Time: why can’t it ever be just right?

clock with pendulm

For me, it seems like I spend a lot of time these days dwelling on the concept of “time” – too little, too much, not in the right areas, etc.  Time is one of the hardest, yet most important, areas of ones life to get right (or close to it).  Everyone goes through various seasons of life, and in these seasons refinement happens.  As a wife and a mother, I find myself longing for “me” time – time by myself to do anything, “we” time – time with my husband to reconnect, and “us” time – time together as a family focusing on only family.  However, finding the space in the ever-busy-getting-busier-by-the-day schedule of the Wingler household is a next to impossible task.  It’s discouraging sometimes to realize that things aren’t going to slow down any time soon with the addition of Miss Nellie into our world in the next six weeks or less.  While I’m anxiously awaiting her arrival, I’m also wishing I could push it back a few months (or a few years) till I feel more settled into my life and routines.  I’m sure most of you reading this can certainly relate to this issue of time!!

It’s funny to me to think back on the past several years of my life because I was ALWAYS busy – working two jobs, going to school, and going through a divorce were the big items on my plate.  At the time,  I thought about how I could not fit one more stinkin’ thing on my plate!  But even though my life was busy, it wasn’t “full”.  I still found time to have dinner with friends, relax in my apartment with my cats, do homework, etc.  I even found time to start dating again!  But over the course of the past two years since Wade and I met and began our family I have never felt busier and my life has never been more full.

I’ve talked to several of my close girlfriends who are now SAHMs after having careers prior to becoming mothers, and they all express that they can’t believe how time consuming the job of being a mother actually is.  There are a few other common threads:  we are lonely, we are exhausted, we miss our husbands, we long to be better moms/wives/friends, and we never have enough time to do the things we wish we could do.  Isn’t this so interesting?  So what do we do?  How do we have time to shower AND do laundry AND teach our babies new skills AND find time for meaningful adult interactions?  How do we save enough of ourselves throughout the day so that at the end of the night when we’re in bed with our husbands we actually have the energy and desire to have intimate time?  How do we find the balance between missing our former professional roles and embracing our current role as “mom”?  How  do we respect our instincts as mothers while trying to find a few minutes in our days to ourselves?

Yesterday, one of my dearest friends voxed me, and she started off by telling me that she missed me and missed our time together while I was interning at her place of employment.  It was such a sweet message, and it touched my heart to hear her words.  I could only think of one response – “I MISS ME, TOO!”.  I miss me.  I miss who I was and what I had time for prior to becoming a mom.  That simple fact is one of the hardest struggles in my world right now.  When she voxed me back, though, she seriously said something incredibly profound that has stuck with me.  She said, “Jen, I know that you feel like you are only a mom right now, but you’re more than that to others around you.  The pendulum has swung and stuck so that you are mostly a mom right now and that’s where you’re most needed, BUT there will come a time before you know it when the pendulum swings back towards the opposite side of the clock and you will regain a lot of what you’re missing so much now.”  WISE!!!!  What a beautiful analogy of life and time.  While I’m longing for my pendulum to be more in the middle, I also need to embrace the fact that I will only be a mom with small babies for a short period of time, and before I know it Jake and Nellie will be in school.  I’m sure that I’ll miss them like crazy when I’m not the person attending to each one of their needs on a daily basis.

So, until my life is a little more balanced, time will feel stagnant and fleeting at the same time.  I’ll feel lonely and tired and spent while feeling thankful and important and strong.  This season of my life as a mother of young babies is refining me and every relationship I am in at this moment.  It is defining me now, but it is not the only thing that I am.  The challenge has been and will continue to be living in the moment and appreciating as many of the minutes of each day as I can because before I know it my children will be grown, and I’ll be wishing I could turn back the hands of time.

