excellence, so don’t beat yourself up over all the other things in your life, they have those things too. I think Steve Furtick said it best:
08/09/13 marked 5 years of being wed. I don’t even quite know what to say about it. Five felt like it was going to be a huge deal. I have no idea why, really, it’s 5 years, not 25 years. And honestly when you vow to forever, what is 5 years in the grand scheme? Just a small blip really. We always talked about going on a week long trip for our 5th anniversary. We also planned to not have a kid by five years, so our “plans” have kind of changed over the years. Instead we stayed home and sent our little lady away. I had a whole afternoon to myself and that was stinking awesome, then we went to dinner and walked around this quaint little town within our city and got GIGANTIC ice cream cones at our new favorite ice cream shop, Emack and Bolios is where it’s at!! Saturday was supposed to be a day for relaxing, which turned into 6 hours at car dealers, but resulted in a 2nd car for us…oh the things married people do on their one weekend without a kid. One of the best parts of our weekend was reading our five year time capsule slips from our wedding, most everyone was correct that we would have one young kid. My dad and a couple others even guessed girl. When I look at our baby girl I think how much our love has multiplied in 5 years. How much I loved him then and how much more I love him now. How much more respect and love I have for him as the father of our daughter. How much we collectively love our little girl. It’s just a big ol love fest over here I guess.
Yesterday I felt the need for a day off of parenting. I had Ellery with me so obviously there were a few things I couldn’t take a break from. I still fed her, changed her and put her down for naps, and of course watched her all day to insure her safety. But the rest of the day I kind of took as mine. Or I thought I did. At the end of the day I realized my “day off” from toys and puzzles and music and teaching and flash cards and books was filled up pretty quickly with things I don’t enjoy nearly as much. It started off with a closet purge and as most of you know I really do enjoy this. Instead of playing with toys and learning letters I let Ellery “unpack” one of my boxes and play with stuff in my bathroom. To be honest she probably enjoyed this more than what was on the schedule. I let her watch extra television while I prepped food and made humus (things I seriously don’t enjoy). I washed, folded and ironed all the laundry…um not really a day off activity, but luckily I ended the day with a nice long FaceTime chat with the bestie. So after trying to take a day off to just kind of not parent I ended up finding out playing with my kid is so much better, however I did get a ton done which will allow me more time to play tomorrow. Then come Friday I get an actual DAY OFF!!!! It’s a Mimi and Papa weekend and Ellery’s first time sleeping over somewhere without us. That brings some mixed emotions, but I’m looking forward to time devoted to my sweetie as we celebrate 5 years of wedded bliss. I decided to take full advantage and scheduled a hair cut and a pedicure, haven’t had one of those in about a year!
Today I had the privilege of hanging out with a sweet high school girl from church. We worked on worship music and she even shared some stuff she was working on which was super cool. I so enjoyed spending time with a young talent and can’t wait to see how she grows in the coming years with her music. I was sharing with her that I don’t do anything too fancy when I play and I’ve been playing for almost 24 years, and then it hit me that I have been playing piano much longer than her life and I felt very un hip. And then I started writing this post and half way through realized I used the word hip and realized that word is probably only used by people who aren’t…
I’m not a dreamer. I used to think I was completely not a dreamer, but when I think back to childhood I had imaginary classrooms. I made pretend lesson plans and reading groups, and a lot of teacher things. I am more of a dreamer than I thought I was. However, now that I’m an adult, dreams scare me. Dreams aren’t secure. Dreams are the perfect set up for failure. Dreams are personal, and it hurts when people tell you they are impossible. I’ve heard it before that if you want to achieve something, don’t tell anyone about it, because you are more likely to do it when you aren’t told you can’t.
I started working again, and then it happened…I started dreaming. My mind has begun running wild with what I might do with my time when my kiddos no longer need me all day long. When they go to school and I have some time for me. It has started to consume my mind and my evenings. Sketches are being made, research is being done, and the creative part of me is loving this potential venture. I am very much not ready to share what it is. Someday I will have the confidence to say it aloud, to tell you my plans without wondering what you think or whether or not you believe I can. For now I just quietly dream and I encourage you to do the same.