Friday, February 5, 2016

What's Your Story

It's been a busy morning so I'm delayed in writing and short on time.

This is unfortunate because my head is swimming with thoughts I want to share and explore.

This is why I carry a notebook.

I have so many words about my boys new Instagram accounts, Max turning ONE and WALKING and TALKING, and the cake I am about to bake.

You'll have to wait on that though because I mostly wanted to write about marriage because right now things are kind-of hard.  That's how things go in marriage.  It's wonderful, then it's difficult, then it's great, then it's blah, then it's crazy hard work, then it's apathy, then it's really, really good.

Somehow it still totals out to be the best thing ever and I have no idea how that happens.

But right now it's kind of hard.

He's busy with work.  I'm busy with kids and busy waiting for him to be off work.

I shouldn't admit that I wait for him to be off work. I should be saying I find my own amusement and am independent...because I think that's what we want all the girls to hear and feel these days.

That isn't how it works for me, for us.

I do often find my own amusement and I am pretty independent, but we have four kids and it takes a lot of communication and a lot of babysitting money for us or for just me to do something away from them.

So I find myself frequently waiting for him.

Waiting to get off work, to get home from his meeting, to text, to call, to tell me what's next.

It's annoying.

It is what it is.

(Most unproductive statement ever right there.  'It is what it is' basically just means shut the hell up and get on with it...but we never just say that, do we?)

It's difficult to find time to have a ten minute conversation to decide whether or not we want to accept an invitation somewhere or what to do about Aiden's soccer team or should we fix that magic ice maker, much less actually enjoy being around one another.

Ain't nobody got time for enjoyment with four kids.

This is unfortunate because I happen to be bananas for my husband.

As far as I can remember, I really, really, really like to be around him.

Unless we haven't been around one another for a while and then he's SUPER annoying.  I could provide a lengthy list of all the annoying things he does, mistakes he makes in our routine, how inconsiderate he is about all the things I never told him I wanted to him to do and now he isn't even doing any of them...the worst.

Good thing he's pretty to look at.

I am sure he would struggle fiercely with a list of annoying things I do, because he is smart.

I would say my biggest weakness is that I work too hard.

FINE...I'll go ahead and put it out there that among one, maybe ten other things, I become a smidge of a martyr during our distant times.

Who doesn't love a martyr though, right?

I don't know why I do it.

I blame my Mom.

Just kidding, Mom.

I intellectually realize how much worse I am making a tough situation, but I actually can NOT open my mouth and be reasonable.  I have prayed fiercely for God to just force the words of reason out of me, but instead I find myself saying things like, "I guess I'll just take all four kids with me to my thing because I wouldn't want you to have to watch them when you are trying to catch up on the news on your phone."

Or, "That sounds great for you to go grab a beer, I'll just be here with all our kids on a Friday night watching a Barbie movie and eating bad pizza.  Sounds good."

In fairness to me, I always look really pretty when I say these things.

Or at least my eyelashes look pretty when I say these things.

I have a husband who works a lot. At times he doesn't even realize how much he is working.  I think he really believes he's usually home by around 6:30.  This is an adorable delusion.

I've written before about my gratitude for that, (you can read that here,) because despite my sour attitude at times, I genuinely am thankful.

One of my favorite things about him is that he works hard to provide and feels he is owed nothing.
I love that my kids see that attitude in everything he does and pray they grow to know the value of working hard for something and to not just expect things to come to you.

I also pray they miraculously miss my annoyed sighs when I forget all about grace and sigh loudly while putting away the creamer for the millionth time.

I don't use creamer.

Someone else does.

See, I'm obviously not my best version of my married self.  I have zero grace.

It's easy to focus on the little annoyances like creamer placement because it's there and it's small and it's fine to talk about creamer placement.  No one has to work hard to talk about creamer placement.

It's crazy hard when things get off course to talk about real things that matter.

Creamer does not matter.

Life happens and you genuinely have to fight to find a moment or maybe more than a moment to enjoy one another, to catch up, to remember that you are bananas for one another.  To say, "I miss you and let's go hide in the closet or something." Each moment that passes though makes it more challenging to recover from and the distance grows.

Someone has to take a step.  A big one.

Someone has to stop making sarcastic martyr comments and telling herself she has it so hard or he doesn't care, because that's a lie.

Telling myself stories that don't serve me, or my family, is one of my least favorite things that I do.

It can become a habit.

It can take over your brain.

It can straight up screw you out of the amazing life you have by telling you the complete opposite from your truth.

You can do it over and over again in your marriage, your friendships, your job, your own self worth.

Personally I feel like I only struggle with it in my marriage.  Maybe because it means the most?

But it can happen....

'They didn't text me back because they are mad', 'they didn't invite me because I'm not part of the right group', 'he isn't here because he doesn't want to be.'

Lies.  Really, really bad stories.

This morning as he left, he told me, "I love you and you love me.  I'm over this too."

He's the best.

We're going to take a big step tonight and talk and enjoy being around one another again.

I'm over being annoyed about the creamer placement.

I'm telling myself a new story and it's really, really good.


And just because my brain really can't get over these two things.


And this is part of the joy that is Cole's Instagram account, which I find adorable.


Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Marriage is hard, Leslie, and it's hard every year. It does change from era to era within the realm of your family but marriage is a constant state of compromise--every day a thousand times. Or so it feels after the seventy-twelfth day in a row !~! It's really good that he feels the same way you do at the same time--that's not always possible and makes talking even harder. I wish you the best as you guys work together and pull your family into the future with memories of laughter-making moments.

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Theresa said...

I like this. Every couple deals with. I will be running around like a mad woman trying to get snacks, water bottles, kids dressed for school and he will saunter out of the bedroom and start lint brushing his pants. Meanwhile I have 4 year old melting down about a pair of socks. The wrong socks. Could he put the lint brush down and get the right socks? I work now, so in some ways it's easier. We are both home by 5:45. But I miss my kids so that's not without it's own costs either. I was home with them for a year before I went back to work. For me going to work is easier, but I miss being at home with my kids terribly. So I jam pack our weekends. I do it so we can savour every moment we have together. It drives my husband insane. It would annoy me too. Even though I work I often feel like the responsibility for new clothes, soccer camp, permission forms, birthdays you name it. It's annoying. It's unfair. He even knows it's unfair. But he's a great Dad, husband and involved parent. And I can get to my office, shut my door and Zen. Some of the working moms I know have to premake dinner for every night they're away on business trips. That's not my life. I am grateful that my husband can completely take care of our kids. Even if he does ask me where grocery items go. Really? We've lived in this house for 4 years.