The impact of my new role in life has been almost numbing. Some days I feel like all I do is shop, clean up, cook, wash clothes, clean up, and keep going. The effect on my relationship with Wade is one of the most interesting aspects.
I have lived with Wade for a little over 2 years, and before all this happened, we were sort of getting to a rhythm. Some days were better than others, but we were figuring out how to get along. Then children entered our lives on a daily basis.
We still get along pretty well, but we also get on each other’s nerves. It is probably to be expected, but I wonder if both of us are still in shock over the added stress this has brought to our lives. Our humanness is showing!
I feel like this is a magnificent gift of learning for me. It may not be the most extreme form of being tested by the divine universe, but it is plenty intense enough for me.
I heard a divorce lawyer speak several years ago who said, “You don’t really know another person until you marry him, but you REALLY get to know him when you divorce him.” I would like to add that another baptism of fire in the “getting to know someone” category is to suddenly be thrust into the role of parent with him, after each of us living sixty-odd years doing things a certain (our own) way.
We find lots of things to disagree on, from how much we ask in the way of chores to how much time we spend tutoring Tori in math. I’m the one who is much more strict about keeping the house clean and straight, having regular family meals, that kind of stuff. Wade is much more stringent about the math tutoring.
And, after a full day of breakfast, then errands, shopping, working on details on the phone most of the day, then Tori arriving by 3:30 pm and dealing with homework, meals, baths, all that stuff, I am pretty worn out by 10 pm. All you mothers out there can read between the lines here…. Let’s just say it is harder to have a smiley face when Wade and I clash about something.
I’d like to think I could exhibit a serene, Zen-like presence and maintain harmony through those moments. I’d like to think so…. Maybe someday I will!
So I’m looking for the balance, how to see the good and the bad and not be swayed by either. Just be here and be calm. Some days I have whole spaces of time like that! Other days, my whole body aches from the stress of what seems like a never-ending pull of attention to details, managing situations, getting everything done.
It isn’t that I yearn for my life before February 3, 2014, when this all started. Now that I am in this life, I can’t really imagine not living this way. Children have a way of doing that–embedding themselves into you just by their presence. I look forward to interesting conversations with them. Often I learn the most interesting things just by sitting with them and being there when a thought crosses their mind and they share it. I find myself wishing I had been this available when I was raising my son, Noah, who is now 42. Back then, I was running a home and a business, working sometimes 10 hours a day on the business. I know it was hard on him. It is just what was going on and I can’t go back and change it.
So I’m doubly grateful when I find myself just sitting, talking with one or both of the kids and learning all sorts of things I might not ever know about if I hadn’t been there.
I wish it were that easy with Wade! I feel sad when I get along better with the Sammy and Tori than I do with him. Maybe I’m just better with kids!