Mothers' Hideaway Blog

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Mothers' Hideaway: May 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who I was yesterday, who I am today, and who I will be tomorrow.

I was talking to my sister on the phone today. She's 2.5 years younger than me and living a life completely opposite of mine. She lives in sunny California, I'm in windy Chicago. She's single, I'm married. She has no children, I have two. She works as a supervisor in a bank, I stay at home with my kids. We're at completely different stages of our lives, but I am so proud of her.

You see, my parents typecasted us as kids (more about this at a later date) and predetermined our futures for us based on who they believed we were. I was smarter than average, she was average. I was quieter, she was social. I was a leader, she was a follower. I would be the successful career woman, she would be the stay at home mom. I would marry a passive guy, she would marry a strong man. I hated this as a kid. Passionately despised it. I knew I didn't want to be a career woman. I knew I didn't want a passive guy. I knew my sister was more than they gave her credit. I was sure of it, but.....I went to school. I had a career. I dated those passive guys. I was exactly who they wanted me to be.

When we were young I pushed my sister to be something more. I told her she could do whatever she dreamed of doing. I told her she could be whoever she wanted to be. I told her she was smart and she would succeed. And she has. She followed what my parents said at first. She didn't believe in herself and couldn't focus on school or life. It took her a while and a path less than traditional, but she's there. She's successful and happy, and everything my parents thought she wouldn't be. In fact, my mom constantly says "Who would have thought? You're the stay at home mom and she's the career woman." I'll tell you what, Mom, I thought it.

Anyways, back to the original point. My sister and I were talking about how funny life turns out. How we've ended up completely opposite of what our parents had destined us to be. How we have changed so much in the last few years. My sister has matured in how she deals with men. I've changed in how I see my life. We've had big life changes. We've had small ones, too. Yet, we agreed that one thing remains the same....

We're not who we were yesterday and tomorrow we won't be who we are today.

People change. Daily. It may be seemingly insignificant small changes or sometimes we have huge life changes and that alters us in more visible ways, whether they be bad or good. But the bottom line is....we change. If we're doing something right we change because that means we're able to adapt to our lives. We adapt to being single or married. We adapt to new jobs and new homes. We adapt to new people and new friends. We adapt to becoming parents. We adapt to our environments. That's what makes us survive. We grow comfortable in our skins only to have them shed and change as our world changes. We know who we are based on who we were. We can only hope to become someone better.

I'm not who I was yesterday, and tomorrow I won't be who I am today. I hope to be someone better by all accounts.

How about you? Tell us today at Mothers' Hideaway.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Is marriage easy?

I read something today that irritated me. Someone said it's not true that marriages are hard. That they're easy, breezy, beautiful, and natural. That many, many women are happy wives.

I call bull.

I love my husband. I do. But our relationship isn't always easy, breezy, beautiful. It's hard. There are moments that I love him with all of my heart and loving him comes naturally. I can't get enough of him and the thought of him going to work makes me sad because I'll miss him. There are also the moments where I can't stand him. I want to run away and avoid him at all costs. I dread (yes, I said dread) when he comes home from work because I just don't want to deal with him.

Love is work. Plain and simple.

I don't know anyone that loves going to work everyday. That when they wake up to the sound of their alarm they jump out of bed excited and ready to conquer what lies ahead at their job every. single. day. Sure, there are moments; moments of accomplishment, recognition, success. There are also moments of grueling hours, demands, unsuccessful encounters, and inter office drama (or was that just mine?). During those periods that snooze button seems so much more alluring.

The difference between work and marriage is one you can change with a simple two week notice....the other you made a promise to stay for better or for worse. Inevitably, we usually try not to get fired from either job and try to dodge the pink slip.

Statistics show that 50% of marriages result in divorce. Clearly, those aren't happy marriages. What about those that are still married?? Are they all happy? I don't imagine so. There are the marriages where the unhappy spouse stays for "the kids" or money's just easier. Finally, there are those that are really, truly, happy. Although, it's really hard for me to swallow that these people are always happy and that conflict never enters the relationship.

Maybe I'm just jaded.

I've been with my husband for over eight years. We've been married for over six of those. We were young when we were married and life looked glamorous, wonderful, and we were invincible as individuals and as a couple. Now, we're older, have two young children, I have a chronic health issue, and he has a high demanding job (read: high stress, long hours). Life gets in the way of "us" and "we" get in the way of life. It makes sense in some warped way. The trick is to remember that marriage is work. You're not always happy at work, but you still trek through it because don't want that pink slip.

I am not always a happy wife. I'm not always an unhappy wife. I'm just a wife...and mother...and friend...and chauffeur....and housekeeper....and milk factory....and cook.....and entertainer....and psychologist.....and social worker ...and... and.......

Is marriage easy? Tell us what you think today at Mothers' Hideaway and join our discussion here!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sleep Training

When I had my oldest son I was tough. I decided he would sleep well, eat well, and behave well. I was strict, but loving. I was tough, but kind. When he turned 10 weeks old I began sleep training him. He was stubborn as heck and eventually I learned that he would just have to cry it out. If I came near him he would freak out more. I started on a Tuesday (I remember because I intentionally did it for when my husband "the softie parent" would be at work) and after four grueling days, it worked. In fact, I also remember crying to my husband when he came home Friday night, "He hates me! He glares at me when I get near him! I'm so mean!" Of course on Saturday our son was an angel and my husband had no clue what had been so hard. GAAH! To this day my oldest son is a very stubborn child, but I can tell you this much...He sleeps well and behaves well. Eating....well....he has his days.

Then came Son #2. He's our final baby and he's so much more mellow than his older brother. This child rarely cries (unlike his brother at his age) and when he does it bothers me because I know something must be wrong. I tried sleep training him a few weeks ago when he was 8 weeks. I tried it. Really I did. Then I gave up and decided I'd wait until another day. In my mind I made the decision that 10 weeks would be it. Ten weeks was when Son #1 was trained and look at him now. I'll do the same with the other.

And the came week ten.

It was hard. He cried all day, he fought me tooth and nail, and it broke my heart. I thought he hated me, too. In fact you can read about my day at Mothers' Hideaway here. I was so lucky to have my MH girls to support me through it. I had a long rough night and probably totaled a grand total of 2 or so hours of sleep, but I held strong. I had my MH girls behind me, and I had my oldest son's results to back me. I could do it.

Then we come to today. He woke up with smiles for Mommy and has been cooing to me all day. As of yet he hasn't fought me to go to sleep in his crib and he's in there sleeping quite peacefully now. Now I know that since I wrote this I probably just jinxed myself, but I'm proud of myself. I did it and hopefully, with time, he'll be a good sleeper, too.

Come share your sleep training style at Mothers' Hideaway in the Kiddie Pool!