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What the weather has done

I am one of those strange people who loves precipitation.  I love rainy days (just like my momma) and always have.  Clouds?  AWESOME!  Couldn’t be happier!  But most of all, I love winter.  Seriously.  Bring on the snow, the ice, the cold.  I’ll take it!!!  Winter makes my heart happy because my second most favorite season comes right before it, and all of my beloved holidays happen in the cold weather months.  Watching snow fall outside while I’m snuggled safely inside with all of my people and fuzzy creatures around a glowing Christmas tree is probably the best visual of how winter makes me feel inside.  My husband and I are self-proclaimed Christmas FANATICS (the lights, the trees, the songs – THE SONGS, and the warm fuzzies that are all around).  We even played Christmas music in the hospital while I was giving birth to Jake last August.  AND, in a Hypnobabies class participants are instructed to imagine their “special, safe place”.  Mine just happens to be in a beautiful cabin in the middle of nowhere, decorated for Christmas, with a ginormous fireplace, and snow falling outside.  Told ya, I love winter.  It just makes me feel good, ya know?

It most likely goes without saying, then, that I am not a summer lovin’ girl.  This past summer in Indiana (where we live) was almostunbearable due to the high temps (some of the hottest ever recorded) and an intense drought.  We moved into our home in early May, and it didn’t take long before it was brown and dying. Even our salsa garden and hearty hosta plants that I was soooo excited about having faded quickly despite long nightly waterings and lots of TLC.  Since I’m a SAHM I like to get outside a little bit and explore other scenery because, let’s face it moms (or dads) who stay at home, looking at the same walls and rooms day in and day out make me want to pluck my eyeballs out!  Jake, our now 1 year old, gets antsy, too, as does our dog, Winston.  Not only that, I crave interaction with other humans, even if it is just someone waving to me from their car as they drive by Goobie and me taking a walk.  The weather was so unbearable that I didn’t even like to get in the car to go anywhere to have interaction with other humans or a change of scenery.  I was pretty much stuck inside what has lovingly become known as “THE PIT”.  The nickname, “The Pit”, is an old joke that goes back to when Wade and I moved in together, and basically he said that he was putting me in this pit and never letting me out.  It used to be funny until it became REAL.  Who’s laughing now, I wonder. . . ha.

Goobie and Grams

Jake and my momma outside of our house during the hot summer of 2012. You can see the lovely brown grass, too!

So, imagine my delight when around mid-August the weather breaks for a bit, and we have some b-e-a-utiful days!  It was especially nice to have Jake’s 1st birthday party, a fiesta themed “I am Juan year old” party, on a fantastic Saturday afternoon.  Moods around the Wingler household changed drastically with the change in the weather.  The windows opened up to let some cooler, fresher air circulate and the desires to be outside and more active opened up as well.  We were suddenly taking walks again almost every evening after dinner, and Wade had to mow our grass for the first time in at least 6 weeks.  Color began returning to the yard and our little salsa garden that we thought was a goner started taking off!  We even bought a perfect little red wagon for Jake as an early birthday present because what little boy doesn’t want to be pulled around in a Radio Flyer ATW on a beautiful day?  After breakfast, Jake and I began taking walks around our neighborhood, and sometimes it was chilly enough for us to wear jackets.  One evening while playing on the swingset, I commented to Wade that “the weather makes us better parents”.  It really does.

Nice weather = happy, more active family.

Green grass = happy Winston.

Cool breezes = excitement for autumn (and beyond).

Since I continue to be hopeful that the weather will stay bearable, I start to think about the upcoming months and all of the wonderful things that will be coming my way.  Obviously, the most pressing thing is this baby in my belly will be arriving into our lives in November.  But before that we’ll be celebrating Halloween with Goobie again this year, and we’re also hoping to get away for a few days for a “Babymoon”.  After Nellie arrives, it will be Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and then the New Year, and all of those holidays to me mean FAMILY.  I’m hesitantly hopeful that the weather will continue to lift my spirits and gently encourage me to keep putting one foot in front of the other -even when I would rather just lie in bed for a week – while bringing our family closer together.  There is just so much joy to be had in the next few months, and I’m so blessed that I have the love of my family (and the cooler weather) to experience it alongside me.